Following the route of ancient pilgrims we cycle sections of the legendary trail to Santiago de Compostela – the resting place of Saint James. The trip follows the last 200 kilometres of the scenic route through northern Spain, starting on the high plains of the Castilian meseta. We ascend into the fertile region of the Bierzo and traverse the rolling hills of Galicia to the delightful city of Santiago.
Join tour Bilbao
Arrive to Bilbao and check into our hotel. You may like to take an evening stroll to visit and view the impressive Guggenheim Museum from the outside.
We drive to Leon (4 hrs), on the high plain of the Northern Spanish Meseta. There will be time to discover the ancient town centre. In the afternoon we start cycling through the expansive Meseta towards Astorga, a major stopping point on the pilgrim trail to Santiago. It houses some fine medieval buildings and a famous bishops palace built by Antonio Gaudi.
Today we are cycling towards the mountainous landscape of Bierzo. Highlights are Castrillo de Los Polvazares, a medieval village, Rabanal del Camino, an outpost built by the Knights Templar and “Cruz de Ferro” (the Iron Cross) at 1.482m the highest point on the entire Camino. After a long downhill stretch we reach our night stop Molinaseca.
We take a bus to O Cebreiro, a tiny wind battered settlement of stone houses above a patchwork quilt of green valleys. After a short visit of this unusual village we cycle towards Triacastela in the rural heart of Galicia and Samos with its delightful Benedictine monastery. An optional, additional cycle ride is possible for those who fancy the climb up to Cebreiro.
From Samos we cycle through the rolling hills of Galicia. We pass through the town of Sarria, traversing a terrain of undulating hills before reaching Portomarin, our nightstop. Within the last 100km of the journey we will encounter a lot more walkers as we get closer to Santiago.
We continue through the pasture-lands of Galicia, between dense forests of chestnut and small isolated villages. In Melide we may try Galician octopus accompanied by an excellent local white wine for lunch – the famous local speciality, later we head on a steady downhill to Arzua.
On our final day’s cycling we eventually arrive at Monte de Gozo, the last hill before Santiago and the point where the pilgrims could finally spot the cathedral of Santiago for the first time. After a stop here we cycle into the heart of the city itself and the gate of the cathedral – journey’s end. Free time to visit.
The tour ends in Santiago de Compostela this morning after breakfast.