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Duration
30 days
Activities
  • self guided cycle
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • 29 nights in hotels
Meals
  • 22 Dinners
  • 31 Breakfasts

Price

$4760USD

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Overview

Trip Code: SOG7129

Trip highlights


  • Cycling from the Pyrenees
  • Visiting 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
  • Explore the magnificent cities of Leon and Santiago with their impressive architecture and cathedrals.
  • Arrival into Santiago and experience the satisfaction of reaching the end of the ‘Camino’
  • Celebrating the end of the camino with fellow hikers and pilgrims

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 Leon, this exhilarating ride, which is the first half of the full cycle route along the Spanish Camino, 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. The last stages of the Camino pilgrimage route offers a fine balance of walks in spectacular natural settings with visits to inspiring cultural sites including the magnificent cathedral city of Leon. Enroute there are numerous reminders of the pilgrims past who travelled the route including crosses, statues and grain silos. In the valley of Ponferrada, O Cebreiro welcomes you to the gates of Galicia and leads you to the fabled Santiago de Compostela.

Trip Grading

moderate to challenging

More info about grading system

Make your own way to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, the capital of the Basse-Navarre and the Pays de Aze. It is also one of the three remaining French provinces of the old Kingdom of Navarre. There is time in the afternoon to take a stroll along the cobbled streets and up to the town lookout. You can also explore the many arts and craft shops. We recommend that you purchase supplies for lunch tomorrow as you will only pass one café/bar on the route. You should also collect your pilgrims stamp from the Pilgrim Office or Tourist Office.

Meals:  D

The Camino begins with crossing the old roman bridge over the River Nive. Today is quite impressive as you climb towards the Franco-Spanish border. On the first section you will be hiking through pastoral lands with impressive views of the Pyrenees. You will cross three cols today, and this is quite an exposed stage so remember your hat, sunscreen and water. 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. The famous local church is 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. We recommend an early start as today is quite long.

Meals:  B,D

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,D

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,D

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,D

Enjoy a rest in the town of Logroño.

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,D

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

Take the day to visit the sites in Burgos including the Cathedral of Saint Mary of Burgos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates back to the 13th century or The Abbey of Santa María la Real de Las Huelgas. Explore the hexagon shaped, Plaza Mayor that is flanked by boutiques, bars and restaurants and historic neighbourhood.

Meals:  B,D

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,D

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,D

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. Today you will leave your bike with the hotel in Leon and prepare to begin the walking section of the trip. ** drinks not included at Parador Leon

Meals:  B,D

Leon is one of the most historic towns of Old Castile, a large province bordered by Galicia, Asturias, Palencia and Zamora. There is evidence of Roman occupation as well as the Moors; however it was the knights of Templar who built the castles and fortifications in the middle Ages. Ensure you take the time to visit the old city. One of Leon’s glories is without doubt the Cathedral. Constructed in the 13th Century for a period of 200 years the Collegiate Church of San Isidoro houses an impressive collection of early manuscripts. The Town Walls are of Roman and medieval construction. Overnight in Leon.

Meals:  B

Leaving Leon, the route will take you right through town until you reach Virgen del Camino, where legend states that the Virgin appeared in front of a shepherd in 1506, and asked him to build a shrine. This section will be quite exposed, as you cross the Paramo (desert). Ensure that you carry plenty of water and use sun protection. You will pass through some small villages so you can buy refreshments along the way, before arriving in the village of Villadangos del Paramo. This town of Roman origin was the site of a battle that took place between the Queen Dona Urraca of Leon and her husband, Alfonso I of Aragon in the year 1111. Take a quiet walk around the streets and visit the Parish Church which contains an image of the Apostle Santiago from the 18th Century. Note: you may choose to shorten the walk today by 9km by taking a bus from Plaza Santo Domingo to Virgen del Camino. Buses leave every 30 minutes and the fare is around €1. At 5pm meet your transfer to your hotel in Oncina de la Valdoncina (included).

Meals:  B,D

Morning transfer at 9am from your hotel back to Villadangos del Páramo. The countryside becomes more agreeable as you make your way to Puente de Orbigo. As you progress, the landscape gradually changes with mountains appearing on the horizon. Walking across a fabulous stone bridge you will pass Le pont de Hospital de Orbigo probably one of the most famous buildings along the way. You will walk by the Santo Toribio stone cross near San Justo de la Vega and will see Astorga in the distant valley.

