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8 Days The Way of Saint James Self-Guided Bike Tour in Portugal and Spain

Porto - Esposende - Caminha, Portugal; Baiona - Vigo - Caldas de Reis, Spain

Coastal Path Portugal and Spain Bike Tour

Join Fold n Visit - Bike tours Portugal on their bike tour from Portugal to Spain through the coast path! This cycling tour presents itself as an easy route to reach Santiago de Compostela, the ultimate pilgrimage beacon in the Iberian Peninsula and one of the most important spots for religious tourism in Western Europe. You will enjoy a city tour with Fold n Visit 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 areas such as Esposende, Caminha, and Baiona or have a delight with the famous Arcade's oysters, knowing why Caldas de Reis holds such a royalty importance and end this tour in Obradoiro Square, wherein the front you can see the colossal baroque cathedral where the remains of the apostle Santiago lies.

Key information

  • Trip type: Self-guided
  • Lodging: Point to point
  • Terrain: Mainly road or dirt roads and mostly flat stages with daily distances of up to 40 kilometers
  • Difficulty level: Easy (Cyclist doesn't need to have certain level of fitness, mostly flat terrain though occasionally they will ride in unpaved or hills, 10-30 miles per day)
  • Total Distance: 170 miles / 273 kilometres
  • Vacation type: Leisure
  • Type of bike: Hybrid bike, Mountain bike (available for rent / 250 EUR)
  • E-bike: Available for rent / 200 EUR

Highlights

  • 6-day self-guided bike tour
  • GPS, route descriptions, and maps
  • 1 short biking / walking city tour of Porto
  • Starts in Porto and ends in Santiago de Compostela
  • Airport transfers from Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO)
  • Luggage transfers for the deluxe package
  • 7 nights' accommodation
  • Breakfast

Styles


7 cycling days in English
The organizer also speaks: Portuguese, Spanish
The maximum participants in the group is 30
Airport transfer included: Francisco de Sá Carneiro Airport
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Accommodation

During this bike tour, you will stay in two and three-star farms or rural houses.

Program

Day 1: Reception in Porto

Before starting this cycling journey towards Santiago de Compostela, it’s almost obligatory to present and know Porto, classified as a world heritage site and the European capital of culture. Join Fold n Visit - Bike tours Portugal on 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.

You can see famous and well-known hot spots, such as the bookstore that influenced J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, the magnificent Stock Exchange Palace, as well as 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 (37 miles / 60 kilometres)

From Fold n' Visit’s store, based on the Invicta city of Porto, you will begin your journey by heading to Esposende, a seaside city located in the north. During this day, you will be overwhelmed with seaside landscapes and the small Portuguese Riviera until you reach Esposende, a city from the Middle Ages. During your first day, you will encounter a huge variety of fishing villages (Póvoa de Varzim), where you can experience ancient traditions linked to the fish exploration as well as 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 (31 miles / 50 kilometres)

You’re reaching Viana do Castelo, another sea docking city, which was also holding a huge importance during the discoveries. During the 14th-15th centuries, it was in this precise city that the ships were developed to be deported to Brazil, India, Africa, and other Portuguese colonies.

Still in the district of Viana do Castelo, your destination will be Caminha. This city meets the delta of the river Minho, being a 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 (25 miles / 40 kilometres)

During your fourth cycling day, you're going to enter the Spanish territory, ending in Baiona. It’s a city that is 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 the Roman roots and always grew towards the coast during the Middle Ages, with an influence from the Catholic Church. Curiously, during the 16th century, Baiona 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 - Vigo (Pontevedra) (35 miles / 57 kilometres)

On the fifth day, you will encompass the stream of Vigo and will end in San Simon’s bay with a watery landscape to feast your eyes. Always following the coastline, this day will be dedicated to Arcade and its famous oysters. Apart from this delightful cuisine, you will see monuments and sights dedicated to Santiago’s culture, such as the church of Santiago in Arcade (12th-13th centuries) and roads or paths that will lead you to your 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 the first week of April, 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: Pontevedra - Caldas de Reis (16 miles / 26 kilometres)

You will be heading to a pre-Roman city, Caldas de Reis, which belongs to the Province of Pontevedra. According to historical archives, the first inhabitants were a pre-Roman community that lived in the hot springs of this territory. The name Caldas de Reis is connected to the birthplace of Alfonso VII of León and Castile, which acted 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 empanada which is made of lamprey and the traditional Spanish bread. Since the hot springs accompanied the evolution of this territory, nowadays, this place is a hot spot for tourists who seek better health treatments for several illnesses.

Day 7: Caldas de Reis - Santiago de Compostela (25 miles / 40 kilometres)

On your last and seventh day, you will encounter 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 presents you a unique religious beacon for tourists, who find, in this cycling journey, an act of faith and inner self. You will reach the Praza do Obradoiro, where you will witness the majestic baroque-style cathedral where the remains of the apostle are located.

Bike rental

Bike rental for long distances is Fold n Visit - Bike tours Portugal's speciality. Everything will be prepared for you in the bike rental service. The bike rental service provides a clean and tuned bike and includes a helmet, tools, pump, chamber air, and other accessories.

Self-guided tour

The bike tour is made in full autonomy. The customer should be able to solve any mechanical problem, such as changing a tire. There is no luggage transfer, so the customer carries their luggage panniers (you can rent the saddlebags for free if you choose to rent a bike from Fold n Visit - Bike tours Portugal).

If you choose to rent one of Fold n Visit's bikes, they will require a security deposit (cash or credit card) by bike worth 250 EUR. The bike will be delivered to you, washed and oiled, and it will be the clients' responsibility to use it nicely. Any damage will be deducted from the security deposit.

Included excursions

You can discover a huge miscellanea of heritage in Porto by joining Fold n Visit - Bike tours Portugal for a city tour (bike or walk) in the city centre.

Location

This bike tour will start with a city tour in Porto. The next day, you will start your bike tour from Porto and ride towards Esposende, Caminha, Baiona, Vigo (Pontevedra), Caldas de Reis, and Santiago de Compostela.

Porto

In urban cities, such as Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, and Berlin, the bicycle concept has increasingly entered the personal lives of everyone and being used for efforts beyond leisure and fun. Specifically in Porto, a medieval city, a city developed for walking tours, the integration of urban bike pathways, along with the strong focus on the growth of bike paths, has shown feasible and satisfaction of the final consumers.

Porto and the north of Portugal hold incredible historic centres, with an array of centurial monuments and sightseeing attractions, making it possible to explore by hopping on a bicycle and cycle along these breathtaking regions. It is true that the bike has been a true means of transportation for cycling in European cities.

Food

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • Attending Fiesta de la Ostra (during the first week of April) in Arcade
  • Fish exploration and tasting in Póvoa de Varzim
  • Oyster tasting in Arcade on your fifth day

What's included

  • 6-day self-guided bike tour
  • GPS, route descriptions, and maps
  • 1 short biking / walking city tour in Porto
  • Luggage transfers (for the deluxe package)
  • Train ticket from Santiago de Compostela to Porto
  • Use of helmet and water bottle for the deluxe package
  • 7 nights' accommodation
  • Airport transfers from Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO)
  • Breakfasts

What's not included

  • Beverages
  • Cycling guide and support vehicle
  • Mechanical assistance
  • Meals other than breakfast
  • Personal accident insurance
  • Liability insurance
  • Tourist tax in Porto (approximately 2 EUR per night)

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 35% of the total price.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 30 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 60 days before arrival.
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