Spain / Portugal 2019

The world of (brace yourself)… work feels as though it has interrupted things with the new bike this week. Although I used the Koga to commute to work on Monday, I’m feeling frustrated that for the past two days I’ve been working in schools and that has necessitated a drive in the car. It’s going to be the same thing today although I’ll be back on the two-wheeled commute on Friday and Saturday before, hopefully, a longer ride on Sunday (although to where I’m not yet sure).

I have, instead, been quenching my cycling thirst by beginning to put some concrete plans in place for a cycle touring escapade during the summer. Not another crossing of a continent – not yet anyway – just a couple of weeks away with Wanda (that’s a bike called Wanda – catch up!), four panniers and the tent. And I have to say the plan is shaping up quite nicely…

Basically, I’ll be heading to northern Spain towards the end of August. I wanted to find an accessible location that would put the Koga WorldTraveller through its paces; a destination to which I didn’t have to fly but which would offer a challenging and varied landscape in a location that I hadn’t previously visited. Although I have visited northern Spain before – most recently on the cycle from Tarifa to Nordkapp in 2015 when I travelled from Burgos towards the French border and Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port along the route of the Camino de Santiago (albeit in reverse) and previously on a hiking trip to the Picos de Europa in 2005 – I’ve never explored the coastal area to the west of Bilbao. So it is to there that I will be travelling.

I am catching the overnight ferry from Portsmouth to Santander. Once there, and after a two-night stop at the local campsite at Cabo Mayor, I will head west along the coast with occasional, perhaps even frequent, forays inland into the mountains. My first destination will be Santiago de Compostela before heading south to Portugal, Porto and finally, Coimbra where I will visit a family member. The dots on the map are merely indicative by the way. Once in Coimbra and after a day or so of rest, I will travel home, preferably not flying but, as ever, I’m not going to plan that in advance. I arrive in Santander on August 28th.

  • Have you visited the area?
  • What should I not miss?
  • What should I avoid?
  • Where would you recommend I stay?
  • What should I do?

Any suggestions or advice is most welcome…

Image credit: Wikipedia

Categories: Adventure, Cycling, Travel

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6 replies »

  1. Andrew, I’m also planning a tour in the end of September. It will be Brussels-Torino across the alps but my comment is to tell you something else. I am organizing a kind of cycle touring gathering weekend in Portugal. It’s a kind of test for a festival we would like to have later on. It’s planned to happen in the 12th and 13th october weekend. That would be a good reason to go downthere but i see your plans are a bit earlier than that

    • Hi Daniel. Yes, Iโ€™m afraid Iโ€™ll be there too soon, but please tell me more about the festival. What are you planning? Would you like to write something about it for

  2. I’ve only flown with my bike once and it was a rather stressful experience. Can you take the train back to Bilbao or Santander?

    • Yes. The issue would be booking a ferry. They tend to get booked up well in advance and have a fairly inflexible attitude to increasing the number of bikes on board. That said, itโ€™s a possibility. Perhaps even a probability. My problem is not knowing exactly when Iโ€™ll be returning home.

What do you think?