Bike tour – the St. James Way or Camino de Santiago
The popularity of St. James’ way has been increasing during last years not only among Christians who are seeking to make pilgrimage to the saint place, but also for those who are searching to discover and get to know better oneself, those who want to discover new places, new experiences and impressions. For example: enjoy great nature, delicious food and just disconnect from the everyday stress…
The firm and original St. James’ way is the one that goes on the north coast of Spain, also called North Way. Green Spain landscapes are full of beautiful mountains overlooking an infinite smooth surface of Atlantic Ocean, the nature’s basic beauty, national parks and reserves, idyllic pictures of rural life, secular cities, and architecture reached us from depth of centuries. We invite you to travel in these mysterious places. We suggest you to come through both principal St. James routes: French Way and North Way.
1st Day. Transfer and arrival to hotel 3-4 stars in Laredo (Bilbao or Santander), then presentation of documents and route planning. Welcome dinner.
2nd Day. 320 km. The day comes over in hotel of 3-4 stars in Pamplona.
In the morning we leave Laredo and go to Irún, the route will pass between mountains and the Atlantic coast. The pilgrim ways of St. James starts in French town Saint-Jean Pied de Port. On a way we are waited by dizzy increases and descents. We´ll begin with Ibañeta top, then Roncesvaux and arrival in Pamplona, the medieval capital of the Navarra Kingdom, where takes place of the most famous fiestas glorified by Hemingway – San Fermin when corrida bulls run after adventures through the city streets! On the route there are 4 stops for pictures, snacks and lunch.
3rd Day. 220 km. The day comes over in hotel of 3-4 stars in Burgos.
Route of day we will begin with the conquest of the mountain of El Alto del Perdón, then dizzy descent to Puente La Reina Bridge, visit Estella and go to the main region of winemaking of Spain – La Rioja, also called the land of wine! Then visit one of local wineries; we will go down in wine cellars. After having lunch at a nice wine restaurant we will visit some villages surrounded by vineyards. In the evening arrival in majestic Burgos where we will visit its greatest Gothic Cathedral of Spain – Santa María built in the XIII century! On the route there are 4 stops for pictures, snacks and lunch.
4th Day. 200 km. The day comes over in hotel of 3-4 stars in Leon.
Today we’ll have one of the shortest stages of the whole trip. We´ll enjoy walking around small villages of the province of Castilla and Leon. We arrive to Leon where we have lunch, in the afternoon do a sightseeing tour, the city was founded by Romans still B.C. Its cathedral was built in the XIII century and entered in the UNESCO list of the world heritage. Then we´ll see one of Gaudi’s creation and other sights of one of the most ancient cities of Spain. On the route there are 4 stops for pictures, snacks and lunch.
5th Day. 240 km. The day comes over in hotel of 3-4 stars in Santiago de Compostela.
In the morning we´ll visit the most beautiful cathedral and the Episcopal Palace in Astorga. Further on the way, we go through Ponferrada, Villafranca del Bierzo rise to Piedrafita tops to enjoy views of mountain landscapes from height of bird’s flight. At the end of day arrival to the legendary Santiago De Compostela – a terminal point of Camino de Santiago. On the route there are 5 stops for pictures, snacks and lunch.
6th Day. The day off in Santiago de Compostela to enjoy the city, its history and architecture, to try the well-known Galician cuisine, especially famous for its sea food!
If you can’t stay away off your bike even for a day, we offer you an excursion to the end of the world (!) this is how Cape Finisterre was called in the Middle Ages the Cape Finisterre, being the most western point of Europe. Then we return to Santiago on the picturesque road along the ocean visiting , Galician small fisher villages to enjoy lunch in one of the best restaurants of a local cuisine! Excursion’s distance is 200 km.
7th Day. 340 km. The day comes over in hotel of 3-4 stars in Oviedo.
Having made the bike-pilgrimage on the French way, we come back on a north St. James way that goes along the Atlantic coast also called Green Spain. Crossing Galicia, we will stop in Lugo where we will visit one of the world’s most beautiful beaches – The Cathedrals, recognized as the 5th best in the world and 2nd in Europe in 2013!!! Its name “Cathedrals” is the best description for the beach and its intricate arches turned by the ocean in rocks for millions years! Further we will visit the most authentic fishing small villages of Asturias: Cudillero, Luarca and Tapia de Casariego which are located on a joint of the ocean and mountains! We will finish the day in Oviedo, the capital of Asturias and walk around the city. On the route there are 5 stops for pictures, snacks and lunch.
8th Day. 340 km. The day comes over in hotel of 3-4 stars in Llanes.
This day will be dedicated to the natural reserve Picos de Europa, the biggest reserve in the territory of the Iberian Peninsula. We will visit the legendary lakes of Covadonga and the place where Spanish Reconquista began. In accordance with the legend, Virgin Mary blessed and helped Christians army to expel Muslims. After the Asturian Kingdom become as a consequence, the Great Spanish Empire. Further a stop on the survey platform of El Fitu, with magnificent open views! We will finish the day in some small fishing villages of Asturias: Ribadesella, Llanes with unique multi-colored breakwaters, and masterpiece of the Basque artist Agustín Ibarrola. On the route there are 5 stops for pictures, snacks and lunch.
9th Day. 160 km. The day comes over in hotel of 3-4 stars in Puente Viesgo.
The route will begin with visiting an observation deck of Pechón, further we´ll see a picturesque San Vicente de la Barquera, with its medieval old city and the well-known Roman bridge. Our next stop is Comillas, a small town with abundance of palaces and architectural monuments that a big city might envy. Where Antoni Gaudi constructed his first masterpiece – Palace El Capricho. Further we´ll be surprised by Santillana Del Mar – the authentic medieval town recognized as the most beautiful village of Spain. There is no building, built after the XVIII century. Further lunch in secular Santander, a walk around the city and visit the most beautiful bay of Spain that still conserved summer residence of the king Alfonso XIII – the La Magdalena Palace. Afterwards we´ll go up to the peak Peñacabarga with tremendous views of Santander’s bay. Peñacabarga became a favorite stage of annual cycle race Vuelta España, thanks to the dizzy bends and steep slopes. And in the evening we´ll get deserved relax in one of the best SPA hotels of Spain, in Puente Viesgo.
The route comes over with a goodbye dinner and some souvenirs detail for participants!
10th Day. Breakfast in the hotel, organizational issues and a transfer in the airport, or you might go on your own route.