Llanes in the Asturias, Spain. Photo via Flickr:AsturZephyra

Basque Country food in Spain! Flickr:Maximb
4.6/5 (5 reviews)

Basque Country to Asturias Bike Tour

Spain Bike Tours

Bike the northern coastline of Spain

  • On this bike tour in Northern Spain, you will follow the beautiful coastline, biking west from Bilbao in the Basque Country to Ribadesella in Asturias. This is misty land with an extraordinary and extreme landscape, alternating between sheer cliffs and green hills, tiny coves, and sandy beaches. The austere blue of the ocean and the colorful splashes of small fishing villages and resort towns add to the palette.

    The Basque Region is completely autonomous and is a distinct national and cultural entity, unique in every way. It is also one of the world's top gastronomic destinations!


    • Beautiful villages and beaches
    • The gleaming titanium Guggenheim Museum and the Museo de Bellas Artes (Fine Arts Museum) in Bilbao
    • Unique culture
    • The scenic routes and cuisine

    For a list of all of our bike tours in Spain click here.

  • 2020

    Low season:
    Twin/double:  $ 1968 £ 974 $ 1,701 1065 $ 2009 kr 12005 $ 1,213 Single room: $ 2559 £ 1267 $ 2,213 1385 $ 2612 kr 15613 $ 1,578 High season:
    Twin/double:  $ 2188 £ 1083 $ 1,891 1184 $ 2233 kr 13347 $ 1,349 Single room: $ 2794 £ 1383 $ 2,415 1512 $ 2852 kr 17044 $ 1,722 *High season:
    Tour starts: July 4 - through August 28. (August 29 starts low season) 

    extra options


    E bike: $ 118 £ 59 $ 102 64 $ 121 kr 721 $ 73 Road bike: $ 83 £ 41 $ 72 45 $ 85 kr 507 $ 51 (Tandems are available for this tour)
    Airport transfers available please ask. 

    please note

    Rates are per person based on double occupancy.

    A non-refundable admin fee of 20 Euros per person is included in the deposit amount.

    Information to read before you book.

    We recommend purchasing bike trip insurance.

    Please see our FAQ.

  • Travel

    The closest international airport to your tour start is Bilbao Airport, easily accessible from a variety of international destinations. This airport is located 9 km north of Bilbao. At the end of your tour, you can depart from Bilbao or Santander.

    Local Travel

    To travel to Bilbao city center, the Bilbao Airport Bus line departs from the airport every 30 minutes with travel time approximately 33 minutes. However, if you would like to include San Sebastian in your itinerary, you might consider first traveling to San Sebastian which is only a 1 1/2 hour bus ride from the Bilbao Airport. Buses depart hourly to San Sebastian. At the end of your tour, it is possible to take the ALSA bus to Santander or Bilbao. The bus leaves Ribadesella at 10:00 and takes around 2 hours to Santander (city or airport) and 4 hours to Bilbao. It is also possible to take the ALSA to Oviedo, capital of Asturias, and then from there to Asturias Airport. Please see the pricing for airport transfers. In addition to bus services, please note that there is a train service running west along the coast to Santander with RENFE FEVE and also east with Euskotren to San Sebastíán. 


    Please check local conditions before arrival. A good website to research average high/low temperatures and other important weather-related facts is weatherbase.com.


    It is recommended to include San Sebastian on your cycling holiday. We can book a hotel for you if you would like. Just ask us for pricing.


    Before you travel, please check your country's passport and visa requirements and the passport and visa requirements of the country/countries you plan to visit. For US citizens, the US Department of State website is a good source of information. The Country Information tab in the International Travel section provides details about passport validity, blank passport pages required, etc. For our other international clients, please be sure that you research your own country's travel requirements. It is each traveler's responsibility to ensure proper documentation.

    *Important note: Beginning July 1, 2021, additional documentation from the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will be required to visit any of the 26 Schengen-member countries for tourism, business, medical, or transit. This is an additional check on security rather than a visa.

Skill Level

This is a moderate self-guided bike tour comprised of hilly terrain. Each day you will have a climb of about 6%. Route graphs are available so that you can see daily elevation changes. On two days, a shorter or longer ride is offered as well as suggestions on other days how to "take a short cut". On any given day, if you inform our partner the day before, you can opt-out of a ride by traveling to the next destination with the luggage transfer or even shorten the ride by riding with luggage transfer part of the way.

