Cycling The Camino de Santiago tour

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Cycling The Camino de Santiago tour

Environment

The Camino de Santiago is a pilgrimage which has spanned centuries of history and was declared European Cultural Itinerary by the Council of Europe in 1987 and UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. Nowadays, the Camino is an example of intercultural exchange and of commitment to sustainable tourism.

The balance between tourism and the preservation of local culture and the environment on the Camino is a priority for associations like Ecoembes, which works to raise awareness about recycling along the pilgrimage, and the Spanish Government, which implement policies to develop green practices along the whole length of ‘The Way’. Furthermore, the Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of The Camino has launched a project to raise pilgrim awareness about the need to protect the environment and the paths along the Camino.

Cycling the entire Camino de Santiago, from Roncesvalles to Santiago de Compostela is a unique experience for cyclists. Travelling by bike is itself a sustainable way to travel and we avoid any further erosion of the actual pathway by using small roads that mirror 'The Way' which in turn reduces the 'traffic' and thereby the environmental impact of the flux of pilgrims.

The use of biomass energy from sustainable forests and the purchasing of local products to cook their traditional dishes are some of the sustainable practices employed by the family-run hotels and restaurants on this tour. We encourage all of them to reduce waste, reuse where possible and to recycle locally.

As an environmentally responsible business, we compensate the CO2 footprint for each holiday by contributing to tropical reforestation projects in collaboration with the 'CeroCO2' platform. This calculation includes taxis, transfers of luggage and hotel accommodation for every traveller. In the office, we have a daily commitment to the environment: we work to reduce the use of energy; we recycle and try to leave the car at home whenever possible and cycle to work.

Community

Cycling the full Camino de Santiago is, for most, a once in a lifetime experience. Travellers come from all over the world to experience this unique pilgrimage. Here they find many opportunities to share their experiences with other pilgrims from around the world and to interact with the locals they meet in the villages and towns that they pass through. Our tour along the Full Camino, promotes respect for local way of life along with mutual respect for the diversity amongst fellow pilgrims.

This ancient route meanders through largely rural areas where agriculture and cattle farming are the mainstay of the local economy. Our tour helps to sustain the fragile rural economy and we encourage our travellers to use local shops, bars, restaurants and other businesses to enhance their authentic experience of this magical area of Spain.

The hotels that are carefully picked by us are largely small family-run businesses which employ local people and which play an important role in the fragile economy of the towns and villages where they are located. All our providers form part of this local network, from the taxi drivers who transport the luggage to the bicycle hire companies we use.

Many of the little restaurants along ‘The Way’ are committed to using locally grown produce from nearby farms and small producers and therefore further adding to the sustainable tourism that we promote.

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