Northern Spain

Where the wild things are...
Mercia Man
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Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2012 15:31 pm

Northern Spain

Postby Mercia Man » Tue Nov 27, 2012 20:47 pm

I'm thinking of taking the ferry to Santander this June for a two-week moving-on cycle camping tour in northern Spain. I last visited Spain in 1991 when my wife and I did a three-month trip from the UK along the pilgrim route through France and Spain to Santiago de Compostela, and returning by ferry from Santander via NW Galicia and the Picos de Europa. We loved Spain. But campsites were thin on the ground away from the coast and pricey compared with France.

I'd be very grateful for any up-to-date information and useful tips from forum members. Can people recommend good campsites, websites with campsite locations and info on wild camping. I'd also be keen to hear people's recommended routes and interesting places to see. I ride about 50 miles a day, prefer small quiet sites and enjoy mountain riding with a bit of coast as well.

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cycladelic
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Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 13:22 pm

Re: Northern Spain

Postby cycladelic » Wed Nov 28, 2012 06:37 am

Unluckily the weather was awful when I was riding through northern Spain in April this year, so the camping gear that was stuffed in my front panniers stayed there.

The prices I got quoted for a camp site - maybe this was Portugal, can't recall - was around 10 euro. IMO, I'd rather spend more and get a warm bed - many of the rooms 'only' cost about 20 to 30 euros.

One night stayed in one of the hostals catering to pilgrms doing the Santiago de Compostela and it was just five euros for a bunk.

I went through Galicia and the Picos en route to the ferry for Plymouth. The Picos are wonderful. I think you could camp wild if you just look around.

There's a report/blog - with photos and a map - of my route here...

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page ... 77655&v=Ta

If you need more detailed info - just ask.

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FJS
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Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2008 09:59 am

Re: Northern Spain

Postby FJS » Wed Nov 28, 2012 18:59 pm

I don;t know Asturias personally, but Galicia quite well.
Santiago de Compostela is unmissable, an amazingly beautiful and atmospheric small city with an end of the world feel. A Coruna is a fine larger city too, and Lugo, Ourense and Pontevedra are great small historic cities.
Particularly beautiful for riding are the coasts, East of Ferrol, and the whole coastal stretch from Coruna to Cape Fisterra, to Muros and further South. Rocky coasts around Coruna and a Norway-style fjord at Muros. Around Pontevedra and Vigo it gets more build up, and the beaches more touristy.
Inland, the Ribera Sacra wine area North-East of Ourense with the River Sil gorges is amazing.
For campsites, I haven't camped there, but know there's a site at Louro West of Muros, located near some amazing almost empty beautiful beaches and rocky coastal bits between Muros and Cape Fisterra.
It's an incredibly pretty scenic part of the world, and without the mass tourism of other parts of Spain (apart from camino-'pilgrims', and in the summer months spanish tourists), but gets loads of rain apart from in the summer months. One of the wettest (and greenest) parts of Europe. June should be OK, July better.

Mercia Man
Posts: 864
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2012 15:31 pm

Re: Northern Spain

Postby Mercia Man » Wed Nov 28, 2012 21:11 pm

Thanks both for your help. When I was last there in July/August 1991, it was unusually dry and scorching hot. I know this area has a reputation for rain. We were lucky.

I can remember being cross that campsite prices were so much more expensive because it was high season and that occasionally us two people on bikes in a small tent were charged a lot more than if we had rolled up in a car with a family tent. The coast east of Ferrol looks a possibility for me. It all depends how long I'm away for.


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