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Cycling Bilbao to Santiago - Lisbon - Lagos advice

Santiago Photo Book

janeGlad

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Northern Way from Santander (2018)
Portuguese Way in reverse to Lisbon (2018)
I am thinking I would like to cycle next year from the ferry at either Bilbao or Santander to Santiago and then do the reverse Portuguese way from Santiago down to Porto, Lisbon and down to Lagos(Portugal).
Just wondering if anyone else has done this/part of this who can give me any "dos and donts"? Would very much appreciate any help Thanks
 

MikeC

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Cycled SJPP to SDC September 2016
Starting Camino Ingles June 2018
I took my bike on Brittany Ferries last year and found that they won't let you book on the Bilbao services. They don't have enough cabins for their car capacity so low revenue cyclists get shut out until the last few days.
Santander port is close to the city; about 15 mins on a bike.
The Albergues and hostels could not take my bike, at least not when I needed an early start in the morning, so I used Pension Angelines which can store a bike in just one of the rooms. Good value but you need to carry bike up to the second floor.
I enjoyed Santander, friendly and relaxed. Which I discovered is the norm for northern Spain.
Buen Camino
 

janeGlad

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Northern Way from Santander (2018)
Portuguese Way in reverse to Lisbon (2018)
I took my bike on Brittany Ferries last year and found that they won't let you book on the Bilbao services. They don't have enough cabins for their car capacity so low revenue cyclists get shut out until the last few days.
Santander port is close to the city; about 15 mins on a bike.
The Albergues and hostels could not take my bike, at least not when I needed an early start in the morning, so I used Pension Angelines which can store a bike in just one of the rooms. Good value but you need to carry bike up to the second floor.
I enjoyed Santander, friendly and relaxed. Which I discovered is the norm for northern Spain.
Buen Camino
I took my bike on Brittany Ferries last year and found that they won't let you book on the Bilbao services. They don't have enough cabins for their car capacity so low revenue cyclists get shut out until the last few days.
Santander port is close to the city; about 15 mins on a bike.
The Albergues and hostels could not take my bike, at least not when I needed an early start in the morning, so I used Pension Angelines which can store a bike in just one of the rooms. Good value but you need to carry bike up to the second floor.
I enjoyed Santander, friendly and relaxed. Which I discovered is the norm for northern Spain.
Buen Camino
I took my bike on Brittany Ferries last year and found that they won't let you book on the Bilbao services. They don't have enough cabins for their car capacity so low revenue cyclists get shut out until the last few days.
Santander port is close to the city; about 15 mins on a bike.
The Albergues and hostels could not take my bike, at least not when I needed an early start in the morning, so I used Pension Angelines which can store a bike in just one of the rooms. Good value but you need to carry bike up to the second floor.
I enjoyed Santander, friendly and relaxed. Which I discovered is the norm for northern Spain.
Buen Camino
thanks Mike, thats helpful and explains why I couldnt find a price for taking the bike to Bilbao!
Did you enjoy cycling the Northern route and how challenging did you find it? Im sucking my teeth and wondering its going to be difficult to find places to stay near the route and will it be very wet. What time of year did you depart and how long did it take you? Thanks for the help, jane
 

MikeC

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Cycled SJPP to SDC September 2016
Starting Camino Ingles June 2018
thanks Mike, thats helpful and explains why I couldnt find a price for taking the bike to Bilbao!
Did you enjoy cycling the Northern route and how challenging did you find it? Im sucking my teeth and wondering its going to be difficult to find places to stay near the route and will it be very wet. What time of year did you depart and how long did it take you? Thanks for the help, jane
Hi Jane
Don't know why you got three replies for the price of one! Hope this one works better.
I did not do the Nothern Camino, but took my bike on the bus to Irun and thence by train to SJPP to do the Frances route.
It took me 15 days with a couple of planned detours and a couple of short days for sickness.
My ferry crossing was from Portsmouth. Strangely, 24 hours doing nothing is a good way to wind down for the Camino. You do get in quite late though so have to stay in Santander.
I left on 13 September 2016 and got to Santiago on 1st October.
Hope this is useful to you.
When do you plan to go?
Mike
 

hecate105

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2009 Portuguese Estellas 2014 Aurelia 2016 St Davids 2017 Via Augusta/V dl P. 2018 Michael Mary Way
Jane, we cycled to Plymouth and got the ferry down to Santander in April, all very easy and a lovely little 'holiday' before the Camino! We then went to Cadiz to follow the VdlP back to Santiago. But several years ago we flew to Lisbon, started cycling in Sintra - followed the sea up to Porto and then the Portugues route - which is absolutely beautiful! We camped a lot but there were quite a few albergues on the Portugues - all allowed us in and had excellent facilities. As long as you have a credencial and get it stamped - there are no rules about which way you must travel!! After Santiago and Finisterra we made our way to La Coruna and then followed the Norte route most of the way back across Spain to Irun. Lots of albergues, always welcome, stunning coastline, bloomin' hilly! Then we followed the Voie Litoral and other pilgrim routes up to Paris and back to UK. There were some albergues/haltes and we were always welcomed. But we camped the rest of the time.
So your trip would be a kind of reverse of ours! It sounds great and I don't think you'll have too many problems, although as MikeC suggested, perhaps find somewhere else to stay in Santander itself. (unless you can make it to Santillana del Mar - lovely small albergue there...)
I think you will have a fantastic time - a beautiful route - with the wine getting cheaper all the way south...!
 

