Camino de Santiago - Cycling Holiday
- Self-Guided 7 Nights
- Arrival - León
- Departure - Santiago de Compostela
- Difficulty - Medium
- Price - From €1040
- Dates - April to October
The Camino De Santiago (Way of St. James) is a stunning pilgrimage route in the north of Spain. The
trail, which has been followed by pilgrims for over one thousand years, passes through
townsand superb scenery.
Starting in León, this popular cycling holiday moves from Castilian vineyards, through impressive mountain scenery into Galicia, before finishing in the town of Santiago de Compostela. This tour passes through UNESCO world heritage sites, Roman towns and incredibly varied landscapes.
The route can be done as a tour of either easy or medium-challenging difficult, depending on whether you would like to be transferred up the two main climbs, or if you would prefer to cycle them!
Day 1 - LeónThis cycling holidays begins in the Roman city of León. You will have time in the evening to appreciate the architecture and atmosphere of this regional capital.
Once you have checked in to the hotel and collected your bikes we recommend that you sample some of the fantastic food of northern Spain - with Leon a town famous for its tapas bars.
Day 2 – León to Astorga (42-58km)For the first day in the saddle you head north-west from Leon on gently rolling roads passing by vineyards and hop fields characteristic of this region.
Lunch can be taken on the banks of the Rio Orbigo, in the town of Hospital de Orbigo, famous for its legendary Gothic bridge, before you continue cycling on to Astorga.
Here you can visit Astorga’s chocolate museum and enjoy this beautiful town’s Roman walls and architecture designed by Antoni Gaudí.
Day 3 – Astorga to Ponferrada (35-57km)Leaving Astorga, you pass the picturesque stone buildings of Castrillo de los Polvazares before heading towards the impressive Montes de León.
The climb to Foncebadon is the highest point on the Camino de Santiago and the following descent towards Molinesca has some stunning views.
The cycling ends today in Ponferrada - well known for the Castle of the Knights Templar which dominates the town.
Day 4 – Ponferrada to O'Cebreiro (34-60km)The most challenging day of the cycling holiday begins by making your way to the picturesque town of Villafranca del Bierzo.
With stunning views of Galicia providing the backdrop, you cross the vibrant green countryside before starting the tricky climb of around 12km up to the rural village of O Cebreiro; the most difficult pass on the Camino.
The pre-Romanesque church in this village was supposedly once the home of the Holy Grail.
Day 5 – O Cebreiro to Sarria (40km)Leaving the area of O Cebreiro, you start to descend before tackling one last modest climb up to El Poyo.
After stopping for some lunch and refreshments the Camino de Santiago descends for eleven kilometres before travelling upwards through some wonderful oak woodland and past the Romanesque Church of Barbedelo.
You then follow the rolling road to Sarria, an intriguing town which was deliberately flooded in the 1960s to create the Belesar Reservoir.
However, not before the historic buildings had been reconstructed stone by stone in the new centre. In the evening you can sample some delicious Galician cuisine - including the famous Pulpo a la Gallega.
Day 6 – Sarria to Arzua (37-75km)The section today is one of the longest on this cycle tour - following rolling roads through Palais de Rei and Melide. After stopping to admire the local architecture you continue to Arzua; a typical small Galician town with plenty of charm and character.
This will be your last night before arrival in Santiago de Compostela. The town is usually busy with pilgrims making for a lively atmosphere.
Day 7 – Arzua to Santiago de Compostela (40km)Today is perhaps the most exciting day of the cycle tour as you leave Arzua towards the beautiful ‘El Monte de Gozo’ (Mount of Joy). Here you can experience the joy felt by St. James (Santiago) as you get your first glimpse of Santiago de Compostela.
With the destination in sight you continue to the city; reaching the magnificent Santiago Cathedral to mark the end of the Camino de Santiago.
Prices & Dates
|Price (per person)*||Single Supplement||Bike Hire (Optional)|
|September - June||€1040||€370||€125|
|July / August||€1170||€420||€125|
*Based on two people sharing a double or twin room. If you would prefer to stay in a single room, the single supplement is applicable.
Guided TourGroups of six people or more contact us to arrange a private guided tour starting on any date.
The following is included in the tour:
- Seven nights accommodation in double, twin or single room with en-suite. Please see price list for details of single supplement.
- Transfer to and from the arrival/departure points
- Continental breakfast every day
- Luggage transferred between hotels
- Detailed maps and route information for each day, with clearly marked points of interest.
- Route extensions every day for those of you who wish to cycle
The following are optional extras available for an additional charge:
- Hire of bicycles (see here for details)
- Tour Extensions
The following is not included in the tour
- Lunches and Dinners
- Any transfers not stated above
- Travel Insurance
- Entry to any attractions (e.g. museums, churches) except were explicitly stated
Frequently Asked Questions
Please browse through some of the frequently asked questions about this cycling tour. If you have any further questions, or would like any more information, please contact us and we will answer by email.
How far do I cycle each day on this tour?
The daily average is between 37km (23 miles) and 55km (35 miles); depending on whether or not you wish to be transferred up the significant climbs along the route.
As on all of our tours, there are options to extend the route if you wish to cycle further on any particular day.
How difficult is this tour?
This tour can be done as easy-medium difficulty or as medium-challenging difficulty, the choice is entirely up to you.
