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Cycling the Lighthouse Way in Galicia

Cycling the Lighthouse Way

Overview

Galicia’s Costa da Morte, located in the Northwest of Spain, is one of the most dramatic and wildest coasts in Europe, the name comes from the many shipwrecks along the coast. The Lighthouse Way is an exciting off-the-beaten-track route from Malpica to Finisterre full of magic, legends and breathtaking landscapes, and we have designed a comprehensive cycling tour on it for those who would like to explore it by bike. The itinerary will take you through all kinds of surfaces: quiet paved roads, gravel roads and even singletracks, avoiding most of the car traffic. You will discover remote lighthouses, picturesque fishing villages, idyllic beaches and dunes of fine white sand, lush forests and ocean waves reaching the stunning coastal cliffs.

  • The unspoiled Galician coast with its lighthouses, empty sandy beaches and wild cliffs
  • Fresh seafood from local fishermen
  • Finisterre – the “end of the world¨for the Romans
  • Pretty fishing villages
  • Santiago de Compostela (possible add-on)

Click to view map

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Malpica*

A taxi ride is included in case you arrive in Santiago de Compostela or Coruña. Once you arrive at Malpica, you will have the rest of the day to settle in, have a look around the fishing port and find a nice place to start exploring the local seafood.

*In July and August you will start with two nights in Corme, including a lift to start the first stage in Malpica

Day 2: Malpica to Corme | 41 km

This is probably the most demanding stage due to the continuous climbs and descents and to the cumulative elevation gain, but the wonderful landscape and fun downhill trails make it one of the most impressive as well. You will head out from Malpica by riding a gentle climb to reach the San Adrián chapel, with an amazing view of the bay and the Sisargas Islands a mile away. You will reach the beautiful Niñons beach surrounded by forests, ideal for a relaxing break. Continuing ahead, you will arrive at the lonely Punta Nariga Lighthouse and its unique rock formations, then go downhill through the village of Roncudo to enter Corme-Porto.

  • Cycling for the day: 41 km, total ascent 990m
  • Overnight: Apartamentos Playa de Osmo, spacious serviced apartments close to the seafront (or similar)

Day 3: Corme to Laxe | 34 km

An easier stage with a gentler terrain awaits you on this day to recover from yesterday’s effort…but not less beautiful.  After visiting the Roncudo Lighthouse, you will leave Corme-Porto riding on a gravel road through a thick forest of eucalyptus and pine trees, passing through one of the best beaches in the area. The spectacular views from Monte Branco towards the estuary of the Allons River and the following ride over a wooden walkway are the highlights of this stage, offering one of the best panoramic views of the whole trip. You will reach the village of Laxe by riding along the promenade separated from the beach by a large expanse of dunes. If you prefer, you can also get off your bike and walk along the beach to reach your hotel.

  • Cycling for the day: 34 km, total ascent 600m
  • Overnight: Hotel Playa de Laxe, family-run hotel with well-equipped rooms, very close to the shore (or similar)

Day 4: Laxe to Camariñas | 44 km

Today is the longest stage of the journey and probably the most beautiful and astonishing. You will ride along a wooden walkway through the extensive dune complex formed by the beach and the lagoon of Traba. Afterwards, you will get on singletrack through a stunning rocky area beside the sea. You will also enjoy a long downhill gravel road in exchange for a climb to visit today’s so-called ‘Cementerio de los Ingleses’, witness to some of the most tragic shipwrecks that have occurred on this coast. Riding along the coast you will visit The Lighthouse of cape Vilán, the first electrical lighthouse guiding sailors in this dangerous sea, called the Costa da Morte for a reason. 

  • Cycling for the day: 44 km, total ascent 650m
  • Overnight: Hotel Puerto Arnela, comfortable hotel with good restaurant, just over the road from the port (or similar)

Day 5: Camariñas to Muxia | 31 km

A quiet stage without much elevation gain, ideal for experiencing the true rural Galicia and enjoying typical small inland villages, such as Cereixo or Os Muiños. Stop for a swim at one of the quiet beaches that you will find along the way, such as the unique Praia do Lago. Once in Muxia, visit The Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de la Barca, built on a rocky area of the seashore in the 12th century and representing the end of the pilgrims’ journey after visiting Santiago and Finisterre. It is the perfect place to enjoy the sunset. Afterwards, you can rest and taste the local gastronomy of Muxia.

