Cycling Camino Frances: Leon to Santiago
- Cycle the final stage of the Camino from Leon to Santiago
- Explore the medieval quarter of León
- Visit Gaudi’s Museo de los Caminos
- Ride to the steps of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compestela
- Relax with a chilled glass of Galacian Albariňo
ItineraryDay 1 Arrival in León
Your cycling adventure begins in the medieval city of León which is easily accessed by bus from Oviedo or by train from Madrid. Capital of the Spanish Kingdom in the Middle Ages, León is undoubtedly one of the most charming and significant cities on the Camino.
Your welcome briefing and bike fitting will be at your hotel at 20h00 leaving you free to explore the delights of León this evening.
Silken Luis de León has 113 rooms. There is plenty of space for guests to relax, with comfortable sofas, a gym, a cafeteria and a restaurant 'Las Medulas', which serves local specialties. Parking is available via a secure garage.
Bid farewell to León as you begin your cycling journey to Astorga. Cross the impressive medieval bridge over the River Órbigo (one of the longest pilgrimage bridges in Spain) towards the charming town of Hospital de Órbigo and onto the walled town of Astorga. Situated at the crossroads of Via de la Plata and the pilgrims’ road to Santiago, Astorga is rich in architecture and home to the Episcopal Palace, built by the Catalan architect, Antonio Gaudi.
Set in a beautiful Art Nouveau mansion in central Astorga, this accommodation offers air-conditioned rooms with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TV and private bathroom. There is a spa with a Finnish sauna, hot tub, an indoor pool and a hydrotherapy shower.
Leave the Castilian plains and ascend through Montes de Leon to Cruz de Ferro on a mixture of asphalt and dirt tracks. Soon you will reach an iron cross that sits 1505m above sea level. Tradition is for pilgrims to throw a stone brought from home towards the cross. Continue your cycle towards Ponferrada before the delightful descent into Molinaseca and finally Ponferrada, where no visit is complete without a traditional hearty stew such as ‘cocido’ (chickpea and pork stew).
Occupying three aristocratic houses, the first of which dates back to the 17th century, it has been carefully restored to provide a warm and enchanting place to stay within the historical surroundings of the city.
Sheltered by the mountains of the Castilla y León, cycle the undulating landscape of the Bierzo valley, until you reach Villafranca del Bierzo. From here ascend to OCebreiro over a steady climb of 9km. This magical village is home to enchanting stone house with straw roofs and a wealth of locally hand made cheeses.
This rural stone house is located next to the Camino. It offers 10 comfortable rooms and there is a restaurant with panoramic views and a menu with all traditional Galician ingredients.
Enter the lush green countryside of Galicia. Make a stop at the village of Triacastela for a mid-morning tapas before continuing onto the historical town of Sarria where we recommend a visit to the Convento da Magdalena and the Tower of Batallón. Your cycle today finishes in Portomarin, famed for its tarts and liqueurs.
Located in a beautiful spot, this rural house offers a relaxing spot to stay. The restaurant sources produce from their own vegetable garden. Two kinds of accommodation are offered, one in the traditional house and the other in small wooden cottages. All of them are provided with WIFI, private bathroom and heating but not air conditioning.
Cycle through rural rolling Galician farmlands towards the lively market town of Arzúa. Soak up the atmosphere in the quaint, rustic villages along the way, watching fellow pilgrims as they come and go. Later in the day continue to Arzua, best known for its smooth, velvety handmade cheese, Arzua-Ulloa.
This accommodation is located in the heart of Arzúa, with 29 bedrooms. They all have TV, heating, private bathroom but not air conditioning. There is an elevator, a guests´ lounge and a small cafeteria. On the ground floor you´ll find the restaurant which serves traditional Galician cuisine.
The last of your cycling pilgrimage leads to Santiago de Compostela. As you approach the holy city you can stop at Monte do Gozo, an ideal place to stop and reflect as the spires of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela come into view. A steep descent into Santiago leads to your finishing point of the cathedral and an evening in this thriving city to celebrate your achievements.
In the heart of Santiago de Compostela, this hotel combines modernity with tradition, offering a cozy and comfortable stay. located next to La Alameda Gardens, hotel rooms are equipped with every comfort, the hotel also offers a 24-hour coffee shop.
Your cycle adventure ends in Santiago after breakfast. You may also wish to stay on and take the bus (or walk—contact us to make arrangements!) to the coast at Finisterre, as seen in the film, The Way.
Other InformationIs it for me?
Do you enjoy a challenge and a true sense of achievement at the end of your travels? Cycle the thrilling final stage of the Camino de Santiago and gain your Compostela. Enjoy the freedom of riding through rural Spanish countryside combined with authentic villages and gastronomic excellence - what is not to love!
Pilgrimages | For those looking to follow a path of self-discovery. Our Pilgrimage and Camino routes take you on a journey through diverse landscapes and local flavours, while meeting like-minded adventurers along the way.
