length

10 Days

difficulty

Moderate - Challenging

trip cost

from $2550 pp

Icons / stylised / time Created with Sketch.

length

10 Days

Icons / stylised / difficulty Created with Sketch.

difficulty

Moderate - Challenging

Icons / stylised /cost Created with Sketch.

trip cost

from $2550 pp

Nature Immersion

Cultural Interest

Self-Guided Trip

our walk experts

  • Overview
  • Highlights
  • Itinerary
  • Map
  • Inclusions
  • Exclusive Guide
  • Similar Rides and Walks

Overview

Leon to Santiago: Mountain Bike

Starting in Leon, cycle to the end of the trail at the legendary city of Santiago de Compostela, around 330km of cycling. This section suits cyclists who are in reasonably good shape as there are several hills to be tackled as the route climbs into the beautiful green countryside of Galicia. The trail is full of variety with sections on sealed road, track, rocky paths and everything from long flat days to long climbs and short sharp ascents. In most cases it is possible to get off the trail and use roads that run parallel to the Camino.

You’ll have a high quality mountain bike delivered to your hotel along with panniers, tool kit, lock, small handlebar bag and pump – everything you need to get you on the road. Each day your main luggage will be transferred to the next hotel so you can keep your weight in the bike light and just take what you need for the day. Each evening you’ll come into excellent accommodation, hand picked for its character and location.

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Highlights

Get Ready For

  • Bring a pebble or memento to leave at the Cruz de Ferro
  • Indulge the tastebuds; visit to the Museo del Chocolate in Astorga
  • Finish your pilgrimage walking into the incredible city of Santiago de Compostela

Itinerary

Leon to Santiago

DAY 1: ARRIVE LEON

Arrive into the lively city of Leon, capital of Castile and Leon. Your bike will be waiting for you when you arrive at your hotel. You just need to assemble the handlebars and pedals from the box – an easy 10-minute job.

Day 2: FREE DAY IN LEON

Spend the day exploring this beautiful city and its incredible Gothic cathedral which is renowned for its marvellous stained-glass windows. The streets of Leon come alive in the evenings when people parade the streets and its bodegas are overflowing with people.

Meals: B

DAY 3: CYCLE LEON TO ASTORGA (53KM)

There are two routes available for this morning. Both start at ‘La Virgen Del Camino’ and converge at ‘Hospital de Orbigo’ – one is a more indirect route that goes via Villar de Mazarife and has better scenery and less traffic, a more pleasant ride. The other route runs parallel to the autopista (highway) is less peaceful but quicker. You will see pilgrims on both routes but we’d recommend the quieter one via Villar de Mazarife. Stop for refreshments at the cafe overlooking the extraordinary bridge the ‘Puente de Orbigo’ – built on a Roman bridge this one dates from the 13th century and is one of the best preserved bridges in Spain.

You then ride the final 15km to reach the beautiful walled town of Astorga, with views of the mountains of Leon in the distance. On this last section you will cross over a few kilometres of quite rough tracks over rolling terrain before you reach the cross which overlooks Astorga. Look out for the small basic ‘Cantina’ at the top of the hill, a welcome refreshment stop before you reach the cross. Continue on to Astorga, which offers a number of attractions including a Cathedral by Gaudi and a delicious chocolate museum!

Meals: B

DAY 4: CYCLE ASTORGA TO MOLINASECA (46KM)

Leaving behind Astorga you cycle on pleasant paths across the plains with good views of the hills before you. Look out for the Cowboy Bar at El Ganso, a good place to stop for morning coffee. After El Ganso you start to climb to Rabinal del Camino and you’ll start to feel the incline which will steepen as you get further into the hills towards Foncebaddon – the infamous deserted village which is no longer deserted! The incline is always rideable however and there are plenty of switchbacks with great views back over the plains from where you’ve come. At the top of the hill is the Iron Cross, where pilgrims leave something whether a pebble they’ve carried or a bad habit or memorial to a loved one.

