Pick up from arrival point and transfer to the charming medieval village of Santillana del Mar. Introduction to bikes and route briefing. Spend the rest of the day walking round the cobbled streets of this beautiful village, visit the modern museum of the Altamira Caves or enjoy a ride around the country lanes and down to the coastline.
Leaving Santillana, our route heads westwards through green meadows and the hills and valleys of Cantabria with its marvellous unspoilt coastline and beaches nearby. We soon arrive at the charming village of Novales, set amidst lemon groves and with its fine typical rural architecture. Next stop is the seaside village of Comillas. Here a visit to the fine beach, the small harbour and the pretty village square with its pavement tapas bars and restaurants is a must, not to mention the architectural sights of El Capricho by the famous Catalán architect Gaudí and the Palace of the Marqués de Comillas. After leaving Comillas, cycle through the Parque Natural de Oyambre and along the beautiful beaches of Oyambre and Merón. We are finally greeted by the stunning view of San Vicente and the Picos de Europa in the distance. 36 - 23 miles or 62 - 39 miles
Spend time getting to know this pretty fishing village with its many seafood restaurants and magnificent setting. Take a ride on one of the free day routes, or visit the lovely mountain village of Carmona. Alternatively, enjoy a ride through the unspoilt hill country behind the village, or you may just prefer to spend a lazy afternoon on the beach.
Cycle westwards and visit a string of fine beaches, including the incredible landlocked beach of Gulpiyuri. Another beautiful route takes us through the most beautiful hills and valleys behind Llanes. Alternatively, we can give the bikes a rest and take a canoeing trip on the Deva or Sella Rivers, or a hike through the dramatic and renowned Cares Gorge in the very heart of the Picos de Europa. Take a train to Ribadasella and visit the Caves of Tito Bustillo with their prehistoric paintings, before cycling back to Llanes. Enjoy the busy atmosphere of the fishing village of Llanes, so popular with Spanish tourists.
From Llanes we turn south towards the magnificent Picos de Europa. A most beautiful and spectacular ride takes us over the pass of El Mazuco and the Sierra de Cuera and we are finally greeted with the panorama of the Picos themselves. We see the beautiful pastures and hills so characteristic of Asturias. A final descent takes us into the valley of Cabrales and the village of Arenas de Cabrales, famous for its authentic blue cheese and gateway to the Picos mountains. Here we will spend our next two nights. 37 - 23 miles
From Arenas de Cabrales we follow the River Cares, the Sierra de Cuera to our left and the imposing Western, Central and Eastern Massifs of the Picos de Europa to our right. In Panes, the Cares flows into the Deva and we follow the latter upstream to the mountain village of Potes. Suddenly the sides of the valley close in and the route runs through the incredible rocky gorge of La Hermida. Mountains tower around us as we cycle Potes and the valley of La Liébana, completely encircled by mountains. This is a longer stage but easy - flat / downhill to Panes and then a barely perceptible ascent to Liébana and the village of Potes. Alternative accommodation in Hotel del Oso, Cosgaya (see FAQ below). 50 - 31 miles
Cycle along any of the three valleys that meet in Potes. Take a trip on the cable car at Fuente Dé to enjoy breathtaking views of the Cantabrian Mountains, where the brown bear and wolves still roam. Enjoy a walk through the lush green valleys or the higher mountains. Spend time in the bustling market village of Potes with its peculiar mix of local farmers, tourists and mountaineers. Visit the many other picturesque villages dotted around the area. Cycle up to the Monastery of Santo Toribio, home to the largest surviving fragment of the True Cross or to the charming country monastery of Piasca. There's no shortage of things to do in this magnificent setting.
