CAMINO DE SANTIAGO
Self-Guided Cycling Holiday
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.
Below you can find a detailed itinerary, and click on the tabs to see more highlights, as well as all the practical information about the holiday.
Day 1 - Arrival - León
León was originally founded by the Romans as a military camp to keep an eye on nearby gold mines, and it later flourished as the capital of a Christian kingdom in the Middle Ages.
Both the Roman walls and the imposing cathedral remains inside the historic center, along with buildings designed by the great Spanish architect - Antoni Gaudí. Here we will introduce you to your bikes and you can explore the delights of León, including its excellent tapas bars!
A lively small square next to León Cathedral
Day 2 - León to Astorga
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.
Astorga was the largest Roman town in the region, and there are several ancient remains dotted around. During the Medieval period it became the seat of a powerful bishop, and the episcopal palace remains the most important building in the town.
Astorga also has a thriving chocolate industry, which is the oldest in Europe. During the Age of Exploration in the 16th and 17th centuries, Spanish ships returning from the Americas brought cocoa beans to the region. Artisans in Astorga were able to carve out a niche as producers of this new and very popular product!
Shorter Route: 42km (27 miles)
Longer Route: 58km (36 miles)
Astorga Roman Walls & Episcopal Palace
Day 3 - Astorga to Ponferrada
The climb to the Iron Cross is the highest point on all of the Camino de Santiago, and it is customary for pilgrims to leave a rock on top of the pass.
The subsequent descent has stunning views, all the way into historic Ponferrada. The town is known primarily for its impressive Castle of the Knights Templar, which was built to protect pilgrims on the Camino from attacks by bandits.
Ponferrada also has a charming center with several delightful bodegas, where you can sample the local Bierzo wine.
The Route: 55km (34 miles)
Day 4 - Ponferrada to O Cebreiro
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. This is another of the highest points on the Camino, and is one of the most rewarding, with fine views as you reach a high plateau.
The day ends in the historic village of O Cebreiro. This small settlement is made up of beautiful stone buildings; including several round houses in the traditional Celtic style of the Galicia region. The picturesque church of Santa María is located in the center of the village, and once supposedly housed the Holy Grail.
The Route: 60km (37miles)
Cycling through the Bierzo region
Day 5 - O Cebreiro to Sarria
A long descend then leads down to a charming monastery in Samos, which makes for a nice place to stop for refreshments. From there it is just a short distance to the town of Sarria, which you arrive at via a beautiful Medieval bridge.
Sarria has a nice historic center and is always bustling with hikers on the Camino. This is the last place along the Camino that walkers are allowed to begin, if they wish to get their Compostela certificate upon their arrival in Santiago. In the evening we recommend sampling some delicious Galician cuisine - including the famous Pulpo a la Gallega.
Cycle Routes:The Route: 42km (26 miles)
Green Galician countryside
Day 6 - Sarria to Arzua
This makes for a nice coffee stop, after which your route splits from the hiking Camino. This is necessary to avoid the traffic on some busier highways that the walking route uses. Instead, you take scenic backroads through arable farmland and pine forests. This is a long ride along rolling terrain, but it's really enjoyable and there are plenty of interesting places to stop and take a break along the way.
The day finishes in the lively town of Arzua. Here you stay in a fantastic 18th century villa, with beautifully decorated rooms.
The Route: 83km (52 miles)
Not many kilometres left until Santiago!
Day 7 - Arzua to 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.
The route today is quite short and so you should make it into Santiago in good time. The cathedral is the centrepiece of the city and a must-visit, but the winding streets of the old town are crammed with other historic buildings and beautiful architecture, which you will have a lot of fun exploring.
The Route: 40km (25 miles)
Santiago de Compostela Cathedral
Day 8 - Departure / Extension
Otherwise we will transfer you to Santiago airport or train station in time for your onwards journey.
To find out more information about this holiday; including practical information, prices, dates and more tour highlights; return to the top of the page and click on the various tabs.
Muxia Beach - The Galician coast is one popular option to extend the holiday
You will see Roman ruins, medieval towns, stunning churches and cathedrals, and charming villages. You will ride through rolling countryside, with great views of the vibrant green landscapes, and you will cycle through calm forests.
You can experience the excellent Galician gastronomy, and sample the local Bierzo and Rias Baixas wines, as you follow a route that has been in use for the last ten centuries.
