Asturias Cycling Holiday

The region of Asturias on Spain’s verdant north coast offers some truly sublime leisure cycling and this holiday takes in all the best bits. Carefree, coastal cycling on quiet lanes and cycle paths, staying in boutique properties in charming villages and towns along the route.

The Asturian coastline is a treasure trove of tiny coves and bays, golden sandy beaches and charming little villages all overlooked by the towering Picos de Europa mountain range. This is Spain’s green coast, more reminiscent of Cornwall than the Costas, and here you’ll find a slow, relaxed pace of life coupled with some truly world class seafood.

Asturian coastline

The route leads you from the Asturias/Cantabria border to the seafood city of Gijon (100kms to the west as the crow flies). Along the way you’ll stay in some wonderful little hotels, including ornate Casa Indianas built by rich locals in the early 1900s on their return from America. You’ll enjoy wonderful sea views for most of the ride and at times find yourself cycling along the famous pilgrims trail, the Camino de Santiago (St.James Way) that ends in Santiago de Compostella in neighbouring Galicia.

This is a real beach-lover’s cycling holiday as many of the numerous beaches and coves along this stretch of coast are truly breathtaking. Top tip – pack you swim-gear in your pannier each day.

The cycling is relatively easy and very relaxed, following quiet lanes and cycle paths however the terrain is undulating so you’ll need to be prepared for some short climbs along the way.

Asturias Cycling Holiday

The region of Asturias on Spain’s verdant north coast offers some truly sublime leisure cycling and this holiday takes in all the best bits. Carefree, coastal cycling on quiet lanes and cycle paths, staying in boutique properties in charming villages and towns along the route.

The Asturian coastline is a treasure trove of tiny coves and bays, golden sandy beaches and charming little villages all overlooked by the towering Picos de Europa mountain range. This is Spain’s green coast, more reminiscent of Cornwall than the Costas, and here you’ll find a slow, relaxed pace of life coupled with some truly world class seafood.

Asturian coastline

The route leads you from the Asturias/Cantabria border to the seafood city of Gijon (100kms to the west as the crow flies). Along the way you’ll stay in some wonderful little hotels, including ornate Casa Indianas built by rich locals in the early 1900s on their return from America. You’ll enjoy wonderful sea views for most of the ride and at times find yourself cycling along the famous pilgrims trail, the Camino de Santiago (St.James Way) that ends in Santiago de Compostella in neighbouring Galicia.

This is a real beach-lover’s cycling holiday as many of the numerous beaches and coves along this stretch of coast are truly breathtaking. Top tip – pack you swim-gear in your pannier each day.

The cycling is relatively easy and very relaxed, following quiet lanes and cycle paths however the terrain is undulating so you’ll need to be prepared for some short climbs along the way.

Itinerary

Day 1 : Arrive Villanueva de Colombres

Check into your charming hotel, built in the neo-colonial, ‘Casa Indiana’ style so typical of this region. Such buildings were erected in the early 1900s by rich Asturians returning from the Americas. A museum, in the nearby village of Colombres provides more information on this interesting period in the history of Asturias.

Day 2 : Circular ride into Cantabria
28 miles/45 kms

Your first day’s ride is a lovely introduction to the region, leading you across rolling green countryside that marks the border between Asturias and Cantabria. You’ll ascend a total of 375m – nothing too strenuous – along quiet, winding lanes. We highly recommend investing in the short detour out to the glorious beach at Pechón, particularly if it’s swimming weather. You may also wish to visit the Caves of Pindal, a little further along the coast, to admire the famous prehistoric cave paintings. Finally, the route wends its way back to Villanueva for a second night at the charming colonial hotel.

Day 3 : Villanueva to Llanes
17 miles/26 kms

After breakfast you bid Villanueva ‘adios’ and head west, deeper into the province of Asturias. First you pedal along the fertile valley of La Borbolla, with the green foothills of the Picos de Europa off to your left. You’ll pass through small villages with more grand Casa Indiana houses painted in bright colours. You then turn north, crossing a low ridge before descending towards the coast to follow a wonderful coastal path west to Llanes, today’s destination. Along the way you’ll pass a succession of fabulous beaches and coves so you might want to consider having your swim stuff with you today. The route finishes on the outskirts of Llanes at a lovely colonial style hotel – with outdoor pool – where you will stop for the night. The centre of Llanes is a short walk away and along its pretty, winding streets you’ll find a wealth of restaurants, bars and cafes.

