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Cycling the Camino de Santiago, from Leon to Santiago
Type :
Level :
Duration :
10 days
period:
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Code:
ESSBS25
price from € 794
Cycling the Camino de Santiago, from Leon to Santiago
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Cycling the Camino de Santiago, from Leon to Santiago

Cycling the Camino de Santiago, from Leon to Santiago - 10 days

This cycling trip takes you from the Gothic Cathedral of Leon to Santiago, final destination of the world's most popular walking route: you will travel through ever-changing sceneries, from the open plains and wheah fields of Castilla to the green, vineyard-dotted hills of Galicia. You may follow the pilgrims' tradition by laying a stone under the Cruz de Hierro or immerse yourself in medieval legends, visiting Templars' strongholds and ancient churches where the Saint Graal is said to be enshrined. You will finally reach your final destination: Plaza del Obraidoro, where travellers from all around the world meet to celebrate the end of their journey.

                                                 pin_02

The tips of Valentina:

  • Go in search of the Saint Graal in Leon, the starting point of your journey;
  • Face the exciting ascent to the Cruz de Hierro, the highest point of French Camino;
  • Explore the narrow streets of Sarria, among stone castles and antique shops;
  • Attend the pilgrim's mass in the cathedral to celebrate your arrival in Santiago.
Route
Day 1: Arrival in Leòn
Day 2: From León to Astorga, 49 km
Day 3: From Astorga to Molinaseca, 46 km
Day 4: From Molinaseca to Villafranca del Bierzo, 29,5 km
Day 5: From Villafranca del Bierzo to O' Cebreiro, 29,5 km
Day 6: From O Cebreiro to Sarria, 46 km
Day 7: From Sarria to Palas del Rei, 52 km
Day 8: From Palas del Rei to Arzúa, 35 km
Day 9: From Arzúa to Santiago, 39 km
Day 10: Santiago

Day 1:    Arrival in Leòn

Your journey starts in Leòn, which you can easily reach from Madrid, Oviedo or Valladolid: to make your holiday unforgettable fom the very first day, visit the beautiful gothic cathedral or the Saint Isidor's museum, where according to the legend the Saint Graal is enshrined. We suggest trying the local specialties for dinner: local pork roast is celebrated even in ancient literary texts, but if meat is not your thing you may appreciate the delicious goat cheese.

Day 2:    From León to Astorga, 49 km

In your first day of cycling you will test your bicycles with a gentle, easy ride through golden wheat fields and quiet villages until entering the Margateria region. In its capital, Astorga, the Camino de Santiago crosses the Via de la Plata. This city was considered an important trading point during the Roman Empire and houses many artistic beauties: from the colourful marble walls of the cathedral to the spectacular, modernist, Palacio Episcopal, designed by Gaudì.

Day 3:    From Astorga to Molinaseca, 46 km

Make sure you eat enough for breakfast, as today's ride will test your legs: from Astorga you will ride up the Bierzo hills to the Cruz the Hierro, the highest point of the French Camino, at almost 1507 metres altitude. Follow the tradition and lay a stone as a record of your passage before enjoying the 20 km descent to the stone bridge that leads to Molinaseca.

Day 4:    From Molinaseca to Villafranca del Bierzo, 29,5 km

Today's ride is a relaxing one, so that you will have enough time left to visit Ponferrada, founded by Romans to exploit coal mines in the nearby hills. Immerse yourself in the legend of Tempars with a visit to the 8000 square metres castle which used to be their stronghold, before proceeding to Villafranca del Bierzo. This village represents an important gateway to Galicia and was especially known for its hospital, which used to welcome and assist injured and sick pilgrims.

Day 5:    From Villafranca del Bierzo to O' Cebreiro, 29,5 km

After a relaxing day, here is the toughest climb of the entire Camino: the old national road leads to 6km of steep uphill along a dirt road, taking you to O Cebreiro (which can be avoided through a longer alternative).  You will notice some peculiar stone buildings along the way: these elliptical houses with straw roof are the Pallozas, left to these territories by the Celtiberian pre-Roman tribe. Once in the village of O'Cebreiro, do not forget to visit the Church of Santa Marìa la Real, where the Caliz de Milagre is said to be guarded.

Day 6:    From O Cebreiro to Sarria, 46 km

Todays's ride will lead you through the lush green Galician countryside: from the mountain of O'Cebreiro you will descend to Tricastela, where according to the tradition pilgrims take a stone to bring to Santiago. You will then proceed to Sarria, Galicia's most important pilgrim centre besides Santiago, where you may follow the Rua Mayor from the city center to the castle: if you'd rather have a little relax, we suggest a walk through the antiques shops of the city center.

Day 7:    From Sarria to Palas del Rei, 52 km

The first part of the ride will lead you through quiet, shady countryside roads to Portomarin: you may stop in one of the many villages along the way, carachterized by typical Galician stone houses. From Portomarin you will ride through  an ever changing landscape: grassy fields, woods and streams, through stone bridges and villages. Palas del Rei, founged in pre-Roman age and an ancient Celtic stronghold, unfortunately offers little evidence of its glorious past: you may relax and drink a cafè con leche before reaching your hotel with a little variation from the official itinerary.

Day 8:    From Palas del Rei to Arzúa, 35 km

Shortly after Coto, some signs indicating the progressive distance from Santiago will give you a foretaste of your arrival, but don't rush: today's route is easy and well-shaded, through oak forests and aromatic eucalyptus plants. You may stop for a short break in Melide, the city where the French Camino meets the Primitivo one, or in Lebroreiro to find out what a cabazo is before proceeding to Arzua, 40 km before your final destination.

