tourimg northern spain

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
mazza
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tourimg northern spain

Postby mazza » 22 Jan 2009, 10:02pm

ive been looking at ferries to santander and seen some decent prices so i wondering if anyone has been there and is camping good there as im on a budget i would also consier hosteling anyone got any good ideas

dodger
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Postby dodger » 23 Jan 2009, 5:51pm

Took ferry to Santander from Plymouth 2 years ago and camped in several places. Good sites, reasonable cost. The Picos are good touring. Didn't want to pay for a cabin on board, so rolled out my camping mat and sleeping bag and slept in a quiet corner. Nobody seemed to mind.

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megilleland
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Postby megilleland » 23 Jan 2009, 8:55pm

Camping sites are quite abundant along the coast although some, especially inland, may be only open from Easter or May onwards. This is a good guide to sites in Spain.

Hostels can be a better option at this time of the year. Rates go up when the Spanish begin to take their holidays from July onwards. Look at the range of hostels here click on map. I usually plan my tours to end up each day in a sizeable village or town where you should be able to find somewhere to stay and also has some interest in the evening.

San Sebastian has the reputation for being pricey for accommodation and the camp site at Igueldo is a hell of climb to get to and some distance from the city. Not very good when you have had a bevy or two by the beach or in town!

I have cycled in the Picos Europa and along the coast to San Sebastian, via Bilbao. When are you going and in what direction - coastal or inland?

mazza
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Postby mazza » 25 Jan 2009, 7:10pm

im going in mid april and thinkimg of goimg alomg the pilgrim route to santiago but hope to include pico europa but i may go along the coast for a while ive got just over three weeks

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JeremyintheCzechRepublic
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Stay in a monastery.

Postby JeremyintheCzechRepublic » 30 Jan 2009, 5:39am

Personally I would head the other way towards the Pyrenees. There are some great rides in the foothills and some great climbs if you want them. You could also stay in a monastery http://www.monasteriodeleyre.com/ I cycled over the Pyrenees with a mad Canadian woman and had a fantastic time.

kernow-tourer
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Postby kernow-tourer » 30 Jan 2009, 12:22pm

My wife and I are planning something similar going from Santander into France and back again in some sort of circular route, and were wondering the same sort of questions. we were thinking of maybe a spot of some sly wild camping? Pitching last thing at night and leaving in the crack of dawn, anybody had any expererience doing this?
We are going mid April to the end of May.
If it aint raining, it aint training!

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JeremyintheCzechRepublic
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Postby JeremyintheCzechRepublic » 30 Jan 2009, 12:27pm

Don't do it within the boundaries of the Pyrenees National Park as it is not allowed and if caught you will be chopped into small pieces and fed to the bears.
If you're sitting in your car, complaining about the traffic, don't forget, you are the traffic.
http://www.jeremytaylor.eu

dodger
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Postby dodger » 30 Jan 2009, 7:24pm

I'm trying to find time to cycle from Roscoff to Santander this year- that looks like a worthwhile ride. Then later, travel the Pilgrim route to Santiago- the northern route along the coast looks good.

Jen
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Postby Jen » 2 Feb 2009, 8:55pm

the camp site at Igueldo is a hell of climb to get to and some distance from the city. Not very good when you have had a bevy or two by the beach or in town!



But there is a regular bus which goes to and fro the town until quite late.[/img]

ericonabike
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Postby ericonabike » 17 Feb 2009, 5:14pm

Just found this on a search for Santander-related topics. My wife and I are taking our tandem there in September and would appreciate a bit of advice about terrain, in particular. I'm a pedal-head but she isn't, and so am not looking to do any col-bagging. We tend to do around 30 miles a day with bar-stops as we please, followed by hotel accommodation. Initial thoughts are around a meander inland to Leon, then back to the coast and back to Santander. But any thoughts appreciated, bearing in mind our touring style!

blazingsaddles
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Postby blazingsaddles » 18 Feb 2009, 6:21pm

You'll have a great time in Northern Spain whether you go to the Pyrenees or head toward Galicia.
I've been to both regions lots and I reckon you'll find it cheaper heading toward Asturias and onto Galicia. Asturias is also cheaper than Galica and has wonderful mountainous scenery and a lovely coastline and Galicia has perhaps less mountainous scenery but a nicer coastline.
Look out for signs Menu del dia (menu of the day) where you can eat 3 or 4 courses very cheap (and normally home made from scratch). About 3 summers ago the wife and I were eating lunch for about 7 euros each including coffee and cognac in Asturias!
Campsites have categories in Spain and its common practice to ask to see the facilities and have a nose around first.

bs

geocycle
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Postby geocycle » 18 Feb 2009, 6:48pm

It's pretty hilly inland from Santander but if you like hills the Miera and Ason valley in the Cantabrian mountains are superb. There are some beautiful villages, fantastic birds of prey and some archaeological cave paintings to visit. Cols reach over 1350m from sea level. Most touring routes head toward St Vicente and stick nearer the coast and there are a number of operators offering cycling holidays in this region. The Picos are also fantastic but many routes would be beyond my cycling ability! Please note that there is a reason why this is the green area of spain... pack waterproofs.
Last edited by geocycle on 18 Feb 2009, 8:52pm, edited 1 time in total.

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megilleland
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Postby megilleland » 18 Feb 2009, 8:08pm

Initial thoughts are around a meander inland to Leon, then back to the coast and back to Santander.


A tour based on the above I would suggest Santander to Leon (via El Astillero, Puerto Escudo 1011m, Embalmse del Ebro, Reinosa, Aquilar de Campoo, Guardo, Almanza and Gradefes) then returning Leon to Santander (via Embalse de Barrios de Luna, Ofero de las Duenas, Puerto de Ventana 1587m, La Plaza/Teverga, Oviedo, Langreo, Villaviciosa, Ribadesella, Llanes, Comillas, Suances and Torrelavega). Total 500 miles - maximum 3 weeks at 30 miles day.

This route takes you round the Picos Europa which you will be able to admire from your saddle, passes through varied countryside with mines, large lakes/dams, roman ruins, and lots of villages with ancient romanesque churches and monasteries. Leon itself is worth a few days sightseeing with the famous San Marcos Parador and strolling around the bars offering tapas in the evening.

The route also has the advantage of following the FEVE narrow guage railway to Leon, which although having few trains running on it, could be useful if needed. There is also the opportunity of using two Via Verdes which have good surfaces and would provide easy gradients. You will have to pass through the main mountain range - Cordillera Cantabrica twice and the two highest passes you would use are those listed above.

The route back along the coast on the N634 will be busy, but in September the Spanish holiday season will be winding down and the road will be a bit quieter. If you want the full route to look at email me.

ericonabike
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Postby ericonabike » 19 Feb 2009, 5:28pm

Thanks for the suggestions - I like the idea of the route next to the railway in particular! Will send a pm.

kernow-tourer
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Re: tourimg northern spain

Postby kernow-tourer » 10 Mar 2009, 7:44pm

Hi all,what type of maps do people use for Northern Spain, I need to start planning my route and am unsure which maps to buy for this purpose.
Cheers.
If it aint raining, it aint training!