- French route to Santiago: one of the oldest and most traveled pilgrimage routes in the world
- Pilgrimage legends and history, certificate of completion
- Historical accommodations in converted monasteries and palaces
- Ruins of Celtic settlements
- Roman and medieval bridges
- Santiago de Compostela: the Cathedral, University, granite architecture
- The food: local seafood, soul-warming caldo gallego, pimentos de padrón, Galician country bread, hot chocolate and so much more.
- June 3-13
- June 6-13 (Lite version)
- September 30 - October 10
- October 3-10 (Lite version).
Day 1: Burgos. We suggest that you fly to Bilbao. You can visit the Gugenheim museum in the morning of the tour day one. We will pick you up in Bilbao and bring you to Burgos. After we're all gathered at our hotel, the lovely Hostal La Posada, we will have a short group briefing and fit our bicycles. Burgos is the crossroads for pilgrims on the camino (road) to Santiago, so we will pick up our pilgrim passports in town, and explore Burgos' ancient town center and visit the Gothic Cathedral. Includes: (D).
Day 2: Carrion de Los Condes. We take a relaxing ride today through undulating copper-colored fields, quiet tile-roofed villages and over small streams, until we reach Carrion de Los Condes. This beautiful riverside town has several important monuments, including the Iglesia de Santa Maria which depicts the morbid annual tribute of 100 Carrion maidens to the Moorish conquerors. Here we'll stay in the stunning historic hotel, the luxurious Real Monasterio San Zoilo. Distance: 59 miles/95 km.
Day 3: Leon. We'll continue to pedal along the meseta through fertile farm land and past stands of poplar trees to Sahagun an important town for pilgrims thanks to its large pilgrim hospital and of course many churches and sanctuaries. Upon arrival in the cathedral city of Leon, we'll head for our hotel, La Posada Regia, a 15th century building. Distance: 51 miles/90 km.
Day 4: Leon. This morning, guests coming on the shorter tour join the rest of the group at the La Posada Regia. We will have a free day to learn about Leon's rich history, which was once the most powerful city in Spain, and was founded in 69 AD, and pay a visit to the awe-inspiring Cathedral and the Basilica de San Isidoro.
Day 5: Astorga. We'll get in the saddle again and prepare for a few more climbs as we cycle through small towns and over the beautiful arched bridge of Puente de Orbigo lined on one side by rows of poplar trees. Our destination, Astorga, is a town with a fascinating Roman history as well 15th century Renaissance Cathedral. Take the afternoon to visit the Museo de los Caminos housed in Gaudí's 20th century neo-Gothic Bishop's Palace. Tonight we sleep in the Hotel Gaudi. Distance 37 miles/60 km.
Day 6: Molina Seca. With our muscles toned, we'll start our ascent through the Montes de Leon along a tree lined route taking us to such stone villages as Castrillo de los Polvares, and El Ganso where we begin to see the thatched roof architecture typical of the region and parts of Galicia. Some of village houses also begin to have enclosed balconies as we climb to 1500 meters, and enjoy a great downhill on our way to Molina Seca. Tonight we lodge at De Floriana or the Posada de Muriel. Distance: 30 miles/48 km.
Day 7: O´Cebreiro. Today we'll cycle up and down through forested scenery first past the picturesque city of Ponferrada, and by medieval fountains and bridges. The landscape changes as we make our steep ascent to O´Cebreiro, a historically important village due to its famous miracle. In addition to having a 9th century hospital for pilgrims beside this sanctuary the village is also know for its pre-Roman style circular thatched houses (pallozas). Distance: 34 miles/55 km.
Day 8: Portomarín. We will coast through rolling countryside with green fields and woods of chestnut trees, to our destination of Portomarín, a handsome town in the Celtic region of Galicia. This Spanish province retains its own language, closely related to Portuguese, and a music and culture reminiscent of its distant Celtic origins. Tonight we rest in the Posada de Portomarín. Distance: 51 miles/83 km.
Day 9: Castaneda. The winding pilgrimage route takes us through forests of majestic chestnuts and oak trees, and to the Romanesque village church in Vila de Donas where the Knights of Santiago lie in their tombs. After pedaling to Castaneda, we'll thoroughly enjoy the comfort of the Hotel Pazo de Sedor and prepare for tomorrow's arrival in Santiago de Compostela. Distance: 30 miles/48 km.
Day 10: Santiago de Compostela. All roads now lead to Santiago! We´ll cycle through the green fields typical of Galicia, past original Celtic villages to the towering spires of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Its time to visit the Cathedral and watch the massive swinging incense burner and pick up our Compostela pilgrim certificate. Afterwards you will have time to relax in one of the many hip university cafes and delight in the amazing Galician tapas made with seafood from the nearby coast, before our farewell dinner. Distance: 16 miles/25 km.
Day 11: Santiago de Compostela. After breakfast at the historic Hotel San Francisco, we will offer a morning transfer to the airport for those leaving Spain. For those who plan to stay, we will give tips and suggestions on what to see and where to go.
Note: For private group tours contact us about alternative dates and lengths.
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