Search 58,412 Camino Questions

A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it


Advertisement
Pilgrim Pouch carry bags with different designs
A lightweight carry bag handy for walking, biking, traveling, & Caminos
2022 Camino Guides
The 2022 Camino guides will be coming out little by little, most of them by the end of 2021. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.

UK to Santiago by bicycle

EarthWindandWater

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Future, winchester, uk to SdC
Hi all, just joined today... I'm planning a charity ride Winchester UK to Canterbury UK to Santiago...

Probably solo, probably unsupported, average 100 miles a day, camping mainly, stopping by each Cathedral on the route, over 15 days.

Road bike so not following the exact route from SJdPP, but close enough. Timing wise probably May to avoid snow in Pyrenees

If anyone's done something similar, advice on what to and what not to do would be much appreciated

Thanks!
 
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store
Learn how to Get "Camino Ready " 2nd Edition. In English, Spanish, German and Korean

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
Hi @EarthWindandWater and welcome to the forum. I can't offer any personal experience or advice, but I wish you well with this great endeavour!

As you probably know, many pilgrims cycle from SJPdP to Santiago, so the main guidebooks/apps have useful information and route maps for cyclists. You'll have access to lots of pilgrim accommodation but fewer camping opportunities on that part of your journey.

Happy planning and Buen Camino. Nuala.
 

JensNL

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
It is in Dutch but let do googletranslate do it’s job. Cycling routes over roads close to, including links for download of GPX files can be found here: https://www.santiago.nl/fietsen-naar-santiago/fietsroutes-naar-santiago/

Information about campingsites can be found here: http://www.archiescampings.eu/

Dutch guides including maps are sold here:
 
Last edited:
Rent a house in Santiago (1 month minimum)
300m from the cathedral and around the corner from the fresh food market in Santiago. Perfect place to tele commute from (1GB symmetrical connection).
Pilgrim Pouch carry bags with different designs
A lightweight carry bag handy for walking, biking, traveling, & Caminos

EarthWindandWater

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Future, winchester, uk to SdC
Are you sure that you will to be able to do 100 miles a day with camping gear every day? You might like to think about that but good luck.
Its going to be a challenge 😜 but thats half the reason...

I met a couple of 'oldies' who averaged 80 miles on about 6 hrs travel a day. If i can hit 8 hrs a day journeytime i only need to average 12.5 mph, even with kit (which will weigh less than what I've lost on my diet) thats pretty feasible.

France is relatively flat, it'll be the mountains that'll catch me out, LOTS of hill training between now and then
 

Barbara

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
I think the problem will be the stops. That's a lot of cathedrals, and if you want to raise awareness for your charity you will be spending time talking about it. Would you like to tell us here?
 

Coverbid

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2018
Hi all, just joined today... I'm planning a charity ride Winchester UK to Canterbury UK to Santiago...

Probably solo, probably unsupported, average 100 miles a day, camping mainly, stopping by each Cathedral on the route, over 15 days.

Road bike so not following the exact route from SJdPP, but close enough. Timing wise probably May to avoid snow in Pyrenees

If anyone's done something similar, advice on what to and what not to do would be much appreciated

Thanks!
I agree with some other comments. 100 miles per day seems like a lot. Take good notes as some of the days will blur together. You want to enjoy the journey not just speed through it. That added weight going uphill will be challenging. Stopping for stamps, sightseeing, weather conditions. Be careful, in too many places you might be the only person around for hours or longer.
I biked from Burgos to Santiago during the summer of 2018. I enjoyed it. I hope you enjoy your experience.
 

Corned Beef

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
VDLP 4/2022
The Camino has a strange effect on people who see it in many ways - spiritual, religious, challenging, pleasurable or all at the same time.

Before you start you should be well aware of your physical and psychological limits as both come into play. The spirit being willing but your backside is sore etc.

Here is a link to some who have done the Frances in 6 days, something you appear to want to achieve. They had a few issues that you might want to prepare for.

Cycling the French route from St Jean Pied de Port, France to Santiago de Compostella, Spain, (845km) in 6 days. This was pre-Covid
 
Last edited:

Peregrinopaul

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
I've done the reverse journey from Santiago to Roscoff and Ireland. 160km per day seems frankly insane to me, even through coastal France. Admittedly I'm an old guy but I was on a super light carbon bike with minimal load. It's not only the mountains that are the challenge, but headwinds, if distance is your goal. But then perhaps you are an athletic cyclist and know your limits.
The Frances section of my journey took me 10 days.
 
Camino Jewellery
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Rent a house in Santiago (1 month minimum)
300m from the cathedral and around the corner from the fresh food market in Santiago. Perfect place to tele commute from (1GB symmetrical connection).

Helen1

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
London to Santiago (2014)
Narbonne to Oloron (2015)
Camino Portugues (2016)
Sentier Cathar (2017)
How exciting :) It's an awesome trip. I made it from London to Leon, realised that whilst I could make it to Santiago in the time I had available (I think I had 4 days from SJPDP... it was a long time ago) I decided I would be missing out on an important experience by cycling and headed to Gijon to get the ferry home. Then came back and walked the last bit at a slower pace later in the year.

