- Difficulty: Moderate+
- Category: Cycling, self-guided
- Duration: 7 nights, 8 days
- Recommended time of year: 1st April - 31st October
Cycle through the valleys of Picos de Europa National Park and descend to the stunning coast of northern Asturias.
- This is a cycling tour full of contrasts from the wide-open plains of northern Castilla to the awesome peaks of the Picos de Europa National Park, and finishing on the beautiful beaches of Asturias.
- The cycling tour begins in the plains of northern Castilla with two nights in historic towns, and time to explore the local Romanesque architecture.
- A short climb will take you into the region of Cantabria before you descend into the heart of the Picos de Europa National Park.
- You will have the opportunity to take the exciting Fuente Dé Cable Car to a dizzy 1823m! An unforgettable experience with absolutely breathtaking views!
- Cycle through the impressive Hermida Gorge with eagles and vultures swooping overhead.
- Take the unique funicular railway at Puente Poncebos, as it climbs over 2 kms inside the mountain to take you to the isolated village of Bulnes.
- Reward yourself with an afternoon at the beach after experiencing the winding mountain pass through green pastures and leafy forests.
- Your last night is spent in the pretty seaside town of Llanes, famous for its wonderful beaches, medieval core and bustling harbour.
Despite being surrounded by mountains, this is not a very challenging cycling holiday, as you might expect. Much of the cycling is along valleys, following rivers as they descend towards the sea, keeping each day´s climbing to a moderate level.
Ferries from Southern England: More and more people are bringing their own car from the south of England to visit this part of Spain. There are Ferries to Santander from Plymouth and Portsmouth.
Which airport should I fly to? Santander or Bilbao international airports.
How do I get to the Starting Point? From Santander there are several trains each day to Aguilar de Campoo. They take about 2 hours. There are more international flights to Bilbao than to Santander. If you fly to Bilbao, you can easily get to Aguilar de Campoo by bus (taking about 4 hours). A visit to Bilbao and the Guggenheim Museum there is very recommended.
How do I get back? By bus from Llanes to Santander Airport 1hr:45mins. By bus from Llanes to Bilbao 3hrs and 45mins.
Day 1: Arrival to Aguilar de Campoo
After exploring this mediaeval town with its 12th Century castle, noble palaces and one of the oldest monasteries in Spain, why not take a moment to enjoy some local delicacies from one of the 'terrazas' on its beautiful arcaded square.
Day 2: Aguilar de Campoo to Cervera de Pisuerga
You will receive your bikes this morning and set off along the river Pisuerga passing through small villages full of history and beautiful Romanesque churches for which this area is famous.
24 miles (39 km) / Climb: 482 m
Day 3: Cervera de Pisuerga to Potes
A beautiful ride along quiet country roads entering the legendary region of Asturias and the stunning Picos de Europa, one of Spain's first National Parks. This cycle offers spectacular panoramic views of the Picos in the distance and you will spend the next two nights in the popular mountain village of Potes.
35 miles (56 km) mostly downhill / Climb: 478 m
Day 4: Circular route Potes-Fuente Dé-Potes
Today's circular route includes the opportunity to take the Fuente Dé cable car. It's an uphill ride but it's most definitely worth the effort for a truly unforgettable, exhilariting experience! There is also a much shorter, easier alternative route with a chance to visit the stunning Santo Toribio Monastery.
29 miles (46 km) / Climb: 831 m
Day 5: Potes to Arenas de Cabrales
Cycle out of the valley of Liebana and into the Valley of Cabrales, famous for its production of spicy blue cheeses made in the artisan tradition. You will cycle along the Hermida Gorge, amongst vertical limestone walls as high as 600m, a great spot for sighting birds of prey and vultures!
29 miles (47 km) / Climb: 189 m
Day 6: Circular route Arenas-Bulnes-Arenas
Today you will visit the striking mountain villlage of Bulnes and marvel at the immense beauty of El Naranjo de Bulnes rock face. Here you can choose between taking the impressive funicular railway, up through the centre of the mountain, or enjoying the challenge of a 4km uphill walk with dramatic breathtaking views.
8 miles cycle and 5 miles walk (13 km cycle and 8km walk) / Climb: 411 m
Day 7: Arenas to Llanes
Today you can choose between a final full day in the company of the mountains or take a winding route down to the coast with more time to enjoy the sandy beaches of Llanes and to explore this bustling little fishing port.
22 miles (36 km) / Climb: 685 m
Day 8: Departure or extra nights
Why not enjoy an extra night or two in Llanes, Santander or Bilbao? There are still so many things to see and places to visit!
Aguilar de Campoo
A charming modern ***star hotel in a stunning historic monastery.
Day 2 Cervera de Pisuerga
XVIIth century converted water mill, ***star rural hotel.
Days 3 & 4: Potes
Comfortable hotel with mountain-view restaurant. ***star.
Days 5 & 6: Arenas de San Pedro
Quiet, cosy ***star hotel with the opportunity to relax by the pool.
Day 7: Llanes
XVII century convent now a pleasant ***star hotel.
Our hire bikes and equipment:
A bicycle specialist will deliver your hire bike and adjust it to your specifications. We provide you with fully equipped touring bicycles. Remember that we carry your luggage between hotels so you can travel light.
- Price: 726€ per person
- Single room supplement: 171€
- Solo Traveller supplement: 279€
- Half board / dinners: 150€
- Bike hire: 90€
- GPS rental (one per group): 15€
- 7 nights´ accommodation.
- 7 breakfasts.
- Luggage transfers between hotels.
- Detailed maps with your trail clearly marked.
- Itinerary description, full of recommendations for things to do and places to visit, advice and suggestions and information about your accommodation, etc.
- Emergency support.
- Activity insurance.
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