  • Cycling for the day: 31 km, total ascent 550m
  • Overnight in Bela Muxia, very modern and spotlessly clean albergue with private rooms, near the harbour (or similar)

Day 6: Muxia to Lires | 31 km 

Today you will be riding on quiet paved roads with some short climbs, nice long descents and flat trails between forest areas and impressive views towards the sea. You will visit the Touriñan Lighthouse, located in the westernmost area of the peninsula. This huge building projecting from the coast is very isolated and is a magnificent spot for a panoramic view of the cliffs in the area. As always you will have the opportunity to stop at beautiful beaches. The arrival in the quiet and charming village of Lires surrounding the privileged environment of the Lires estuary is fantastic. Although the next day’s stage will start by passing Lires beach, do not miss the chance to admire the most amazing sunset in the Costa da Morte from a bar located there.

  • Cycling for the day: 31 km, total ascent 600m
  • Overnight at Liresca, lovely hotel with nice bar and restaurant (or similar)

Day 7: Lires to Finisterre | 23 km

The shortest stage of the route but just as beautiful as the previous ones. The start will be challenging but with great views of cliffs and small coves, and going along some trails of the historic Way of Saint James. Stop in Rostro, the wildest unspoiled beach of the whole journey, a perfect place for walking and relaxing before continuing the stage. The last climb is worth the effort, as it will take you to the mythical Finis Terrae, the end of the earth for the Roman Empire, with the immensity of the Atlantic Ocean in the background.

  • Cycling for the day: 23 km, total ascent 550m
  • Overnight in Hotel Prado da Viña, comfortable hotel in a quiet location (or similar)

Day 8: Departure from Finisterre

Departure… or stay one or more days in Santiago de Compostela (upon request).

What to Expect

Accommodation

On this cycling holiday, you will be staying in private en-suite rooms in family-run small hotels and pensions. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

Click to view default hotels

Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.

Meals

The package includes 6 breakfasts (not included in Corme). Along the way you will pass through plenty of restaurants offering many possibilities for lunch and dinner. Once you book you will also receive the best food advice from our local experts.

Difficulty & terrain

The average cycling distance per day is between 20-45 km, with a daily altitude gain ranging between 550 m and 990 m (read more about difficulty grades). We recommend this itinerary to intermediate cyclists in good shape, with previous experience on dirt roads and singletrack paths. We also offer the possibility of renting an E-bike, which practically makes the trip accessible to anyone.

When to go

This trip is available from late April to early October. The flexibility of self guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your trip on any date during the season.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended airports for this holiday are Santiago and Coruña

By train or bus

Inclusions

Included

  • 7 nights in comfortable small hotels and simple pensions
  • 6 breakfasts (not included in Corme)
  • Luggage transport on the cycling days
  • Transfer from Santiago or Coruña (city or airport) to the start point (one per booking)
  • Transfer to Santiago or Coruña (city or airport) on last day of the trip (one per booking)
  • Tourist and cultural information, route notes, maps and GPS tracks
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses such as snacks, drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Any items not specifically mentioned as ‘included’ in the programme
  • Entrance fees for attractions and museums

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Bike rental (standard hard-tail mountain bike or E-bike)
  • Taxi lift from Santiago or Coruña to the start point is included (one per booking)
  • Taxi lift from Finisterre to Santiago or Coruña at the end of the trip is included (one per booking)
  • Extra nights before, during or after the holiday

Bike Rental

We offer high quality 20-speed mountain bikes for better adaptation to all kinds of surfaces, with front suspension, hydraulic brakes and puncture-resistant tyres. We also offer powerful e-bikes with an efficient crank drive motor and battery that will provide you a boost when pedalling on hilly terrain. Panniers, helmets, handlebar bags and GPS bike computers are available on request (supplement applies).

In case you want to rent a bike from us, you will have to pick it from and return it to Santiago de Compostela. It is not a problem to get it on the included transfers before and after the trip, and if you arrive in Coruña we can arrange shipment to your first hotel. The best option depends on your travel schedule, so please consult your agent upon booking.

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