- Difficulty: Moderate+
- Category: Cycling, self-guided
- Duration: 7 nights, 8 days
- Recommended time of year: 1st April- 31st October
Discover the unique and unforgettable experience of cycling the ancient pilgrim route, the World Heritage Camino de Santiago
- World Heritage Recognition.
- Astorga: episcopal palace designed by Gaudi and Cathedral.
- Molinaseca: Medieval village.
- O´Cebreiro: Ancient mountain village.
- Cycling along small country roads with people from many other countries.
- Santiago: Impressive Cathedral and historic town center.
This is not a standard cycling tour! People from many countries across Europe have been travelling along the Camino de Santiago for centuries. The Camino itself is part of our history and cultural heritage. Out of all the long-distance routes that exist, only the Camino de Santiago has been given the recognition of World Heritage by the United Nations because of its historical and spiritual significance. Countless millions have walked it over the last thousand years and yet it has remained largely unchanged. It continues to cross the same rivers, climb the same mountains and pass by the same villages, chapels, churches and cathedrals.
You will be cycling the final 270 kms of the classic Camino de Santiago. Starting at the historic Roman town of Astorga, in the North West of old Castilla, will give you a chance to soak up the history that surrounds this long distance route even before you start cycling.
All the cycling is done on tarmac, using touring bikes, not mountain bikes. You will cycle beside the Camino for much of the way along small roads, but when roads become busier, closer to Santiago, we have selected a parallel route along beautiful countryside which avoid busier main roads.
Which airport should I fly to? Madrid or Santiago International Airports.
How do I get to the Starting Point?
- MADRID TO ASTORGA. The bus company ALSA runs a daily service from Madrid to Astorga (most buses leave from Madrid south station “estacion sur” but some buses also leave from the airport, terminal 4). There are typically 5 buses each day and they take between 4 and 5 hours and cost is around 25€ per person.
- LEON TO ASTORGA. Several trains (RENFE) each afternoon taking 30mins and costing 10€ per person. The bus company ALSA runs many buses to Astorga, taking 50mins and costing around 4€ per person.
- SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA TO ASTORGA. RENFE run one early morning train (9:25) taking just over 5 hours and costing around 32€ per person. The bus company ALSA runs one early morning bus (8am) taking 6 hours and costing around 27€ per person.
How do I get back? From Santiago airport back home directly or via another airport..
Day 1: Arrival to Astorga
Arrival to Astorga and a chance to explore this interesting city with its walled city centre, episcopal church designed by Gaudi and beautiful Cathedral.
Day 2: Astorga to Molinaseca
Will take you into the Maragatería area, a wooded and mountainous region where beautiful villages with large red stone houses, dot the landscape. You will climb to the highest point of the tour. Here you will pass the stone cross at 1.510m, where traditionally each pilgrim leaves a stone they have carried all the way from their homeland. You might want to bring your own small pebble with you. Later you will descend into the rich valley of the Bierzo.
49 km / Climb: 707 m
Day 3: Molinaseca to O'Cebreiro
On day 3 you will cycle through the flat cultivated landscapes of the Bierzo valley. This is a land of rich soils, water and a benign climate which produces excellent wines, fruit and vegetables. Around midday you will reach the mountains as you go through the historic town of Villafranca del Bierzo. Depending on which hotel you are at, you will then have to climb the famously steep O´Cebreiro mountain pass which separates the regions of Castilla and Galicia or you will stay at the foothills and do the climb the next morning.
58 km / Climb: 939 m
Day 4: O'Cebreiro to Sarria
Sees you in a new region, with a very different climate, vegetation and people. Galicia is green Spain, Atlantic and not Mediterranean, wooded and mountainous. Today you will descend into the small town of Samos where one of the ancient monasteries of the middle Ages still remains inhabited by monks. You will follow the rivers from the mountains to the large town of Sarria.
44 km / Climb: 258 m
Day 5: Sarria to Palas de Rei
Is one of the most beautiful sections of the Camino in Galicia. You will cycle on towards Santiago amongst woodland, going past tiny villages where people live off the land, as they have done for generations.
48 km / Climb: 1117 m
Day 6: Palas de Rei to Rua
On day 6 you continue along the road to Santiago, connecting villages. You can breathe the history along the way and can only imagine how many thousands of people over the centuries have shaped the path as it is today.
60 km / Climb: 1170 m
Day 7: Rua to Santiago de Compostela
Not far from Santiago now, on day 7 you will cycle the last 20 kms or so. The Camino leads you into the very heart of this unique city of pilgrims, into the Plaza de Obradoiro overlooking the Cathedral built in honour of Saint James, Santiago. You will arrive to feel the buzz of satisfation as you reach Santiago, with enough time to be able to get your “Compostelana” or Pilgrim’s Passport, to take with you. This singular city full of pilgrims offers many important landmarks you must enjoy, every corner imbued with history and atmosphere, before saying goodbye to the Camino.
27 km / Climb 599 m
Day 8: Departure or extra nights
Departure or why not linger in Santiago a few days to rest and enjoy. How about a touch of Luxury in the 5***** Parador?
Our hotels are conveniently positioned very near or on the Camino and are always the best quality on offer along the way. They are typically of 3 star grading. These are some of the hotels used as an example:
Day 1, Astorga
Day 2, Molinaseca
Day 3, Ferrerias, O´Cebreiro
Day 4, Sarria
Day 5, Palas de Rei
Day 6, O´Rua
Day 7, Santiago de Compostela
Our hire bikes and equipment:
A bicycle specialist will deliver your hire bike and adjust it to your specifications. We provide you with fully equipped touring bicycles. Remember that we carry your luggage between hotels so you can travel light.
||GIANT ARGENTO or equivalent:
Other equipment provided:
- Price: 643€ per person
- Single room supplement: 122€
- Half board / dinners: 90€
- Bike hire: 90€
- GPS rental (one per group): 15€
- PILGRIM´S PASSPORT.
- 7 nights´ accommodation.
- 7 breakfasts.
- Luggage transfers between hotels.
- Detailed maps with your trail clearly marked.
- Itinerary description, full of recommendations for things to do and places to visit, advice and suggestions and information about your accommodation, etc.
- Emergency support.
- Activity insurance.
- Choose between a Mountain Bike to cycle along the Camino itself or Touring Bike to cycle along roads beside the Camino (price on asking).
- 4 star hotel upgrade in Santiago (price on asking).
- Extension cycling to Finisterre, two extra cycling days (price on asking)