“We found the people we met made the trip so special. Several of us have already been talking about which trip to go on next year.”
– Kay & Jim D,
Apr 28 -May 12
May 19-Jun 2
Aug 18- Sep 1
May 27-Jun 2
August 26- Sept 1
Apr 27 -May 11
May 18-Jun 1
Aug 17- Aug 31
May 26-Jun 1
August 25- Aug 31
Self-guided and custom trips also available and can start any day. Call or email for details.
Classic: 15 days/ 14 nights
Regular: 7 days/ 6 nights
Intermediate - challenging
The camino de santiago is a challenging trip, due to the distance, daily elevation gains and trail conditions.
We recommend a combination of trail and paved roads, each where suitable. You do have to have a level of fitness and experience riding trails to enjoy this trip.
Land Cost (current year):
Classic: US $3650 Includes 15B/4L/10D
Regular: US $2450 includes 6B/2L/5D
Classic: US $800
Regular: US $600
Classic: US $280
Camino de Santiago, Biking
Classic: Pamplona to Santiago de Compostella
Regular: Leon to Santiago de Compostella
For any traveler interested in history, art, & culture, the Camino de Santiago certainly ranks as one of the most spectacular trips in the world today. From the 10th Century to the present day, pilgrims have come (by foot and now bicycle) from near and far to experience this enigma of Spain.
For riders of this trail, you can choose between a paved or off-road route as it threads its way across Spain. The scenery is breathtaking with lots of cultural and historical sights along the way.
For those with the time, we highly recommend that you consider our Classic route; we maintain that this journey has the potential to change your life (in good ways). For those wishing a shorter journey we also offer the Regular trip beginning in Leon. On both trips we stay in the best hotels available, ranging from traditional inns to luxurious paradors.
Only Great Explorations:
- Small groups, extraordinary guides, and authentic experiences.
- Wine with meals included on this trip.
- Wine tour & tasting at the esteemed Bodega Irache in Estella.
- Order off the menu at restaurants you won't find in guidebooks.
- A moment you will never forget: receiving your Compostella in historic Santiago at journey's end- felicidades.
- We design and operate our own trips so there are only good surprises.
Pamplona: You can reach Pamplona through Madrid, Bilboa or Vitoria.
CLASSIC DAY 1:
Pamplona - Our tour starts in Pamplona. Your hotel is included on arrival day into Pamplona and we'll be meeting at 7:00 pm for orientation and a night of tapas. We stay in a 3-star hotel in the historical center.
Roncesvalles to Pamplona
After breakfast we'll transfer to Roncesvalles, the traditional start of the pilgrimage, to begin our journey. This first day's ride is almost all downhill. We'll finish the day with a walking tour of historical Pamplona with a local guide before dinner at our favourite restaurant in town.
Distance: 42 km, elevation gain 149 m.*
Pamplona to Estella
Leaving Pamplona we’ll climb towards the foothills of the Sierra del Perdon, reaching Puenta la Reina, with its famous Romanesque bridge and charming town. We’ll spend the night in Estella, near the beautiful 12th century Palace of the Kings of Navarre.
Distance: 47 km, elevation gain 820 m.*
Estella to Logrono
We’ll start the day with a stop at the winemakers ‘Bodega Irache’, where a free-flowing wine fountain welcomes thirsty pilgrims. Our ride takes us through vineyards and past castles before crossing the great Puente de Piedra into Logrono, a bustling town with an interesting history, architectural jewels, cafes and music. Our hotel is in a beautifully renovated historical building with all amenities.
Distance: 49 km, elevation gain 750 m.*
Logrono to Santa Domingo de la Calzada
Our goal today is to reach a town long linked to the pilgrimage. The town’s namesake, St. Dominic, was a hermit who devoted his life to helping pilgrims on their way to Santiago. Among other deeds, he built a pilgrim's bridge, hospital and much of the medieval road (which we ride) that still survives from the 11th century. The other reason we stop here is to stay at the extraordinary Parador Sata Domingo de la Calzada Hotel - one of Spain’s best.
Distance: 50 km, elevation gain 730 m.*
Santa Domingo de la Calzada to Burgos
The riding today is superb through bell heather on rolling trail. Lunch will be provided today in San Juan de Ortega; on the afternoon’s ride we’ll count stork nests in the bell towers along the route. Arriving in Burgos, we’ll visit the Gothic Cathedral, one of the most outstanding artistic monuments in Spain. After dinner, for those wanting a little night life, there are plenty of tapas bars and clubs to tempt you!
Distance: 67 km, elevation gain 660 m.*
Burgos to Carrion de las Condes
The riding through most of the Castilian stages is on more level terrain allowing us to comfortably cover more distance. Although no less beautiful, the scenery changes dramatically through this region. We’ll have lunch today in the curious town of Hontanas, where the barman drinks wine in a most unusual way. Our destination, Carrion de las Condes makes for a relaxing town, between the bustling cities of Burgos and Leon.
