Cycling the Camino Frances

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This is one of the best Camino videos I have seen, although I have not cycled the Camino Frances I would love to and as life has become busier it seems like this mode of travel will be used on my next Camino de Santiago.  The problem I have is that I am not adept at changing tires or fixing punctures – my cycling here in Ireland is easy and not hard uphill or off road – the way I would prefer for the Camino.

Also from all that I have read and listened to the experience of cycling the Camino Frances seems to be very different to walking; first you can complete the whole route in about two weeks, some do it in less; and because cyclist cover so much ground every day it is said it is a more solitary journey than walking.

There is some great advice for all in this video whether you are walking or cycling and if you need to ask questions there is a section on the forum for cycling the Camino.

Choice of Two Routes

Larrasoana - Cizur Minor 21 Iroz 07There are two main routes that cyclists use on the Camino Frances, there is one which is completely paved and follows minor roads always fairly close to the walking route as the walking route is not fit for a touring bike; most of the time it is a gravel path and sometimes be rocky.

If you are going by mountain bike you will be able to fully follow the walking route, though there might be a few small sections that you might have to walk down hill due to the steepness and rocks, however there are only a few of these.

What Cyclists Miss

One of the biggest areas I think cyclists miss is meeting and joining a group that travel along the Camino at pretty much the same pace, thereby getting to know each other quite well and develop friendships, some that last well beyond the Camino.

The other thing that comes to mind is that sometimes while cycling off road on tracks I can find my mind wander off and I don’t notice what is around me as I whizz past, this can happen when I walk also by much less land has past.

What Cyclist Gain

Walking the full Camino Frances takes normally between 28 and 35 days.  This amount of time can sometimes be difficult to arrange away from work, home, and family. On a bike the full route can be covered in less than two weeks, some do it in less than ten days – but that seems like a bit of a rush.

Now that I have started cycling quite a bit my next journey down the Camino Frances will likely be by bike – it is simply a time issue at this point in my life.

Posted in Camino Thoughts
2 comments on “Cycling the Camino Frances
  1. Michael O Connor says:

    Next April (mid) I will cycle the Camino. I intend to travel with 3 friends on road bikes and wish to travel on tarmac surface – minor roads. We go from Saint-Jean-De-Port to Pamplona.etc. Is this route sign-posted and easy to follow ? Are the hostels easily accessed from this route ? We carry no bags – will have a back-up vehicle. Any advice greatly appreciated.

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