Your plan sounds doable, I took two weeks off work end of May/June so probably had a couple of extra days to you. I would make sure you have some contingency time. I went via Paris and mostly navigated via google maps (do not recommend). Quite frankly I think I am lucky to be alive - I arrived in Paris about 10pm so it was quieter but pretty still awful, fairly sure some of the route I took into Paris was basically a motorway/pretty horrendous underpasses where bikes weren’t allowed. Followed a cycle route past Versailles to get out of Paris which was also truly appalling, Kind of ok if you’re a local but not designed for long distance travel (on and off pavements/road works meant hopping over crash barriers with a laden bike which added hours). Sure there must be better routes now!

The weather was pretty bad when I went (thunderstorms/heavy rain) and I had a shocker of a headwind around Bordeaux. Stealth camping was no issue but it was cold/very wet when I went (huge amounts of standing water everywhere) and I needed to find more accommodation than I had planned. Finding accommodation was a bit of a nightmare in France. Nothing like turning up at a place you've booked in a thunderstorm bedraggled and being told ‘non’ because they don’t like the look of you. At least the HotelF1 takes anyone and seemed ok about bikes :). Lot of places wouldn’t accept arrivals after 8pm or outside specific hours so check booking conditions carefully.

I had ridden from London to Dover through an almighty thunderstorm and was soaked when I got on the ferry. By the time I got to France I was chilled to the bone. If I was going to do it again and the weather looked bad I would take a metallic blanket or an old sweatshirt you can chuck later on to wear on the ferry to stay warm. I had planned to cycle on after I arrived in Calais but called it a day. At the time Calais was not a safe place (refugee camps), I don't know what it is like now, but at the time the hotel staff advised me not to go out alone in the dark and the bike needed to be in my room to stop it being stolen.

Collecting stamps will be a challenge, look for tourist info places, they usually have wonderful people but cyclist unfriendly opening hours. Cathedral stamps are often in the tourist info, not the cathedral.

Don’t turn your nose up at McDonalds drive-ins… hot water, English style toilets with toilet paper, they are warm, cheap food, easy to leave the bike, no comments if you look unkempt, wifi… I know, it’s not exactly a romantic vision of cycling in France but in terms of sheer practicality they can’t be beaten.

Ring roads and navigation... work this out in advance.... I had a road atlas and google maps, survived to tell the tale but could have planned the route better :) Some of the cycle routes are definitely more scenic than practical with far more up than taking the slightly bigger road.

Cycling in Spain is *much* easier by comparison. Don’t even think about taking the walking/mountain bike route, use the road. There are rush hours/quiet periods but mostly the main road is quiet, wide and made from beautifully smooth tarmac. The descent down to Obanos is wonderful, if you catch the setting sun some of those rides through Spain are spectacular and you'll hook up with local cycling clubs. The Dutch guidebooks are excellent but use your judgement - sometimes the main roads are fine depending on the time of day. Some of the smaller, recommended roads are very narrow and full of local lorries during the day whilst the main, so-called dangerous road, is almost empty (or maybe they just felt that way after France).

After you’ve cycled from the UK the road up the Pyrenees will be no big deal, it does seem to go on for ages with a lot of switchbacks but it’s not so steep. Seem to remember the day before SJPDP having a fairly epic climb/descent but mostly I just remember being cold and wet and my fingers looking like I had been in a bath for hours. There are some wonderful people in SJPDP. When I arrived about lunch time (my plan was to carry on into Spain that day) the tourist info took one look at me and said go to a specific hostel and the chap who ran it, whose kindness still inspires me, helping me hang up all my things to dry and then spending ages in their shower warming up. I am glad I stopped, I was so cold and wet the break did me good. I met loads of pilgrims in SJPDP who were just starting and were super excited, went to the pilgrims office etc, it will feel very different to the rest of the trip.

I would look for bike friendly/rural hostels in Spain (see guidebooks/apps) and stay away from city centres because it's so much easier with the bike. Cycling, especially, road cycling is very different to walking a camino. It's not better or worse, just different in my opinion. The distances you can cover will be flummox to many walkers who will feel you are missing the point by moving so quickly. Expect some walking pilgrims to be hostile towards you if you are on a bike, most are fine but some seem to feel you are stealing their accommodation (even if you are just stopping in town for lunch or visiting a church) and will be very vocal about how awful it is that you are doing a camino by bike. Just ignore them, the overwhelming number of people you meet will be positive and friendly. Cycling that far in that time scale is no mean feat, especially if the weather is bad I am sure you will have many contemplative moments....

I hope you have an amazing time, you get a real sense of the landscape as you cycle and there's nothing like coming over a hill and seeing the next cathedral in the distance to inspire you to keep going.
 

bananarama

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2016
Frances 2017
On city centres in Spain: I kept getting lost on entering Pamplona, but Logrono, Burgos, Leon, Astorga, etc were easy enough to enter and exit, and a shame to miss out on, especially since their main alberge municipal, which do accommodate bikes, are located in the historical centre. The Burgos alberge is right next to the cathedral, and the Astorga alberge used to be an old hospital(?). So much history...
 

Did not find what you were looking for? Search here

Popular Resources

“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf ivar
  • Featured
“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf
4.95 star(s) 101 ratings
Downloads
15,222
Updated
A selection of favorite albergues on the Camino Francés Ton van Tilburg
Favorite Albergues along the Camino Frances
4.83 star(s) 35 ratings
Downloads
7,893
Updated
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances ivar
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances
4.88 star(s) 24 ratings
Downloads
7,697
Updated

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

Top