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French Way Cycling – Pamplona to Santiago FULL CYCLE

Full Camino Cycling

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  • French Way - Walk & Coach - Ponferrada - Caminoways.com
  • French Way - Full Way Cycling - Leon - Caminoways.com
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5% OFF FOR 2017

French Way Cycling – Full Camino Cycling: become a ‘bicigrino’, a pilgrim on two wheels, cycling the full French Way, Camino Francés, the most famous Camino de Santiago route. Travelled by millions of pilgrims from all over the world since the Middle Ages, the Camino is a unique experience and journey like no other. Get on the saddle and cycle the French Way all the way from the city of Pamplona, across Spain into Galicia and the charming city of Santiago de Compostela, where St. James is believed to be buried.

The Camino, the world’s most famous trails, will take you through breath-taking scenery and nature, as well as historic monuments, enchanting villages and lively cities such as Pamplona, Logroño, Burgos, León, Astorga, Ponferrada and Santiago. An unforgettable experience, the Camino has many life lessons to teach pilgrims: it is all about enjoying the journey!

*We recommend you cycle the French Way – Full Camino Cycling only if you have some cycling experience and if you have essential bike maintenance knowledge. Cycling the Camino de Santiago – How it Works.

VIEW OUR TOUR OPTIONS

  • Standard – 15 days/ 14 nights. Cycle from Pamplona to Santiago de Compostela, staying in our hand-picked accommodation.
  • Superior Collection: Best accommodation available, including Paradores, historic hotels. Now including complimentary spa treatment in Santiago.

Trip highlights

  • Cycle La Rioja's famous vineyards
  • Taste some of the best Spanish tapas
  • Pause to reflect at the Cruz de Ferro, in the mountains of León
  • Claim your 'Compostela' certificate in Santiago

1 Pamplona

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You will start your Camino de Santiago in the city of Pamplona (Iruña in Basque), famous for its Bull Run, San Fermín, each Summer. Discover this fantastic city: wander its medieval streets, visit the cathedral and taste the superb local food and wine. Ernest Hemingway fans can take a literary tour of the city or take a coffee in one of the writer’s favourite haunts in Plaza del Castillo.

2 Pamplona to Estella - 45km

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4h30 | +1250m / -1284m
Leaving Pamplona behind, the Camino takes pilgrims towards the ‘Alto del Perdón’ (Hill of Forgiveness) pass. Get your picture taken with the photogenic pilgrim sculpture at the ‘alto’ and enjoy fantastic 360 panoramic views of Pamplona and the valley. From there, you will begin your descent towards Puente la Reina (Queen’s Bridge) with its quaint medieval alleys and impressive 11th century bridge over the River Arga. From Puente la Reina to Estella you will cycle across rolling farmland, passing small towns and villages nested among olive groves, cereal crops and vineyards. Cirauqui (Zirauki), perched on a hilltop, is a pretty little village of winding medieval streets where you will find one of the best preserved stretches of Roman road. Estella-Lizarra is your final point for today, a nice historic town with plenty to do and see.

3 Estella to Logroño - 49km

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5h | +768m / -812m
After exploring Estella and its many monuments, you will continue on your Camino to Santiago cycling adventure. Just outside Estella you will find Bodegas Irache, the Wine Museum and its free wine fountain, stop for a rest and sip of the local Rioja! Most of your cycle today will be along nice tracks, among vineyards, olive trees and cereal fields. Today you will also leave the region of Navarra and enter (officially!) La Rioja region , world-famous for its red wine. You will pass the dramatic ruins of Clavijo Castle before finally entering the city of Logroño, capital of La Rioja and home to some of the best tapas scene on the Camino. Head for Calle Laurel to sample the local Rioja-style specialities.

