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

Location

Leon

Leon

Day 1

Rabanal del Camino

Rabanal del Camino

Day 2

Villafranca

Villafranca

Day 3

Sarria

Sarria

Day 4

Melide

Melide

Day 5

Santiago de Compostella

Santiago de Compostella

Day 6

What’s Included in the Cost of Your Trip?

INCLUDED IN REGULAR TRIP

Services of one or more experienced Great Explorations guides and support vehicle
Accommodations in luxurious paradors, hotels and charming inns
Regular Trip: 6 nights lodging based on double occupancy, 6 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 5 dinners.
Classic Trip: 14 nights lodging based on double occupancy, all breakfasts, 4 lunches, 10 dinners.
Entrance fees for selected tastings, historical sites and museums
Detailed map and route instructions
Detailed Trip Planner full of pre-trip preparation material and travel information
All baggage transportation
All transportation from initial meeting point to final drop-off (see arrive/depart cities)

Particulars

EVENT DATES

2019

May 17-23
June 1-June 7
Sep 1-7
Sep 16-22

2020

May 10-16
May 24-30
Aug 30-Sep 5
Sep 20-26

Custom trips available and can start any date. Call or email for details.

TRIP SIZE

8-16 participants

TOTAL DAYS

7 days/ 6 nights

ARRIVE / DEPART

Leon/Santiago

ACTIVITY LEVEL

Intermediate - challenging
The camino de santiago is a challenging trip, due to the distance, daily elevation gains and trail conditions.

TERRAIN

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.

COST

Land Cost (current year):
US $2550 includes 6B/2L/5D

Single Supplement:
US $640

Bike Rental:
US$220

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 info@great-explorations.com or by telephone at 604.730.1247

Getting there :

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).


1

Day 1

We will meet you at the hotel lobby at 7 pm. If you arrive early, you can spend the afternoon relaxing and exploring Leon.

2

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.*

3

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.*

4

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.*

5

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.*

6

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.*

7

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.

NH Collection Hotel Plaza Mayor, Leon

Ideally located in Leon's main square, just 50 meters from the Gothic cathedral and close to restaurants and tapas bodegas. The 18th century nobleman's building combins a lovely facade with stylish, modern interiors.


La Posada Gaspar, Rabanal del Camino

This charming inn is our newest discovery, and was built using centuries old stone in the traditional style. Classic décor enhances the rooms, which are each inspired by points along the Jacobea Route. Terraces and balconies offer view of Mt Irago.


Hotel las Donas el Portazgo, Villafranca

This hotel, with architecture reflecting traditional Galician style, has just 19 rooms and opened in 2010. It is a welcoming hotel with charm and comfort.


Hotel Alfonso IX, Sarria

A 3-star modern hotel situated on the river with an excellent restaurant. Amenities include a gym, sauna, and outdoor swimming pool. Renovated in 2003 the rooms are large and comfortable and guests can enjoy pleasant views of the surrounding area.


Hotel Monumento, Santiago de Compostella

Situated in the historical city centre just 150 m from the Cathedral, this 18th century Franciscan convent has been renovated into a luxurious, historic 4-star hotel with heated swimming pool and jacuzzi with views of Mt. Pedroso.



			

Trip Reviews

June 3, 2007

“The whole experience was unbelievable. From the guides, to the people on the trip, the people you met along the way and the ride itself”

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