- Experiencing the camaraderie amongst pilgrims on this historical route
- Conquering 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 your journey
- Looking out for yellow Camino arrows as you wind your way through forests
- Arriving in Santiago to claim your Compostela
Following your arrival into Santiago de Compostela airport (2.5 hour transfer), a local taxi will pick you up and transfer you to your first hotel. A member of the local team will meet you at your hotel, to conduct your welcome meeting and fit you to your bikes (if hiring). This is the perfect time to ask any questions that you may have about the week ahead.
Before heading out to dinner you 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 you 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 is 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
This morning you’ll set off on the exciting journey with Santiago in your distant sight!
From Ponferrada you will take a fun ride along the Rio Sil before heading out of the city through through vast and seemingly-endless allotments and vines, soon arriving at the village of Columbrianos. From here you’ll take a picturesque route through vast vineyards and villages, with the dark menacing masses of the Las Ancares mountain range in the distance. Following a fast trail descent you will find yourself entering the beautiful town of Villafranca del Bierzo, an ideal place for lunch.
As you head into the Vega de Valcarce the valley widens, opening into a beautiful, glaciated valley of meadows and tiny hamlets and villages.
- Meals: Breakfast
Today’s route can prove to be the toughest, yet one of the most beautiful on the road to Santiago. Firstly you’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 main climb begins. The climb up to O‘Cebriero is on a well-surfaced lane with some steep sections and takes you past El Bierzo. Don’t worry though, the stunning views will take your mind off the climb!
On reaching O’Cebriero make sure you take some time to congratulate yourself on your achievement before beginning your 10km descent to the valley bottom. From here, you’ll 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 you 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
Today you 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 you chance to savour the region’s beauty. On reaching Sarria, the only sizeable settlement en route, there’s a climb up to the hill town; in Galicia the Camino is well surfaced for cycling so you can enjoy the true route of this ancient journey.
Passing Barbadelo, and its beautifully-simple, 12th-century, Romanesque church, you’ll pick up a long Corredoira taking you 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! Your 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
After a well-deserved rest in Portomarin, you will head out for your 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 you follow the pretty Torres stream through glades of oak and pine, over softly-undulating countryside that is very typical of this part of Galicia. The atmosphere along the trail is fantastic, one of camaraderie and excitement as you close in on your goal, counting down the Km signs as they go past one by one.
Following a 11km stretch of lane you’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 you to the first village in the La Coruna province, Cornixa, from where you’ll follow a well-restored, medieval road. You‘re now nearly at your home for the night, Sedor, but not before a short steady climb through Melide.
- Meals: Breakfast
Your 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 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 you go out for dinner!
There is a quiet rest area in Santa Irene where you can stop and rest for your lunch, refuelling for the final pedal to Santiago. After riding through Lavacolla you’ll take on the last climbs of the Camino as you 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. Your sights will be 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!
At the end of your riding, we ask that you return your hire bikes to the bike shop in Santiago (approx. 10 minutes walking distance from your hotel).
- 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.
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 the 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.
This journey to Santiago follows the Camino Frances as closely as possible. You’ll be riding on a multitude of 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.
Leisure Cycling Grade
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.
Dates & Prices
2021 Daily departures available from 22 Apr – 30 Sep.
Season 1 For trips starting between (and inclusive of) 04 May – 30 Jun – $1595 pp.
Season 2 For trips starting between (and inclusive of) 22 Apr – 03 May, or 01 Jul – 30 Sep: $1755 pp.
Alternatively for a great value holiday choose one of our scheduled departures below.
A) Accommodation (shared twin / double en suite rooms) in 2* and 3* hotels and guesthouses
B) Meals as per the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
C) English-speaking local representative (with welcome meeting)
D) Detailed route notes and maps
E) GPX tracks available on request
F) Luggage transfers
G) Airport transfer on scheduled arrival and departure days from and to Santiago de Compostela airport (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
12 hours in... Santiago!
The capital of northwest Spain’s Galicia region, a city steeped in culture, culinary delights and captivating sights...
Thank you for a marvellous holiday and excellent service. A vacation we will never forget.
The staff responded quickly and they always tried to find a way to meet our needs. They were helpful in their guidance and very friendly. One of us had a little accident on the first day and the staff were very resourceful.
Susie, Buckinghamshire, UKVery good!
All days were great fun. Middle day coming down into Portomarin for the nght was particularly good.