5 Great Camino for cycling
Did you know approximately 10% of all pilgrims reaching Santiago de Compostela are ‘Bicigrinos’, bike-pilgrims? Nearly 25,000 Bicigrinos choose to cycle the Camino routes to receive their Compostela certificate each year. Go for cycling the Camino Routes.
If you are cycling the Camino de Santiago, remember you must at least cover the last 200 kilometres into Santiago de Compostela if you’d like to receive your certificate.
We have picked 5 great routes for those looking to experience the Camino on two wheels:
Cycling the Camino Routes 1: Camino Frances
The Camino Frances is the classic Camino route, the most popular among both walkers and cyclists. While it is not the oldest (the Camino Primitivo from Oviedo is the oldest known Camino route), the French Way is the best known, most famous and also the Camino with the most comprehensive network of services en-route.
The Camino Frances starts in St Jean Pied de Port, in France. Still, at Camino Ways, we recommend cycling from Pamplona to Santiago de Compostela (avoiding the Pyrenees), which covers 659kms and can be done in two weeks. However, cycling the Camino from Ponferrada, just over 200kms, will be enough to get you your Compostela certificate.
For most of the way, the Camino route is shared by walkers and Bicigrinos, although at times, you might have to dismount if the trail gets too narrow and busy with walkers for safety reasons. In stretches unsuitable for cyclists (i.e. steps, etc…), an alternative will be generally marked (see image).
If you are travelling with children, we suggest you cycle from Sarria to Santiago following our adult walking itinerary (cycling an average of 20 to 28kms per day). Getting you a Compostela certificate won’t suffice, but it will be a manageable 100kms over a week and an unforgettable family cycling trip.
Cycling the Camino Routes 2: Portugal
The Camino Portugues Central is the second most popular Camino route among pilgrims. From colourful Porto in Northern Portugal, you can make it to Santiago de Compostela in just one week, cycling the 240kms that separate these two magnificent UNESCO-listed cities.
This great route will allow you to experience the culture of two countries, cycling across the North of Portugal and stopping at historic towns such as Barçelos, crossing the River Minho from Valença to Tui and then taking in the landscapes and cities of Southern Galicia.
In just two weeks, you can cycle the 590kms of the whole Camino from Lisbon. The Camino Portugues sections from Lisbon to Porto are currently better suited for cyclists than walkers, as they follow mainly country roads.
Cycling the Camino Routes 3: Camino del Norte
The Camino del Norte follows the coast of Northern Spain from the Basque Country into Cantabria, Asturias and finally, Galicia, the regions of the Cantabric Sea also known as ‘Green Spain’.
Once you reach the lovely historic town of Ribadeo in Galicia, the Camino del Norte leaves the coast and heads inland, which means 680kms, and the last 190kms will be away from the sea.
Cycling the Camino del Norte from Bilbao to Santiago will take 18 days. A slightly shorter option will be to form the Asturian coastal city of Gijón to Santiago de Compostela will take just ten days.
Cycling the Camino Routes 4: Easy cycling to Cape Fisterra and Muxia
Cycling the Camino to Fisterra and Muxia is an excellent short option, as the route to Cape Fisterra and Muxia will only take three cycling days.
This Camino trail is the only one starting in Santiago de Compostela. It takes bike pilgrims along the superb coast of the West of Galicia, in the Costa da Morte region with its fishing villages, pristine Atlantic beaches and stunning coastal scenery.
Only the first cycling day is purely inland.
Cycling the Camino Routes 5: Adventure on the Via de la Plata
The Via de la Plata is the perfect Camino route for those looking for an authentic adventure. This route starts in fascinating Sevilla, in the South of Spain, and covers 1068kms across Andalucia, Extremadura and Castilla before reaching Galicia.
The entire route can be cycled in 21 days; On your way, you will discover the delights of Sevilla, red earth tracks across ever-stretching open spaces, cities of impressive Roman heritage such as Mérida, and areas of lush natural beauty such as Sanabria and the remote mountain trails into Galicia.
Bear in mind the Camino de Santiago routes are long-distance trails; we recommend you cycle the Camino only if you are familiar with essential bike maintenance (how to fix a puncture, change a tube, etc…) and are used to cycling.
Talk to our Camino travel specialists if you need advice ahead of your trip.
For more information about cycling the Camino de Santiago and the Camino routes or to book your trip, contact our travel specialists.
Enjoyed reading the information about the choices of the El Camino.
Especially interested in the bicycling routes in Portugal.
Do you rent e-bikes for short people 147cm?
Thank you, Jenny Miles
Hi Jenny, thank you for your message. Unfortunately, the shortest are bikes are equipped to deal with is 160cm.