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Ride one of the world’s oldest pilgrimage routes across northern Spain
The Camino de Santiago de Compostela across northern Spain is one of the world’s oldest pilgrimage routes. Also known as ‘The Way of St James’, it originated in the region of Galicia where the tomb of the Apostle James the Great was discovered in the 9th Century. The way is marked by the symbol of the scallop shell and the grooves that join together are said to represent the many different ways pilgrim’s travel from to reach Santiago. It’s the Gothic cathedrals, medieval monasteries and miles of beautiful rural scenery that make this section of the ancient route so popular. Ride a historical pilgrimage route on this Camino de Santiago de Compostela by bike trip
- Explore cathedrals, monasteries and rural scenery
- Collect stamps for your pilgrim’s passport
- 6 days cycling with 75% vehicle support
- 50% quiet minor roads, 50% mix of gravel roads, tracks and short off road sections
- Moderate pace: 13-16km/8-10miles an hour
Start in Leon.
We start our Camino De Santiago by bike trip, when we head into the countryside riding across the plains of Castilla through cultivated countryside and quaint villages, with adobe houses and wine caves. We will have lunch in Hospital del Orbigo and on entering the village we cross a stunning mediaeval bridge (one of the longest pilgrimage bridges in Spain). We then ride the final 15km to the beautiful walled town of Astorga, with views of the mountains of Leon in the distance.
Continuing our Camino De Santiago by bike trip, today’s ride is the most beautiful of the trip as we leave the Castillan plains behind and climb gradually into the mountains of Leon to the Monte de la Cruz de Ferro (1505m). En route we pass through Castrillo de los Polvazares, known for its very special architecture created by strong orange colored stone. After riding through the charming mountain village of Acebo (the main street is a straight line of beautiful balconied houses) we enjoy the rest of our descent into Molinaseca, with stunning views of the surrounding valley.
The highlight today of our Camino De Santiago by bike trip, is the ride to the beautiful town of Villafranca with stunning views across the green valleys of Galicia and wooded mountains of Leon. After the first easy and mainly flat 25km, we have a short climb to Villafranca, which is worth a look at for its many monuments and picturesque town square. Once we reach the bottom of the valley on the foothills of Monte de O’Cebreiro we will have a rest before our final push to the top of the mountain and the small village of O’Cebreiro. Here we will be able to appreciate wonderful views of the valleys that surround this peak and admire the charming slate roofed black houses. Due to the limited accommodation capacity in O’Cebreiro, on certain departures we may have to stay in the village of Herrerias and cycle up to O’Cebreiro in the morning of Day 5.
As we enter Galicia, the landscape changes dramatically and the area is populated by a number of traditional agricultural villages. Each family has small plots of land, which they cultivate for their own vegetables and we will pass by many of the locals working the land and tending to their cattle. As well as a change in culture, landscape and language, the gastronomy of Galicia is famous for using products of high quality and preparing them in simple and not elaborate, but delicious ways. We have lunch in Samos, home to one of the oldest monasteries in Spain, and cycle through chestnut forests to Sarria continuing on our Camino De Santiago by bike trip.
PREMIUM DEPARTURES: we end the day in Portomarin.
Today’s ride runs through beautiful rural Galician countryside and along tree-lined paths to the town of Portomarin, which was rebuilt on a hilltop in the 1950s in order to construct a reservoir. After lunch, a 13km climb, followed by a welcome 12km downhill, takes us to Palas de Rei, a small town full of the pilgrim spirit.
PREMIUM DEPARTURES: we end the day near Arzïa.
Our final day of Camino De Santiago by bike trip involves a number of short ascents and descents as far as Monte de Gozo. From here, as pilgrims have done for centuries, we wind our way through the cityïs streets and crowds to Plaza del Obradoiro, dominated by the impressive Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. We then move onto the Pilgrim’s Office for those who wish to obtain the ‘compostela’ (certificate of accomplishment).
End Santiago de Compostela.
Additional Trip Notes:
On this Camino De Santiago by bike trip, the group consists of adults. The group is usually between 4 and 16 in size, with an average of 12 like-minded clients booking individually, in a couple or as friends together.
For this Camino De Santiago by bike trip, you are moderately fit and have an interest in remote or challenging environments. Some previous experience is required for activity based trips.
In the smaller villages you will use characterful family-run ‘casa rurales’ and in larger towns you will be accommodated in larger hotels. All will have en suite facilities and will be beside the actual Camino de Santiago. For premium departure you will stay in a range of delightful country inns, renovated farmhouses and two fabulous Paradors.
Breakfast – All
Breakfasts usually consist of coffee and toasts. However, there are plenty of opportunities to stop for a coffee or a snack along the way. Vegetarians: Please be aware that a meat and fish diet is the norm in Northern Spain. Many vegetarians have not experienced any problems, however please be prepared to be flexible. Please note that mealtimes in Spain are later than in many other countries; dinner is usually taken between 21:00 and 21.30.
Vaccinations and Visa:
No visa required for British passport holders.
There are no specific health risks.
On this Camino De Santiago by bike trip, the riding is generally undemanding and on a mixture of quiet minor roads, cycle paths and non-technical tracks. As we are passing through rural communities the roads are quiet with very little traffic, however you will be sharing the route with a number of walkers and cyclists all on their way to Santiago de Compostela. There is one long but gradual climb on the second cycling day of the trip and one steep 8 km climb on the third cycling day, but the support vehicle will be on hand if you prefer to opt out. Alternatively, there is the opportunity to walk along the hiking track.
Weather & seasonality:
In April and October expect temperatures in the 40-60degF/5-15degC with high chance of rain showers though it could also be simply partly cloudy and more temperate. Temperatures in May and September tend to be about 10degF/5degC warmer than April and October. Expect a combination of sun, showers and clouds. July and August are typically sunny and warm (60-80degF/15-25degC).
Dates & Rates
Trip runs regularly between May and October – contact us for departure details.
From £1,049 excluding flights (flight inclusive options available)
- All breakfasts
- All accommodation
- London flights (if booking incl. flights)
- Airport transfers
What’s not included?
- Local bike hire (GBP85 paid on booking)
- Travel insurance
- Single accommodation – GBP160 (premium departures GBP270)
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Camino de Santiago by Bike
- Trip Code: AWA147
- Dates: Various May – Oct
- Price: From £1,049
- Depart: Leon
- Arrive: Santiago de Compostela
- Length: 6 Days
- Adventure: Explore the famous Camino de Santiago de Compostela by bike
“5 Stars. Loved this trip. All-round, this is one of my favourite holidays for quite some time. Great country, great food, great camaraderie, some challenging riding, plus the sense of a journey which makes the trip really special. And we were lucky with the weather.”