Itinerary

Please check out the daily details of our Camino del Norte itinerary from June 17 - July 1, 2018 below.  The route is 770 kilometers long  over ten cycling days, which averages out to 77 kilometers (48 miles) per day.  Although stages are relatively short, each day will involve climbing.  Anyone with a basic level of fitness should be able to complete the trip.  Road bicycles are strongly recommended.  For more technical details about the trip, consult the blog.  We will be staying in a mix of hostels (5 nights), historic luxury "Paradores" (5 nights) and several nights in boutique hotels (4 nights) for a real "Spanish" ambience.  For a summary sheet of the trip, click here.  

 
 
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Sunday, June 17

Participants should fly into the San Sebastian, Spain airport (check it out in the photo) which is right on the border with France and less than a mile from our historic, luxury hotel the Parador de Hondarribia.   Take a taxi from the airport to the hotel.  In the afternoon we will put all bicycles together, enjoy the local sites and beach and meet in the evening for introductions and dinner.  Talk to us to help you find the best prices to fly cheaply into and out of Spain.  There are options.      


Monday, June 18

In the morning, we will ride from the hotel to pick up our pilgrim passports at the nearby Irún Pilgrim Hostel and then go to the Santiago Bridge which connects Spain and France and is the official starting point of the Camino del Norte.  From there we will cycle as a group about 20 kilometers to the "La Concha" beach (right) in San Sebastian and have a chance to tour the beautiful, historic city famous for its incredible tapas and other gastronomic delights.  In the afternoon, we have a climb up to just over 300 meters out of San Sebastian and then a downhill into the Basque resort town of Zarautz.  Total ride distance will be a light 50 kilometers.  We will be staying at the Zarautz Hostel near the beach.     To download a Google Maps route map of the day's cycle, click here.  To view and download the Strava route, click here.  To download the Strava cue sheet, click here.          

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Tuesday, June 19

The total ride distance for the day is 92 kilometers.  The route winds along the coast before heading inland in Basque Country for Bilbao, the Basque capital, where we will stay for two nights at the BBK Bilbao Good Hostel.   The hostel is a 5-minute metro ride from the old town section of Bilbao (pictured left) and convenient to all the sites.   To download a Google Maps route map of the day's cycle, click here.  To view and download the Strava route, click here.  To download the Strava cue sheet, click here.     


Wednesday, June 20

Free day in Bilbao.  The Bilbao Guggenheim Museum (right), the Euskalduna Conference and Music Centre, Norman Foster's Underground, the towers designed by the architects Arata Isozaki and César Pelli... are all examples of the dynamism that exists in Bilbao. The city is surrounded by a fertile landscape with forests, mountains, beaches and steep coasts.  Gastronomy is an art in Bilbao. The city is home to prestigious restaurants which offer dishes ranging from traditional cuisine to the most avant-garde culinary creations.  Shopping for antiques, typical ceramics, exquisite cakes and pastries or the latest fashions is a must. Walking around in Bilbao is a unique occasion for enjoying the architectural heritage of the city and whilst out you can enjoy the popular pintxos in one of the many taverns or cafés.   

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Thursday, June 21

The total ride distance for the day is 136 kilometers with about 1,500 meters of net climbing.  This is by far the longest route of the trip, to challenge the most avid cyclists.  We will have an option to ride a local bus or in one of the backup vehicles for those wishing to do a lesser distance.  Our destination is Santillana del Mar (left), a medieval town with a historic old town.  We will be staying right in the town center at the historic, luxury Parador de Santillana Gil Blas.  To download a Google Maps route map of the day's cycle, click here.  To view and download the Strava route, click here.  To download the Strava cue sheet, click here.    


Friday, June 22

The total ride distance for the day is 66 kilometers near the Cantabrian coast finishing in the beach town of Llanes with the Picos de Europa mountain range towering to the south.  We will stay at the Albergue Llanes.  To download a Google Maps route map of the day's cycle, click here.  To view and download the Strava route, click here.  To download the Strava cue sheet, click here.    

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Saturday, June 23

The total ride distance for the day is 93 kilometers from Llanes to Gijón, the largest city of Asturias.  The Principality of Asturias is one of Spain’s best-kept secrets: it is a region of golden beaches, forested hills, lush meadows, alpine lakes and chiselled peaks.  Our destination for two nights is the historic, luxurious Parador de Gijón (left), housed in an old mill near the beach inside the Isabel la Catolica Park.  To download a Google Maps route map of the day's cycle, click here.  To view and download the Strava route, click here.  To download the Strava cue sheet, click here.   


