This fully supported and guided 12 day road biking tour starts in Seville and follows the ancient Via de la Plata road all the way to Gijon.
On this cycling tour, we will discover the wonders of Merida, Seville & Leon to mention just a few. Combine that with the fantastic scenery and relatively traffic free route it makes for an unforgettable cycling holiday.
Seville is one of the most beautiful cities in Spain and home to a World Heritage site. Merida is of great historical importance as too are Salamance, Leon & Gijon. If cycling and history are your thing, then this is an absolute must do tour.
During this guided cycling holiday, you will be supported by an accompanying vehicle and cycling guide. The tour leader cycles with the group, whilst our support vehicle is on hand should you require assistance. Our support vehicle will alway carry a spare bike (just in case), inner tubes, tyres and essentials.
Visits to many of the historic ruins, amphitheatres and museums are included in the cost.
Staying in mainly historic Parador (or similar) hotels and enjoying their superb accommodation, combine that with first class service and a dedicated team to ensure an unforgettable cycling holiday.
17th April 2021 – 28th April 2021
15th May – 26th May 2021
18th Sept 2021 – 29th Sept 2021
Secure your holiday with a deposit.
Bike hire €290
Single room supplement €410
The Vía de la Plata is perhaps Spain’s oldest route, older even than the more famous Camino de Santiago.
During the reigns of the emperors Trajan and Hadrian, the Romans created this grand trade route in the west of the Spanish peninsula that linked the Cantabrian coast with the lands to the south of Hispania. Goods, troops, traders and travellers moved along this trail, spreading the Roman culture, its language and way of life. This trail continued to be used over the centuries, both by Arabs as well as Christians during the Middle Ages, and went on to play an important role on the Iberian Peninsula.
Today our modern road systems follow many of these century old routes. Much of the original route survives in one form or another,
We have adapted this route for the perfect cycling holiday. The route begins n Seville heading north. From there, you soon pass through the ruins of Italica, an old city from the Roman Baetica, the route takes us through Zafra and to Mérida, It continues towards Cáceres and Plasencia. Through Béjar and Salamanca. Still heading north, we come to Zamora, through fields and alongside lakes until we get to Benavente. From there, on to Astorga and León. Campomanes and Pola de Lena. We then climb the Cantabrian mountains, Asturias taking us towards Oviedo and Gijón the final point of our journey.
We meet and greet you at Seville airport and transfer you to your hotel. Relax and unwind. Bikes should be readied, tyres checked and ready to roll, bike hire is available. A briefing dinner is scheduled for 7.30pm, so allow plenty of time on incoming flights. If you have the time we strongly recommend you stroll around this fabulous city, or take a guided tour.
Distance: 90km Elevation: 1644m
We set off from the impressive 'Plaza de Espana' working our way out of the city on cycle lanes. It doesn't take long to discover why this is such a historic route as 8km in to the journey we pass our first set of Roman ruins and amphitheater at Santiponce. Heading north we start to cycle towards the 'Sierra Norte', where the hills and fields are full of crops and oak trees that have Iberian pigs roaming freely feeding on the acorns.
Distance: 96km Elevation: 588m
We have now left Andalucia and enter Extremadura, a beautiful region full of historic sites and stunning scenery. This day gives a chance to visit Zafra, a small charming town that is big on history, hospitality and food. From there we head for Merida. Entering the city over the Roman bridge you instantly feel the historic nature of the place. Founded in 25BC the town has some of the most important Roman remains in Europe. The archaeological site has World Heritage status by UNESCO. Complimentary tickets to visit the sites of Merida are included. The 'Alcazaba' and ampitheater are an absolute must.
Distance: 70km Elevation: 696m
A shorter easier day allows you one last glimpse of Merida before heading off to Caceres. Passing through Aldea del Cano be sure to look out for the 14th century Castle of Mayornalgo. Any trip to Extremadura must include a stop in Cáceres. Also declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Its Moorish walls enclose and preserve the second biggest water cistern in the world, the remains of Roman settlements and a unique and perfectly preserved collection of Medieval and Renaissance buildings.
Distance: 84km Elevation: 840m
This stage takes us through the grazing pastures of the Extremadura cattle farms. Starting to climb you see the Alcantara Reservoir and summit the Los Castaños Pass before entering the ancient city of Plasencia over the River Jerte via the Trujillo Bridge. Placencia the capital of the Jerte Valley, a walled city since its foundation by Alfonso VIII of Castile, Plasencia city centre has been declared to be a Cultural Heritage Site; because of its religious buildings, palaces and aqueduct, not to mention its beautiful parks. We stay the night in the Plasecia Parador Hotel* a converted convent dating back to the 15th century.
Distance: 44 or 82km Elevation: 670 or 1920m
This is a day of choices ! A short easy day in the saddle or a hilly day heading into the Jerte Valley. The long and short of it. 44km of cycling will take you to the spa town of Banos de Montemayor. There we have laid on a visit to the Roman Baths for a relaxing treatment or two. 82km of cycling will take you through the Jerte Valley passing through the little unknown village of El Torno and it's amazingly eerie statues and then on to Hervas with it's old Jewish quarter. Ending up in Bano de Montemayor for a well earned relaxing treatment at the Spa.
Distance: 87 Elevation: 1316m
When you cycle an ancient Roman route you should expect some long straight roads right? Today we give you Roman roads. With rolling hills and changing scenery the road may be long but certainly worth it. Especially when you arrive into Salamanca, a university town claiming to have the oldest university in Spain. Salamanca boasts two magnificent cathedrals standing on a single site, an absolute must for any visitor wishing to explore the city’s rich heritage. The La Clerecía Towers, dating back to the 17th century are one of Salamanca’s best-known landmarks, along with the Plaza Mayor.
