Cycling the Portuguese Camino: Porto to Santiago de Compostela

Cycling the Portuguese Camino: Porto to Santiago de Compostela


Pedal along Northern Portugal's rivers, coasts and valleys while learning about the historical figures and cities that played foundational roles in 12th Century Portugal. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Porto and Ponte de Lima and cycling along the Douro, Minho, and Lima rivers. Not only will you pass through three famous wine regions along our route, you will also get a taste of the gastronomic specialties.

Our route crisscrosses the famous Portuguese Camino and finishes in Spain’s Santiago de Compostela. Along the way we follow in the footsteps of royalty such as Queen Isabel of Portugal who, in the 13th Century, was on this same pilgrimage. We’ll travel both the coastal and the traditional interior route to reach the enthralling towns of Barcelos, Ponte de Lima and Baiona, Spain. A generous dose of Southern Europe's hospitality and lifestyle makes this a unique bicycle tour in an undiscovered part of Europe. 

If this sounds good but you prefer a longer tour, join us for the 12-day Cycling the Portuguese Camino: Coimbra to Santiago de Compostela.

Tour Dates & Prices

Date
Price
Private Room Fee
Note
Aug 1-8, 2020
USD$4150
USD$550
Sold Out - Wait List Available
Aug 29-Sep 5, 2020
USD$4150
USD$550
Sold Out - Wait List Available
Jun 19-26, 2021
USD$4150
USD$550
2021 is a Holy Year of Compostela. Book Now and Save $200!
Jul 10-17, 2021
USD$4150
USD$550
2021 is a Holy Year of Compostela. Book Now and Save $200!
Jul 31-Aug 7, 2021
USD$4150
USD$550
2021 is a Holy Year of Compostela. Book Now and Save $200!
Aug 28-Sep 4, 2021
USD$4150
USD$550
Contact Us for Availability.

* 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 private room charge. This charge will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available it will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.

Tour Style: Classic Book This Trip Now Hold-A-Space/Questions Request Custom Date Download Itinerary Tour Map
  • Trip At-A-Glance
  • Tour Summary
  • Daily Itinerary
  • Travel Information
  • Map
  • Reviews
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Trip At-A-Glance

Trip At-A-Glance

  • Length / 8 Days
  • Total Distance / 327 km (153 miles)
  • Avg. Distance / 55 km (34 miles) per riding day
  • Tour Level & Tour Style / 3.0 Classic
  • Countries / Portugal, Spain
  • Begin/End / Porto / Santiago de Compostela
  • Price / From USD$4150
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Tour Summary

Tour Summary

  • Highlights
    UNESCO Towns: Porto, Ponte da Lima and Santiago, Douro, Minho and Lima River valleys, Spanish oysters, historic port of Baiona, Spain, Pimientos del Padrón - in Padrón Spain, Galician countryside cycling, and cycling Portugal's Northern Coast
  • Includes
    8 days, 7 nights’ accommodation, meals as noted in itinerary, Porto wine tasting, city guided tours as described in the itinerary; and the usual (see below).

    Learn more about what is included and what to expect on your Classic tour at the Classic Tour Style page.
  • Arrive / Depart
    Porto / Santiago de Compostela
  • Overall Tour Level
    3.0 difficulty level 3.0
  • Daily Ride Summary

    Day

    Distance/Gain
    mi/ftkm/m

    Terrain

    Day Level

    Notes

    1
    Test ride
    2
    62km / 555m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 2.0
    3
    37km / 472m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 1.5
    4
    79km / 809m
    Hilly
    difficulty level 3.5
    5
    52km / 763m
    Hilly
    difficulty level 3.5
    6
    69km / 1108m
    Very hilly
    difficulty level 4.5
    7
    31km / 545m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 2.0
    8
    Last day

Terrain Legend

Gentle Gentle

Rolling hills Rolling hills

Hilly Hilly

Very hilly Very hilly

Mountainous Mountainous

Daily Itinerary
Download Itinerary

DAY 1: Welcome to Porto

Highlights: Porto

Our tour starts in the magical city of Porto, or Ribeira do Porto as it is known locally. Porto is known for its impressive views of the Douro River and of course port wine production. Take a stroll across the city's iconic metal bridge to its sister city on the south bank, Vila Nova de Gaia, featuring docks lined with famous Porto wineries. Locals will tell you it is the best place to admire Porto from afar!  Enjoy the famous Douro River and the colorful city of Porto, home of proud happy people with a quick smile. Will take our bikes for a test ride today and enjoy dinner together before embarking on our adventure!

