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"Camino de Santiago" by Bike - Itinerary

 

Notes:

  • The following itinerary should be seen only as a guide. Route conditions, available services and other circumstances can change our daily plans.

(Click on the pictures to enlarge)

Camino de Santiago by Bike - Plaza del Castillo in PamplonaCamino de Santiago by Bike - First Kilometres out of RoncesvallesCamino de Santiago by Bike - Puente de la ReinaCamino de Santiago by Bike - On the way to EstellaCamino de Santiago by Bike - Rough section out of LogroñoCamino de Santiago by Bike - Burgos CathedralCamino de Santiago by Bike - Arriving in HontanasCamino de Santiago by Bike - San Nicolas hostel for pilgrimsCamino de Santiago by Bike - Typical road on the Castilian section of the CaminoCamino de Santiago by Bike - Leon CathedralCamino de Santiago by Bike - Gaudi's Episcopal Palace, AstorgaCamino de Santiago by Bike - Bierzo Area in the Leon ProvinceCamino de Santiago by Bike - The Iron CrossCamino de Santiago by Bike - O'CebreiroCamino de Santiago by Bike - Riding in the Lovely Forests of GaliciaCamino de Santiago by Bike - Samos MonasteryCamino de Santiago by Bike - Last day into Santiago de CompostelaCamino de Santiago by Bike - Santiago de Compostela Cathedral

Day 1: Meeting in Pamplona

Our tour rendezvous in Pamplona, the city made famous for the Festival of San Fermin and the "running of the bulls". No bulls to run this time , Pamplona is however much more than that. This beautiful town is the historical capital of the Navarre region and you will be glad of the time to experience it properly. We will be meeting at our hotel where we will have a tour briefing at 6:00 pm before going out to enjoy the local tapas bars.

Accommodation: Hotel 3-star (Breakfast included)

 

Day 2: Roncesvalles - Pamplona (42 km)

After breakfast we'll be transferred to Roncesvalles, a tiny old village in the foothills of the Pyrenees, the most popular starting point of the French Route of the Camino. We will pick up our pilgrims' passports (credential) from the Monastery there so that we can collect the many official stamps along the way to record our progress. The route from here back to Pamplona is a beautiful ride along narrow old roads passing through quaint Pyrenean villages. There will be some climbing along the way but it is mostly all downhill to Pamplona. It's a perfect day for warming up and checking the bikes are in good working order. We re-enter Pamplona through the XIIth century Gothic bridge of La Magdelana and enter the old city to return to our hotel.

 

Day 3: Pamplona - Estella (52km)

Shortly after leaving Pamplona, a dirt road will take us to el Alto de Perdón (Pass of the forgiveness) the first "serious" climb of the trip. We'll be forgiven, with a blissful downhill all the way to Puente de la Reina (The Bridge of the Queen), where we'll cross the Río Arga (río = river) over its famous six-arched bridge, a medieval jewel of the XI century. It is then up and down through broad cultivated fields and vineyards all the way to Estella. This is a famous wine region delimited by the borders of provinces of Pamplona, Alava and La Rioja. Tonight we'll be staying in Estella, a beautiful old pilgrim's town.

Accommodation: Hotel 3-star (D &B included)

 

Day 4: Estella - Logroño (49km)

We'll leave Navarre and cross into La Rioja, the region where the famous La Rioja wine comes from. Shortly after our not too early start we will stop at a landmark wine site on the Camino. The site of the 'free-flowing wine fountain', where you could drink as much as you like with compliments from the generous winemakers of "Bodegas Irache". Hopefully not too inebriated we will make it to the capital of the region, Logroño, entering by the great Puente de Piedra (Stone Bridge) over the Rio Ebro, one of the most important rivers in Spain. Our hotel is located in the beautiful historic centre of Logroño.

Accommodation: Hotel 3-star (D & B included)

 

Day 5: Logroño - Santo Domingo de la Calzada (51km)

Another day among the omnipresent vineyards. We'll leave Logroño old town through an arch in the town's wall called la Puerta del Camino (The Gate of the Way). The Alto de la Granjera is the only climb of the day and the route takes us through rolling farmlands. We'll be staying in Santo Domingo de la Calzada, one of the most beautiful towns of the pilgrimage. It was named after St. Dominic, a monk who devoted his life to helping pilgrims on the way to Santiago. He built the bridge over the Oja river and the roadway to Cercedilla del Camino, which we'll be riding the next day. Visit the Cathedral and learn about why they keep live chickens there.

Accommodation: Hotel 3-star (Breakfast included)

 

Day 6: Santo Domingo de la Calzada - Burgos (72km)

The day starts with a series of ups and downs while climbing all the way to Alto de Pedraja from where you can enjoy stunning views of the Sierra de la Demanda. From here it is a 10km downhill to San Juan Ortega, whose monastery is one of the gems of the Spanish Romanesque. This makes a great lunch stop but apart from the monastery there is only a small bar so a packed lunch is necessary. After yet another climb to Atapuerca, we arrive in vibrant Burgos, the capital of the province of the same name, with its magnificent Gothic Cathedral, one of the most important in the country. Take time to admire the restoration and its series of flying buttresses. We will now be in the region of Castilla (Castile) where the Spanish language has its origins.