Today we transfer to the Cantabrian Mountains, and begin our descent of the Miera Valley to our final stop in Somo. Pick up after breakfast and drive to the starting point at 822 metres/2697 feet above sea level. From here, a marvellous ride through the stunning limestone valley of the River Miera takes us down to the farmland around Somo and the Bay of Santander. Visit the mountain village of San Roque de Riomiera and the spa village of Liérganes with its charming old quarter. 44 - 28 miles
Enjoy the marvellous beach, miles of golden sand. Take a short boat ride across the Bay to visit the lively and elegant city of Santander, capital of the province of Cantabria. Enjoy the belle époque atmosphere of El Sardinero, the beach resort of the city where Alfonso XIII and his court spent the summer months in the early 20th century. Or stroll around the town centre for some last minute shopping. Take one of the free day routes to visit the beautiful beaches of Loredo, Langre or Galizano. Ride through the green country lanes, where a surprise awaits you round every corner, to the village of Ajo where the speciality of the restaurants is that classic Spanish dish, paella.. Try the freshly grilled sardines in the seaside restaurants of nearby Pedreña.
End of trip. Pick up from Somo hotel and transfer to departure point.
Accommodation with en-suite bathroom
Transport to and from arrival / departure points - normally Bilbao or Santander, airports, ferryports, railway stations, bus stations
Information Pack (Route Guide and maps)
Luggage transport between hotels
Partial rider transport wheh the itinerary includes this within a certain day's activities
Comfortable fitted and fully-equipped bikes for your cycling pleasure.
You can either make arrangements to bring your own bicycles or hire IberoCycle's own models. Most airlines will carry bicycles for a small extra charge or even free. Cyclists who choose to hire will be provided with a comfortable quality bicycle to suit their particular measurements and preferences. We place great importance on getting the bikes right.
Too many cyclists on trips with other companies have complained about past experiences where they have had to put up with uncomfortable saddles, the wrong sized bike etc. Measurements are requested on booking so the right bike is waiting for you on arrival.
You are provided with hybrid-type tourist bicycles with conventional handlebars and with triple chain ring and easy-to-change gear ratios for comfortable and easy cycling. Road bikes are also available on request.We can provide tandems, which make for great cycling fun, and are also ideal for those with children.
And last but not least, e-bikes. An absolute revolution in the world of cycle tours, and of course available on all our rides.
|Ladies bike (Trek FX)
|Men's bike (Trek FX)
|Road bike (Cube carbon)
|Female road bike (Cube carbon)
|Tandem (a fun way to ride, and also ideal for helping smaller children - Dawes Duet)
Hybrid bikes will carry a handlebar bag, useful for carrying money, documents, camera and lots of other useful items which may be needed close at hand. This bag is easily removed it from its click fastening and carried around with the shoulder strap. They are also equipped with a rear luggage rack and one or two panniers, or a rear rack bag to carry just what you need for each day's cycling. Road bikes carry a seat post bag if required.
In addition, all cycles are equipped with pump, spare inner tube, water bottle, bike lock and basic toolkit. Extras such as lights or toe clips are available on request. Iberocycle provides cyclists with a fine bicycle in tip-top condition to make cycling an absolute pleasure.
Children's bikes, and child seats are available on request.
IberoCycle will pick up from arrival points in Bilbao or Santander for this tour. This includes hotels, railway stations, ferryports, bus stations and airports. The same is true at the end of the tour. Please contact us if you have an early flight or departure on the last day, so we can let you know if it is possible for us to get you to departure point on time.
Air - The closest airport is Santander Airport. This airport has the following destinations. However, it is a smaller than Bilbao Airport so has fewer connections. It is used as a hub by RyanAir, with connections to both Spanish and European cities. Further to the east is Bilbao Airport. Here we probably have more flight options, although transfer time to the start point of the cycle tours tends to be around 90 minutes. You may find this map useful for planning itineraries by air.
Train - Both Bilbao and Santander are connected to inland Spain by the Inter-City RENFE network. Trains are relatively inexpensive. On arrival, it may be more convenient to leave the train in Torrelavega, just one stop before Santander. There is a train service along the coast from Santander; east to Bilbao and the Basque Country, or west to Oviedo and Asturias. However, this is a narrow-gauge railway run by RENFE FEVE and is rather slow and infrequent.
