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Vuelta a España 2024 / Week 2 – Galicia and the Camino de Santiago

(1 Review)
La Vuelta / Racing Spain
From€3,250
La Vuelta / Racing Spain
From€3,250
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9 days / 8 nights
Availability : August 25th to September 2nd 2024
Madrid
Madrid

Spectacular tour in Galicia and along the Camino de Santiago: mountains, gastronomy, historical heritage and #LAVUELTA24.

Level

Overview

Experience the passion and excitement of ourLa Vuelta” cycling trip to Spain during the second week of the race in Galicia, as it travels along the Camino de Santiago.

The second week of La Vuelta features a brand new summit finish on the Puerto de Ancares, whose incredibly steep, extended ramps have the potential to break the race wide open! The week finishes with the lesser-known climb up the fearsome Cuitu Negru, which boasts maximum gradients of 23%. We’ll have the opportunity to cycle the route of La Vuelta for ourselves mere hours before the pro cyclists, before heading to our VIP seats at the finish line to watch a peloton full of cycling stars fight for first place.

Our tour will take us through Spain’s lush, green northeast, exploring the charming seaside resort town of Baiona, once a stronghold against pirates; the monumental town of Villafranca del Biers, with its medieval churches and palaces; and the historic city of Astorga, whose heritage includes Roman, medieval and Templar remains. Along the way, we will encounter three different Ways to Santiago: the popular Camino Francés, the Camino Portugués, and the Vía de la Plata.

The Vuelta is the most intimate of the three major professional cycling tours: the relaxed atmosphere and easy access to the professional cyclists and their teams make it a very special cycling experience. Accommodation in luxury 4* and 5* hotels; VIP access to restricted race areas; logistical support from our van at all times; carefully-selected guided cycling routes; as well as the company of our experienced guides, guarantee that your La Vuelta experience will be not only a spectacular cycling experience, but also a fantastic gastronomic and cultural tour. We are confident that our La Vuelta bike tour will be a trip that you will never forget.

Highlights

  • Discover the historic towns of Baiona, Villafranca del Bierzo and Astorga.
  • Bike the ancient Camino de Santiago, the world’s oldest tourist trail.
  • Cycle beautiful routes along traffic-free mountain roads and coastal paths, taking in glorious views.
  • Enjoy VIP access to the stage starts and finishes, with privileged views of the race.
  • Close contact with professional teams and riders.
  • Taste the very best Spanish cuisine and wines, staying in luxury hotels.

Itinerary

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Day 1: Sunday, August 25th. Madrid.
Arrival day
Accommodation: Hotel Catalonia Goya  

Arrival at leisure in Madrid. Today, we’ll enjoy some free time to get to know Spain’s elegant capital.

If you would like some assistance to help you make the most of your time in Madrid, please contact our Bike Spain Tours team for their recommendations. 


Day 2: Mon
day, August 26th. Baiona
Accommodation: Parador de Baiona
Meals included: Breakfast and dinner

In the morning, we’ll take a fast train up to Ourense, before continuing to Baiona by private transfer. Once there, we’ll spend some time at leisure exploring the city’s atmospheric historic centre and quaint fishing port. The town’s most important historic building is the Castelo de Monterreal, a medieval fortress that still retains the cannons once used to defend the town from pirates, and which offers fabulous views over the bay from the parapet. Nowadays, it is a luxury hotel; our hotel for the night, in fact!

In the afternoon, we’ll take some time for the bike fitting, and to introduce our team and explain how the tour will work. Next, we’ll take our bikes out for a spin before getting to know each other over a delicious dinner.


Day 3: Tues
day, August 27th. Baiona
Accommodation: Parador de Baiona
La Vuelta: Stage 10: Ponteareas > Baiona
Route: 74km / +1123m
Meals included: Breakfast

Today’s cycle route takes us around the Bay of Baiona, following the Atlantic coast in a fast, flat ride all the way down to the Río Miño, which demarcates the border between Spain and Portugal. Next, we’ll tackle the climb up Alto de Groba, the highest peak in the surrounding Serra de Groba, from where we can enjoy spectacular views over the beaches of the Bay of Vigo, all the way out to the Cíes Islands.

