Bike Camino de Santiago | Spain

Trace the steps of ancient travellers and make your way along the legendary Camino de Santiago, said to be the first great European tourist route travelled by pilgrims from around the world for over 1000 years. The journey will take you over 200kms through the Bierzo Winelands, over the Sierra de Ancares and into the lush forested region of Galicia, you will travel on country paths, quiet roads and farmers trails. After a day of pedalling through historical areas, you will be able to sample local specialities giving you an authentic taste of this spectacular area.

Overview

6 nights from $2,928pp* | Land only

Where you’ll visit:

  • Spain

Click on the interactive trip map below to explore the route.

Highlights:

  • Experiencing the fun and camaraderie amongst pilgrims
  • Completing the challenging climb to the mountain top village of O’Cebriero
  • Tasting local cuisine including Galician seafood
  • Immersing yourself in all the geography, culture and traditional changes along the way

What's Included?

Includes:

  • Return airport transfers
  • 6 nights hotel accommodation | Includes: breakfasts and lunch
  • 5 days biking
  • Vehicle support and transfer

Excludes: Airfares, insurance, bike and helmet hire

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 -Arrival into Santiago de Compostela airport – Transfer to Ponferrada
Following your arrival into Santiago de Compostela airport, your guide will pick you up and transfer you to your first hotel. Named after the long-gone Puente de Ferro (iron bridge), erected to help pilgrims over the Rio Sil, Ponferrada is home to the impressive 12th century Castillo de los Templarios – a castle that oozes tales of ancient battles from its thick walls and lofty ramparts.

Before heading out to dinner we have an important task to take care of, to pick up a Pilgrim’s credential or passport. This document attests that you are a pilgrim and holds your personal details and a fold-out section for stamps of the places that we will be going through. The main city square is a short stroll away from the hotel and is an ideal place to soak up some true Spanish culture. This old part of town boasts an array of local eateries and bars where the city’s folk take their Paseo (promenade) in an evening before settling into one of the terraces for some sustenance or refreshment.

Day 2 – Ponferrada to Vega de Valcarce
This morning we’ll set off on the exciting journey with Santiago in the distant sight! From Ponferrada we will take a fun ride along the Rio Sil before heading out of the city through vast and seemingly-endless allotments and vines arriving at the village of Columbrianos. From here we take a picturesque route, meandering through vineyards and villages, with the dark menacing masses of the Las Ancares mountain range in the distance. Following a descent on a fast trail, you will find yourself entering the beautiful town of Villafranca del Bierzo, an ideal place for lunch.

Heading into the Vega de Valcarce the valley widens, opening into a beautiful, glaciated valley of meadows and tiny hamlets and villages.

Day 3 – Vega de Valcarce to Samos
Today’s route can prove to be the toughest, yet one of the most beautiful on the road to Santiago. Cruising deeper into the Valcarce valley passing Herrerias, a village related to the iron and steel industry, which has existed here since the Middle Ages and from where the climb begins. The climb up to O‘Cebriero is on a well-surfaced lane with some steep sections and takes us past El Bierzo. Don’t worry, the stunning views will take your mind off the climb!

On reaching O’Cebriero there will be time for congratulations on your achievement before beginning the 10km descent to the valley bottom. From here, you will follow the Rio Ouribio, through a valley wedged in by mountains, until one last swooping descent drops you to the bottom of a deep, steep valley where we enter the village of Samos, home to the great monastery of Los Santos Julian y Basilisa de Samos. On hot days the river at Samos is an ideal place for a refreshing, end-of-ride dip!

Day 4- Samos to Portomarin
Day four will see you cycling deep into mysterious Galicia, rich with legends and stories of witchcraft and mythology. The route is intricate, winding through tiny, granite hamlets and farmsteads, and as it’s short giving you a chance to savour the region’s beauty. On reaching Sarria, the only sizeable settlement en route, we have to climb up to the hill town; in Galicia the Camino is well surfaced for cycling so we will enjoy the true route of this ancient journey.

