Along the Camino on Bicycle (León-Santiago)

(Bike stages: 8-13): 9 days, 309 kms. A historic pilgrimage by bicycle to Santiago.

The passage from León to Santiago is one of the prettiest on the entire route. The journey is extremely varied, not only in landscape but also marked with cultural, historical and culinary wonders that make this stretch truly a marvel.

The scenery provides everything from flat plains to mountains as you travel through quaint villages and follow the impressive cultural history surrounding Camino de Santiago.

On a bike you have the opportunity to escape the pilgrimage route and stay at lovely, charming hotels. There are numerous possibilities for enticing detours and personally customized side journeys.

On this Pilgrimage by bicycle on you will experience stages 8 to 13 of the 13 Camino Francés stages on bicycle to Santiago.

Make your trip personal! Spain is More offers and guarantees the following on this trip:

✔ Daily Departures all year round.

✔ Hotel-to-Hotel Baggage Service is included.

✔ Your personal Pilgrim's Passport.

✔ Specially Selected Hotels - always with private bathroom - selected for best location, service and authentic charm.

✔ Spain is More Camino Guidebook (which you will receive some weeks before departure) contains practical pilgrim information, suggestions for packing list, recommended restaurants, maps of all cities along The Camino- and hotel location, Pilgrim's Passport/Credential, advice and guidance, service phone numbers and much more, all to make your trip on The Camino an experience of a lifetime!

✔ This trip can be combined with other Camino routes.

✔ Dividing stages: Yes, always!

✔ Day trip to Finisterre.

Including renting our wonderful Camino Mountain-bikes.

Camino de Santiago Francés
  • Price
    From 795 EUR/pers.
  • Km
    310
  • Days
    9 days / 8 nights
  • Difficulty
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    ? NOTE: nowhere, in any Camino, will steep cliffs be found next to path!

    1: Very easy. Flat and without significant gradients. Good and normally wide paths.

    2: Easy. Slightly hilly. Good and normally wide paths.

    3: Medium. Hilly, possibly with longer distances between service facilities/cities. Good, sometimes narrow paths.

    4: Medium/Hard. Longer, steeper climbs, perhaps with few servicefacilities/cities. Good, sometimes narrow paths.

    5: Hard. Long gradient(s), possibly few facilities. Very hilly. Good, sometimes narrow paths.
Description

From Leon you will see that the number of pilgrims increases, and there are many reasons for this. First, the stretch from Leon is in many ways one of the most interesting, with many historical sights along the way (most importantly; the Cathedral of León, the medieval bridge in Hospital de Orbigo, the Bishop's Palace of Gaudí in Astorga, the Iron Cross and the Monastery of Samos), lots of beautiful villages, excellent facilities and, above all, a varied terrain through beautiful landscape. 
Spain is More guests, who start their pilgrimage in León, often take the bus the first 35 km. to Hospital de Orbigo. Many people also choose to walk from León, making the trip one day longer. If you chose to walk from León, the first stage is flat, through industry and suburbs for the first 10 kilometers. Afterwards, the huge plain opens before you, followed afterwards to Rabanal del Camino, where the terrain gets quite hilly.

Many others choose to split the stage between Villafranca and O'Cebreiro, as this is long and relatively difficult. If you don't have time to split this stage, but are finding it too tough while traveling, there are good alternatives to travel by bus and taxi at that particular point. With an extra accommodation in Molinaseca or Villafranca, you can take a trip to Las Medulas, which is a spectacular UNESCO-protected nature area where ancient Romans mined for gold.

Possibility of dividing stages: Yes.

More information on León - Sarria

The stretch throug Galicia from Sarria to Santiago is the most popular and by far most used Camino-section, which can be clearly seen by the number of pilgrims on this route. It's very charming to come into contact with people from around the world, all of them walking in the same direction and with the same goal in mind. Sarria is 115 km east of Santiago and is the minimum distance required to walk to obtain the Compostela of Santiago.

Sarria, is also a good starting point for the Camino because there are bigger towns with all the necessary facilities you might need along this route. On this route there are two really exciting excursions, one to the huge monastery of Samos, from where you can walk back along the Camino to Sarria, and the other to Lugo and ahead to the world's best preserved Roman city wall.

