Lace up your hiking boots, limber up your legs and set out on an unforgettable pilgrimage to the Spanish holy city of Santiago de Compostela. Join knowledgeable and experienced guides Judy and Juan Carlos on the walk of your life as Spanish Steps traces the centuries-old footsteps of pilgrims who have ventured across the expansive landscape of the Iberian Peninsula for 1,200 years. Ever since taking her first “steps” along the well-trodden path to Santiago de Compostela, Judy was hooked. Joining forces with her husband, Juan Carlos Fuentes, they’ve been leading tours since 1996. Email Us to request tour.
Judy Colaneri, owner of Spanish Steps and Roman Roads, is also a culinary trained chef in the ski mountain town of Aspen, Colorado. She spends eight months of the year working in Europe, personally guiding adventurous travelers through her favorite part of the world. Her love of exploration and hiking, joined with her passion for language and the culinary arts, will make your trip a walking-gourmet odyssey.
Having walked the Camino de Santiago five times, Judy knows every inch of the way. Her first experience was in 1994 from the heights of the Spanish Pyrenees. The following year, a 1,000-mile walk from Le Puy en Velay, France into Spain along the Camino Frances led her to Santiago de Compostela. In 1996, she began her pilgrimage in French Pyrenees, this time from the legendary monastery of Roncesvalles.
In 2002, Judy walked the Camino two more times, following both the inland route and the less-traveled El Camino del Norte, following 300-miles of beautiful coast from Santiallana del Mar to Santiago de Compostela. . To date, Judy has led over 100 groups of pilgrims to the steps of the cathedral in Santiago. Judy studied the Spanish language in Barcelona, Spain; Sevilla, Spain; and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
While Spanish is her second language, Judy is also familiar with a number of other Romance languages, including Italian. Having visited more than 25 countries around the globe, Judy has found Spain to be the most exciting. When Judy isn't whipping up gourmet meals for her Aspen clientele or leading her pilgrims to Santiago, she can be found hiking the high mountain routes of Aspen or Asturias, and walking the back roads of Europe.
Her prior experiences on the Camino de Santiago and trekking in the Himalaya, led her to the idea of forming this company with her partner Juan Carlos Fuentes-Pura of Valladolid, Spain.
Juan Carlos Fuentes met Judy on the Camino in 1994 while on his second pilgrimage to Santiago. He has since walked the Camino eight times, including several holy year pilgrimages, and has been sharing his expertise and knowledge about his home country with pilgrims from all over the world since the beginning of Spanish Steps. When not guiding on the Camino, both Juan Carlos and Judy can be found hosting people at their newly restored farmhouse in Asturias, Hotel Fuentes de Lucia.
Glen Craney is an award-winning novelist, screenwriter, journalist and lawyer. After receiving degrees from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and Indiana University School of Law, he covered national politics for Congressional Quarterly magazine. His historical novel about the Cathars, The Fire and the Light, has received several honors, including being named Best New Fiction by the National Indie Excellence Committee and a Finalist for Foreword Magazine's Book of the Year. He is also a recipient of the Nicholl Fellowship award given by the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences for best new screenwriting. His travels around the world have found him playing baseball in Cuba, walking the biblical sites of Israel, exploring the Secret Vatican Archives in Rome, and climbing Templar castles in Scotland and France. A veteran of the Camino trek with Spanish Steps, he wrote of his experiences on the trail with Judy and her gang in the February, 2004 issue of The Robb Report.
For more information on The Fire and the Light and the Cathars, visit Glen's website at: www.glencraney.com and watch his book trailer at: glencraney.com
Virginio Corsi accidentally came across the Camino de Santiago in 1997, while studying in Spain. He gathered a small group of friends and together embarked on the journey of a lifetime to Santiago de Compostela.
His curiosity about this route increased. After finishing his degree in foreign languages, he realized that it was finally time for a fuller experience on the Road to Santiago.
The enthusiasm for the pilgrimage was so strong that the adventure didn’t end for him in Santiago or Finisterre. He set out a second pilgrimage aimed at writing a guidebook about the Camino, complied and published with the efforts of a very motivated team of intrepid travellers and writers. To further his insight into pilgrimage and the Camino, he volunteered as a hospitalero for two seasons at an albergue (pilgrim shelter) in Burgos.
