The Camino de Santiago is an ancient pilgrimage through Northern Spain that culminates in the town of Santiago de Compostela, where according to legend, the remains of Saint James the Apostle are buried. Whether for spiritual enlightenment or to witness a beautiful part of the world, no one has left the camino unchanged.
Our tour begins in Pamplona, famous for the Running of the Bulls. Rolling through the storied hills of the Spanish Pyrenees, never-ending vistas of grape vines signal the transition into the wine-rich region of Rioja. We’ll sample from the Pilgrims’ Wine Fountain, tour the Gothic cathedral in Burgos and the tomb of Spain’s most famous son, El Cid. We’ll ride into Castilla Leon with wide open plains, farmland and grassy hills as far as you can see. Take a day to relax and explore the capital of Leon, an ancient, amazing city (the cathedral’s stained-glass windows are massive — the second largest collection in Europe — and took 300 years to complete)!
Ride to Galicia’s mountains and forests near the end of your pilgrimage. Closer to Santiago, the number of pilgrims on the trail increases; they’ve been walking for a month! The awesome sight of the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela signals the completion of our adventure. We’ll have a farewell dinner to celebrate and bid your fellow pilgrims “Buen Camino.”
Have limited time but still want to experience the amazing Camino de Santiago? Check out our 7‑day Medio Camino de Santiago ride.
Is This Ride For You?
You love riding breathtaking terrain, eating like royalty, being immersed in a different culture, and you are curious to learn more about the history and unbelievable architecture in Spain. This is the right ride if you want to understand the real you and connect to ancient tradition through a modern-day pilgrimage. While the latter is harder to explain, all that finish this pilgrimage express a deeper meaning of their self as the takeaway. Most days are manageable for energetic and fit novice mountain bikers. Technical skills are not required beyond a basic level of bike handling. You should be comfortable spending 4 hours in the saddle each day and you will cover about 60 kilometres on average each day. This is not your typical bike trip, your mountain bike is a tool to help you journey through the past and experience the life of a pilgrim. Terrain includes a variety of gravel roads, paved trails, doubletrack and singletrack.
Day 1. Meet up in Pamplona
Meet us this afternoon in the salon at Hotel Europa, your lodging for tonight and tomorrow. After introductions and an overview of the week, we’ll head out for a delicious tapas dinner to kick off the journey and welcome you to Spain!
Day 2. Ride Roncesvalles to Pamplona
This morning, we’ll transfer to Roncesvalles on the French border in the Spanish Pyrenees and head for the pilgrims’ office. We’ll get your Pilgrim’s Passport and your first official Camino de Santiago stamp.
Then, we’ll ride out of the mountains, through the village near where author Ernest Hemingway fished the streams for trout before enjoying lunch in Zubiri, next to the river where Martin Sheen drops his backpack in the movie “The Way”.
We’ll ride the paved path next to the river back to our starting point in Pamplona.
Enjoy dinner in an unforgettable setting, hosted by Nunci, owner of Restaurant San Ignacio.
Day 3. Pamplona to Estella
This morning we’ll ride out of the ancient city of Pamplona past the Town Hall, the start line for the running of the bulls. A ridge line of windmills draws closer as we climb to the viewpoint at Alto de Perdo. Enjoy a long downhill all the way to lunch in Puente La Reina where we will have a picnic under a bridge built by the Romans over a thousand years ago. Wind your way into Estella, through small towns and the beginnings of vineyards.
Explore the town before savouring a dinner prepared by one of the most passionate chefs in all of Spain.
Day 4. Estella to Logrono
This morning we’ll ride up, down, and all around, dipping and diving through the vineyards of Rioja. Little pueblos spot the countryside; walkers scatter across wide-open fields and storks nest on the church in Los Arcos, signaling our picnic spot for lunch.
We’ll ride the paved trail into Logrono, lined with statues welcoming us and saluting the efforts of the pilgrims.
Tonight, relish the hustle and bustle of wealthy Logrono and the “foodie nirvana” of the Tapas Tour.
Day 5. Logrono to Santo Domingo de la Calzada
Making our way out of the city of Logrono, we’ll take the trail past a popular fishing spot and ride past a vineyard with an unusual scarecrow: a bird-of-prey sound machine to keep the crows away.
Explore Naverette’s hilltop church, with a breathtaking surprise inside. Traverse the vineyards of a large regional co-op. Bask in the sun at the lunch stop in Najera, next to the river in the heart of town.
Do your best not to overeat (good luck!)
Tonight’s dinner in The Parador in Santo Domingo de la Calzada — a former pilgrim’s hospital — is always stunning.
Day 6. Santo Domingo de la Calzada to Burgos
We’ll take an epic route today: Santo Domingo to San Juan de Ortega to witness the ecosystem change from grassy farmland to mountains and trees.
We’ll Pass through Atapuerca, the UNESCO World Heritage site where caves cradled the remains of the earliest-known human beings in Europe.
