EL CAMINO DE SANTIAGO

ON DEMAND

OVERVIEW

Riding EL Camino

This tour should be on the must-do list of every serious cyclist. The classic pilgrimmage route of the Camino combine many elements that make it a truly unique experience: history, culture, art, and nature come together on this magnificent route. Thousands of people around the world arrive in the north of Spain every year, to walk and live this unforgettable adventure.

We will ride on what is known as the “Camino Frances”, which starts in the north of Spain in Roncesvalles and continues 760 kilometres, ending in Santiago de Compostela.

There are ten riding stages that vary in distance from 60 to 106 kilometres.

The riding is not technical and we will be fully-supported on each stage. We have planned a quiet ride, stopping to explore the amazing sites and hidden corners along the way.

  • Dates
    On Demand
  • Duration
    12 days
  • Stages
    9
  • Length
    760 km
  • Elevation
    12.500 m
  • Difficulty
    Medium
  • Price
    1.390 €

THE TRACK

THE STAGES

DAY 01

Roncesvalles

Riders should arrive at Pamplona Noain Airport (PNA) by 6:00 p.m. or arrive directly in Roncesvalles.
Accomodation is in a hostel in Roncesvalles. This evening we will put the bikes together and have a welcome dinner.

DAY 02 – STAGE 01

Roncesvalles – Puente la Reina – 68 km | 1.000 m

We begin our tour in Roncesvalles where a granite cross at the side of the road shows us the beginning of the Camino de Santiago. The road takes us through small rural villages typical of Navarra: Espinal, High Mesquiriz and Vizcarret between tree-lined roads, through forests and down fast descents. El Camino then leads us to Villava (the birthplace of the legendary cyclist Miguel Indurain) and across the Ulzama Rover, and over an ancient medieval bridge in Arre. Near the river we can see the Romanesque Church of the Trinity built in the XIII century as well as an old hospital.
We arrive in Pamplona after passing through the neighborhood of La Maddalena and after visiting the gothic Cathedral (XIV-XV century) of Santa Maria la Real. We continue to Cizur Menor and his small church. After, the route continues to climb up to Alto del Perdon at 1037 metres. On its ridge we can see modern wind power turbines and from here we descend to Obanos on a steep descent. Aftrer the last downhill of the day we will reach Puente la Reina.

DAY 03 – STAGE 02

Puente la Reina – Logroño  – 74 km | 1.400 m

We leave Puente de la Reina on the medieval bridge which gives the town its name. We pass the village of Cirauqui and its cobbled main street which leads to the square and a church from the thirteenth century. We cross the Gothic bridge of Lorca to get to Villatuerta, known for its church and numerous chapels. We visit Estella which was founded at the end of the eleventh century. We then ride from Estella to the Monastery of Irache where we encounter the famous Fountain of the Wine. After a sip of wine we continue through the vineyards.
We continue on dirt tracks with ups and downs until the fortified town of Viana, the last town of Navarre, with its astonishingly large church. We enter the region of La Rioja, spotting Logroño at the horizon.
We enter Logroño the bridge of San Juan de Ortega over the Ebro River. After a short rest at the hotel and a good local dinner and wine tasting, we will stroll around the city to visit the Cathedral of Santa Maria la Redonda.

DAY 04 – STAGE 03

Logroño – Belorado – 75 km | 1.200 m

We leave Logroño for Navarte, a beautiful town with narrow streets. We climb to the Alto de San Anton and then go down to Nájera to visit the monastery of Santa Maria la Real, with a sculpture of the Virgin on an eleventh century altar.
We arrive in Azofra where we see a vast plain and the track that runs along the river Oja leading us to Cirueña .
We arrive in Santo Domingo de la Calzada after a gentle descent where we visit a Cathedral built in different styles. The facade of the square was completed in neoclassical style but it has a curious renaissance style chicken coop in memory of the legend of a rooster who sang even after being killed and cooked. At the exit of the village, opposite the Monastery of St. Francis, there is a modern monument dedicated to the pilgrims. We leave the town crossing the twenty-four archers bridge on the Oja river, built by the St. Francis himself .
We are now in Grañon, the last town of La Rioja and we enter the region of Castilla via Cedecilla del Camino. After passing Castildelgado we arrive in Viloria de la Rioja, the birthplace of Santo Domingo de la Calzada. Here we arrive at Belorado and the end of today’s stage.
After resting at the hotel we can visit the Church of San Pedro and Santa Maria.

DAY 05 – STAGE 04

Belorado – Castrojeriz  – 95 km | 1.100 m

We leave Belorado and ride through typical villages of the Way as Tosantos, Villabistia, Espinosa del Camino and Villafranca Montes de Oca.
We begin the ascent to Monte de Oca, populated by pine woods, it will be the last shade the Camino offers us until the mountains of León. Further on, we visit the fountainhead of Mojapán and reach the Puerto de la Pedraia.
After a quick descent we arrive in San Juan de Ortega, an area with a strong medieval spirit. We can visit the Monastery de los Jerónimos, the chapel of St. Nicolas and the old hospital.
Next, we arrive in Atapuerca, known for its caves and prehistoric sites. Leaving the town we tackle a big uphill,  passing through Villabal and then, Burgos.
After we have rested and eaten in Burgos, we visit the monumental Cathedral of the fifteenth century.
We leave Burgos to discover the big plateau known as the “meseta”, passing through Villalbilla, Tardajos Rabe de la Calzadas y Hornillos del Camino.
We arrive in Castrojeriz where we spend the night.

