A once-in-a-lifetime ride from Spain’s north-eastern to south-western corners. EuroVelo 1 in Spain broadly shadows two ancient trails: the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route, and the mercantile Via de la Plata.
Its 1300+ kilometres are varied but shift slowly. Rural roads and gravel vias verdes are often the order of the day. There are also long days in the saddle along once-busy, immaculately surfaced highways, now almost deserted by cars since the construction of the fast autopistas.
But the number one reason to ride this route is the medieval towns that stud its way. A few you’ll have heard of – Pamplona, Burgos, Salamanca – but the smaller ones are the real revelation. As you ride south, warm stone gives way to whitewashed walls until you meet the Med and the Portuguese border.
Though you won’t always share the same tracks as the many hikers on the Camino, the routes usually converge in the towns that have serviced pilgrims for centuries – and where hostel and inn accommodation is readily available. That said, it’s not uncommon to find 50km stretches with no accommodation, particularly once you’ve left the Camino and started heading south.
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