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MTB - French Santiago Trail
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MTB - French Santiago Trail

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 8 day(s)
Group Size: 3 - 16 people
Destination(s): Spain  
Specialty Categories: Bicycle Touring   Pilgrimage/Spirituality  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 1520 Euro (EUR)
Maximum Per Person Price: 1810 Euro (EUR)

You will ride from Léon to Santiago de Compostela, following the Camino off the beaten path from France. This trail has more than 1000 years, and is one of the most important Christian pilgrim paths since medieval times. This programme will visit the most important pilgrims passage points, with its churches and cathedrals, in contrast with the urban style of the twenty-first century. You will enjoy the traditional hospitality offered to the pilgrims in this path. Places such as León, Astorga, Vilafranca del Bierzo, Sarria and of course, Santiago de Compostela, where you may visit Santiago (Saint James) tomb, are some of the highlights of the trip!

- Lodging: Comfort (3-4 star inns and mid-scale properties)
- Activity level: Intermidiate (Daily average: distance 40-60 km/25-40mi; Day climbing <1500 m/ <4900 ft)
- Total distance (5 rides): 307,6 km/191 mi
- Shortest day: 49 km/30,5 mi
- Longest day: 75,5 km/47,5 mi
- Total Climbing: 5035 m/16519ft.

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrival to León. Transfer to hotel in León. León is the province capital of the autonomous community of Castilla y León.
Its patrimony, monuments, several annual festivals, such as the Holy week, and the statute of obligatory passageway of Santiago path, make this city a good starting point for our tour. You will have the chance to visit the cathedral, considered the best example of French gothic style in Spain, basilica San Isidoro, San Marcos medieval monastery, the oldest exemplar of Spanish renaissance architecture, and Botine house, an Art Nouveu style designed by the famous catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. Lodging: Hotel Paris.

Day 2: León - Astorga (49 km/30,5 mi, Day climbing 320 m/1050 ft). Today we will go to Astorga, a small and charming city. We will pass by San Martín del Camino, Hospital de Orbigo (with its church in honour to San Juan Bautista) and the Paso Honroso medieval bridge, built in the thirteenth century. Our final destination is Astorga, where you may visit the cathedral dedicated to Santa Maria and the Episcopal palace, designed by the architect Antoni Gaudí. Lodging: Hotel Astur Plaza.

Day 3: Astorga - Villafranca del Bierzo (76,5 km/47,5mi - Day climbing 1070 m/3510 ft). Our first stop of the day will be Murias de Rechivaldo, where we will have the opportunity to see an interesting church from the XVIII century. Unpaved roads, framed by the faraway mountain ranges, will take us through small “pueblos” until we reach 1500 m (4921 ft) altitude. From here we will start to gently go downhill until El Acebo, where we will eat a “bocadillo” (local sandwich). The downhill continues until Ponferrada, passing by la Virgen de las Angustias sanctuary and by the medieval bridge of Molinaseca. In Villafranca del Bierzo, our final destination, you may visit Los Padres Paúles convent, or just rest in the main square, Plaza Mayor, right in front of our hostel. Lodging: Posada Plaza Maior.

Day 4: Villafranca del Bierzo - Sarria (69 km/42,9mi - Day climbing 1600 m/5249 ft). Our third riding day will take us to Sarria. On our way we will need to climb to Cebreiro: a memorable uphill! We will ride through the typical Galician landscape, surrounded by exuberant mountains, painted with green. Some of the day highlights includes the Santa María la Real temple in Cebreiro and Santiago de Triacastela church with its tower of four structures. Sarria, where we will stay for the nigh, is a small city where we will have the chance to see the Torre de la Fortaleza de los Marqueses de Sarria, the only remaining structure of the la Magdalena monastery built in the XIII century. Sarria is also the hometown of the sculptor Gregório Fernandez (1576-1636). Lodging: Hotel Mar de Plata.

Day 5: Sarria - Melide (61,6 km/38,3mi - Day climbing 1160 m/3806 ft). Today we will have a pleasant ride with a great variety of surfaces, nice uphills, river crossing and downhills that may pump adrenaline to your body! Leaving Sarria, we enter countryside, where crop fields will make us company for a while. We will pass through numerous “pueblos” and by what remains of a roman bridge that cross Miño river. The typical spot for pilgrim photos! At the end of the ride we will arrive to Plaza do Convento in Melide, where you may find the local church of San Peter. Our hostel is right around the corner! Lodging: Posada Chiquitin.

Day 6: Melide - Santiago de Compostela (52,5 km - 32,6mi; Day climbing 885 m/2803 ft). Our last ride take us to Santiago. Final destination for the pilgrims and where sacrifice becomes self-knowledge for more than 1000 years. We will ride in the middle of the forest, passing by small villages of friendly people. Today we will not face any difficult technical challenge. Santiago de Compostela is one of the most important, if not the most important pilgrim places in the world. The cathedral imposes the city rhythm, visited by millions every year.
It became the religious symbol of Galicia and of the Santiago path, with multiple interest points such as the Glory portic and at the exterior the facades of Pratarias and Obradoiro. Lodging: Hotel Compostela.

Day 7: Free day in Santiago de Compostela. Today we will have the day free to rest and discover what Santiago de Compostela has to offer. Some of the main points of interest are, besides the cathedral: the Galician Centre for Contemporaneous Art, the Pazo de Raxoi (neo-classic style XVIII century), a Rúa do Franco, Galician people museum and the San Francisco do Val de Deus and San Paio de Antealtares convents. Lodging: Hotel Compostela.

Day 8: Transfer to the airport. Return flight.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- 7 accommodations with breakfasts, 6 dinners, 1 picnic, daily snacks
- 2 guides (riding and driver guide)
- Van support
- Maps and documentation
- GPS track
- Transfers
- Insurance
- Company t-shirt and water bottle and taxes.

Note: Minimum number of participants: 5.

Price Excludes:
- Flights
- Museum fees
- 1 dinner, 7 lunches
- Other not specified in "price includes".

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Europe   Spain   Outdoor: Land Rambler   Bicycle Touring   Pilgrimage/Spirituality