Spain Bike Tour Itinerary
DAY ONE | Arrival Day | Casa de Benficiados
We meet you at the airport in Pamplona, which is readily accessible via Barcelona, Madrid and other cities on the continent. Discovery Bicycle Tours will then transfer you to the starting village of Roncesvalles where we have a bike fitting and safety talk, before walking to get our “Compostela” (Pilgrim’s Passport). If you wish, you can also receive the “blessing of the pilgrims” in the XII century Collegiata. Dinner and overnight is in Roncesvalles.
DAY TWO | Distance: 30 miles | Terrain: Intermediate | Gran Hotel Laperla
The terrain is “rolling” as we enter the Navarra region and pedal through conifer forest, green fields, and little villages like Burguette and Espinal before arriving in Pamplona. Pamplona has always been an important stop on the pilgrimage and you will want to visit the Cathedral, the Museo Discesano and deNavarra and just wander the fascinating streets of this medieval town. Pamplona is, of course, well known for its July 7th San Fermin Festival where the “running of the bulls” was made so famous in Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises.Dinner and overnight is in Pamplona.
DAY THREE | Distance: 31 miles | Terrain: Intermediate | Hospederia Chapitel
Our bike ride today takes us through the Navarra-Roja plains. There is a five km uphill stretch (with spectacular views!) as we reach the rich Alto del Perdon. Then on to Ponte la Reina where we cross the Arga River on the beautiful bridge with its iconic Romanesque arches. This is where pilgrims coming from the north (Roncesvalles), and the ones coming from the east (Aragona), historically merged together as they proceed on the pilgrimage toward Santiago. Dinner and overnight is in Estella.
DAY FOUR | Distance: 25 miles | Terrain: Intermediate | Hotel Meson del Cid
Today we leave the Navarra and enter the beautiful Rioja region famous for its delightful vineyards and wine. Soon after leaving Estella we reach the monastery of Irache (958 A.D.). Our bike ride ends just outside Viana where we are treated to a wine tasting and lunch at a local wine cellar. We then transfer to Burgos (about 90 minutes), Castilla’s most important city especially known for its staggering wealth of art, beautiful cathedral, and the excellent Retablo Museum. We arrive in time for an evening stroll enjoying the beautifully lit palaces and arches for which Burgos is famous. You are on your own for dinner this evening. Overnight in Burgos.
DAY FIVE | Exploration Day | Terrain: Intermediate | NH Collection León Plaza Mayor
This is a non-biking exploration day. We start with a guided tour of Burgos culminating in a visit to its beautiful gothic cathedral. We have lunch together. Then, after a transfer, we have an excellent tour of the Old Quarter of León. León was the Roman capital of northwest Spain and you will see remains of 4th-century Roman walls as you wander its ancient streets. You will also want to visit the Romanesque Basilica San Isadoro and Leon’s handsome 13th-century gothic cathedral, considered one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Spain. Dinner and overnight in León.
DAY SIX | Distance: 42 miles | Terrain: Intermediate | Parador de Villafranca del Bierzo
Today the architecture and cultural changes reflect the fact that we are moving out of the Rioja area into Galicia. Our ride first takes us to Ponferrada where we visit the Knights Templar castle and then to Villafranca del Bierzo. Here the town rises on narrow terraces above the plain until we reach beautiful Plaza Mayor and the romantic church of Villafranca del Bierzo. We provide a transfer from the hotel to Cruz de Ferro.
DAY SEVEN | Distance: 46 or 48 miles | Terrain: Intermediate | Hotel Alfonso IX
We start today with a ride to Las Herrerias. You have an option to van to the top of a climb. It’s steep following el Camino — but the energetic may opt to ride the 8.5 mile uphill section — and there we will visit the Pilgrim’s Monument. From here, enjoy a delightful downhill to the Samos Monastery, a handsome 6th-century Benedictine church. Our ride then takes us through the beautiful Galician countryside guided on our route by the “mojones,” little roadside cairns or pillars that will mark our entire way from here all the way to Santiago. Our day ends in the small bustling town of Sarria. Dinner is together. Overnight in Sarria.
DAY EIGHT | Distance: 30 or 34 miles | Terrain: Intermediate | Complejo La Cabana
This is a delightful day of cycling in the countryside from Sarria to Palas de Rei. Ride the pretty Mino Valley and into the town of Portomarin, where we can explore the imposing fortress and the Inglesia de San Juan, and perhaps treat ourselves to the local Torta de Santiago (almond cake). Dinner and overnight in Palas de Rei.