While working on his Phd in History and The Culture of Travel, Virginio turned his focus toward pilgrimage, collecting an indepth bibliography and vast knowledge about the Way to Compostela. After his doctoral dissertation he set out once again on the road to Santiago, where he spent the next couple of years continuing his research.
He is currently living in both Spain and Italy, his native country. When not guiding, he teaches language and the culture of travel at Università della Tuscia in Viterbo, Italy.
Molly Faath hails from the USA and is a true admirer of all things Spanish. She lived and studied in the Spanish city of Oviedo and has traveled extensively throughout the Iberian Peninsula, Europe, Latin America and Asia.
Molly met Judy of Spanish Steps while on her first pilgrimage to Santiago in 2000. She became so enamored with the Camino that from their initial encounter in Burgos she shifted from her career in the non-profit sector to leading groups of pilgrims to Santiago. She is a permanent resident of Aspen, CO but spends much of the year traveling abroad.
Susan Merill has been a yoga student since 1992, a teacher since 1997 and has owned her owned Asana Yoga Studio in Golden, Colorado since October of 2002. Most recently she has taught workshops in Spain and Mexico and has future projects in Italy and Argentina. Susan primarily teaches in the Vinyasa style but her students love her ability to adapt her classes to their specific needs. Her classes have been characterized as "full of vitality" Susan believes the focus of her classes are about being able to draw your attention away from the outside world and into yourself as you explore the boundaries of your ability while respecting your limitations. Visit Susan's studio in Golden, Colorado at: www.asanastudio.com.
Mary Padgett paints pastels that are distinctive for her use of color. She is a signature member of the Pastel Society of America and has been featured in American Artist magazine. Her paintings are in numerous private and public collections, including Towers Perrin, Takasago International, and the Long Island Jewish Medical Center. She has participated in numerous group and one-person exhibits locally and nationally. Mary was educated at Boston University and Syracuse University and teaches pastel and color courses for Cazenovia College and Syracuse University. She maintains a studio in New Woodstock, New York.
Jorge Granda Aguado , a native of Asturias, was raised on the Camino de Santiago in the seaside city of Gijon. He studied marine sciences in Vigo and later trained as a mountain guide in the Picos de Europa. His passion for hiking, rock climbing, skiing, and orienteering led him his current profession as a guide in the high peaks of Spain and with Spanish Steps along the Camino del Norte pilgrimage trail. He guides group of hikers at our base-camp, Fuentes de Lucia, in Quiros, Asturias.
Claudia Steinhauser teaches a soft Vinyasa Krama Practice combining elements of Ashtanga, Iyengar and Viniyoga to invite you gradually and honestly to open up in a gentle way connecting with you inner self. Starting in London over 10 years ago with her yoga practice, she went for two years to India studying yoga in the country of origin and after India moved to Spain where she has taught Dynamic Vinyasa Yoga and Iyengar Style Yoga for almost 5 years. She lives now in Barcelona and teaches weekend workshops throughout the city and now at Fuentes de Lucia. Feel free to ask Claudia any questions regarding her style of yoga by writing her directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jessie Chapman is an experienced Australian yoga teacher, bestselling author of 4 yoga books and creator of the inspirational Radiance Yoga DVD series. Her years of dedicated practice and experience inspire people to journey deep into their yoga with grace and ease, cultivating a healthy body, awareness and inner peace. Having grown up with the healing arts, at 21 Jessie began exploring various yoga styles including Iyengar, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Remedial and Restorative Yoga. “I fell in love with the sensation of stretching, challenging and awakening my body. My breathing improved and there was an immediate shift in my state of mind. A feeling of inner peace washed over me and I knew that yoga would be a natural part of my life.”
Becoming a fully qualified teacher in 1997, Jessie has been running inspirational Radiance Yoga Wellness Retreats throughout Australia, Asia and now Europe since 2002. Her classes are accessible to all levels including absolute beginners to the experience practitioner. Learn more at www.radianceretreats.com