Tips for Planning a Honeymoon on the Camino de Santiago
Being a maid of honour sometimes includes very delicate tasks, such as planning the honeymoon for the newlyweds. It isn’t exactly in the job description, but I wanted to treat my best friend and her husband with a very special wedding gift they will never be able to throw away or forget. Instead of buying a piece of furniture, a kitchen utensil or a piece of art, I decided to plan a memorable journey. It took a lot of research and months of planning, but I managed to organise everything from luggage transfers to romantic accommodation.
Why the Camino de Santiago?
The first question I asked myself was where to send two incurable adventure lovers and adrenaline junkies. Certainly not the Maldives. Or anywhere else where they will have no other options but to lay on a beach or go on sunset cruises with other honeymooning couples. Nope. It would just be too boring for these two. They really love walking and hiking, so it had to be something related to that.
I don’t know how I thought of the Camino de Santiago – I had talked to a colleague about it last year, and I knew a fair amount about it, but I don’t know how it suddenly occurred to me it would make a fantastic itinerary for an extended honeymoon. Just what they needed!
I started researching online and after several hours spent reading other people’s experiences, it started to sound like a bad idea. Walking 10 to 20 kilometres every day, carrying a small backpack with you, wearing the same clothes for days and sleeping in hostels didn’t seem romantic at all! But I didn’t give up. I changed my research and discovered that you can turn this trip into a romantic honeymoon if you find good hotels, rustic country cottages and fantastic local restaurants.
Also, there was the “pilgrim certificate” which they would obtain at the end of their walk. That was, in fact, my real wedding gift!
How Make the Journey Comfortable?
When planning a Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, timing is everything. Summer is usually the perfect time for a honeymoon, but in this case, I thought that autumn would be much better because then temperatures in Spain are bearable and walking would be much easier. Plus the couple will have more time to prepare for the adventure after the wedding and all that cake and champagne.
It is also essential to explore the whole route and make a list of the most important landmarks along the way, as well as restaurants, wineries and hotels. Walking itself is exhausting enough, so the rest of your journey doesn’t have to be painful. Treating yourselves with a delicious meal, a glass of wine, a bubble bath and a comfy bed is well deserved, so I looked for agencies that offer the best deals for a bit of honeymoon luxury. And even though there are many different accommodation options, I searched only for the best ones.
Finally, as I didn’t want to leave the newlyweds walking hundreds of kilometres with their rucksacks, I looked for a luggage transfer services and found them. Yes, you can bring a big suitcase with all those honeymoon essentials ranging from cosmetics and toiletries to cameras, chic boho dresses and luxe underwear, and not have to carry it!
How to Get Ready for the Journey?
My job didn’t just end after booking the tickets, hotels and transfers. I wanted to help the couple get ready for this exciting but also challenging journey. I started by googling tips, itineraries and maps. I bought them a really good guide so they can learn about the history of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela and discover all the main points of this route. Additionally, I got them two travel journals, because I thought they are great for making notes and writing down all of their impressions, discoveries and feelings along the way. Trust me, these little details can make a huge difference, because they show how much effort you had put into planning. I think it is a great way to personalise your gift!
To help them pack for their honeymoon, I prepared cute little emergency kits and made a list of all the other things they will need, including water bottles, pocket lamps, cameras, comfy shoes, hiking sandals, waterproof bags, pocket lamps and documents. I also printed out all the info on where to pick up Camino passports or Credencial del Peregrino and where they can get them stamped in order to apply for the Compostela certificate.
Finally, I made a list of the best gastronomic experiences the Camino has to offer and told them where to eat in Pamplona, Logrono, Santo Domingo, Burgos, Leon and Galicia.
I know they will have an amazing time! They still have no clue where they are going, but I can’t wait for them to find out!