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. 

*This tour is now oper­at­ed by our sis­ter com­pa­ny Bicy­cle Adven­tures. If you would like to sign up or have ques­tions regard­ing this trip, please click the link above. 

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. 

Itinerary

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 café to café sam­pling cof­fee and pas­tries. Explore the city while doing a lit­tle shop­ping, have lunch out­side at a side­walk café 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.

Picture Yourself Here…

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Dates chosen: May. 14, 2022—May. 28, 2022
Skill Rating: Blue Square
Fitness Rating: Blue Square