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Northern Spain Bicycle Tours - Travel to the Region

Santander is the main access city for the region. Getting to the trailhead in Santillana del Mar entails getting to Santander and then making the final leg to Santillana.


Santander and Bilbao are the most convenient airports for travel to and from the region. Santander is the closest but Bilbao has a greater selection of flights and destinations. Bilbao Airport is 100 km from Santander.

  • Santander Airport » Santander
    Taxi or bus

  • Bilbao Airport » Santander
    Bus or taxi from Bilbao Airport to Bilbao Bus Station, then ALSA bus to Santander

  • Santander » Santillana del Mar
    FEVE from Santander to Puente San Miguel, then taxi (approx 3km) to Santillana


Two railway companies serve Santander:

  • RENFE is the Spanish inter-city line. There are 3 trains a day to and from Madrid, the journey taking about 5½ hours. There are no direct trains to Barcelona.

  • FEVE – operates narrow gauge trains which run west from Bilbao tawards Oviedo. Trains are punctual, reliable and slow. Bikes are carried on the trains. The 100 km journey from Santander to Bilbao takes around 3 hours.

FERRIES (from the UK)

Brittany ferries operate a service from Plymouth to Santander – the crossing takes 21 hours.
P & O operate a ferry service from Porstmouth to Bilbao – time around 34 hours


ALSA (National Express) operates a frequent service between Santander and Bilbao. The same company also runs a service between Santander and Madrid – 6 times a day with duration of around 6 hours.


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