Follow the beautiful coastline of Northern Spain, from Bilbao in the Basque Country to Ribadesella in Asturias. Bilbao and the Guggenheim Museum, wonderful and unspoilt beaches, pretty villages, all in the same tour.
Arrive at Bilbao hotel by own means. Spend the rest of the day exploring the Old Quarter, enjoy some of the best tapas in Spain,
Exit Bilbao along the River Nervión to the mouth of the river, passing the Guggenheim Museum as we do so. In Getxo we can see the magnificent 19th century villas built by the rich Basque industrialists, before visiting the one-time fishing village of Algorta. We cross the river using the unique Puente Vizcaya, a transporter bridge which dates back to 1893, and is a World Heritage Site. We then follow the coastline to the fishing port of Castro Urdiales with its pretty harbour and gothic church on the seafront. 40 km
From Castro Urdiales, we head west along the magnificent coastline. We shortly reach Sonabia with the impressive cliffs home to a colony of majestic griffon vultures which we should see soaring above us as we ride. We then reach the fishing port of Laredo and head out along its enormous beach towards Santoña and the backdrop of the Monte Buciero. A short ferry crossing takes us across the river estuary. Santoña is famous for its anchovies, a local delicacy. From here it is only a short ride to our hotel on the beach of Berria.
From Santoña our route takes us westwards, parallel to the coast, with beautiful green scenery, beaches, cliffs. Finally we reach Somo with its beaches and surfers. A short ride takes us to Pedreña, with its world famous golf course where Severiano Ballesteros was raised and learned to play golf. From here we take a boat across the Bay of Santander, to reach the elegant capital of Cantabria.
Leave Santander along the waterfront, taking in the magnificent views across the Bay, and the beautiful beaches of El Sardinero. Then west to the unspoilt beaches of Liencres, with views down the coast and to the Picos de Europa. along the pilgrims’ trail of El Camino de Santiago. A fine bike path takes us down the River Besaya towards the sea and the village of Suances. From here it is only a short ride to the beautiful medieval village of Santillana del Mar.
From Santillana we continue westwards to the village of Novales, with its lemon groves. More beach and coastal scenery takes us to Comillas, with its many Modernist buildings, the most famous of which is El Capricho, built by the Catalán architect Antoni Gaudí. Our journey takes us through the Natural Park of Oyambre, with its beautiful beaches and coastline towards tonight's resting place in the seaside fishing village of San Vicente de la Barquera.
We reach the beautiful headland of Pechón. Crossing the River Deva in Unquera we enter Asturias. Colombres is home to the villas of the indianos, emigrants to the Americas who made their fortune and then returned. Continue between the coast and the dramatic mountain backdrop of the Sierra de Cuera. A descent through eucalyptus forests brings us back to the coast, and at the charming fishing village of Llanes.
Cycle westwards and visit a string of fine beaches, including the incredible landlocked beach of Gulpiyuri. We continue, with the magnificent coastline to our right, and the beautiful mountains of the Sierra de Cuera and the Picos de Europa to our left. Finally, we reach Ribadesella. Here we can spend time enjoying this pretty Asturian fishing village with its beach and lively atmosphere.
End of IberoCycle services after breakfast.