Total tour distance: 180 miles
Daily tour distance: 25 miles
Difficulty: 10 / 100
This cycling tour presents itself as na easy route to reach to Santiago de Compostela, the ultimate pilgrimage beacon in the Iberian Peninsula and one of the most important spots for religious tourism in Western Europe.
Enjoy as city tour with us in Porto, to get to know a little bit of its architecture, heritage and local traditions. After this, ride towards Santiago, passing by sunny and seaside ares such as Esposende, Caminha and Bayona or have a delight with the famous Arcade's oysters, know why Caldas de Reis holds such a royalty importance and ned this tour in the Square of Obradoiro, where in fron you can see the colossal baroque cathedral where the remains of the apostle Santiago lies.
Tour description: easy (self guided / support van / guided with support van)
Estimated Km: 290 km and 4121 m (1.30%) of cumulative gap climbs
Day 1: Reception at Porto
Day 2: Porto – Esposende (60 km)
Day 3: Esposende – Caminha (50 km)
Day 4: Caminha – Baiona (40 km)
Day 5: Baiona – pontevedra (57 km)
Day 6: Pontevedra – Caldas dos Reis (26 km)
Day 7: Caldas dos Reis – Santiago de Compostela (40 km)
Day 1 – Porto: Before starting this cycling journey towards Santiago de Compostela, it’s almost obligatory to present and know Porto, classified as World Heritage and Capital of Culture and Tourism. Join us in a city tour (bike or walk) in the City Centre and discover a huge miscellanea of heritage, from the Middle Ages to the beginning of the 20th Century. Meet famous and well-known hot spots, such as the bookstore that influenced J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, the magnificent Stock Exchange Marke, blue and white tiled churches and much more. Art, heritage and traditions are meant to be found and seen during this short city tour.
Day 2 – Porto - Esposende, From Fold n´Visit’s store, based on the “Invicta” city of Porto, we will begin our journey heading to Esposende, a seaside city located in the North. During the first day, you will be overwhelmed with seaside landscapes and small “Portuguese rivieras” until you reach Esposende, a city from the Middle Ages. During your first day, a huge variety of fishing villages (Póvoa de Varzim) will be met by us, where we can experience ancient traditions linked to the fish exploration as well taste this famous gastronomy. In Vila do Conde, you’ll know why these Portuguese coastal cities were so important during the “el dorado” of the Portuguese Discoveries.
Day 3 – Esposende – Caminha. We’re reaching to Viana do Castelo, another sea docking city also holding a huge importance during the Discoveries. During the XIV-XVth Centuries it was in this precise city that the ships were developed to be departed to Brasil, India, Africa and other Portuguese colonies.
Still, in the district of Viana do Castelo, our destination will be Caminha. This city finds the delta of the river Minho, being part of the incredible landscape. Caminha is also very well-known for its natural and green heritage, like the sightseeing areas, waterfalls, beaches and the camping park.
Day 4 – Caminha – Baiona: During our fourth cycling day, we’re going to enter in Spanish territory, ending in Bayona.
It’s a city politically linked to Pontevedra where you can breathe the sea breeze. Yet, apart from the sea landscape you can also get lost in the old city centre, born from Roman roots and grew always towards the coast during the Middle Ages, with an influence from the Catholic Church. Curiously, during the XVI Century, Bayona was raided by British ships led by the great corsair and explorer Francis Drake who saw an opportunity to establish a commercial and merchant point in this territory.
Day 5 – Baiona – Arcade: The fifth day will encompass the stream of Vigo and will end in San Simon’s bay with a watery landscape to feast our eyes.
Always following the coast line, this day will be dedicated to Arcade and its famous oysters. Apart from this delightful cuisine, you will see monuments and sights dedicated to the Santiago’s culture, such as the church of Santiago in Arcade (XII-XIII centuries) and roads or paths that will lead to our pilgrimage destination.
It’s almost mandatory that if you are passing by Arcade, you must taste and enjoy the famous oysters, produced and harvested in the waters of this region. Curiously, during April’s first week there’s a festival dedicated to this traditional gastronomy – “Fiesta de la Ostra” – where the city is filled with tourists and pilgrims to attend this event.
Day 6 – Arcade – Caldas de Reis
Heading to a pre-Roman city, Caldas de Reis, a province which belongs to Pontevedra.
According to historical archives, the first inhabitants were a pre-Roman community that lived from the hot springs of this territory. The name “Caldas de Reis” is connected to the birthplace of Afonso VII, acting in the Middle Ages as a pilgrim path to Santiago de Compostela. Apart form the rich cultural heritage, like Arcade, Caldas de Reis holds a peculiar gastronomy, such as the “empanadas” of lamprey and the traditional Spanish bread. Since the hot springs accompanied the evolution of this territory, nowadays is a hot spot for tourism who seek better healthy treatments for several illnesses.
Day 7 – Caldas de Reis – Santiago de Compostela
Our last and seventh day will meet Santiago de Compostela as the final destination, one of the ultimate pilgrimage cores in Western Europe.
Like Rome and Jerusalem, the city of Santiago de Compostela present us a unique religious beacon for tourists who find in this cycling journey an act of faith and inner-self. Reach to the Square of Obradoiro, where you will witness the majestic baroque cathedral where the remains of the apostle are located.