Cycling the Ruta Via de la Plata
On and off-road options on the Camino from Seville to Santiago and Gijon
By John Hayes
Guidebook to cycling the Ruta Via de la Plata through western Spain, covering the 924km route from Seville to the coastal city of Gijón and a pilgrimage variant to Santiago de Compostela. With road and off-road alternatives (the latter suitable for gravel bikes), the route offers fantastic cycling and rich cultural and historical interest.
SeasonsPotentially an all year round route, the best times to experience the Ruta are spring and autumn.
CentresSeville, Zafra, Mérida, Cáceres, Zamora, León, Oviedo and Gijón, plus Ourense and Santiago de Compostela on the Camino Sanabrés
DifficultyEmpty roads and gentle climbs make the route accessible to a wide range of bikes and cyclists. On and off-road versions can be combined for a perfect touring, hybrid or gravel cycle trip.
Must SeeGijón and 8 Unesco world heritage sites (Seville, Mérida, Cáceres, Salamanca, León, Zamora, Oviedo, and Santiago de Compostela). This traverse of Spain takes in the central plateau (meseta) and the unique dehesa landscape as well as the Cantabrian mountains.
This guidebook to cycling the Ruta Via de la Plata through western Spain describes the 930km route from Seville to the coastal city of Gijón in around 2 weeks (14 stages). A pilgrimage variant, the Camino Sanabrés, to Santiago de Compostela is also described (16 stages in total). Empty roads and gentle climbs make the route accessible to a wide range of bikes and cyclists. Both road and off-road versions are presented, and the guide shows how they can be combined to create a perfect touring, hybrid or gravel cycling trip.
The guide includes leg-by-leg route descriptions, 1:150,0000 colour mapping, elevation profiles and helpful ride planners to show where riders can swop from the off-road to the road route. There is advice on equipment, travel and transporting your bike, alongside a list of accommodation contacts and a useful Spanish glossary.
The Ruta Via de la Plata is one of Spain's most important pilgrim routes. The 2-week journey takes in 7 UNESCO world heritage sites (Seville, Mérida, Cáceres, Salamanca, Leon, Zamora, and Oviedo) with the famous pilgrimage site of Santiago de Compostela if the Camino Sanabrés is taken. There is lots of good-value accommodation available, from hostels to palaces, and plenty of chances to sample Spanish gastronomy.
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John Hayes is a retired management consultant with degrees from Liverpool University and University College London. Immediately after finishing work in 2011 he embarked on an epic 5,000km trek across Europe, walking from Tarifa in Spain to Budapest. John has written for numerous walking and trekking magazines, and has written four walking guides and a cycling guide for Cicerone.View author profile
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