The French Way by bike from Ponferrada is the perfect route for all those cyclists who have never done the Camino de Santiago and want to have a first experience on the route. The 200 kilometres that separate the capital of El Bierzo from Santiago de Compostela can be cycled all the way, and they are also the minimum distance to obtain the Compostela certificate.

A trip in which you will discover places of great historical importance such as the Templar castle of Ponferrada, a city that you will leave behind to cycle through the fertile moors of the Bierzo region. Galicia will welcome you with a gift for the senses: O Cebreiro. A small fairytale village famous for its pallozas and stone streets that hide great legends, mysteries and miracles. You will cross the Galician region passing by important monasteries such as the one in Samos, immense forests of centenary trees and small villages where you will have all the necessary services to rest after each day.

Precio
From
220€

Travel Itinerary

The capital of El Bierzo is a great place for a relaxing day before starting your French Way by bike from Ponferrada. So you know, enjoy.

You are in the land of the Templars and you will have the opportunity to visit one of the best preserved castles of this medieval order. The Templar Castle of Ponferrada is the main tourist attraction of the city and can be visited almost 100%. And if you like museums, there are four not to be missed: the Energy Museum, the Railway Museum, the Radio Museum and the Bierzo Museum. And after the cultural visits… what better than enjoying a good dinner with products from the region. The best cecina of Castilla y León is here!

Your first day as a bicigrino is off to a great start! We hope you had a good rest yesterday because today’s day is a tough one, especially in its final stretch.

We set off from Ponferrada following the same indications as the pilgrims on foot, as the route is perfectly cyclable. We will cross the green valley of El Bierzo through regional roads, dirt tracks and paths. If you prefer, you can also go by road taking the LE-713 to Villafranca del Bierzo, where you can make a stop, and then take the N-VI and the NA-006 to Las Herrerías.

From the Herrerías it’s time to climb up the sprockets because the big part of the day begins. No reward without effort! This will undoubtedly be the hardest ascent of the whole route, so it’s lucky you got the first day. You should pay attention, as there are different signs for pedestrians and cyclists, although if you are experienced you can go the original way.

We recommend you to do the route on asphalt, first taking the CV-125 until you reach the Laguna de Castilla and then go the last 900 meters uphill on an asphalt road until you reach the unique village of O Cebreiro.

O Cebreiro is a place of incalculable ethnographic, natural and cultural value. It has several restored examples of the traditional palloza, a characteristic construction of the mountains of Lugo in which livestock and families shared a house. In addition, it is essential to visit the church of Santa María la Real de O Cebreiro, the oldest church on the Jacobean route, in pre-Romanesque style from the 9th century, still in operation. During your stay in O Cebreiro, you will live a magical Celtic experience and disconnection, which will recharge your batteries to continue with what will surely be one of the best memories of your Camino.

You will start the stage saying goodbye with sadness to the beautiful village of O Cebreiro. Today two mountain passes await you, the Alto de San Roque, where you will find a monumental statue of a pilgrim fighting against the wind, and the Alto del Poio, which will give you spectacular views of the region. The route can be done following the road or by the original path.

After crowning the two mountains it is time to descend. A steep descent will force you to use your brakes until you reach Triacastela, a good place to take a break and have a drink. From Triacastela you have two options, continue the original route through San Xil, much more mountainous; or take the variant of Samos, a highly recommended option if you want to visit the spectacular monastery of Samos.

Both roads converge near Sarria, the second big village of the day, where you can stop for lunch and which has all the services. From here, the last 20 km run on local roads through beautiful hilly and wooded landscapes. During this stretch you will find plenty of places to rest and refresh yourself. The final stretch of the day runs through a spectacular descent that takes you to Portomarín, one of the most beautiful villages along the route.

Today’s day begins with a steep climb that will serve as a warm-up. Arriving at Ventas de Narón, a descent begins to Palas de Rei, a village that has all the services and is the perfect place for the first stop of the day.

You will continue the route to Melide, in the province of A Coruña. This section has many climbs and descents, which will make you feel the accumulated fatigue of the stage. When you reach Melide, the great reward of the day awaits you. You are in the capital of Galician octopus, there is no better place on the French Way to taste this delicacy. So take a seat in one of their pulperías and enjoy!

With a full belly we are sure that you will face the last 15 km of the day with a new spirit. This section runs through forests and corredoiras with some steep slopes. When we arrive at Ribadiso de Abaixo the path starts to steepen strongly until it becomes a quite powerful ramp. This last effort will take you to the end of the stage, Arzúa, land of one of the best cheeses in Galicia.

Last stage of the French Way by bike from Ponferrada! We recommend you to get up early to arrive early to Santiago de Compostela and make the most of the day in the city. This last stretch is the easiest of the entire route, and is marked by the presence of more urbanized areas as you approach the Galician capital.

After riding around the vicinity of Santiago airport, the last climb of the route will be in San Marcos, the broadcasting centre of the Galician television. When you arrive at Monte do Gozo, we invite you to stop and contemplate the views, we assure you that you will understand the reason for the name of this place. Santiago is getting closer and closer!

You are in Santiago! Feel happy and proud to have completed your Camino de Santiago by bike from Ponferrada. Now we just need to pick up the Compostela certificate and enjoy an incredible day getting to know the Galician capital.

Congratulations! You have completed your French Way by bicycle from Ponferrada. This last day you are in charge, you can go back home or enjoy one more day in Santiago resting your legs after so much pedaling. And how beautiful is Compostela.

Did you know that all roads end in Finisterre? If you have been left with the desire to pedal, we encourage you to complete the 90 kilometres separating Santiago from Finisterre. The most magical and spiritual route that hides real treasures such as Ponte Maceira, one of the most beautiful villages in Spain or the extraordinary sunset of the Finisterre lighthouse.