DAY 06 – STAGE 05

Castrojeriz – Sahagún – 83 km | 700 m

Before continuing our trip we visit the pilgrim route that goes around the Castle Hill. We see the Gothic church of Santa Maria del Manzano, the church of San Juan and its beautiful cloisters.We face an uphill to get to Alto de Mosterales and follow the wide, flat land of Pisuerga which divides the provinces of Burgos and Palencia.
The Way leads us to Itero de la Vega and Bodilla with its huge church.
We travel in parallel to the Canal de Castilla and arrive at one of its weir, an impressive work of hydraulic engineering from the eighteenth century.
We get to Mista and visit the church of San Martín, one of the ‘pearls’ of the Way. The Gothic churches of San Pedro and Santa María del Castillo also deserve our admiration. At Carrión de los Condes we can visit the Templo de Santa María la Blanca. We continue on dirt roads to get to Sahagún, where we spend the night.

DAY 07 – STAGE 06

Astorga – Villafranca – 80 km | 1.600 m

We leave behind Astorga and pass through the cobbled streets of Castrillo de Polvazares to get to Rabanal del Camino where we begin the legendary climb to the Cruz de Ferro at 1,525 metres. A huge mountain of stones left by pilgrims supports the cross at the top of the pass. We then continue our on the Way and pass through an abandoned village called Manjarín in the Bierzo region.
We begin a steep downhill that leads us to Acebo, Riego de Ambro, Molinaseca, finally arriving in Ponferrada 500 meters above sea level .
This village has grown around an iron bridge built by the pilgrims. Its control was entrusted to the Templars, who built the Castle of the Temple in the twelfth century. We enter the plaza Major for the Torre del Reloj, a remnant of the medieval walls, and take a look at the Baroque Town Hall . We continue to other towns: Fuente Nuevas , Camponaraya and Cacabelos that had five churches and three hospitals testimony to its importance in the past as a station along the Way .The last effort of the day leads us to Villafranca del Bierzo. It is dominated by a hill topped with the castle of the Marquis of Villafranca in front of which we find the Sanctuary of Santiago. On another hill, above the Plaza Major, there is the church of San Francesco, founded by the saint himself.

DAY 08 – STAGE 07

Villafranca – Sarria – 83 km | 1.900 m

We leave Villafranca and start the climb to Ambasmestas, Herrerías and La Faba. From here we begin a steep uphill of 5 km with 525 meters of elevation gain. Riding through the Laguna de Castilla we enter O Cebreiro. We are now in Lugo, with the Galicia and its distinctive landscape in front of us. We continue on the Way to Liñares and Hospital de la Condesa, with continuous up and down we go through Padornelo and a final climb brings us to Alto del Poio at 1,350 metres. Countless villages adorn the Galician Way. Among them, Triacastela stands out for the length of its main street and its Church of Santiago with its Baroque tower. Riding on minor roads and forests we cross San Xil, Fontearcuda, Furela, Pitín y Calvor to finally arrive at Sarria. There are ruins of a castle from the fourteenth century, the Romanesque church of El Salvador, the old Hospital of San Antonio and the convent of Los Mercedarios, and the Gothic church, all part of its heritage. We spend the night in a cozy hostel.

DAY 09 – STAGE 08

Sarria – Melide – 58 km | 1.300 m

We leave Sarria and enter into a magical part of the Camino which crosses mystical forests that pass through charming villages like Puerto Leiman, Cortinas, Erea, Morgade, and finally, Portomarín . The ancient village lies near an artificial lake, with its medieval bridge. The new Puertomarín was rebuilt stone by stone, the church of San Nicolás. The facade of San Pedro and part of two Renaissance palaces have also been preserved. We exit town through a narrow metal bridge to follow our trail, which runs through an array of small villages, chapels, crosses, fountains and shelters for pilgrims and continues to climb up to Alto del Rosario, where the pilgrims use to recite a rosary before arriving in Palas do Rei .
Along a stretch of ancient pilgrim road, we cross authentic villages that bring us back to the middle ages.
After arriving at our hotel in Melide, we will have the opportunity to taste the famous “pulpo a la Gallega”.

DAY 10 – STAGE 09

Melide – Santiago – 57 km | 1.500 m

Today is the last stage of our pilgrimage. We will follow different types of terrain today, including field roads, forest tracks, trails and quiet roads. After passing Bonete and Castañeda we arrive in Arduous, the last town of the Camino, with its typical elongated shape. We cross the main street and see the church of Santa María Magdalena and Santiago. We leave the town across the fuente de los Franceses to continue until Pereiriña, Tavernabella, Calzada, Salceda, Xen, and Sirere Amenal. We come to Labacolla on a beautiful trail through the woods.
We continue through Villamayor, San Marcos and El Monte de Gozo, with one last climb of the Camino up to Santiago de Compostela.
We enter the city on bike in the old town heading to the Plaza del Obradoiro, where we will find the Cathedral, our final destination.

DAY 11

Transfer to Santiago Airport. End of services

YOUR GUIDE

Julian Bueno Risco

Julian Bueno Risco

Travel Logistic Coordinator & Guide

Julian Bueno is a geographer, photographer, traveler, digital-map-maker, bike lover and route & event designer. In this way, and as an active and passionate person, Julian has collaborated and published several spanish mountain bike guide books and he is an active member of the Spanish Mountain Bike School (EEMTB). He likes to share his passions and to discover new routes and friends, spending also time steering many people through different cycling destinations. Overall, he feels movement as part of his life and he used to participate in marathon, roller skates challenges and general long distance events. You can chat with him about life, GPS secrets and innovative cycling gadgets. Now, he is part of the Projecting Adventure Cyclism.

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