Meals: B

DAY 5: CYCLE MOLINSECA TO O CEBREIRO (61KM)

Today is a big day of hills, the Camino climbs into the city of Ponferrada past the castle of the Knights Templar, worth a quick coffee in the plaza to admire the hills you’ve just climbed over the day before. After Ponferrada continue on through gentle rolling hills and vineyards to reach the charming town of Villafranca del Bierzo, nestled in the hills that mark the border with Galicia. From here continue onwards and upwards to overnight at O Cebreiro which lies at the top of the mountains, a further 30km and 800m vertical ascent.

Meals: B

DAY 6: CYCLE O CEBREIRO TO SAMOS (40KM)

From O’ Cebreiro you have one or two more uphill stretches to conquer before an amazing long freewheeling descent of almost 20km to reach Triacastela. After Triacastela you continue along the river valley to Samos, home to an impressive monastery which dominates this little town. The monastery is now a museum and well worth a look. From here you will continue along the road to Sarria.

Meals: B

DAY 7: CYCLE SAMOS TO PALAS DE REI (58KM)

Today you’ll continue through the beautiful green Galician countryside to the modern town of Sarria, which is a major stop on the pilgrim trail – walking pilgrims can start here to cover the last 100km and earn their Compostela. Immediately after Sarria you will cross a series of low hills of up to 600m that will eventually lead you down to Portomarin, the route is along tree-lined paths and country roads so very pleasant riding. After Portomarin the Camino climbs again for 400m of ascent before finally rolling down the last 20km to Palas de Rei, a modern town.

Meals: B

DAY 8: CYCLE PALAS DE REI TO SANTIAGO (70KM)

Your final day on the bike as you approach the holy city of Santiago. Today’s ride is a fitting end to the Camino, as you pedal along rural roads through woodlands and pastures to Santiago, meandering along forgotten country roads through the beautiful Galician countryside. Rolling hills and green pastures predominate as you approach the final stretch to Santiago and feel the excitement building as you glimpse the towers of the Cathedral.

Meals: B

DAY 9: FREE DAY IN SANTIAGO

This morning you will need to take your bikes on a short ride back to the bike shop to drop-off, and you will then have the whole day to enjoy and explore historic Santiago with its many enticing tapas bars and restaurants. You can attend the midday pilgrims mass and look around the famous Cathedral of St James which forms the city’s heart and watch the steady stream of pilgrims arriving into the square as they finish their epic journey.

Meals: B

DAY 10: DEPART SANTIAGO

You are free to check out of your hotel any time before 10am. If you would like to explore Santiago further you are able to leave your bags with reception.

Meals: B

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Map

Explore

León

León is a beautiful city with an incredible Gothic cathedral, renowned for its marvellous stained-glass windows. In the evening the narrow streets and plazas come alive when locals flood the local bodegas, cafes and restaurants. León is surrounded by picturesque natural landscapes, such as the Picos de Europa mountain range and the green, hilly countryside of Castile and León.

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Hospital de Órbigo

The small town of Hospital de Órbigo is famous for its remarkable medieval bridge, the Puente de Órbigo. This bridge, also known as the “Passo Honroso” (the Passage of Honor), was the site of a medieval jousting tournament where knights vied for the affection of a lady. The bridge and its history are significant for pilgrims on the Camino.

 

Astorga

Astorga has a rich history dating back to Roman times and remnants of Roman walls and mosaics can still be seen in the town. The cathedral is a Gothic and Renaissance masterpiece and a must-visit. Astorga is also famous for the Episcopal Palace designed by the renowned architect Antoni Gaudí. This modernist building is a distinctive architectural gem and now houses the Gaudí Museum.

Rabanal del Camino

This village has a long history related to the Camino de Santiago. It was historically known for its hospitality to pilgrims and many pilgrims find it to be a spiritually significant place.

Molinaseca

This picturesque village offers a charming atmosphere with its cobbled streets and a medieval bridge over the Meruelo River.

Villafranca del Bierzo

This charming town is nestled in the hills that mark the border into Galicia. Both Molinaseca or Villafranca del Bierzo are great places to consider an additional rest day.

