Cycling the Camino de Santiago

Self-Guided

OVERVIEW

French Way Cycling: experience the magic of the Camino on two wheels, as a ‘bicigrino’ (a ‘bike pilgrim’) on the first section cycling the Camino de Santiago on the French Way. The famous Camino Francés route, takes you from the city of Pamplona to León.

You will start your ‘bicigrino’ adventure in the city of Pamplona, once home to writer Ernest Hemingway and famous for its San Fermin running of the bulls summer festival. After Pamplona, you will head for the red earth tracks and vineyards of La Rioja. After Burgos and its magnificent Gothic cathedral, you will enter the vast landscapes of the Meseta, dotted with sleepy medieval villages.  You will experience the beauty, culture and history of many Camino cities, towns and villages along the way and meet fellow pilgrims from all over the world.

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Trace Hemingway’s steps in Pamplona
  • Cycle across La Rioja’s famous vineyards
  • Taste some of the best Spanish tapas
  • Marvel at the beauty of Burgos Gothic cathedral

Price $950.00 pp

I OWN BIKE SHORTS (Moderate)
ITINERARY
WHAT'S INCLUDED
DATES/PRICING
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ITINERARY

Day 1 Pamplona   Map of the Camino de Santiago

You will start your Camino de Santiago in the city of Pamplona (Iruña in Basque), famous for its Bull Run, San Fermín, each Summer. Discover this fantastic city: wander its medieval streets, visit the cathedral and taste the superb local food and wine. Ernest Hemingway fans can take a literary tour of the city or take a coffee in one of the writer’s favourite haunts in Plaza del Castillo.

  • Cycling Options: 28 miles
  • Meals: Breakfast 
  • Lodging: Standard 3 star hotel Superior 4 and 5 star hotels

Day 2 Pamplona to Estella

Leaving Pamplona behind, the Camino takes pilgrims towards the ‘Alto del Perdón’ (Hill of Forgiveness) pass. Get your picture taken with the photogenic pilgrim sculpture at the ‘alto’ and enjoy fantastic 360 panoramic views of Pamplona and the valley. From there, you will begin your descent towards Puente la Reina (Queen’s Bridge) with its quaint medieval alleys and impressive 11th century bridge over the River Arga. From Puente la Reina to Estella you will cycle across rolling farmland, passing small towns and villages nested among olive groves, cereal crops and vineyards. Cirauqui (Zirauki), perched on a hilltop, is a pretty little village of winding medieval streets where you will find one of the best preserved stretches of Roman road. Estella-Lizarra is your final point for today, a nice historic town with plenty to do and see.

  • Cycling Options: 31 miles
  • Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
  • Lodging: Standard 3 star hotel Superior 4 and 5 star hotels

Day 3 Estrella to Longona

fter exploring Estella and its many monuments, you will continue on your Camino to Santiago cycling adventure. Just outside Estella you will find Bodegas Irache, the Wine Museum and its free wine fountain, stop for a rest and sip of the local Rioja! Most of your cycle today will be along nice tracks, among vineyards, olive trees and cereal fields. Today you will also leave the region of Navarra and enter (officially!) La Rioja region , world-famous for its red wine. You will pass the dramatic ruins of Clavijo Castle before finally entering the city of Logroño, capital of La Rioja and home to some of the best tapas scene on the Camino. Head for Calle Laurel to sample the local Rioja-style specialities.

  • Cycling Options: 32 miles
  • Meals: Breakfast 
  • Lodging: Standard 3 star hotel Superior 4 and 5 star hotels

Day 4 Logroño to Santo Domingo de la Calzada

Today you will leave Logroño by the old pilgrims’ gate ‘Puerta del Camino’. The Camino takes you out of the city and into the vineyards of La Rioja. Your first stop is Navarrete, a 12th century town built by the ‘Knights of the Holy Sepulchre’. Here you can admire the fabulous Baroque church of ‘La Ascensión’. Nájera is another medieval town with historic links to the Camino. From Nájera you will enjoy get great panoramic views of the whole region. The Camino will then take you along quiet country roads with La Demanda Mountain to the South. You will pass the small village of Azofra, dedicated to the La Rioja patron: La Virgen de Valvanera. Azofra is also the starting point for the ‘Monasteries route’, off the Camino de Santiago route but worth visiting if you have additional days, particularly the Yuso and Suso monasteries of San Millán de la Cogolla, considered the birthplace of Spanish language. You will finally arrive in Santo Domingo de la Calzada, a town with a beautiful Medieval centre.