When done as easy-medium difficulty, we will transfer you up the two big climbs on the route (either side of Ponferrada); however, there will still be around 35km of cycling on these days. We will also transfer you a short section out of Sarria, where the road is quite busy.
When done as medium-challenging difficutly, you will cycle the entire route, averaging around 55km per day with a couple of longer days. There are two significant climbs of several hundred metres in altitude; however, the gradients are not steep (average 3-4%).
The easy-medium option is suitable for a first time cycling holiday, or for riders that prefer to cycle at a leisurely pace.
If you wish to cycle the long hills then you will need to have a reasonable level of fitness; however, these are a couple of isolated long climbs, rather than a cycling holiday in the mountains.
Can I personalize or change aspects of this tour?
Absolutely! We have designed a tour that we feel strikes a great balance between cycling routes, accommodation and interesting towns. However, if, for example, you would like to do the tour
for a different number of days, stay in a different level of accommodation, or extend the route to a different location, we would be happy to discuss the options with you.
What is a single supplement?
Our prices are based on two people sharing a hotel room (in a double or twin room). For cyclists that wish to stay in their own room, the single supplement is payable.
The cost is made up of the extra cost of accommodation when the room is single occupancy and also the greater cost of the transfers (luggage and people) when it is not split between two or more cyclists. We have made every effort to keep this to a minimum wherever possible.
What are the arrival and departure points?
Arrival is in León which is accessible by air from Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga and Alicante. It is also only three
hours from Madrid by train (renfe.com).
Departure is from Santiago de Compostela which has an international airport with flights to the UK, USA and Netherlands amongst many other destinations.
See our flights page for more details of departures and arrivals to the region.
What type of bikes do you provide?
For this tour we recommend hybrid bikes, although we can also provide road bikes. The fairly low distances and lack of steep hills make hybrid bikes a good choice, allowing you to go at a leisurely pace and fully appreciate the surroundings.
Please see our bicycles page for further details.
What is the history of the Camino de Santiago?
More details about the history of the Camino de Santiago, a declared world heritage route, cane be found on the
UNESCO World Heritage website
In addition, check out our video showcasing some of the historic architecture on the Camino de Santiago.
Is the cycling route the same as the walking route for the Camino?
No, the cycling route is different to the walking route of the Camino de Santiago. It is 100% on paved, minor roads which run parallel to the walking route.
For long stretches the two routes converge, and they both pass through all of the interesting landmarks along the route.
It is also possible to cycling along the walking route. However, there are some steep climbs and the surface is quite bumpy in places, so you need to use either a mountain bike or a hybrid. In summer we would strongly advise to follow the cycling route for the Camino, as the high number of hikers makes it slow going to cycle along the walking route.
When can I do this tour?
This tour is available throughout the year; however, we recommend the period between April and October.
The vast majority of the route is fine to cycle in the winter; however, temperatures can be quite cold and rain is fairly common. Nevertheless, if you are thinking of coming here from Canada, UK or Scandinavia, you may still find it pleasant for cycling in the winter!
The tour can start on any date; whichever is most conveient for you.
What is the weather like on this tour?
The weather in summer is generally very good for cycling. The average temperature is warm (around 24-30 degrees celsius), without being uncomfortably hot.
There is a chance of rain, especially the further west and closer you get to the Atlantic Ocean. However, in the summer this is mainly in the form of short showers. It is not at all uncommon to get the full week completely clear of rain.
What are the altitude profiles for each day?
We believe that the hotels that you stay in are just as important as the towns that you visit and the scenery that you ride through. On this tour we have chosen accommodation that is of a high quality and is typical to the area, it is also accommodation that really reflects the character and uniqueness of the Camino de Santiago.
LeónIn León you stay in a beautiful **** hotel in Plaza Mayor in the heart of the city. It is less than 200m from the cathedral and is in an excellent area, surrounded by tapas bars and restaurants.
AstorgaIn Astorga, you stay in a beautiful **** spa hotel, just one hundred metres from the cathedral and Gaudi's episcopal palace.
PonferradaIn Ponferrada you stay in a comfortable **** hotel on the edge of the old town, just a short walk from the Knights Templar Castle.
O'CebreiroIn O'Cebreiro you will stay in a 'casa rural' - a small country cottage style accommodation in the heart of the mountains. This is locally run with friendly owners and has a great atmosphere.
SarriaHere you stay in a beautiful traditional town house. This unique boutique hotel is in the center of the town and provides delightful, locally run accommodation.
ArzuaIn Arzua you stay in a Pazo on the edge of the town. This style of accommodation is unique to the Galicia region and is a kind of small boutique hotel, converted from an 18th century mansion. It is **** rated, with an excellent restaurant and beautiful grounds for relaxing or taking a stroll around.
Santiago de CompostelaOn the last night you stay in an excellent **** hotel in the historic center of Santiago. It is situated within easy walking distance of the cathedral and is perfect for exploring the incredible sights in the old town.
To find out more about how we select our hotels, please see our accommodation page.
To reserve a place on the tour, please follow the link below to continue to our reservation form.
Once we have received the form, we will be in contact to confirm the booking and to arrange for the payment of the deposit.
If you would like to do the Camino de Santiago in a group of more than six people as a guided tour, please contact us and we can arrange a private guided cycling tour.