Cycle the Camino de Santiago

8 days
from
£1,279
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Traveller ratings
4.5 / 5 from 33 reviews >
Trip code: 
MWC
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Cycling
Min age:
16
Group size:
6–16

Ride one of the world's oldest pilgrimage routes across northern Spain

The Camino de Santiago de Compostela across northern Spain is one of the world's oldest pilgrimage routes. Also known as 'The Way of St James', it originated in the region of Galicia where the tomb of the Apostle James the Great was discovered in the 9th Century. The way is marked by the symbol of the scallop shell and the grooves that join together are said to represent the many different ways pilgrim's travel from to reach Santiago. It's the Gothic cathedrals, medieval monasteries and miles of beautiful rural scenery that make this section of the ancient route so popular.

Highlights

  • Mediaeval monasteries and unspoiled rural scenery
  • Enjoy the fantastic food and wine produced along the route 
  • Follow the famous pilgrimage route to Santiago 

Key information

  • 6 days cycling with partial vehicle support 
  • 50% tarmac roads, 50% gravel roads and tracks 
  • Some climbs to be expected 
  • Group normally 4 to 16 plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • 7 nights in hotels and Casa Rurales

 

What's included

  • All breakfasts
  • All accommodation
  • London flights (if booking incl. flights)
  • Airport transfers
  • Local bike hire

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

6

Days of Cycling
Pace:

Moderate: 13-16km/8-10miles an hour

Terrain:

Low altitude; 50% quiet roads, 50% mix of gravel, tracks and off road selections

Day by day breakdown
Day 258.0km/36.0miles
Day 352.0km/32.0miles
Day 454.0km/33.0miles
Day 550.0km/31.0miles
Day 654.0km/33.0miles
Day 767.0km/41.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Leon.

    Trip starts in Leon; here we may have time to visit the city's beautiful gothic cathedral and stroll around its charming winding narrow streets before having a trip breifing and our first meal as a group.

    Hotel Campus San Mames

  • Day 2

    Ride across the plains of Castille through countryside and quaint villages to Astorga.

    We head into the countryside riding across the plains of Castilla through cultivated countryside and quaint villages, with adobe houses and wine caves. We will take lunch in Hospital del Orbigo and on entering the village we cross a stunning mediaeval bridge (one of the longest pilgrimage bridges in Spain). We then ride the final 15km to the beautiful walled town of Astorga, with views of the mountains of Leon in the distance.

    Hotel Gaudi 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Climb into the mountains of Leon to the Monte de la Cruz de Ferro; descend to Molinaseca.

    Today's ride is the most beautiful of the trip as we leave the Castillan plains behind and climb gradually into the mountains of Leon to the Monte de la Cruz de Ferro (1505m). En route we pass through Castrillo de los Polvazares, known for its very special architecture created by strong orange coloured stone. After riding through the charming mountain village of Acebo (the main street is a straight line of beautiful balconied houses) we enjoy the rest of our descent into Molinaseca, with stunning views of the surrounding valley.

    Hostal El Palacio

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Ride to Villafranca with views across the valleys of Galicia and the mountains of Leon; long ascent to the village of O'Cebreiro.

    The highlight today is the ride to the beautiful town of Villafranca with stunning views across the green valleys of Galicia and wooded mountains of Leon. After the first easy and mainly flat 25km we have a short climb to Villafranca, which is worth a look for its many monuments and picturesque town square. Once we reach the bottom of the valley in the foothills of Monte de O'Cebreiro we will have a rest before our final push to the top of the mountain and the small village of O'Cebreiro.  This climb is one of the most challenging on the tour as we ascend 650m over 8 kilometres, the climb is a very gentle ascent with a steady gradient and we will break it up with plenty of stops. At the top we will be able to appreciate wonderful views of the valleys that surround this peak and admire the charming slate roofed black houses. 


    Please note. Due to the limited accommodation capacity in O'Cebreiro, on certain departures we may have to stay in the village of Herrerias and cycle up to O'Cebreiro in the morning of Day 5 (9km).

    Centro de Turismo Rural El Capricho de Josana

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Enter Galicia's landscape of traditional agricultural villages; cycle past Samos Monastery on the way to Sarria.

