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El Camino de Santiago

  • Santiago de Compostela cathedral
  • Pilgrim sculpture near Pamplona, Spain
  • Pamplona, Spain
  • Camino hikers
  • Bikers ready to roll on Camino, Spain
  • Camino, Spain
  • Van on the Camino, Spain
DURATION
11 Day(s)
DAILY BIKING
23 to 47 miles
TRIP DIFFICULTY
3-Intermediate
REVIEWS
STARTING FROM
$4295
SINGLES FROM
$600

Trip Overview

The road from the French border across the top of northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela was one of the three major Christian pilgrimage routes during the Middle Ages, all leading to the resting place of the Apostle St. James. Winding from the Pyrenees to the gently rolling fields and woods of Galicia, this ancient system of trails and roads is now the most popular long-distance trail in Europe, renown for its stunningly varied landscape, its ancient villages, beautiful meadowlands, rolling hills, the famous vineyards of the Rioja region, and a treasure trove of historical sites, churches and cathedrals, religious art and some of the most extraordinary architecture in the western world. Add to this the wonders of such beautiful towns as Pamplona, Burgos, Leon and the wondrous city of Santiago de Compostela, and you have a magical and fascinating tour indeed. The basic concept of this tour is to stay on or next to the traditional Pilgrimage route, so at times you will need to decide between riding a somewhat challenging section of the pathway or taking a paved option, and there are locations where we will need to transfer you short distances by van. We are also fortunate that this spectacular section of the Camino affords us the opportunity to offer you the full range from modest 3-star properties to some of the most elegant in northern Spain.

Itinerary

From start to finish, check out the route.

DAY 1 - 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 2 - Pamplona
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 3 - Estella
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 4 - Delightful vineyards and wine
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 5 - Exploration day
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 6 - Ponferrada to Villafranca del Bierzo
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 7 - Sarria
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 9 - Rural ride
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 10 - Santiago de Compostela
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 11 - 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.

Map

Spain el Camino map

Dates & Pricing

Make your reservation with confidence. Your tour is completely 100% refundable until the final payment due date.

Start End Cost Availability
May 29, 2020 Jun 08, 2020 $4295.00 Available! Reserve Reserve

What’s Included

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. Airfare not included.

Dates & Pricing

Make your reservation with confidence. Your tour is completely 100% refundable until the final payment due date.

Start: May 29, 2020
End: Jun 08, 2020
Cost: $4295.00
Availability: Available!
Reserve

What’s Included

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. Airfare not included.

Inns

Where you stay along the way.

Casa de Benficiados
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.
Gran Hotel Laperla
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.
Hospederia Chapitel
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.
Hotel Meson del Cid
Elegant rooms with fantastic views of the cathedral. Enjoy authentic traditional Spanish cuisine.
León Plaza Mayor
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.
Parador de Villafranca del Bierzo
From the windows of your rooms you will be surprised by views to the northwest of the region of El Bierzo and to the south of the Ancares mountain range. You can enjoy 2 seasonal pools, one outdoor and one indoor with sauna and ice fountain.
Hotel Alfonso IX
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.
Complejo La Cabana
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
Pazo Santa María
This tastefully restored estate is now a popular hotel that offers excellent accommodations and an onsite restaurant that serves traditional Galician cuisine.
San Francisco Hotel Monumento
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.

Guests say …

Quotes from guests about this tour:


 
 
 
 
 
"I loved this tour and I'm glad I did it"

Julie D.


 
 
 
 
 
"Had good staff, picked wonderful properties, took immaculate care of us!"

Carmel M.


 
 
 
 
 
"The meals were superb and abundant. the winery tour excellent. Rosita and Jago competent and reliable guides. the tour timing was providential to this Spring season."

Ric D.


 
 
 
 
 
"You have dotted your i's and crossed your t's. Your attention to detail in both logistics and personnel has given excellent results. THANK YOU !"

Ric D.

Gallery

Images from this tour. Click each to see it larger.

Santiago de Compostela cathedral Pilgrim sculpture near Pamplona, Spain Pamplona, Spain Camino hikers Bikers ready to roll on Camino, Spain Camino, Spain Van on the Camino, Spain