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