Picos de Europa Natural Park - Spain


Spain | europe

Mountains, beaches, and perfect roads


Cantabria is a quiet and small region on the north coast of Spain, washed by the Bay of Biscay. You can cross it in the car in less than one hour in all directions. Thankfully, it takes much longer by bike as it is definitely worth taking the scenic route.

The coastline is mesmerising. Cliffs, bays, and rural fishing ports are some of the beautiful features you can discover by bike. Winter storms can be raging here, and even in the summer weather is unreliable. But this makes for excellent cycling conditions escaping the suffocating August Spanish sun. Many Spaniards seek out this refreshing climate as a heat relief.

Why cycle Cantabria? The main treasure lies in the mountain range that is called Cordillera Cantabria. It’s a slice of landscape, mixed with long green valleys and rivers, millennial stone-built towns, and 2,000 meter high peaks to climb.


Take your time to ride through one of the coastal towns or up to a viewpoint. You will be rewarded with views of high cliffs reaching into the Bay of Biscay, with wild and remote beaches nestled in between.

Discover the unspoilt green coast of Spain and take a moment to breathe in some fresh, sea air. Feel at peace.

From Santillana, you have relatively easy access into Basque Country and San Sebastián for more coastal adventures.


The Cantabrian Mountains may be less spoken about that Pyrenees, but these national parks are of unique beauty and special interest for cyclists. If you don’t have much time, head to Picos de Europa where you’ll find some world-class climbing. This includes some long, gradual routes and also some gruelling short walls to conquer on a bike.

Looking for the toughest climb in Spain? Alto del Angliru is a cycling pilgrimage that has to be on everyone’s bucket list.

Picos de Europa Natural Park - Spain


As we’ve already mentioned, this region has some incredible climbs. Almost every year La Vuelta passes through Cantabria making these routes truly iconic.

Legend has it that mega-steep climbing in grand cycling tours started right here in Cantabria. The Spanish Loop started to experiment with some brutal passes, like Alto del  Angliru, known to be the signature climb of Alberto Contador.

Biking in Cantabria is a rite of passage for cyclists, filled with the raw essence of the sport.

Mountain pass