Day 1: Arrival to Astorga
Individual arrival to Astorga. The town of Astorga is a place full of history and life. Make sure to visit the town center's impressive gothic cathedral and Neogothical Episcopal Palace, designed by Antonio Gaudi.
Overnight in Astorga.
Day 2: Astorga – Molinaseca (29 miles/49 km, 2320 ft/707 m)
Enjoy spectacular views as you cycle along little country roads through the mountains of Leon to Cruz the Ferro (the iron cross) and on to the beautiful medieval village of Molinaseca.
Overnight in Molinaseca.
Day 3: Molinaseca – O'Cebreiro (36 miles/58 km, 3080 ft/939 m)
Today's cycle has an easy first 15 miles (25 km), until you start to climb first to the beautiful town of Villafranca and then to the Monte O'Cebreiro at 4,260 feet (1,300 m) above sea level, where the Galicia Region starts. On a clear day one can see magnificent views to the east and west of Galician green valleys and the Leon's wooded mountains.
You cab have a rest in the valley before your final push of the day, a short but very steep 5 mile (8 km) climb. When you reach the very small village of O'Cebreiro you will feel on top of the world, able to appreciate the great views of the valleys that surround this high point. The village is small, but full of character with charming slate roofed black houses.
Day 4: O'Cebreiro – Sarria (27 miles/44 km, 846 ft/258 m)
Now be in Galicia, you will notice a big change in landscape, culture, gastronomy and language. Many little villages are spread around the countryside where subsistence agriculture is the way of life. The gastronomy in Galicia is well-known for using high quality products and preparing them in simple, but delicious ways. After an initial climb, you have an easy cycle heading on a slight descent.
A fantastic part of the day comes when you descend to the town of Samos, which has one of the oldest and most beautiful monasteries in Spain, the Benedictine monastery of Samos. The way to Samos runs next to the River Oribio, so you will find plenty of lovely spots to stop for a break. From Samos to Sarria you have the option of leaving the tarmac to continue the way that walkers take and to follow the river and the paths through beautiful rural countryside.
Overnight in Sarria.
Day 5: Sarria – Palais de Rei (30 miles/48 km, 3862 ft/1177 m)
Today's cycle ride runs through very nice rural Galician countryside, passing through many little villages. Most of this stage is along tree-lined roads and pathways and there is a mix of following secondary roads and old paths. About halfway through the route, you come across the town of Portomarin that was rebuilt on a hill after having to move the old town in the 1950's to construct a reservoir. You carry on till Palais de Rei, a small town full of the pilgrim spirit.
Overnight in Palais de Rei.
Day 6: Palais de Rei – Rua (37 miles/60 km, 3839 ft/1170 m)
Today's ride does not have alot of climbs, but it is a constant up and down that can be quite tiring. You will ride, enjoying the Galician countryside, never too far from the road in case you prefer to ride on the tarmac. During the day you will go through the town of Melide that is famous for its “pulperías”, where they serve superb octopus.
Overnight in Rua.
Day 7: Rua – Santiago (17 miles/27 km, 1965 ft/599 m)
The week's last route is not long, alllowing you to enjoy the beautiful city of Santiago de Compostela. Entering the city is not the most beautiful part of the trip because you go near the airport and, even though the area gets busier, it is very rewarding arriving after all the effort. There are hard hills to climb before arriving at the "Monte de Gozo", called the 'Hill of Joy', where you first see the Cathedral of Santiago on the distance.
Overnight in Santiago.
Day 8: Individual Departure
After breakfast, individual departure or extended stay.