Cantabria and Asturias Cycling Holiday
Start / FinishSantillano del Mar / Somo
Distance137 miles/220 kms
Experience the best of coastal Spain on this cycling holiday in Cantabria and Asturias. Cycle to idyllic beaches and picturesque fishing villages, flanked by the lofty Picos de Europa mountains. The combination of circular routes and point-to-point cycling is a great way to see this lesser-known region of Spain.
From Santillana del Mar in Cantabria you’ll travel west along the verdant coast to San Vicente de Barquera, then cross the River Deva to enter Asturias and the fishing village of Llanes. From Llanes you are transferred up into the mountains for a fantastic descent through a fertile valley down to the coastal town of Somo. From here you can visit the lively regional capital of Santander and explore the gorgeous, secluded beaches along the coast.
This is a region of Spain less frequented by tourists, a rich, fertile countryside rising gently upwards from the coast to join the Picos de Europa mountain range 20kms inland. There’s so much to see around here, so you’ll appreciate the three ‘free days’ during the tour where you’ll be based in the same place and can take circular rides to explore the local area.
This Spanish cycle tour is flexible enough to be suitable for a range of abilities. If you’re more interested in relaxed, easy-paced rides with the emphasis on enjoying the scenery, then you can take shorter routes and take advantage of time off for sightseeing on the free days. If you fancy more of a challenge, however, then you can venture inland to the hillier terrain and extend your rides accordingly.
Itinerary & Map
Day 1: Arrive Santillana del Mar
On arrival into Bilbao or Santander you will be transferred to the charming village of Santillana del Mar. After check-in there will be a route briefing and bike handover. Afterwards you are free to relax or explore the cobbled streets of this lovely medieval village.
Day 2: Santillana del Mar – San Vicente, 23-39 miles/36-62 kms
For your first day of riding you’ll head west through Cantabria, taking in both rolling countryside and its unspoilt coastline. Cycle past lemon groves to the seaside village of Comillas. Her you can take a dip from the fine beach and/or relax in the pretty town square with its good choice of tapas bars and restaurants. You then ride onwards through the Natural Park of Oyambre to the pretty fishing village of San Vicente where you will spend the next two nights. This village prides itself on offering superb seafood in it’s many restaurants.
Day 3: San Vicente – San Vicente, choice of distances
You’ll be spending a second night in San Vicente so you have a choice of out and back rides today. You could opt for an energetic climb inland to to the charming village of Carmona or maybe an easy, relaxing ride along along the beautiful coastline. Of course you could just take the day off and spend it on the gorgeous local beach or combine any of these suggestions.
Day 4: San Vincente – Llanes, 20-30 miles/32-47 kms
Take the coastal route westwards and around the Pechon headland, with its unrivaled sea views. You’ll then be leaving Cantabria behind and entering Asturias as you cross the River Deva. Continuing on, you’ll be cycling between the sea and the green foothills of the Picos de Europa. Ride past the plush, old world villas of Colombres and through a eucalyptus forest to the quaint fishing village of Llanes, your home for the next two nights.
Day 5: Llanes – Llanes, choice of distances
As you are staying another night in Llanes, you can choose to be as energetic as you like today choosing from several, different route possibilities. Or simply relax in the village or hit the beach. Ride options can lead you along the coastline to glorious beaches and hidden coves or into the valleys behind Llanes. Another option is a canoe trip on the Rivers Deva or Sella or even hiking the Cares Gorge up into the Picos de Europa Mountains.
Day 6: Llanes – Somo, 27 miles/44 kms
After breakfast you’ll be driven by minibus up into the Cantabrian Mountains from where you will enjoy a long gentle descent through the verdant and serene Miera Valley. It’s a landscape of stunning limestone rock formations, alpine meadows and clear mountain streams. The route leads you back down to the coast to the Bay of Santander and the town of Somo, where you’ll spend the next two nights.
Day 7: Somo – Somo, choice of distances
As you are staying in Somo again tonight, the day is a day of choices. You may want to spend the day by the town’s wide, sandy beach or take a boat across the bay to visit the regional capital Santander, a city of fine architecture and lively streetlife. Alternatively, you could head out to the elegant beach resort of El Sardinero or enjoy a loop ride eastwards past some beautiful, secluded beaches and quaint, villages.
Day 8: Somo
After breakfast it’s time to check out and head for home or your next adventure. You will be transferred to Bilbao Airport for your onward flight.
Dates & Prices
|2017 Arrival Dates|
|Arrivals every Saturday from 01 April to 30 October|
|Low season:||01 April to 30 June and 03 September to 30 October|
|High season:||01 July - 02 September|
|Accom Type 2|
|Accom Type 3|
|Accom Type 4|
|Accom Type 5|
|Accom Type 6|
|Accom Type 7|
|Accom Type 8|
|Accom Type 9|
|Accom Type 10|
Board basis: Bed & Breakfast
Maps and Route information
Arrival transfer from Bilbao or Santander
Departure transfer to Bilbao or Santander
Bike hire (see supplements)
Electric bike (£171)
Deposit per person £100
On this tour you can choose between a hybrid bike or a road bike. Both have aluminium frames and are well suited to the route. Unless you are used to riding a road bike we suggest you opt for the slightly more comfortable hybrid bike. The hybrid bike is equipped with rear pannier and handlebar bag. Both bikes have a lock, repair kit, odometer, map holder, water bottle & holder.
We suggest you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons. Alternatively, helmets can be supplied on arrival.
The categories of accommodation available on this tour are shown below.
Comfort: Rooms with en-suite facilities in guest houses, inns and good quality 3 star hotels.
Fly to Bilbao or Santander. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your first hotel in Santillana del Mar.
- Date - 17/10/2016
- Name - Richard Menendez
- Service rating - 5.0
- Service comment - Everyone was very nice and tried to accommodate our needs
- Product rating - 5.0
- Product comment - Lots of choices for side trips, beautiful scenery
- Flexitreks response - Thanks Richard - we're so glad you enjoyed your tour in Northern Spain.