St James Way is a journey used by pilgrims from Spain and all around the world to reach the town of Santiago de Compostela. During the medieval times it was very popular, becoming the main route of circulation of ideas, culture, arts and technique in Europe. It was slightly forgotten after that splendour but it was developed again during the last decades as a tourist destination, for religious, spiritual or just leisure reasons.
St James Way was declared by Unesco as World Heritage; the European Council gave it the status of European Cultural Journey, and recently has received the honorific title of European main street.
From the city of Leon, we will discover the secrets of gothic architecture and our steps will open up the way from the flat and dry Castile to the green rolling hills of the magic Galicia. St James way becomes a pleasure for our senses, from the delicious local gastronomy and its variety to the different kinds of extraordinary wines, produced in the vineyards where we will pass through during our daily journey. We will share experiences with the locals and we will witness their traditions, in a natural and relaxed way, while we rest in wonderful places, plenty of history and beauty. Not forgetting the solidarity and human values with the rest of fellow pilgrims, that come from all over the world.
An unforgettable experience for more than a thousand years...
Welcome to Madrid Airport, early in the morning. Transfer to the ancient town of Leon, arriving to this Roman foundation at noon. Time to rest for a while in our hotel in the heart of the old town and after that, we will set up the bikes to your size and likeness.
Free afternoon, to visit the old and narrow streets, the Gothic cathedral, and, of course to enjoy the Barrio Húmedo, where we will meet the whole group for a welcome cocktail, while tasting the delicious local delicacies.
DAY 2 up to 70 kms.
We will take our Pilgrims Passport, that we will have to stamp in the places we stop until Santiago.
In this moment the real St James way is starting.
In our journey we will pass Orbigo Bridge and the town of Astorga, famous for its sweets and the Archbishops palace, designed by Gaudí (Sagrada familia architect).
We will end up our journey today in Rabanal del Camino, where we will spend the evening, and we will recover energy for the next day.
DAY 3: up to 78 kms.
We will start one of the most amazing days, riding uphill to Cruz de Fierro pass, one of the most mystical places in the whole journey, and natural gate to the Bierzo region.
Long descent to reach the town of Ponferrada, where it is possible to stop and visit its Templar castle.
We will continue our journey between vineyards, through Villafranca del Bierzo. Finally we will stop in the idyllic hamlet of Herrerias, where we will lodge in a traditional XIX century inn.
DAY 4: up to 56 kms.
Good warm-up to begin the prettiest day on this week. The first kilometres are pretty steep, going uphill through narrow roads to O Cebreiro pass, that welcomes us to the green Galicia, with a warm soup and the pallozas (stone buildings). Descend to Triacastela, and Samos, where we rest until the next day in a spectacular traditional house in middle of the countryside.
DAY 5: up to 75 kms
Today we will cross Sarria and afterwards, following narrow footpaths we will meet more and more pilgrims, crossing the Ribeira Sacra area and the Miño river in Portomarin. More and more ups and downs will lead us to Palas de Rei and Melide, where we could stop to fuel up our body with a Galician soup and a tasty dish of octopus.
We will get our bikes to ride the last kilometres to reach our destination, Arzúa, with the whole evening free to rest and enjoy a pazo plenty of peace and history.
DAY 6: up to 40 kms.
Last day of adventure in the St James way. The most relaxed day on the bike, with more downhill than climbs. Stop in Monte do Gozo before riding for the last kilometres into the city of Santiago de Compostela, main goal of our long pilgrimage. Free afternoon to get our Pilgrim diploma (Compostelana), to visit the Cathedral and to enjoy a delicious Galician meal.
We will sleep in a hotel placed in the old town.
Farewell and transfer to Santiago Airport in case you get an early flight.
If you want to extend your visit in Santiago, or Madrid, we can offer you our support and advice about.