† Explanation of BAC Ride Fee – This fee is not included in the Estimated Cost and is non-refundable once submitted. The Ride Fee for US and Canada is $50 and $100 for all other countries, both are per participant.
OVERVIEW: This is a repeat of Camino del Cid 2022 with an additional four days of riding from Santillana del Mar to Burgos. Logistical support for this tour will be provided by Simon Proffitt of Iberocycle. Iberocycle has supported over a dozen tours for BAC members to date, all with very high to excellent ratings.
Camino del Cid is a cultural and historic route following in the footsteps of the legendary medieval knight, Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, more commonly known as “El Cid Campeador,” or simply “El Cid.” El Cid is one of Spain’s well-known and beloved folk heroes. Similar to Camino de Santiago, the route can be hiked or cycled, and a small booklet can be stamped along the way to provide proof of the traveler’s progress. The El Cid version of this credential is known as the “Salvoconducto,” a 21st century echo of the safe-conduct document used in the Middle Ages to ensure a traveler’s free and safe passage.
There are 16 required riding days during this tour, and two rest days. We start the tour from the historic town of Santillana del Mar, a few miles from Spain’s north coast, and ride southeast through eight Spanish provinces (Cantabria, Burgos, Soria, Guadalajara, Zaragoza, Teruel, Castellón, Valencia). We end our journey in Valencia on the Mediterranean. The first three days of riding will take us over the Cantábrian Mountains and on to Vivar del Cid, the town where El Cid was born, and mile zero of El Camino del Cid. From there we’ll continue along the cycling route for Camino del Cid, through unspoiled remote countryside with large natural areas, and breathtaking landscapes dotted with castles and small, quiet villages. The medieval heritage of Camino del Cid is unique within Europe, and boasts many examples of Visigoth, Romanesque, Gothic, Islamic, and Mudéjar art and architecture. Our journey will give us the opportunity to visit several UNESCO World Heritage sites, and we’ll stay in a number of villages declared Historic Artistic Sites by the Spanish Government:
· Burgos Cathedral, Burgos, constructed during the 12th – 15th centuries, has been reputed to sum up the entire history of Gothic art, and is renowned for its paintings, choir stalls, tombs, and stained-glass windows. We stay two nights in Burgos. (UNESCO World Heritage Site, Spanish Historic Site)
· Burgo de Osma is an attractive Castilian town located in the shadows of the ruins of a medieval castle, and noted for its porticoed streets and Baroque buildings. (Spanish Historic Artistic Site)
· Sigüenza has been under Roman, Visigothic, Moorish, and Castillian rule, and played a large part in the Spanish civil wars of the 13th and 14th centuries. We’ll stay overnight in the luxurious Parador de Sigüenza which previously had been a medieval castle, an Arab fortress, and a palace. (Spanish Historic Artistic Site)
· Daroca is known for its heritage buildings and medieval center surrounded by city walls dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries. (Spanish Historic Artistic Site)
· Albarracín, reputed to be one of the prettiest villages in Spain, is perched above the Guadalaviar River. It was once the capital of a Moorish kingdom, and has preserved much of its historic Islamic and medieval feel. (Spanish Historic Artistic Site)
· The city of Teruel, located against a backdrop of rugged hills and deep ravines, is regarded as the “town of Mudéjar” due to its numerous buildings designed in that style (decorative Islamic styled motifs and patterns applied to Christian architecture). Collectively they are part of the Mudéjar Architechture of the autonomous community of Aragon. (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
· Beautiful Valencia, where our journey will end, is home to the La Lonja de la Seda de Valencia (the Silk Exchange). (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Our riding will be on quiet country roads with little or no traffic, but with the some short stretches on busier roads near the larger towns. Spanish roads are generally in excellent condition, although there will be occasional rough stretches, and we’ll have a mile on a hard-packed dirt trail on our final day’s ride. Many days will include climbs to breathtaking vistas of the surrounding countryside where you’ll feel like you’ve arrived at the top of the world.
In addition to superb cycling and overnight stays in beautiful and interesting small towns, we’ll enjoy the friendliness of the local people, delicious food, and exceptional wine. This region of Spain is known for its wild mushrooms, rice dishes, roast kid and baby lamb, game stews, wonderful vegetables, cod, very sweet desserts, and designation-of-origin wines. What more could you ask for in a cycling vacation?
LOGISTICS: We’ll have our initial BAC happy hour at the Santillana del Mar hotel on May 11th at 6pm. If you are renting a bike plan to arrive no later than noon on the 11th to allow adequate time for fitting your bike.
