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Duration
17 days
Activities
  • self guided cycle
Accommodation
  • 16 nights in hotels
Meals
  • 16 Breakfasts

Price

SPECIAL OFFER

$2860USD

 
 

Overview

Trip Code: CBP

Trip highlights


  • Cycling from the Pyrenees
  • Visiting historic cities of Pamplona, Burgos and Leon
  • Exploring interesting pilgrimage towns and villages
  • Experiencing the terrific sense of camaraderie on the trail
  • Soaking up the hospitality of family run hotels
  • Arriving into Santiago and experiencing an overwhelming sense of achievement

For more than 1000 years the Camino de Santiago (or Way of St James / Compostela Trail) has represented the adventure of a lifetime for pilgrims and history buffs alike. While the 783km French route from Roncesvalles to the Cathedral of Santiago has been well trodden by hiking boots and horse hooves through the centuries in more recent times the pilgrimage route has become a natural magnet for cyclists seeking out iconic routes. Beginning in the foothills of the Pyrenees and continuing along the Camino to the historic cathedral city of Santiago, this exhilarating ride takes in some of the most breathtaking landscapes, unique monuments and typical villages of northern Spain. En route, step out of the saddle to savour the rich Spanish gastronomy, experiencing traditional regional cuisine and excellent wines. Each night you'll stay in atmospheric hotels offering comfort at the end of a hard day's cycle which is intrinsic to this historic adventure.

Trip Grading

moderate to challenging

More info about grading system

Traveller Rating

 

Famous on the pilgrimage trail, the historic village of Roncesvalles is high in the Pyrenees and only 5km from the French border in northeast Navarre. Make your way to your hotel and at your leisure, visit the famous local church where there are several relics dating from the 8th Century and the defeat of Charlemagne by local tribes. Your bikes will be delivered to the hotel by early evening.

Meals:  Nil

Today’s cycle takes you through the foothills of the Pyrenees. You’ll pass through the towns of Burguete and Espinal, climb to the top of Erro, and follow the Arga River from Zubiri to Pamplona, the historical capital of Navarre province.

Meals:  B

Heading out of Pamplona, you’ll quickly reach Cizur. A short ascent follows before a continued decline through Uterga, Muruzábal and Óbanos to the lovely stone built town of Puente la Reina. Leaving Puente la Reina, you'll follow paths and tracks to the medieval hilltop village of Cirauqui, which welcomes you with a beautiful arched door. Descend the Roman road to the bridge over the Rio Salado to ride the final kilometres into Estella (Lizarra) via the towns of Lorca and Villatuerta.

Meals:  B

Leaving Estella, you’ll find the famous "Fountain of Wine" and the monastery of Irache. On to Azqueta, between fields and vineyards, and Monjardín Villamayor, with its restored Fuente de los Moros (12th century fountain). From here and up to Los Arcos, you'll ride on undulating, open terrain. Leaving Los Arcos, Sansol is your next destination and from here you descend to the river valley before ascending Linares Torres del Río. Cycle through vineyards, olive groves, almond trees and small villages via Viana and descend to the city of Logroño, capital of La Rioja.

Meals:  B

Leaving Logroño on the historic Rúa Vieja you'll head towards Naverrete. Pass ruins of the ancient pilgrims and ascend Monte de San Anton, where there are views to Nájera. Continuing via Najera’s Monastery of Santa Maria la Real, the road runs along a dirt track to Azofra, situated on a small hill. From here it's an easy ride into the historic village of Santo Domingo de la Calzada, a beautiful medieval town known for its legend of the rooster and chicken.

Meals:  B

The first part of today's cycle is quite flat. From Granon, past the tiny village of Redicillo del Camino, you head to Belorado. From here there's an ascent to Montes de Oca, where you'll be rewarded with an excellent view. Once in San Juan de Ortega, the route soon leads to Atapuerca. Leaving Atapuerca, you cycle through a number of villages as you head towards Burgos, a provincial capital of Castile and León. Your downtown hotel is within walking distance of Burgos’ charms, including its impressive Gothic Cathedral and Monastery of Las Huelgas.

