- Experiencing the fun and camaraderie amongst pilgrims on this historical route
- Relishing the challenge of the climb to the mountain-top village of O’Cebriero
- Tasting fantastic, Galician seafood washed down with a crisp Albarino
- Noticing the geography, culture and traditions change during our journey
- Looking for yellow Camino arrows as we wind our way through forests
- Arriving triumphantly in Santiago to claim our Compostela
Following your arrival into Santiago de Compostela airport, your guide will pick you up and transfer you to our first hotel (an approx. 2 hour transfer). 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.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
- Ascent: 611 metres
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, we’ll find ourselves entering the beautiful town of Villafranca del Bierzo, an ideal place for lunch.
As we head into the Vega de Valcarce the valley widens, opening into a beautiful, glaciated valley of meadows and tiny hamlets and villages.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
- Ascent: 1004 metres
Today’s route can prove to be the toughest, yet one of the most beautiful on the road to Santiago. Firstly we’ll cruise 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 we’ll take some time for congratulations on your achievement before beginning the 10km descent to the valley bottom. From here, we will follow the Rio Ouribio, through a valley wedged in by mountains, until one last swooping descent drops us 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!
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
- Ascent: 581 metres
Today we will cycle deep into mysterious Galicia, rich with legends and stories of Brujeria (witchcraft) and mythology. The route is intricate, winding through tiny, granite hamlets and farmsteads, and as it’s short it gives us 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 Romanesque church, we’ll pick up a long Corredoira taking us past the 100km post (100km left to reach Santiago) at Mogarde. 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.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
- Ascent: 1002 metres
After a well-deserved rest in Portomarin, we will head out for our 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 as we follow 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 on our goal, counting down the Km signs as they go past one by one.
Following a 11km stretch of lane we’ll climb 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 us 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.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
- Ascent: 884 metres
Our final day on the journey to Santiago 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 us 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 go out for dinner!
There is a quiet rest area in Santa Irene where we can stop and rest for lunch, refuelling for the final pedal to Santiago. After riding through Lavacolla we’ll take on the last climbs of the Camino as we head up on paved roads and along to Monte del Gozo (Mount Joy), so called 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. Our 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!
- Meals: Breakfast
After a relaxing breakfast it’s time to pack those bags one last time, as we’ll be transferring you to Santiago de Compostela airport for your flight home (just a short 30 minute transfer).
Santiago de Compostela is a beautiful city to explore at your own pace and it is well recommended if you wish to stay for longer. The cathedral never fails to impress and delight, especially the impressive incense bearing Botafumerio as it swings from the rafters. Other sights of particular interest include Convento de San Paio de Antelares, which houses the Museo de Arte Sacro, the Praza de la Azabacheria and Museo do Pobo Galego. The Hospital Real (now a luxury hotel) is worth a visit, even if it’s for a quick drink in the bar. Or why not take a few moments to relax and reflect on the trip and watch the world drift by in a plaza – a fantastic place to end the trip, relax and unwind.
The route follows the Camino Frances as closely as possible. You’ll be riding on different surfaces including back roads, forest tracks and footpaths. More often than not the terrain is forgiving, following well-surfaced tracks and paths. There are various sections along the true Camino that are loose and rocky, which you can either ride, or hop onto the road for some fast kms. The trail can sometimes be narrow and once in Galicia you will encounter corredoiras, beautiful ancient cobbled lanes that can’t be missed, although they are a little rough at times. The Camino does throw up some big climbs throughout the week, but all manageable taken at your own speed. After all those undulations your arrival into Santiago will feel well earned!
Leisure Cycling Grade
Distances generally between 30 and 50 miles per day / 48 and 80 kms per day
For those who cycle frequently
Will include some long and / or steep climbs
Includes varying terrain (some sections may see you cycling over uneven, unpaved or loose ground)
Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!
For more information about our grading system click here.
Is this suitable for you?