Distance: 68km Elevation: 486m
Leaving Salamanca behind us we keep heading north to the historical gem that is Zamora. Cycling through mainly vineyards and farm land you'll go through villages dedicated to wine production. Entering Zamaro over the stone bridge that crosses the River Duero the whole city is laid out in front of you. Dig into the heart of this city and there is plenty to see in Zamora. History has left an imprint on the city in the form of small Romanesque churches, 24 of them, along with stone walls, fortresses and castles.
Distance: 65 or 109km Elevation: 476 or 680m
Depending on how your legs feel we have another day of options. An easy 65km cycle on rolling terrain visiting the Monasterio de Santa María de Moreruela and on to Benavente or take the detour via Toro. The route to Toro (a wine producing town) takes in some stunning scenery with a chance to absorb yourself in the history of this magical little town. The centre piece being the Santa María la Mayor church dating back to the 12th century.
Distance: 70 or 118km Elevation: 249 or 736m
Today is a real gem Leon ! A fabulous city that simply must be explored. The cycle route takes us through quiet countryside, with trees leaning towards the sun like sun flowers whilst swaying in the breeze. The alternative route to Astorga gives you the opportunity to cycle through the crossroads between the Camino de Santiago and the Via del Plata.
Distance: 90km Elevation: 1132m
The penultimate day of cycling, We leave Leon behind and follow the river, the road starts to rise and we have a gentle but steady climb. We hit the summit at Arbas del Puerto and the scenery changes again as we enter Asturias. A lush green mountainous region of Spain that doesn't disappoint. We now have a well earned descent towards Campmanus and on to our destination for the night Pola de Lena. We recommend a visit to the 'Santa Christina de Lena an 11th century church.
Distance: 73km Elevation: 997m
A steady descent for a good few kilometres in the fabulous Asturias countryside is hard to beat. We eventually climb and end up in Oviedo, famous for its cider and unique way it gets poured. Leaving Oviedo behind us you climb for the last time, on reaching the peak you see Gijon in front of you. We head down to Gijón, making our way through the outlying areas until a bike lane takes us all the way to the Plaza Mayor (town square). Passing through the square and emerging onto the promenade at the shore line of the Bay of Biscay, where the statue of Octavius gives us an imperial salute that signals the end of our journey. We stay the night in Gijon, have a farewell meal and transfer you to the airport in the morning.
Seville has a major international airport so finding flights shouldn’t be a problem.
Gijon is served by 3 airports:
Asturias (Air Europa, Iberia & Vueling )
Santander (Ryanair & Vueling)
Bilbao (Air Europa, Air Lingus, British Airways, Easyjet, Iberia, Ryanair & Vueling)
Most airlines will take your bike (in a box) for a fee.
We can also recommend Sherpr.
We meet & greet you (If you want us to). Free transfers are available as a group transfer.
Remember, if you can attend it we have a group meal at 19.30 on the eve of departure.
So if you are arriving earlier you have time to do some site seeing.
Sorry all good things must come to and end!
On the day we finish cycling you stay the night at Gijon. We have our last meal together.
The next morning we transfer you back to the airport. (surcharges apply for Bilbao)
A good level of fitness is important, but you certainly don’t need to be super fit. The fitter you are and the more training that you do before hand will add to the enjoyment of your tour. Our tour leader cycles at the back of the group so that you won’t be left behind if you are worried about cycling too slowly. Everyone is different the group will be a mix of abilities. You should be able to cycle with others of a similar ability. Some will like to cycle fast, others slower and take in the sites and even stop for a historic site or two. Stopping for coffee or to take photos is really up to you. We will give you a nudge though if we think time is ebbing away on some of the longer days.
We also have the famous ‘Broomwagon’ which will sweep up anyone that can’t go any further, find they just haven’t got the legs that day or have taken too long site seeing. Our only rule is the first one to use the Broomwagon buys a round of drinks!
Each group is different but generally we are all like minded. There will be people of all ages and from all walks of life.
There are always a few older riders although and a mix or other ages including younger riders. Our group size will be a maximum of 18.
This means we should have a diverse and varied group of people, the group will be split 50/50 between people travelling alone & people that travel as a pair. There will be plenty of people to socialise with throughout the day and in the evening.
Your bags will be in your room waiting for you, we try to arrange days so you have time to explore the new destination.
You should have chance for some time to relax, have a shower etc before the evening meal. We usually arrange somewhere to eat for the evening meal so that we can all get together and you won’t be left alone (unless you want too).
Your baggage allowance is one main piece of luggage per person, a standard suitcase size of 70 x 45 x 30 cm is ideal other than your bike and a small sports day pack. We have limited space in the vehicle therefore ask that you try to keep your luggage to a minimum.
We try and book quality accommodation in historic ‘Paradores’ hotels or similar. Throughout the tour we stay in 12 different towns and may need to use different locations but always try to keep everybody together and ensure the quality is best we can get.
Usually the hotels we use are in old historic buildings and are full of character. Twin or double rooms are the norm but you can always use the single supplement option if you’d rather have a room to yourself (see below). All rooms are en-suite with breakfast included.
If you are travelling as a group or couple/friend we will always ensure you are together.
If you are travelling alone you will be roomed with other members of the group (same sex) and stay in a twin (occasionally a triple) room throughout.
Single room supplement:
This guarantees a single or double room with a private bathroom for every night of the trip