compostela de santiago ?
Hi, I walked part of el camino de Santiago in 2011 from Sarria to Santiago. There were plenty of cyclists, but in my opinion, you get far more out of it by walking. The last section is not a great ride, although I would imagine the Pyrenees to Burgos would be. As for not being a Christian, people from all backgrounds and religions or none travel the Camino. I am not religious but I found it a very spiritual experience where you do find out a lot about yourself, which surprised me as I was doing it just for a fun holiday really. Like many journeys, it’s really about the people you meet and talk to along the way and walking gives more opportunity to do that. I will definitely go back to do the whole walk at some point.Posted 4 years agojamesoSubscriber
2 of us rode it in 2012, we really enjoyed it. There’s only a handful sections of ‘challenging’ mtb trail, the rest is mainly open dirt roads, flowing farm-track trails etc. Varied and generally good riding for a loaded mtb imo. Go early or late season to avoid most of the walkers, use a bell and recognise that it’s not really a bike trail. Running over pilgrims isn’t good karma ) I found only a handful of cases where people were a little cold towards us on bikes, but that’s just walkers and not unique to the camino. There were a lot of walkers on the trails early am, then you tended to get past and out of synch with them. We set of early most mornings from a farmland bivi to avoid having to ride past too many of them, particularly if staying near one of the popular stop points.Posted 4 years ago
I wasn’t riding it as a pilgrim at all but I did find the history, the cathedrals and the people along the way interesting, made it more than just a route to ride.
Pics – http://www.flickr.com/photos/67338272@N05/sets/72157629830858998/stilltortoiseSubscriber
Not done it but I can recommend the movie “The Way” with Martin Sheen. One of my fave films of recent years, all about an old(ish) man’s initially reluctant undertaking of the pilgrim’s route. Lovely film. He doesn’t do it on a bike though, so sorry I’m probably not much help 😀Posted 4 years agobob_summersMember
If you have time, do the Camino del Norte, which follows the north coast before dipping back inland and joining the traditional Camino Frances for the last couple if days. I haven’t done it myself (though I’ve ridden the first few coastal days a few times as I live near the start) but I’m told it takes about 10 days.
I did the Camino Frances on a bike in a bit of a hurry as I only had a week to get there and back, and it was nice enough but if I do it again it’ll be the coast road. I bivvied in parks/churchyards etc setting off before dawn to miss as many walkers as possible and the midday heat, then riding late. Bivvy meant no faffing trying to get in Alberges which fill up early as walkers tend to call it a day around 4pm.
After a terminal mechanical near Burgos I rented a city bike to continue on and certainly didn’t miss the MTB. I don’t remember anything technical at all, but there is a potential for very thick mud in La Rioja.
If you want a proper MTB tour, consider the Transpirenaica or the coastal Camino. That said, I did enjoy doing it, was good to just switch off, ride a bike and follow yellow arrows for a few days!Posted 4 years ago
We ride parts of the CdS on our trips. There are some fantastic singletrack possibilities off the side of the CdS and we use it to link up those trails. To be honest it´s not much fun riding it because it is so busy. People are generally brilliant, we go very respectfully and make it interesting by trying to guess the nationality and say hello in their own language. We have only ever had one bit of hassle from an English lady, (oh dear), who screamed at us to get a bloody bell. The Spanish lads I was with were a bit surprised. There are some beautiful bits of the camino but it is generally wider and not technical.
A couple of more interesting possibilities… like Bob says the Camino del Norte. Some of that is fantastic singletrack. Sadly you also bypass the nice singletrack in a lot of places. There are bike diversions round some bits, which are getting more and more marked as
idiotspeople paint arrows on every surface they can.
What about the Camino Aragonese. It starts up in the Pyrenees, in Jaca I think, and heads to Pamplona to join the main CdS, I haven´t done it but I´ve been told that its lovely.
Like Bob says the Transpirenaica is a good route too. It´s just a pity that you have to stick to the more boring trails in order to make distance. You really do ride right past some amazing places.Posted 4 years ago
I think I’m going to give it a crack this year actually.
been looking for a personal challenge and always fancied walking it but I won’t be able to wangle that kind of time from the Mrs.
How long has this taken people biking?
like the look of the route on the blog above.Posted 4 years ago
wow some great responses, thanks guys.
i was thinking of taking my cyclocross bike so im not bothered too much about technical trails (i live in south wales- i have those on my doorstep) i just fancied turning out some miles, bit of time in my own head kinda thing.
ill look into the camino argonese but i can take a month so i was thinking of flying into bilbao, doing the french one then following the north trail back to bilbao (im still early stage planning)
if i get it together it will be spring but would it be possible in march? what is the weather/temp like around then? april could be ok but by may im getting busy in work. i dont fancy a month on the bike in the rain but cold i can cope with.Posted 4 years ago
Let him who hath understanding reckon the number of the beast….
It could be beautiful in march or it could be wet. Typically April brings better weather but we still use the van to find sun at that time of year. If its beautiful then it’s really beautiful, and spring is springing. The main CdS will be dryer, that passes through the areas we head to to find sun if its wet on the coast.Posted 4 years ago
I’m keen to do this too-
A while ago I found a blog from someone who rode it, will try and find the link..