Passing Barbadelo, and its beautifully simple 12th century it will see you having 100km left to reach Santiago. Here you’ll notice the Camino tends to get a little busier, as 100km is the minimum distance which pilgrims on foot need to travel to receive a Compostela! Our destination, Portomarin, sits high on the right-hand bank of the river, where the most important monuments of the town were moved stone by stone.

Day 5 – Portomarin to Sedor
After a well-deserved rest in Portomarin, it is time to head out for the first obstacle of the day, the climb up and past Monte de San Antonio, to the villages of Gonzar and Castromaior. The cycling is beautiful following the pretty Torres stream through glades of oak and pine, over softly-undulating countryside that is so typical of this part of Galicia. The atmosphere along the trail is fantastic, one of camaraderie and excitement as we close in, counting down the Km signs as they go past one by one.

Following a 11km stretch of lane climbing gently through the lush Sierra de Ligonde, passing many a village offering inviting hostelries to refresh the many jovial pilgrims. The trail continues through oak woods and eucalyptus plantations bringing the group to the first village in the La Coruna province, Cornixa, from where we’ll follow a well-restored ancient medieval road. We‘re now nearly at our home for the night, Sedor, but not before a short steady climb through Melide.

Day 6 – Sedor to Santiago de Compostela
This is the final day on the journey to Santiago which is full of fun, with a party atmosphere filling the trail! It will be a memorable day, with just 48km to go! A steady climb brings you to the artisan’s town of Arzua, where, according to legend, a local woman who denied a tired, hungry pilgrim a piece of bread had her bread turned to stone! So please be in a sharing mood when we going out for dinner!

There is a quiet rest area in Santa Irene where the group can stop and rest for lunch, refuelling for the final pedal to Santiago. After riding through Lavacollayou will take on the last climbs of the Camino on paved roads and along to Monte del Gozo (Mount Joy), as the long awaited sight of Santiago comes into view for the first time. From here it’s downhill all the way to a place declared a World Heritage Site in its entirety by UNESCO, Santiago de Compostela. Sights will be firmly set on the Plaza de Obradoiro, Santiago’s impressive cathedral square, which houses its greatest treasures. It’s a special moment, signifying the end of a truly memorable cycle ride and a memory which will last a lifetime!

Day 7 – Departure from Santiago de Compostela – Transfer to Santiago de Compostela airport
After a relaxing breakfast it’s time to pack those bags one last timeand transfer to Santiago de Compostela airport for your flight home.

Gallery

Terms and Conditions

  • Price based on per person twin share, in NZD, land only and selected travel periods and blackout dates apply.
  • Prices are correct at the time of release and are subject to availability and to change without notice.
  • Allows for two changes of the following: departure date and/or tour. Applies to bookings made from March 11th to July 31st, 2020. Change requests must be submitted by phone or email minimum 60 days in advance. Please note: a minimum of 90 days’ notice applies.  Any change in value above the original order will be charged, any value below will be forfeited. Offer does not apply to cancellations please ask when booking for details specific to your tour.
  • Credit/debit card surcharges, singles supplement and cancellation/change fees may apply.
  • Events beyond our control such as currency fluctuations may result in price variations.
  • Priced based on travel dates 13 – 19 July 2020 | 07 – 13 September 2020 | 12 – 19 July 2021 | 06 – 13 September 2021
  • Prices exclude (unless specified) airfares, insurance (Note: some insurance companies may deem mountain biking an extreme sport), meals, other activities and all items of a personal nature. Additional levies, government charges, and fees may apply that are beyond our control.
  • Accommodation. Subject to availability. Selected travel dates & blackouts & book by dates apply. Specific room types, bedding configuration, features and amenities may vary.
  • Activities: Where specified are subject to availability and weather dependent. Age, weight and height restrictions may apply.
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