DAY 2: Bicycle Porto to Barcelos, Portugal

Highlights: Ride in Portugal's Wine Country

Have you spotted the colorful rooster that is Portugal's unofficial mascot? If not, keep your eye out; the rooster is said to embody the Portuguese love of life and it originates in Barcelos. But, before we get there, we must say goodbye to bustling Porto. We ride out on a bike path that eases us into the peaceful wine country. Expect fun hills and green lush vistas along the way along with plenty of other cyclists with whom to share an "OLÁ."

  • Distance: 62km (39mi)
  • Gain: 555m (1820ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: difficulty level 2.0
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

DAY 3: Bicycle to Ponte de Lima

Highlights: Explore historic Ponte de Lima

Today's ride is short so you can take full advantage of beautiful country roads that lead to the oldest village in Portugal, Ponte de Lima. Often considered the postcard village of Portugal, Ponte de Lima is situated on the banks of Rio Lima and is the heart of the green wine region. It is also home to a very old tradition dating back to Roman or even Phoenician times: Vaca Das Cordas, or "playing with wild cows". Vaca Das Cordas is a type of bull-running through town, followed the next day - generally in July, by the Festa do Corpo de Deus (Corpus Christi), when flowers carpet the streets. Stroll through the picturesque historic center and along an old bridge where you'll likely spot pilgrims walking along the Portuguese Camino de Santiago.

  • Distance: 37km (23mi)
  • Gain: 472m (1548ft)
  • Terrain: Rolling hills
  • Day Level: difficulty level 1.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 4: Bicycle to Baiona, Spain

Highlights: Pedal to Spain, the beaches of Baiona, Columbus’s first port

On March 1, 1493 the first of Columbus's ships touched shore in Baiona. The news of his "discovery" of America soon spread to the rest of Europe. Today's ride follows the coast and Minho river as we pedal north towards this historic port and cross into one of the most beautiful regions of Spain, Galicia. Toast your arrival into Spain with a glass of Albarino or by relaxing on the beach in Baiona.

  • Distance: 79km (49mi)
  • Gain: 809m (2654ft)
  • Terrain: Hilly
  • Day Level: difficulty level 3.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 5: Bicycle the Galician Coast

Highlights: Explore Ria de Vigo, Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Today's ride starts out flanking one of the geographical features that characterizes the Galician coast - a Ría, or a drowned river valley that is open to the sea. Though a Ría is the opposite of a lagoon, they look the same. The ride skirts the city of Vigo and you'll jump on a ferry to cross the Ría de Vigo. In 1702 a landmark naval battle (Battle of Rande) took place outside Vigo, the largest Galician city. The battle between Anglo-Dutch and French-Spanish fleet was over the arrival of Spanish galleons laden with an immense treasure of gold, silver and jewels. Though the story of what happened next varies a treasure hunt for the gold ensued and included Jules Verne's Captain Nemo in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. We'll continue to pedal north to reach Pontevedra, our home for the night. It's worth your time to explore the medieval heart with its old granite houses and spacious squares.

  • Distance: 52km (33mi)
  • Gain: 763m (2503ft)
  • Terrain: Hilly
  • Day Level: difficulty level 3.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 6: Bicycle to Padrón, Spain

Highlights: Scenic views of the Galician Mountains, Padrón Peppers

Leave the water behind today with a short climb to a mountain spine providing glorious views as a reward. It's a perfect day for a picnic. Make sure to seek out some of Padrón's infamous peppers. First brought from South America 400 years ago by monks and then grown in the gardens of a convent in the tiny village of Hébron, Padrón peppers became a quick favorite on local dinner tables - and are now famous throughout Spain. The monks traded the peppers for necessary items and 400 years later, they are still in demand. The peppers are no longer grown by monks but by generations of locals who have adopted both traditional methods and modern technology to offer their product to Spanish and UK markets. Watch out, these peppers are as addictive as popcorn but can catch you by surprise if you find a spicy one!