In the afternoon, we’ll head back to Baiona in time to take our VIP seats at the finish line of today’s Vuelta stage, and wait excitedly for the peloton to arrive!

Non-cyclist option: Enjoy a daytrip by boat to the beautiful Cíes Islands, an uninhabited nature reserve famous for their crystal clear waters and white sand beaches. Alternatively, hike up to Monte Santa Tecla, a breathtaking cape with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, and a Celtic hillfort dating back over two millennia.


Day 4: Wednesday, August 28th. Leiro
Accommodation: Eurostars Monasterio San Clodio 
La Vuelta: Stage 11: Campus Tecnológico Cortizo > Campus Tecnológico Cortizo
Route: 93.5km / +1797m
Meals included: Breakfast

Pack your bags, we’re going to Leiro!

We’ll spend the morning following the course of the Río Tea from Pontevedra into the province of Ourense, immersing ourselves fully in the millennial Galician culture. We’ll pass by ancient Celtic fortifications, cycle up forested mountainsides, and enjoy spectacular views of the endless vineyards that line the river Miño, before finishing in the tiny hamlet of Feá. Keep your eyes peeled for hórreos: traditional raised granaries made of stone, frequently seen outside rural Galician houses.

After finishing our cycle route for the day, our van will take us to the Campus Tecnológico Cortizo, where we’ll have great views of the finish line from our VIP seats! Once the last rider has crossed the line, we’ll transfer to tonight’s accommodation, a beautifully renovated 12th century Cistercian monastery.

Non-cyclist option: Enjoy a peaceful walk along the banks of the River Avia, following an old Roman road through vineyards and woodland, exploring the ruins of abandoned villages, claimed by time and the forest.


Day 5: Thurs
day, August 29th. Villafranca del Bierzo.
Accommodation: Parador Villafranca del Bierzo
La Vuelta: Stage 12: Ourense > Estación de Montaña de Manzaneda
Route: 85km / +2269m
Meals included: Breakfast and dinner

Today we’re plunging further into spectacular rural Galicia, following today’s La Vuelta stage from Luintra along the breathtaking Sil Canyon, all the way to the finish line at the Estación de Montaña de Manzaneda.

The Sil Canyon winds its way through the Ribeira Sacra, offering some of the most spectacular views in Galicia. The steep sides of the canyon are lined with grape vines, producing the Protected Denomination of Origin Ribeira Sacra wine, as well as native cork oaks and strawberry trees. Against this verdant backdrop, we’ll be able to spot majestic clifftop monasteries, perched in quiet contemplation far from the madding crowd.

After a beautiful ride along the verdant slops of the Sil Canyon, we’ll arrive at today’s Vuelta finish line at the Estación de Montaña de Manzaneda, and applaud the pros as they crest the summit finish that we ourselves conquered mere hours previously.

Finally, we’ll make our way to tonight’s accommodation, located in the beautiful mountainside town of Villafranca del Bierzo. The town boasts a long and storied history, and is replete with churches and monuments, testament to its importance as a stop on the ancient Camino de Santiago route.

Non-cyclist option: Spend the day exploring the beautiful Sil Canyon by van and on foot, enjoying majestic views over the river gorge.


Day 6: Fri
day, August 30th. Villafranca del Bierzo.
Accommodation: Parador Villafranca del Bierzo
La Vuelta: Stage 13: Lugo > Puerto de Ancares
Route: 122km / +2720m
Meals included: Breakfast

Our bike ride today will take us from Villafranca del Bierzo along the ancient Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route towards the town of Cacabelos. From here, we’ll head north into the Ancares Leoneses Biosphere Reserve, an unspoilt natural paradise in the Cordillera Cantábrica mountain range, protected by UNESCO. The rugged mountains and deep valleys are home to endangered species such as the brown bear and capercaillie, and are dotted with the remains of ancient cultures.

