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Spain - Cantabrian Coast

Spain - Cantabrian Coast

Degree of difficulty - A/B

This tour offers a beautiful ride through the highlights of Northern Spain. The rich green countryside contrasts with the blue sea and the magnificent unspoilt beaches. Picturesque villages with flower bedecked houses, fishing harbours and the backdrop of the Picos de Europa.

The tour starts in a medieval village of Santillana del Mar with cobbled streets where you can visit the modern museum of the Altamira Caves - a World Heritage site.
On the following days you will cycle through green meadows, hills and valleys of Cantabria with its marvellous coastline and nearby beaches. You will pass through charming villages and in the village of Comillas you will have a chance to experience the architecture of famous Gaudi. The mountain range of Picos de Europa will greet you from the distance as you approach the village of Potes where you spend two nights.

The route continues, from leaving the Potes and heading towards the charming villages of the valley of Cabuerniga taking the road less travelled through the Cantabrian Mountains. This is a route few tourists ever see! On our way to out last stop in Somo we cycle through some beautiful valleys and villages always going off the beaten track, including a cycle through the stunning limestone valley of the River Miera which brings us to the farmland surrounding Somo and the Bay of Santander.

Please look at our tour dossier for more information on this tour.

Day 1 Transfer to Santillana del Mar
Pick up from arrival point and transfer to the charming medieval village of Santillana del Mar. Introduction to bikes and route briefing. Spend the rest of the day walking round the cobbled streets of this beautiful village, visit the modern museum of the Altamira Caves or enjoy a ride around the country lanes and down to the coastline.

Day 2 Santillana del Mar- San Vicente de la Barquera 36km
Leaving Santillana, our route heads westwards through green meadows and the hills and valleys of Cantabria with its marvellous unspoilt coastline and beaches nearby. We soon arrive at the charming village of Novales, set amidst lemon groves and with its fine typical rural architecture. Next stop is the seaside village of Comillas. Here a visit to the fine beach, the small harbour and the pretty village square with its pavement tapas bars and restaurants is a must, not to mention the architectural sights of El Capricho by the famous Catalan architect Gaudí and the Palace of the Marqués de Comillas. After leaving Comillas, cycle through the Parque Natural de Oyambre and along the beautiful beaches of Oyambre and Merón. We are finally greeted by the stunning view of San Vicente and the Picos de Europa in the distance.

Day 3 Free day in San Vicente de la Barquera
Spend time getting to know this pretty fishing village with its many seafood restaurants and magnificent setting. Take a ride on one of the free day routes, or visit the lovely mountain village of Carmona. Alternatively, enjoy a ride through the unspoilt hill country behind the village, or you may just prefer to spend a lazy afternoon on the beach.

Day 4 San Vicente de la Barquera to Llanes 46 km
Leaving San Vicente the route heads westwards along the coast. After a short distance, cycle around the beautiful headland of Pechn with its magnificent views of the coastline. Crossing the River Deva in Unquera we enter the province of Asturias with its markedly different flavour. The village of Colombres is home to the sumptuous villas of the indianos, emigrants to the Americas who made their fortune and returned to show it off at home. From here the route continues between the coast and the dramatic mountain backdrop of the Sierra de Cuera, foothills of the magnificent Picos de Europa. A beautiful descent through eucalyptus forests brings us back to the coast where we cycle past beautiful and unspoilt beaches, so typical of Asturias, to arrive at the charming fishing village of Llanes.

Day 5 Free day in Llanes
Cycle westwards and visit a string of fine beaches including the incredible landlocked beach of Gulpiyuri. Another beautiful route can take us through the most beautiful hills and valleys behind Llanes. Alternatively we can give the bikes a rest and take a canoeing trip on the Deva or Sella Rivers, or a hike through the dramatic and renowned Cares Gorge in the very heart of the Picos de Europa. Take a train to Ribadasella and visit the Caves of Tito Bustillo with their prehistoric paintings before cycling back to Porra. Enjoy the busy atmosphere of the fishing village of Llanes, so popular with Spanish tourists.

Day 6 Llanes to Somo 44 km
Today we transfer to the Cantabrian Mountains, and begin our descent of the Miera Valley to our final stop in Somo. Pick up after breakfast and drive to the starting point at 822 metres / 2697 feet above sea level. From here, a marvellous ride through the stunning limestone valley of the River Miera takes us down to the farmland around Somo and the Bay of Santander. Visit the mountain village of San Roque de Riomiera and the spa village of Lirganes with its charming old quarter.