DAY 7: Bicycle to Santiago de Compostela

Highlights: Santiago, St James Cathedral and the end of the camino.

A short ride through the country side brings us to the larger metropolis of Santiago de Compostela, one of the world's most important religious and spiritual sites thanks to St. James and his shrine. Popular since the Middle Ages as a religious pilgrimage to visit the remains of the martyr St. James, the town and its associated pilgrimage routes continue to attract travelers of all types. Once we arrive, you'll have ample time to discover the famous Cathedral of St. James, the heart of Santiago. Tonight, we'll celebrate our journey's end with a special farewell dinner.



The June 16 (June 20) and August 25 (August 29) departures will stay at the Parador the Santiago.

DAY 8: Tour ends in Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Highlights: Pilgrim's Mass at Noon

We'll offer a tour in Santiago this morning. You might also want to stick around for the Pilgrim's Mass at noon at the Cathedral. If you would like to participate in these activities, schedule flights after 3:30 p.m. Buen viaje!

  • Meals: Breakfast
Travel Information

Travel Information

Day 1: Arrival Information

Welcome to Porto

Meeting time 2 p.m. - on Day 1, meet your fellow cyclists and Tour Leaders at the Day 1 Hotel specified on the itinerary.

Note:

As you are planning, remember that the hotels listed in our itineraries are our primary hotels and are - in rare cases - subject to change. Before you make arrangements, check with us if your tour departure is guaranteed. If your tour departure is out further than 6 months, please also check with us as there might be slight changes to the itinerary.

The below information will help you plan your arrival. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio. The fare and timing information listed below is approximate.

Arriving at Porto Airport (OPO):

  • Taxi to the Day 1 hotel (30 min/EUR 20)

Arriving at the Lisbon Airport (LIS):

  1. Taxi to the Lisboa Oriente Train Station (30 min/EUR 20)
  2. Train from Lisboa Oriente Train station to Porto Campanha (2-3 hours/fares vary)
  3. Taxi from Porto Campanha station to Day 1 hotel (15 min/EUR 15-20)

Look up Portuguese train schedules at CP.pt. Questions? See our information on taking trains in Europe here or ask us.

For more travel planning tips, including our packing lists, visit our Travel Planning Pages.

Day 8: Departure Information

Tour ends in Santiago de Compostela, Spain

The tour ends on the final day after a tour of Santiago this morning. You may also want to stick around for the Pilgrim's Mass at noon. If you would like to participate in these activities, schedule flights after 3:30 p.m.

The below information will help you plan your departure. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio.

We recommend flying out of the Santiago de Compostela Airport (SCQ).

  • A train or bus to Madrid or Barcelona is at least a 9-hour trip.
  • Iberia airlines provides one-way flights to numerous destinations from Santiago.

Flying out of SQL

  • Taxi from the Ending Hotel to the airport (20 min/EUR 21)

Look up Spanish train schedules at Renfe.com or Trainline.eu. Questions? See our information on taking trains in Europe here or ask us.

Pre-Trip Planning Checklist

To Do Today!

3–6 Months Prior to Departure

  • Reserve your flights after you know you have a confirmed tour departure. Please check with our office if you do not know if your trip is confirmed. As you make your plans refer to the Getting To and Away sent to you in your booking confirmation email it provides meeting times and the starting and ending hotels and shuttle information when applicable.
  • Book your pre and post-tour hotel nights. Please refer to the Getting To and Away sheet you received in your Reservation Confirmation Email.
  • 12 weeks before your tour begin your training program www.experienceplus.com/training.
  • Final payment is due 90 days prior to the tour start. Please refer to your Deposit Payment Invoice and the Final Payment Reminder e-mail you have received for detailed instructions.

6 Weeks–2 Weeks Prior to Departure

Day of Your Flight

Get as much sleep on the plane as you can. Pack your Getting To and Away information and one day of cycling gear in your carry-on. See you soon!

What to Expect on Tour

Classic Tour Style

Learn more about what is included and what to expect on your Classic tour at the Classic page.

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