You ride quite frequently at home and perhaps enjoy cycling as one of your forms of exercise. Weekends will occasionally see you spending the day in the saddle exploring routes which take in some steep climbs. These tours may also see you riding over varying terrain and so it’s preferable if you have some experience of riding on uneven / unpaved ground. We’d generally expect those on a Grade 4 holiday to be fit and healthy, and ready to take on an achievable challenge.
Dates & Prices
Are you keen to only travel with your family or friends? Struggling to find the right date? Well, we can organise a private departure for this tour and tailor aspects to suit your group's specific needs. Contact our friendly team and we'll help you turn your dream into reality.
A) Accommodation (shared twin / double en suite rooms) in 2* and 3* hotels
B) Meals as per the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
C) Full tour service, including English-speaking Skedaddle guides
D) Unless stated, at least one leader qualified in first aid
E) Support vehicle and luggage transfers
F) Airport transfer on day 1 from Santiago de Compostela (SCQ)
G) Airport transfer on day 8 to Santiago de Compostela (SCQ)
What's not Included
A) Bike hire (available if required)
B) Flights and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)
C) Meals not stated in the itinerary
D) Single room (available if required)
E) Travel insurance
F) Personal clothing and equipment
G) Personal expenditure (souvenirs, bar bills, hotel facilities etc)
H) Entrance fees to museums and other attractions en route
I) Airport transfers on days other than the scheduled arrival / departure days
Cycle the Camino
Regular Camino guide Dan Hirst shares his favourite food and wine recommendations, as well as the story behind the route.
12 hours in... Santiago!
The capital of northwest Spain’s Galicia region, a city steeped in culture, culinary delights and captivating sights...
Hear from Skedaddler Fran about our classic Camino de Santiago trip for a little insider scoop to help inspire you for your next trip!
Judith, Hampshire, UKThank you so much for providing such a good service all round...
We thoroughly enjoyed the holiday- it was a wonderful experience made more so by the great choice of guides that you have. We found the same last year with the two guides for the UK coast to coast trip. They were so helpful, when my battery failed on my own bike the guides could not have done more in terms of helping me find a new e bike so that I could continue my journey comfortably. Also, the lunches provided could not have been better and were prepared beautifully by the guides.
Thank you so much for providing such a good service all round.
John, Washington, UKJust fantastic...
Excellent holiday and service provided from Skedaddle! Our tour leader Jeffery could not have been any better. Very experienced and just fantastic. The whole group bonded really well, and the guides booked us restaurants, so we were all able to eat together. Alex was fantastic too and they both were great at providing lunches during the day
Duncan, TwickenhamA fabulous time!
Your two guides really made it for us. Stephen and Ramon were a good combination, excellent cooks and nothing was too much trouble for them. They were supportive throughout of the whole group, managing the differences in experience and mood really well. Bikes and tech support was faultless.
Accommodation was generally good. Pazo Marinao in Pala de Rei was outstanding in every way.
Mike, WalesFirst class!
The organization is excellent and Dan, our Tour Leader, arranged the perfect weather! Ramone, our guide, is a great fun guy and an excellent cook. He looked after us extremely well. The excellent accommodation makes a big difference after a day’s ride.
Kath, CheshireAs usual very well organised and trouble free. Thank you.
It’s difficult to differentiate the days to choose the favourite because Dan made sure everyday was not just a good day but a fantastic day.
I can’t praise Dan enough for his all round support on the trip and for looking after each person as he did especially myself. He had a lot to juggle and made it all look effortless. We need more Dan’s in this world.
Gillian, CambridgeshireVery good...
Dan was fantastic in every way. He was very organised and ensured everything ran smoothly. He took great care of everyone in the group whether at the front or the back and was very encouraging. A really great guy, always smiling and knowledgeable of Spain and the Camino. Picnic lunches excellent.
Martyn, CheshireGreta team!
Excellent. Dan worked with, and was closely supported by Steve. They were a great team. They made this holiday in every respect fabulous. They were very well organised, helpful and encouraging. Steve is ‘as good as it could ever get‘.
Jo, DublinWe look forward to many more!
This was our first ever cycling holiday and we look forward to many more. The standard and locations of the accomodation was excellent. Dan brought us to excellent restaurants we would never have found on our own what great value.