Camino de Santiago by Bike: Which Camino or Route is Better?

Outdoor & Adventure

Learn which route is the best one to do the Camino de Santiago by bicycle, the places you’ll see, and more useful information.

Camino de Compostela is one of the most celebrated pilgrimages in Europe that welcome tons of Catholics, adventurers, hikers, and travelers from around the world to walk its many routes. Through the years, many paths have come to serve different types of people, each route has its own amenities and difficulties which lead to a variety of ways of completing the routes. From horse riding, the usual walking, and the favorite, biking. And today I’m going to talk about doing the Camino de Santiago by bicycle.

Which Route is Better to Do Camino de Santiago by Bicycle?

The first thing you need to do is choose a path and use a Camino de Santiago Route Planner. There are seven different routes to take. The most renowned are the French route and the Portuguese route, both of the routes are beginner-friendly, and highly recommended.

This means you’ll not face any issues, the distances between accommodations and towns are not big, and the path is well maintained and marked by the iconic yellow arrows. Also, you’ll find a lot of support and help on both paths.

Another good draw about both routes is the number of natural attractions, historical towns, and sites you’ll be able to check.

The French Route

A good example is the French route, it starts at Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, a stunning French town, near the Spanish border, and takes through almost 900 km all the way to stunning provinces in Spain like Navaja and La Rioja to Castilla y Leon and Galicia, until you reach the main square at Santiago de Compostela.

You’ll be able to see stunning landscapes, cathedrals, and towns that date back to medieval times.

When it comes to the Portuguese Route, you can start from two different areas (Lisbon and Porto), and each is composed of different attractions and sights. Depending on the route you choose, the distance change drastically, 620 km from Lisbon and 260-280 from Porto.

The Portuguese Route

If you decide to start from Lisbon, the path will take you through many stunning cities and towns, from Fatima and Porto to Vigo and Pontevedra until you reach Santiago de Compostela.

The biggest draw about the Portuguese route is, once you reach Porto you can choose to do the Coastal Camino, which takes you all the way to Vigo on a coastal road. The views are stunning, no doubt. Not only that but on this route you can find four different UNESCO World Heritage sites.

From Porto Old Town, and Coimbra University to a Knight Templar Castle that dates back to the 12th century in Tomar. Not only that, you can visit the oldest village in Portugal, Ponte Lima.

Tips for Camino de Santiago by Bike

The tips are a bit complex to tackle since it will depend a lot on which route you choose, which leads us to the first tip:

  • Select the route carefully, we talked about the main two routes, but there are several others. If you’re willing to take another route, choose wisely, some of the routes have long distances between towns or accommodations.
  • Water is important, it’s true that you can find a lot of help on these routes, but during hot months carrying enough water can save you from some issues.
  • Pack discreetly, it is always a good practice to pack only the things you need. You’re on a bike, but should think about the weight. Also, remember to pack some tools and a repair kit for your bike.

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