Meals:  B

Leaving Burgos along the Calle Ferrán Gonzalez you cross the Rio Arlanzón at the Malatos Bridge. You then continue via the towns of Tardajos and Hornillos, and through wheat fields to the town of Hontanas. Next, you’ll see the Convent of San Antón and cycle into the beautiful village of Castrojeriz. There’s a good climb to Mostelares followed by a descent to the river Pisuerga. Historical Frómista lies ahead, along the Canal de Castilla.

Meals:  B

From Frómista, you'll cycle towards to Villalcázar de Sirga, with its beautiful church. Soon after you'll reach Carrión de los Condes, with its impressive heritage. It’s a gentle ride from Carrion de los Condes to Calzadilla de la Cueza. From Calzadilla, ascend for a couple of kilometres before heading towards the towns of Lédigos, Terradillo de Templarios and Moratinos. From here you continue to Sahagún, an historical village along the Camino with an impressive church with Moorish influences and a grand city gate.

Meals:  B

From Sahagún you cross the Cea river and cycle to Calzada del Coto, where the road forks. Follow the left fork across Bercianos del Real Camino to El Burgo Ranero. From here, it’s an easy pedal to Mansilla de las Mulas, the gateway to León. You will cross the Esla river and then the Porma river at Villarente. After a steep slope you’ll arrive at León, one of the most historic towns of Old Castile and dominated by its cathedral.

Meals:  B

Founded in 884 AD, León has abundant gastronomic and architectural riches - take in a pre-dinner drink and snack at one of the many atmospheric bars located along the narrow streets of the Barrio Húmedo. The cathedral is a stunning example of Gothic architecture and don't miss the Basílica de San Isidoro de León museum.

Meals:  B

Today’s route takes you through the quintessential Castilian landscapes of holm oaks, golden wheat fields and gentle ups and downs. As the route closely follows the N120 highway it is an easy day to navigate. The landscape in the first half of the route is relatively dry but gets greener further west. You’ll cross fields full of diverse crops such as wheat, corn, hops and wine grapes. Wildlife isn’t a big feature of the first part of the trip, though you will see geckoes, birds of prey and a lot of dairy cows! The town of Astorga is at the crossroads of the Camino and the Ruta de la Plata (Silver Road), the Roman route used to transport ores and metals extracted from mines in the north to shipping ports in the south of the peninsula, and is known for its impressive architecture including the Gaudi-designed Episcopal Palace.

Meals:  B

From Astorga, the Camino climbs gently until it meets the first mountain on the way. Once you've reached the top of Foncebadón and Cruz de Ferro, take it easy and enjoy the sweeping downhill ride and the gorgeous views as you head to Molinaseca and on to Ponferrada, located on the Sil River. The old town sits below an impressive Templar Castle, which is open daily (except Mondays Oct to Mar) in the late afternoon (entry fee applies).

Meals:  B

This is the most challenging day of the cycle. From Ponferrada there are a few ups and downs to Villafranca del Bierzo, an historical and artistic town that was established to give refuge and sanctuary to pilgrims before they undertook the most difficult part of their pilgrimage. The monastery cloister is a Renaissance jewel. From Villafranca you ascend gradually towards the mythical O Cebreiro pass, the most demanding peak along the western section of the Camino. With some effort (and perhaps a chocolate bar), you'll reach the stone built mountain village atop the pass (1330m). O Cebreiro has several surviving pallozas (thatch-roofed cottages) and a small church which may be the oldest church on the Spanish Camino.

Meals:  B

From the pass it's downhill all the way to Sarria and onward via a rolling route to Portomarín. Portomarin's older neighbourhoods once belonged to the Order of St John of Jerusalem but now lie submerged, covered by the waters of the Miño River dam. The town was moved in the 1960s to its current location, including the church in the main square, which was moved stone by stone.

Meals:  B

This day provides a lovely contrast to the previous days. Cycle uphill to Castromaior then there are several easy uphills and downhills through rolling terrain giving you a view of Galicia’s rural landscape.

