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Alice spent a week on the Self-guided Cycling on Spain’s Green Coast which enabled her to soak up this less-visited region of the country by bike, exploring picturesque seaside villages and unoccupied stretches of sandy beaches…
As I stood on the rugged, verdant shoreline of the Green Coast of northern Spain and looked across at the rolling hills peppered with pretty houses and family farms, I noticed just how few tourists I had seen.
Cycling through the beautiful Cantabria and Asturias regions, I often had the stretches of sandy beaches to myself, and those who I did meet along the way were usually locals, curious about my trip and always beaming and welcoming.
I wasn’t familiar with this part of Spain before travelling there, but after cycling along the coast for a week, it was just perfect for a bike trip. Here are some of the reasons why…
The climate isn’t like other regions of Spain
Overlooking a Spanish beach
For many, Spain evokes images of blazing hot sunny days sitting on a packed beach whilst sipping on Sangria. For the northern coastline of Spain, however, the hot sun is replaced by milder temperatures, cool breezes and the odd rain shower, and this all makes for the perfect climate for a cycling trip as you won’t get too hot.
It might mean that the sea won’t always be warm enough to swim in, but a relaxing afternoon on the beach after a day’s cycle is definitely something you’ll have the opportunity to do.
The terrain is not too arduous
Cycling along the Spanish coastline
It’s not all effortless flat cycles along the grassy coastline of this region of Spain, as there are a few hills to be tackled, but in general the terrain in this part of the country isn’t too taxing and there are an abundance of designated cycle paths along the way too. The rides will feel like an achievement at the end of a full day’s ride but there will be some time to stop off and admire the spectacular coastline views with the empty and pristine beaches sprawling into the distance.
The food is delicious and great value
Mouthwatering Spanish tapas
One of the brilliant things about cycling Spain’s Green Coast is that you won’t go hungry! The Menu del Día (menu of the day) is available in almost every restaurant you’ll encounter in this region, whether for lunch or dinner. For around €12-16 per person, you can get a two or three-course meal along with bread and wine.
You can try the succulent and chewy rabas (calamari) or the flavoursome Fabada Asturiana (traditional bean stew) and of course you won’t be short of patatas bravas, all washed down with wine, water or the regional Sidra – a unique variation on cider and a favourite in this part of the Spanish coast.
You’ll often have the place to yourself
Fishing boats in a Spanish harbour
Not only will you usually have numerous vacant beaches to yourself as you ride past countless coves and blindingly-yellow sands, but you will often find that you are the only tourist around as you stop off for lunch in pretty fishing villages and quaint towns such as Comillas.
This may mean that you’ll have to brush up on your Spanish for the friendly locals who aren’t used to speaking English on a daily basis, but it’ll only serve to make yourcycling experience on the Green Coastthat little bit more authentic.
Discover more cycling holidays in Spain below.