The closest airport to Santillana del Mar is the Seve Ballesteros–Santander Airport (SDR) which is just outside the city of Santander. For those flying into Madrid (MAD), you can take a local flight to Santander (SDR), or a bus or train to Torrelavega which is a 20 minute taxi ride to Santillana del Mar.
There’s lots to see and do in and around Santillana del Mar and Santander. You may want to arrive early to do some sightseeing, as well as to give your internal clock time to reset to central European time. For those who enjoy the accomplishment of riding coast-to-coast, you can do a short ride from Santillana del Mar to dip your front wheel in the Bay of Biscay on Spain’s northern coast.
Our last day of riding will be May 29th, 2024. The tour will end after breakfast in our Valencia hotel on May 30th, 2024. Valencia has an international airport. You can travel from Valencia to Barcelona or Madrid by plane, train, or bus.
We’ll spend the first night of our tour in Santillana del Mar; one night each in Ormas, Orbaneja del Castillo, Santo Domingo de Silos, Burgo de Osma, Atienza, Sigüenza, Medinaceli, Daroca, Molina del Aragón, Orea, Albarracín, Teruel, and Montanejos; two nights each in Burgos and Monasterio de Piedra; and our final night in Valencia. Iberocycle will book reservations at the tour rate for BAC riders who would like extra nights before or after the tour.
RIDE RATING: 3B. This tour is for those who like to climb! Although the daily ride average is 48 miles with 3200’ of climbing (a 3B per the BAC rating system), there are 6 out of the 16 required riding days that are a “C” mileage rating, 1 day that’s a “D” mileage rating, and 4 out of the 16 required riding days that are a “4” climbing rating. The climbs are almost all either gradual and sustained or rolling, with only a few very few short steep pitches. The ride rating is based on the shortest ride options available for each riding day. There will be longer rides available for several days, and riding options available for the tour’s two rest days. Iberocycle will provide emergency transport for riders with significant health issues or whose bikes have a major mechanical failure, but each tour participant is expected to ride the entire route each day. We will not ride as a “stay together” group, and thus riders must bring (and be able to use) a navigation device (e.g., Garmin, Wahoo, smartphone with RWGPS, etc.) or plan to navigate via cue sheet and map.
BIKES & BIKE RENTALS: Road bikes, gravel bikes, or hybrids are appropriate for this tour. Due to occasional short sections of rough road, and a short section of hard packed dirt on our last riding day, you may want to have tires on your bike that are at least 28c. If you bring your own bike, Iberocycle will store your bike case during the tour, and transport it from Santillana del Mar to Valencia. Iberocycle has excellent rental bikes (male and female specific carbon road bikes, road e-bikes, hybrids) available at a very reasonable cost. Contact them directly if you wish to rent a bike for this tour. If you plan to ride an E-bike or tandem on this tour, contact the Ride Coordinator before signing up.
WEATHER: Temperatures should range from 43° at night to 66°F during the day for the first part of the tour, and 57° at night and 74°F as we approach Valencia. For the area where we’ll be riding, the average number of days with precipitation for the month of May is 4, and the average rainfall for the month is less than 2”.
COVID: All participants must be fully vaccinated including booster shots if applicable. We will follow all the necessary rules and protocols to remain Covid compliant, and the Ride Coordinator may change activities as necessary to keep tour participants as safe as possible. Measures that may be taken to keep tour participants safe and healthy include wearing a mask in public, maintaining social distance, and avoiding crowded places and situations in accordance with Spanish national and local mandates, or as recommended by the Spanish Ministry of Health, World Health Organization (WHO), or the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Participants may be invited to a Zoom meeting approximately 45 days prior to the tour start date to discuss and finalize COVID protocols for the tour.
LODGING & MEALS: Included in the tour cost are 19 nights of lodging in 3-star or 4-star hotels, a hot European-style breakfast each morning (19 breakfasts), 7 group dinners, and a daily happy hour with snacks, wine, beer, and soft drinks (19 happy hours). You will be on your own for all lunches, and all dinners other than the group dinners. For those who haven’t been to Spain before, dinner time tends to be much later than in the US, typically around 8pm. The larger towns we’ll overnight in will have restaurants that are open until mid-afternoon, providing a chance for a late hearty lunch in lieu of dinner. Most towns will also have a grocery store.