The first stages after Sarria are fairly hilly, but also some of the most idyllic on the whole Camino. Many have said that these stages are their favourites of the entire Camino - it is so beautiful. You'll pass small farming communities, with stone houses and cobbled paths, you'll walk along the fields where cows graze and through forests where all you hear is the river's murmur. Nature is the main attraction along this way until reaching Santiago de Compostela. This stunningly beautiful town exudes atmosphere in the Old Town's sector of winding streets. It's the perfect ending to your Camino de Santiago. Service functions are generally very good.

Possibility of dividing stages: Yes.

More information on Sarria - Santiago de Compostela

Detailed itinerary
Detailed itinerary (view all days )
Day 1.- Arrival to León

Start by taking the new 250 km/hour (155 mph) high speed train from Madrid to León. After relaxing in León, pick up your bike and ride to where the Camino de Santiago begins. 

Day 2.- León - Astorga50 Km

The Camino leaves Leon through the beautiful Roman bridge, next to the Hostal de San Marcos, now a National Parador. The first 8km are through the industrial zone of Leon. When this segment ends, however, the stage before you is relatively flat and becomes more beautiful with each step. There is also a much more attractive alternative path to this route that you can read about in the guidebook you will receive before your departure.

The main treat along today's stage is the Roman Bridge of Órbigo Hospital. Enjoy.
When you approach Astorga you will see the mountains in the backdrop that you will be crossing over the next few days.

Astorga is a very beautiful town with many memorable monuments such as the Episcopal Palace made by the great Catalan architect Antonio Gaudí. Do not forget to try the Maragato cuisine as well as Astorga's famous pastries, merles and hojaldres. In the guidebook we give you some examples of restaurants you can visit to taste this characteristic cooking.

Distance: 50 Km

Day 3.- Astorga - Molinaseca46 Km

This day has a mountainous flavor. You'll pass by the famous iron cross (Cruz de Ferro) where pilgrims traditionally leave stones from their home towns at the base of the cross. Along the way to Molinaseca, the wondrous natural scenery is marked by a few villages. Molinaseca is crammed with charming restaurants frequented by pilgrims, and also many locals, enjoying the city’s streets and cozy cafés.

Distance: 46 Km

Day 4.- Molinaseca - Vega de Valcarce51 Km

Start the day passing through Ponferrada which has a famous castle in the town center, Castillo de los Templarios, a 12th century Templar castle. Ponferrada is a large Camino-city with a population of over 60.000 - known for its large iron and coal reserves. Later you’ll pass through Cacabelos, a once important medieval pilgrim stop, today home for a large number of wine-bodegas. Then it’s on to Villafranca del Bierzo, often known as the “other” or “little” Santiago. We’ll pass by the 12th century Romanesque Church of Santiago and its north entrance Door of Forgiveness. Villafranca del Bierzo is a pleasant village in the middle of Bierzo, which has gradually established itself as one of Spain’s thriving wine regions. Villafranca del Bierzo is on of the most pleasant towns on the Camino.

Distance: 51 Km

Day 5.- Vega de Valcarse - Sarria47 Km

Today you'll walk along ancient paths shaded by birches, oaks, chestnuts and poplars up to the emblematic mountaintop village of O’Cebreiro, with a lovely 12th century Romanesque church that is the scene of a fascinating legen, and curious ancient straw-roofed dwellings called Pallozas. This path offers some of the most panoramic views, but is also one of the most challenging stages. Often shrouded in mist, the small stone village is extremely charming. If you arrive on a clear day, the views are dazzling!

After a lot of uphill on yesterday’s walk, today will be mostly downhill. We’ll again have many splendid views of the surrounding countryside. On todays walk you'll also start to notice stone granaries called horreos. You’ll also notice that the weather changes a bit, as we’re now subject to the winds, and rain, from the Atlantic Ocean. Also, the name Triacastela means “three castles”, although none of the castles still exist today. The limestone used to build the cathedral in Santiago came from quarries near Triacastela.

