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Cycling the Camino de Santiago

Cycling the French Way | Last 200 km

Organized pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela
| Autoguided Tour

Tour Description

Cycling the French Way or Camino Francés: the last 100 km

Are you thinking about cycling the French Way? Would you like to request your Pilgrim Certificate (Compostela)? If you plan to travel by bike and get your Certificate, you will need to cycle at least the last 200 km of any of the official Camino de Santiago routes (and 100 km if you plan to walk).

The Camino Francés is the most popular route of the Camino de Santiago, even for “bicigrinos”. But, what is a “bicigrino”? It is the combination on the Spanish words bici (bike) + peregrino (pilgrim). It refers to those pilgrims who choose to cycle the Camino, rather than walking.

And, where should I start if I want to cycle the last 200 km of the French Way? Our suggestion is Ponferrada. This medieval town is a symbol of the Camino de Santiago, and almost 8000 pilgrims have chosen it as their starting point in 2017.

On your way towards the sacred city of Santiago de Compostela, you will discover some of the most popular spots: O Cebreiro, Sarria, Portomarín, Palas de Rei… You will be sharing the path with walkers and riders. At some points, you may see alternative routes for cyclers.

Are you ready to cycle an average of 50 km per day over the French Way? Do you have a basic knowledge of bike maintenance? How to change a punctured wheel? Basic repairs? If the answer is yes, we will assist you in making an unforgettable experience on the Camino de Santiago.

Your bike will be delivered at your accommodation in Ponferrada the day your arrive. We will include a helmet, a basic repair kit, and saddlebags.

Experience details

Included Services

Accommodation in a private room with private bathroom
Luggage transfer between stages
Half board: breakfast and dinner
Travel insurance
Route notes
Pilgrim's credential
24/7 phone support

Check in Ponferrada

Arrival in Ponferrada, beginning of the last 200 km of the French Way. A lot of “bicigrinos” start here.

Ponferrada - O Cebreiro (52 km)

The first cycling day of the last 200 km of the French Way is also one of the most challenging section. Be ready for the strenuous incline towards O Cebreiro. We can split this cycling day in two, so you can stay in Villafranca del Bierzo and continue the next day.

O Cebreiro - Sarria (40 km)

After leaving behind O Cebreiro, the path will take you through the mountains of Galicia region. You will be able to enjoy amazing landscapes. One of the highlights of the day: the Monasterio de Samos, one of the jewels of the French Way. Sarria is the starting point of most of the pilgrims who choose to walk the Camino de Santiago. This town marks the beginning of the last 100 km of the French Way.

Sarria - Portomarín (23 km)

This is a shorter cycling day, and you will share the path with walking pilgrims. You will cycle along small woods, hamlets, and the rural side of Galicia region. Finally you will arrive in Portomarin, one of the most popular spots of the French Way.

Portomarín - Melide (38 km)

Most of the walking pilgrims will complete the section from Portomarín to Palas de Rei. But if you are cycling, you will continue to Melide. The path will take you to the Sierra de Ligonde, where you will have to face a couple of ups and downs. Once in Melide, we strongly recommend you to try the traditional dish: pulpo a feira (octopus).

Melide - Santiago de Compostela (55 km)

As we leave Melide behind, we will start cycling along small woods and rural areas. Arzúa is the next big stop, and where most of the walking pilgrims will stay overnight. If you have time before heading off to Santiago de Compostela, we recommend you to try the local cheese. Some of the highlights of the day: the Chapel of Santa Irena, the hamlet of A Rua or Amenal. Once in Santiago the Compostela, you can deliver the bike in our facilities before checking in.

Standard category

1* and 2* hotels

These hotels offer private rooms with private bathrooms as well as other additional services that may vary depending on the type of category: restaurant service, television, room service, dry cleaning, ironing service, etc. It is common to stay in this type of hotels in the cities along the Camino.

Hostels and pensions

These accommodations have the necessary services to cover the basic needs of cleanliness and rest at a more moderate price than the hotels . Officially, hostels and guesthouses are 1-star accommodations. However, this rating should not be taken into account when evaluating the level of comfort and quality of their services.

Superior category

3*, 4* and 5* Hotels

Typical in the large cities along the El Camino. They can be family hotels or international hotel chains. They are perhaps the most expensive alternative, although you can find different price levels according to the category and services they offer.

Hoteles Boutique

These are small accommodations characterized by having few rooms and providing personalized attention. They are hotel concepts with a modern style and their own character. They can be between 1* and 5*.

National Paradores of Spain

This is a public hotel chain that manages a network of almost 100 charming hotels distributed throughout the Iberian Peninsula. The establishments are located in buildings of cultural interest and great historical value, and stand out for their scenic, artistic or natural interest (including ancient palaces, monasteries, fortresses, convents, fortresses…).

Rural tourism lodgings

Rural houses, pazos, inns, rectories, castles, monasteries, farmhouses… These are historic buildings of great architectural and patrimonial value. So much so, that this characteristic sometimes gives them the status of “luxury lodging” despite the fact that they are
“luxury accommodation” despite the fact that they are often rustic constructions in which natural stone and wood predominate.

Trip cancellation insurance
Upgrade to superior room
Extra night at the beginning of the tour
Extra night at the end of the tour
Bike rental
Private transfer airport-starting location
Private transfer Santiago-Airport
Other private transfers
Organized visits and excursions
Pilgrim massage

Route map

Frequent questions

From Santiago de Compostela Airport

  • Car or cab: 207km with an estimated duration of 2 hours and 15 minutes.
  • Train: Take the bus (LINE 6A) from Santiago de Compostela airport to the station stop. Frequency every 15′, and an approximate duration of 45′. Another option is to take a cab to the station, with an estimated duration of 15′. At the station take a train (RENFE) to Ourense, a 40′ journey. In Ourense transfer to the train to Ponferrada, a 2h and 40 minutes journey. For schedules and more information visit: and
  • Bus: Once in Santiago station take a bus (ALSA) to Ponferrada, a 4h and 30 minutes journey. For schedules and more information visit: and

From Madrid Airport

  • Car or cab: 400km with an estimated duration of 3 hours and 50 minutes.
  • Bus: From T4 take the bus to South station (15′ trip). There take the bus (ALSA) to Ponferrada, 5h trip. For schedules and more information visit:
  • Train: From T4 take the suburban train (LÍNEA C1) towards Chamartín – Clara Campoamor (17′ trip). Once there, take a train (RENFE) to Ponferrada, a 4-hour journey. For schedules and more information visit:

From Asturias Airport

  • Car or cab: 225km with an estimated duration of 2 hours and 30 minutes.
  • Bus: At the airport take the bus (ALSA) to Oviedo, 45 minutes. At the station transfer to the bus to Ponferrada, journey time 3h and 15 minutes. For schedules and more information

Our costumers reviews


STAGES: 5 Stages
DURATION: 6 Nights
START: Ponferrada
PRICE: desde 730€

Why book with Galiwonders?

Taylor-made Camino

We will design an itinerary tailored to your needs, preferences and budget and book all services for you. You enjoy the road.

We are on the Camino

Galicia is our home. We have traveled all the routes of the Camino and we have direct contact with the service providers on the Camino.

We are also travellers

We speak several languages, have lived abroad and have years of experience organizing trips for people from all over the world.

An unforguettable experience

Hundreds of pilgrims repeat year after year the experience of traveling with us. We want you to be one of them. And that is why we will strive to make your trip unique and unforgettable.

If you have any questions or want to plan your Camino de Santiago trip, our team will assist you in a personalized way!

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