Check out just a few of the tour highlights in the photo album below:
- ✔ Seven Nights Accommodation (see the Hotels section for more details)
- ✔ Continental breakfast each day
- ✔ Bicycle Hire (We recommend hybrid bikes or e-bikes for this holiday)
- ✔ Transfers to and from the arrival and departure points (see below for details)
- ✔ Luggage transferred between hotels
- ✔ GPS routes and mobile app to easily follow the routes
- ✔ Detailed information pack about the routes, restaurants and everything to see along the rides
- ❌ Flights
- ❌ Tour Extensions
- ❌ Travel Insurance
More details about our bikes can be found on our bicycles page.
All of our bikes come with helmets and handlebar bags if required, as well as a Cycle Fiesta water bottle.
Difficulty Level & Roads
The ride on day 6 is also quite long and it is advisable to have done some preparation before the trip to ensure that you will be comfortable over such distance.
If you like the look of the tour but are worried about the distances or hills, an electric bike may be worth considering. You can switch off the motor if you don't need it, but it can help if you are struggling at any point.
Our Camino cycling route follows quiet country roads. At times the hiking route is alongside a main road, and so we avoid this and stick to the back roads.
The vast majority of the route is on paved roads, but there are some short sections on light gravel tracks. These can be avoided if you prefer to stay on pavement, or if you choose to ride on a road bike.
Find out more about our tour difficulty levels here.
Arrival and Departure
We will pick you up from León aiport or train station at the start of the tour.
Departure is from Santiago de Compostela which has an international airport with flights across Europe and the Atlantic. Regular high speed trains also run between Santiago and Madrid.
We will transfer you to Santiago airport or train station at the end of the holiday.
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.
When can I do this tour?
This tour is available throughout the year.
Spring and autumn (fall) are generally the most popular seasons to do the Camino. But this section of the route is also very nice to do in summer; it doesn't get so hot in north-western Spain as in much of the rest of the country.
In winter temperatures can be quite cold on the higher altitude sections around León (often less than 10°C / 50°F even during the day). It is rideable, but just bear in mind that it won't be t-shirt weather!
Rain is relatively common throughout the year, particularly on the final three days in Galicia. You are still more likely to get sunny days than not, but we strongly advise bringing a rain jacket with you whatever time of year you do the trip.
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.
Can I personalise or change aspects of this tour?
Absolutely! This is the most popular version of the Camino tour that we run, as it crosses the most interesting section of the route. However, it can be modified however you like.
If you would like to go on this holiday as it is you can book it right away. If you would like to modify it in some way, please don't hesitate to contact us, and we can work with you to tailor the holiday.
Can I do this as a guided tour?
Yes, we can run this as a guided and fully supported tour for groups of six or more people. Please
to discuss dates and any changes you would like to make
What is your cancellation policy?
The full cancellation policy can be found in our terms and conditions.
Why book with us?
We are a small and independent company who are locally based, which offers several advantages:
- We have a lot personal experience of all of our tours, which have been refined over many years. We believe we are genuine experts in the regions where we run tours, and we are also close at hand to offer support and a personalized service.
- We are flexible and can tailor our itineraries to suit your requirements.
- We have low overheads. We don't spend money on advertising and don't use third party agents. We only sell our tours through this website.
By cutting out the middle man, you can be sure that more of what you pay is being spent on the important things: like hotels, equipment and other services.
- We are a registered and fully bonded tour operator in accordance with EU regulations.
Where can I find more information about the region?
We have plenty more detailed information on the website.
Check out our guide to the Camino de Santiago: French Route.
And we also have several other articles looking more generally at the history and culture of the region:
Hotel Alfonso V
Hotel Spa Ciudad de Astorga
Hotel Aroi Bierzo Plaza
Hotel O Cebreiro
Hotel Alfonso IX
Pazo Santa María
Hotel Virxe da Cerca - Pousadas de Compostela
|Starting Date||Price (per person)¹||Single Supplement||Bike Hire|
|Jan - May & Oct-Dec||€1,590 EUR||€390 EUR||Included|
|June - September||€1,760 EUR||€470 EUR||Included|
¹Price is 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.
To reserve a place on the tour, click the button above and complete the reservation form. We will then get back to you within 24 hours to confirm the reservation, and to arrange for payment of the deposit.
For more details on the booking process, please check out our Reservations page.