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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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Covadonga – Sunday

This is the first rainy day we have had.  A trip to the cheese market in nearby Cangis de Onis seemed like a good idea this morning but the town was packed and not a parking space to be found due to the cycle race from Santander that was passing through later in the day on its way to the finish at the lakes above Covadonga. Nothing for it then, but to return to Ribadesella on the coast for a very pleasant and leisurely fish lunch. We were told Covadonga,…

Llanes to Arriondas – Saturday

Before leaving Llanes we took a stroll around the port entrance to see the colourful sea defences created by Basque artist Augustin Ibarrola. The great concrete cubes that sap some of the energy from the waves that can batter this coast are are brightly and boldly painted, it looks rather as if someone has scattered a bag of giant children’s bricks around the harbour walls. We are in Asturias now but the stunning beaches go on. Stopped at two today, the first, Playa de S.Antonlin, was wide and flat with…

Comillas to Llanes – Friday

Friday is market day in Comillas. We followed the people with shopping bags to find the market stalls set out in the cobbled streets of the old quarter around the Church of San Cristóbal. The buildings surrounding the market are traditional, stone built with wooden balconies many of which were still festooned with bright red geraniums and trailing petunias. You could have thought yourself on an historical film set but this is real. As proof there were the usual clothes, bags and sunglasses on sale but also local produce; jars…

Santander to Comillas – Thursday

Lunchtime on the beach at Santander   We started our driving trip of Cantabria and Asturias in style with a picnic of bread and local cheese overlooking the golden, curving playa by the Grand Casino, Santander. Then headed west along the regional road CA-231 towards Boo and a spot circled on our map by the lady from the Cantabrian Tourist Board aboard the ferry. Shortly after passing through Liencres we turned right, winding gently down through a pine forest to be greeted by wide sandy beaches with rolling surf, backed…

Arriving in Santander

Awoke on Thursday morning to find the Pont-Aven steaming steadily for Santander, the weather warm, fair weather clouds above and just enough swell to feel jauntily at sea. I have never seen a whale for real and hoped to catch my first glimpse of one of these great creatures on this trip. The southern part of the Bay of Biscay is said to be best for sightings – time then, to find a good vantage spot and settle down to scan the seas. Making regular crossings of the Biscay, the…

Leaving Portsmouth

Leaving a grey Portsmouth aboard Brittany Ferries flagship Pont-Aven bound for Santander and the start of a week long driving tour of Cantabria and Asturias.