Cycle the Camino Frances from Roncesvalles to Santiago on a Budget
Starting in Roncesvalles, cycling the full French way will bring you to the most stunning places of the Camino. Passing by the most important regions of Spain will teach you a lot about Spanish culture. This trip is amazing for the cyclist who loves to see different landscapes. It's also the best way to see many picturesque towns along your way.
This trip createstonne(s) of CO2, we offset it for free
Wine and Gastronomy
Passing through La Rioja allows you to taste the most famous Spanish wine. So take some time to make a detour and go around to visit wineries and try some of the Rioja wine with traditional Spanish dishes. So you need to sample some tapas with wine for the aperitif…
Diversity of landscapes
Enjoy crossing green hills and the speed of the slope. Let the Spanish sun warm you along the Castilian Plateau, a relatively flat part where you can take a break and rest your legs. Enjoy the sunset on the vineyard. And let your bike lead the journey.
Going from Roncesvalles to Santiago you are passing some of the most beautiful cities in Spain. Start in Pamplona, the most historic city in Spain, then go to Burgos. This city is well known for the Cathedral of Santa Maria, a UNESCO World heritage site. Then enjoy your time in Leon and Astorga, which are very strong cultural cities in Spain. Finally arrive in Santiago and take your time to fully explore the city.
Roncesvalles to Santiago De Compostela
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Specially chosen 2-3* hotels or equivalent
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Mountain Bike BH Over-X 27V
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Day Tours Available
With its collegiate church, old monastery and chapel of Santiago, Roncesvalles has a strong link to the Camino de Santiago. It is also one of the major spots of all the routes to the tomb of St James as this is where all pilgrims gather to to start their journey to Santiago de Compostela via the French Way. Set at the foothills of the Pyrenees (Alt. 1000m), this peaceful place seems to exist because of, and for, the Camino.
Day 2 42.7km
Leaving the Pyrenees behind us, we cycle down to Pamplona (Alt. 450m) through the undulating terrain of the Basque Country via woodlands and hilly cultivated lands, before reaching the capital city of the region of Navarra – Pamplona.
Day 3 44.6km
As soon as we leave Pamplona, we notice a drastic change in landscape: sunflowers and cereal fields surround us as we pass el Alto del Perdon (Alt. 750m) before heading down to Puente de la Reina, where the French and Aragonese Ways to Santiago meet. The second half of the day sees another progression in landscapes as red earth crop fields, charming villages and vineyards begin to appear.
Day 4 49.9km
Today is another beautiful day, cycling through vineyards and red earth crop fields. We also pass by a few famous landmarks of the Camino such as the Monasterio of Irache and its bodega, and the steep climb up to Villamayor de Monjardin. Shade also decreases as we get closer and closer to Logrono, capital city of world-known wine producing region of La Rioja.
Day 5 49.9km
SANTO DOMINGO DE LA CALZADA
Yet another great cycling day, along red earth tracks and through the countryside of La Rioja. As the day goes on, we notice vines start to disappear and are replaced by more cereal fields as we approach Santo Domingo de la Calzada, another great milestone on the Camino de Santiago . This day can be seen as challenging as there are many ups and downs all day long and little shade.
Day 6 70.5km
SANTO DOMINGO DE LA CALZADA
The day is spent through hilly crop fields, crossing a few quiet villages before getting back to civilisation in Burgos. This can be a demanding day as the length is challenging and because of the ascent/descent – but the final destination in Burgos worth it!
Day 7 65.8km
All day long, you will notice the influence of the Camino de Santiago as there is not a single village we cross that does not have obvious references to it.
Day 8 58.3km
During this stage, we have a good understanding of the popular meaning “Castilla es ancha” (castilla is wide). Crop fields give patches of beautiful colour to the agricultural landscape all year round. The first half of the day is mainly flat and it gets a bit more undulating on the second half to Sahagun.
Day 9 55.3km
Today we cycle through the colourful Castilian meseta or plateau. The landscape here seems endless as we pass over the flat terrain of the area, affording great views over the surrounding agricultural area. We finish the day in the vibrant city of Leon.
Day 10 52.2km
This is probably one of the flattest cycling days of the entire Camino Frances, but as we are on a high plateau, it still offers some great views and you will see Astorga down in the valley long before reaching it! In Astorga, take some time to visit the Episcopal palace, the cathedral, and the old city walls.
Day 11 51.1km
The last day of this section is definitely the most difficult, but also, the most rewarding one! We can enjoy spectacular views as we climb up to 1500m above sea level to reach the famous Cruz del Hierro (the Iron Cross). The natural scenery and towns with rich history make this the best way to finish the section, before reaching Ponferrada: a city with a lively, and very pretty, medieval centre.
Day 12 24.6km
VILLAFRANCA DEL BIERZO
Today you will cross the region of Bierzo, a sunken plain nestled within a ring of mountains. It is a fertile land, whose agreeable climate allows the cultivation of many types of fruit and vegetables. In Villafranca, don’t miss the garden of the “Iglesia de Santiago”.
An option to split into two days, with a stop over in La Portela de Valcarce.
Day 13 28.5km
VILLAFRANCA DEL BIERZO
Prepare for a challenging day with an ascent of 1000m. You will pass through the narrow valley of the river Valcace before tackling the ascent of O Cebreiro. Situated between the ranges of “Los Ancares” and “La Sierra do Courel”, this stage involves a steep climb in the course of only a few kilometers.
Day 14 38.7km
As we continue across the undulating terrain of the Galician mountains, the route offers more stunning sights and historical buildings. Finally, we reach Sarria, where all pilgrims travelling by any means seem to know each other!
Day 15 61km
This penultimate day starts with an ascent up through oak woods, passing by the Romanesque Church of Barbedelo, before cycling over the Belesar Dam in Portomarin. Continuing on the Camino Way to Melide is not too difficult – despite the typical Galician ups and downs!
Day 16 52.4km
SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
This is probably the most exciting day of cycling the whole Camino, as today we finally reach Santiago de Compostela! Before that, we will have to cycle the now-usual rolling hills of Galicia. The most exhilarating part of today will probably be on reaching El Monte de Gozo (Mount of Joy), where you can see the cathedral in the distance for the first time, before arriving into Santiago de Compostela!
SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
After breakfast, we bid you farewell.
If you wish to stay in the area, we recommend that you:
– Take your time and visit the magnificent historic centre
– Continue with us along the wild “Camino Fisterra” (Finisterre Way), and stay overnight at the 2* hotel in the light house!
– or take a bus to Fisterra. (Bus to fisterra: 9am, 10am, bus back in Santiago 16:45 & 19:00. takes 3hours)
– Visit the unspoilt sandy coves and beaches of the west coast. With very few tourists, you are guaranteed a very special experience.
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