MADRID - LEON
- You will meet your guides in Madrid and we’ll give you a lift through the Sierra de Guadarrama and over the fertile plains of Castile to the historic city of León, founded in 68 B.C.León’s cathedral has the most beautiful stained glass windows in all of Spain.
- On the way, we will stop for lunch in Rueda, famous for its exquisite white wine, Verdejo.
- We’ll spend the late afternoon visiting the Cathedral, wandering around the winding, slate-paved streets of the Barrio Húmedo (known for some of the best tapas bars in Castile).
- Before dinner, we’ll head to the Madres Carbajales convent to get that all-important piece of documentation that will record our pilgrimage – the Credencial del Peregrino.
- Overnight in Leon
LEON - ASTORGA
55.3k & +476m elevation
- We’ll start our trip winding westward through small towns whose economies, for centuries, were dependent on the pilgrims making their way westward along the Camino.
- Today’s riding is a good warm up for the next couple of days, as we go through the western plains of Castile towards the mountains that mark the limits between Castile and Galicia.
- Your hotel for the evening is the town of Astorga, famous for the Archbishops’ Palace (designed by Antoní Gaudí, creator of Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia), the Town’s Cathedral, and their flavorful chocolate.
- Overnight in Astorga
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ASTORGA - VILLAFRANCA DEL BIERZO
59.7km & +805m elevation
- Today we move from the rolling hills of Castile into the mountains that mark the beginning of the end of the Camino!
- Since it’s our first day of serious climbing, we’ll take to the road and ride to the highest point on the Camino, a gradual climb of 800 metres/2,624 feet (which also means a stunning twelve-kilometer descent to Molinaseca and through to Ponferrada!)
- After visiting the Templar Castle in Ponferrada, we’ll travel by van to the town of Villafranca del Bierzo, where we’ll stay in the renovated Parador of Villafranca, complete with indoor and outdoor swimming pools for the best respite from the trials of the road.
- Overnight in Villafranca
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VILLAFRANCA DEL BIERZO - MONFORTE DE LEMOS
38.1km & +277m elevation
- This stage of the Camino is considered to be the most difficult by Camino riders, who regularly share survival stories of how they managed to climb up to the peak of O Cebreiro. You don’t have to ride that section – the minivan is there for the sections just like this. Plus, it’s worth saving your energy for the brake-burning 25 km descent that follows.
- After visiting the restored village and mountaintop chapel at O Cebreiro, we’ll get on the bikes and enjoy the downhill ride to the town of Triacastela. W
- e’ll ride through (and visit) the Monastery of Saint Julian in Samos, then trace our way along back country roads through pine and eucalyptus forests, away from the main Camino route and pedal through to Sarria (where we’ll have our lunch break).
- From Sarria we will transfer by van to our historically converted luxury Parador (hotel) in Monforte de Lemos which is well-known for its regional red wine.
- Overnight in Monforte
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MONFORTE DE LEMOS- ARZUA
- Central Galicia is covered with dense pine forests and eucalyptus groves, which will provide shade as we trace our way through tiny villages spread along the Camino, many of which don’t have much more than a couple of residents and a lot of cows!
- Luckily Galicia is criss-crossed by country roads, giving us the opportunity to get off the beaten path.
- We’ll discover some hidden routes that take us away from the crowds of the Camino.
- We’ll ride along peaceful paths with fabulous views and historical castle ruins. We’ll have lunch on the grounds of the Palace of Ulloa (made famous by Emilia Pardo Bazán, a genius of Galician literature). That night, we’ll stay in Arzúa, within a close distance of Santiago de Compostela.
- Overnight in Arzua
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ARZUA - SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
36km & +523m elevation
- The final day of the tour is short but tough. We’ll bike the final kilometers through rolling countryside, past Lavacolla hill, where pilgrims would tidy themselves up before attending the Pilgrim’s Mass at the Cathedral.
- From there, it’s on towards the Monte do Gozo, where you get your first glimpse of the end of the road: the Cathedral of Santiago. It’s a quick 4 kilometer ride into the center of Santiago itself, where narrow, winding streets reach the Praza do Obradoiro, home of both the Cathedral of Santiago and the Parador, the former Palace of the Catholic Kings.
- After visiting the Pilgrims’ Affairs office, where we’ll receive the coveted Compostela certificate (making us official pilgrims) we’ll have a farewell dinner and a walk though the lamp-lit streets of the Old Town.
- Overnight in Santiago de Compostela
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SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA - MADRID
- Whether your plan is to return home or continue your travels in Europe, Santiago is a great stepping off point. Its small but new international airport is very well connected to Spanish destinations and to nearby European cities like London and Paris. Flights out are generally very well priced for those who plan in advance.
- Get in touch with one of our specialists to add an extra night in Santiago.
- Meanwhile, for those of us who do not choose to part ways in Santiago, after breakfast, we’ll bid farewell to our Camino adventure and return to Madrid by van (7 hours).
- Our route whisks us through the mountains of southern Galicia, through Ourense and back across the golden plains of Castilla-León.
END OF TOUR SERVICES