Day 4 : Llanes to Nueva de Llanes
17 to 23 miles/27 to 37 kms

Today you can choose between two routes depending on how fit you are feeling. The longer route leads on a tough ascent (650m) up onto the Sierra del Cuera from where you can enjoy sensational views of the coast and Picos de Europa mountains. The shorter and easier option follows quiet roads through rolling countryside. You’ll still climb around 440m in total but you can reduce this by at least 175m by opting for the more direct main road at certain points. The easier route also offers the opportunity to take swim breaks at various coves and beaches along the way – our recommendations are Playa de Toranda, Playa de Torimbia and Playa Cuevos del Mar – the latter being very close to tonight’s overnight stop. You’ll spend the night in a charming Casa Indiana hotel in the centre of the quaint village of Nueva.

Day 5 : Nueva to Colunga
23 miles/37 kms

Today you join a secton of the Camino de Santiago del Norte (Way of Saint James – Northern variant) a famous pilgrimage route that terminates in Santiago de Compostella in Galicia. You’ll pass many pilgrims walking the route as well as ubiquitous yellow and blue painted shells that mark the way. You’ll pedal through verdant countryside climbing a total of 330m but none of it too steep. You cross the Sella River at the coastal town of Ribadesella, where more brightly painted Casa Indianas line the seafront looking out over a rather lovely town beach. A little further along the coast, after passing a few more lovely beaches, you reach the small town of Colunga where you’ll spend the night in a lovely old colonial-style hotel.

Day 6 : Colunga to Agüero
via Villaviciosa and Tazones

Today you continue along the Way of St. James through picturesque rolling countryside to the town of Villaviciosa. This atmospheric little place was once an important stop for pilgrims en-route to Santiago and while doubtless still a welcome sight for weary walkers and cyclists, it is now better known for producing excellent cider. You then follow a very pleasant route beside the estuary out towards the coast. Much of the area is a protected bird sanctuary and achingly beautiful. At the top of the estuary you reach the tiny village of Tazones. This place is known for its fish restaurants and therefore is a great place to stop for lunch. A few more kilometres of easy cycling on rural lanes brings you to the tiny hamlet of Agüero and your charming country hotel.

Day 7 : Agüero to Gijon
18 miles/29 kms

Your final day’s cycling is relatively short but starts off with a good ascent of 220m up to a plateau. Quiet country lanes duck and weave, leading you through peaceful, sparsely populated countryside just inland from the coast. Towards the end of the ride you enjoy an exhilarating descent to the town of Gijon and then follow a beach-side boardwalk all the way to your charming hotel in the centre of the delightful old-town. Take a wander around the bustling marina or even head for the town beach for a final swim if the weather is suitable. The maze-like streets of Gijon are a delight to explore and a wealth of excellent restaurants, cafes and bars make this the perfect place to celebrate completing your Asturian cycling holiday.

Day 8 : Gijon - end of trip

After breakfast it’s time to head for home or your next adventure.

Bikes

Regular bikes provided are modern alloy framed models with 21 speeds. The bikes come equipped with pannier, lock and a repair kit with pump.

Electric bikes are also available.

We suggest you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons. Alternatively, helmets are available for rent (payable locally €5). This must be advised at the time of booking.

Accommodation

Below you will find examples of the accommodations typically used on this tour. Please note that the hotels we book for you may differ slightly from those described but they will certainly be of a similar standard.

Superior: Good quality hotels.

Villanueva de Colombres: La Quinta de Villanueva

Llanes: Finca de la Mansión

Nueva: Hotel Don Tomas

Colunga: Hotel Mar del Sueve

Agüero: Hotel La Figar

Gijon: Hotel Asturias

Local taxes: Some hotels have started to charge a local/tourist tax. These taxes are not included in the sale price of the tour and must be paid directly by you at check-in or checkout at the hotels. The fee varies and is frequently changing but as a guide, you may be asked to pay between €1-€4 per person per night.

Getting there

Fly to Santander (SDR), Asturias (OVD) or Bilbao (BIO)

Arrival in Villanueva de Colombres:

Private Transfers:

Private transfers can be booked for you between your arrival/departure airport and your first/last hotel. Ask about this at the time of booking

Public Tansport:

If you fly to Asturias airport (OVI) there are easy shuttle connections to the Oviedo bus station. From there you take a bus to Unquera (check timetable here) and then a taxi for the last 4km to your hotel at Villanueva de Colombres.

If you fly to Santander (SDR) or Bilbao (BIO) you can catch a direct bus to Unquera from Santander or Bilbao city centre (check timetable here). Once in Unquera you continue by taxi to Villanueva de Colombres (4km).

It is wise to book your bus tickets and taxi transfer in advance, especially if you’re travelling in summer or at weekends. Bus tickets can be purchased in advance on the ALSA website.

Departure from Gijón:

From Gijón there are easy bus connections to all 3 airports (Asturias, Santander and Bilbao). Again, book your bus tickets through the ALSA website. Alternatively, we can arrange private transfers for you – please ask about this at the time of booking.

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