That’s my blog you found, eviljoe 🙂
I’ve been meaning to write up the rest of the trip – will try to do it this week. Loved the route, although I took a different route over the Pyrenees that the most common path from St Jean Pied du Port. Although I took bivvy gear, the combination of heat and riding on my own led me to stay in hostels each night (for shower and company!). Things got busier the farther west I went but it wasn’t too bad – I rode in June. If you went little earlier I imagine there would be less people. I only made it as far as Leon as I buggered up my timings a little. Will write up the rest shortly.
Cheers, ChrisPosted 4 years agoStonerSubscriber
Another vote for the Camino del Norte.
we rode from Santander along the northern Camino route and round to Fisterra/Compostela. We then rode “the wrong” way back along the Camino St Jacques. Im glad we rode it as the walk would have been a drudge in some places.
I love Galicia too.Posted 4 years ago
I’m trying to research this to find out which route is the best for mainly ‘off road’ biking.
I understand there is plenty of road riding on all routes, but any idea which offers the most varied tracks etc?
I like the look of the route you did Chris, but I would be constrained to about 2 weeks to complete, would you say this is realistic?
TaPosted 4 years ago
The route I did over the Pyrenees, down to Jaca and then east to Pamplona (the Camino Aragones) was lovely, and a lot less busy. The riding from Jaca east was beautiful – tiny old towns, dusty doubletrack / roads, and the Pyrenees in the background. The only thing is that it was more miles and some (mainly the wet muddy climb on the French side) was slower going. Whilst I’m sure you can ride from St Jean Pied du Port on the Camino Frances to Santiago in less than two weeks, the extra distance, slowness, and possibly a slight miscalculation meant that I didn’t make it all the way.
I gave myself two weeks and think I got the train down on a Saturday and started riding on the Sunday. Coming home, my flight from Santiago was booked on the Sunday afternoon I think. But the bike shop I had agreed to box my bike up for the way home wasn’t open on the Sunday, and only from 10-1 on the Saturday, which meant I really needed to arrive in Santiago on the Friday. This wasn’t planned, and coupled with the slow start meant that somewhere between Burgos and Leon I realised I wasn’t going to make it. The last thing you want to do is arrive in Santiago with your bike by train to see all the emotion on peoples faces who have walked / ridden all the way! So, if you want to do it in a couple of weeks, make sure you do actually give yourself time at each end for logistics in addition. I don’t regret going the way I went though – the Camino Aragones was the best bit for me.
I’m planning to take off on the bike later this year (pause job, rent out flat) and may go back and spend some time in Spain and was thinking of riding the Camino del Norte…
Stoner – your blog looks like it could be really useful, though I cant see any of the photos….Posted 4 years ago
Jonah Tonto – Thanks for following the blog. Can I ask how you followed? Did you enter your email address, or follow it through your own dashboard on WordPress? I only ask because I’m sure I used to get notifications when new people followed but this doesn’se seem to happen any more. In fact I can’t even find info on how many people WordPress thinks are following it… Curious…Posted 4 years agojamesoSubscriber
I understand there is plenty of road riding on all routes, but any idea which offers the most varied tracks etc?
The Camino Frances has a cyclist route and a walkers route from what I remember. We rode the walkers route and I don’t remember much tarmac, just a few miles linking sections each day. Lots of easy (when dry) dirt roads though.Posted 4 years ago
YEah – there is generally a road route and a trail. Most walkers take the trail, but not always. I generally rode the trail only, apart from a section heading into the Pyrenees, and a few wet days on the plains in the centre where I and a couple of others I was with for a day or two just wanted to get some miles done without getting soaked feet! In many areas the trail is close to the road so you can chop and change if you need /want to.Posted 4 years ago
chris i stuck my email address in, although im an idiot so may have messed it up 🙂 it says you have 937 followers
stoner im going to read that blog now, i was thinking of doing that route but the oppposite direction, however your route makes more sense since on the busier route, you get to approach people head on which is always better
i found return flights to bilbao for £115 including the bike! i wish it was pay day! arrgh i bet they go up and upPosted 4 years ago
jonah tonto: Weird, although I’ve now found where it shows me the list of who is following, I can’t see you on the list. Did it send you an email asking for you to confirm? The 937 followers includes my Facebook and Twitter friends so its lying just a little bit (a lot!) – most of those are not followers of the blog! Hoping to write more regularly this year and build up a bit of momentum with it.
EDIT: Ahh unless you did it a few weeks ago? I can see that the last person who followed was a couple of weeks ago – maybe you (jsdoon?).
Anyway, this thread wasn’t about my blog specifically so I’ll stop talking about it now… And will get on with writing something about the next stage of the Camino!Posted 4 years agoStonerSubscriber
Chris – the photos for the blog were originally hosted on fotopic (that takes yer back, dont it?!! 🙂 ) so the images are not being served now.
Here’s a link to an online album of the trip. Chronologically the photos start at santander go west to galicia (pic of lager on table 😉 ) to Fisterra, east to compostela then east until the one with the sign of “Col d’ares” which was where we went over the pyrenees into the french part of our trip.Posted 4 years ago
doug, sorry to keep asking about the weather but it hasnt stopped raining here in south wales for nearly a month 😥 …..if you had to pick march or april which would you go for? i want to get the balance between dryer weather and busy trails .Posted 4 years ago
again thanks for all the comments guys it really helping me gain some momentum with these plans
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