DAY NINE | Distance: 20 to 24 miles | Terrain: Intermediate | Pazo Santa María
We enjoy a lovely rural ride through pasture lands and small well-kept villages such as Leboreiro and Furelos and we will stop by the Aldea in Morgade to leave the customary note that expresses our (perhaps) spiritual feelings about following this historical pilgrimage route. We stop for lunch in Melide, which has great octopus dishes. We overnight in the small town of Arzua where you can visit the Iglesia de Santiago. Dinner and overnight in Arzúa.
DAY TEN | Distance: 32 to 37 miles | Terrain: Intermediate | San Francisco Hotel Monumento
Our last biking day leads us along a beautiful and historical route into Santiago de Compostela. Before our arrival, we will do the Pilgrim’s ritual purification by washing ourselves (a bit) in the small stream that runs under the Lavatolla Bridge. Shortly after this we will rise over the Monte de Gozo and start to get glimpses of the marvelous towers of Santiago de Compostela. Here we suggest a superb tour of this beautiful town — including historic Obratoria Plaza, the famous St. James Cathedral (erected on the site where St. James’ tomb was first discovered in 813 A.D.). Consider touring the cathedral rooftop. Plus, a visit to the the Romanesque Palace Gelmirez and the Casa Gotica Museum. Dinner and overnight in Santiago.
DAY ELEVEN | Departure Day
Departure day. After breakfast and a stroll through the beautiful streets of Santiago de Compostela, Discovery Bicycle Tours will transfer you to Santiago Airport so that you can catch connections from there to Barcelona, Madrid or other connecting airports.
El Camino de Santiago, Spain Bike Tour
11-DAY / 10-NIGHT BIKE TOUR
Make your reservation with confidence. Your tour is completely 100% refundable up to 90 days of the tour date.
May 29-June 8, 2020: $3795
Reserve with $500 deposit
Final Payment due 90 days prior to your tour (personal check, Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover)
Single Supplement Fee for Private Room (where available): $440
Please note that this tour requires a minimum of 8 total people. Please confirm total reservation count has been met with the Discovery Bicycle Tour office before making airline reservations.
Cancellations: If you cancel your tour reservation, your cancellation fee will be determined as follows:
- If you cancel 90 or more days prior to the start of your tour, there is no cancellation fee.
- If you cancel between 60 and 89 days prior to the start of your tour, you will forfeit 50% of all tour payments.
- If you cancel between 0 and 59 days prior to the start of your tour, all tour payments will be forfeited.
Boutique hotel, located in a former monastery totally renovated. Very close to the Irati Forest, is located in Roncesvalles in the heart of the Navarre Pyrenees. Surrounded by a privileged enclave is ideal for relaxing or visit the Irati and take a ride sensations.
People such as Ernest Hemingway, Orson Welles, Manolete, Charles Chaplin, Pablo Sarasate, Julián Gayarre, Imperio Argentina, Cayetano Ordoñez or Ignacio Zuloaga and many more have contributed to make our hotel a unique spot.
An exemplary four star accommodation. With care and attention to the small details, a unique artistic environment that give a classic look and a unique service that will meet your highest expectations.
Elegant rooms with fantastic views of the cathedral. Enjoy authentic traditional Spanish cuisine.
This Spanish property features a pleasant ambiance. It provides a choice of rooms equipped with all the amenities necessary to ensure guests have a restful stay.
The Cottage is a charming hotel built completely of wood. It is situated in extensive grounds surrounded by gardens, pine and chestnut trees, through which the Camino de Santiago in their penultimate or twelfth stage before culminating in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.
This tastefully restored estate is now a popular hotel that offers excellent accommodations and an onsite restaurant that serves traditional Galician cuisine.
Located 150 meters from the Cathedral, in the historic center of Santiago de Compostela. San Francisco Hotel Monumento offers guests the peace and quiet of an eighteenth century Franciscan convent combined with all the amenities of a 4 star hotel.
All transfers during the tour, a wine tasting, 10 nights lodging, 8 dinners (you are on your own for dinner two nights), 10 breakfasts, 2 lunches, bicycle and helmet, transfer on day one from Pamplona to Roncesvalles, transfer on the final day to Santiago Airport.
FREE USE OF BIKES
We are happy to provide you with a bike to use at no charge. Hybrid bikes (not road bikes) are provided and are highly recommended for this tour. Our bikes come equipped with a front handlebar bag, rear carrier, water bottle, mirror and flat pedals. Pedal cages and soft gel seat covers are available on request. We are also happy to put your own clipless pedals (pedals that attach to your biking shoes) and seat on your bike if you wish. Specific details and styles of bikes available in each location are indicated under each photograph below. The make of bikes provided varies by location.