Coastal Camino Cycling Holiday

This variation of the traditional Portuguese Camino Route to Santiago is a seafood lovers delight as it follows the Atlantic Coast, taking in traditional fishing villages, sandy beaches rocky coves and tiny islands along the way. Stay in comfortable traditional hotels or upgrade four of the seven nights to stay in historic and luxurious Paradors.

Your tours starts with a night in Porto, a beautiful old city at the mouth of the Douro River. Stroll around the winding narrow streets of Ribeira, the old town, perhaps taking a seat at one of the riverside restaurants for some fresh seafood. Of course, a trip to Porto would not be complete without sampling some of it's most famous product and a tasting session at a Port wine cellar can be arranged if this appeals.

Porto

The following morning you and your bikes are transferred up the coast to begin your first ride. For the next six days you will cover around 40 kms per day on flat or gently undulating terrain as you follow the coastline north. Each day bring new and exciting experiences. The historic old ship building town of Viana do Castello is one such example and boasts a fascinating medieval centre. On most days you will also pass delightful coves and fabulous sandy beaches so we highly recommend packing some beachwear in your pannier in case you fancy a dip.

Each night you will stop in small towns and villages along the way. The seafood in these parts is amongst the best in Europe and the local restaurants pride themselves on the quality and freshness of their mouth-watering dishes. In Spain you will cycle through the delightful Albariño wine region and enjoy pedalling beside the scenic Rias Braxas, 3 large estuaries renowned for their superb mussels and oysters.

And finally, the route delivers you to Santiago de Compostela, the goal of pilgrims from all over Europe for over a thousand years. Sit in the main square in front of the cathedral, toast your own success and watch tired but euphoric pilgrims arrive at the end of their journey's from all over Europe.

Coastal Camino Cycling Holiday

This variation of the traditional Portuguese Camino Route to Santiago is a seafood lovers delight as it follows the Atlantic Coast, taking in traditional fishing villages, sandy beaches rocky coves and tiny islands along the way. Stay in comfortable traditional hotels or upgrade four of the seven nights to stay in historic and luxurious Paradors.

Your tours starts with a night in Porto, a beautiful old city at the mouth of the Douro River. Stroll around the winding narrow streets of Ribeira, the old town, perhaps taking a seat at one of the riverside restaurants for some fresh seafood. Of course, a trip to Porto would not be complete without sampling some of it's most famous product and a tasting session at a Port wine cellar can be arranged if this appeals.

Porto

The following morning you and your bikes are transferred up the coast to begin your first ride. For the next six days you will cover around 40 kms per day on flat or gently undulating terrain as you follow the coastline north. Each day bring new and exciting experiences. The historic old ship building town of Viana do Castello is one such example and boasts a fascinating medieval centre. On most days you will also pass delightful coves and fabulous sandy beaches so we highly recommend packing some beachwear in your pannier in case you fancy a dip.

Each night you will stop in small towns and villages along the way. The seafood in these parts is amongst the best in Europe and the local restaurants pride themselves on the quality and freshness of their mouth-watering dishes. In Spain you will cycle through the delightful Albariño wine region and enjoy pedalling beside the scenic Rias Braxas, 3 large estuaries renowned for their superb mussels and oysters.

And finally, the route delivers you to Santiago de Compostela, the goal of pilgrims from all over Europe for over a thousand years. Sit in the main square in front of the cathedral, toast your own success and watch tired but euphoric pilgrims arrive at the end of their journey's from all over Europe.

Itinerary

Day 1 : Arrive Porto

You will be picked up from Porto Airport and transferred to your hotel in Porto, the rest of the day is your to explore this fascinating historic city. You may like to visit one of the famous Port Lodges in Porto to sample the product and learn more about how it is produced ( see below). A stroll through the historic Ribeira neighbourhood, adjacent to the Douro River should also be on your schedule, the quayside here also provides a fantastic view of the famous Dom Luis Bridge.

Our optional Wine Experiences package includes a guided visit and wine tasting at one of the historic Port Wine lodges in the city. It also includes includes a guided visit and wine tasting at a prize-winning traditional winery in Cambados (day 5)

Day 2 : Porto - Caminha
30 miles/48 kms

After breakfast you will be transferred up the coast to the village of Chafé from where today's ride begins. The route leads you through pine forest and alongside a beautiful sandy beach to the Limia river mouth. Crossing the bridge delivers you into the heart of Viana do Castello, a busy harbour town that has been a strategic port since Roman times. From here you follow an idyllic coastal path north to Afife beach, if you are a beach lover you might want to allow some time to relax on this beautiful sandy beach where surfers ride the waves. Further up the coast you arrive in the small fishing village of Vila Praia de Ancora, that occupies an enviable spot at the mouth of the river Ancora. A little further on you stop for the night the night in the medieval town of Caminha, overlooking the estuary of the Minho River.

Day 3 : Caminha - Baiona
23 miles/37 kms

The Minho River marks the border between Portugal and Spain so when you alight from the ferry on the northern bank this morning you have arrived in Spain. A charming coastal boardwalk guides you along the coast to the fishing port of A Aguarda. The route then leads you around the pretty harbour before heading north once more. In the charming little hamlet of Oia you can visit the beautiful former Cistercian Monastery of Santa Maria. You then continue riding north, alongside the ocean, enjoying wonderful sea views of the rugged coastline. Today's destination is the lively harbour town of Baiona, famous for its fresh fish and seafood ( see below). Take a wander around the harbour or along the walls of the Monterreal Fort, alternatively, you could just relax on the beach and then enjoy a magnificent sunset drink and some seafood at one of the terraced restaurants along the waterfront.

