Away from the Crowds logoAway from the Crowds

Active, self-guided cycling and walking holidays in unexplored Spain

Sustainable tourism watermarkbarco de avila one glorious spring day

Cycling holidaysThe Roman Route to Salamanca

Magnificent Scenery in central Spain along carefully selected cycling routes and a chance to visit two Unesco World Heritage Cities: Avila and Salamanca.

From 634 € per person

Difficulty level gauge

Difficulty:Moderate

Details ...

Duration:7 nights, 8 days

Dates:April to 31st October

Start:Any day of the week

Location on map of Spain

Undulating or hilly terrain with perhaps three ascents per day.

Cycling surface:Tarmac: 92.5%. Cycle track: 4.2%. Dirt road: 3.3%.

Average daily distance / climb:22 miles (35 km) / 1337 ft (408 m).

Description

This stunning cycling tour is all about "off the beaten track" Spain: Beautiful countryside, quiet country roads and fantastic towns and cities full of history and Spanish flavour.

  • Two spectacular Unesco World Heritage sites: visit the breath-taking historic city of Salamanca and the ancient walled city of Avila.
  • Cycling along little country roads following the ancient Roman Route 'Vía de la Plata' highway.
  • From the rugged peaks of Gredos Natural Park to the holm oak pastures following the river Tormes.
  • Discover the mountain village of Candelario. A singular place, lost in time with steep cobbled streets and singular traditional architecture.
  • Meander through the contrasting landscapes of leafy chestnut forests and the vast 'Dehesa'.
  • Savour the locally produced cured pork: 'jamón', 'chorizo' and 'lomo' of Guijuelo.
  • Enjoy seeing the 'pata negra' black pigs as they roam freely accompanied by the 'toros bravos', specially bred bulls so famed throughout Spain.

Itinerary

Avila medieval walls

Day 1: Arrival in Avila

Arrival to the historic walled city of Avila and a chance to visit its emblematic 11th century City Walls, medieval cathedral, convent, chapels, museums... Don't forget your camera!
roman bridge barco de avila

Day 2: Villafranca to Barco de Avila

Distance: 27 miles (44 km). Climb: 1316 ft (401 m).

This morning, one of our team will transfer you to the starting point in the foothills of the impressive Gredos Mountains (45minutes). Cycle small winding roads through rural countryside to reach the lovely town of Barco de Avila where you will spend two nights.
beautiful landscape to cycle in

Day 3: Round trip Barco de Avila

Distance: 24 miles (39 km). Climb: 1772 ft (540 m).

Circular cycle route exploring the valley surrounding Barco de Avila. You will approach the Gredos Mountains where the Tormes river is born. Take time for a dip in its crystal waters .and a picnic in the shade of an oak tree!
cyclist in little country roads

Day 4: Barco de Avila to Candelario

Distance: 18 miles (29 km). Climb: 1191 ft (363 m).

Today, winding roads take you from Barco de Avila into the province of Salamanca. Cycling amongst lovely chestnut and oak woodland and into the very beautiful mountain village of Candelario where you will spend the night. Be transported back in time as you wander through the steep cobbled streets lined with ancient water channels which run with fresh mountain water. You'll marvel at the unique traditional architecture of the age-old tall stone houses.
cyclist stands in wide open space

Day 5: Candelario to Fuentes de Bejar

Distance: 19 miles (30 km). Climb: 1437 ft (438 m).

Cycle down into nearby Béjar to visit its Romanesque churches, XVIth century Palace and XIVth century Convent. From here you connect with the "Via de la Plata", a Roman highway used to transport silver from the northern mines to Sevilla, in the south. Today this roman highway is a main artery of the famous Camino de Santiago from the south of Spain.
little country roads and cyclist

Day 6: Fuentes de Bejar to San Pedro de Rozados

Distance: 27 miles (44 km). Climb: 1946 ft (593 m).

Another day to explore the "Via de la Plata" amongst pastures dotted with ancient holm oak trees. Leaving the mountains behind, today you enter the plains of Castilla to the north as you approach Salamanca. A warm welcome awaits you at your little family-run hotel in the village of San Pedro de Rozados.
Cyclist arrives to Salamanca

Day 7: San Pedro de Rozados to Salamanca

Distance: 15 miles (24 km). Climb: 364 ft (111 m).