Distance: 80 km, elevation gain 550 m.*
Carrion de las Condes to Leon
Although one of our longer days, the gentle grade should allow us to take our time and enjoy the ride. We’ll provide a picnic lunch at a beautiful site on the river Esla in Mansilla de las Mulas; afterwards we’ll continue into Leon with its impressive monuments including the 13 C Cathedral. We’ll organize a walking tour here, finishing with a visit to a wine bodega. Our hotel for tonight is located in the historical district, steps from the cities best shopping and restaurants.
Distance: 95 km, elevation gain 450 m.*
REGULAR (SHORT) TRIP: For those beginning in Leon, you can make your way from Madrid by flight, train or coach and your hotel is included on this day (your Day 1).
DAY 9 / DAY 1: We will have a local guide show you the many treasures of Leon, followed by a picnic lunch in a fabulous park in the city center. Spend the afternoon relaxing and exploring Leon.
DAY 10 / DAY 2:
Leon to Rabanal del Camino
Riding out of Leon we’ll visit Hospital del Orbigo arriving in time for lunch in Astorga. For Epicureans, Astorga is known for mantecadas, one of the famous delicacies in Spanish pastrymaking. We’ll overnight in Rabanal del Camino, one of the more famous pilgrimage sites along the trail staying in a beautiful posada.
Distance: 74 km, elevation gain 690m.*
DAY 11 / DAY 3:
Rabanal to Villafranca
Our route today will begin with a visit to Castrillo de los Polvares, a town immortalized by the writer Concha Espina in her novel The Maragato Sphinx, a portrait of the village and its centuries-old customs. Just before lunch we’ll reach the Cruz de Ferro, one of the most symbolic monuments along the pilgrims’ route. Whenever pilgrims add a stone to the pile they become part of an ancient tradition; the Romans called these stone heaps, ‘mounts of Mercury’ after the god of travelers. In Ponferrada, you can visit the impressive Templar Castle, one of the oldest and finest examples of Spanish military architecture. We’ll finish the day in Villafranca, one of the most attractive towns on the camino. Our hotel for tonight is in a 3-star parador hotel.
Distance: 58 km, elevation gain 820 m.*
DAY 12 / DAY 4:
Villafranca to Sarria
From Villafranca, you will climb through unspoiled countryside of heather and broom, pines, chestnuts and oaks enjoying a magnificent view over the Valcarce valley up to El Cebreiro, famous for its pallozas, straw-roofed dwellings. In Samos we visit a monastery before continuing on to Sarria and its Monastery of La Magdelena and its hospitable Mercedarian monks.
Distance: 70 km, elevation gain 1500 m.*
DAY 13 / DAY 5:
Sarria to Melide
From Sarria, the terrain changes again, as you find yourself in a rural part of the country with people living much as they did centuries ago. We’ll have lunch in Portomarin, and then enjoy some of the best biking of the camino on rolling terrain through Leboreiro to Melide, particularly rich in pre-Roman remains and on to our hotel, a most charming inn with outdoor swimming pool.
Distance: 71 km, elevation gain 1200 m.*
DAY 14 / DAY 6:
Melide to Santiago de Compostella
This is our shortest day - we will pass many small hamlets hidden among eucalyptus trees before reaching the environs of Santiago. Your adrenaline will surge as you make your way through Santiago itself, packed with vestiges of the pilgrimage. Nothing quite prepares you though, for arriving at the Cathedral itself, where you can share in the sense that pilgrims have felt since time immemorial. We’ll stay at one of the finest hotels in the city located just 200 meters from the Cathedral. Enjoy.
Distance: 46 km, elevation gain 740 m.*
DAY 15 / DAY 7: We recommend a leisurely last day and leave time for those who wish to do last minute shopping or time to explore the monuments of Santiago. For those that are heading back to Madrid, there are flight, train and bus connections.
Map of the Area
What's Included in the Cost of Your Trip?
Services of one or more experienced Great Explorations guides and support vehicle
Accommodations in luxurious paradors, hotels and charming inns
Classic Trip: 14 nights lodging based on double occupancy, all breakfasts, 4 lunches, 10 dinners.
Regular Trip: 6 nights lodging based on double occupancy, 6 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 5 dinners.
Entrance fees for selected tastings, historical sites and museums
Detailed map and route instructions
All luggage transportation
All transportation from initial meeting point to final drop-off (see arrive/depart cities)
Detailed Trip Planner full of pre-trip preparation material and travel information
Please note: Final itinerary is subject to revision; any changes made are done so in an attempt to provide the best possible trip given route conditions and available services. Due to the nature of our business and exchange rates, prices are subject to change. All prices quoted are U.S. dollars but we gladly accept payment in Canadian dollars also. Due to cancellations and waiting lists, trip availability fluctuates daily. If you have any questions or would like to confirm space on this trip before making your reservation, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 604.730.1247