Map of the Way

Type of accommodation

Detalles

Services included

6 days / 5 nights accommodation6 days / 5 nights accommodation
Luggage transfer during the stagesLuggage transfer during the stages
Complete documentationComplete documentation
Pilgrim’s CredentialPilgrim’s Credential
24 hour emergency telephone assistance24 hour emergency telephone assistance
Travel insuranceTravel insurance

Optional Services

ServiceIn private hostels from PonferradaIn hostels and pensions from PonferradaIn hotels and superior accommodation from Ponferrada
BreakfastBreakfastConsult35€ per person40€ per person
MP (Breakfast and dinner)MP (Breakfast and dinner)Consult90€ per person120€ per person
Supplement for single roomSupplement for single roomConsult95€ per single room145€ per single room
Extra night in Santiago de CompostelaExtra night in Santiago de Compostela25€ per person55€ (sing. room) / 70€ (doub. room)70€ (sing. room) / 90€ (doub. room)
27” Mountain Bike Rental27” Mountain Bike Rental190€ per bicycle190€ per bicycle190€ per bicycle
29” Mountain Bike Rental29” Mountain Bike Rental220€ per bicycle220€ per bicycle220€ per bicycle
Electric bike rentalElectric bike rental290€ per bicycle290€ per bicycle290€ per bicycle
Breakfast Breakfast
In private hostels from Ponferrada Consult
In hostels and pensions from Ponferrada 35€ per person
In hotels and superior accommodation from Ponferrada 40€ per person
MP (Breakfast and dinner) MP (Breakfast and dinner)
In private hostels from Ponferrada Consult
In hostels and pensions from Ponferrada 90€ per person
In hotels and superior accommodation from Ponferrada 120€ per person
Supplement for single room Supplement for single room
In private hostels from Ponferrada Consult
In hostels and pensions from Ponferrada 95€ per single room
In hotels and superior accommodation from Ponferrada 145€ per single room
Extra night in Santiago de Compostela Extra night in Santiago de Compostela
In private hostels from Ponferrada 25€ per person
In hostels and pensions from Ponferrada 55€ (sing. room) / 70€ (doub. room)
In hotels and superior accommodation from Ponferrada 70€ (sing. room) / 90€ (doub. room)
27” Mountain Bike Rental 27” Mountain Bike Rental
In private hostels from Ponferrada 190€ per bicycle
In hostels and pensions from Ponferrada 190€ per bicycle
In hotels and superior accommodation from Ponferrada 190€ per bicycle
29” Mountain Bike Rental 29” Mountain Bike Rental
In private hostels from Ponferrada 220€ per bicycle
In hostels and pensions from Ponferrada 220€ per bicycle
In hotels and superior accommodation from Ponferrada 220€ per bicycle
Electric bike rental Electric bike rental
In private hostels from Ponferrada 290€ per bicycle
In hostels and pensions from Ponferrada 290€ per bicycle
In hotels and superior accommodation from Ponferrada 290€ per bicycle

Photos

Frequently Asked Questions

The Camino de Santiago by bike includes the following services:
  • Accommodation
  • Luggage transport
  • Dossier with information about the stages
  • Pilgrim's credential
  • 24-hour helpline
  • Travel insurance
In addition, you can customize your trip by adding the following optional services:
  • Breakfast or half board
  • Extra night at the beginning or end of the stage
  • Bicycle rental
Unlike the group trips, no bus service, guide or support vehicle is included between stages. But you will have a 24-hour hotline where you can contact us in case of any problem or unforeseen event, which we will solve quickly.
Yes, you will have total freedom to choose your departure date. However, if you want to do your Camino de Santiago in the months of December, January and February, we recommend that you check availability before making your reservation. At this time of year most accommodation is closed and many services may not be available.
In your travel documents, you will find the names of the accommodations assigned to you, as well as their contact telephone number and location.   As a general rule, all accommodation is located in the centre of the different towns along the Pilgrims' Route to Santiago de Compostela, without the need to deviate too far from the route. But sometimes, due to lack of availability, it is possible that some accommodation may be a little far from the village or even in neighbouring towns.   For all the accommodations that are at a considerable distance from the route of the Camino, we will provide you with a free taxi service that you can use to get to your accommodation and return to the Camino the next morning.   In any case, these are exceptions that we will inform you at the time of booking.
Luggage transport service by default is included in all our trips and it is not necessary to request it. You will be able to do the Camino de Santiago without your luggage on your back with the peace of mind that your suitcase will be at your next accommodation on your arrival.   Along with your credential you will also receive stickers, which you must cover with the requested information and stick it in a visible place on your suitcase.   Once you have arrived at your accommodation, we recommend that you ask at reception where you can leave your luggage. You will have to leave your luggage at the indicated place first thing in the morning for our carrier to pick it up. This way, when you arrive at your next accommodation your luggage will already be there.
Yes, we make sure that all assigned accommodations have a place where you can leave your bike safe and sound.
We have high quality mountain bikes and electric bikes that you can rent during the whole Camino. Check the details here.
We include a compulsory insurance with each trip that will cover you for any inconveniences that may arise during the Camino de Santiago. We will send you the insurance policy together with your travel documents.
The basic travel insurance included in our packages has a wide coverage against unforeseen events, with which you will also have guaranteed medical assistance and numerous benefits that you can consult in the General Conditions of Travel Insurance.
In your travel documents you will find an emergency telephone number where we are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This way you will travel with peace of mind knowing that one of our companions will help you to quickly solve any problem, incident or doubt that you may have along your Camino de Santiago.
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