Home

The Name

Mountain Walks

Fell Walks

Coast Walks

Pilgrim Walks

Other Walks

Narrowboating

Travel

Cornwall

The Barn

River Cruises

 

The Practical

We wanted to do a two-week driving holiday in Northern Spain for several reasons. First of all, I had stayed in Parador Hotels on my Camino Frances walks, and Sue was keen to have the "Parador Experience" as well. Secondly , from watching the cycle tour "Vuelta Espana" on tv I was keen to check out the Picos de Europa mountain region. The Picos are quite small in area but the scenery is spectacular; I wanted to sus out the area as a possible destination for a future walking holiday. We did not fancy the long drive down to Northern Spain through France, so we opted to take the Brittany Ferries's service from Portsmouth to Bilbao. As the ferry left quite early in the morning, we stayed overnight at The Hampshire Hog, Clanfield, near Portsmouth.

"Cap Finistere" is a 32,000 ton car ferry capable of carrying 850 passengers and their vehicles.

The Ferry Schedule

Wednesday 21st October ETD Portsmouth 11-45 hrs Thursday 22nd October ETA Bilbao 12-45 hrs
Tuesday 3rd November ETD Bilbao 10-30 hrs Wednesday 4th November ETA Portsmouth 09-00 hrs

Our cabin for the night

Major Driving Points

Bilbao Ferry Port Fuente Dé, Picos de Europa 140 miles 2 hrs 55 mins
Fuente Dé, Picos de Europa Cangas de Onis 65 miles 2 hrs 2 mins
Cangas de Onis León, via Riaño 101 miles 2 hrs 41 mins
León Monforte de Lemos 139 miles 2 hrs 23 mins
Monforte de Lemos Gijón, via Ribadeo 177 miles 3 hrs 03 mins
Gijón Santillana del Mar 94 miles 1 hr 30 mins
Santillana del Mar Bilbao Ferry Port 70 miles 1 hr 14 mins

Although the above point-to-point distances amount to 786 miles, we drove nearly 1,300 miles with side trips

Bilbao to Fuente Dé - 140 miles

The Picos de Europa "loop" - with 4 roads leading to the interior

Fuente Dé to Cangas de Onis - 65 miles

Cangas de Onis to León, via Riaño - 101 miles

León to Monforte de Lemos - 139 miles

Monforte de Lemos to Gijón, via Ribadeo - 177 miles

Gijón to Santillana del Mar - 94 miles

Santillana del Mar to Bilbao - 70 miles