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Cycling the Camino de Santiago - León to Santiago
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Bicycle Tours in Spain: Cycling the Camino de Santiago - León to Santiago

The Camino de Santiago across northern Spain is one of the world's oldest pilgrimage routes. Gothic cathedrals, medieval monasteries, and miles of unspoiled rural scenery are just some of the attractions that draw visitors from around the world annually to make this historic trek. We designed our ride from León to Santiago for those of you who don't have the time to commit to our longer 15-day ride along the Camino; it is also a slightly easier tour with a 301 level rating.

Day 1: Arrive León, Spain

The León Cathedral at night

Highlights: Former capital of Spain, visit the Cathedral without Walls, introductory dinner

We'll meet this afternoon at our hotel in León, just a few meters away from the "Cathedral without Walls." This splendid example of Spanish gothic architecture is renowned for its marvelous stained glass windows. After fitting bikes this afternoon, you can explore town and visit the local sites. Then, we'll gather this evening for dinner together in a traditional Spanish wine bodega and meet others of the group.

Lodging: Hotel NH Plaza Mayor

Day 2: Bicycle León to Astorga

A narrow street in Astorga

Highlights: Visit to cathedral and palace designed by Antonio Gaudí

Our destination today is Astorga, home of the 15th-century cathedral and neo-Gothic palace designed by the famous Catalan architect Antonio Gaudí. You'll have time to explore both this afternoon after our arrival. Dinner is on your own tonight, but we'll suggest some of our favorite restaurants. Distance: 60 km (37 miles).

Lodging: Hotel Via de la Plata

Day 3: Astorga to Cacabelos

Highlights: Scenic cycling through the Spanish countryside, Cruz de Ferro (Don't forget to bring your pebble from home!)

Leaving Astorga, we pedal toward the hills that separate the provinces of León and Galicia. As you pass through tiny hamlets and monuments untouched since early Christianity, it's easy to imagine the awe that original pilgrims making this trek must have felt. By mid-afternoon, we'll arrive at our destination in Cacabelos, where we'll enjoy dinner together. Distance: 75 km (47 miles).

Lodging: Hotel Villa de Cacabelos

Day 4: Cacabelos to O'Cebreiro

O'Cebreiro from above

Highlights: Medieval hilltop village of O'Cebreiro, historic Villafranca del Bierzo, hiking option

It's a beautiful ride today, as we head through the green fields of Galícia. Along the way, you'll pass through the old Camino town of Villafranca del Bierzo, which was founded by French pilgrims during the Middle Ages as a place of absolution for those too weak to continue their pilgrimage. There is the opportunity to cut the ride short and do an optional 8km (5 miles) hike so be sure to pack sneakers or light hikers if you are interested as the trail is fairly steep. Our hotel this evening is in O'Cebreiro. Dinner is together. Distance: 37 km (23 miles).

Lodging: Hotel San Giraldo

Day 5: Bicycle O'Cebreiro to Portomarín

ExperiencePlus! bike tour group having lunch in Samos

Highlights: Rural Galicia's landscapes & Celtic influences

You will get a real taste of Galicia today as we pedal our way to Portomarín. Celts from Ireland settled in Galicia as long ago as the 10th Century B.C., and their impact on local culture and music is evident to this day. If you have been on our bicycle tour through Ireland, you will also notice similarities in agricultural styles between Galicia and western Ireland, with endless green stretches of pasture divided by low stone fences. Dinner is on your own. Distance: 70 km (43 miles).

Lodging: La Pousada de Portomarín

Day 6: Portomarín to Touro

ExperiencePlus! bike tour group having drinks in Portomarín

Highlights: ride over rolling hills, overnight in country manor and B&B

One of the prettiest rides on the tour awaits you today as we meander along forgotten country roads through the beautiful Galician countryside. Rolling hills and green pastures lead us to our destination for the evening near Touro, where we'll stay in one of the traditional country houses (similar to B&Bs) that dot the landscape. Dinner together. Distance: 77 km (48 miles).

Lodging: Pazo de Andeade

Day 7: Santiago de Compostela

Highlights: Arrival in Santiago, Cathedral of St. James, farewell dinner

Today's ride is a fitting end to the Camino, as we pedal along rural roads through woodlands and pastures to Santiago. Once in town, you'll have plenty of time to look around the famous Cathedral of St. James that forms the city's heart. Tonight, we'll celebrate our journey's end with a great farewell dinner together. Distance: 39 km (24 miles).