One last cycling day to reach the truly impressive city of Salamanca, now declared a Unesco World Heritage site. Time to settle into your last hotel and enjoy the many sights and monuments and soak up the history of this fabulous city.
Salamanca Cathedral

Day 8: Departure

Return from Salamanca or treat yourself to an extra night to get to know this singular city.

Travel

Frequent questions:

Which airport should I fly to?
Madrid International Airport.
How do I get to the Starting Point?
Train from Madrid to Avila (1h:45m)
How do I get back to Madrid Airport?
Train to Madrid (1h:30m). Bus to Madrid (2h:45m)

Useful links:

Hotels

Days 1 and 7 in conveniently located city hotels. Days 2 and 3 in 4 star hotels. Days 4 to 6 in charming, family-run, rural hotels.

Hotel lobby in Salamanca

Night 1: Avila

Polished hotel very conveniently located very near the train station and a 10 minute walk from the Cathedral de Avila and the striking medieval city walls. Warmly furnished rooms and suites.

Bedroom in Barco de Avila hotel

Nights 2 and 3: Barco de Avila

In the banks for the Tormes River, a modern, comfortable 4 star hotel with fabulous views of the castle, and old part of town with the backdrop of the Gredos Mountains. Cafe, restaurant and open-air terrace

Dining area in Candelario hotel

Night 4: Candelario

Traditional village guesthouse and restaurant at the foot of Calvitero mountain. Warmly decorated rooms with rustic furnishings with wood-beamed ceilings and exposed stone walls. A favourite with our customers! Very friendly host, English speaking.

Bedroom in Fuentes de Bejar hotel

Night 5: Fuentes de Bejar

A listed building from the beginning of last century. Originally this hotel was the home of a rich family who owned a textile business. It has now been comfortable rural hotel with cosy rooms and very welcoming hosts! English spoken.

Hotel in San Pedro de Rozados

Night 6: San Pedro de Rozados

Family run village hotel with a warm welcome in a small village in the Via de la Plata route. Popular restaurant with the locals serving traditional Spanish food.

Bedroom in Salamanca hotel

Night 7: Salamanca

A modern 3 star hotel located in the very center of this wonderful historic city. Located in the main square of the city, this will be the perfect location from which to explore.

Our Bikes

Touring bikesElectric bikes

Designed to withstand heavy loads and provide high safety and comfort even after long hours of riding in the saddle, these adventure bikes will serve you well both on and off-road.

The downside to all these extra features and equipment is weight, but on a long distance tour, reliability, comfort and safety, win the day.

Gentleman's push bikeLady's push bike

Characteristics:
  • Time tested components to stay maintenance free during the tour.
  • Broad range of gears.
  • Stable carriers for luggage transport.
  • Permanently mounted lights with a hub dynamo.
  • Comfortable sitting position and straight, adjustable handlebars.
  • Other comfort features include bike stand, mudguards and bottle holder.
  • High bar and low bar models and sizes xs to XL.
Equipment provided:
  • Odometer
  • Rear pannier
  • Map carrier
  • Helmet
  • Water bottle
  • Lock
  • Pump
  • Puncture repair kit
  • Multitool set

Touring bikesElectric bikes

Not every type of electric bike is suitable to use in a cycling tour. Most e-bikes are actually designed for city cycling rather than long distances routes.

Experience allows us to choose e-bikes with the most suitable features for touring: reliability, simple operation, long battery life and short charge time.