Where You’ll Stay

Hotels range from small posadas, Casas Rurales, Casas de Labranza* or country inn type accommodation to three and four-star hotels. They are, wherever possible, small establishments, each with its charm and character and are chosen for their unique location, regional atmosphere, comfort, cleanliness, and personalized customer attention. Please note that many of these types of accommodation do not use the hotel star rating system as they are classed as country inns by local Tourist Boards.

What’s Included

  • 8 nights accommodations with breakfast
  • Luggage transfer
  • Trek hybrid rental bike with handlebar bag, rear rack, one or two panniers, pump, spare tube, water bottle, bike lock and basic toolkit
  • Full route directions and general information
  • GPS tracks on request

What’s Not Included

TypeSelf Guided
Length9 days
From1065 Rates
Tour Reviews

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Tour Dates


Arrival every Saturday from April to October 2020

(other start dates are possible for groups of 4 or more)

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Basque Country to Asturias Map

Day 1: Bilbao
Day 2: Bilbao - Castro Urdiales, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 3: Castro Urdiales - Santoña, 22 mi. (35 km)
Day 4: Santoña - Santander, 29 mi. (46 km)
Day 5: Santander - Santillana del Mar,  34 mi. (54 km) or 42 mi. (68 km)
Day 6: Santillana del Mar - San Vicente de la Barquera, 23 mi. (36 km) or 41 mi. (65 km) 
Day 7: San Vicente de la Barquera - Llanes, 29 mi. (47 km)
Day 8: Llanes - Ribadesella, 27 mi. (44 km)
Day 9: Ribadesella

*All distances are approximate. Elevation information provided after each day to day.

Day 1: Bilbao
Individual arrival to Bilbao. A good time to explore the old quarter in Bilbao and enjoy the best tapas in Spain.

Day 2: Bilbao - Castro Urdiales, 25 mi. (40 km)
A welcome meeting and bike fitting are scheduled after breakfast on the first riding day. Following the Nervión River, you will depart Bilbao, and cycle to the delta, passing the Guggenheim Museum en route. In Getxo,  you can see the magnificent 19th-century villas built by the rich Basque industrialists, before visiting Algorta, an old fishing port. Using the unique Puente Vizcaya, a transporter bridge which dates back to 1893, and is a World Heritage Site, the route crosses the river and then follows the coastline to the fishing port of Castro Urdiales with its pretty harbor and gothic church on the seafront.

Ascent:  720 meters.
Descent: 730 meters 

Day 3: Castro Urdiales - Santoña, 22 mi. (35 km)
From Castro Urdiales, you pedal west along the magnificent coastline. The Playa de Sonabia, with its crags and cliffs, is home to a colony of majestic griffon vultures which you will see soaring high above as you ride. The route leads to the fishing port of Laredo and heads out along its enormous beach towards Santoña and the backdrop of the Monte Buciero. A short ferry ride crosses the river estuary. Santoña is famous for its anchovies, a local delicacy. You will overnight in a hotel on the beach of Berria. 

Ascent: 515 meters
Descent: 515 meters

Day 4: Santoña - Santander, 29 mi. (46 km)
From Santoña the route continues westward, parallel to the coast, with beautiful green scenery, beaches, and cliffs as your constant backdrop. Somo with its beaches and surfers is on the agenda as well as Pedreña and the Bay of Santander, which will be transversed by ferry to reach the elegant capital of Cantabria. 

Ascent: 640 meters
Descent: 640 meters

Day 5: Santander - Santillana del Mar, 34 mi. (54 km) or 42 mi. (68 km)
Leaving Santander, you follow the waterfront, taking in the magnificent views across the Bay; the Magdalena Palace and Beach, and the beautiful beaches of El Sardinero. Cycling west again past the unspoiled beaches of Liencres, you will enjoy the views down the coast to the Picos de Europa mountains, here you will join the pilgrims' trail of El Camino de Santiago. You will follow a  lovely bike path down to Besaya River 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.