Lodging: Hotel San Francisco

Day 8: Tour ends in Santiago de Compostela, Spain

The cathedral at Santiago

Highlights: Pilgrim's Mass at noon

Remember that you may not get to Santiago in time for the Pilgrim's Mass at noon on Day 7 so if you'd like to participate plan travel accordingly. There is plenty of Spain left to explore. The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao is not far away and neither is the Minho Wine region that separates Spain from Portugal. Thanks for joining us and buen viaje!
  • Highlights
    Cathedral of St. James, Spanish castles and cathedrals, Continue a Thousand-year-old tradition, León, Basilica de San Isidoro, Pilgrim's Passport
  • Includes
    "The Usual" plus... Use of a quality 27-30 speed bicycle; 8 days, 7 nights accommodation, 6 dinners with wine, all breakfasts
  • Countries
  • Begin/End
    León/Santiago de Compostela
  • Arrive/Depart
    Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD) / Santiago de Compostela Airport (SCQ) or Madrid
  • Total Distance
    360 km (222 miles)
  • Daily Distance
    60 km (37 miles)
  • What to Expect
    Centuries of history, great cycling, charming medieval villages.
  • Rating
    Rolling terrain on most days. Two days have sustained climbs for approximately 5 - 8 miles.
  • Notes
    If this sounds great but you would like a longer tour, check out our Cycling the Camino de Santiago - Roncesvalles to Santiago tour.
  • Terms
Dates Price Single
Notes Next
Jun 05 - 12, 2015 $3795 $550 Book by November 15th and Save $200, per person. Book It
Jun 26 - Jul 03, 2015 $3795 $550 Book by November 15th and Save $200, per person. Book It
Sep 04 - 11, 2015 $3795 $550 Book by November 15th and Save $200, per person. Book It
*We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the single supplement rate. This fee will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available this fee will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.
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Click on the "pins" for details about each day's highlights.

Map Key

Green pinStart
Yellow pinCity (on route)
Red pinEnd
Other city dotCity (not part of route, provided for reference)
Outstanding experience. The guides were exceptional.
Jose A., Miami, FL
The most important trip I have ever taken! Whether it is Spain or any other area...you can''''t go wrong with Experience Plus! "the experience of a lifetime"....I so badly want to go again. I loved the evening meetings...the history of the area shared...the stories and entertainment were beyond GREAT...just their compassion and sincere caring of each and every person was superb! Our bikes were wonderful, they were fit to each of us that our biking would be trouble free...I always thought my bikes were great, but these were the BEST! Our accommodations were special, each night...food unbelievably good as well as the wine!
Jeanne L., Ft Collins, CO
I think National Geographic really summed it up - trip of a life time.
Jan M., Independence, MN
What was your favorite experience on this trip? Riding the Camino every day, the amazing food every evening, leaving rocks at the cruz de ferro arriving in Santiago, the incredibly amazing guides. Amazing, A must-do, Incredible. You spoiled me and I wouldn''t use another tour group for fear of disappointment. The arrows were the best!
Cathy E., Edmond, OK
What was your favorite experience on this trip? The beautiful scenery and seeing the walking pilgrims, chatting with other pilgrims along the way. I enjoyed hearing the residents wish us well.
Betsy M., Colorado Springs, CO
The Camino really is a trip of a lifetime. History, scenery, food ... everything about the trip makes it memorable. The chalk arrows are absolutely brilliant. They take all the worry out of riding and let me go completely at my own pace. On the Camino, they were the Way! I can''t imagine a better experience.
Pam K., Stanford, CA
We absolutely loved every minute of the tour. Thank you to our guides for making sure that Mike had all of the gluten-free food that he needed. They made it a stress free vacation.
Carolyn O., Littleton, CO
I loved the people, the trip, the place, the guides. Fantastic experience!
Garrett E., Donnybrook, Ireland
[My favorite part?] Riding through endless rolling hills day after day in beautiful weather. Encountering at least two quaint and unique villages each day. I can think of nothing I disliked about the trip!
Sara G.
Portland, OR
I loved being so well taken care of by the leaders. The arrows on the street were great. There was no fear of being lost so we could enjoy the country side and really appreciate what was in front of us.
Eunice C.
Roosevelt Island, NY