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Image of pilgrims walking the Camino de Santiago

Camino de Santiago Bike Tour

Each year, thousands of pilgrims make the journey along the Camino de Santiago – by foot, bicycle, and horseback – to Santiago de Compostela. Their destination? The cathedral of the same name where the remains of St. James are said to rest. Whatever the reason for your trek – spiritual, personal, physical – you can guarantee that your DuVine bike tour will be an unforgettable experience.

We’ll cycle along the Camino, also called St. James Way, and traverse the green, rolling Galician countryside. Its uphill climbs may be long, but its downhill coasts are glorious, with incredible views of vineyards, villages, and river-fed plains around every bend. The distinct cuisine of northern Spain keeps us fueled, and the stories we share with other travelers along this historic road keep us inspired. Each night, we rest in ultimate comfort at luxurious paradores and hotels. It all adds up to a pilgrimage of your own that you’ll cherish forever.

The Trip

Day One: Madrid - Leon

After greeting you at the hotel and getting to know your guides, we depart via van from Madrid and head to Segovia. We stop here briefly for a glance at Segovia and then keep on towards León. We arrive in the early afternoon at this small city, founded originally by Romans, and head to our accommodations, the Parador San Marcos, a restored monastery which once served as a hospital for pilgrims traveling the Camino de Santiago. Upon arrival, we prepare the bikes and take a quick spin to adjust them to your likings. After getting cleaned up and settled in the rooms, a welcome cocktail is awaiting you to get to know your fellow cyclists and your Duvine Staff. We have a short visit through the Parador´s Museum, followed by a guided tour of historic León and the Gothic Cathedral. Following the tours, we stop briefly in the Albergue to get the Pilgrim Passports, and then head back through the narrow, winding streets, and into modern León to arrive at the Parador. Here we have the presentation followed by dinner.

Meal: Dinner
Destinations visited: Madrid, Leon, Segovia
Distance cycled: 8 km / 5 miles

Where We Sleep

Pousada de Portomarin

The Pousada de Portomarin lies at the very heart of the Pilgrim´s Way, on the borders of the river Miño and surrounded by spectacular scenery.

Framed within this incomparable setting, our Hotel is the ideal place to spend a memorable holiday.

Parador San Marcos

Luxury five star hotel using a monastery which was originally founded in the twelfth century to provide 'lodging for the poor of Christ' making their pilgrimage to Santiago.

Palacio de Canedo

The Posada Palacio de Canedo is a majestic palace of Baroque architecture set amidst the green hills of El Bierzo.

Pazo Santa María

The Pazo of Santa Maria is located in a 35,000 m estate close to the town of Arzúa. The Camino de Santiago north walk passes the boundary of the estate and the French walk is at about 1.500 metres distance. The Pazo is a noble building documently dated to the beginning of the 18th century.

Hotel Monumento San Francisco

San Francisco's Monastery origins date back to 1214, when the Saint of Assisi and his companions made a pilgrimage to Santiago. Legend tells he was lodged in the house of a poor coal merchant called Cotolay next to the chapel of San Paio, on the slopes of Mount Pedroso, which can be clearly seen from some of the rooms.

Please note: Featured Hotels are subject to change.

Day Two: Leon - Villafranca del Bierzo

We start the morning out by van for a 34 mile (55 km) transfer to Castrillo de Polvazares. After a short stroll through this quaint town, we hop on the bicycles to start the infamous uphill ride to the Cruz de Ferro. With fellow hikers and bikers alongside, we weave our way up in elevation with views of the green hillsides in the edge of Castilla y León. We pass through the unique, one-man town of Manjarín, and then start the much awaited for, yet very steep 9 mile (15 km) descent, snaking along the country road and enjoying breathtaking views of the green, lush mountains and valleys, and the towns below. Lunch is a relaxing stop along the river, with the possibility of a quick dip in this refreshing creek. Now back on the bikes, we pass through more towns and visit a small hermitage tucked atop a hill, before ending the day in the winery in Camponaraya. After getting a little taste of this wine from the Bierzo region, we continue by van to drive out to the Palacio de Canedo. From this winery, we have beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and the vineyard. When through, we transfer back by van for another 15 minute transfer to the Parador in Villafranca del Bierzo, where dinner will also be served.

Meals: Breakfast/ Lunch / Dinner
Destinations visited: Manjarín, Palacio de Canedo, Villafranca, Castrillo de los Polvazares, Cruz de Ferro
Distance cycled: 52 km / 33.9 miles

Day Three: Villafranca del Bierzo– Portomarin

We start the morning in the van with a 19 mile (30 km) steep uphill. Up above and now in the province of Galicia, we stop to visit the Celtic town of O´Cebreiro and enjoy the views of yet another distinct Spain. We have a short transfer in the van, we return to our bikes, where the route is constantly filled with even more curves, uphills, and downhills. Along the way we pass by churches and monasteries, cross over several rivers, and wind through the laid back countryside. We have lunch in a small restaurant along the river in Sarria, and then continue on zig-zagging through the green hillsides of Galicia to end with a several kilometer descent to the Miño River and Portomarín, where we will spend the night in the Pousada de Portomarín. Dinner is at the Santa Mariña country house, prepared fresh from the gardens along the river. However the real treat is the Queimada, a specially prepared, traditional Galician ritual, making for a great end to the evening.

Meals: Breakfast/ Lunch / Dinner
Destinations visited: O'Cebreiro, Samos, Sarria, and Portomarín
Distance cycled: 55 km / 33.5 miles

Camino de Santiago Wine & Food

Spain's culinary traditions rely on an abundance of locally grown vegetables and fruits as well as meats and poultry. Jamón serrano, a cured ham, and chorizo, a seasoned sausage, are popular.

