Cycling the Camino Frances
The French Way by Bike!
According to a survey in 2013 by the European Cyclists’ Federation, 200 million EU citizens cycle, 50 million of these every day. So it is no wonder that cycling holidays are growing in popularity.
We at Follow the Camino have been organising cycling holidays along the Camino since 2006 and the most popular route for cyclists has been the French Way. This Camino covers some of the most striking parts of Spain and Galicia, passing through historic places such as O’Cebreiro, Burgos and Pamplona. As well as reaching many very important pilgrimages towns such as Sarria and Arzua.
Ernest Hemingway once observed that ‘It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best’. With this in mind we have developed 3 pioneering routes along the French Way.
The first is from the small Camino village of Roncesvalles, on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees, to Burgos in the heart of the province of Castilla-Leon and whose jewelling crown is its Cathedral, which is a World Heritage Site.
The second section then goes from Burgos through the mostly flat terrain of the Spanish Plains ending in the bustling city of Ponferrada which sits below the imposing castle built by the Knights Templar.
The final section then leaves from Ponferrada crossing the glorious O Cebreiro Mountains welcoming you to the lush green hills of Galicia before arriving at the final destination of the Camino, Santiago de Compostela.
These 3 manageable sections over 7 days allow cyclists to experience a variety of landscapes whilst staying in carefully selected and assessed authentic accommodation such as genuine casa rurales, family-owned hotels and pensiones.
You will also have the opportunity to experience the cultural and social scene along the way accompanied by some of the finest local food and drink!
Included in the cycling tours is your bike rental of an easy self-assemble bike that is delivered to your first hotel and when you finish your tour you will be given instructions on where to return your bike to. We also provide, free with the bike hire, a helmet, gel saddle, water bottle holder, panier rack and bag and repair kit. For your convenience and reassurance we also include Bike Breakdown Third Party Insurance.
Section 1 of 37 DaysModerate Difficulty259km
Starting in Roncesvalles, this leg of the French Way will bring you to the vibrant city of Burgos. This section is great for cyclists who want to enjoy different landscapes, from the foothills of the Pyrenees to hilly fields of sunflowers, from woodland to red earth vineyards. It also has many historical cities as well as picturesque towns, and visitors can enjoy different regional cultures as they journey from the Basque Country to Castilla y Leon, not to mention the wine-dedicated region of La Rioja.Get Details
Section 2 of 37 DaysModerate Difficulty305km
Starting from Burgos, medieval city and home of a UNESCO World Heritage cathedral, this section of the French Way by Bike offers some of the best historical and cultural vestiges of the whole Camino Frances. It passes through Leon and the vast Castilian Plateau (Approx. alt. 900m) before reaching another medieval bastion – the buzzing city of Ponferrada. The mostly flat and gentle terrain makes it accessible to any cyclist with an average level of fitness.Get Details
7 DaysModerate Difficulty236km
Starting in the mountain-hugging town of Ponferrada and finishing in Santiago de Compostela, this section covers both the Castilla y Leon and Galicia regions. Leaving the medieval city of Ponferrada behind us, this Camino crosses the magnificent O’Cebreiro Mountains before heading towards the heart of Galicia and its lush green hills.
This section can be physically demanding and requires a good level of fitness, but it is also a highly rewarding leg of the Camino, offering beautiful landscapes and numerous cultural sights.Get Details