Camino de Santiago (French Way)

from 1,195

Cycle the “Camino de Santiago”, the famous pilgrim route, enjoying the art, history and gastronomy of a historical and rural part of unspoilt Spain.

  • Trip Duration 8 days / 16 days
  • Activity Level Challenging
    5/8
  • Group Size Medium Group
    14
All about the Camino de Santiago (French Way).

“Camino de Santiago” by Bike – Northern Spain

Long trip: From Roncesvalles to Santiago de Compostela (775km, 16 days, 12 cycling stages)

Short trip: From Leon to Santiago de Compostela (330km, 8 days, 5 cycling stages)

The history of Spain’s famous pilgrim route, the “Camino de Santiago”, (the Way of St. James), started more than a thousand years ago (834 AD) when the remains of St. James’s were discovered on the site that is now the city of Santiago de Compostela. Soon after, the first pilgrims started to appear in Santiago and with time, it became one of the most important Christian pilgrimages in the world together with those in Rome and Jerusalem.

Every year, thousands follow the Camino mainly on foot or by bike. Some still follow it as a religious pilgrimage, while for others, it is spiritual adventure, a journey of introspection. Even if simply for the pure adventure of it, the Camino de Santiago is the one of best ways to experience the art, history and gastronomy of a historical and rural part of unspoilt Spain.

Experience this historic route with us on our supported cycle tour.

GUIDES / STAFF

Carlos Gonzalez

Carlos Gonzalez: Bilingual accredited Mountain and Nature guide as well as MTB guide with First Aid experience. Extensive bike touring experience in Spain, South America, Central America, North America, Morocco and the Indian Himalayas (40,000 km pedalled)

We’ll be accompanied by backup vehicle and a driver with good English.

FITNESS

A good level of fitness is required. Daily cycling distances are between 40 and 95 km on a mix of paved and dirt roads.

Pre-tour preparation: We would advise at least one longer distance (60 -70km) weekly ride with a few shorter rides (25-30km) squeezed in between (1-2mths before departure)

Although this is not a race, by doing races your fitness will improve substantially, especially with multi-day events.

EQUIPMENT

We will provide a comprehensive kit list. You will need to supply your own bicycle and basic spares. We will bring the more specialized bike tools.

  1. 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)

  2. 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 road 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 12th century Gothic bridge of La Magdalena and enter the old city to return to our hotel.

    Accommodation: Hotel 3-star (Breakfast included)

  3. Day 3 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)

  4. Day 4 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 in the beautiful historic centre of Logroño.

    Accommodation: Hotel 3-star (Breakfast included)

  5. Day 5 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 (D &B included)

  6. Day 6 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)

  7. Day 7 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 Convento            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)

  8. Day 8 León (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)

  9. 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)

  10. Day 10 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)

  11. Day 11 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)

  12. Day 12 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)

  13. Day 13 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)

  14. Day 14 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)

  15. 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)

  16. Day 16 End of the trip

    Breakfast and end of our services

Monastery of San Xulián de Samos

Founded in the sixth century and still active, this is one of the most iconic places along the Camino. Located at the heart of the Galician region, it's about 120 km from Santiago.

Confirmed Dates Trip Status Price (PP) Single Supplement 
20th May 2018 - 4th June 2018
Long tour - Available
2,195
375
Contact Us
28th May 2018 - 4th June 2018
Short tour - Available
1,195
195
Contact Us
23rd September 2018 - 8th October 2018
Long tour - Available
2,195
375
Contact Us
1st October 2018 - 8th October 2018
Short tour - Available
1,195
195
Contact Us
The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • Bilingual Spanish guide/tour leader.
  • Support vehicle with driver
  • Full trip: 15 nights accommodation in 3-star hotels, inns and rural homestays. All breakfasts included and 7 dinners.
  • Short trip: 7 nights accommodation in 3-star hotels, inns and rural homestays. All breakfasts included and 4 dinners.
Whats not included in this tour.Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
  • Transport to start/from end of the tour