    As we enter Galicia the landscape changes dramatically and the area is populated by a number of traditional agricultural villages. Each family has small plots of land, which they cultivate for their own vegetables and we will pass by many of the locals working the land and tending to their cattle. As well as a change in culture, landscape and language, the gastronomy of Galicia is famous for using products of high quality and preparing them in simple, but delicious ways. We have lunch in Samos, home to one of the oldest monasteries in Spain, and cycle through chestnut forests to Sarria

    Hotel Oca Villa de Sarria

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Cycle along tree-lined paths to Portomarin, rebuilt on a hilltop in the 1950's in order to construct a reservoir; continue to Palas de Rei.

    Today's ride runs through beautiful rural Galician countryside and along tree-lined paths to the town of Portomarin, which was rebuilt on a hilltop in the 1950's in order to construct a reservoir. After lunch, a 13km climb, followed by a welcome 12km downhill, takes us to Palas de Rei, a small town full of the pilgrim spirit.

    Hotel Complejo la Cabaña

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Short ascents and descents to Monte de Gozo; follow the pilgrims' route to the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

    Our final day involves a number of short ascents and descents towards Monte de Gozo. From here, as pilgrims have done for centuries, we wind our way through the city’s streets and crowds to Plaza del Obradoiro, dominated by the impressive cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

    We then move onto the Pilgrim's Office for those who wish to obtain the 'compostela' (certificate of accomplishment).

    Hotel La Salle

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    End Santiago de Compostela.

    After breakfast the trip end Santiago de Compostela.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

UK passport holders do not need visas for this trip. Other nationalities should check with the relevant embassies.

Vaccinations

No vaccinations are obligatory.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts are included.

Breakfasts will be continental style with cold cheese, meats and bread, as well as pastries, tea and coffee.

Vegetarians: Please be aware that a meat and fish diet is the norm in Northern Spain. Many vegetarians have not experienced any problems, however please be prepared to be flexible. Please note that mealtimes in Spain are later than in many other countries; dinner is usually taken between 21:00 and 21.30.

Weather

In April and October expect temperatures between 5-15C with a high chance of rain showers. In the mornings it is often cloudy and more temperate. Temperatures in May and September tend to be about 5C warmer than April and October. Expect a combination of sun, light showers and clouds. July and August are typically sunny and warm 15-30C

Camino

Is this trip for you?

This trip is classified Road

Activity level 4 (moderate/challenging)

6 days cycling with an average distance of 54 km/day (33 miles) with partial vehicle support

Terrain and route: 50% on quiet minor roads and 50% on a mixture of cycle paths, non-technical tracks and a few off-road sections. If you have any queries about the difficulty of the trip please do not hesitate to call us. Please note that wearing a cycling helmet is compulsory on this trip.

As we are passing through rural communities the roads are quiet with very little traffic, however you will be sharing the route with a number of walkers and cyclists all on their way to Santiago de Compostela. There is one long but gradual climb on the second cycling day of the trip and one steep 8 km climb on the third cycling day, but the support vehicle will be on hand if you prefer to opt out. Alternatively, there is the opportunity to walk along the hiking track. There are a few cobbled sections where you should take care, particularly in wet conditions. This trip is ideal for the occasional cyclists who exercise regularly. 

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Casa Rurales & Hotels

7 nights accommodation, in the smaller villages you will use characterful family-run ‘casa rurales’ and in larger towns you will be accommodated in larger hotels. All have en suite facilities and are situated beside the actual Camino de Santiago.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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  • Reviewed June 2018
    Ross Roworth

    MWC180527

    Great ride which was excellently managed by Alfonso. I had a fall and my cuts were attended to by Alfonso in a quick and efficient manner. He continued to check with me that all was okay which was very much appreciated.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Finishing. It was a much harder ride than I expected. Very fullfilling adventure.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Gear for all seasons
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Caroline Lloyd

    Fabulous cycle trip

    A fantastic week in this beautiful part of Spain with a great bunch of people. Despite the wintry conditions (hail in May at one point !) we had a terrific week. The Camino is a fairly tough ride due to some big ascents , but you are well rewarded with fantastic views and some great downhills . The tour leader , Alfonso , was great ; he was patient , knowledgeable and really a pleasure to be with for the week. Jose transported bags and supported on snacks and water en route and was great.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Arriving in Santiago with Out group and leader after 6 days of tough cycling

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alfonso was fantastic - knowledgeable, patient , a great communicator and really organised . We were a big group so cannot have been easy to manage . 10/10 to Alfonso ! Jose who supported with bag and kit Transportation was also great. Nothing was too much trouble

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take waterproofs / warm Kit. In May we encountered rain and hail at one point ! Some of the long downhills require warmer clothing !

