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Costa Verde & the Picos Self-Guided

Costa Verde & the Picos Self-Guided

Flag spain Spain

  • Region Region Northern Spain
  • Tour Type Tour Type Self Guided (Open Departure)
  • Duration Duration 10 days
  • Bike Type Bike Types Road, Hybrid, Touring & e-bike

Core Route

461 Kilometres
2 (Moderate) Difficulty Level: 2 (Moderate)
Average Distance per Day: 51 km
0 100 km
Average Elevation Gain per Day: 909 km
0 2000 km

Extended Route

545 Kilometres
2 (Moderate) Difficulty Level: 2 (Moderate)
Average Distance per Day: 60 km
0 100 km
Average Elevation Gain per Day: 1088 km
0 2000 km
April - October from
€995
Next Steps

Summary

This Stunning Self Guided cycling tour explores the beautiful Costa Verde & Picos in Northern Spain.

Starting from Santillana, you first ride south following the Saja River and then climb west over the pass to the village of Carmona. The next leg starts with a bit more climbing to the Puerto de Piedras Luengas and then a wonderful descent to Potes in the basin of the Picos for a two night stopover.

There are many options for the loop ride from here, including riding to Fuente De, taking the cable car to the top and then hiking down through the mountains. From Potes you ride north alongside the River Deva through the Gorge of La Hermida to Las Arenas de Cabrales. From here you ride to meet the coast at San Vicente for a two night stopover. There are several great options for the loop ride from here. Finally you follow the coast through Comillas back to Santillana – or you can extend the route and finish in Santander.

Highlights

  • Santillana del Mar

  • Carmona Pass

  • Potes

  • Fuente De

  • La Hermida Gorge

  • Las Arenas and the Cabrales Valley

  • Llanes

  • Parque Natural de Oyambre

  • Cangas

  • Comillas

What's included

  • 10 nights accommodation with breakfast

  • Pre-trip planner

  • All routing, maps, cue sheets and gpx tracks

  • Emergency telephone support

  • Meet, greet and bike fitting

  • Regional Handbook

Extras

  • Bike rental

  • Luggage Transfers

  • Evening meals

Pricing

  • Core Tour Cost
    €995

  • Luggage Transfers
    €425 (for two people sharing)

  • Hybrid bicycle rental
    €160

  • Road bicycle rental
    €205

  • E-bicycle rental
    €230

  • Single Supplement
    €305

Day 1

Arrive into the architecturally rich seaside village of Santillana del Mar, where we will arrange to meet you and get you fitted out with your bikes at a time of your suiting. Transfers to Santillana can be arranged from Santander and Bilbao Airports on request.

2

Santillana-Cabuérniga (34km core route)- Ride along the River Saja from the estuary close to Santillana inland, through rich green forest, up to the beautiful rural Valle de Cabuérniga.

Santillana Cauberniga elv

3

Cabuérniga-Potes (63km)- A beautiful ride through the remote hills and valleys of Cantabria to the dramatic gorge of La Hermida and the village of Potes in the heart of the Picos de Europa. A reasonably challenging ride is well worth it for the views and scenery it proffers, with some dramatic climbs and descents.

Cauberniga Potes elv

4

Potes Loop ride- we have plenty of options for you today, on your two night stopover. There is plenty to do in and around Potes. A popular option is the ride out to Fuente De, where you can take the memorable cable car ride up to the top of mountain range, before hiking down and riding back into Potes. We also have longer ride options for those who feel lost out of the saddle!

Potes Loop elv

5

Potes- Arenas de Cabrales (50km core route)- From Potes we ride along the gorge of the River Deva and then along the gorge of the River Cares to Arenas de Cabrales, staddling the borders of the Cantabria and Asturias regions. There are plenty of quaint small villages on route, where you can grab a coffee or sample some of the famous local cuisine.

Potes Arenas elv

6

Arenas de Cabrales-Cangas de Onis (31km core)- From Arenas de Cabrales we ride around the periphery of the Picos de Europa with a possible side trip climbing to the beautiful lake and mountain scenery of the Lagos de Covadonga. Cangas de Onis was the first capital of the kingdom of Asturias. The much-photographed ivy-clad bridge, although called” Roman”, is actually medieval. The Capilla de Santa Cruz, where kings once worshipped, is built over a dolmen.

Arenas Cangas

7

Cangas de Onis-Llanes (48km)- We ride through beautiful rural scenery towards the rugged coastline and the fishing village of Llanes. Llanes has a medieval quarter with buildings ranging from the 13th to 15th centuries. The town’s Sablon beach is especially attractive.

Cangas Llanes elv

8

Llanes- San Vicente de la Barquera (47km)- Another combination of valleys and coastline takes us to the fishing village of San Vicente de la Barquera surrounded by estuaries. A major port existed on the site of San Vicente de la Barquera in Roman times. Granted numerous privileges in 1210 which accelerated economic development, the town became an important stopover for pilgrims travelling to Santiago de Compostela. San Vicente has a rich artistic legacy including the Iglesia de Santa Maria de los Angeles and the monastery of El Santuario de la Barquera. Close to the town are several broad picturesque beaches.

Llanes san Vicente elv

9

San Vicente Loop ride (various)- We have a range of rides available today, both coastal and inland, and of varying distances and degrees of difficulty. You may at this stage of your trip fancy a day off the saddle, with plenty to explore in the town and the surrounding area, including some of the region's finest beaches.

10

San Vicente- Santillana del Mar (32km core)- Most of the days ride hugs the glorious, imposing coastline. The ride ride takes us to Santillana del Mar with the opportunity to visit the fine village of Comillas, which is home to Gaudí’s El Capricho. Gaudi spend a lot of time in Comillas, and the towns hosts his only buildings outside Catalonia. We will meet you back in Santillana to collect your bikes and wish you a safe onward journey.