Electric bike

Characteristics:
  • Time tested components to stay maintenance free during the tour.
  • Broad range of gears.
  • Stable carriers for luggage transport.
  • Permanently mounted lights with a hub dynamo.
  • Comfortable sitting position and straight, adjustable handlebars.
  • Other comfort features include bike stand, mudguards and bottle holder.
  • High bar and low bar models and sizes xs to XL.
Equipment provided:
  • Odometer
  • Rear pannier
  • Map carrier
  • Helmet
  • Water bottle
  • Lock
  • Pump
  • Puncture repair kit
  • Multitool set

Prices

Basic price:

Per person in double room634 €

This includes:

  • 7 nights' accommodation. 7 breakfasts.
  • Luggage transfers between hotels.
  • Detailed maps with your trail clearly marked.
  • Itinerary description, full of recommendations for things to do and places to visit, advice and suggestions and information about your accommodation, etc.
  • Emergency support.
  • Activity insurance.

Supplements:

Single room supplementHelp button131 €

For those travelling with others, but wanting a room to themselves each night.

Solo traveller supplementHelp button226 €

For those travelling by themselves. Do not choose the "Single room supplement" as well in this case.

Extras:

Half board (dinners)120 €

Bicycle hire100 €

E-bike hire180 €

GPS rental (one per group)30 €

Other options:(Prices on request)

Extra night(s) in Avila 

Extra night(s) in Salamanca 

Extra night(s) in Madrid 

If interested, please contact us with your plans, requirements and queries,

or simply use the "Get a quote" section, which we would recommend.

Get a quote

Calculator

Basic price:

Per person in double room
634 €plusminus

Supplements:

Single room supplement
131 €plusminus
Solo traveller supplement
226 €plusminus

Extras:

Half board (dinners)
120 €plusminus
Bicycle hire
100 €plusminus
E-bike hire
180 €plusminus
GPS rental (one per group)
30 €plusminus
 
Total: *

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Other prices on request
 Extra night(s) in Avila
 Extra night(s) in Salamanca
 Extra night(s) in Madrid

Please use "Notes" below to specify when. Thanks!

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Reviews

the best week's holiday of my life

I have returned safe and very well from the week's cycling in Spain on the old Roman road.

I would like to say that it was the best week's holiday of my life time thus far.

The scenery the route and the experience were just fantastic. The hotels were excellent and I even though others here thought I was off my nut to do it at that time of year and on my own, I have to say I felt that my progress from place to place was being monitored by the baggage forwarding, and that my arrival was expected each day, which gave me a confidence.

Edward the chap that started me off on my journey is utterly charming, and I have spouted long and loud about the experience to all around. Many thanks to your company from me.

Jane Peden, UK.

Thanks Jane. Really glad that you enjoyed it so much. Your enthusiam is really touching. We really appreciate it.

Jaime, AFTC.

trout in the crystal waters

Thanks for asking how our holiday went. It was absolutely fabulous. The choice of routes for each day’s cycle ride suited us very well and enabled us to see a lot of wonderful countryside and scenic villages. We particularly enjoyed the ones with open bars where we always felt welcome.

Spending two nights at Barco de Ávila worked very well, giving us plenty of time to explore the town and enabling us to have a lie-in on the day after our arrival instead of having to pack everything before setting off on our ride. The circular tour was probably my favourite ride of the holiday with very quiet roads and lots to see, including the trout in the crystal waters of the Garganta de Caballeros. #pA particular high point for us was the night we spent in Candelario at the Hotel Artesa. We arrived in time to have comida as well as cena and the food was some of the best we’ve ever eaten in Spain, including alubias blancas, setas and mollejas combined into local dishes. They weren’t too proud to use garbanzos either, which we love but don’t see as often as we would hope.

Salamanca exceeded my expectations, which were high in any case. The best bit was climbing the tower of the new cathedral and on the way up walking around the catwalk above the nave.

All the arrangements worked perfectly. In case it may help anyone using a mobile with a GPS app like Viewranger I’ve attached copies of the modified GPX files that worked fine for me. I’ve put an “a” in the filenames to distinguish them from the originals.

Many thanks for your efforts to make our holiday as enjoyable as possible. They certainly succeeded.

Clive Owen, UK

superb countryside on very quiet roads

We thoroughly enjoyed the whole of the biking holiday in superb countryside on very quiet roads where we saw lots of hoopoes, storks, vultures and nearer to Salamanca, many black bulls (safely behind fences!).

The bikes were very comfortable, the route not too strenuous and the daily distances were easily managed.

