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Testimonials

We’ve received these reviews of our 2022 group and self-guided concierge tours:

The experience was amazing. Sandy, Giovanni and Mauro were knowledgeable, professional, fun, inspirational and the best guides to navigate us through this pilgrimage. Tom H., Port Orchard, Washington USA (group tour)

What a wonderful experience this was! Our knowledgeable and savvy Italian guide Giovanni led us through sometimes difficult terrain while taking time to share information on historical sites, geological features, and plant life. Sandy, our organizer and Franciscan scholar, provided the framework and nightly stories to better appreciate the nature of our pilgrimage. Then there was Mauro, our assistant guide, who provided the backup support needed to see us through. In addition, our group of 12 travelers proved to be an extraordinary blend of enthusiastic and engaging partners in our travels. I highly recommend this Pilgrim Paths experience from Florence to Assisi. Julie M., Seattle, Washington USA (group tour)

This was an extraordinarily rich experience as we walked from Florence to Assisi. Our guides were very much part of the group but also ensured all our needs were met as we moved from hotel to agro turismo accommodation to monastery each with their own character. We had lots of time to share stories and chat whilst our guide paused from time to time to let us catch our breath as he talked about geological shifts, farming practices, Etruscans, and of course St Francis and so much more! For me it was an experience that was spiritual and companionable as well as spiritual. We also visited galleries, churches and sights we would never have discovered on our own. This was a really blessed and precious experience. Thank you Sandy, Giovanni and Mauro. Liza N., Winchester, UK (group tour)

The experience was made richer by having both a passionate and knowledgeable local guide to share Italy’s history and landscape, as well as a spiritual leader who tied the significance of our footsteps to those of St. Francis. Each day seemed to bring surprises as we stopped at yet another special place, often with another local host. The hills could be challenging but rewarding and I felt like the choices of accommodations were made thoughtfully to add layers to our experience. Mary Ann B., Seattle, Washington USA (group tour)

I’ve never been on a trip supported by “concierge service” before and it was extraordinary! Life happens, and we all need to pivot… and Rocky’s real time assistance made SUCH a difference. Margaret G., Helena, Montana USA (concierge Service, self-guided)

I resisted the level of required commitment to the group which went well into the evening every day. I came to walk. I would likely not have signed up had I known the outline, yet as I let go, knowing I had no control, I did enjoy the experience immensely. Giovanni was incredibly knowledgeable on so many relevant subjects and his ongoing sharing added layers of profound takeaways. Mauro was also a great addition, assisting “above and beyond” and his encouraging and supportive attitude and personality really balanced out the strife that comes with extreme challenges and physical endurance. Of course Sandy was the King Pin and his vast knowledge of the routes and St. Francis, his evening sharing of St. Francis stories, his popularity resulting in several mayoral welcomes (!!) and his low key, part of the team participation made my trip especially meaningful. Robbi D., Kirkland, Washington USA (Group tour)

Pilgrim Paths was one of the most supportive experiences I’ve ever had. I have not been on many trips with guidance, admittedly, but the ease of taking all that planning off my plate, the sharing at the very beginning by Zoom, the attentiveness of Rocky during the camino when things got lost or we had questions–this was incredible. We were so happy that we knew we had a place to spend the night and a destination confirmed every day. Our group loved every place, and they were beautiful spots. Luggage getting transferred was amazing and always on time. Worth every penny for the whole experience. I would do it again in a heartbeat, and I am someone used to creating my own itineraries. This allowed us to focus on the journey without a single logistical concern. We even felt cared for and supported around the flights into France, and navigating our arrival. I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is so powerful to have the daily experience be full of conversations, meeting people, exploring, seeing the landscape, allowing for the camino to work itself into us as a transformational journey. To have the support and guidance for the simple movement of getting from one place to the next felt like relaxing deeply, allowing the path to open before us and to truly experience that we are all kindly held by life and the universe and that it’s possible to let go, and let God. Thank you so much. Grace B, (Self-guided tour)

Pilgrim Paths did an outstanding job. I had never been on a Camino before and had nothing to compare with but as I listened to pilgrims from other companies’ complaints I realized what extraordinary service we received. Rocky, our contact person, was seemingly available 24/7. When we had a question or issue she responded within minutes of our contact. For example, when our luggage was delayed, Rocky immediately contacted the transfer company to track the luggage down and have it delivered quickly. Not only did we receive prompt replies, we also received timely advice about upcoming issues we hadn’t even realized were upcoming. For example, the day before we were to board a boat, Rocky sent a map with details of the precise location to meet the boat as well as the name of the boat. She told us what we had paid for and what we should expect in upcoming meals. She even facilitated advance orders for upcoming meal options. The mix of accommodations was fun. It ranged from a rural family style hotel reminiscent of rural Spain 50 or 60 years ago and remodeled ancient stone buildings to modern urban hotels. All were comfortable. Steve P., Deer Park, Washington USA (concierge, self-guided tour)

Frankie and I had a wonderful experience. We feel like we walked two different Caminos. From Lisbon to Porto it was just the two of us. The weather was generally good with only a few rain showers. We saw about 10 other pilgrims. The hotels were almost always superior. We decided to have Rocky pre-arrange and pay for our meals. Walking all day left little energy for deciding where and what to eat. The dinners were always good and filling. In several cities we opted to share a meal. It felt like we might be wasting money because we weren’t spending are “food allowance”. But we didn’t want to waste the food. The second Camino started in Porto with 12 friends and family. Here, Rocky worked especially hard to find restaurants and hotels that could accommodate 13 dining guests. With one exception the meals were great. We have walked the Camino Frances to Finistere and the Via Francigena from Canterbury to Rome. We used a competitor and the best value is with Pilgrim Paths. Most importantly, the 24/7 attention from Rocky was extraordinary. Several of our group suffered injuries and illness that interfered with the daily walking routine. Under normal circumstances the pilgrims would probably not enjoy the journey. I spent time with each traveling companion at the end of the journey. Each was very happy with the experience. A few have already written me and expressed a desire for another pilgrimage. Rick W., Spokane WA (concierge, self-guided)

Our journey with Pilgrim Paths was a trip of a lifetime. Our guide, leader and support crew were knowledgeable, compassionate and amazing problem solvers. We experienced challenges along the way which were always met with great patience and care. We were shown so many fascinating and memorable places during our time. The culture, beauty and traditions of the regions came alive as well as the stories and sites of St Francis. Our accommodations and meals were warm and welcoming after long days on the trails. Our group laughed, cried, sang, shared, struggled, triumphed, prayed and finished together. Andiamo! Grazie Mille. Mary D., Edmonds, Washington USA (group tour)

Wow! Pretty much sums up the most amazing experience I had with Pilgrim Paths. Florence to Assisi to Rome, 30 days of challenges, surprises and rewards, supported by an amazing crew making sure our every needs were met. The villages we visited, the accommodation and welcoming hosts, the food!! The countryside was like walking in a dream, Tuscany, Umbria … we forgot the tough elevations and the declines, as we hiked along the sometimes goat track, paved pathways, open fields. Our fitness increased daily, our guides distracted us with nature talks, spiritual enlightenment, fruit picking and their sense of humour. It was a trip of a lifetime and would highly recommend this locally guided tour following the Way of Saint Francis. Lyn P., North queensland, Australia (group tour)

The trip was perfect in every way! The lodging was wonderful and every detail went smoothly. Having the support and expertise of Pilgrim Paths made my Camino a fantastic experience. Sue J., Albuquerque, NM (self-guided tour)

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