Meals:  B

Whilst the distance today is relatively short, this final stage is surprisingly demanding. After approximately four hours of riding, you finish your cycle trip upon arriving at the Pórtico de la Gloria ("The Façade of Glory") at the Cathedral of Santiago. After taking a breather (and celebrating with others arriving by foot and on horseback!), you can visit the Pilgrims' Office where you can obtain the "Compostela" certificate which certifies you as an official pilgrim. Leave your bike at your centrally located accommodation and explore the streets and bars of the atmospheric historic centre. This city, without any doubt, is the most important of the Christian Middle Ages. It has worldwide renown and each year thousands of travellers come to visit its treasures. The are many restaurants and bars in the old centre to eat at tonight.

Meals:  B

Trip concludes after breakfast. Bask in the glory of completing your Camino and reflect on a truly memorable journey. Arrangements conclude after breakfast, or if you'd like to stay an extra night or two, or continue to Cape Finisterre on the Atlantic for a day trip, we can assist with reservations - please ask for our rates.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • 16 breakfasts - Continental breakfasts are served and will often consist of breads, spreads, yoghurt, cheese, tea, coffee & juices.
  • 16 nights in hotels on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities (it is possible to start this tour in St Jean Pied de Port, on foot from St Jean to Roncesvalles across the Pyrenees - a supplement applies, see 'special notes' below)
  • Mountain bike rental (standard model, or hybrid touring bike on request) with helmet, repair kit, lock, panniers, water bottle & pump (gel saddle, toe clips, SPD pedals, bike upgrade options available: Premium MTB or electric MTB - supplement applies)
  • Luggage Transfer, 1 piece maximum 20kg, supplement applies for excess
  • Digital information pack including navigational app with route notes, maps & GPX
  • Pilgrim's Passport
  • Emergency hotline

  • Travel to Roncesvalles and from Santiago
  • Meals not listed as included, drinks
  • An optional dinner package is available (13 dinners - daily except in Pamplona, rest day in Leon and in Santiago) - supplement applies
  • Travel Insurance - mandatory
  • Helmet purchase is available if you prefer not to use the rental helmet provided
  • Toe clips, gel saddle, SPD pedals, bike upgrade, helmet purchase - please ask for our rates
  • Guide - this is a self guided cycle tour
  • A supplement will apply if you are travelling solo or book a single room
  • Entrance fees not listed as included
  • Transfers not listed as included
  • Transfers by taxi or public transport if you need to skip a stage
  • Handlebar phone holder - if you are planning to ride using the GPS Tracks
  • Hotel taxes if applicable – payable directly to the hotel
  • Items of a personal nature

Bike information


Grading

moderate to challenging  

The cycling is moderate to challenging (4) grade with daily cycling distances from 39 to 72km/24.5 to 44.5mi over undulating to mountainous terrain. The accent is on keeping a relaxed pace to take in all of the attractions, with time to stop and take photos. It is considered suitable for cyclists with a high level of fitness. Minor roads with reduced traffic are customary on this trip and we recommend that you familiarise yourself with road cycling in light traffic in order to participate. *For safety reasons, we insist that cycle helmets be included as a compulsory item on your equipment list.


Departure dates

Daily from 1 Mar to 15 Nov

Notes

DN1
Option to join the day before in St Jean Pied de Port and walk to Roncesvalles with your luggage transferred. A supplement applies.
DN2
Price for departures during San Fermin, the running of the bulls in Pamplona (5-14 July) on application.

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Priceper person from

$2860USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Helmet purchaseUSD$50
  • Fisterra Day Trip ex Santiago - departs daily from 14 April to 31 OctoberUSD$70
  • Optional bike upgrade supplement: premium MTBUSD$410
  • Optional Dinner supplement (13 dinners:not Pamplona, Leon rest day or Santiago)USD$440
  • Optional bike upgrade supplement: e-MTBUSD$540
  • Single SupplementUSD$790
  • Solo traveller supplementUSD$890
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

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Walking the Camino de Santiago with UTracks
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