Day 9:    From Arzúa to Santiago, 39 km

Today's itinerary runs through oaks, pines and chestnut trees, before entering an eucalyptus wood. This stage is especially full of streams, and very varied: you will cross modern areas, such as the regional airport, and ancient little gems such as the village of Lavacolla, where pilgrims used to wash and get themselves ready for the arrival. You will experience the same joy in seeing Santiago from the summit of Monte Gozo, the Mount of Joy, before finally reaching Plaza del Obradoiro, the final destination of pilgrims throughout the ages. You can choose to rush and get your Compostela or visiting the Cathedral first: if you arrive before noon, do not miss the moving pilgrim's mass, in which the priest announces the number of pilgrims arrived in Santiago on that day.

Day 10:    Santiago

You can choose to leave Santiago or stop for an additional night and visit the keenly awaited goal of your walk. You may visit the Renaissance cloister of Collegio Fonseca, which houses the university library, or take a picture to the picturesque spiral staircase of the Saint Domingo de Bonaval convent, which also houses a nice museum. If you don't know where to stop for lunch, we suggest the General Markets, where  you can buy local specialties directly by their producers. To celebrate the end of your walk, spoil yourself with a great dinner crowned by a glass of Orujo!

accommodation

9 nights in *** hotels, b&b and agriturismos

Hotel Real Colegiata Leon
Hotel Real Colegiata - Leon

Hotel Real Colegiata is located in the historic centre of Leon in the 11th-century San Isidoro Colegiate complex, with its basilica, cloister and museum. All rooms feature stone walls and views of the Roman Wall or the cloister. These are comfortable and well-finished with free Wifi, TV, air conditioning. Breakfast is good and varied. 

www.hotelrealcolegiata.es

Posada Real Casa de Tepa Astorga
Posada Real Casa de Tepa - Astorga

Hotel Posada Real Casa de Tepa is next to the cathedral and Gaudì Palace and situated in a restored 18th-century palace. Rooms are elegant, comfortable and spacious with free Wifi, air conditioning/heating, TV. Besides the structure has a large garden and a library with fireplace. 

 

Hostal El Palacio Molinaseca
Hostal El Palacio - Molinaseca

This Hostal it has been recently renovated and offers basic accomodations, but clean and well-finished. The structure has an external swimming pool with seasonal opening, view on mountains or on lake, a terrace and a restaurant. Staff are helpful. 

www.casaelpalacio.com

Hostal Posada Plaza Mayor
Hostal Posada Plaza Mayor - Villafranca del Bierzo

This Hostal is located in the historic center of Villafranca del Bierzo in Plaza Major. Rooms are well-furnished and elegant and some of these have view on the square. Comforts are free Wifi, satellite TV, air conditioning/ heating. Staff are welcoming. 

www.villafrancaplaza.com

Venta Celta Piedrafita do Cebreiro
Venta Celta - Piedrafita Do Cebreiro

An hostel with country accommodation located in Piedrafita do Cebreiro. The hostal has a traditional restaurant.

Hotel Roma Sarria
Hotel Roma - Sarria

This hotel is located in a quiet area of the town. This is the ideal stay for relax after long walking distance. Rooms are confortable. The hotel has a restaurant.

http://hotelroma1930.es/

A Parada das Bestas - Palas De Rei
A Parada das Bestas - Palas Del Rei

A Parada das Bestas si located amidst the Galician countryside and offers comfortable rustic-style accomodation, but not very spacious with wood-beamed ceilings and exposed stonework. Comforts are free Wifi, TV, air conditioning/heating. The restaurant proposes local cuisine. 

www.aparadadasbestas.com

Pazo De Santa Maria Arzúa
Pazo De Santa Maria - Arzúa

Pazo De Santa Maria is an 18th-century property, set in 35,000 m² of gardens. The structure has original stone walls and wooden beams with rooms well-finished, comfortable and clean. There is free WiFi in common areas and rooms, relaxing lounges, with a library and an open fireplace. Owners are helpful and courteous. 

www.pazosantamaria.com

 Hotel A Tafona Santiago De Compostela
Hotel A Tafona - Santiago de Compostela

This hotel is located close to the traditional Food Market of Santiago, the Belvis Park and the "Puerta del Camino", one of the entries to the old town. 

http://www.atafonadoperegrino.com/en/

practical info

Arrival to León

  • By public transport from Oviedo airport; Bus from Oviedo (Asturias) airport to León with five or six services daily. Travel time is 3 to 4 hours, and you may have to changes buses in Oviedo or Gijón. See www.alsa.es for further details. 
  • By public transport from Madrid airport; Bus from Madrid-Barajas Airport T4 to León with 4 or 5 services daily. Travel time is 3.5 to 4.5 hours. See www.alsa.es for further details. 
  • Optional transfers; A private taxi transfer can be booked through S-cape. Prices are available on request 

Departure from Santiago de Compostela

  • By public transport to Santiago airport (Lavacolla); Bus from Santiago city centre to Santiago airport, with departures daily every 30 minutes 
  • By public transport to A Coruña airport (Alvedro); Bus from Santiago bus station to A Coruña, with departures every hour. 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes. This service is provided by Castromil / Monbus. From A Coruña bus station you take a city bus (Line 443) to the airport. Service provided by Autos Calpita. 
  • Optional transfers: A private taxi transfer can be booked through S-cape Travel. Prices are available on request. 

GPS tracks available on request.

Included

Price includes 

· 9 nights in *** hotels, b&b and agriturismos

· 4 dinners

· luggage transfers

· detailed maps and itinerary description

· luggage/medical insurance

· 24h telephone support

 

Price does not include 

· Trip to reach the arriving and leaving points

· meals, where not otherwise stated

· visits and entrance tickets - tips

· personal extras

· anything not mentioned in the "price includes" list

 

Additional services

· single room supplement

· bicycle rental

· half board

· transfers

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