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French Way Cycling the Last 200km

Ponferrada to Santiago

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  • French Way - Section 2, Cycling-santiago-cathedral-caminoways.com

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Cycle the Camino and experience the magic of the classic Camino de Santiago route on two wheels. On this tour, you will be cycling the last 200km of the Camino from the lively city of Ponferrada, across the spectacular mountains of O Cebreiro and into Santiago de Compostela. You will experience some of the cultural, natural and historic highlights of the Camino. You will meet fellow Camino cyclists as you will cycle from the lush El Bierzo region and the mountains of O Cebreiro. From picturesque O Cebreiro, the Camino takes bicigrinos along the forests and rolling green hills of Galicia; all the way to magnificent Santiago de Compostela. Don’t forget to get your Compostela certificate when you reach Santiago!

*We recommend cycling the Camino only if you have some cycling experience and essential bike maintenance knowledge. Cycling the Camino de Santiago – How it Works. We can organise guided Camino cycling tours for private groups, talk to our team for more details.

Click on ‘booking’ or ‘get a quote’ to customise your Camino trip.

VIEW TOUR SUGGESTIONS

Travel Ideas for this section:

  • Standard:
    • From Ponferrada – 8 days/ 7 nights. Start in Ponferrada and finish in Santiago, covering 200km and cycling between 23km and 53km per day.
  • Superior Collection: Best accommodation available, including historic hotels, ‘Paradores’. Now including complimentary spa treatment in Santiago.

Trip highlights

  • Pause to reflect at the Cruz de Ferro, in the mountains of León
  • Feel like a Templar at Ponferrada's Castle
  • Enjoy the stunning mountain views of O Cebreiro
  • Savour Galicia's most famous dish: octopus

1 Arrive in Ponferrada

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Arrive in Ponferrada, an energetic city with a beautiful medieval centre and an impressive Templars Castle.

2 Ponferrada to O Cebreiro - 52km

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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.

3 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.

4 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.

5 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 leaving Melide 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.

6 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 hospitality. 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 and price. Please note: Accommodation is subject to availability.

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

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Ponferrada Average Temperature & Rainfall

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Santiago Average Temperature & Rainfall

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How to Get There

Live information on Rome2Rio. We can also arrange private transfers if you prefer, just ask us.

 

Ponferrada

Santiago de Compostela Airport 200km: Bus (takes 3h, 4 per day @11.45, 15.45. 18.45, 20.45, Alsa.es), Train (takes 3h, 2 per day Renfe.com)

Madrid Airport 400km: Train takes 6h Renfe.com

 

Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela Airport 11km: 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.

Vigo Airport 90km: From Santiago you can take a train to Vigo Guixar (see www.renfe.com) or a bus to Travesia de Vigo (every hour). You should then take a city bus from Travesia de Vigo to Vigo Airport (every 30 min).

A Coruna 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.

Porto Airport 210km: There is a direct bus connection between Santiago (Estación de Autobuses) and Porto airport once or twice a day (taking 4h or 6h resp.). See www.alsa.es.