janeGlad

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Northern Way from Santander (2018)
Portuguese Way in reverse to Lisbon (2018)
Hi Jane
Don't know why you got three replies for the price of one! Hope this one works better.
I did not do the Nothern Camino, but took my bike on the bus to Irun and thence by train to SJPP to do the Frances route.
It took me 15 days with a couple of planned detours and a couple of short days for sickness.
My ferry crossing was from Portsmouth. Strangely, 24 hours doing nothing is a good way to wind down for the Camino. You do get in quite late though so have to stay in Santander.
I left on 13 September 2016 and got to Santiago on 1st October.
Hope this is useful to you.
When do you plan to go?
Mike
I hope to go next spring, havent worked out exactly when but probably April. I will have a look at your bus and train idea as from what Ive reas the Frances way is possibly easier for a first attempt
 

janeGlad

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Northern Way from Santander (2018)
Portuguese Way in reverse to Lisbon (2018)
Hecate, that sounds like some very long distance riding!
To bring my bike on the ferry to Santander makes sense. Ive done some long rides however along rivers/canals so flatish, Dont thinkI will manage to cycle more than hills but guess I can walk them
Thanks for help
 

MikeC

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Cycled SJPP to SDC September 2016
Starting Camino Ingles June 2018
I hope to go next spring, havent worked out exactly when but probably April. I will have a look at your bus and train idea as from what Ive reas the Frances way is possibly easier for a first attempt
I'm sure you'll have a great time.
Just shout if I can help further
Mike
 

hecate105

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2009 Portuguese Estellas 2014 Aurelia 2016 St Davids 2017 Via Augusta/V dl P. 2018 Michael Mary Way
Hecate, that sounds like some very long distance riding!
To bring my bike on the ferry to Santander makes sense. Ive done some long rides however along rivers/canals so flatish, Dont thinkI will manage to cycle more than hills but guess I can walk them
Thanks for help
Oh yes - I get off near the bottom of most hills - it drives my husband mad, he has to stay on his bike no matter what (male pride!) but I like to smell the flowers...
 

Oneijack

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Cycling 2019
Oh yes - I get off near the bottom of most hills - it drives my husband mad, he has to stay on his bike no matter what (male pride!) but I like to smell the flowers...
Hi
Did you manage to complete your journey, would be very interested to hear about it
Andy
 

hecate105

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2009 Portuguese Estellas 2014 Aurelia 2016 St Davids 2017 Via Augusta/V dl P. 2018 Michael Mary Way
Yes! all the way home to Devon! and only had to replace my back wheel once.... I have written it up into a book but haven't got it published yet. I published one on amazon about cycling with our dog - 'Oaky's Grand Tour', but I hope to get our 'Unholy Pilgrimage' rewritten and published one day...!
 

Stevenlou

Member
Camino(s) past & future
None
Hi Jane
Don't know why you got three replies for the price of one! Hope this one works better.
I did not do the Nothern Camino, but took my bike on the bus to Irun and thence by train to SJPP to do the Frances route.
It took me 15 days with a couple of planned detours and a couple of short days for sickness.
My ferry crossing was from Portsmouth. Strangely, 24 hours doing nothing is a good way to wind down for the Camino. You do get in quite late though so have to stay in Santander.
I left on 13 September 2016 and got to Santiago on 1st October.
Hope this is useful to you.
When do you plan to go?
Mike
Hi Mike just reading this with interest, we sail into santander in Aug this year we have booked accommodation for when we arrive, we are hoping to get booked on the alsa bus with our 2 bikes to Burgos the following day, would you think this would be possible or would we have to pre book a few days in advance, we want to pick up the camino from Burgos.
 

MikeC

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Cycled SJPP to SDC September 2016
Starting Camino Ingles June 2018
Hi Mike just reading this with interest, we sail into santander in Aug this year we have booked accommodation for when we arrive, we are hoping to get booked on the alsa bus with our 2 bikes to Burgos the following day, would you think this would be possible or would we have to pre book a few days in advance, we want to pick up the camino from Burgos.
Hi Mike just reading this with interest, we sail into santander in Aug this year we have booked accommodation for when we arrive, we are hoping to get booked on the alsa bus with our 2 bikes to Burgos the following day, would you think this would be possible or would we have to pre book a few days in advance, we want to pick up the camino from Burgos.
Bus travel between major cities is very popular so you will need to book well in advance.
If my memory is correct, ALSA limits the number of bikes per bus; which is another reason to sort it out early.
The ALSA website is very easy to use, but i recall that it does not allow you to book two bikes in the same transaction; so you would need to make separate bookings for each person/bike combination. Again a reason for doing it early.
You can very easily play around with their booking site to see how it works and what it will let you do, without finalising the transaction.
Buen Camino
 

Stevenlou

Member
Camino(s) past & future
None
Bus travel between major cities is very popular so you will need to book well in advance.
If my memory is correct, ALSA limits the number of bikes per bus; which is another reason to sort it out early.
The ALSA website is very easy to use, but i recall that it does not allow you to book two bikes in the same transaction; so you would need to make separate bookings for each person/bike combination. Again a reason for doing it early.
You can very easily play around with their booking site to see how it works and what it will let you do, without finalising the transaction.
Buen Camino
Thanks for the valuable information Mike.
 

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