Leon. You can make your way from to Leon by train or coach through Madrid. Your accommodation is included on arrival day.
Leon. We arrange to have a local guide take you to see the sites on a 1/2 day walking tour of Leon's monuments. We recommend a leisurely afternoon to rest up for cycling the next day.
Leon to Rabanal del Camino. [39 miles]. Riding out of Leon you could visit Hospital del Orbigo, arriving in time for lunch in Astorga. For Epicureans, Astorga is known for mantecadas, one of the famous delicacies in Spanish pastrymaking. You will overnight in Rabanal del Camino, one of the more famous pilgrimage villages along the trail.
Rabanal to Villafranca [36 miles]. Your route today will begin with a visit to Castrillo de los Polvares, a town immortalized by the writer Concha Espina in her novel The Maragato Sphinx, a portrait of the village and its centuries-old customs. Just before lunch you’ll reach the Cruz de Ferro, one of the most symbolic monuments along the pilgrims’ route. Whenever a pilgrim adds a stone to the pile they become part of an ancient tradition; the Romans called these stone heaps, ‘mounts of Mercury’ after the god of travelers. In Ponferrada, you can visit the impressive Templar Castle, one of the oldest and finest examples of Spanish military architecture. You’ll finish the day in Villafranca, one of the most attractive towns on the Camino. Your hotel for tonight is in a 3-star parador hotel.
Villafranca to Sarria [43 miles]. From Villafranca, you will climb through unspoiled countryside of heather and broom, pines, chestnuts and oaks enjoying a magnificent view over the Valcarce valley up to El Cebreiro, famous for its ‘pallozas’, straw-roofed dwellings. In Samos, visit a monastery before continuing on to Sarria and with its Monastery of La Magdelena and its hospitable Mercedarian monks.
Sarria to Leboreiro [35 miles].From Sarria, the terrain changes again, as you find yourself in a rural part of the country with people living much as they did centuries ago. Have lunch in Portomarin, and then enjoy some of the best biking of the camino on rolling terrain arriving to a little village in the country- side; where you will spend the night at a most charming inn.
Leboreiro to Santiago de Compostella [35 miles]. Start this day with crossings of medieval bridges at Disicabo and at Furelos before reaching Melide, particularly rich in pre-Roman remains. You’ll pass many small hamlets hidden among eucalyptus trees before reaching the environs of Santiago. Your adrenaline will surge as you make your way through Santiago itself, packed with vestiges of the pilgrimage. Nothing quite prepares you though, for arriving at the Cathedral itself, where you can share in the sense that pilgrims have felt since time immemorial. You’ll stay at one of the finest hotels in the city located just 200 meters from the Cathedral.
Departure Day. We recommend a leisurely last day; if you are heading back to Madrid, there are flight, train and bus connections.