Embark on a cycling pilgrimage and follow St James’ Way from León to Santiago’s Gothic cathedral, doing a total of eight stages with an average of 41 km per day. Strike out across the vast plains of central Spain, where Castilla envelops you in wheat and sunflowers. Then move into greener territory, as Galicia swirls round you in rolling hills and colourful vineyards. All the while, the Camino stretches west in an endless chain of monasteries, chapels and tiny hamlets, all seemingly lost in time. Replenish both body and soul along the way with richly diverse cuisine and join fellow pilgrims for a joyful arrival at your final destination: Santiago de Compostela!
E-bikes are available on this tour!
Travel to León by public transport from the airport in Valladolid, Oviedo or Madrid. Take time to see the spectacular cathedral, a Gothic masterpiece, and sample the delicacies in El Humedo, the city's tasty tapas district.
Adjust your freshly-delivered rental bike and try it out on a gentle 48-km ride to Astorga, a fortified town of Roman origin. The Camino crosses the Via de la Plata here and Gaudi’s fanciful archbishop’s palace provides a refreshing touch in Modernist style.
Challenge: 48 km, 250 m ascent
Villages along the way: S. Martín del Camino, Hospital de Órbigo
Test your bike AND legs today as you ascend from Astorga, elevation 880m. Traverse the hilly terrain of El Bierzo, known for its excellent produce, to reach the Cruz de Fierro situated at 1507m. Glide down to Molinaseca on a truly remote section of the Camino, though not without a few villages and small cafés.
Challenge: 49 km, 850 m ascent
Villages along the way: Cruz de Fierro
Relax on a 30-km ride to the town of Vilafranca del Bierzo. Pedal past another Roman settlement, Ponferrada, an ancient base for coal mining in the nearby hills. Gawk at the huge Castle of the Knights Templar, obstinately defying gravity since the 12th century, then continue cycling on rolling terrain to reach Villafranca del Bierzo, gateway to the region of Galicia.
Challenge: 30 km, 260 m ascent
Villlages along the way: Ponferrada, Cacabelos
Brace yourself for the toughest climb of your Camino journey! Cycle into Galicia first on the old tarmac road then attack a steep 6-km section of dirt track going up to O Cebreiro. Or skip the unpaved ascent and take the road via Pedrafita Pass. Both options lead to your next accommodation, in a village full of legends and intriguing Camino stories, with a pretty 11th-century Romanesque church.
Challenge: 29 km, 800 m ascent
Villages along the way: Vega de Valcárcel, Las Herrerías
Begin with a short burst in ascent then cruise along for 35km, mainly downhill, through dense woodlands and lush Galician pastures. Pause to visit the Monastery of Samos, founded in the 6th century and continuously renovated over time until the 18th century.
Challenge: 47 km, 200 m ascent
Villages along the way: Fonfría, Triacastela
Get ready to tackle ever-changing landscapes marked by short climbs, though never more than 200 m in one go. Encounter plenty of enticing places to pause for break: villages, cafés and restaurants, where you can compare notes with fellow pilgrims. At the end, zoom off on a short detour from Palas de Rei to your accommodation, located just a few kilometres from the Camino.
Challenge: 52 km, 600 m ascent
Villages along the way: Portomarín, Hospital da Cruz
Conquer another stage on up-and-down terrain, pedalling from one village to the next. Glide past local dairy farms and villages crammed with services for pilgrims. Rest and relax this evening in a quiet country setting and gear up for tomorrow’s final stage.
Challenge: 31 km, 400 m ascent
Villages along the way: Melide, Ribadixo da Baixo
Revel in pure pilgrim glory today, as you cycle toward the 'Puerta del Perdón' at Santiago Cathedral. Take the standard route via Monte del Gozo and the airport, or opt for a slightly longer, scenic itinerary via Touro. This evening, savour a glass of Albariño wine to celebrate the week’s endeavours.
Challenge: 40 km, 310 m ascent
Villages along the way: A Rua, Lavacolla
Your cycling tour comes to an end today after breakfast. Travel home from Galicia or, if you have booked extra nights, continue exploring Santiago.
The hotels on this trip have been carefully selected for their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite. A list of the hotels we work with appears below. If a certain hotel is unable to confirm due to lack of availability, we will request a similar one and inform you about the alternative booked.
Extra nights: Extra nights can be booked at any accommodation along the way.
Hostel and traditional restaurant located in Piedrafita do Cebreiro
9 nights accommodation
Hotels: 3 nights standard, 6 nights comfort
9 breakfasts and 4 dinners
Detailed route description and maps
24/7 hotline (bilingual staff)
Luggage transfer from hotel to hotel
GPS tracks are available
Arrival in León
By public transport from Asturias airport; Bus from Oviedo (Asturias) airport to León with five or six services daily. Travel time is 3 to 4 hours, and you may have to changes buses in Oviedo or Gijón. See www.alsa.es for further details.
By public transport from Madrid airport; Bus from Madrid-Barajas Airport T4 to León with 4 or 5 services daily. Travel time is 3.5 to 4.5 hours. See www.alsa.es for further details.
Departure from Santiago de Compostela
By public transport to Santiago airport (Lavacolla); Bus from Santiago city centre to Santiago airport, with departures every 30 minutes
By public transport to A Coruña airport (Alvedro); Bus from Santiago bus station to A Coruña, with departures every hour. Travel time 1 to 1,5 hours. Service provided by Castromil / Monbus. From A Coruña bus station, you take a city bus to the airport (Line 443). Service provided by Autos Calpita.