Spain Bike Tour
El Camino de Santiago (11 days)
"The Leading U.S.-based Tour Outfitter"
by Frommer's Spain 2012 guidebook
Seekers and adventurers from around the world have been drawn to “The Road to Santiago” since the year 814, when a shower of falling stars guided the Spanish hermit Pelayo to Santiago and the hidden tomb of the apostle St. James. History, mystery, legends and traditions line every mile of the 1,100-year-old route. Our biking tour follows the ancient trail across the plains of Castile, wheat fields of León, and emerald mountains of Galicia to the magnificent Cathedral of Santiago. Biking the Camino is both an adventure and an accomplishment – an incomparable sojourn that will inspire memories to last a lifetime. More than any other bike trip, it’s a journey of the body, mind, and spirit.
To accommodate the varying schedules (and energy levels) of aspiring bike pilgrims, we offer our Camino de Santiago bike tour in two lengths: a 11-day itinerary beginning in Burgos, and a shorter 8-day Camino which joins the tour en route in León.
- Trip Feedback
- Pedal the ancient pilgrimage route through Castile-León and Galicia to Santiago
- Bike through eleven centuries of history, legends, and tradition
- Historic accommodations in monasteries, manor houses, and the five-star Parador in Santiago
- Architectural gems from Gothic to Gaudí
- Hear Gallego folk incantations and Gregorian plainchant
- Meet fellow pilgrims from around the world
- Private tour of the Santiago Cathedral and Old Quarter with an art historian
- Collect sellos (stamps) on your Pilgrim’s Passport and earn your Compostela (certificate of completion)
- The adventure and accomplishment of a lifetime
Day 1: Mid-day transfer from the train station to the Old Quarter of Burgos, where our hotel faces the 13th-century Gothic cathedral across the main plaza. Welcome lunch and walking tour of the Old Quarter and Cathedral, where Castilian hero El Cid is buried. Receive your Pilgrim’s Passport!
Day 2: Cycle through rustic limestone villages as we cross the great plains of León to Castrojeriz. (26 or 32 mi.)
Day 3: Our route is lined by lovely Romanesque relics: the bridge of Itero, the ornate Church of San Martín, and the towering Iglesia de Santa María la Blanca. Overnight at a Benedictine monastery-turned-inn in Carrión de Los Condes. (31 mi.)
Day 4: Cycle or van to Sahagún, where we’ll follow a poplar-lined trail through vast fields of wheat. Our four-star hotel in León fronts the Plaza Mayor in the heart of the Old Quarter. Those joining us today will receive their Pilgrim’s Passports. (46 or 61 mi.)
Day 5: Free day to explore León’s Old Quarter and Gothic cathedral. Short afternoon ride to our 17th-century manor house in Carrizo de la Ribera, where you can hear Gregorian chant in the Cistercian Monastery next door! (15 mi.)
Day 6: Continue to Roman-walled Astorga, once famed for its 21 pilgrim hospitals, and now known for architect Gaudí’s neo-Gothic Bishop’s Palace. Our afternoon ride climbs Foncebadón Pass, the highest point on the Camino. Overnight in the handsome medieval town of Molinaseca. (51 mi.)
Day 7: Cycle to Villafranca del Bierzo, where pilgrims unable to continue were granted absolution. A choice of paved or dirt trail ascends to O Cebreiro, the site of many miracles. Welcome to Galicia! (39 mi. combined biking and hiking)
Day 8: Descend to Triacastela, where penitent pilgrims picked up a stone to carry all the way to Castańeda. Our route to pretty Portomarín skirts Irish-green pasturelands lined by Celtic stone walls. (44 mi. combined biking and hiking)
Day 9: Follow the authentic Camino through ancient forests of oak and chestnut, over stout Roman and medieval bridges, and past the church of Vilar de Donas, tomb of the Knights of Santiago. Overnight at a country estate in Castańeda. (32 mi.)
Day 10: Our forested route continues to Santiago de Compostela, following the final stage of a travel guide written by Picaud, an 11th-century French monk. At the Camino passport office, you’ll receive your compostela (certificate of completion). Farewell celebration and five-star overnight at the Parador Hostal de los Reyes Católicos, which has housed pilgrims since it was built in 1501 at the order of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. (28 mi.)
Day 11: In the morning, stroll the Old Quarter and take our guided tour of the Cathedral with an art historian. Noontime transfer to Santiago Airport, or plan to spend an extra day basking in the ambiance of this magnificent medieval city.
“The Camino de Santiago is an exhilarating, breathtakingly beautiful trip...Our surprise reward was that it was also a powerful spiritual adventure.”
– M.A. & D.A., Washington
“Riding the Camino as a 'pilgrim' was an unforgettable journey in place and time.”
– C.G., New York
“One can't help but get caught up in the pilgrimage to Santiago. It seemed to grow on each of us with each passing day.”
– B.B., California
“The tour exceeded our expectations in every respect…generally more (as we say in Ireland) craic than we ever could have expected.”
– P.C., Ireland
Selected by OUTSIDE Magazine: "50 Trips of a Lifetime"
“The finest journey in Spain and one of the two or three best in the world.”
– James Michener, Iberia
“Bicycling the Camino has been a dream of mine for a long time. Doing it with my 83-year-old father was a trip of a lifetime. Thanks to our guides, Alicia and Jorge, the trip was flawless and Dad and I enjoyed our first cycling tour together. We're already planning for next year! Buen Camino!”
– M.F., Florida
- 10 nights accommodations in monasteries, manor houses, and paradors (double occupancy, private bath)
- 9 dinners with wine, 2 picnic lunches, and all breakfasts
- Use of a top-quality 27-speed Marin hybrid bicycle
- Detailed maps, written directions, and background information
- Total mileage of 312 to 333 miles
- Two experienced, multilingual Spanish guides
- Support van to carry luggage, provide snacks, and offer assistance and lifts
- Transfers from Burgos train station and to Santiago Airport at specified times
- Gratuities for all accommodations and group meals
- Comprehensive tour preparation information and training tips
- Easy Rider cycling jersey and water bottle
- Airfare is not included.