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EuroVelo 3 (Spain)
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Yes, you do get your Compostela (pilgrims’ certificate) for riding this route to Santiago. The minimum requirement for cycling pilgrims is 200km: this is pushing 800km from the French border.

Hopefully that’ll be the only pushing you do. It’s by no means a flat route – there are some big climbs along the way, particularly the Cruz de Ferro which, at nearly 1500m, is the highest point en route. But nor is it a gruelling mountain traverse. There’s no one canonical route to Santiago de Compostela, but in this case, the EuroVelo planners have chosen roads well within the grasp of a typical touring cyclist.

Many parts of the route are shared with the popular walking trail. These are often wide, flat gravel tracks, not ideal for skinny-tyred road bikes. Needless to say, don’t plan on high average speeds on these days – no pilgrim wants their solitude disturbed by a cloud of dust from a fast-passing cyclist.

Facilities along the route are excellent, simply because so many walk and cycle this trail. Hostels and restaurants are in abundance. Bear in mind that the ‘real’ dormitory-style hostels will ask you to bring a pilgrim passport and can’t be booked in advance; here, walkers (rightly) have priority over cyclists for beds. There are plenty of B&Bs and other alternatives.

Note that the route is not yet fully signposted, so you’ll want to load a GPX file onto your phone or Garmin, or at the least print out a map.

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