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Discovering northern Spain's stunning coastline – Camino del Norte (in reverse)

Philip

Discovering northern Spain's stunning coastline – Camino del Norte (in reverse)

Bike Touring Collection by komoot

7-15

days

3-6 h

/ day

440 mi

32,200 ft

33,225 ft

Cycling in northern Spain has got several meanings: It’s riding through centuries-old cultures. It’s relaxing on sandy beaches in small rocky bays. It’s pedaling past lush green meadows—and it’s enjoying plate after plate of hearty food. And while this combination of some of life’s purest pleasures is certainly rewarding, making the most out of this experience isn’t one for the faint of heart: To see it all, prepare for lots of climbing, pushing your body up almost 33,000 feet (10,000 meters) of elevation over the 434-mile (700-kilometer) route. Therefore, you should arrive in peak physical condition and only bring the kit absolutely necessary for your adventure. After all, as you pedal up and down this cycling paradise, you’ll feel every extra ounce of equipment you brought along for the ride.

If you’re up for the challenge, you’ll be rewarded with one seriously unique cycling adventure. Cycling in the opposite direction to the ever-popular pilgrim route, Camino del Norte (the northerly section of the Way of St. James), this route will take you past a fair few pilgrims, although you’ll be able to enjoy long stretches of complete solitude too, as you roll along the impressive, rocky, coastal landscape.

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Camino del Norte (bike)

430 mi

31,700 ft

32,475 ft

Last updated: August 17, 2022

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Bikepacking Nordspanien: Tag 1 Von Santiago de Compostela nach Filgueira

    Difficult
    03:28
    29.7 mi
    8.6 mph
    3,125 ft
    2,825 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Your adventure starts in Santiago de Compostela. In addition to the famous pilgrimage cathedral, there are some small alleys and historic buildings in the old town, which you want to discover on a short walk.

    

    If you have explored enough, you will leave the city to the west. Take a look back every now

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  • Difficult
    05:21
    47.6 mi
    8.9 mph
    3,675 ft
    3,275 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Also on this day you collect some altitude. The typical thing about Galicia is not very high, even if you drive today on the roof of the tour (680 m). The first part of the day leads you constantly up and down through quiet forests and past fields to Sobrado. The local monastery is a constant destination

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  • Difficult
    05:59
    56.9 mi
    9.5 mph
    3,550 ft
    4,450 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The first few kilometers you drive along a main road, which was apparently planned with a simple ruler, thanks to the parallel highway there is once again little traffic.

    

    Before Mondonedo it will be more spectacular and it goes down on a rapid descent into town. The marketplace of the place invites you

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  • Difficult
    06:31
    60.8 mi
    9.3 mph
    4,800 ft
    4,575 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    To escape the great slopes of the coastal mountains, head north again to the water. Even if you always make detours, essentially you follow the little-busy highway on the coast.

    

    The port of Luarca is almost spectacularly crowded in the washed-out valley of the Rio Negro. The beautiful and tranquil harbor

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  • Difficult
    03:58
    37.6 mi
    9.5 mph
    2,775 ft
    3,800 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    After your short excursion into the mountains, today we will go to the city of Gijon. It is still pretty rural soon, from Avilés, very industrial and urban. Gijon has traditionally relocated a lot of heavy industry, mainly steel production. Although this is in stark contrast to the rural tranquil days

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  • Difficult
    04:53
    44.1 mi
    9.0 mph
    3,725 ft
    3,725 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    If you leave Gijon to the east, you have a different picture than in the industrial west. There are great bike paths and the cityscape is greener and more suburban shaped. The massive building of Universidad Laboral de Gijon will catch your eye from afar. Take a little time to visit the impressive building

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  • Intermediate
    01:53
    17.2 mi
    9.2 mph
    900 ft
    900 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    It is beach day! To lie extensively on the beach, the kilometers to be covered today are limited. The spectacular beaches line up here only on the rugged stone coast, as it is difficult to make a choice.

    

    The beach of San Antolin on the Rio Bedon is a wide and wide sandy beach that you share with many

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  • Difficult
    04:10
    38.7 mi
    9.3 mph
    2,600 ft
    2,550 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    It continues on the highway running parallel to the coast and highway. Again and again you will find branches to other small beaches. The two largest sandy beaches are waiting behind the vivid and slightly crowded place San Vicente de la Barquera.

    

    In Comillas the full package of culture and sights awaits

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  • Difficult
    03:46
    35.6 mi
    9.4 mph
    2,375 ft
    2,450 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    In the first half of the day you see the sea only from a distance, even if the first visited place Santilla is nicknamed "del Mar". Take a little time to explore the old town, it is full of well-preserved and renovated townhouses. The place is an old trading center.

    

    On the coast, you continue along the

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  • Difficult
    03:54
    37.9 mi
    9.7 mph
    2,200 ft
    2,225 ft
    Ferry
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.

    Today is the day of the ferry, two small ferry crossings with romantic small harbor-kites are on the plan. In Santander you start near the Centro Botín on the harbor promenade with a crossing to Somo. You always go along the sandy peninsula Punta Rabiosa. Again with a firm ground under the wheels you

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  • Difficult
    03:39
    34.3 mi
    9.4 mph
    2,475 ft
    2,475 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Your bike adventure through northern Spain is coming to an end, the destination Bilbao is near. First you drive on the steep coast to the resort of Castro Urdiales. When you arrive in the port, look at the Santa Ana fortress, the lighthouse and the church of Santa Maria. Along the beach promenade you

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    11
  • Distance
    440 mi
  • Duration
    47:32 h
  • Elevation
    32,200 ft33,225 ft

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