Across Northern Spain

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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Joined: 19 Mar 2010, 3:42pm

Across Northern Spain

Postby bogzab » 3 Aug 2011, 5:00pm

We are committed to cycling from Santander westwards for about 120 miles to reach a holiday Villa. We have allowed plenty of time for our current mode of cycling (getting on a bit) but looking belatedly at maps it strikes me that we may have to spend quite a bit of time on main roads. We tend to seek out the B roads here in the UK. What is the experience of others on Spanish roads. Like here? Worse? Better? Any advice appreciated.

Posts: 38
Joined: 12 May 2009, 11:57pm

Re: Across Northern Spain

Postby jacobean » 3 Aug 2011, 6:38pm

Most Spanish N roads are quite acceptable to cycle on.

The westbound N-634 road from Santander from my recollection is very pleasant
to cycle on. Gently undulating road with decent sized shoulder. Some tuna lorries going back and forth to La Coruna but overall a nice pleasant road with cooling sea breezes.

Generally, a Spanish N Road will be very busy if it is linking
two major cities. For example, N roads linking Barcelona with Zaragoza tend to be
extremely busy with artics - making diversions to C roads a must.

As there are no major cities on the N road westbound from Santander. Traffic tends to be
within acceptable levels.

kernow montpelier
Posts: 19
Joined: 30 Aug 2009, 8:43pm

Re: Across Northern Spain

Postby kernow montpelier » 3 Aug 2011, 11:30pm

I'll echo the above comments about re the N634. It's a good ride.
Santander to Torrelevaga is obviously the busiest part. I've done this quite a few times and have found heading through St Roman (CA231) far better than the N611. I can probably give pretty good instructions for that bit if you want - but it's a bit late tonight. Drivers are much better than here with bikes - often honking to let you know they're there or to offer encouragement on hills!
The FEVE train from Santander is also a very good option. Cheap, bike space, no need to book and good views.
Depending on where you're heading the AS114 to Cangas de Onis is also a lovely road through the Picos foothills - and not really much hillier than following the coast.
If camping at Comillas be aware that they don't open the office -and hence return passports - until 10.00 am. Tell them you're leaving early and keep it yourself if need be!
I love it there myself - hope you enjoy it too!

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Joined: 2 Mar 2011, 2:00pm

Re: Across Northern Spain

Postby Reigncloud » 5 Aug 2011, 11:23am

Below are the first couple of days we did in 2009. Day 1 and 2 I made two options for each, but I can't recall which one we ended up riding sorry! I can't recall any of it being that busy really, and the scenery is fantastic.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

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Joined: 19 Mar 2010, 3:42pm

Re: Across Northern Spain

Postby bogzab » 7 Aug 2011, 8:47pm

Many thanks to all who replied. All very reassuring. Thanks especially to Reigncloud for the references to which I had not come across and which has been very helpful in planning routes, downloading to GPS devices etc.