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Cycle the Camino de Santiago

Posted on December 16, 2013 by
Symbol of the Camino de Santiago - Spain

Symbol of the Camino de Santiago – Spain

The Camino de Santiago or way of St. James is one of the oldest and most popular pilgrimage routes in Europe. Since medieval times pilgrims have set out on long treks across Europe to the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Northern Spain where legend has it that the remains of the apostle St James are buried. The route, always marked with clam shells,  has waxed and waned in popularity through the ages and today is enjoying something of a renaissance, as many walkers and cyclists from all over the world discover the rewards of simple contemplative travel.

The recent BBC programme, Pilgrimage with Simon Reeve, did a great job of evoking the atmosphere and sense of camaraderie found along the route, as well as showcasing the wonderful scenery. Simon Reeve pointed out that cycling the route is a very popular and viable alternative to walking it.

Cycling Camino de Santiago - Spain

Cycling the Camino de Santiago

Pilgrimages traditionally start from your own home and so naturally there are many different routes to Santiago, but the most popular is the Via Regia, a wonderful, if at times rather hilly itinerary across Northern Spain. Many consider the last 160 miles from Astorga to Santiago itself to be the perfect stretch for a 7 night cycling holiday. Its quite up and down but the scenery is gorgeous and very green, quite different to the parched Costas familiar to so many of us further south. Cycle along quiet lanes and paths, through cool forests and open meadows giving a friendly nod or wave to other pilgrims on the way. Stay in simple but quaint guesthouses along the route where you can swap tales with other pilgrims on the trail. In Santiago a festive mood pervades the city as weary walkers and cyclists celebrate their achievement. If you wish, you can attend the special Pilgrims’ Mass in the Cathedral where the world’s largest incense burner, originally used to drown out the stench of the pilgrims, hurtles spectacularly from side to side.

If this sounds like you kind of cycling holiday then check out our Camino de Santiago Cycle Tours for more details.

 

 

 

One Response to “Cycle the Camino de Santiago”

  1. […] Technically, the walk starts at St. Jean-pied-de-Port in France, continuing across Northern Spain, and ending at Santiago de Compostela on the northwestern part of the country. The scallop shell – the symbol of the Camino. Image credit. […]

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Easy:
Our easy cycling holidays offer short daily rides on mostly level terrain. A typical day’s ride will take 2 – 3 hours at a leisurely pace and the remainder of the day will be free for you to explore further or simply relax. These rides are particularly recommended for newcomers to cycling holidays and for families.

Leisurely:
Our leisurely cycle holidays will suit those who are reasonably fit through regular exercise of one kind or another – not necessarily cycling. On the whole, the terrain will be level but there may also be a few small hills to contend with along the way too. Daily rides will typically take around 3 – 4 hours to complete.

Moderate:
Our moderate cycle holidays are for regular cyclists, who are used to longer rides with regular climbs. A good level of fitness is needed and you can expect to be in the saddle for between 4 and 5 hours each day.

Challenging:
These holidays are for seasoned cyclists who cycle long distances regularly and who enjoy the thrill of long days in the saddle. There will undoubtedly be some challenging climbs along the way and you can expect to cover between 55 and 75 miles each day.

Simple
Simple 2 star hotels, pensions inns and B&Bs. All rooms feature en-suite facilities.

Comfort
Typically a mix of good quality 2 & 3 star hotels and in some cases all 3 star hotels. All rooms feature en-suite facilities.
Tours that have a mix of 2, 3 and 4 star hotels are also included here. All rooms feature en-suite facilities.

Superior
A mix of 3 and 4 star hotels & or in some cases excellent 3 star hotels.

Deluxe
High standard properties offering well-appointed guest rooms and good facilities. All rooms feature en-suite facilities.

Basic: Cabins with bunk beds and shared facilities.

Simple: Cabins with bunk beds and en-suite facilities

Comfort: Twin bedded cabins and en-suite facilities.

Superior: Well appointed en-suite, twin cabins.

Deluxe: Very high levels of comfort & service. All cabins are en-suite.

theme-icon-familyFamily: Cycling holidays that are suitable for families.

theme-icon-riversRivers & Lakes: Cycling holidays alongside rivers and/or lakes.

theme-icon-coastalCoastal: Cycling holidays that follow a coastline.

theme-icon-wineWine Lovers: Cycling holidays through well known wine regions.

theme-icon-gastroGastronomic: Cycling holidays through regions renowned for their cuisine.

theme-icon-ebikeE-bikes: Cycling holidays where e-bikes are available as well as regular bikes.