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    Spain Self Guided Biking / North Coast & Picos de Europa
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    Spain Self Guided Biking / North Coast & Picos de Europa
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    Spain Self Guided Biking / North Coast & Picos de Europa
  • View Large
    Spain Self Guided Biking / North Coast & Picos de Europa
  • View Large
    Spain Self Guided Biking / North Coast & Picos de Europa
  • View Large
    Spain Self Guided Biking / North Coast & Picos de Europa
  • View Large
    Spain Self Guided Biking / North Coast & Picos de Europa
  • View Large
    Spain Self Guided Biking / North Coast & Picos de Europa
  • View Large
    Spain Self Guided Biking / North Coast & Picos de Europa
  • View Large
    Spain Self Guided Biking / North Coast & Picos de Europa
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    Spain Self Guided Biking / North Coast & Picos de Europa
  • View Large
    Spain Self Guided Biking / North Coast & Picos de Europa
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    Spain Self Guided Biking / North Coast & Picos de Europa
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    Spain Self Guided Biking / North Coast & Picos de Europa
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    Spain Self Guided Biking / North Coast & Picos de Europa
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    Spain Self Guided Biking / North Coast & Picos de Europa
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    Spain Self Guided Biking / North Coast & Picos de Europa
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    Spain Self Guided Biking / North Coast & Picos de Europa
Spain Self Guided Biking / North Coast & Picos de Europa
Tour Dates: 8 days Apr – Oct

A magnificent combination of sea and mountains, alpine and coastal scenery, comfortable lodging in charming country inns, scrumptious food and good regional wines are a welcomed part of this self guided tour.

2016 Price: €1000 Euros/pp (double occupancy)

Single Supplement: €150 Euros, Additional charge for July and August tours

Price Includes:
  • 7 nights hotel
  • 7 breakfasts
  • hybrid rental bike
  • luggage transfers
  • map with route directions
  • emergency phone numbers for our Spain staff support (shorter and longer itineraries available)
Price Does Not Include:

International flights, lunches and dinners, beverages

Tour Difficulty

This tour is rated as moderately challenging. Daily distances average around 60 km and longer loops can easily be arranged.

  • Difficulty: Very Hilly
  • Road Conditions: Smooth & Paved
  • Recommended Bike: Hybrid or Road

Tour Highlights

  • Breathtaking landscapes
  • Alpine and Coastal Scenery
  • Charming Country Inns
  • Exceptional mountain scenery

Tour Overview

A magnificent combination of sea and mountains. An easy and barely perceptible ascent leads us to the village of Potes at the very heart of the Picos de Europa. Alpine scenery and clean, unspoilt Atlantic beaches all in the same trip. The wonderful descent of the River Miera takes us down one of the least known and most beautiful valleys of Cantabria.

Tour Map

Day 1 - Transfer to Santillana

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.

  • Distance: 40 km 25 miles

Day 2 - Santillana – San Vicente

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 Catalan architect Gaudí and the Palace of the Marqués de Comillas.

After leaving Comillas, cycle through the Parque Natural de Oyambre and along the seashore with the beautiful beaches of Oyambre and Merón. On the last stretch we are greeted by the stunning view of San Vicente and the Picos de Europa in the distance.

  • Distance: 36km – 23 miles

Day 3 - Free day in San Vicente

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.

Day 4 - San Vicente – Potes / Picos de Europa

Leaving San Vicente the route heads westwards along the coast. After a short distance, cycle around the beautiful headland of Pechón with its magnificent views of the coastline.

Crossing the River Deva in Unquera we enter the province of Asturias with its markedly different flavour.

The village of Colombres is home to the sumptuous villas of the indianos, emigrants to the Americas who made their fortune and returned to a life of luxury. After Colombres we return to the River Deva and head upstream along the beautiful valley to the village of Panes, gateway to the Picos de Europa.

After Panes continue along the Deva. 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 through the gorge towards Potes and the valley of La Liébana, completely encircled by mountains.

  • Distance: 60 km – 38 miles (this route can be shortened by 10 km by taking the local train to Unquera)

Day 5 - Free day in Potes

Possible Activities:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Or visit the many other picturesque villages dotted around the area.
  • Explore the remoter valleys where the brown bear and wolves still roam.
  • 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.
  • Take a jeep excursion across the Picos to walk the Cares Gorge.
  • There’s no shortage of things to do in this magnificent setting.