  • Cycling Options: 45 miles
  • Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
  • Lodging: Standard 3 star hotel Superior 4 and 5 star hotels

Day 5 Santo Domingo de la Calzada to Burgos

Part of today’s trail runs parallel to busy main roads. As you get closer to Belorado, you will start catching a glimpse of the Oca Mountains, the last mountain range before the Meseta (the central Spanish Plateau). In Belorado, a small and pleasant village in the Burgos province, you can visit the Santa María Church with its images of St James. You will then cycle on earthen tracks and peaceful trails on your way to the tiny hamlet of San Juan de Ortega. As you reach the mountains of ‘Villafranca Montes de Oca’, the Camino weaves its way through gorgeous woodlands of fragrant oak and pines. From San Juan you will be crossing mountainous terrain on the Sierra de Atapuerca, enjoying great views of the Burgos region. You will pass the town of Atapuerca, famous for its UNESCO World Heritage prehistoric caves where the earliest human remains have been discovered (3km off the Camino trail). As you begin to descend you will reach the flat river valley taking you to the suburbs of Burgos city, home to one of Spain’s most beautiful Gothic cathedrals.

  • Cycling Options:  41 miles
  • Meals: Breakfast 
  • Lodging: Standard 3 star hotel Superior 4 and 5 star hotels

Day 6 Burgos to Frómista

Today you will leave Burgos and enter the Meseta. For the first part of the day you will be cycling along earthen tracks. On your way to Hornillos del Camino, you will cross small woods of holm oak and conifers but in general there is little shade on this stretch of the Camino so make sure you take enough water with you, as well as hat and sun cream. After Hornillos, the Camino gradually climbs up a plateau before descending to the valley of the River Bol and the pretty town of Castrojeriz. In Castrojeriz, you can visit the 9th century hilltop castle, recently reopened to visitors. Castrojeriz celebrates its Garlic Festival in July. You will then cycle the last plains of the Burgos region and reach the highest point of the Meseta: Alto Mosterales. After crossing the Pisuerga River you will enter the Palencia province and the vast plains of ‘Tierra de Campos’, the Land of Fields, and you will soon understand why. Stop to visit the 14th century church ‘La Asunción’ in Boadilla, famous for its Gothic architecture and the gorgeous carved baptismal font. Approaching Frómista you will cycle a stretch of the Canal de Castilla, a 18th century canal

  • Cycling Options: 37 miles
  • Meals: Breakfast 
  • Lodging: Standard 3 star hotel Superior 4 and 5 star hotels

Day 7 Frómista to Sahagún

There is a popular phrase that goes: ‘Ancha es Castilla’, which means ‘Castile is wide’. On this stage of the Camino you’ll see why. The wide open spaces are a luxury to cyclists, with crop fields adding colourful touches to the landscape all year round. The first part of the day is on relatively flat tracks with the run into Sahagún covering more undulating ground. Visit the beautiful 11th century Church of St Martin in Frómista before you start cycling today. We also recommend you stop to visit the impressive San Zoilo Monastery in Carrión de los Condes.

  • Cycling Options: 37 miles
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging: Standard 3 star hotel Superior 4 and 5 star hotels

Day 8 Sahagún to León

Today you will cycle through the Castillian Meseta or plateau, where the colourful landscape stretches as far as the eye can see. Cycling this flat terrain you will enjoy fantastic vistas over the surrounding farmland and tiny villages. Your destination for today is the lively city of León.

  • Cycling Options: 34 miles
  • Meals: Breakfast 
  • Lodging: Standard 3 star hotel Superior 4 and 5 star hotels

Day 9 Leon

Explore the fantastic historic centre of León before you finish your Camino trip. León was the capital of the kingdom in the Middle Ages, a historic enclave on the pilgrim’s route to Santiago de Compostela. Visit the Pulchra Leonina (the ‘Sistine Chapel’ of Spanish architecture) in León cathedral, Gaudí’s neo-Gothic Casa de Botines and the old ‘Hospital de San Marcos’, which is also an impressive Parador hotel (and featured in the movie The Way)

 

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WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • 8 nights lodging in star hotels
  • 7 Breakfasts and 3 Dinners
  • Bike Rental
  • Luggage transfer
  • Ground assistance
  • Walking notes, pilgrim passports, maps

DATES/PRICING

Departures

Self-guided tours can start on any date

Price

Cycling the Camino $950.00 per person double occupancy

Hybrid bike rental included

 

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