4 Logroño to Santo Domingo de la Calzada - 49km

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5h30 | +858m / -628m
Today you will leave Logroño by the old pilgrims’ gate ‘Puerta del Camino’. The Camino takes you out of the city and into the vineyards of La Rioja. Your first stop is Navarrete, a 12th century town built by the ‘Knights of the Holy Sepulchre’. Here you can admire the fabulous Baroque church of ‘La Ascensión’. Nájera is another medieval town with historic links to the Camino. From Nájera you will enjoy get great panoramic views of the whole region. The Camino will then take you along quiet country roads with La Demanda Mountain to the South. You will pass the small village of Azofra, dedicated to the La Rioja patron: La Virgen de Valvanera. Azofra is also the starting point for the ‘Monasteries route’, off the Camino de Santiago route but worth visiting if you have additional days, particularly the Yuso and Suso monasteries of San Millán de la Cogolla, considered the birthplace of Spanish language. You will finally arrive in Santo Domingo de la Calzada, a town with a beautiful Medieval centre.

5 Santo Domingo to Burgos - 72km

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6h30 | +975 m / -760m
Part of today’s trail runs parallel to busy main roads. As you get closer to Belorado, you will start catching a glimpse of the Oca Mountains, the last mountain range before the Meseta (the central Spanish Plateau). In Belorado, a small and pleasant village in the Burgos province, you can visit the Santa María Church with its images of St James. You will then cycle on earthen tracks and peaceful trails on your way to the tiny hamlet of San Juan de Ortega. As you reach the mountains of ‘Villafranca Montes de Oca’, the Camino weaves its way through gorgeous woodlands of fragrant oak and pines. From San Juan you will be crossing mountainous terrain on the Sierra de Atapuerca, enjoying great views of the Burgos region. You will pass the town of Atapuerca, famous for its UNESCO World Heritage prehistoric caves where the earliest human remains have been discovered (3km off the Camino trail). As you begin to descend you will reach the flat river valley taking you to the suburbs of Burgos city, home to one of Spain’s most beautiful Gothic cathedrals.

6 Burgos to Frómista - 66km

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7h | +675m / -761m
Today you will leave Burgos and enter the Meseta. For the first part of the day you will be cycling along earthen tracks. On your way to Hornillos del Camino, you will cross small woods of holm oak and conifers but in general there is little shade on this stretch of the Camino so make sure you take enough water with you, as well as hat and sun cream. After Hornillos, the Camino gradually climbs up a plateau before descending to the valley of the River Bol and the pretty town of Castrojeriz. In Castrojeriz, you can visit the 9th century hilltop castle, recently reopened to visitors. Castrojeriz celebrates its Garlic Festival in July. You will then cycle the last plains of the Burgos region and reach the highest point of the Meseta: Alto Mosterales. After crossing the Pisuerga River you will enter the Palencia province and the vast plains of ‘Tierra de Campos’, the Land of Fields, and you will soon understand why. Stop to visit the 14th century church ‘La Asunción’ in Boadilla, famous for its Gothic architecture and the gorgeous carved baptismal font. Approaching Frómista you will cycle a stretch of the Canal de Castilla, a 18th century canal.

7 Frómista to Sahagún - 58km

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6h30 | +445 m / -421 m
There is a popular phrase that goes: ‘Ancha es Castilla’, which means ‘Castile is wide’. On this stage of the Camino you’ll see why. The wide open spaces are a luxury to cyclists, with crop fields adding colourful touches to the landscape all year round. The first part of the day is on relatively flat tracks with the run into Sahagún covering more undulating ground. Visit the beautiful 11th century Church of St Martin in Frómista before you start cycling today. We also recommend you stop to visit the impressive San Zoilo Monastery in Carrión de los Condes.

8 Sahagún to León - 56km

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6h30 | +392 m / -381 m
Today you will cycle through the Castillian Meseta or plateau, where the colourful landscape stretches as far as the eye can see. Cycling this flat terrain you will enjoy fantastic vistas over the surrounding farmland and tiny villages. Your destination for today is the lively city León, explore the historic centre before you continue on your Camino cycling adventure.

9 León to Astorga - 50km

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4h | +414m / -379m
Today is the flattest section of the whole French Way. However, as you are still on the Castilla Meseta you will still enjoy many great views. The Mountains of León can be seen in the distance. When you reach the pretty hilltop city of Astorga, capital of the Maragateria, visit its ‘pink’ cathedral, the Episcopal palace designed Gaudí and home to the Pilgrimage Museum and the city walls. And you can’t leave Astorga without trying the local chocolates.