Seafood and fish are popular in coastal areas. Other popular foods are cheeses, eggs, beans, rice, nuts (especially almonds), and bread (a crusty white bread, baked fresh daily, is common). Olive oil and garlic are common ingredients. Spain is also known for its wines, including the rioja , made in the northern province; sherry, a fortified wine that may be dry or sweet; and sangria, wine mixed with fruit and soda water.

The best-known Spanish dish, a stew called paella (pie-AY-ah), originated in Valencia, an eastern province on the Mediterranean Sea. Rice, a main ingredient, is grown in Valencia's tidal flatlands. Though there are numerous variations, paella is usually made of a variety of shellfish (such as shrimp, clams, crab, and lobster), chorizo (sausage), vegetables (tomatoes, peas, and asparagus), chicken and/or rabbit, and long-grained rice. Broth, onion, garlic, wine, pimiento (sweet red pepper), and saffron add flavor to the stew.

Every region has its own distinct cuisine and specialties. Gazpacho, a cold tomato soup, comes from Andalucía in southern Spain. Traditionally, a special bowl called a dornillo, was used to pound the ingredients by hand, but modern Spanish cooks use a blender. Andalusians also enjoy freidurías (fish, such as sole or anchovies, fried in batter). Cataluña (Catalonia), in northeastern Spain, is known for its inventive dishes combining seafood, meat, poultry, and local fruits. In the northern Basque country (país Vasco), fish is important to the diet, with cod, eel, and squid featured prominently.

The signature dish of Asturias, in northwestern Spain, is fabada, a bean stew. In the interior regions, such as Castilla, meats play a starring role. Tortilla española, a potato omelet, is served throughout the country. It can be prepared quickly and makes a hearty but simple dinner. Spain's best-known dessert is flan, a rich custard.

Day Four: Portomarin – Arzua

We hop on the bikes to start the day—and an 8 mile (13 km) climb, cycling through more rural Spain. We cannot forget that we´re in Galicia, therefore we continue to climb and descend along the whole way. But the hard work is more than compensated for by the views of the villages, farms, and fields that we pass by. Just after Palas de Rei, we veer off the Camino to take a small, but much worthwhile side trip. This scenic back road winds through the open lands of farms and fields before changing to thick woods with a small creek tucked alongside. As we come out of the woods, the Castelo do Pambre appears, a 14th century castle undiscovered by most. We are welcomed by a picnic lunch, and when through we weave across more hidden roads until approaching the town of Melide, where we´ll get back on the main road. The yellow arrows appear again and we find ourselves just 34 miles (55 km) from Santiago. We pass through more valleys until we reach Arzúa, and after branching off the main street we arrive to tonight’s stay at the Pazo Santa María, an 18th century noble house situated on a 35,000 m estate. We´ll enjoy a quiet and relaxed dinner in this country house before retiring for the night.

Meals: Breakfast/ Gourmet Picnic / Dinner
Destinations visited: Palas de Rei, Castelo do Pambre, Melide, and Arzúa
Distance cycled: 50 km/ 31 miles

Day Five: Arzua – Santiago de Compostela

Today we get on the bikes to begin the final stretch, just a mere 25 miles (40 km) from Santiago de Compostela. However, even though it´s our last day, we aren´t liberated from the typical hills and valleys that define Galicia´s landscape. We cross over several rivers and wind through multiple towns to eventually find ourselves on our last noticeable ascent. It´s worth the extra push to the top, as shortly after the Monte do Gozo appears. Once atop the hill, we´re rewarded by the views overlooking Santiago and we can even spot the towers of the Cathedral—our final destination. We head down to the city, passing through the urban streets of Santiago to finally arrive to the Cathedral, the traditional reason for the pilgrim´s long endured trek. Tonight we relax in the Hotel Monumento San Francisco, and since we arrive in the afternoon, you will have time time to explore the city, take a dip in the pool, and rest up for our memorable farewell dinner tonight.

Meals: Breakfast/ Gourmet Picnic/ Dinner
Destinations visited: el Monte do Gozo and Santiago de Compostela
Distance cycled: 45 km / 23.5 miles

Day Six:

Say adios to new friends made. After breakfast, we say good-bye to our newfound friends and head our separate ways, whether it be a transfer to Madrid, continued travels through Spain, or an extra night or two in Santiago.

Meal: Breakfast
Destination visited: Santiago & Madrid
Accomplished: Total Satisfaction!

The Details

Level of Activity: Moderate to Challenging

What’s Included:

This trip is co-ed unless a private tour is booked with at least 6 women.

Duration 6 days / 5 nights

TO BOOK YOUR TRIP: Contact Chantal Farand-Viau by calling 416-617-4868 or via email at chantal@entre‑amiesgetaways.com.

About DuVine Adventures

For 14 years DuVine has been leading luxury cycling vacations all over the world. Their motto: Bike, Eat, Drink, Sleep encapsulates their commitment to cycling through beautiful landscapes, dining on the best regional cuisine, learning about local viniculture through wine tastings and winery visits and finally, relaxing in carefully-selected luxury chateaux and villas. This successful formula has produced some incredible brand loyalty. Over half the guests on each tour are either past travelers or were referred by a friend. As a result of this continued excellence, DuVine was recently rated as one of the world’s best adventure travel providers by National Geographic Adventure. Their guides are incredibly helpful, knowledgeable and handle every detail so all you have to do is enjoy your vacation.

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