Sunday, June 24

Free day in Gijón.  Gijón continues to build on its heritage as a producer of iron, steel and chemicals.  It is the main terminal for Asturian coal but industrial wealth has also brought about a modern makeover, with pedestrianised streets, lovely parks, seafront walks and buzzy eating, drinking and shopping scenes. Thanks to its bay and strategic setting, the Romans chose this spot as their base.  Their archaeological legacy is visible in the remains of baths, walls and salting factories.  Traditional Asturian cuisine is robust and hearty (bean stews, smoked meat and sausages, empanadas), but you also find menus featuring sea bass with clams, salmon with yogurt and vanilla, and calamari with potato cream and parsley oil.  To be genuinely accepted as a local, you have to be able to pour the local sidra (cider) the Asturian way.  

    

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Monday, June 25

The total ride distance for the day is 67 kilometers along the Asturian coast, finishing at the Hotel El Fornon, near the Playa del Silencio (left) rated "One of the five best beaches in Spain."  Our small, boutique hotel is noted for its seafood menu.  Nearby is the quaint coastal town of Cudillero.  To download a Google maps route map of the day's cycle, click here.  To view and download the Strava route, click here.  To download the Strava cue sheet, click here.    


Tuesday, June 26

Our ride continues west along the Asturian coast for 81 kilometers until we reach Hotel Penarronda Playa (right) a converted rural farmhouse (the dining room is in the former barn) in close proximity to a stunning local beach.  To download a Google maps route map of the day's cycle, click here.  To view and download the Strava route, click here.  To download the Strava cue sheet, click here.      

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Wednesday, June 27

Our route cuts inland from the coast for 75 into the rural heart of Galicia, where we will spend the night at the gorgeous Parador de Vilalba, a converted fortress with a tower (left) and other accompanying medieval buildings.  A little over halfway on the ride we undertake the longest climb of the tour up to approximately 550 meters.  To download a Google maps route map of the day's cycle, click here.  To view and download the Strava route, click here.  To download the Strava cue sheet, click here.      


Thursday, June 28

We continue our journey on small Galician farm roads for 61 kilometers until we reach our lodging at the Rectoral de Cines Hospederia, a converted rectory with an attached church (right).  Each room is decorated with an original piece of art and the complex contains a swimming pool.  To download a Google maps route map of the day's cycle, click here.  To view and download the Strava route, click here.  To download the Strava cue sheet, click here.

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Friday, June 29

Our final cycling day concludes in the plaza in front of the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral – the final destination of pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago.  Around the corner you can present your pilgrim passport full of stamps and be awarded a "Compostela" with your name written in Latin attesting to your pilgrimage.  Our lodging is the Hospederia San Martin Pinario, a converted 16th century monastery just around the corner from the central plaza. We will have a final Galician group dinner in the evening at Restaurante O Sendeiro.  To download a Google maps route map of the day's cycle, click here.  To view and download the Strava route, click here.  To download the Strava cue sheet, click here.  


Saturday, June 30

We will depart Santiago de Compostela for Madrid on an early morning flight (vehicles will leave with bicycles and checked bags the night before) where we will be met at the airport and driven to Rivas Vaciamadrid, a southeastern suburb of Madrid.  A full day of activities is planned with the Rivas Light and Life Cultural Center, the ministry outreach cause the Camino del Norte 2018 is supporting via the Love Spain campaign.  Read up more on the Love Spain campaign by clicking here.  We will tour the facilities, meet some of the children from the community taking classes at the Center and engage in several community activities - possibly even a short biking fun ride.  In the evening we will take a quick walking tour of historic Madrid (right).  Lodging will be at various places in the Rivas Vaciamadrid area.  

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Sunday, July 1

All good things come to an end and the Camino del Norte 2018 officially finishes after breakfast.  We will make sure you get transported to the Madrid airport for departure with happy memories of a successful Camino, like the one at left completed in 2013!  Happy travels!!  

 

We have over 25 years experience running cycling tours all over the world and can guarantee a fantastic trip similar to the ones many others have had before!  Register now and become a part of the Camino de Santiago 2018 trip!  Contact us if you need any further information!