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 Medio Camino (half Camino) begins in León, a city not­ed for its incred­i­ble art, church­es and cathe­drals. Arrive a day before we begin cycling and explore the León cathe­dral. Famous for its stained-glass win­dows, it’s one of the most exten­sive and best-pre­served col­lec­tions in Europe. Leav­ing León, we’ll cycle through the heather-clad moun­tains and beau­ti­ful forests of Gali­cia in north­west Spain, pass­ing some of the most cel­e­brat­ed land­marks and old towns on the Camino. As we draw clos­er to San­ti­a­go de Com­postela, the num­ber of pil­grims on the trail increas­es; they’ve been walk­ing for a month! The incred­i­ble sight of the cathe­dral in San­ti­a­go sig­nals the com­ple­tion of our adven­ture, where we’ll cel­e­brate and bid farewell “Buen Camino!”

Have more time? Check out our 15-day 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 love learn­ing about his­to­ry and unbe­liev­able archi­tec­ture. This is the right ride if you want to under­stand the real you. 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 bike han­dling. You should be com­fort­able spend­ing about 4 hours in the sad­dle each day and you will cov­er about 60 kilo­me­tres on aver­age each day. The ter­rain con­sists of grav­el roads, paved path­ways, dou­ble­track and sin­gle­track trails. 

Itinerary

DAY 1. Wel­come to León

Start your morn­ing with a café au lait and fresh-baked pas­try before strolling through the pic­turesque streets of Leòn. 

Tour the 13th-cen­tu­ry Goth­ic cathe­dral, Cat­e­dral de León, with its tow­ers and fly­ing but­tress­es, before meet­ing for din­ner in our pri­vate din­ing room at the La Posa­da Regia Hotel. You’ll spend the evening get­ting to know your guides and fel­low pil­grims as well as review­ing the week’s itinerary.

DAY 2. León to Rabanal del Camino

After a deli­cious break­fast, we’ll roll through Hos­pi­tal de Orbi­go with its well-pre­served Roman bridge. and stop for lunch in sight of the cathe­dral in Astor­ga. The house next door – designed by famed Span­ish Cata­lan archi­tect Antoni Gau­di i Cor­net – is one of his most beau­ti­ful pri­vate residences. 

Ped­al through laven­der fields and moun­tain scrub trees en route to the tiny town of Rabanal del Camino. With few­er than 100 year-round res­i­dents this tiny town is a unique and wel­com­ing stop along the Camino. 

Enjoy views of tomorrow’s moun­tains, beck­on­ing from every window.

DAY 3. Rabanal to Vil­lafran­ca del Bierzo

Today starts with a morn­ing climb up to the Cruz de Fer­ro, the high­est point on the Camino de San­ti­a­go. Leg­end has it that if you bring a stone from home and leave it at Cruz de Fer­ro, you will leave your bur­dens there 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.

Next, we’ll tra­verse the ridge­line on the way to a stop at the colour­ful Refu­gio in Man­jarin. We’ll be wel­comed by a bunch of friend­ly dogs and cats, stop for a pho­to, and enjoy some refreshments. 

From there, we’ll cycle 20 kilo­me­tres down­hill to lunch in Molin­se­ca and vis­it the Tem­plars Cas­tle in Pon­fer­ra­da before rolling through the beau­ti­ful cher­ry orchards into Vil­la fran­ca de Bierzo.

DAY 4. Vil­lafran­ca to Sarria

Today, we’ll ride the most moun­tain­ous ter­rain along our jour­ney. We’ll begin with a mel­low hour of ped­alling through a deep-cut val­ley lead­ing towards a moun­tain pass. Then, set­tle in for the long steady climb up to the small town of O’Ce­breiro. When you make it to the top, you’ll have a great feel­ing of accom­plish­ment – and a healthy need for a hearty lunch!

We’ll have a deli­cious three-course lunch at the top of the moun­tain to fuel you up for the rest of the day.

After lunch, we’ll roll through the hills, past the Alber­gue (hos­tel) in Tri­a­castel­la that wel­comes cyclists with a bicy­cle hang­ing on an exte­ri­or wall. We’ll con­tin­ue rid­ing through pic­turesque farms on the way to the trans­porta­tion hub of Sar­ria, one of the most pop­u­lar towns on the French Way of the Camino.

Feel­ing brave? A Fred Flint­stone steak can be yours for din­ner! Tonight’s restau­rant spe­cial­izes in char-grilling  to perfection.

Day 5. 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-kilo­me­ters from tomorrow’s des­ti­na­tion, the incred­i­ble cathe­dral in San­ti­a­go de Compostela.

Day 6. San­ti­a­go de Com­postela and the End of Our Journey

You’re almost there! It’s the home stretch.