The optional Wine & Dine Package includes a delicious Parrillada de Marisco, a tasty selection of 7 different types of seafood, accompanied by the local Galician crisp white wine in a Baiona restaurant. It also includes another wonderful seafood dinner with Albariño wine in Cambados (day 5).

Day 4 : Vigo - Pontevedra
20 miles/32 kms

The day starts with a transfer along the Vigo Estuary to the town of Vigo itself from where today's ride begins. With lovely views across the estuary to your left you enjoy an undulating ride through small conurbations and peaceful woodland. At the end of the estuary you pass through the village of Arcade, the oyster capital of Galicia, before crossing the medieval stone bridge and climbing a woodland trail over to the next valley. Now you begin to encounter more pilgrims as your route merges with other long distance routes all headed for Santiago de Compostela. You zig-zag down the valley, following a network of peaceful trails to the beautiful old town of Pontevedra where you will overnight. Check in to your hotel and then take stroll or ride through the pedestrianised streets of this riverside town where you will find a good choice of restaurants, cafes and vibrant tapas bars.

Day 5 : Pontevedra - Cambados
19 miles/30 kms

Today's route leads you back to the Atlantic coast via a network of winding paths, lanes and roads. You'll pass through vineyards of the Rias Baixas wine region where the world famous Albariño wine is produced. This is a very fertile region and the verdant countryside and blue waters of the Arousa estuary provide a pleasing back drop to your ride. Your destination today is the town of Cambados, close to the mouth of the estuary. This is the Albariño wine capital and therefore the perfect place to sample this wonderful local product ( see below). Take a stroll along the front to admire the unique facades of the old fishermen's cottages in Santo Tomé.

The optional Wine Experiences package includes a guided visit and wine tasting at a prize-winning traditional winery. It also includes a guided visit and wine tasting at one of the historic Port Wine lodges in Porto (day 1)

The optional Wine & Dine Package includes a wonderful seafood dinner with Albariño wine in Cambados. It also includes a delicious Parrillada de Marisco, a tasty selection of 7 different types of seafood, accompanied by the local Galician crisp white wine in a Baiona restaurant (day 3).

Day 6 : Cambados - Carril
30 miles/48 kms

Today's route tracks the coastline of the Arosa estuary, providing a distinct maritime flavour to today's ride.. A coastal path leads you north to the bridge across to Arousa island. A leisurely circuit around this small island will reveal some lovely beaches as well as a peaceful bird reserve. The small port of Praia Naval is a good place to stop for a coffee or bite to eat. Crossing back over on the mainland you continue along the estuary shoreline to the fishing village of Carril, today's destination. Depending on your mood you may opt for an afternoon on the beach or you could hire a kayak and paddle over to Cortegada Island a few hundred metres off shore where you will find more beaches and pleasant, shady path around the island. You could also take a boat tour around the mussel farms of the Arousa estuary which includes a mussel tasting with wine (bookable locally).

Day 7 : Carril - Santiago de Compostela
28 miles/46 kms

Your final day in the saddle starts with a ride through forests and wetlands to Padrón, a charming town on the banks of the Sar river. On the final few kilometers to Santiago you will be surrounded by tired but ecstatic pilgrims who, like you are approaching their goal. At Milladoiro, you catch your first glimpse of the stunning cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, within which the tomb of the Apostle St. James is located. On reaching your goal, the afternoon will be free to explore this fascinating city. Our top tip is to take time to explore the interesting and unique pedestrianised plazas that surround the cathedral. We also highly recommend chatting to some of the pilgrims about their journeys as some will have walked across Europe to get here and their stories are often astonishing and entertaining. You will spend the night in this magical city.

Day 8 : Departure

After breakfast it's time to head for home or your next adventure. Your package includes a transfer back to Porto airport.


Bikes

Hybrid bikes are included in the price of he holiday. They are Specialized Rockhopper Sport models (or equivalent). They come with 29" wheels, 24 gears and front suspension. Each bike also comes equipped with a cargo rack. one pannier, a helmet and a lock . Additionally, each party will also receive a GPS loaded with the route tracks a roadbook with detailed route information, a toolkit, a first aid kit, a puncture repair kit, a pump, spare inner tubes and a pre-paid mobile phone.

E-bikes are also available for a supplement.

Accommodation

On this holiday you will stay in beautiful 3 and 4 star properties (superior category). Those typically used are shown below. If these are not available then hotels of a similar standard will be used. There is also an option to upgrade four nights of your holiday and stay in historical Parador hotels ( deluxe category.

Superior Category

Porto: Carris Porto Ribeira Hotel

Caminha: Design and Wine Hotel

Baiona: Hotel Bahía Bayona

Pontevedra: Hotel Rías Bajas

Cambados: Pazo a Capitana

Carril: Hotel Carril

Santiago de Compostela: Capitol Boutique Hotel

Deluxe Category - Includes upgrades to historic Parador hotels in Baiona, Pontevedra, Cambados and Santiago de Compostela

Porto: Carris Porto Ribeira Hotel

Caminha: Design and Wine Hotel

Baiona: Parador de Baiona

Pontevedra: Parador de Pontevedra

Cambados: Parador de Cambados

Carril: Hotel Carril

Santiago de Compostela: Parador de Santiago de Compostela

Getting there

Fly to and from Porto Airport. Your package includes a transfer from the airport to your first hotel in Porto and again at the end of the trip from your last hotel in Santiago de Compostela to Porto Airport.

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