Cycling the Camino is a wonderful alternative to walking. There are many advantages to cycling the Camino, including covering more ground in less time and it’s definitely easier if you are bringing children on the Camino.
If you are thinking about Cycling the Camino de Santiago routes we have prepared this useful list answering some of your questions about cycling and your new best holiday friend: your bike!
Cycling the Camino: How it Works
You have decided to cycle the Camino, you have booked your self-guided holiday and you are now wondering how it will work.
First, we recommend cycling the Camino de Santiago only if you have some experience as a cyclist and are familiar with essential bike maintenance such as changing a tube, fixing the chain if it comes off, or attaching the pedals.
If you are cycling for over a week we also recommend adding rest days, particularly if you are cycling with children. This would allow you to have a day’s rest and also explore some of the great cities and towns along the Camino routes such as Burgos, León, Porto, etc…
Cycling the Camino: Your Bicycle
Your bike will be delivered to your first hotel, ready for the following day: your first day of cycling.
The bike will be neatly packed in a box so the handlebar needs to be straightened and the pedals need to be attached and secured (instructions included).
It is important you check your bike before you start your journey, making sure everything is working properly.
If you think there is something not quite right, let us know so your bike can get replaced and avoid trouble on your way (in a way, it is similar to renting a car).
Once you finish your cycling trip, your bike will be collected from your last hotel, when your route doesn’t finish in Santiago. If you are finishing in Santiago, you can bring it back to the bike shop in the city. You can see full details in the general information document included in your holiday pack.
If mid-tour, you decide you don’t need some of the bike accessories (such as the pannier, etc…), make sure to pack them in your luggage so it can be transferred easily (avoiding additional charges and risk of losing the equipment).
Please do not leave pedals or any other bike accessories supplied behind in your hotel, as you will be charged for loss or damage to equipment.
A minimum period of 3 days (4 nights) applies when hiring a bike for your Camino de Santiago trip with CaminoWays.com; a minimum of 10 days if you are hiring an e-bike.
Cycling the Camino de Santiago: What’s included
- Your Camino bike: You will get an aluminum 27-gear mountain bike with disc brakes and 27.5-inch wheels, as standard from a local company.
- These bikes are specifically designed for the Camino de Santiago terrain and will be adapted to your height (it is essential that you give the reservations team your exact height so you are provided with a suitable bike – particularly if you are cycling the Camino with children).
- The bike comes with a rack, bottle holder, lock, and reflectors. Contact our travel specialists if you would like to upgrade your hired bike.
- Camino e-bikes are available on selected routes, for Camino trips finishing in Santiago de Compostela.
- Pannier Pack: with a bike repair kit inside. (*If you don’t need it, just let us know in advance). The repair kit includes a pump, set of tools, spare inner tube, and cables; as well as a simple label showing you how to carry out essential bike maintenance. It also comes with a bike lock.
- Please note that the panniers are not water-proof so it advisable to bring a dry bag with you for the trip.
- Helmet rental is also included as part of your package, but if you don’t need it and you rather bring your own, please let our team know. Bear in mind, by Spanish law, both cyclists must use officially approved protective helmets when riding outside urban areas (children under 16 should wear them at all times), except in long steep slopes, on the grounds of medical reasons, or under extremely hot conditions. Failure to comply with this could result in a traffic fine.
- Additional Camino bike accessories such as waterproof paniers, GPS, child seat, gel seat cover, Go Pro Camera, additional front bag and front holder for maps, for instance, can also be hired, just let our customer care team know when booking your trip. You can bring your own clip for the bike as the plug is universal so you shouldn’t run into any issues.
- If you are cycling the Camino with kids, let our travel consultants know in advance as we also have got various options: a bike seat for kids from 9 months up to 22kg (3-4 years of age approximately), a bike trailer for toddlers and 24″ bikes for kids from 6-7 years of age (120cm min). We will also give you suggestions for a children-friendly route/itinerary. We generally suggest covering approximately 25kms per day with children.
More details about the Standard Camino mountain bike:
- Frame – Aluminium
- Fork – Suntour SF-15 XCM RL
- Pedals – Aluminium (not automatic)
- Hubs – Shimano BRM 33
- Front derailleur – Shimano FDM 370
- Rear derailleur – Shimano RDM430 Alivio
- Shifter – Shimano SLM 370 Altus
- Disc brakes – Shimano AM355
- Chain – KMC X9
- Saddle – Selle Royal Mach
- Rims – Mach Neuro Disc
- Lights and safety retroreflectors
*Ebike: Trekking e-bike available with 28″ wheel.
Cycling the Camino: Support
We have carefully planned the distances you will cover by bike on the Camino, taking into account the nature of the terrain, type of track, and other circumstances such as the fact that the trail is shared with walkers in most cases.
If you feel distances for your Camino cycle are too short or long, talk to our travel consultants when you are planning your trip. There is probably a good reason behind the mileage chosen, just ask us!
The Camino de Santiago routes cover thousands of miles so it is difficult to have someone on the ground at all times but relax, it runs smoothly all the time!
CaminoWays.com has a 24/7 support number should you need assistance and advice (this number is provided with your booking/holiday pack); we also provide you with a support number from the bike provider. While we are not able to send someone to repair your bike on the Camino trail, our trusted providers will give you as much support as possible.
Your bike comes with a repair kit for essential repairs such as flat tires and punctures. In the unlikely event that you had a second puncture, we can provide you with the contact details for the closest bike repair shop (you will be responsible for repair costs).
If you are in a remote area and don’t feel like walking, we can also get your contact details for local taxi drivers (a taxi transfer will be at your own cost).
If you feel you need a break from cycling, we might be able to organise a transfer for your bike but we will need 48hrs notice and there will be a cost associated with the bike transfer (as additional luggage transfer).
When cycling the Camino it is important to bear in mind you are sharing the tracks with walkers, so be mindful and respectful to other pilgrims, whether on foot or two wheels.
Enjoy the Camino ride!
For more information about cycling the Camino, contact our travel specialists