10 Astorga to Ponferrada - 53km

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5h | +1119m / -1436m
Today is a relatively tough cycling day, however it is also the most rewarding! The Camino climbs up to the famous and very special Cruz de Ferro (the Iron Cross), sitting at 1500m above sea level, where you can stop to place a memento or to visit the small St James chapel. This climb offers breathtaking views over the surrounding countryside. Your destination for the day is Ponferrada, an energetic city with a beautiful medieval centre and an impressive Templars Castle.

11 Ponferrada to O Cebreiro - 52km

French Way - Walk & Coach - Ponferrada - Caminoways.com

5h30 | +1487m / -890m
Ponferrada is the starting point of our Easy Cycling Option (cycling the last 200kms of the Camino). Today, you will cycle in the valley of El Bierzo with mountains surrounding you for most of the day, before reaching the local Bierzo wine making region and the lively medieval town of Villafranca del BierzoVillafranca is known as ‘little Compostela’: the local Iglesia de Santiago, St James Church, has a ‘Forgiveness Gate’, Puerta del Perdón, that opens during Holy Years. From Villafranca, you will climb and cycle the slender valley of the river Valcace before tackling the incline of O Cebreiro, between the mountain ranges of Os Ancares and Serra do Courel. It is the most challenging of this section of the Camino.

12 O Cebreiro to Sarria - 40km

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4h30 | +1342m / -2017m
From the picturesque mountain village of O Cebreiro, you will cycle along some undulating tracks as you gradually make your way out of the Galician Mountains. From the ‘Serra de Ranadoiro’ (Ranadoiro Mountains) and Alto do Poio you will enjoy fantastic panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Along the road to Sarria you will pass many fantastic sites, lush farmland and beautiful historical buildings, such as the Mosteiro de Samos. The town of Sarria itself is known for its rich ecclesiastical heritage and it’s the most popular Camino starting point.

13 Sarria to Melide - 62km

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7h30 | +1216 m / -1231m
Sarria is the starting point of our Family-Friendly Camino cycling tour. Leaving Sarria, the Camino continues upwards through wonderful oak woods and by the Romanesque Church of Barbadelo. In Portomarín the route crosses the Belesar Dam before continuing along a relatively easy, although slightly lumpy track, to Melide.

14 Melide to Santiago de Compostela - 50km

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5h | +940m / -1094m
Today will be the most exciting day of your Camino trip as you finally reach Santiago de Compostela! After leavingMelide you will cycle along the forest tracks and country roads you have become familiar with over the last couple of days. As the Camino rises and lowers over the rolling hills you will arrive in Monte do Gozo (Mount of Joy). From here you will be get the first glimpse of your final destination: the spires of the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela!

Superior Collection now including complimentary spa treatment in Santiago.

15 Santiago de Compostela

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After visiting Santiago Cathedral and recovering from your cycle, take time to explore this gem of a city, small and vibrant. Its old town will enchant you. In Santiago the Compostela you will find not only pilgrims but also locals and students, enjoying a few bites and socialising over a glass of wine in the many bars, restaurants and cosy cafes. Read our blog post: Top 10 things to do in Santiago de Compostela for ideas before your trip.

Hotels and country cottages have been carefully selected for their location, comfort, character, food, and friendliness of the staff. They are subject to availability and if the hotel described is not available, we will provide you with one of the same standard of comfort & price. Please note: Accommodation is subject to availability.

Pamplona - Standard / Superior

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Camino de Santiago for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Camino de Santiago trail. Superior Collection: Stay in the best hotels on the Camino de Santiago: we have selected luxurious 4 and 5-star hotels, boutique guesthouses, relaxing country homes and stunning heritage ‘Parador’ hotels so you can feel pampered.

Estella - Standard / Superior

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Camino de Santiago for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Camino de Santiago trail. Superior Collection: Stay in the best hotels on the Camino de Santiago: we have selected luxurious 4 and 5-star hotels, boutique guesthouses, relaxing country homes and stunning heritage ‘Parador’ hotels so you can feel pampered.

Logroño - Standard / Superior

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Camino de Santiago for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Camino de Santiago trail. Superior Collection: Stay in the best hotels on the Camino de Santiago: we have selected luxurious 4 and 5-star hotels, boutique guesthouses, relaxing country homes and stunning heritage ‘Parador’ hotels so you can feel pampered.

