CAN I CYCLE?
The short answer is that yes, you can cycle the Camino. In fact, approximately 8% of pilgrims getting their Compostela certificate in Santiago arrive on two wheels.
The track for cycling and walking is the same track for most part of the routes. It is worth bearing in mind that the Camino de Santiago routes are mainly walking trails but it is also possible to cycle most of them. The combination of small roads, tracks and trails will mean you will need a suitable mountain bike and it will require a certain level of proficiency. In some sections and routes, it will be possible to take a detour to avoid parts of the trail that might not be bike-friendly, such as steps. Alternatives that are generally marked.
These are some of the most popular Camino routes for cycling:
Portuguese Coastal Camino from Porto to Santiago
This Camino route from Porto is increasingly popular for its wonderful coastal scenery, quaint seaside towns and fab food. In this case The walking and cycling routes actually go separate ways in various sections but they always converge back in the main towns and villages. It is 263 kms-long and can be completed in 9 days. However it’s advisable adding a few rest days or split your distances so you have time to relax and enjoy the beautiful coastal atmosphere or spend some downtime at the beach.
Famous Camino Francés
If you are embarking on a two-wheeled journey to Santiago and the famous Camino Frances is your route of choice, you should avoid the first stretch of the route over the Pyrenees and start from Pamplona instead; it will take you approximately 20 days to complete 700 kms. Alternatively you can also start further along the route, in Leon (300 kms to Santiago) or Ponferrada (200 kms to Santiago).
Regards the experience needed, you should cycle the Camino only if you have experience cycling and if you are familiar with basic bike maintenance such as changing a tube for instance. Your bike will be your best companion on this fantastic trip but only if you feel confident as a rider. Bike pilgrims are also entitled to claim their Compostela pilgrim certificate from the Pilgrims Office in Santiago de Compostela. Bear in mind you will need to cycle at least the last 200 kms of any of the Camino routes into Santiago in order to qualify. And don’t forget to stamp your pilgrim passport along the way!
If you are looking for a special cycling holiday, the Camino will definitely be a memorable journey.
Written by caminoways
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