Difficulty Grading System for our Trips

We make a global evaluation of all the routes followed on a given trip to assign a grade. We take into account a combination of distance, time required for an average weekend hiker, technical difficulty—ruggedness—of the terrain, altitude, elevation gain and loss, and typical weather conditions. These grades are a guideline only, and as with any grading system, are subjective. We may add a plus (+) or minus (-) symbol to the letter grade to provide a more accurate assessment.

Competent map and compass skills are recommended for any self-guided or independent trips in mountain areas ONLY—these are NOT necessary for ANY Camino de Santiago trips.

AVery Easy – No experience necessary. Short in distance and duration (2 – 4 hours); lower altitudes; gentle terrain, limited elevation gain and loss.

BEasy – No experience necessary. For anyone who takes regular exercise and is fit enough to enjoy 3 – 5 hours of walking in rolling terrain at lower altitudes.

CModerate – For weekend walkers or hikers who take regular exercise and fit enough to enjoy 4 – 6 hours of walking in moderate mountainous terrain. (Mountain Trips: some walks over 2000m. Previous mountain walking experience is desirable, but not essential if confident of your fitness.)

DStrenuous – Previous mountain walking experience required. For regular and weekend hill walkers & hikers in good fitness. Walking days usually between 6 – 8 hours, often over 2000m and rugged terrain. Depending on trip and dates, some easy walking on snow may be required.

EChallenging - Proven mountain walking experience required. You must have complete confidence in your physical condition and ability to handle walks lasting 7 – 9 hours, often at higher elevations in varying weather conditions over rugged terrain including narrow and steep paths, crossing of scree and snow.