Day 7 Free day in Somo
Enjoy the marvellous beach with its miles of golden sand. Take a short boat ride across the Bay to visit the lively and elegant city of Santander, capital of the province of Cantabria. Enjoy the belle époque atmosphere of El Sardinero, the beach resort of the city, where Alfonso XIII and his court spent the summer months in the early 20th century. Stroll around the town centre for some last minute shopping. Take one of the free day routes to visit the beautiful beaches of Loredo, Langre or Galizano. Ride through the green country lanes, where a surprise awaits you round every corner, to the village of Ajo, famous for its paellas. Visit the Nature Park of Cabrceno with wild animals from all over the world, and bizarre scenery resulting from its one time use as a Roman mine. 

Day 8 Transfer from Somo to departure point
End of trip. Pick up from Somo hotel and transfer to departure point.

For more details please have a look at the tour dossier.

€1010 per person sharing - low season
€1295 for single occupancy ( if travelling with others ) - low season

€1150 per person sharing - from 30 June to 31 August
€1450 for single occupancy ( if travelling with others )- from 30 June to 31 August

Tour Includes

  • 7 nights accommodation with breakfast
  • Set transport arrival/departure points ( from Bilbao & Santander )
  • Route maps and directions
  • Luggage transport
  • 21 gear bike rental  
  • €65 supplement for E-bikes
  • €45 supplement for road bike

    5 or 12 night tours are also available,  please email our office for more details 

Self Guided Tour Information

Self guided tour can start any Saturday from April to October

Below is a list of places that we typically use, although of course this is depending on availability.

Santillana del Mar

Santillana del Mar Case del Organista1 Santillana del Mar Case del Organista Santillana del Mar Case del Organista2

Day 1: Hotel Casa del Organista

San Vicente de la Barquera

San Vicente de la Barquera Hotel Miramar San Vicente de la Barquera Hotel Miramar1 San Vicente de la Barquera Hotel Miramar2

Day 2 & 3: Hotel Miramar


Llanes Hotel Don Paco Llanes Hotel Don Paco1 Llanes Hotel Don Paco2

Day 4 & 5: Hotel Don Paco


Somo Hotel Torres de Somo Somo Hotel Torres de Somo1 Somo Hotel Torres de Somo2

Day 6 & 7: Hotel Torres de Somo

How to get to the start point:

Best arrival points:
Airports - Bilbao or Santander
Ferry ports - Bilbao or Santander
Bus / train stations - Bilbao or Santander

By Air
Travellers generally arrive through Santander or Bilbao Airport where they are met by our pick up service. 
It is often possible to take connecting flights through Spanish airports such as Madrid or
Barcelona or through other European cities. Nearest airport is Santander connecting with Madrid and Barcelona, although flights are not so frequent. RyanAir now have route from London, Stansted to Santander Airport, actually closer to starting point in Santillana del Mar.

Trains & Buses
If you are travelling within Spain, excellent network of road transport; The Spanish Intercity train service: Renfe. The local train service along the coast of the Basque Country, Cantabria & Asturias is called FEVE. The major coach companies, depending on where you are travelling, are Alsa and Continental Auto.

For more details please have a look at the tour dossier.

As always please contact us in the office for more information (info@cyclingsafaris.com).

Tour map

We really enjoyed this holiday, cycling in Spain was a joy, I have never seen such respect for cyclists from motorists, it was great!
The terrain varied from coastal with lovely seas to mountains as high as you like. The mountains were fine as the bikes had the ideal gears for climbing. Mountains were not compulsory! The luggage transfer was great, the local people and tour operators were so gentle. I would recommend this tour.

R. Walsh (Cantabrian Coast, 2017)

The holiday was enjoyable, lovely scenery and an interesting part of Spain to visit. The team in Spain were helpful and the bikes were good; the maps were clear and easy to follow. The hotels were good and comfortable. 

Patricia Fitz (Cantabrian Coast self led May 2016)

I really enjoyed the trip to Cantabria. Its very well planned and all the hotels were very nice. 

Ronn L. (Cantabrian Coast group 2014)

We really enjoyed the trip with Simon. All the hotels were very good... Choice of restaurants was great - very enjoyable meals. I highly recommend this tour and would go again.

John (Cantabrian Coast group 2014)

Getting in Touch...

Cycling Safaris
Belfield Bike Shop,
UCD, Dublin 4,

Telephone: +353 1 2600749
Fax: +353 1 7161168


Office hours:
Monday to Friday 9.30am - 6pm

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