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The Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James) is a journey that has been undertaken since almost 12 centuries ago, by pilgrims that came then from every corner of Europe and nowadays by travelers from all over the world. It is a route with so many attractions that it should undoubtedly be included in every bike rider’s wish list. Today, the itinerary goes far beyond its religious original meaning. In its almost 800 kilometers (497 miles) through the country, the route changes constantly, going through different regions and diverse Spanish provinces. While traversing the many different regions of Spain, you will find great cultural contrasts in every aspect: people’s traditions and customs, architectural, gastronomic and scenic.
Following the “yellow arrow” that indicates the right way, will take you to discover amazing places, old and fascinating churches, and breathtaking landscapes; it will also give you the chance to try the tasty and diverse gastronomy and wines of all the regions the route goes through. These reasons make this an exciting trip, and that is why we have strived to provide you with the opportunity to enjoy the typical cuisine and wines from each region at the end of every day.
The great feeling of arriving at the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral will be a memory to take with you forever. It will certainly be a moment to appreciate and understand the deep spiritual sense you have probably heard about.
In Spain you can find many ways of Santiago that come from almost any corner of the Iberian peninsula. That we offer you this time is the French camino, the most common and followed by most of the people.
As an addition, if you wish, we can help you to complete the experience going up to Finisterre, or the finis Terrae, as the Romans called the end of the Earth, following 90 kilometers (56 miles) on a hilly path, to complete the three actions by which the ancient pilgrims purified their souls at the wild and beautiful Langosteira Beach: bath in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, burn the clothes worn during the pilgrimage, and watch the sunset.
You will be picked up at the train station or airport and be taken to your hotel. Later you should obtain your pilgrim card with time enough to discover this ancient city that serves as host of the renowned San Fermín Bull Runs and Festival
The moment of departure arrives with the transfer to Roncesvalles, at the ancient collegiate church, you will start pedaling. The first part of the route will take you by emblematic Basque villages and houses in the middle of the woods; after that, Pamplona, and then a short climb with a monument to pilgrims at the top. The day will end at Puente la Reina. This fortified town with an impressive Romanic bridge will host you to end this first and exciting day
Even though you still are in Navarra, the landscape changes. Today the route is definitely more challenging, so you will have to pace yourself. The historical village of Estella and, a wine fountain a little bit further down the path, will delight you. At Los Arcos you will be amazed by the magnificence of its church. This stage ends in Viana, at a palace from the 17th century turned into a comfortable hotel where you will get your well-deserved rest
Your “pilgrimage” continues, and we change regions for the first time. La Rioja, the world-famous region renowned for its exceptional wine, will welcome you with its lovely countryside full of vineyards and colors. You will go across its capital, Logroño, later, you will take a break at the beautiful town of Nájera. The trail will take you up to the old town of Santo Domingo de la Calzada, where you will spend the night in a former pilgrims’ hospital of the 13th century
This day you will enter the largest region of the Camino de Santiago: the historic Castilla-León, the birthplace of the Kingdom of Spain and its main language, Castilian or Spanish. you will ride through it for the next seven days. It is a quiet and rather uninhabited area, but the ratio of historical places is unrivalled. Castilla-León is the region of the world with more UNESCO World Heritage Sites, that says it all! you will go past the inspiring Monastery of San Juan de Ortega after traversing the Montes de Oca woods. The day’s journey ends in Burgos, an incomparable place where a wonderful hotel will be your home for the night. This monumental city boasts one of the most important gothic cathedrals in Europe, and much more!
For the next two days, the route will be much easier to cycle. You will find just a few towns and a few people, a perfect situation to concentrate on the inspiring Castilian landscape and take it all in. Castrojeriz, the short but intense climb to the Alto de Mostelares with its endless views, and the stunning Romanic church of San Martín de Tours de Frómista will be some of the highlihts of this stage. Your hotel for this day is placed in a historical monastery from 10th century where many royal events took place.
Castilla is an enchanting region because of the abundant amount of history that awaits you in every corner. It will probably be here where you will feel the magic of the Camino more intensely. At the ancient Sahugún you will leave the Province of Palencia to enter into the last of the Castilian provinces, León. The name was originally given to its capital, where you will finish today’s journey. In this city you will enjoy countless historic and picturesque places such as its world famous gothic cathedral and the Plaza Mayor (main square).
After leaving León, the route will take you to Hospital de Órbigo, which you will enter through its awesome ancient bridge. You will then head to Astorga to reach the end of this short ride. Given the fact that you should arrive early in the day, if you wish, we recommend you to have a special lunch to try the most typical dish of this area, an ancient and delicious recipe that has been welcoming pilgrims for ages: the cocido Maragato. After lunch, you will have time to leisurely enjoy all this impressive historical town has to offer.
After some relaxed days, today you will challenge youself climbing to the highest point of the Camino: La Cruz de Ferro. Then the path will lead you to El Bierzo, another fantastic winemaking area. The old town of Ponferrada with its imposing castle will amaze you for sure. At the end of this day, the quaint town of Villafranca del Bierzo will welcome you for overnight. The day has been demanding, but definitely rewarding!
Today you leave Castile and enter the last region of the Camino, Galicia. This segment will welcome you with the toughest climb of the entire trip; we remind you that we can get a taxi for you if you feel that you need a little lift! Though challenging, this place really is worth the effort. After that segment, some lush woods will show you all their charm and beauty. The day ends in Sarria at a cozy hotel located by the Sarria River; the relaxing summer swimming pool will help you rest and recover from the day’s activities
During this stretch of the trip you will probably encounter the famous fog that nestles between the Galician hills almost every morning. The inspiring views will make for magical, and perhaps even mystical, moments. The appearance of the monastery at Samos will be another great moment of this trip. We recommend you to stop at Melide to have lunch at a typical restaurant, to enjoy one of Galicia’s favorite dishes: Octopus. A manor house of 18th century located in the middle of the countryside will be the perfect place to relax and get ready for the final day!
And finally the experience has taken you to a successful end! The route will be shorter, though very similar to that of the last days; Santiago is so close that your thoughts might wonder ahead. The arrival to the Cathedral of Santiago will be an unforgettable moment that will remind you why you decided to make this journey in the first place. If there were any hard moments throughout the journey, this one will definitely make up for it. Later in the day, you should pick up your “Compostela”, the certificate that proves that the pilgrimage along the Camino has been completed