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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 worked fine. This time we brought our car travelling with Brittany Ferries from Portsmouth to Santander – definitely to be recommended in terms of convenience and comfort. The rough plan was to head westward along the coast and then loop round through the Picos Mountains, no great distance, more a meander with time to explore and sample the splendid local cooking of Cantabria and Asturias. We pre booked some accommodation and left other nights to chance as we like to do. There are lots of options outside the busiest months of July and August from family friendly campsites and self-catering accommodation to fabulous Paradores in historic buildings. During our trip we stayed in three characterful posadas which you’ll find on the map.