Our Camino de Santiago self-guided tour from Leon allows you to follow the ancient pilgrimage trail at your own pace. Starting at the Gothic Cathedral in Leon you will cycle across the rolling plains of Castile-Leon, once the historic seat of the Spanish Empire, over the mountains and into the more isolated and culturally independent Galicia.
Along the 250 km biking trail from Leon to Santiago you will soak up the history of the region, stopover in exclusive lodging and sample authentic cuisine and wine from the Castilian and Galician regions.
Day 1: Leon
Accommodation: Hotel Real Colegiata de San Isidoro
Upon arrival in León you will receive all the material required for your journey at the first hotel. This includes a complete package of detailed documentation with maps, a road book and your touring bike with all accessories.
Day 2: Leon – Astorga
Accommodation: Hotel Via de la Plata
This ride traverses classic Castilian landscapes, complete with holm oaks, golden wheat fields and moderate rolling hills. It’s hard to get lost: the route never strays far from the N120 highway. The scenery along the first half of the route is relatively dry, but gets greener the further west you go. You’ll cross fields full of diverse crops, such as wheat, corn, hops and wine grapes. Wildlife isn’t a big feature of this first part of the trip, though you will see geckos, various birds species and a lot of dairy cows!
Astorga is home to three national monuments and one of the best Romanesque facades.
Day 3: Astorga – Villafranca
Route: 78.8 km
Elevation: +1142 m
Accommodation: Parador de Villafranca del Bierzo
From Astorga, the Camino starts to climb mildly until it meets the first mountain crossing. Once you’ve reached the top of Foncebadón, take it easy and enjoy the sweeping downhill ride with gorgeous views of wine vineyards on either side as you head towards Villafranca. You will stay in the renovated Parador of Villafranca.
The town of Villafranca del Bierzo is was originally founded to give refuge and sanctuary to the pilgrims before initiating the most difficult part of their pilgrimage. The monastery cloister is a Renaissance jewel.
Day 4: Villafranca – Portomarin
Route: 56km (with taxi) / 97.7km
Elevation: +739m (with taxi) / +2156m.
Accommodation: Vistalegre Hotel Spa
Get ready for the most challenging day. From Villafranca the ride heads slowly towards the famed O’Cebreiro stage, the most demanding peak along the western section of the Camino. With a little patience it’s more than possible to reach the top. Yet, there are always taxis available to avoid it. Then it’s downhill all the way to Sarria, and onward via a rolling route to Portomarín. The older neighborhoods of the town once belonged to the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, but now lie submerged, covered by the waters of the Miño River dam.
Day 5: Portomarin – Arzua
Accommodation: Hotel Pazo Santa Maria
Even though the mountain climbs have finished and you gradually loose altitude, the rolling Galician hillside might make you think otherwise. This ride follows the Camino for 55 kilometers (with an optional side trip to a 700 year-old castle) through Galicia’s beautiful countryside. Pilgrams get to visit the Celtic heart of Spain during this stage. At some points, you will have the chance to choose between cycling on minor roads with other pilgrims or on nice trails. You will cycle through small towns such as, Melide, which is known for its specialty – Galician octopus. You’ll have to try it!
Day 6: Arzua – Santiago de Compostela
Accommodation: Parador de Santiago
Don’t let the kilometers fool you. Although the final stage is short, it can be a bit tough. After approximately four hours of riding, cyclists arrive at the Pórtico de la Gloria (“The Façade of Glory”) at the Cathedral of Santiago. After taking a breath and celebrating with others arriving by foot and on horseback, you can visit the Pilgrims’ Office where you can obtain the “Compostela” the document certifying you as an official pilgrim (good for John Wayne jokes in the future!). Accommodation is centrally located, giving you the opportunity to explore the streets and bars of the quaint historic center after dark.
This city, without a doubt, is the most important of the Christian Middle Ages. It is world-renowned and each year thousands of travelers come to visit.
Day 7: Departure
Rest your legs and bask in the glory as you reflect on a truly memorable journey. This is the final day of the tour.
Hotel Real Colegiata de San Isidoro
Located in Leon’s historical center, directly in the heart of one of the most impressive Roman complexes of the Peninsula.
Hotel Via de la Plata
This modern hotel was built in 2011, over the stones of the convent of San Francisco.
The hotels design gave priority to the space in the rooms, the furniture and the welcoming contemporary decoration. If offers the rest you deserve while enjoying the best location in the historic district.
Parador de Villafranca del Bierzo
Villafranca del Bierzo is a town full of churches, monasteries and convents. Right at the town entrance stands this converted historical building, known as a Parador in Spain.
The leading tourist accommodation in the fascinating El Bierzo district. It is surrounded by mountains covered with cherry and fig trees, slopes dotted with chestnuts, poplars and small farms.
Vistalegre Hotel Spa
Recently renovated, Vistalegre Portomarín opened its doors in June 2018 to host guests who look for rest and relaxation.
Hotel Pazo Santa María
This elegant hotel dates back to the first half of the eighteenth century.
The Pazo Santa Maria complex comprises of various historical buildings which in themselves amount to a small village. Pazo Santa María has 16 lovely bedrooms located either in the main building or in the small individual annex cottages.
Parador de Santiago – Hostal Reis Catolicos
The Parador de Santiago is a blend of history, art and tradition. It is the emblem of the city and the prefect nights rest for pilgrims
The hotel is located in Obradoiro Square near the cathedral, creating an area of spectacular beauty in one of the most visited provincial capitals of the world. A stay at this Parador means a visit to a truly unique and exclusive location.
This Camino cycling trip features some of Spain’s most striking scenery and unforgettable architecture: an unbeatable cultural and historical bicycle trip.
Any date up to Oct 32st 2021