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was my first exodus trip and I loved it
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Ian Crawford

    Camino de Santiago

    An excellent experience. The guide Alfonso and support driver Gensi were both well above the expected standard - always friendly, always helpful, very informative, no problem was too large and both provided much needed motivation and advice. Would love to do it again.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the iron cross on day 2 - I had not cycled anywhere for years and came along on the recommendation of a friend who convinced me that the trip was attainable and not too difficult - not sure about the “not difficult” bit but getting to the summit convinced me that he was right

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alfonso was five star excellent throughout the trip. Really made its great experience

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The consensus in the group was that it was not a moderate journey.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Accommodation generally acceptable but breakfast can be a bit variable
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Kathy Lynch

    Cycle The Camino de Santiago

    A wonderful experience overall, we enjoyed walking through pine forests, pretty villages, farmland and countryside with stunning views Our guide Josea was friendly and fun and very passionate about his job.... he cared about the welfare of everyone in the group and always ready willing and able to give advise and treat our blisters. Hosea took us to all the best cafes and restaurants where we enjoyed very fresh locally produced food and wine. All our baggage transfers went extremely smoothly and the hotels were all of a really good standard.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching Sainteago De Compostela to the sound of bagpipes

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide Josea was friendly and fun and very passionate about his job.... he cared about the welfare of everyone in the group and always ready willing and able to give advise and treat our blisters. Hosea also took us to all the best cafes and restaurants where we enjoyed very fresh locally produced food and wine.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    For the Camino walk invest in some good quality walking boots and also take some good quality sandals

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would recommend Exodus to all my family and friends
  • Reviewed May 2018
    john holland

    Cycling the camino

    Well organised trip staying almost completely on the camino route, with good hotels, good guides, and a great group of people.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The start in Leon was impressive, but the lovely people and hospitality along the route was inspirational.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both leaders very good

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get fit before hand. The trip is quite challenging.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Bikes could have been slightly better. Disc brakes would have been safer, and chains coming off should be avoided.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    David Netherwood

    Great trip, great guide, and great group

    The atmosphere along the Camino is great, you quickly lose count of how many time you exchange "Bon Camino" with others on the way. The country side is lovely, especial the closer you get the Santiago. Our guide Daniel was excellent, he kept us going but without being bossy. I don't know how he did it but he created an experience that we all enjoyed. The accommodation was really well chosen - the first night was little bland, but after that we stayed in really charming places, all were clean, comfortable, and welcoming. Our group was quite diverse, both in age, fitness and backgrounds, but we all got on really well - makes the last day rather sad. There is no doubt about it, Spain really is hilly, so be prepared, and the last day is long (I skipped a bit in the van) but well worth it. I'm a vegetarian. The trip notes mention the need to be "flexible". Spain is not the best place for vegi food, Daniel did his best, but don't expect a wide variety - but you should still go!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many to chose from - hurtling down a hill in 10 minutes when it took hours to climb it, arriving in the main square at Santiago de Compestella, dinners with the group, mist over the mountains. One of my rooms with a balcony over the way itself.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Really really nice guy who knows what he is doing, puts himself out to make sure we all had a great holiday. How he put up with us asking how many hills there were today I don't know. A real star. Thanks Daniel.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Prepare for the hills, my cycling at home is on the flat. If it gets too much there is always the van I did it in September - you need a packable jacket for the cold starts that then become warm days. Can be cool in the evening.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you! Already cogitating over my next trip.
  • Reviewed September 2016
    Tony Chau

    Camino de Santiago Cycle Ride, Sept 16

    We have been to a number of Exodus rides but this one stands out because 1) It was a "door to door" ride - we rode to/from the hotel from beginning to end without any bus transfer 2) We had some non-technical off road sections which was great 3) The leaders were great (see below) 4) It was a very interesting ancient route (we rode the "Camino") and had amazing churches and Castles en route that one could collect stamps on your Camino passport 5) We had great weather (quite hot for Sept. in the first few days but turned cooler towards the end) + the food was wonderful and cheap....