A challenging climb takes us up to the endpoint of today’s La Vuelta stage at Puerto de Ancares. We’ll get our breath back as we wait for the pros to make their way up to the summit finish, before hopping back on our bikes and heading back down to Villafranca del Bierzo.

Non-cyclist option: Explore the ancient Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route! The bravest hikers can tackle the legendary ascent to O Cebriero, while those looking for a more relaxed walk can head towards Ponferrada. Alternatively, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Médulas del Bierzo, an immense network of Roman-era goldmines that have created an otherworldly landscape.


Day 7: Saturday, August 31st. Astorga.
Accommodation: Hotel Eurostars Vía de la Plata
La Vuelta: Stage 14: Villafranca del Bierzo > Villablino
Route: 80km / +2720m
Meals included: Breakfast and dinner

Today, our route will take us along the Camino de Santiago to another important pilgrim city: the monumental Astorga!

Today, we’ll be watching the start of the stage from Villafranca! We’ll use our VIP passes to join in with the behind-the-scenes excitement before the beginning of the day’s stage, taking selfies with our favourite pro cyclists and chatting to their teams.

Once the final cyclist has disappeared off into the distance, we’ll follow the ancient pilgrim route through Castile and León to Astorga, cycling along the same path that countless pilgrims have followed to Santiago over the centuries. Along the way, we’ll pass through cities such as Ponferrada, historically a stronghold of the Knights Templar and still dominated by their imposing 12th century castle and charming medieval villages such as Molinaseca and Rabanal del Camino. The highest point of today’s route is also the highest point of the Camino de Santiago, where we will find the famous Cruz del Ferro, where pilgrims traditionally leave a small stone as a symbol of leaving behind their burdens before arriving in Santiago.

Located at the convergence of the Camino de Santiago and the Vía de la Plata, Astorga offers a rich medieval legacy of churches, convents and hospitals. More recently, the Bishop’s Palace by Modernist architect Antonio Gaudí has taken its place amongst the city’s impressive list of attractions.

Non-cyclist option: Walk one of the most iconic stretches of the Camino de Santiago, passing the Cruz del Ferro, a sacred spot to many pilgrims, and enjoying spectacular views as we cross the León Mountains.


Day 8: Sunday, September 1st. Madrid

Accommodation: Hotel Catalonia Goya  
La Vuelta: Stage 15: Inifiesto > Valgrande-Pajares
Route: 26km / +1545m
Meals included: Breakfast

Today we’ll tackle one of La Vuelta’s most legendary climbs: the fearsome Ciutu Negro! With gradients of up to 23%, this peak is one of the most challenging of the whole race. We’ll ride the same route as the pro cyclists in a 26km climb up to the peak, before settling into our VIP seats to watch the exciting summit finish of a stage which has the potential to crack the race wide open!

After cheering on our favourites one last time, we’ll climb onto the podium for a photo shoot – just like the pros! Once our VIP Vuelta experience has come to an end, we’ll travel back to Madrid by private transfer.

Non-cyclist option: Spend the day exploring the historic city of León, which dates back to 68 BC. Wander through the narrow streets of the city’s “barrio Húmedo” and sample the fabulous local gastronomy, before admiring the spectacular Gothic cathedral, whose stained-glass windows are widely regarded as the most beautiful in all of Spain. 


Day 9: Monday, September 2nd. Madrid
Departure day

After breakfast, our tour will come to an end.

Your Bike Spain Tours guides will be available to help you with your onward travel plans and any other details to make sure you have a perfect trip back home!

Hotel

 

Hotel Catalonia Goya

hotel-catalonia-goya

Sleep in Madrid’s Golden Mile at the Catalonia Goya hotel in the heart of the Salamanca neighbourhood. 

