Coastal Northern Spain, Basque Country, Cantabría, Asturias
9 Days − Self Guided
3 and 4 Star Hotels & Country Inns
Cycle Spain’s amazing landscape in the North!
Spain has something to suit everyone and the special Northern coastal regions such as País Vasco, Cantabria and Asturias are proof of this. With breezes from the Bay and a backdrop of the stunning Picos de Europa, intermingled with hidden valleys, Celtic influence, cool green forests, small fishing villages and sandy beaches it is enchanting. From Bilbao to Ribadesella, marine history and seafaring legends, mix with hardy mountain tales, and every village has its hidden treasure to discover as you bike through them.
A truly and authentic Spanish experience! Sample fresh seafood pulled right from the sea by the village fishermen. Be brave, order unknowns from the menu and speak with locals to get immersed in a centuries-old culture! If you are a real foodie you will love this region as its worldwide renowned for its pintxos and famous Michelin-star chefs.
Culturally Rich don’t pass up visiting the avant-garde Guggenheim Modern Art Gallery, Gaudi’s lovely little whimsical creation and enjoy Santander’s elegance in its 19th century architecture, Centro Botín Gallery and Michelin restaurants.
After all, as you pedal up and down this cycling paradise, you will feel courageous and living a unique cycling adventure.
1 Apr 2020 to 31 Oct 2020
1 Apr 2021 to 31 Oct 2021
60KM Daily Average
- Visit Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum, a fabulous building
- Taste the best pintxos in Santander’s Michelin-star restaurants
- Encounter enchanting fishing villages
- Sample local cuisine and fresh seafood and delightful homecooked meals
- Discover the natural park of Picos de Europa
- Hear legends in ancient churches, Neolithic caves and medieval towns
We are small and family run, and live permanently in Spain, so we are proud to provide the best quality service we can.
A delightful route for the A to B orientated Cycle Tourist!
Culturally Rich don’t pass up visiting the avant-garde Guggenheim Modern Art Gallery, Gaudi’s lovely little whimsical creation and enjoy Santander’s elegance in its 19th century architecture, Centro Botín Gallery and Michelin restaurants!
Having cycled in this area for the last 10 years, we are familiar with it, enjoy it immensely, and take pleasure to introduce you to it
We had a great trip. The cycling was challenging but well worth the scenery, the views and the white villages we visited. The accommodations were wonderful and the hosts were very pleasant and helpful. The food was very tasty but then how can you go wrong with tapas, cerveza and sangria…
Kathy and I would like to thank Cycling Country for setting up the tour, providing the bikes, maps, information sheets/booklet and directions. Definitely, an A-One job. It was a pleasure meeting Warren, Geoff and Maggie. Otherwise as we said, the trip was great and the organization and preparatory help from Cycling Country was superb. A great big thank you from us both.”
Day 1. ARRIVAL IN BILBAO
Arrive to the cultural city of Bilbao and enjoy your free time to explore the old town and try some pintxos (the Basque equivalent to Tapas). Make sure you leave enough time to visit the Guggenheim Art Museum. It’s permanent collection of Modern art is excellent and the building by Architect, Frank Gehry is a marvel. Enjoy the bustle of this busy city.
Day 2. BILBAO TO CASTRO URDIALES
Ride : 40 km | 25 miles
Leave Bilbao following the Nervión River and passing the iconic Guggenheim Museum. Cross over the river via the unique 19th century UNESCO World Heritage site, the Puente Vizcaya, a transporter bridge. Cycling this pretty coastline to the sea shanty singing fishing port of Castro Urdiales with its pretty harbour and impressive Gothic church. Truly atmospheric.
Day 3. CASTRO UDRIALES TO SANTOÑA
Ride : 35 km | 22 miles
Head west along this magnificent coastline, which also is a part of the Camino de Santiago’s Northern route. You will shortly reach Sonabia, with the impressive cliffs home to a colony of majestic griffon vultures, which you may see soaring above you as you ride. Pass through the fishing port of Laredo and to Santoña famous in Spain for its superb whitebait and anchovies done on a spit in local cafès. Take a ferry crossing over the river estuary and then a short ride to the beach hotel for today.
Day 4. SANTOÑA TO SANTANDER
Ride : 46 km | 29 miles
Cycle this lovely Northern Spanish coast and enjoy its beautiful green scenery, seeing the beaches and surfers in Somo. A short ride takes us to Pedreña, stomping and training ground of the world famous golfer, Severiano Ballesteros and from here we take a boat across the Bay of Santander, to reach the elegant capital of Cantabria with its attractive 19th century buildings and charming seaside air. Here the opportunities for a very fine meal are limitless as are some nice shopping and art gallery viewings.