The feel­ing of enthu­si­asm is pal­pa­ble. This morn­ing, we’ll cross sev­er­al small stone bridges over tiny streams as euca­lyp­tus for­est thick­en around us, shad­ing the trail as you near the final hill. The last few kilo­me­tres seem end­less – then sud­den­ly we’ll arrive at the John Paul II Mon­u­ment at Monte do Gozo.

Monte do Gozo is well known as the place where Chris­t­ian pil­grims on the Camino de San­ti­a­go get their first glimpse of the three spires of their des­ti­na­tion, the Cathe­dral of San­ti­a­go de Compostela.

We’ll get our final stamp in Monte do Gozo before coast­ing down­hill into Santiago.

The square in front of the cathe­dral is always bustling and we’ll spend time explor­ing the Cathe­dral, con­grat­u­lat­ing each oth­er on an amaz­ing jour­ney and snap­ping pho­tos to keep the amaz­ing mem­o­ries alive.

Our farewell din­ner will be filled with toasts and tales of The Way. Tonight, we’ll stay at Hotel Cos­ta Vella.

Buen Camino, Amigos! 

Day 7. Farewell to the Camino

Wake up on your own time, there’s no sched­ule to fol­low today!

Enjoy break­fast (includ­ed) at the hotel before head­ing to the air­port or con­tin­u­ing your trav­els through Spain.  Please note: you are respon­si­ble for arrang­ing air­port transportation. 

Picture yourself here…

Book Medio Camino de Santiago Now

Dates chosen: Sep. 20, 2020—Sep. 26, 2020
Skill Rating: Blue Square
Fitness Rating: Blue Square
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Skill Levels
Green Circle

Typically, green Rides are safe for beginners. Green Rides may have both avoidable and unavoidable obstacles. Trails are generally low grade, wide, consistent surface texture and have minimal features. You are likely to come across unavoidable obstacles 2-inches or shorter, which is small enough for mountain bike tires to simply roll over. More challenging than tarmac, but in general, a wonderful Ride for those riders new to mountain biking or looking for a casual experience.

Blue Square

In general, Blue trails are narrower than green trails, encounter unavoidable obstacles such as roots, rocks, and drops that are up to 8-inches tall. You will want to have a solid understanding of the fundamentals of mountain biking including body positions, powerful braking, cornering, riding on varied terrain, steep sections and experience riding trails that requires line choice. Airtime is not mandatory, but you will find yourself on trails with alternate lines giving you the option.

Black Diamond

The Black Diamond Rides are  suitable for riders looking for that edge. Maybe it’s the edge of a drop, the edge of a cliff, or singletrack requiring focus and fast reactions developed from extensive experience riding “the edge”. You will find yourself on steep trails of varied surfaces. In the Pacific North West that could be slick roots and loam, in Nepal you will find exposed granite in the Mustang Valley and in Guatemala it maybe narrow stairways through cliffside villages. While airtime is rarely required, the ability to find the backside or clean a tabletop should be comfortable or in a state of progress. Obstacles on Black rides are likely to be outside the range of your bikes ability to cover your goofs with its awesome suspension and grip.

Double Black Diamond

A Double Black ride is for those that already know they are looking for a Double Black. It’s going to be very hard and require advanced bike handling skills. You will find yourself on trails with sections most non-riders would look at and say, “that’s totally nuts!”. You will know how to look at a line and contemplate where it will work and where it won’t. Drops of a couple feet should be comfortable and getting your bike off the ground should feel predictable and fun.

Fitness Levels
Green Circle

You should be ready to spend 2-4 hours per day on the bike. Mileage may be up to 30km/20 miles and elevation gain will be under 500m/1500feet. On e-MTB tours, numbers will be higher, however the approximate effort would be considered similar to a standard Green Circle ride. If you get on your bike once a week, you will be just fine. However, when preparing for a Ride, you will benefit from more rides and time in the saddle.

Blue Square

Blue should be considered a good deal more effort than our Green Rides.  You should be able to handle 3 to 5 hours in the saddle covering up to 45km/30miles and be able to pull off a big day of 1000m/3000feet of elevation gain. Managing fuel is important as well.  You should have a good understanding how your body responds to multiple days on the bike. We will help with positive coaching, a manageable pace and plenty of trailside snacks.

Black Diamond

A Black Fitness ride will test you. Aside from needing to be able to manage up to 6 hours on the bike, day after day, including distance up to 50km/30miles and elevation gains up to 1750m/5000feet of climbing, you will be adding extra challenges along the route like periods of hike-a-bike and the extra effort required by the whole body to safely dance with your bike over technical terrain. Generally, riders who are up for a Black Fitness ride, likely spend time on the bike a couple times each week.

Double Black Diamond

A Double Black will be for those with the strength and endurance to get to the top of anything they want and understand the term “turning the screw”. Distance could be quite high on some routes and elevation gain numbers could hit 2000m/6000 feet+ in a day. You are likely riding multiple days a week during the dry periods and have a trainer or belong to a gym for the rest of the year.