COST & ADMINISTRATION: The estimated tour cost is $3500 based on a currency exchange rate of $1.17 = 1 Euro, and a minimum of 14 participants. The first payment of $2000 is due at sign-up and the final payment of $1500 is due on December 31st 2023. Depending on currency exchange rates, there may be an adjustment in the amount of the final payment. The estimated cost includes all lodging (double occupancy) with full breakfast; a BAC social hour with wine, beer, soft drinks and snacks each evening; 7 group dinners; luggage transport & emergency sag support; bike box storage; maps, cue sheets and GPS files; a tip for the guide; ride leader expenses; and a $75 contingency in the event of unanticipated expenses or emergencies. It does not include: lunches or meals other than as stated above, bike rental, airfare, or transport to the starting hotel. After the tour the Ride Leader will provide a report of all expenses and return any remaining funds to participants.
SOLO & SINGLES POLICY: The Solo Supplement cost is $830 in addition to the per person tour cost. It is recommended that singles who want a roommate try to find their own, although the Ride Leader will assist by attempting to match singles who apply for the tour. After receipt of the initial deposit, a single without a roommate will be placed on the ride and given until December 31st, 2023 to find a roommate. If they are unable to find a roommate, they will have the option to receive a full refund (minus the BAC fee and payment processing fee), or to pay the solo supplement cost and stay on the ride. If a single pays the supplement, they may continue to seek a roommate, but must plan to participate without a roommate if necessary. Solo supplement payments must be sent to the BAC office by December 31st 2023. Checks should be made out to “BAC” with a notation of the tour name included on the check, and mailed to: Bicycle Adventure Club, PO Box 23998, San Diego, CA 92193.
ETIAS Pre Screening
Effective May 2023 travellers to Europe must complete the new mandatory pre-screening security questionnaire ETIAS. Without ETIAS approval, travellers from the US, Canada, and many other countries will not be able to book travel into Europe. The program will have a 180-day introductory grace period but will be mandatory by 2024. Approvals can be issued quickly and once issued are valid for 3 years. ETIAS applications can be completed online here: https://etias.com/etias-application
CANCELLATION: The BAC ride registration fee and payment processing fees are not refundable unless the entire tour is cancelled because the number of participants registered is less than the minimum established for the tour. Refunds of tour payments will depend upon whether a replacement rider signs up, and on costs that can be recouped. The amount refunded will be based on the principle that the tour’s remaining participants will not incur any additional cost as a result of cancellations. If the cancelling participant is replaced, a refund will be made at that time. If the cancelling participant can't be replaced, any refund will be determined after the tour and final expense report are completed. If a single participant cancels and another roommate cannot be found, in addition to other costs that cannot be recouped the cancelling roommate may also be liable for the solo supplement fee of the roommate remaining on the tour. BAC encourages members to purchase trip cancellation insurance.
RIDE PARTICIPANT RESPONSIBILITY: Please remember that BAC Ride Leaders are volunteers, and that successful tours depend on participants providing much of their own support. Participants are expected to come to the tour well trained, in good health and ready to accomplish the required daily riding using well-maintained bicycles. All participants should accept responsibility for a safe and enjoyable tour. We encourage you to read the ride description carefully and respond to requests from Ride Leader. While on the tour, support your Ride Leader with offers to help with various tasks such as happy hour preparation and clean-up. Please do not interfere with the ride by inviting non-participants onto any portion of the ride or tour. Please keep the Ride Leader informed of any special request you may have and respect the Ride Leader’s decisions.
Before participating in any BAC tour, members should review their medical coverage and assess whether what you have is sufficient. If it isn’t, you should purchase additional travel medical coverage. BAC maintains a policy that provides coverage for expenses related to medical emergencies and repatriation when members are on tours outside the US and their home country. The policy ceases to be applicable if a member makes a personal deviation (e.g., makes a side trip not related to the planned BAC tour). None of the insurance policies maintained by BAC will cover costs associated with self-quarantines that may be government mandated. Members should also ensure that vaccinations are up to date (e.g., annual influenza, tetanus, etc.). If travelling outside your home country you may wish to consult with a travel physician or nurse to ensure that you are up to date on appropriate vaccinations.
SIGN-UP: To submit a request to join this ride use the "links" displayed above this Ride Description. When you are accepted, the Ride Leader will move you from the Waitlist to the Pending List. At that time, you’ll receive an email notification to login to the BAC website to sign the release of liability form and pay the non-refundable BAC ride registration fee and the initial tour deposit of $2000 by credit card. The final payment of $1500 is due December 31st, 2023. As soon as your deposit has been processed, your name(s) will be added to the Participant List. To contact the Ride Leader, "click" the name at the top of this Ride Description.
Bicycle Adventure Club
PO BOX 23998 San Diego, CA 92193
Telephone (858) 715-9510 firstname.lastname@example.org