The Camino de Santiago: On foot or by bicycle?

After you make one of the most important decisions of your life, that of doing the Camino de Santiago, there is another series of issues that you must attend to in order to make your trip as pleasant and safe as possible.

We mean which of the routes of the Camino de Santiago you must take (Will it be the French Way, the Portuguese Way or another way?), the list of things you must take, the places where you are going to stay and even the budget so that you do not lack money in case of an emergency .

But there is an important decision that many know, but few know which one suits them best and here we are ready to help you, whichever you choose, you feel that you have done it the right way. We mean deciding whether do the Camino de Santiago on foot or by bicycle.

Camino de Santiago on foot or by bike

Factors to decide how to make the way

There are three factors that you must take into account when selecting your best option:

  • The time you have to do the tour and, based on that,
  • The distances you plan to travel daily, your physical conditions
  • And if the social experience of the journey is important to you (meeting people, sharing, making new friends, etc.).

Travel distance and time to do it

Make the Camino de Santiago by bicycle It's a wonderful way to get the route covered in less time. For example, if you decide to do the French Way, in 14 days you will be able to travel its 706 kilometers of distance.

On the contrary, if you chose the walking option, the same distance will take you between 30 and 35 days.

Choosing the two-wheel option will allow you to stay in cities rather than small towns. This means that you will be able to visit historical places, go out and discover the nightlife of each city and have a wide range of options to stay, eat and drink.

The above does not mean that you can not also stay in small towns as those who go on foot would. The difference is that you will have fewer options. But, the mere fact of riding a bicycle will give you the advantage that you can get to the towns early and get ahead of the hostels or municipal hostels, in which you cannot make reservations and usually fill up quickly.

If by chance you do not find anything available in the town where you are, you will always have the bicycle to make the trip to the next one and see what options you find.

Keep in mind that with the bicycle you will go faster, but you could also miss some of the most important things on the Camino de Santiago, beautiful landscapes and the most common traditions of Spain: siesta, tapas, beers with friends or acquaintances.

physical conditions

Whether you decide to do the Camino de Santiago on foot or by bicycle, remember that for both cases you will need prior physical preparation.

In the case of the bicycle, remember that it is not the same to leave home on weekends to do a tour of a couple of hours, than to pedal every day for two weeks for three to six hours. The body will remind you every night when your muscles, back and buttocks ache, and when blisters appear on your hands.

If you decide to walk, you will do it for hours, traveling long distances and with a weight that is not your habit to carry on your back every day. That is why it is very important to choose well what you will carry in your backpack and practice carrying a similar weight for several days before making the trip.

The social experience of the Camino de Santiago

Each person has their own reasons to make the way. Doing the Camino de Santiago by bicycle has its charm. It is a rather spiritual experience. If you go alone, pedaling gives you the opportunity to spend more time with yourself and thus to think and meditate as you advance on your route.

The downside is that if you want to join a group of cyclists along the way, it might not be that easy. They usually already have their pre-established plans and opening space for one more person is usually not one of them.

Cyclists who go alone usually share with other people at night, when they arrive at a town or their lodging.

The option to do Camino de Santiago on foot it is a more social experience. By walking, you have more opportunity to feel that you are part of a pilgrimage community. You can share with people of other nationalities, talk, learn about their experiences. You can also stop to see or better appreciate the landscape while you walk.

We hope that this explanation has helped you decide which of the two options to choose when make the road to Santiago: On foot or by bicycle. But, if you have the opportunity to do the tour at least twice in your life, we suggest you try both alternatives.


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