The landscape begins to change as you walk more downhill, perhaps a welcome relief after the last few days of hilly terrain. There are two routes to Sarria, and its recommendable to visit the Benedictine Monastery of Samos, founded in the 6th century and one of the oldest in western Christendom. From here its a idyllic hike through the forrest to Sarria.
Sarria itself is a town of about 13,000 residents and is the last place pilgrims with limited time can hike the minimum distance to the cathedral in Santiago, 100 km, to receive the certificate of completion on the Camino. Because of this, Sarria is a major starting point for many pilgrims. You’ll notice an increased number of fellow pilgrims from here to Santiago.

Distance: 47 Km

Day 6.- Sarria - Palas de Rei47 Km

Galicia is one of the prettiest regions in Spain, both in nature and tradition. During today’s hike, you will become acquainted with its glorious traditions. Today’s walk is one of the most attractive stages of the entire Pilgrim’s Way; traveling through verdant forests, grassy meadows, fertile orchards and simple stone-built hamlets.

The terrain becomes flatter, though still hilly. Optimism takes over in this magnificent, lush area. By now your goal feels achievable. The journey continues along farm tracks and quiet country roads through the lush Galician countryside to Palas de Rei. Palas de Rei is a small village of around 2,000, with an illustrious past although nothing remains today as a reminder.

Distance: 47 Km

Day 7.- Palas de Rei - Santiago69 Km

Today's views will seem somewhat familiar. A typical day on the Camino de Santiago, through rolling green landscapes, dotted with cows, stone walls and tiny Romanesque churches. Take time to talk and learn about myriad of legends and stories that this route offers.

An exhilarating atmosphere unfolds as your journey's end draws closer. Pilgrims now feel their goal, and begin to revel in happiness and relief with the many companions they met along the way. Today’s walk finds us on natural pathways through groves of tall Eucalyptus that provide superb shade for our steps.

Congratulations, you achieved an admirable goal, so it's time for a number of traditional pilgrimage rituals. First, be sure to get proof of this feat: the last stamp in your pilgrim passport. Along with the rituals, enjoy the End Station of the Pilgrim route, Santiago de Compostela, which offers a veritable cornucopia of attractions and one of the world’s most important cultural centers. This university town exudes charm and has a myriad of cozy streets offering ample opportunity to sample the many local delicacies. The cathedral is surrounded by a historic center which is on UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list, and old town is incomparable. Its monuments stand as true works of art in different architectural styles.

Distance: 69 Km

Day 8.- Santiago de Compostela and Finisterre

True pilgrims continues further and finish their journeys in Finisterre. The tour goes by bus with an English-speaking guide from Santiago to Finisterre in the morning and returns mid-efternoon to Santiago. Just off the stunning, rugged coastline and the fabled “Costa de la Muerte” (Death Coast), a reef filled with shipwrecks and tales of legends captures a raw, natural beauty. On the coast’s westernmost point is Finisterre – meaning the world’s end. Romans named this coast because it was literally the end of the known world. For many pilgrims this is the symbolic endpoint of the pilgrimage. 

The evening is spent in Santiago de Compostela.

Day 9.- Departure from Santiago
 
What is included in this trip?

From 795 EUR/pers. Per person in a double room.

Single room supplement:160 EUR

It includes
  1. 8 nights in a double room - always with private bath/toilet.
  2. 8 x breakfast.
  3. Transport from Madrid to León.
  4. Bicycle Rental.
  5. Luggage transport from hotel to hotel.
  6. The price includes 1 Spain-is-More-Travel Guidebook per every 4 travellers. More copies can be purchased when booking for 20€ per copy, or 30 euros per copy if the request is less than 6 weeks prior to departure.
  7. Pilgrim Passport / Credencial.
  8. Guided Tour to Finisterre.
  9. 24/7 emergency telephone number.
  10. Taxes.
Not included
  1. Some short local bus or taxi journeys, e.g. from airport to bus or train station in the same city.
Optional
  1. Personalise your Camino: Extended stays, divide stages, transportation to startingpoint from anywhere in the world and back. Please ask us, we will be happy to assist you.
  2. Extension of stay in Madrid, León and Santiago de Compostela can be purchased.
  3. The price include 1 Spain-is-More-Travel Guidebook per every 4 travellers. More copies can be purchased when booking (20€/copy).
  4. Cancellation insurence: 6% of total price (can be added when ordering).

Experiences from our guests