- Braga: the oldest Portuguese city and one of the most ancient Christian cities in the world
- Feeling the mystic atmosphere along the way
- Adventure, Art and Mysticism
- Churches and religious symbols everywhere
- The way covered by pilgrims since the 9th century.
- The medieval architecture in Ponte de Lima
- The fortified city of Valença
- Guimaraes - the medieval town known as the "birthplace of the Portuguese Nation"
- The rich gastronomy and the famous wine of the region: vinho verde
- The Romanic Cathedral in Santiago.
Camino de Santiago de Compostela ( The Way of St James ) is a tour that is different from all the other tours. This is not a touristic tour like the other tours, where we ride along awesome places and spectacular views.
On this tour we follow the way to Santiago de Compostela, a city located in Galicia, a province in the north of Spain. This way is very mystic, full of positive energy, of belief and of faith. This is a way that has been covered by thousands and thousands of pilgrims along the centuries since the 9th century. We cannot say that there is only “one” way (“camino”) to Santiago de Compostela. There are several, because the idea is to get to the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. This way was originally covered on foot by devote pilgrims, beggars, clergymen and nobles; it is still covered today not only on foot but also by bicycle by people from all over the world and for many different reasons. It follows off-road trails, narrow roads and footpaths, always in a straight line when possible in order to make the way as short as possible to get to Santiago de Compostela.
This tour takes us along the Portuguese Way to Santiago. We start in Guimarães (a medieval town also known as the "Birthplace of Portuguese Nation") towards Ponte de Lima, known as the Central Way (Caminho Central), and than we continue along the Medieval Way (Caminho Medieval) to Santiago de Compostela, in Spain. This tour covers innumerous paths and trails, ancient Roman roads, dense woods, crosses small stone bridges, covers footpaths and roads among small houses, crosses streams and mountains… Many sections of the original way have been asphalted and civilized, …but it is still “O Camino de Santiago de Compostela” (The Way of St James).
- Type: Mountain Bike Tour
- Class: history tour
- Version: Guided or Self-Guided
- Regions: North of Portugal (Minho) and Spain (Galicia)
- Duration: 7 days/6 nights/5 days cycling
- Begin: Guimaraes (Minho)
- End: Santiago de Compostela (Galicia)
- Difficulty level (1-5): 4 Advanced. You are fit and in good shape
- Distance: 216 km (138 mi)
- Average: 43 km/day (27 mi/day)
- Trails: 62% asphalt – 38% dirt-roads.
Day 1: Arrival – Welcome at Oporto (or Lisbon) airport. 00H40 (or 03H40) drive to Guimarães, briefing about the tour followed by dinner. Lodging in a Pousada which was a beautiful 12th century Monastery.
Day 2: Riding to the medieval town of Ponte de Lima – 61km (38mi), level 5. After breakfast we leave the ancient city of Guimarães following the ways covered by the pilgrims until we get to the medieval city of Ponte de Lima, bathed by the river. Picnic on the way. Dinner with the group. Lodging in a new 4* hotel overlooking Lima river and very near to the historic center.
Day 3: Riding to the border, always following the Way – 38km (24mi), level 2. After breakfast we continue riding towards the Spanish border, but we spend the night in Portugal, in the beautiful medieval city of Valença do Minho, which is protected by a fortress with double walls. Picnic on the way. Dinner with the group. Lodging in a Pousada located in the historic center and which is a Manor House that was converted in a Charm Hotel.
Day 4: Crossing the border to Spain – 53km (33mi), level 5. After breakfast we finally cross the border and the first Spanish city is Tui, before we get to Pontevedra where we spend the night. Picnic on the way. Dinner with the group. Lodging in a 4* hotel near the historical and commercial centre in Pontevedra.
Day 5: The luxuriant vegetation and the mysticism of the Way – 41km (25mi), level 4. Breakfast. Before we get to Padrón we cross the thick woods with a luxuriant vegetation. Picnic on the way. Dinner with the group. Lodging in a 4* hotel with a swimming-pool; the building was built in the 16th century and it was the vacation house for the archbishops from Compostela.
Day 6: Mixed emotions when we arrive to Santiago de Compostela – 26km (16mi), level 3. Breakfast. Finally we get to Santiago de Compostela and we feel we accomplished our “mission”. Free afternoon to wander around this mystic city and do some shopping. Dinner with the group. Lodging in a beautiful 4* hotel ideal to rest after this long ride and very near to the historical center of Santiago de Compostela.
Day 7: Departure – After breakfast transfer to Oporto (or Lisbon) airport. 3H00 (or 7H00) drive to the airport.
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