The hotel has recently refurbished rooms with a contemporary design, an urban pool ideal for cooling off on a hot day, and a gym to keep up with your workouts. Each morning you will enjoy an extensive buffet breakfast with a cooking show and you can stop off at the Gastrobar anytime for Mediterranean-inspired dishes that can also be served in your room.

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Parador de Baiona

To the south of the Rías Baixas, protected by the sea and with views over the beautiful Bay of Baiona, is the peninsula of Monterreal. There, we find the Parador de Baiona: a historical castle with spectacular views of the ocean.

A mix between a medieval castle and a Galician stately home, the Parador offers regal and elegant rooms, carefully decorated to will take you back in time to another age. Outstanding features include the majestic stone stairway in the reception area and a huge garden, equipped with a large swimming pool, from where you can view the entire bay.

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Hotel Eurostars Monumento Monasterio San Clodio

eurostars-monasterio-san-clodio

This beautifully renovated 12th-century Cistercian monastery is set in gardens and provides an historic setting for your visit to Galicia’s Ribeiro wine region.

Eurostars Monumento Monasterio de San Clodio Hotel & Spa is set around two cloisters built in a Baroque and Renaissance style. Since its renovation, the interior combines the impressive original stonework with subtle modern design and state-of-the-art lighting. Spacious, air-conditioned rooms feature high ceilings, stone walls and views over the surrounding vineyards and woodland.

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Parador de Villafranca del Bierzo

parador-villafranca-del-bierzo

Villafranca del Bierzo es un pueblo lleno de iglesias, monasterios y conventos. Justo a la entrada del pueblo se encuentra este edificio histórico reconvertido en un Parador.

El alojamiento turístico de referencia en la fascinante comarca de El Bierzo. Está rodeado de montañas cubiertas de cerezos e higueras, laderas salpicadas de castaños, chopos y pequeñas granjas.

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Hotel Via de la Plata Spa

Eurostars Vía de la Plata was built over the stones of what was the Convent of San Francisco. This charming hotel combines the flavour of history with a design that stands out for its spacious rooms and its contemporary nuances.

Rooms feature parquet floors and smart, elegant décor.  The hotel has a spa with views, where you can rest and renew your body and mind.

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Photos

What’s Included

Included

  • 8 nights accommodation in four-star hotels
  • Buffet breakfasts
  • 3 dinners included
  • Support vehicle to provide technical assistance and offer refreshments and snacks
  • Bilingual and experienced Bike Spain Tours guides
  • La Vuelta VIP tickets - exclusive access
  • Special gifts: Bike Spain Tours handle bar bag, water bottle, luggage tags and a bike jersey
  • Travel insurance with medical assistance
  • Gratuities for baggage, restaurants and hotel service

Not Included

  • Lunches and 5 dinners

Options

  • Single suppl.: 580€
  • Extra nights: Ask for price.

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VUELTA A ESPAÑA 2024 / WEEK 2 – GALICIA AND THE CAMINO DE SANTIAGO

3.250,00

Spectacular tour in Galicia, along the Camino de Santiago
Pay a deposit of 500,00 per item
SKU: VUE18WK2 Category:
Description
Additional information

Description

Included

  • 8 nights accommodation in 4* and 5* hotels (based on double room occupation)
  • Buffet breakfasts
  • 3 dinners with wine
  • Support vehicle to provide technical assistance and offer refreshments and snacks
  • Bilingual and experienced Bike Spain Tours guides
  • Special gifts: Bike Spain Tours handle bar bag, water bottle, luggage tags and a bike jersey
  • Travel insurance with medical assistance
  • Gratuities for baggage, restaurants and hotel service

Not Included

  • Lunches and 5 dinners
  • Airport transfers

Additional information

Dates

25 Aug to 2 Sept 2024

1 Review
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David Pinto-Carpenter

Solo Traveller

I had an incredible time and can’t wait to head out with Pablo and Niki again. I was so happy to get some good time on the bike again (on a great bike too!) I will be sure to take the survey and recommend to all my friends

August 22, 2019

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