San Vicente Santillana elv

Route Map

Essentials

Accommodation

The standard accommodations for the self-guided itineraries are a wonderful mix of country inns, rural posadas, and three or four star hotels. Generally, these have around 10 to 20 guest rooms and the owners live on the premises. Some of the smaller hotels do not have a restaurant, but there will always be several options close by, within easy walking distance. Most will have at least one English speaker on the staff.

The Spanish breakfast is light. Most hotels serve a continental breakfast of orange juice, coffee, tea or hot chocolate, bread rolls and jam. There may also be yogurt, cheeses, cured meats, pastries and cakes.

When you book a tour, your pre-trip planner will have more details about the specific facilities and services provided by the accommodations.

Examples of our Spanish hotels include;

Getting there

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.

AIR

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

RAIL

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

BUS

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.

Links

Climate

The weather in “Green Spain” which includes Cantabria and Asturias, can be very variable – and, as the name might indicate, rain is not unusual. It is important to be prepared for all eventualities. July and August are the sunniest months. Northern Spain in general receives a lot more rain than the rest of the country. The warmest months are July, August and September.

The valleys of the Picos can become very hot in the summer months. The summer temperatures in the coastal resorts are less oppressive than those of Spain’s Mediterranean coast, and these tend to attract Spanish holidaymakers rather than foreign tourists.

Fixed Costs

995 Euro is the cost per person sharing. The cost includes the following

  • 7 nights' accommodation with breakfast
  • Pre-trip planner
  • Routes in the form of highlighted maps and cue sheets
  • Regional Handbook
  • Telephone support
  • Meet and greet (if you are renting bicycles)

Optional Costs

  • Luggage transfer charges are calculated as follows:

    The standard charge is based on one or two riders. A couple would therefore share the luggage transfer costs. There is then a small additional fee for the third and each additional person.
    For example:

    1. Total cost for one or two riders = 425 Euro (212.50 per person based on two people sharing)
    2. Total cost for three riders = 425 + 20= 445 (148 per person)
    3. Total cost for four riders = 425 + 20 + 20 = 465 (116 per person)

Note that the more riders in the group, the less expensive are the luggage transfers per rider.

Bicycle Rental

Trek FX (male frame)


Standard rental

  • 5 frame sizes
  • Alloy Frame
  • Central suspension forks

Bring your own saddle and/or pedals if you wish and we will fit them to the bike. (You must be able to remove them yourself at the end of your trip)

Fitted withRear rack; platform pedals, bottle cage, fenders (mudguards)
Equipment providedhandlebar bag; map case; spare tube; puncture repair kit; lock; mini pump; multitool
On requestpanniers, helmet, gel saddle cover; SPD pedals; odometer; cages and straps
Not fitted/suppliedlights; water bottle


Trek FX (female frame)

Standard rental

  • 5 frame sizes
  • Alloy Frame
  • Central suspension forks

Bring your own saddle and/or pedals if you wish and we will fit them to the bike. (You must be able to remove them yourself at the end of your trip)

Fitted withRear rack; platform pedals, bottle cage, fenders (mudguards)
Equipment providedhandlebar bag; map case; spare tube; puncture repair kit; lock; mini pump; multitool
On requestpanniers, helmet, gel saddle cover; SPD pedals; odometer; cages and straps
Not fitted/suppliedlights; water bottle

Cube Attain

Carbon Road Bike

  • 6 frame sizes
  • GTC Monocoque Twin Mold Technology, Road Comfort Geometry
  • CUBE CSL Race, One Piece 3D Forged Steerer/Crown, Carbon Blades, 1 1/8" - 1 1/4" Tapered

Bring your own saddle and/or pedals if you wish and we will fit them to the bike. (You must be able to remove them yourself at the end of your trip)

Fitted withplatform pedals, bottle cage
Equipment providedseatpost bag; helmet; odometer; spare tube; puncture repair kit; lock; mini pump; multitool; water bottle; tyre levers
On requesthelmet; SPD (MTB pedals); cages and straps for platform pedals
Not fitted/suppliedlights


Cube Axial

Carbon Road Bike

  • 4 frame sizes
  • GTC Monocoque Twin Mold Technology, Road Comfort Geometry
  • CUBE CSL Race, One Piece 3D Forged Steerer/Crown, Carbon Blades, 1 1/8" - 1 1/4" Tapered

Bring your own saddle and/or pedals if you wish and we will fit them to the bike. (You must be able to remove them yourself at the end of your trip)

Fitted withplatform pedals, bottle cage
Equipment providedseatpost bag; helmet; odometer; spare tube; puncture repair kit; lock; mini pump; multitool; water bottle; tyre levers
On requesthelmet; SPD (MTB pedals); cages and straps for platform pedals
Not fitted/suppliedlights

Neomouv Montana

E-bike

  • Alloy Frame
  • Central suspension forks

Bring your own saddle and/or pedals if you wish and we will fit them to the bike. (You must be able to remove them yourself at the end of your trip)

Fitted withRear rack; platform pedals, bottle cage, fenders (mudguards)
Equipment providedhandlebar bag; map case; spare tube; puncture repair kit; lock; mini pump; multitool
On requestpanniers, helmet, gel saddle cover; SPD pedals; odometer; cages and straps
Not fitted/suppliedlights; water bottle
Core Tour Cost €995
Luggage Transfers €425 (for two people sharing)
Hybrid Bike Rental €160
Road Bike Rental €205
E-Bike Rental €230
Single Supplement €305

Photos

Next Steps

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