Meals:  B,D

The walk today is a steady climb to Rabanal Del Camino so we recommend that you start early to avoid the hottest part of the day. Walk through the village and follow the tree lined pavements before passing a polar grove and the River Jerga arriving at Murias de Rechivaldo. You will walk through the village of Santa Catalina de Somoza and onto El Ganso. The landscape will change into densely populated oak trees, heather and conifers as you ascend “los Montes de Leon” before reaching Rabanal Del Camino (1200m/3940ft), a charming mountain village.

Meals:  B,D

Passing through forested areas you will continue your ascent to the famous “Mount Irago”. By the mountain pass you will see the “Iron Cross” (1490m/4890ft) and you will now be surrounded by mountains. The route continues downwards to Bierzo. Passing by a coniferous forest you will come to Cruz de Ferro and the Hermitage of Santiago. From Manjarin you will be able to see the valley floor and the Leon mountains. A descent into the Ponferrada Valley passes the quaint village of Acebo before you head further down into Molinaseca. Across the bridge you'll find a pleasant and relaxing town with slate roofs, wooden balconies and welcoming bars.

Meals:  B,D

The terrain today is relatively easy as you continue across the Valley of Ponferrada. You will see the Templar castle before walking through a well-watered valley to Villafranca del Bierzo. The region of Bierzo is situated in a low lying area whose agreeable climate allows for the cultivation of many fruits and vegetables.

Meals:  B,D

A day to enjoy the sights of Villafranca and have a rest from the trail.

Meals:  B

Your final day in the El Bierzo area is one of the most beautiful and the most challenging. The route passes through woodlands of chestnuts, conifers, oaks, heather and bracken. You will pass through the narrow valley of the River Valcarce before tackling the challenging ascent of O Cebreiro (1300m/4265ft), situated between the ranges of Los Ancares and La Sierra do Courel.

Meals:  B,D

The day begins with an ascent through the pine covered slopes of Monte Poso e Areas before joining the track in the direction of Linares. You will walk through forested areas before arriving at Padornelo, where you can fill your water bottles at the fountain. After the village of Fonfria the trail passes through birch forest which takes you to Biduedo, from where you descend to Triacastela. Continue on to Samos with its impressive monastery, one of the oldest in Spain.

Meals:  B,D

A shorter day today to allow you ample time to visit the monastery. Continue in the afternoon towards Sarria. You will not pass through any other villages so pack some snacks. Sarria is located on a hilltop with a river on either side affording you great views of the region. We recommend that you take the time to visit the the Convento de la Magdalena and church before leaving town.

Meals:  B,D

A day to enjoy the sights of Sarria and have a rest from the trail.

Meals:  B

Over the “Meseta lucense”, the Lugo Plateau, you will pass through many hamlets dotted along areas of cultivated land, grazing pastures and woodlands and view the first “horreos”, typical raised grain silos. A relatively easy walk until your descent, crossing the Dam of Portomarin where you can see ruins of the ancient flooded village, and into the town for your accommodation.

Meals:  B,D

The route takes you through the brooms with their magnificent fragrance. Along the path you will pass charming hamlets and calvaries. Over this stage you will pass through Ventas de Naron where you can fill your water bottles, over the gentle Sierra de Ligonde, then downhill through Previsa, Lameiros and Ligonde where will find a church dedicated to the apostle St James. Emperor Charles V stayed here in the modest village of Ligonde, on the 24th of March 1520.

Meals:  B,D

The terrain becomes much easier today as you walk through the villages of Carballal, San Xuilan do Camino and Lebereiro and past Eucalyptus trees. You will be able to stop at one of many villages for lunch. Crossing over the River Seco on the Magdalena Bridge you will reach Furelos and onto Arzúa in the province of La Coruña.

Meals:  B,D

Today’s walk will bring you to the small town of Rua which has a population of only 50 people. The walk today is lovely, as you pass large green fields and rural landscapes.

