Cycling in León - Spain

The most identifiable part of León is the vast Gothic cathedral that overlooks the centre. However, there is a wide variety of other historical architecture in the city; from the Medieval wall that rings part of the centre, to the neogothic Casa de Botines - an intriguing building designed by Antoni Gaudi.

Camino de Santiago

The city receives a lot of visitors each year as it is one of the most important stops on the Camino Frances route of the Camino de Santiago (Way of St James). If you wish to cycle the Camino, León is the last place that you can start from and still receive the Compostela certificate of accomplishment in Santiago de Compostela.

The stretch between León and Santiago de Compostela is also the most interesting and mythical part of the route. It leaves the flatter plains behind and moves into the beautiful green hills and small villages that characterise the region.
Leon Cathedral

Other Cycling Routes

León is also only around 60km from the edge of the Picos de Europa; it is possible to do a great week long tour from Santander or Gijon down to León, and then loop back through the Picos de Europa. Although this route is only recommended if you enjoy climbing, because the only way from the north coast to León is over some reasonably high mountains.

By Spanish standards, León is cold in winter. The city is at over 800 metres altitude and averages around sixteen days of snow per year. If you are looking for a sunny cycling break from November until late April, you are better to head to the Valencia region or one of the islands. In summer, however, the relatively cool temperatures make León a more appealing destination than most other inland Spanish cities.

The areas to the south and east of León - towards Valladolid and Burgos are relatively flat. The scenery is not the most interesting - arable farmland for as far as the eye can see - but the road surfaces are good and, if you avoid the national (N-xxx) roads, there is not a great deal of traffic. We would only really recommend going this way, however, if you are touring the historic cities in the region (Burgos, Zamora, Valladolid, Palencia).

If you are looking for a flat route, then there are flat parts of Andalucia, Valencia and Mallorca that offer much more interesting scenery. If, however, your main priority is discovering superb mountainous landscapes by bike, then the areas to the north and the west of León are definitely worth a visit.

Hospital de Orbigo Bridge
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Self-Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 8 Days
Level: Difficulty Medium to Challenging
Price: from €1,090 EUR
Picos de Europa National Park
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Self-Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 7 Days
Level: Difficulty Medium to Challenging
Price: from €1,130 EUR