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We had a great group of cyclist with similar ability and everyone got on well. The climb to O'Cebreiro was quite "cheeky" and I am glad that we made it! The scenery was wonderful and we got there during a festival / market day which was unexpected in such a village that is so high up. Finally, arriving in Santiago with everyone getting a certificate for riding the Camino was also very special.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jose was very knowledgable (he knew exactly the terrain, distance in detail so we knew exactly what to expect and how to pace ourselves - but "undulating" means quite a few ups!). The places that we stopped for coffee, ice cream, lunch, dinner were all wonderful. Guillemo, our support driver/mechanic was also great. We never had our Saddles/Paddles fitted and removed for us in previous trips + we had great support from him (making sure our bottles were filled, checking the tyre pressure, fitting the squeaks....) throughout the trip with a smile.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We thought it was just a cycling trip and didn't know anything about the "St. James Way" and the pilgrims walking the trail. It was a very interesting experience but I wished I read up more about the history before hand.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There were some wonderful long down hill descent and Jose controlled the speed well at the front and make sure that we didn't do anything stupid. The views were wonderful and make sure you took the time to enjoy it.
  • Reviewed May 2016
    James Carder (Exodus Sales Manager)

    Cycling the Camino de Santiago

    This was a great trip and I was happy to give it 5 starts (I don’t give every Exodus trip 5 stars either). I was not sure about of number of things before setting off but the trip ticked all of the boxes – great cycling, excellent leaders, a fun group, excellent weather (most of the time), fantastic and cheap food and a beautiful part of the world. What more could you ask for from 1 week in Spain.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably the good nature of the pilgrims, it’s a tough walk some had been on the road for weeks, they were always friendly, willing to let us pass and wishing us a good trip.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Danny and Alfonso were excellent, always positive, available and they offered first class support along the way.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Having read the reviews of this trip regarding the grade of cycling before departing I got the impression that the grading was a bit complicated, some clients saying it was challenging and some saying it was moderate, so I was not sure what to expect. In truth It’s a little problematical as it comes down to a number of factors such as fitness, cycling ability and weather conditions. What is certain is that this is no simple moderate itinerary, there is too much variety in the cycling (climbs, off road, rough track, technical sections) but it’s also far from challenging the majority of the time (unless it rains all day) so the moderate/challenging grade is probably appropriate but in good weather closer to moderate than challenging.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Have fun.
  • Reviewed August 2015
    Maeve Walsh

    Cycle The Camino De Santiago

    Enjoyable part of Spain to see with pretty countryside and interesting history to learn from the tour.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The little villages were lovely to cycle through such as Villafrance and Palas De Rei. The 9km climb up to the village of O'Cebreiro was a nice challenge for fit or moderately fit people.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Javier was our group leader with Jose as the driver. Both individuals are extremely nice and considerate. They were always happy to chat and remained pilot and friendly throughout the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We stayed in villages or very small towns so no need to pack anything too dressy for night time wear in the restaurants or pubs !!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trip is graded moderate/challenging. This was my 4th cycling trip for this same grading with Exodus. Although i did n't think it was challenging except for maybe 30 mins on a few occasions, some of the group that were with me were not fit enough to be on this trip. There's a few climbs you have to do which you need decent fitness for but overall if you are quite fit, you might be bored as its not as challenging as other Exodus cycling holidays.
  • Reviewed June 2015
    Victoria Loxley

    Camino de Santiago

    An excellent trip with glorious weather - we were so lucky! 2 fab guides, great cycling, amazing food and mucho vino tinto! Thoroughly recommended and brilliant off road on the camino at times made for a different experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing to the top of the hill at O'Cebreiro and arriving above the clouds - a spectacular view and worth the slog!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Javier and Alfonso were great company and did an excellent job to all us English!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do some training beforehand!

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Call us on 020 8772 3936