Camino de Santiago Leon to Santiago de Compostela
- Price from:
- 1310 EUR /person
- Payment Types:
- Credit Card
- Travellers cheque
- Wire Transfer
- 7 days
- Location Start:
- Location Finish:
- Santiago de Compostela
- We Speak:
- Spanish, French, English, German, Dutch
Last updated: 11/12/2006
Consider our Camino de Santiago from León tour 310 kilometres of rewarding tracks along one of Europes most historic tourist trails.
Day 1 LEON
From Madrid, we'll travel by van through the Sierra de Guadarrama and over the fertile plains of Castile to the historic city of León, founded in 68 B.C. and home to the cathedral with the most beautiful stained glass windows in Spain. We'll spend the late afternoon visiting the Cathedral, wandering around the winding, slate-paved streets of the Barrio Húmedo (renowned for some of the best tapas bars in Castile); and, before dinner, we'll head to the Madres Carbajales convent to get that all-important piece of documentation that will record our pilgrimage : the Credencial del Peregrino. That night we'll stay in the town's historic centre, close to the Royal Pantheon of San Isidro, located right on the Camino itself.
Day 2 León - Astorga.
(48 km, gently rolling terrain)
The day begins with a quick visit to the Parador of San Marcos, which was established as a pilgrim's hospital in the sixteenth century, but which now serves as a luxury hotel. From there, we'll start our trip winding westward through small towns whose economies, for centuries, were dependent on the pilgrims making their way westward along the Camino. Today's riding is a good warmup for the next couple of days, as we go through the western plains of Castile towards the mountains that mark the limits between Castile and Galicia. Our hotel for the evening is the town of Astorga, famous internationally for the Archbishops' Palace (designed by Antoní Gaudí, creator of Barcelona's Sagrada Familia), the Town's Cathedral and some of the most delicious chocolate outside of Catalonia.
Día 3 Astorga - Villafranca.
(55 km with climbing)
Today's the day when we move from the rolling hills of Castile into the mountains which mark the beginning of the end of the Camino! Since it's our first day of serious climbing, we'll take to the road and ride to the highest point on the Camino, a gradual climb of 800 metres/2,624 feet (which also means a stunning twelve-kilometre descent to Molinaseca and through to Ponferrada!) After visiting the Templar Castle in Ponferrada, we'll travel by van to the town of Villafranca del Bierzo, where we'll stay in a converted monastery. If time permits, we'll visit a winery owned by a unrepentant rock musician-turned-impresario who produces some of the area's best vintages.
Día 4 Villafranca - Portomarín.
(55 km, hills and climbing)
This stage of the Camino is considered to be most difficult by Camino riders, who regularly share survival stories of how they managed the climbs up to the peak of O Cebreiro. You don't have to ride that section : the minivan is there for the less macho cyclists among us : and anyway, it's worth saving your energy for the brake-burning 25 km descent that follows. After visiting the restored village and mountaintop chapel at O Cebreiro : spiritual home to the recent Camino renaissance - we'll get on the bikes and enjoy the downhill ride into the hamlet of Triacastela. We'll ride through (and visit) the Monastery of Saint Julian in Samos, then trace our way along back country roads through pine and eucalyptus forests, away from the main Camino route. through to Sarria (where we'll break for lunch). Our accommodation for that night is in Portomarín, situated on the banks of the Miño River. The hotel is located in the reconstructed old town centre, which was moved and rebuilt in the mid-50s to make way for a power dam.
Day 5 Portomarín - Arzua.
(51 km, rolling terrain)
Central Galicia is carpeted in dense pine forests and eucalyptus groves, which will provide shade as we trace our way through tiny hamlets spread along the Camino, many of which don't have much more than a couple of inhabitants and a lot of cows! Luckily, Galicia is criss-crossed with country lanes, giving us the opportunity to get off the beaten path. We'll discover some charming lanes that takes us away from the maddening crowds on the Camino, and take the time to the isolated ruins of castles, fabulous views and the peace of the countryside. After having lunch on the grounds of the Palace of Ulloa (made famous by Emilia Pardo Bazán, the doyenne of Galician literature). That night, we'll stay in Arzúa, within easy striking distance of Santiago de Compostela.
Day 6 Arzua - Santiago Compostela.
(38 km, rolling terrain)
The final day of the tour is short but stiff. We'll bike the final kilometres through rolling countryside, past Lavacolla Hill, where, ages ago, pilgrims would tidy themselves up before attending the Pilgrim's Mass at the Cathedral. From there, it's on to the Monte do Gozo, where you get your first glimpses of the end of the road: the Cathedral of Santiago. It's a quick 4 kilometre ride into the centre of Santiago itself, where narrow, winding streets reach the Praza do Obradoiro, home of both the Cathedral of Santiago and the Parador, the former Palace of the Catholic Kings. After visiting the Pilgrims' Affairs office, where we'll receive the coveted Compostela certificate (making us official pilgrims) we'll have a farerwell dinner and a walk though the lamp-lit streets of the Old Town.
Day 7. End of the trip
After breakfast, we'll drive back to Madrid through the southern reaches of Galicia and across the broad, golden plains of Castille.
- Inclusions -
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