Accommodation: Hotel 3-star (Breakfast included)

 

Day 7: Burgos - Carrión de los Condes (88km)

There is a Spanish saying "Ancha es Castilla" (Wide is Castile!). You'll understand why in the next 2 stages. It is mostly flat all the way to Leon, with big open spaces and landscape that don't change much, however this area also has its charms. Not much has changed in the way people live in the old towns and villages we will pass through. This region will give you a sense of deep rural Spain as we eat up the kilometres. We will have another picnic lunch at the ruined Conventa de San Anton just before Castrojeriz. We will stay in the relaxing and quiet old town of Carrión de los Condes.

Accommodation: Local inn (D & B included)

 

Day 8: Carrión de los Condes - Leon (96km)

This is the longest stage of the trip but an easy flat 100km. Like the day before the way is full of long straight roads with fields of sunflowers interspersed with old medieval villages. The city of Leon impressive Gothic Cathedral appears as an incentive on the horizon - a city reflecting the true Spain between the mountains and the plain.

Accommodation: Hotel 3-star (Breakfast included)

 

Day 9: Rest day in Leon

Meander through the old town and see some of the Roman ruins. Or simply relax and sample some tapas and have cortos (short beer) in the main plaza!

Accommodation: Hotel 3-star (Breakfast included)

 

Day 10: Leon - Rabanal del Camino (74km)

It's an easy ride to Astorga where it's worth stopping to have a look at their historical buildings of the City Council, the Cathedral and the Episcopal Palace built by Gaudi. In Astorga we will leave the plains behind and start heading towards the Mounts of Leon. There's gradual, and very welcome, change in the landscape which will accompany us for the next 100km. A gentle ascent will take us to the beautiful small village of Rabanal del Camino where we'll be staying overnight.

Accommodation: Hotel 3-star (D & B included)

 

Day 11: Rabanal del Camino - Villafranca del Bierzo (57km)

From Rabanal it is a tough 5km climb to the top of Cruz de Ferro (The Iron Cross), one of the most iconic sites along the pilgrim's route, where all the pilgrims add a stone to the impressive and massive heap of stones where the iron cross stands. From this point you can see the border of the region of Galicia. What follows is an impressive long 20km downhill to Ponferrada, more than 1000m below, where we'll stop to visit the Castillo de los Templarios (The Castle of the Templars), the old guardians of the pilgrims. From Ponferrada to Villafranca vineyards reappear as this is another important wine area in Spain. Our destination will be Villafranca, one of the most attractive towns on the Camino.

Accommodation: Hotel 3-star (D & B included)

 

Day 12: Villafranca del Bierzo - Sarria (79km)

This will be the toughest day of our trip. Ahead lays the 30km climb to O'Cebreiro, the Colossus of the Camino, the gateway of Galicia. The climb itself, is only tough in the final 5km when the gradient becomes very steep. Fortunately, the hard work will be rewarded by one of the most beautiful stages of the whole trip. On top, the picturesque village of O'Cebreiro awaits us, with its stone straw-roofed dwellings. After a well-deserved rest, there are the final 2 hills that separate us from the long downhill to Triacastela. From there, we'll continue our descent to Sarria via the amazing monastery at Samos with a few sharp bumps in between.

Accommodation: Hotel 3-star (D & B included)

 

Day 13: Sarria - Leboreiro (58km)

The last 2 days will be full of small but steep ups and downs. This is one of the most fun days on the bike passing through farmyards and villages. During this stage we'll be in the most rural and untouched part of Galicia where people lives haven't changed much in the last centuries, they are still connected to the land. The narrow roads are shared with the odd vehicle and plentiful cattle, the most important resource of this area. In Leboreiro we'll stay in the most charming and quaint place of our trip, a restored old rural house.

Accommodation: Hotel 3-star (D & B included)

 

Day 14: Leboreiro to Santiago de Compostela (59km)

This is our final stage. From the town of Melide, we'll follow a wide good dirt road covered in eucalyptus trees. We will meet at the top of Monte de Gozo overlooking the city of Santiago for lunch and then ride the final kilometres together. After lunch we'll head for the famous town of Santiago marked by the most beautiful Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela and the official end of the pilgrimage. There you'll be sharing among many others, the sense of accomplishment that innumerable pilgrims have felt for the last thousand years. Take your pilgrim's passport to the official office and get your certificate for completing this fantastic journey.

Accommodation: Hotel 3-star (Breakfast included)

 

Day 15: Free day in Santiago

A full day to explore this World Heritage City wandering the old winding streets laden with medieval monuments and squares and sample some of the finest gastronomy in Spain.

Accommodation: Hotel 3-star (Breakfast included)

Day 16: End of the trip

Breakfast and end of our services

 

 

 
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