Meals:  B,D

Today you will pass many ancient sites including monuments, chapels and bridges – all which have a story to tell. Follow country lanes and forest paths through increasingly populated countryside. The last day on the trail is always a special one. Continue downhill to the city. Arriving in the fabled Santiago de Compostela there is plenty to see and do – or simply relax and celebrate the end of the journey. Dinner is not included tonight so you can try one of the many restaurants in town.

Meals:  B

Today the Cusacks will depart and the Gillespie's will travel to Fisterra for the day as follows: 09:10 Depart Santiago The journey from Santiago takes us firstly past the Ponte Maceira, an important bridge 17km from Santiago which pilgrims cross on the Camino Marítimo before reaching the city. We continue north west to Muxía, a fishing village on the Costa da Morte, or Coast of Death, so named for the number of shipwrecks that occurred on its rocky coastline. Continuing to Cape Fisterra, there will be time to take a look at the lighthouse which was strategically placed to protect the ships from this dangerous coast. The cape has considerable spiritual meaning as it was viewed in early times as the end of the world, where the sun set and the darkness began. Pilgrims walking the Camino traditionally burned their clothes here before returning home. The nearby Fisterra fishing village is an ideal place to have a wander and enjoy lunch at leisure. Next stop is Ézaro where we can visit the waterfall before driving on to Carnota with its impressive hórreo, a Barrocan style granary built in 1768, the largest one in the world. Ría de Muros and the town of Muros is our final stop. Here we can view the estuary of the Tambre River and surrounding beaches where so much history can be found. Our day ends with a return to Santiago completing our Galician coastal loop. 18:30 Arrive Santiago

Meals:  B

Trip arrangements conclude after breakfast on the 2nd of June.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 29 breakfasts, 24 dinners - Continental breakfasts are served and will often consist of breads, spreads, yoghurt, cheese, tea, coffee & juices. Dinner will consist of 3 courses, usually starting with a salad, followed by chicken, red meat, fish or a pasta dish & finishing with a dessert of fruit or cakes.
  • 29 nights in hotels on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • Luggage transfer (1 bag of 20kg max pp - additional bags and excess weight will attract a surcharge)
  • Mountain bike rental (standard model, or hybrid touring bike on request) with repair kit, lock, panniers, water bottle, pump (gel saddle, toe clips, SPD pedals, MTB e-bikes and Upgraded or Premium model MTBs available, helmet purchase - supplement applies)
  • Information pack including maps and road book per room booked
  • Emergency hotline
  • Pilgrim's Passport
  • Visitors tzx

  • Travel to St Jean and from Santiago
  • Lunches and beverages
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Transfers
  • Entrance fees to sights and museums
  • Travel Insurance
  • Toe clips, gel saddle, SPD pedals - please ask for our rates
  • Excess baggage charges - please advise us if you will have more than one bag weighing a max of 20kgs as extra charges will apply for additional pieces of luggage. Please do not tie smaller bags onto your main luggage as we only include one bag and they will be charged as an extra bag. Charges will be higher if not paid when final balance for your trip is due.
  • Helmet rental. Helmets are available for purchase or bring your own. If you wish to purchase, please let us know at the time of booking to ensure supply of a helmet

Bike information


Grading

moderate to challenging  

The cycling is moderate to challenging (4) grade with daily cycling distances from 42 to 72km/26 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. Walking MODERATE - GRADE 3 Daily walks are between 12-30km on well marked trails over diverse terrain – from relatively flat to mountainous. This is a well worn path where route finding will be reasonably straight forward (refer below for further details on self guided adventures). The main areas to concentrate on route finding are arriving and leaving towns and cities. The accent is on keeping a steady pace to take in all of the attractions, with time to stop and take photos. You will need a good level of fitness to participate fully in this adventure.


Departure dates


Notes

ED
Exclusive Departure
S
Surcharge

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Total Priceper person from

$4760USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Upgrade to superior hotel in Arzua - twinshare pp:USD$60
  • Upgrade to superior hotel in Arzua and Santiago - twinshare pp:USD$100
  • excess luggage (per piece, max 20kg in weight):USD$490
  • Helmet purchase (rental not available):USD$43
  • Electric Bike Supplement (e-MTB or e-touring):USD$300
  • Bike upgrade supplement - Upgraded model MTB:USD$170
*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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