    Day 6 - Potes – Miera Valley Descent – Somo

    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.

    • Distance: 44km – 28 miles

Day 7 - Free day in Somo

Possible Activities:

  • Enjoy the marvellous beach with its 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.
  • 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, famous for its paellas.
  • Visit the Nature Park of Cabárceno with wild animals from all over the world, and bizarre scenery resulting from its one time use as a Roman mine.
  • Eat freshly grilled sardines in the seaside restaurants of Pedreña, birthplace and home of the famous golfer, Severiano Ballesteros.

Day 8

End of trip. Pick up from Somo hotel and transfer to departure point.

Who comes on a Nichols Expeditions bike tour?

Folks who enjoy our tours are a spirited mix of singles and couples of ALL ages from all corners of the US, Canada and a few international locations as well. Many have accompanied us on numerous tours in the past. Most folks are recreational riders and all seem to share the common bond of an active lifestyle, an appreciation for the outdoors and a love for fun. We will gladly supply references if you wish to speak with someone who has recently been on this trip.

Can I charter this tour?

Yes! You bring the people and we will take care of all the details! This tour can be chartered as either a Guided Tour or Self Guided Tour. Call us for details and availability, 800-648-8488.

Camera Gear

Whether you shoot a digital or film camera, bring more media storage cards or film than you think you need! A portable hard drive may be the answer for digital storage. Other useful items are plenty of extra batteries, lens cleaner, lens tissue, lens brush, a mini tabletop tripod and a clean toothbrush to remove grit from your camera.

Language

You do not need to be able to speak Spanish, but it can be lots of fun. A small dictionary and some creative sign language are helpful, and many people at airports and hotels speak English.

Money

The currency of Spain is the Euro. You will need Euros for lunches, beverages, shopping, snacks, and tips for hotel staff. We suggest starting with a minimum of €200 EUR (more if you like to shop and sample the local wine and ice cream).

Tipping

Most restaurants include a service charge, but an additional 5-10% for exceptional service is always appreciated. We suggest a small amount for baggage and taxi service.

Cash & Credit Cards

US CASH: bring only NEW bills with NO tears. You can exchange money at the airport and in major towns. CREDIT CARDS: bring 2 or more Visa or Master Cards in case you have trouble with one. There are ATMs in most of the towns on the tour. To use your Credit Card to get Euros at an ATM, each Credit Card will need a PIN#. Be sure to activate the PIN# and check that it works BEFORE you begin your travels. We also suggest contacting your credit card company prior to your trip to inform them of the countries where you will be traveling and the dates. We do not recommend bringing Travelers Checks because some places do not accept them, exchange rates vary widely and they require a bank to exchange them.

Passport

You must have a current Passport. Make sure your PASSPORT DOES NOT EXPIRE WITHIN 6 MONTHS OF THE COMPLETION OF YOUR TOUR. These requirements do vary from country to country, but just to be safe, we recommend going by the 6 month standard, because it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry when it comes to international travel!

Make copies of your passport! We recommend making 2 photocopies of your passport’s photo page and any other valuable documents you might carry with you on the tour. Travel with one copy stored separately from your passport. Leave the other copy at home with a relative or friend (ideally the same person you gave as your emergency contact). In the event that any of your documents are lost or stolen, this will greatly assist the process of replacement.

Additional hotel lodging

Let us know if you would like us to make additional hotel reservations for you at the start or end of the tour.

Travel Delays

Nichols Expeditions is not responsible for any costs you may incur due to travel delays or other contingencies we are unable to control. For international flights, arrive at least 2-3 hours prior to departure (check with your air carrier for their requirements) and allow ample time between connecting flights. If you miss your flight and you need a special shuttle to meet up with the group, you will be responsible for the cost.

Travel Insurance

To protect yourself against life’s uncertainties, we highly recommend purchasing a travel insurance policy!

Learn more about the Travel Insurance.

About Picos de Europa

The Picos de Europa (literally: “Peaks of Europe”, often abbreviated in English to the Picos) is a range of mountains 20 km inland from the northern coast of Spain, located in the Autonomous Communities of Asturias, Cantabria and Castile and León, forming part of the Cantabrian Mountains. The most widely accepted origin for the name is that they were the first sight of Europe for ships arriving from the Americas. ~ Wikipedia

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