Here is a report of our bike ride along the Camino de Santiago from Gijón to Santiago de Compostela in which we traversed the Asturias coastline and then went inland in Galicia with the Cathedral of Santiago being the goal, as it is for most pilgrims in this part of the world.
Starting from Gijón
The official start of the ride was from Iglesia de San Lorenzo in the centre of Gijón, this way maintaining the spirit and the idea of such a trip. The Camino goes along the coastline of the city, then into some industrial areas, followed by nicer views of Asturian countyside and soon enters Avilés, after which the typical Northern coastline begins.
One of things Asturias is known for is its rugged coastline with lots of cliffs and coves giving you impressive views all along the way. That being said, you need to part from the Camino to get to most of the lookout points, which we could make without too much additional effort since we were riding bicycles.
All along the way you encounter very nice coastal towns and villages, Luarca (above) probably being the coolest of them all – a port town situated between two cliffs which give you an opportunity to enjoy the views from various points and a picturesque promenade with several bars make it a great place to stop for rest.
As you might imagine, the countryside is very green, with lots of flora and fauna found along the way, which make the uphills more bearable and give you great views again and again.
As the area is full of capes and cliffs, there is also a lot of lighthouses, which became another type of points of interest when going on detours from Camino.
From Asturias to Galicia
Asturias is divided from Galicia by river Eo, and a northernmost point where you can cross it on foot/bike is Puente de los Santos – a 612m long bridge, with a pedestrian part, a bit too narrow for riding comfortably.
The town on Galician side you get to is Ribadeo, and it has a nice coastal path leading you to Praia As Catedrais, which I’ll take about later.
In the morning of our first fully Galician day we found ourselves in a lot of dense fog covering most of the area. If you go towards the North from Ribadeo you’ll find another lighthouse – Faro de Isla Pancha, which currently serves as a guesthouse – a very special place to spend a night in.
Some 16km from Ribadeo along the marked coastal path you can find Praia As Catedrais (The Beach of Cathedrals) – unique rock formations with multiple arches, caves and standalone rock in the sand. The place attracts thousands of tourists and even on a foggy Tuesday morning we have found a big crowd there.
Galicia seemed quite different (although we did go inland, which tends to change things) with eucaliptus trees taking over the landscape and many wide dirt roads through the woods. Additional fun was provided by bridges and creeks which people have to cross on their way.
Unfortunately we have had an accident in the middle of the penultimate stage, so we had to change our plans for that day. Special thanks to Pau, who helped a lot.
Despite that, the group reunited in Santiago on Praza de Obradoiro.
A bit more of “uncategorized” fotos: