Camino de Santiago by Bike
Spain, Bike - Semi Slick, 11 days - from £1,295 (land only) - from €1,620 (land only) - from $2,265 (land only)
Day 1: Arrive at Biarritz Airport. KE Land Only package services begin with a single, timed group transfer to the group accommodation in St Jean Pied de Port. The rest of the day is free to explore, prepare bikes and make any last minute preparations. Overnight in St Jean Pied de Port.
Day 2: An early start, as we climb on tarmac to cross the Pyrenees at the Ibaneta Pass (1055m). The village of Roncesvalles is our first taste of Spain, as we descend through delightful woodlands in the direction of Pamplona. Climbing again, we reach the fantastic viewpoint of the Alto de Perdon and enjoy the final descent to our hotel at Puente la Reina. Ride distance 94 km (59 miles).
Day 3: Cycling amongst the wealth of monuments and architecture of the Rioja region, we cross Spain's great river, the Ebro, to reach the magnificent cathedral at Logrono. From here, we ascend to a high plateau with marvellous views of the Sierra de la Demanda. There is a final short descent to our accommodation in Najera. Ride distance 102 km (64 miles).
Day 4: Leaving the Rioja region, we bike across the plains of Castille and Leon and have a beautiful climb through forests to Cruces (1135m) with views across to Monte San Millan (2132m). Our accommodation tonight is in Burgos, one of the most important towns on the Camino. Ride distance 100 km (63 miles).
Day 5: Riding across a remote part of Spain known as the 'paramo', we pass through villages such as Castrojeriz, hidden amongst the hills and one of the most beautiful stops on the Camino. Beyond the village, we climb to the fantastic viewpoint of Alto de Mostelares (900m). Overnight in Carrion de los Condes. Ride distance 86 km (54 miles).
Day 6: Continuing our journey towards an overnight stop in Leon, the terrain is gently rolling; a vast, sweeping, treeless, open plain, interspersed with small villages. Leon is an impressive town, whose Gothic Cathedral boasts the best stained glass windows in Europe ! Definitely worth exploring. Ride distance 90 km (56 miles).
Day 7: Passing through the wonderful towns of Astorga and Orbigo, the first half of our day continues on rolling, high 'paramo' terrain. Beyond Astorga, we have a steady climb up to Rabanal del Camino, one of the classic 'end of stage' villages. Ride distance 74 km (46 miles).
Day 8: Climbing out of Rabanal, we pass through the town of Foncebadon, before reaching one of the most magical place on the entire Camino Frances, Cruz de Ferro (1505m). Descending to the historical town of Villafranca, we climb again to overnight at O Cebreiro, the village of the Holy Grail (some climbing can be avoided by using the road for parts of this stage). Ride distance 85 km (53 miles).
Day 9: A day of contrasts and stunning scenery, as we cycle down from the mountains of Castile to reach the fertile valleys of Galicia. Beyond Alto do Poio (1313m), we have a long descent to the important town of Sarria, followed by an undulating ride to overnight at Palas De Rei. Ride distance 90 km (56 miles).
Day 10: Our final day connects village after village, through rural farmland and stands of eucalyptus tress. At Monte de Gozo (10 km from Santiago) we get our first view of the iconic towers of the Cathedral of Santiago. Finally, riding into the city, we reach our last night's accommodation. Ride distance 70 km (44 miles).
Day 11: KE Land Only package services end after breakfast. Depending on flight times, there may be time for some sightseeing. All that remains is to pack away our bikes and arrange a taxi transfer (not included) to Santiago Airport for the homeward flight.