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Spain

Camino de Santiago

Guided Leisure Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

7 days

Prices from

$1,985 P.P.
Spain

Camino de Santiago

Guided Leisure Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

7 days

Prices from

$1,985 P.P.
BOOK NOW
Join us on this guided cycling vacation in Spain where we trace the steps of ancient travelers and make our way along the legendary Camino de Santiago. Pedaling from the historic city of Ponferrada, we will journey west over 200 Kms, through the Bierzo winelands, over the Sierra de Ancares and deep into lush, forested Galicia to the pilgrim journey's end in the stunning granite city of Santiago de Compostela.
The Camino is said to be the first great European tourist route. Travelled by pilgrims from around the world for over 1000 years to the site where it is said that St. James the Apostle’s relics are buried.
Pilgrims historically were driven by the belief that to complete the pilgrimage would halve your time in Purgatory….something to bear in mind if your calves start to ache! Today the pilgrimage is as popular as ever with a great sense of camaraderie among the modern day pilgrims. It’s no longer just the faithful that make their way on this magnificent journey!
The Camino received UNESCO’s accolade as a World Heritage Site because of the journey’s incalculable cultural, historical and artistic value.
Our cycling route follows the true Camino Frances as much as possible along forest tracks and country paths, quiet roads and farmers’ trails, crossing countless villages and towns. Staying in a range of good-quality, small hotels chosen for their location and warm welcome, we'll be able to sample tasty, local specialties in the inns and local restaurants giving us an authentic taste of this enchanting area. It’s hard to find a better way to enjoy Spain than cycling the Camino de Santiago. Get your pilgrim's passport or credential stamped along the way and having cycled more than 200 Kms you'll qualify for a pilgrim's certificate, the Compostela - to testify that you have completed the Camino as a pilgrim.
As with all of our guided tours, the Skedaddle support vehicle is never far away, should you need a snack or a lift on a particular section of the route.
  

Highlights

  • 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

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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 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.

Day 2
Ponferrada to Vega de Valcarce
27 Miles / 43 Kms
  • 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.

Day 3
Vega de Valcarce to Samos
25 Miles / 40 Kms
  • 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!

Day 4
Samos to Portomarin
23 Miles / 37 Kms
  • 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.

Day 5
Portomarin to Sedor
30 Miles / 49 Kms
  • 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.

Day 6
Sedor to Santiago de Compostela
29 Miles / 46 Kms
  • 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!

Day 7
Departure from Santiago de Compostela - Transfer to Santiago de Compostela airport
  • 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 Extension

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.

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The Cycling

Terrain

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!

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Leisure Cycling Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 4 : Active

Distances generally between 30 – 50 miles per day / 48 – 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 trip to be fit and healthy, and ready to take on an achievable challenge.

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Dates & Prices

Private Departures

Private Departures

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.

Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
12/07/2021
Return Date
18/07/2021
Duration
7 days
Price
$1,985.00
Start Date
06/09/2021
Return Date
12/09/2021
Duration
7 days
Price
$1,985.00
Start Date
11/07/2022
Return Date
17/07/2022
Duration
7 days
Price
$1,985.00
Start Date
05/09/2022
Return Date
11/09/2022
Duration
7 days
Price
$1,985.00

Whats Included Tick

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 Cross

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

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The Essentials

Travel Options

This tour starts in Ponferrada and finishes in Santiago de Compostela.

Group airport transfers are included in the cost of your tour. To join the transfer on arrival, please arrive into Santiago de Compostela airport (SCQ) before 15.30 for a 16.00 transfer. If arriving on an earlier flight you will be able to store your luggage and make your way into Santiago, before heading back to the airport for the group transfer.

At the end of the tour, we have organised two transfers back to Santiago airport, with an estimated arrival time of either 04.30 or 11.30 – please consider this when booking your return travel and allow enough time to check in for your chosen flight.

Travelling from North America may involve multiple travel days / overnight travel. Please contact the team to discuss travel options.

Please check with Skedaddle before making any travel arrangements, to make sure we have reached the minimum number required to guarantee your trip and to ensure your arrangements fit with our transfers. If you make travel arrangements that fall outside of the above time windows there may be an additional charge for individual transfers

Accommodation

Accommodation (shared twin or double rooms) will usually be en suite in mid-range hotels and guesthouses. Family run, personable, charming, comfortable and homely are boxes we tick when looking for places to stay. A million miles away from chain style hotels all with unique touches.

Bike Hire

If you don’t own a suitable bike or would prefer to avoid bringing your own we have bikes available to hire.

These will be mountain bikes with front suspension, disc brakes and good-quality components. We also have electric bikes available for hire, if required (dependent on availability).

The hire bikes will come with a handlebar bag and map holder, a repair kit, a spare inner tube, a bike lock, a pump, a water bottle and water bottle holder. Please note, some e-bikes are tubeless, and so spare inner tubes won’t be provided with them.

It’s possible for us to provide panniers, but we need to know in advance if you’d like them. Please request at the time of booking! We are also able to provide helmets on request; please let us know if you would like to hire a helmet, also at the time of booking.

It’s possible to bring along your own pedals and/or saddle on this tour, but please let us know in advance.

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News, Reviews & Stories

12 hours in... Santiago!

The capital of northwest Spain’s Galicia region, a city steeped in culture, culinary delights and captivating sights...

Buen Camino!

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