Ascent: 705 or 955 meters
Descent: 620 or 870 meters

Day 6: Santillana del Mar - San Vincente de la Barquera, 23 mi. (36 km) or 41 mi. (65 km) 
First, on the agenda today is the village of Novales, with its lemon groves. More beach and coastal scenery  will follow to Comillas, with its many Modernist buildings, the most famous of which is El Capricho, built by the Catalán architect Antoni Gaudí. The journey takes us through the Natural Park of Oyambre, with its beautiful beaches and coastline toward tonight's accommodation in the seaside fishing village of San Vicente de la Barquera.

Ascent: 650 or 1030 meters
Descent: 725 or 1105 meters

Day 7: San Vicente de la Barquera - Llanes, 29 mi. (47 km)
Leaving San Vicente the route heads westwards along the coast. After a short distance, you will 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. The village of Colombres is home to the sumptuous villas of the Indianos, emigrants to the Americas who made their fortune and then returned. From here, the route continues between the coast and the dramatic mountain backdrop of the Sierra de Cuera, foothills of the Picos de Europa. A beautiful descent through eucalyptus forests brings us back to the coast, where we cycle past beautiful and unspoilt beaches to arrive at the charming fishing village of Llanes.

Ascent: 780 meters
Descent: 770 meters

Day 8: Llanes - Ribadesella, 24 mi. (39 km)
Cycling westwards, you will visit a string of fine beaches, including the incredible landlocked beach of Gulpiyuri. You continue with the magnificent coastline to your right, and the beautiful mountains of the Sierra del Cuera and the Picos de Europa to your left. Finally, you reach Ribadesella. Here you can spend time enjoying this pretty Asturian fishing village with its beach and lively atmosphere.

Ascent: 385 meters
Descent: 375 meters

Day 9: Ribadesella

Be sure to check out all of our featured bike trips, and specials, or check out all of our bike tours in Europe.

Email or Call 800-951-4384 +1 570-965-2064

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Tour Reviews

  • David, Anne, Ryan S. 3 months ago     Verified Reviewer

    We took this trip in late May, 2019, with e-bikes. It was a great trip with some amazing accommodations. Thoughts in no particular order: The first 3 hours of biking on the first day were pretty miserable, through industrial areas with no good place to ride on either the sidewalk or the road. Day 4 and Day 6 were spectacular, Day 4 was almost like a fantasy of a bike trip once we reached rural areas. The GPS was hard to read when the sun was out, and in several places we needed one person using the GPS and another the printed instructions. We've been on a number of bike trips, and the drivers in Spain were the most courteous and safe of any country - usually giving us at least 6 feet of space and never rushing us. The hotel (Organista) in Santillana del Mar was our favorite, with a wonderful host, Rafe, and an enchanting outdoor breakfast. (Note: this is right close to the Altamira cave, and we were glad we took the time to visit, even though it involved finding our own Read more… route back to the regular tour). Much better instructions are needed to find the ferry into Santander - we nearly missed it even after 30 minutes of going back and forth when hot and tired. Take all the small side trips the instructions suggest - you'll never be sorry and could easily miss amazing views and beaches just a 1/4 mile off the route.

  • Claudia G. 1 year ago     Verified Reviewer

    Wonderful hotels along with breathtaking coastal views. Tougher hills than expected but a great trip!

    • Carol Hamilton 1 year ago    

      Did you use an e-bike?

      • Claudia G. 4 months ago    

        No, we were on regular bikes.

  • Michael & Claudia G. 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    We loved the scenery, the historic towns and the lovely hotels. It was much more challenging than we expected. We followed your guidelines and felt prepared but this is not an "easy" ride. It is, however, a beautiful ride with breathtaking views.

    • Carol Hamilton 1 year ago    

      Did you use an e-bike?

  • Alana B. 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    The vistas on this trip were the most spectacular we've seen. Coming down a hill and seeing the cliffs along the coastline and the roaring ocean, the picturesque villages and green fields dotted with cows was unforgettable. Hearing the clanging cowbells only added to the experience! The accommodations were top notch and including breakfast was the way to go. However, anyone taking this trip should be prepared to climb many hills. Not sure this is "easy to moderate" until the last day!

    • Carol Hamilton 1 year ago    

      Did you use an e-bike?

  • Colleen D. 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    The bike trip was amazing! So impressed with the head of company who organized the trip and did the route and brought us our bikes. Hotels were all wonderful and included breakfast. Trip of a lifetime!

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