Santo Domingo de la Calzada - Standard / Superior

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Camino de Santiago for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Camino de Santiago trail. Superior Collection: Stay in the best hotels on the Camino de Santiago: we have selected luxurious 4 and 5-star hotels, boutique guesthouses, relaxing country homes and stunning heritage ‘Parador’ hotels so you can feel pampered.

Burgos - Standard / Superior

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Camino de Santiago for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Camino de Santiago trail. Superior Collection: Stay in the best hotels on the Camino de Santiago: we have selected luxurious 4 and 5-star hotels, boutique guesthouses, relaxing country homes and stunning heritage ‘Parador’ hotels so you can feel pampered.

Frómista - Standard / Superior

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Camino de Santiago for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Camino de Santiago trail. Superior Collection: Stay in the best hotels on the Camino de Santiago: we have selected luxurious 4 and 5-star hotels, boutique guesthouses, relaxing country homes and stunning heritage ‘Parador’ hotels so you can feel pampered.

Sahagún - Standard

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Camino de Santiago for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Camino de Santiago trail.

León - Standard / Superior

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Camino de Santiago for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Camino de Santiago trail. Superior Collection: Stay in the best hotels on the Camino de Santiago: we have selected luxurious 4 and 5-star hotels, boutique guesthouses, relaxing country homes and stunning heritage ‘Parador’ hotels so you can feel pampered.

Astorga - Standard / Superior

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Camino de Santiago for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Camino de Santiago trail. Superior Collection: Stay in the best hotels on the Camino de Santiago: we have selected luxurious 4 and 5-star hotels, boutique guesthouses, relaxing country homes and stunning heritage ‘Parador’ hotels so you can feel pampered.

Ponferrada - Standard / Superior

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Camino de Santiago for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Camino de Santiago trail. Superior Collection: Stay in the best hotels on the Camino de Santiago: we have selected luxurious 4 and 5-star hotels, boutique guesthouses, relaxing country homes and stunning heritage ‘Parador’ hotels so you can feel pampered.

O Cebreiro - Standard

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Camino de Santiago for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Camino de Santiago trail.

Sarria - Standard / Country Cottage

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Camino de Santiago for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Camino de Santiago trail. Country Cottage: ‘Casas Rurales’ are beautifully restored country homes and farmhouses in the heart of peaceful rural communities. Our Country Cottages are renowned for their exceptional food, unique settings and personal touch.

Melide - Standard

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Camino de Santiago for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Camino de Santiago trail.

Santiago de Compostela - Standard / Superior / Parador

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Camino de Santiago for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Camino de Santiago trail. Superior Collection: Stay in the best hotels on the Camino de Santiago: we have selected luxurious 4 and 5-star hotels, boutique guesthouses, relaxing country homes and stunning heritage ‘Parador’ hotels so you can feel pampered. Parador: Full of history, classic ‘Paradors’ or heritage buildings will make your Camino experience extra special.

Pamplona Average Temperature & Rainfall pamplona-average-temperature-caminowayspamplona-average-rainfall-caminoways

León Average Temperature & Rainfall leon-average-temperature-caminowaysleon-average-rainfall-caminoways

Santiago Average Temperature & Rainfall santiago-average-temperature-caminowayssantiago-average-rainfall-caminoways