All the hotel accommodation was extremely comfortable and varied, the managers all being very helpful (especially Hotel Villa Maria).

The weather was sunny but cooler than expected for the time of year, so we were glad we had packed our fleeces for the morning rides.

Salamanca was a lovely place to finish the tour, but for us, we were sad to give our bikes back because we had got quite used to our daily cycling routine!

I would recommend this tour to anyone who enjoys cycling on quiet roads and is reasonably fit (we are both over 60 but enjoy active holidays). We shall be looking for another route to cycle with Away from the Crowds next year!

Carol and Mike Duck, UK.

Thanks for the positive feedback Carol and Mike. We look forward to seeing you again soon!

Jaime, AFTC.

one of the most interesting traveling experiences that I have had so far

I did have an amazing time. It was definitely one of the most interesting traveling experiences that I have had so far. I will go ahead and share my experience on Facebook.

I would say that more than 90% of what it was planned was very good. The bicycle was very good and the travel plan was well written. The detail of the guide was also pretty good.

I like the hotels that I stayed in. Obviously I like some better than the others. In particular, I really enjoyed Candelario, Hotel Artesa, Villa Maria (an amazing hospitality and the fact that I was able to speak English with the host), Avila Gredos (very friendly) and amazing hotel in Salamanca in San Polo ...

I really enjoyed the road and all the things that I saw ... Thank you so much for providing such a great holiday.

Hamid Tabataei, USA.

The bikes were very comfortable

Congratulations on the whole organization and superb route. We thought the scenery was magnificent and destinations very interesting with Salamanca a great way to finish.

We particularly enjoyed having a room (in Salamanca) which overlooked the square. That was a highlight as was the visit to Candelario (including hotel).We also really liked the hotel in Fuentes de Bejar.

The roads were generally perfect – very quiet and free from traffic. The bikes were very comfortable and we had no mechanical problems at all. From Roger’s perspective there were a few too many hills (!) but I enjoyed the variation in ups and downs.

The down hills were a real highlight though. You can really pick up some speed!

Caroline Coffin, UK.

Mari Carmen at VII Carreras was especially welcoming

Many thanks for a great week! The hotels were all very good, and Mari Carmen at VII Carreras was especially welcoming. It was nice to meet all the peregrinos there.

I hope to return next year, maybe do much more of the Via de la Plata, following the 'bicimap lo esencial' guide.

Thanks for all your support.

Tom

Well Organised, assistance when needed

This is just to say that we enjoyed the cycling tour from Avila to Salamanca, Sept 17-23.

Well Organised, assistance when needed (in my case beyond the call of duty).

The roads were fine, villages and changing landscape. It was great. All the hotels were well chosen. Thank you.

Christen Thomsen, Denmark.

We'd be happy to recommend the ride to others

We enjoyed this holiday very much and were lucky with the weather, with no rain until the final morning into Salamanca.

The varied hotels were very hospitable, and where we ate in the hotels, the food was good–especially in Hotel Villa Maria.

We'd be happy to recommend the ride to others. Thanks for accommodating our change of itinerary, and good luck with the business.

Regards, Paul

The routes were perfect

We enjoyed our cycling holiday enormously. The routes were perfect and the hotels were all very friendly and hospitable.

We especially enjoyed our 2 nights in El Barco de Avila and our day and night in Salamanca. Thank you for arranging this so well.

Muchas gracias por todo.

James Lantry and family, UK.

The road maps were excellent

We had the pleasure to make a trip from Avila to Salamanca. We just want to let you know that everything worked perfect.

The road maps were excellent, the trip you had figured out was very well planned and the hotels were very nice.

We will certainly consider another bicycle trip in your programme some day and will happy to recommend your company to others.

Anon

CO₂ footprint offsetting

This holiday produces a carbon footprint of 0,4154 tonnes of CO₂. This includes taxis, luggage transfers and accommodation for every traveller.

We will compensate the CO₂ footprint for each booking through tropical reforestation projects in collaboration with the CeroCO₂ platform.

Additionally, you can also offset your own flight emissions by visiting myclimate. See the link below.

Committed to Sustainable Tourism logo