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Accommodation Northern Spain

Cannock ChaseCannock Chase Posts: 558
edited September 2012 in Tour & expedition
Wife and I have decided next summer to have a cycling holiday along the nothern coast of Spain heading west from Santander. Will probably be for 10-14 days. Getting there should not pose a problem neither hopefully will the cycling as we have had many cycling holidays before in the UK, the Alps and also Land's End to John O'Groats. However when it comes to accommodation in Spain I am at a loss.

For one thing is there plenty of accommodation along that coast? Is it usually ok just to turn up and hope or should we book beforehand? Can you book each nights accommodation directly on the internet or is it better to book each night through a holiday company?

Basically I need any information I can get including helpful websites.
Many thanks in anticipation.
I'm not getting old... I'm just using lower gears......
Sirius - Steel Reynolds 631
Cove Handjob - Steel Columbus Nivacrom
Trek Madone - Carbon


  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    Are we talking hotels/B&Bs or camping?

    Just back from a couple of weeks in the area - went along the coast west from Santander and then turned up into the Picos De Europa, doing a loop before heading back down to the coast for the ferry home.

    We were camping and never had an issue just turning up at even the busy sites on the coast (you'd have to be pretty ruthless to turn away a pair of cyclists with a small tent!). We did one night in a hotel as we'd run out of steam on the climb into the Picos and couldn't face yet another 300m of ascent to the campsite. No problem turning up unannounced.

    Clearly, the dire economic situation in Spain may be having an impact on the number of Spaniards holidaying on the coast this summer - so things may have been a little quieter than normal - I don't know.

    I'm never one for touring with pre-booked accommodation in general. It's too restricting. We had a rough plan - but then stayed two nights in some places (if we liked them) etc.

    It's a superb region for touring - especially the Picos. We were not doing big mileage on this tour (never more than 45 miles in a day - some significantly less). Sure - the haul up into the Picos is fairly hard work (40-odd km of gentle ascent that's gets less gentle the more you get into the Picos) and some of the side roads are vicious (we spent one day riding down from Posada in the Valdeon valley to Cain, to then walk part of the Cares Gorge (one of the best walks in Europe), and then back up the hill - 550m of ascent in 8km with a number of 20+% sections - luckily with the tandem unloaded because we were staying at the same place two nights!)

    Touring in Spain (first time for us) was a joy - people were very welcoming and friendly (we did a 2-day Spanish course to at least give us the basics of Spanish - people were very understanding and helpful even with our basic language (which is more than can often be said of the French!)). The roads were on the whole very good, very quiet and considerate drivers (apart from the British driver than nearly sideswiped our tandem on the run in to Santander).

    Food was amazing - the menu of the day makes for a good value lunch that will set you up for the rest of the day (especially the half-bottle of red-wine that comes included with the meal!).

    We really did enjoy that part of the world and we'll be back and have a desire to tour in other parts of Spain as soon as we can!
  • hdowhdow Posts: 163

    Have cycled along the same coast several times now. You're in for a real treat. Expect few touring cyclists but thousands of locals taking their daily exercise especially at weekends. And the FEVE railway happily takes bikes!

    I have never pre-booked a hotel/hostal (no real difference between them) & never had a need to as there are lots of great places to stay. The more interesting ones, the small family run ones, directly on the beach or with great sea views generally don't appear on agency websites. However, if you are going in August things get busy & may need to pre-book to save the hassle of searching around.

    Two websites to look at are:
    The official government one and use the accommodation search facility once you find it, sadly not always that complete or up todate. Tick all the accommodation options and insert the town name. Otherwise go onto Maps at and search for accommodation in the town you are interested in e.g. Accommodation LLanes, there is some clutter but it is fairly comprehensive and will give the hotels website if there is one which will usually have prices and a booking facility.

    Alternatively contact each provinces (or principality's for Asturias) tourist office and they will be able to provide accommodation lists. The one for Galicia is A4, 165 pages and lists some 2,250 places. If you need contact details just ask.

  • The Camino del Norte (Northern Way) follows the North coast of Spain and the following websites may be of use to you.

    We have never booked and always found a bed if you have a place in mind it will be worth phoning ahead though.
  • If you want great places/locations stay in Paradors - - great places, great locations and fantastic service.

    Possibly a bit pricey, but definitely worth it.
  • Wow. Thanks everyone. Some excellent information there. The planning stars now.
    I'm not getting old... I'm just using lower gears......
    Sirius - Steel Reynolds 631
    Cove Handjob - Steel Columbus Nivacrom
    Trek Madone - Carbon
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    Just a quick comment: there's 'summer' and there's 'summer': you're likely to find a world of difference in prices and availability between mid-June or even mud-July and mid-August.

    It's worth working out which regions you are going to and then going to the tourism promotion site of the regional government.
  • Here is a post I made back in 2010 on a similar subject.

    There is accomodation of all types for all budgets in Spain so I wouldn't worry about availability. Andy is correct that prices rise sharply as much as triple, in the Spanish tourist season, end of June to beginning of September when the Madrileños head for the northern coast.

    A bit of time spent roughly planning where you end up each day won't go amiss. I personally like to end up in a large village/town or city, as I find that there is more interest in the evenings ie food, drink, culture.

    Staying in the historic paradors is an experience and the UK booking agency Keytel has this website with information and offers.

    Accommodation in Cantabria
    Accommodation in Asturias
    The more you spend - the faster you go - the less you see.
  • I was there this spring and never had a prob' finding a bed... I had a tent but it was too cold. Summer weekends may pose problems - if it's a national holiday - but I doubt you'll ever get stuck.

    You can see my blog - photos, route and many hotel room prices given - here: ... 79314&v=OE
    It's an uphill climb to the bottom
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