This week we're bringing you the Camino de Santiago, or St. James' Way, for St. James' Day today. Every turn of the wheel on this adventure brings you the discovery of medieval villages full of character and charm, sacred monuments, Romanesque masterpieces, and the secrets behind the country's culinary diversity.
In a Nutshell:
Distance: Your days will consist of between 39-63 km of biking, spread over eight days.
Grading: This trip is graded moderate due to the distances biked each day. The route is exceptionally well way-marked, and you will be supplied with turn-by-turn directions and maps.
Where is it? Your journey begins in the medieval capital of the Spanish Kingdom, León. From there, you bike across the Castilian plains ascending the Montes de León and Cruz de Ferro, the highest point of the trip. Afterward, you'll continue through the ancient wine valley of El Bierzo and then enter the Galician countryside. Finally, your biking adventure ends in the spiritual city of Santiago, where you can make your way by bike to the Plaza de Obradoiro and the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.
Why Bike the Camino?
Visit the imposing "Romanesque" Cathedral de Santiago de Compostela, which began in 1057; the Basilica was consecrated in 1211. Over the centuries, the cathedral has undergone several changes to its facade, though the fundamental medieval structure has been preserved. These changes came during the Renaissance and Baroque periods and the later Neoclassic period and are observable in the differing stylistic elements of architecture. Foodies will enjoy the traditional and regional dishes this area has to offer. The cuisine of the Galician region is one of its main tourist attractions. Using high-quality local products to prepare dishes, you can be sure to enjoy fresh, authentic food. The area has more than 300 gastronomic fiestas annually. Be sure to try Galician ox while there, a dish so good it has been incorporated into the cuisine of other Spanish regions. Soak up the atmosphere of the quaint little villages along the way, sampling local liqueurs, cheese, and wines. Stroll through the town squares and take in the astonishing architecture they have to offer, such as the 'Pallozas' in O'Cebreiro or the historic town of Ponferrada's Castle of the Templars.
Planning and Preparation:
This tour is available from the start of April to the end of October; you can choose the start date of your trip at your convenience. If you'd like, you can also extend your trip by booking additional nights along the way. The tour is self-guided, so you bike at your own pace and decide which sights are worth seeing.