Bus - Santander has good connections by bus to most Spanish cities run by ALSA. Buses are economical and comfortable.
Sea - Santander and Bilbao are connected to the United Kingdom by ferries run by Brittany Ferries. This may be a fun and interesting way to travel if you have the time (the crossing takes around one day), but tends to be more expensive than the many flight options.
We think cycle touring is the ideal way to travel in Europe and that is why we are very pleased to launch European Bike Adventures, as it allows us the opportunity to offer a whole new set of experiences to people we know will appreciate them.
Accordingly we have taken our time in selecting the portfolio of cycle tours you find listed here.
A selection of hand-picked bike trips in spectacular places throughout Europe that focus on fun with the same attention to detail and quality that hundreds of our very satisfied clients have been enjoying with Ibero Cycle Tours since 1999.
There is plenty on offer for vegetarians to eat. Restaurants tend to be fairly flexible and in general have no trouble in catering special requirements. The same also goes for different allergies such as gluten, lactose etc. Please let us know when booking and we will make sure that the hotels are fully aware.
On a self-guided tour, you are basically independent. IberoCycle transports luggage to the next hotel.
Riders are expected to complete each day's ride, unless there is an emergency, or a mechanical problem.
Cyclists do not travel as part of a group or with a guide, although they may coincide with other cyclists on the same trip.
Our "IberoCycle On Call" service means we are always available for help or advice.
Cyclists are provided with our own detailed Route Guide and maps for their chosen route.
Fitter cyclists may extend stages at will.
Personalised tours are available for groups of 4 or more riders. You may like to add extra days, choose a different arrival day, modify the itinerary.
Please contact us if you would like to personalise this tour.
Many people like to take the option of spending an extra night in Bilbao to visit the city and the Guggenheim Museum (Remember the museum is closed on Monday except during the months of July and August when it is open every day).
San Sebastián is another option for those who have some extra time on their hands. This marvellous city has a beautiful Old Quarter, incomparable tapas bars and many superb restaurants, quite a few of them with the prestigious Michelin stars.
Customers staying extra nights in Bilbao are responsible for their own transfers between the hotel and the airport. The easiest way is by taxi. There is also a bus service with departures every 30 minutes to Bilbao centre. Click here for more info.
There is an hourly bus service from Bilbao Airport (Aeropuerto Bilbao) to the Plaza de Pío XII in San Sebastián with Pesa. Click here for ticket sales.
Check the Bilbao Airport website for more information on transport options.
There is a regular bus service Santander - Bilbao - San Sebastián run by ALSA.
On this particular tour, when we reach the Picos de Europa, you have the option to stay in Potes or Cosgaya. Let IberoCycle know at the time of booking.
One option is to stay in Potes down in the valley. Potes is a lively village with bars, restaurants etc. Different hotels are available here.
The hotel in Cosgaya is the Hotel del Oso. This hotel also has a good restaurant, swimming pool, tennis court. It is well-located for access to the cable-car at Fuente Dé. From here you can do a free day walk from the upper station and back down to the hotel. To cycle here, you would have an additional 15 / 9 miles ride and 430 meter / 1400 feet ascent.
The last few years have seen a revolution in the use of e-bikes. We now offfer e bikes on absolutely all of our rides. There are of course multiple advantages to using one on a bike tour:
The difficulty level is lowered by a grade. Thus an intermediate level tour becomes an easy tour as the motor assists pedalling.
The distance you can cycle on each day is effectively "reduced". Longer distances become accessible to a greater range of riding abilities.
Ability levels between riders on the same tour are levelled out as riders can choose an e-bike to enable them to keep up with stronger riders.
No more worrying about the hills!
So if you are in any doubt about whether a particular tour might be too challenging for you, then take the e-bike option. You can still get a good workout by keeping the pedal assistance level low. E-bikes are now available on all of our tours. And many have both the standard e-bike and also the road e-bike.