Be welcomed by the high-plains city of Burgos and its over-the-top Gothic cathedral. Tonight, the gravel-voiced waiter and his perfect steaks at Meson La Cueva come highly recommended.
Day 7. Burgos to Carrion de los Condes
Pedal wide gravel paths meandering across high plains. Skies as big as Montana’s fill the landscape as we make our way to the warm hospitality of La Taberna for a hearty and well-earned lunch.
Count the kilometres through more wide-open space and waves of grass broken by stone villages from Fromista to Carrion de Condes.
Day 8. Carrion de los Condes to León
We’ll hit the halfway point in the journey just before lunch today. Watch birds of prey hunt over the corn fields as you pedal toward Leon.
The high-speed train to Madrid will zip by, full of people preparing to start their pilgrimage there. Stay right in the ancient city, just a couple of blocks from the cathedral and ice cream shops beckon after a long day in the saddle.
Feast on Italian fare tonight, the friendly staff at Baccolino will make you want to come back again every day for the rest of your life.
Day 9. Enjoy León
The sights. The sounds. The shopping! Enjoy a well-earned day off the bike in Leon.
Shopping, massages, sightseeing, relaxing — all await today. It’s a fun city with centuries of history to explore. Spend the morning walking from cafe to cafe sampling coffee and pastries. Explore the city while doing a little shopping, have lunch outside at a sidewalk cafe or tour the cathedral in the afternoon.
For a little R&R, try the delicious ice cream or have a massage before meeting for dinner in our private dining room at La Posada Regia …there’s lots to fit in on this day off.
Day 10. León to Rabanal del Camino
Back in the saddle, we’ll leave the city behind and roll through Hospital de Orbigo with its well-preserved Roman bridge. After pedalling throughout the morning, we’ll stop for a riverside lunch in sight of the cathedral in Astorga. The house next door — designed by famed Spanish Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi Cornet — is one of his most beautiful private residences.
Next, we’ll head into new scenery on the exit from town: lavender fields and mountain scrub trees.
Spend tonight in the tiny town of Rabanal del Camino, with fewer than 100 year-round residents. Enjoy views of tomorrow’s mountains, beckoning from every window.
Day 11. Rabanal to Villefranca del Bierzo
We’ll start the morning with a brisk climb up to the Cruz de Ferro, the highest point on the Camino de Santiago. Legend has it that if you add a stone that you’ve brought from home, you may leave your burdens here and prepare for rebirth on the remainder of your journey. Didn’t bring a stone from home? It’s okay to bring one from a little closer.
Traverse the ridgeline on the way to a stop at the colourful Refugio in Manjarin. Welcomed by a bunch of friendly dogs and cats, stop for a photo, and refreshments. Enjoy the 20 kilometre downhill to lunch in Molinseca. Visit the Templar castle in Ponferrada before rolling through cherry orchards into Villafranca Bierzo.
Day 12. Villefanca to Sarria
Today is the most mountainous day of the journey. We’ll begin with a mellow 1‑hour ride through a deeply-cut valley leading towards the pass. Settle in for the long steady climb up to Cebriero. What a feeling of accomplishment — and a healthy need for a hearty lunch! The three-course lunch at the top of the mountains will do the job nicely, thank you.
Roll through the hills after lunch, past the Albergue in Tricastella, welcoming cyclists with a bicycle hanging on an exterior wall. Continue riding the path as it slices right through farms — with chickens running everywhere — on the way to the transportation hub of Sarria. Feeling brave? A Fred Flintstone steak can be yours for dinner! Tonight’s restaurant specializes in char-grilling very ample portions to perfection.
Day 13. Sarria to Melide
Deep in the heart of Galicia, the hills are a mixture of forests and centuries-old family farms separated by stacked rock fences. The scent of eucalyptus fills the air; its bark blankets the trail. Portomarin, our lunch town, sits on top of a hill next to a former lake that is now a lush valley.
Tonight, we’ll stay in Melide, just a short 52-kilometres from tomorrow’s destination, the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.
Day 14. Melide to Santiago de Compostela
A certificate and a final celebration! Buen Camino! You’re almost there!
The feeling of enthusiasm is palpable. Cross several small stone bridges over tiny streams on today’s ride. Eucalyptus forest thickens, shading the trail as you near the final hill up to the airport. The last few miles seem endless — then suddenly you arrive at the John Paul II Monument at Monte do Gozo. This signals the first glimpse of the city.
Get your final stamp here, then coast downhill into Santiago. The square in front of the cathedral will be alive with activity. Your fellow pilgrims arriving there congratulate each other and take photos. Set your bike down for a bit. Take time to explore the cathedral – the final stop on your journey – before going to the Compostela Office to get your certificate for completing The Camino de Santiago. Our farewell dinner will be filled with toasts and tales of The Way.
Buen Camino, Amigos!
Tonight’s lodging at Costa Vella is included.
Day 15. Sleep In
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and then head to the airport anytime you wish.