Flying IN and OUT

How to get to Pamplona:
Best Option: Bilbao airport (150km)
Bilbao international airport has direct flights from many cities in Europe, including London (Stansted, easyJet), Manchester (easyJet), Dublin (Aer Lingus), Paris (Orly, Vueling), Frankfurt (Lufthansa) and Lisbon (easyJet). See www.skyscanner.com
Alternative Option: Zaragoza airport (170km)
Ryanair offers several international flights from London (Stansted), Milan (Bergamo), Brussels (South Charleroi) and Paris (Beauvais).
Alternative Option: Pamplona airport (7km)
Pamplona airport has direct flights from Barcelona (El Prat) with Iberia and Vueling, and Madrid (Barajas) with Air Nostrum L.A. Mediterraneo. See www.skyscanner.com
How to get back from Santiago de Compostela:
Best Option:
Santiago de Compostela Airport
Aer Lingus serves flights to Dublin; Ryanair to London (Stansted), Milan (Bergamo) and Frankfurt (Hahn), Vueling from London Gatwick, Paris (Charles de Gaulle), Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Munich, Dusseldorf, Rome and Zurich; Easyjet to Geneva, London (Gatwick), Rome and Basel; Swiss to Zurich; Turkish Airlines to Istambul. Santiago de Compostela Lavacolla airport also has many flights to Spanish cities; with many daily flights to Madrid and Barcelona. See www.skyscanner.com.
Alternative Option: Porto airport (210km)
Porto airport has many direct flights to Europe, including London (Gatwick) with easyJet; Dublin, Liverpool or Rome (Ciampino) with Ryanair. There are also a few direct flights to New York (Newark) with TAP and Toronto (Pearson International) with Air Transat. Seewww.skyscanner.com.
Alternative Option: Vigo airport (90km)
Direct flights from Dublin, Edinburgh (Ryanair), London-Luton (Air Nostrum), Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, Lisbon, Rome and Paris. See: www.skyscanner.com.
Alternative Option: A Coruña Airport (70km)
Direct flights to London (Vueling), Lisbon (TAP), Madrid and Barcelona.

TO and FROM the airports

How to get to Pamplona:
From Bilbao Airport
There is a shuttle bus between Bilbao airport and Bilbao bus station (every 30min). From Bilbao station you can take a bus to Pamplona (journey time 1h30), see: www.movelia.es; or take the train from Bilbao train station (2h). See www.renfe.com 

From Zaragoza Airport
From Zaragoza airport you can take the bus (every 30 min) to the station in Zaragoza (named Delicias). There is a direct train between Zaragoza and Pamplona (7 times/ day. 2h). Seewww.renfe.com
From Pamplona airport
There is a bus between the airport and the city centre 2 times/ hour (about 15min travel time between Estacion de Autobuses -centre and Noain, C/Real Nº 61 -airport). See www.infotuc.es/

 

How to get back from Santiago de Compostela:

To: Santiago de Compostela Airport (12km)
There is shuttle bus from Santiago city centre to the airport, departing every 30min. Bus stops are: city centre (Plaza de Galicia),  train station (Estación de Ferrocarril) and bus station (Estación de Autobuses). See: www.empresafreire.com.
To: Porto airport (210km)
There is a direct bus from Santiago (Estacion de Autobuses) to Porto airport once or twice a day (taking 4h or 6h resp.). See www.alsa.es.
To: Vigo airport (90km)
From Santiago you can take a bus or train to Vigo Guixar station and then the bus (L9A) from Travesia de Vigo (nearby) to Vigo Airport. Total travel time is approximately 1hr and 45 min.
To: A Coruña airport (70km)
From Santiago you can take a train to A Coruña (30 min approximately) and then take a bus from Alfonso Molina (line 4051) to the airport (every 30 min, takes 20 min approximately). Monbus has services from Santiago to A Coruña Airport (every 3 hours), see monbus.es/en for details.

We can also arrange taxi transfers, if you prefer. Let the CaminoWays.com team know.

Please select from our available tours below and proceed to booking. Contact the team if you have any special requests.


Select your trip

1. Tour options - Select your trip type

  • Stay in our hand-picked accommodation. Bike rental also available. Ask our team. Price pp, half board.

    Single Room
    €1919
    Double/Twin Room
    €1540
  • Stay in the best hotels along the way, including Paradores. Now including complimentary spa treatment in Santiago. Price pp, half board.

    Single Room
    €3292
    Double/Twin Room
    €2557

2. Select Date

3. No. of rooms

  • Single (1 bed)
  • Twin Rooms (2 beds)
  • Double (1 large bed for 2)

What's Included

  • Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel
  • Rooms en-suite
  • Half-board during the cycle (dinners included in smaller towns)
  • Holiday pack including notes and maps, pilgrim passport and useful information
  • Superior Collection now including complimentary spa treatment in Santiago

We also offer

  • Airport transfers, bike rental and hotel upgrades (where available)