Frequently Asked Questions, FAQs
What means of transport can I use to travel along the Way of El Cid?
You can use the following means of transport to travel along the Way:
- On foot, along country paths and tracks: click here for more info.
- By MTB bike, along country paths and tracks: click here for more info.
- By traditional cycle tourism bicycles along secondary roads where there is generally little traffic: click here for more info.
- By motor vehicle, mainly car or motorbike, along secondary and some fast lane roads. Click here for more info.
The Way of El Cid by bicycle along secondary roads
For those wishing to follow the Way of El Cid by road bicycle, large sections of these routes run along secondary roads in rural environments with little or even no traffic, although there are also certain far busier stretches that are clearly indicated in the guides. Sometimes the traffic will depend on the time of year: in popular tourist spots it will be heavier at holiday times or at the weekends. The state of the road surfaces and hard shoulders also varies considerably. The Way of El Cid is popular with many foreign cycle tourists and in general terms their overall experience is highly satisfactory.
On the roads, cyclists are advised to use the hard shoulder wherever possible, and in the case of highways this is compulsory. Except on highways, cyclists in Spain are allowed to ride parallel in pairs, and if possible on the hard shoulder.
The use of helmets is compulsory on all roads and for minors under 16 at all times, even in urban areas.
The use of approved lights is compulsory at night.
Click here to find out how you can transport your bicycle around Spain (Spanish version).
If you have not brought your own bike, large cities on the Way such as Valencia or Burgos have stores where visitors can hire bicycles with saddlebags.
What do we mean by the expression ‘a small village’ on the Way of El Cid?
Although the Way of El Cid includes a number of densely-populated areas, you will mostly be travelling through traditional, small, safe and peaceful towns and villages.
When using the term ‘small village’ we are referring to places with fewer than 500 inhabitants. To give you an idea, of the 387 towns and villages included on the Way of El Cid, 239 have fewer than 500 inhabitants and 85 of these have fewer than 50. In contrast, just 39 have more than 10,000 inhabitants, and only 4 a population of over 100,000: Castellón, Burgos, Elche and Valencia.
What kind of facilities and services are available in the smallest villages on the Way of El Cid?
Generally speaking, villages of fewer than 500 inhabitants offer all the basic services a traveller passing through will need. Here we offer a few details to give you some idea of what to expect:
- Hotels, guest houses and B&Bs. You will find them in most towns and villages of more than 500 inhabitants.
- Rural accommodation: country houses and inns. This is the most common accommodation option in small villages. Some are extremely luxurious and others are more basic. These rural accommodation options are available along the entire route and do not depend on the number of inhabitants: there are villages with less than 50 inhabitants offering this type of accommodation. In Spain you can either hire the entire house (generally for a minimum of two days on a self-catering basis – breakfast and dinner is not included) or part of it (one or two rooms and breakfast at least is normally included). In all cases it is important to book your accommodation in advance, preferably by e-mail (foreign language skills are generally poor in the rural areas).
- Camp sites and hostels. Click here to see the list of camp site and hostel accommodation options.
- Bars: these are common in most villages of more than 50 inhabitants, although the opening hours may vary considerably. Although many of these small bars do not have an ‘official’ menu, you can always order a snack, portions, "tapas", or the classic Spanish baguette filled with potato omelette ("bocadillo de tortilla de patatas"), pork loin or tuna, etc.
- Pharmacies, self-service stores, restaurants and small shops: in villages with 200 or 250 inhabitants upwards will have facilities such as pharmacies, small self-service stores, restaurants and shops with varying opening hours. In the smallest villages vans and lorries come round selling basic food items, sounding their horns to announce their arrival.
Tap water in Spain’s towns and cities is safe to drink.
If you are walking or cycling you can fill your bottles in the public drinking fountains in the towns and villages. Many of these fountains have a sign that reads “Agua no tratada” (Untreated water). This does not mean that the water is not potable, but rather that it comes from a nearby spring and has not been treated with chemicals. The water is generally of excellent quality. If you have any concerns, ask a local.
Generally speaking the Way of El Cid enjoys a continental Mediterranean climate. Depending on the location and season, you may encounter sharp contrasts between the warm Mediterranean coastline and inland areas, where the temperatures drop sharply in winter. To avoid any surprises, check the weather charts and forecasts.
Payment methods: cash points and credit cards
There is a large network of cash points that accept all the main credit cards such as Visa and Mastercard. You will normally find cash points in villages of more than 200 or 300 inhabitants, although this is not always the case.
Carry cash with you at all times: in small villages cash is preferred in shops, bars and restaurants, as well as in country houses and other types of accommodation. Some establishments in small villages could not accept credit cards. Tips not compulsory although they are always welcome, although this is left to the customer’s discretion.
The feeling of personal safety on the Way of El Cid is generally very high. Indeed, this is one of the aspects highlighted by foreign travellers on the Way. In the small towns and villages in particular, the locals are very friendly and welcoming and always quick to lend a hand to anyone in difficulty.
Foreign language skills are generally poor apart from in the Tourist Information Offices, hotels and other establishments in tourist areas, although they are more widely extended among younger people. English is the most frequently spoken foreign language. If you do not speak any Spanish at all, we recommend you download a translation app.
Spanish medical services, and the public health system in particular, are internationally renowned for their outstanding quality.
Useful telephone numbers
Save these numbers on your mobile phone:
- 112 –Emergency telephone number, for all situations of individual or group risk or danger.
- 091 –Spanish National Police.
- 062 – Spanish Civil Guard. Like Spain’s national police force, the Civil Guard is highly respected and admired throughout the country and is particularly present in country areas. Its members have a strong sense of public duty and their functions go beyond merely maintaining law and order; they also protect the environment and provide mountain search and rescue services, etc.
Want to contact us?
If you have any queries or questions about the Way of El Cid, you can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org (in Spanish, English or French). We will try and answer all your questions and help you in any way we can. Once you have set out on your route, remember that you can always call in at the Tourist Information Offices on the Way of El Cid where staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
For more general information, visit the Spanish government’s official tourism website.
Rev (ALC): 25.01.17