O’Cebreiro

The atmospheric hilltop hamlet of O’Cebreiro feels vaguely Irish. It’s known for its straw roof houses (pallozas) and is located on the Galicia border, about 150km from Santiago.

Triacastela

Triacastela is a charming village located in the province of Lugo. It is surrounded by beautiful Galician landscapes, including rolling green hills, lush forests, and serene rivers.

Sarria

Sarria is a busy, modern town with plenty of shops, hotels, restaurants and bars. It is bustling with pilgrims – those who began their Camino hundreds of kilometres back as well as the large number that walk the final 100km to Santiago de Compostela to qualify for their Compostela.

Portomarin

Portomarin has been inhabited for thousands of years and its importance grew with the popularity of the Camino in the middle ages. At one time it had three orders of Knights: the Knights Templar, the Knights of St John and the Knights of Jerusalem, which may go some way to explaining the castle-like edifice of the 12th century Romanesque Igelsia San Nicolas church which still stands in the square at the centre of town.

Palas de Rei

This town was a favourite place of residence of the Galician nobility and the importance of the Jacobean pilgrimage in this village goes back to time immemorial.

Arzúa

This is the last large town before you reach Santiago. It has plenty of restaurants bars and cafes and a few ATMs. The 14th century Capilla de la Magdelena is the town’s main monument. Arzúa is most famous for its local cheese, Queixo, a smooth creamy cheese made from cow’s milk which most restaurants feature in some way and is definitely worth trying.

O Pedrouzo

This small busy town has plenty of shops, restaurants and bars. It is the last stage of the Camino before entering Santiago de Compostela.

Santiago de Compostela

The wonderful and historic city of Santiago is the end of the Camino journey for most pilgrims. Praza do Obradoiro and the wonderful ancient Cathedral form the city’s heart. Attend the midday pilgrims mass and watch the steady stream of pilgrims arriving into the square as they finish their epic journey. There are many enticing tapas bars and restaurants in which to celebrate your journey.

 

Inclusions

What's Included?

Included
  • Specialized Carve Comp 29 mountain bike (15”-21” frame sizes)
  • Ortlieb rear panniers
  • Tool kit, lock, and pump
  • Drop off and collection of bike
  • 9 nights excellent accommodation including historic hotels and character country houses
  • Private en suite rooms on a twin share basis
  • Daily breakfast
  • Luggage transfer each day from hotel to hotel (1 x 20kg bag per person)
  • RAW Travel navigation app with maps of your hotel locations and emergency contact numbers
  • Local and Australian emergency contact numbers
  • Pre-trip Camino guidance and planning
  • Dedicated local support person in Spain for reassurance
Excluded
  • Single supplement $585
  • Cycling helmet
  • Travel insurance
  • Flights to/from Spain
Added Extras

RAW Travel also offer tailor-made arrangements and can adapt this itinerary to suit your needs. Tailor-made arrangements incur higher costs due to the extra work involved.

For an extra indulgence, upgrade your hotel in Santiago to a Parador from $170 per person/per night twin share and $250 per person/per night single occupancy, when booked 6 months in advance (subject to availability).

For any part of your trip that falls between 31 October and 31 March there is an ‘out of season’ luggage transfer surcharge cost of $30 per person per day.

Camino De Santiago destination guide

Exclusive Guide

get inspired

Walking the Camino is an incredible journey that will immerse you not only in Europe’s grand history, food and culture but most importantly the extraordinary camaraderie that exists along these routes. The spirit of the Camino de Santiago is alive and well among people from all over the world. It is a ‘bucket list’ experience you will never forget! Discover inspiration, travel essentials, practical information and more in our free Destination Guide. All you need to know about walking the Camino de Santiago routes through Spain, Portugal and France!

Download Now

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TRIP date selection

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Please select your preferred dates for on-demand trips or select a scheduled date for group departures. If you have booked a self-guided trip please understand that because your trip date is on demand and we must check availability of all properties on your chosen dates before it can be fully confirmed

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