Leisure Cycling | Leisure Cycling
This cycle is graded moderate with daily rides of up to 60km, over rollling terrain with some sustained climbs. The cycle is extremely well way-marked and you will also be supplied with turn by turn route notes and detailed maps so you will have no problem following the route each day.You will principally follow traffic free cycle paths, quiet country roads, dirt tracks and some busier roads as you enter and leave larger cities.
Each accommodation on the Camino is different and full of character. Each accommodation has been chosen for ambience, atmosphere, and to ensure it offers the best possible option in each location. Owing to the nature of this route, you will also be able to share stories and tales with fellow cyclists (and walkers) completing the Camino de Santiago.
We do recommend that you book this trip early as the area is always popular and the hotels and inns do fill up quickly, especially in high season.
Solo Cyclists & Single Rooms
Single rooms are available although a supplement is payable. This trip is available to solo cyclists. As you will meet fellow pilgrims, walkers and cyclists en route, it is a great trip to take if you are travelling on your own. A solo cyclist supplement is payable (as accommodation is in rooms for single occupancy).
A local continental breakfast is included each morning. Breakfasts usually consist of fresh pastries, breads, fruits, yoghurts, cheeses, meats and granola. If you have special dietary requirements do let us know at the time of booking.
Lunch and dinner are not included which means you are more flexible to choose from local cafes, bars and restaurants. Every overnight stop normally serves a 'Pilgrim's Menu' which includes 3 courses, wine and water.
The route is marked with yellow painted arrows but please take care at intersections. There will always be other cyclists/walkers around in case you are looking for help. A detailed information pack including route notes, local information and maps will be waiting for you at your first accommodation.
- 7 Nights in small family-run hotels and hostels
- 7 Breakfasts
- Baggage transfer
- Information pack and route notes with maps
- 24/7 Emergency telephone support from our office
- Travel to Leon / from Santiago de Compostela
- Bike hire (21 gear mountain bike)
- Lunches, dinners, drinks & snacks
- Entrance fees to museums and attractions
- Personal equipment
- Travel insurance (required)
- Additional nights along the route
- Bike hire (21 gear mountain bike)
This trip is available to start on any day from the beginning of April to the end of October. The trip does become particular busy during the peak summer months of June-August so we would suggest you book once your plans are finalised.
Alternatively, Madrid airport is serviced by the majority of major airlines which may be a more suitable option for international passengers. Or you can fly into Leon Airport itself, which is 6km by taxi from the city.
By Train: León can easily be reached by train from Madrid which takes 2hr45. Timetables and fares can be viewed at Renfe.
By Air: Direct flights are available from Santiago de Compostela Airport to London Stansted and Gatwick airports. Alternatively connecting flights via Central European hubs such as Madrid and Barcelona is also a good option.
By Train: It is also possible to take the train from Santiago to Madrid (approx. 7-8hrs). Timetables and fares can be viewed at Renfe.
At Macs Adventure, we work in partnership with many luggage transfer providers who set a limit on how many bags/suitcases they will transfer per person, and also the weight of the bag/suitcase. Your booking includes transfer of 1 bag per person. It is very important that you read the luggage information specific to your tour before departure. If you do not adhere to these limits, there is a great possibility that you will be charged locally both for extra bags or if they are too heavy. This limitation can be a challenge, especially as airlines generally have limits that are higher. However, our luggage providers have reasons for these limits (usually due to the Health and Safety of their employees), which we must respect.
Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. The maximum weight of a piece of luggage is 20kg.
The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat and sun screen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard cycling gear such as good cycling shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months, lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.
The pilgrim’s passport is issued by the church of St James, you can obtain one at the start of your cycle in the pilgrim’s office or the local church in town. You need to get the passport stamped in churches, restaurants and hotels along the way. At the end of the walk in Santiago you can obtain your Compostela Certificate (only if you have cycled the last 200km). For the other sections of the trail, the passport is used as a souvenir with all the colourful stamps you will receive.
Please never ride without a helmet. It is compulsory to wear a helmet while doing our Cycling Camino tour.
Please note: Due to recent changes on the back of Covid19, our local supplier no longer includes helmet hire in the cost of the bike hire - for hygiene and health & safety reasons, we do suggest that you bring your own helmet.
If you are unable to bring your own, then our local supplier has new helmets you can purchase for 30 EUR's - however they must be purchased/ordered well in advance of your arrival date (please arrange this with your Adventure Specialist). Important - you cannot purchase one from our local supplier on the day you are due to start cycling.
Alternatively, You could also buy one from one of the local shops as you arrive in Spain.
Bike Hire options:
Hard tail mountain bike: Megamo Natural 30
Hard tail mountain E-Bike: Lapierre Overvolt 7.6
Drop bar gravel bike: Lapierre Crosshill 3.0
Hybrid bike: KTM Life Joy/Time
Included in your hire is a pannier rack and rear bags, handle bar bag, water bottle and holder, lock, pump and a repair kit (E-Bikes also include the necessary charger).
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable Travel Insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.
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