Day 5. SANTANDER TO SANTILLANA DEL MAR
Ride : 54 km | 34 miles
Leaving Santander, cycle past the un-spoilt landscape of Liencres, with vistas of the coastline and to the nearby jagged Picos de Europa mountains. Once again, you are on the famous route, El Camino de Santiago, and may see pilgrims walking the Way of St. James. Cycle towards attractive Suances, with its summer beach culture and marine gastronomy and from here it is only a short ride to the beautiful medieval village of Santillana del Mar. This is an amazing village which has such a plethora of medieval buildings, it is a virtual museum! Neolithic finds lie close to here with the wonderful Alitmira Caves, the most famous in Spain and where cave paintings 36,000 years old were discovered.
Day 6. SANTILLANA DEL MAR TO SAN VICENTE DE LA BARQUERA
Ride : 36 km | 20 miles
Lovely undulating countryside continues with lemon groves and grazing cattle in green pastures. More impressive coastal scenery follows at Comillas, a once wealthy summer retreat with Antoni Gaudi even creating a fairy tale building, “El Capricho” which you can visit. Bike through the Natural Park of Oyambre, with beautiful beaches and coastline towards tonight’s fishing village of San Vicente de la Barquera, an attractive town with its Thirteenth century castle hanging over the town.
Day 7. SAN VICENTE DE LA BARQUERA TO LLANES
Ride : 47 km | 30 miles
This coastal Spanish bike route continues around the beautiful headland of Pechón with its magnificent views of the coastline before entering the ancient kingdom of Asturias. The village of Colombres is next and architecture lovers, will be charmed by the robin’s egg blue extravaganza of the town’s archives (in the former home of a wealthy 19th century entrepreneur). Bike this dramatic sierra route between the coast and foothills of the Picos de Europa with a beautiful descent through eucalyptus forests ending in attractive Llanes, seaside village, with 13th century city walls, Gothic Basilica, medieval Tower and key to the Costa Verde.
Day 8. LLANES TO RIBADESELLA
Ride : 44 km | 27 miles
Biking westwards, visit a string of fine beaches, including the picturesque sinkhole of Playa Gulpiyuri and continue on, hugged by the beautiful coast on your right and the Picos de Europe foothills on your left. A charming corridor! Finally, you reach Ribadesella, a lovely spot to settle after this exploration of Spain’s Green coast and which has been well loved for centuries dating even as back as Neolithic times, as attested to in its 29,000 year old Prehistoric cave paintings!
Day 9. ONWARD FROM RIBADESELLA
Sadly we must say goodbye after breakfast, unless you prefer to ride some more with us, perhaps joining another one of our tours to explore another fascinating area!
Road Cycling Tour : Self-Guided
Bikes : Hybrid Bikes (Trek FX), Ebike or Carbon (CUBE) upon request
Route : Bilbao – Santander – Santillana del Mar – Vincente de Barquera – Ribadesella
Group Size : Minimum 2 people | Discounts for 4+booking together
Tour start day is : Saturday. Check availability if require other days
Moderate : Daily average of 50 km with some hills. The tour is suitable for moderate leisure cyclists of all ages who have a good level of fitness and enjoy road biking.
8 nights in 3 and 4 Star Hotel – all bedrooms are en-suite – breakfast included
Luggage delivered to your next hotel
Emergency support and contact details
Pre-Tour pack and complimentary history/culture guide book with ideas for dining.
Maps, Elevation profiles, (gps option – 50 euros)
Bottle & Helmet bag
Extras Not Included
Lunches & dinners
Extra nights at beginning and end of tour
Transfer to and from arrival and departure points. We will normally meet you at Bilbao hotel on first riding day after breakfast and the tour ends at the Ribadesella hotel after breakfast on departure day. However, transfers to Santander, etc.. can be arranged.
You can bring your own road bike or we can arrange good quality bike hire. Those bringing their own bikes will have a bike box transfer fee of 65 euros.
Hybrid: (TREK FX ) (120 €) | Carbon Road Bike upon availability CUBE (160€) | EBike upon availability (190€)
Transfers to Santander and from Bilbao airports can be organised. Please request it on upon booking
Quiet country roads. Good asphalt road surface and undulating landscape
The hotels on this route are in great style and super examples of local architecture. You will welcome your arrival to them each day and enjoy their ambience.
This 18th century mountain type casa will enchant you as will its setting , which is in the middle of a medieval village. The “Casa del Organista” was reformed with love and keeping the original stone work and many of the timbers, it is steeped in history and you will get a good night’s slumber here.
A Baroque retreat, Hotel Don Paco, was a convent in the 1600s and its stone doorway attests to its grandeur. Its turbulent history as a barracks during Napoleon’s occupation adds to its intrigue and today’s marrying of modern style with centuries old, you are assured of a well rested night.
Testimonials from previous cyclists are always available and we enjoy receiving the feedback after tours. It helps us improve our services and offer you an even better experience. Please feel free to contact us if you would like a reference to talk to. Others have also posted reviews on the independent travel website .
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