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Driving Tour in Green Spain

On the road in green Spain

From beaches to mountains this lovely part of northern Spain encompassing Cantabria and eastern Asturias is a treasure  trove of landscapes full of winding scenic roads and, surprisingly near at hand.

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Our Drive on the Map

Open out a road map of northern Spain with a bit of geographical detail and it’s full of promise: roads skirt estuaries, wriggle enticingly inland between mountains with offshoots ending in mountain villages or cliff tops. It’s a landscape made for driving or biking with ever changing scenery, magnificent views, and enough effort required to get a real sense of satisfaction and having travelled. On the whole the roads are quite good too if sometimes necessarily narrow. On a previous trip we flew to Bilbao and hired a car, which…

Arriving in Plymouth – Friday

Standing on the top deck as we approach Plymouth. The Eddystone lighthouse off the entrance is growing larger, four naval ships are steaming out of Plymouth sound, we can see a few fishing boats and a couple of yachts. Owners are collecting their dogs from the kennels, some are frisky, some decidedly wobbly depending on the state of their sea-legs. All round traveling with Brittany Ferries has been very enjoyable – almost over too soon. I think you could say I have become a fan.

Return from Santander – Thursday

Reached Santander with time for a stroll around the fishing harbour and to shop for some essential Spanish food supplies before boarding Brittany Ferries flagship Pont-Aven for the return journey to Plymouth.  Making room in the boot for our selection of Spanish sausages, Cantabrian anchovies, tinned shellfish, 5 litres of olive oil and a rather nice goats cheese we reflected this was definitely one very good reason to bring the car. Watched the Spanish coastline disappear from the shelter of the aft deck, warmth and gentle motion very conducive to…

Potes to Ibio via Bácena Mayor – Wednesday

With no definite plans for our last full day we opened the map and picked the most interesting looking roads in the general direction of Santander. Potes, it seemed, was still largely unrisen from celebrating the end of the Fiesta de la Cruz the night before when we left at 9.30 heading north along the N621. Our first stop (for a coffee and look around) was at the village La Hermida lying deep in its namesake gorge . It was tempting to detour the mountain village of Beges famous for…

Fuente Dé and a Cable Car Ride – Tuesday

Today we drove to Fuente Dé at the end of the valley and took the bright red cable car up into the mountains.  It has been another beautiful day with clear blue skies and we wondered whether there would be a long queue (in high season I gather you get a number and have to wait until you are called) but we only had a few cable car’s worth to wait in a very pleasant shady spot under pine trees. I was a bit apprehensive, it is a long time…

The Picos, Cangas de Onis to Potes – Monday

The rain of yesterday had gone when we woke and the sky was brightening boding well for our partial circumnavigation of the Picos De Europa from Cangas De Onis to Potes.  It was a glorious drive, more diverse than I would have imagined with ever changing scenery: first the limestone gorge of Desfiladero de los Beyos where the road winds along the edge of the Rio Sella, changing from side to side, then as we climbed higher  forested slopes, lush pastures and upland heaths.  We crossed four mountain passes –…