Difficulty Rating : 4 Start: Santillana Del Mar Finish: Somo Terrain: Gentle climbing Daily Average: 55km Weekly Average: 277km Tour Type: Self Guided Teaser: This tour offers a beautiful ride through the highlights of Northern Spain.
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This tour offers a beautiful ride through the highlights of Northern Spain. The rich green countryside contrasts with the blue sea and the magnificent unspoilt beaches. Picturesque villages with flower bedecked houses, fishing harbours and the backdrop of the Picos de Europa.

The tour starts in a medieval village of Santillana del Mar with cobbled streets where you can visit the modern museum of the Altamira Caves - a World Heritage site. You will cycle through green meadows, hills and valleys of Cantabria with its marvellous coastline and nearby beaches. You will pass through charming villages and will have a chance to experience the architecture of famous Gaudi in Comillas.

The mountain range of Picos de Europa will be your backdrop as you head towards the charming villages of the valley of Cabuerniga taking the road less travelled through the Cantabrian Mountains. This is a route few tourists ever see! You cycle through some beautiful valleys and villages always going off the beaten track, including a cycle through the stunning limestone valley of the River Miera which brings you to Somo and the Bay of Santander.

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Day 1

Transfer to Santillana del Mar

Pick up from arrival point and transfer to the charming medieval village of Santillana del Mar. Introduction to bikes and route briefing. Spend the rest of the day walking round the cobbled streets of this beautiful village, visit the modern museum of the Altamira Caves or enjoy a ride around the country lanes and down to the coastline.

Day 2

Santillana del Mar~San Vicente de la Barquera (36km)

Leaving Santillana, you cycle through the green meadows, hills and valleys of Cantabria with its marvellous unspoilt coastline and beaches. Seaside villages await with small harbours and pretty village squares with tapas bars and restaurants. You can visit El Capricho designed by Gaudí. You head through the Parque Natural de Oyambre en route to the stunning San Vicente with the Picos de Europa in the distance.

Day 3

San Vicente de la Barquera

Spend time getting to know this pretty fishing village with its many seafood restaurants and magnificent setting. Take a ride on one of the free day routes, or visit the lovely mountain village of Carmona. Alternatively, enjoy a ride through the unspoilt hill country behind the village, or you may just prefer to spend a lazy afternoon on the beach.

Day 4

San Vicente de la Barquera ~ Llanes (46 km)

Today you cycle around the beautiful headland of Pechon with its magnificent views of the coastline. You head into Asturias with its markedly different flavour. The route continues between the coast and the dramatic mountain backdrop of the Sierra de Cuera, foothills of the magnificent Picos de Europa. You cycle past beautiful and unspoilt beaches, so typical of Asturias, to arrive at the charming fishing village of Llanes.

Day 5

Llanes loop

You can simply enjoy the busy atmosphere of the fishing village of Llanes, so popular with Spanish tourists. Or if you are feeling active cycle westwards and visit a string of fine beaches including the incredible landlocked beach of Gulpiyuri. Alternatively we can give the bikes a rest and take a canoeing trip on the Deva or Sella Rivers, or a hike through the dramatic and renowned Cares Gorge in the very heart of the Picos de Europa.

Day 6

Llanes ~ Somo (50 km)

We transfer you to the Cantabrian Mountains, starting point at 822 metres / 2697 feet above sea level, so you can descent into the Miera Valley and your final stop in Somo. A marvellous ride through the stunning limestone valley of the River Miera down to the farmland around Somo and the Bay of Santander. En route you can visit the mountain village of San Roque de Riomiera and the spa village of Lirganes with its charming old quarter.

Day 7


Enjoy the marvellous beach with its miles of golden sand. Take a short boat ride across the Bay to visit the lively and elegant city of Santander. Enjoy the belle époque atmosphere of El Sardinero, the citys beach resort or stroll around the town centre for some last minute shopping. Alternatively cycle through the green country lanes to the village of Ajo, famous for its paellas.

Day 8

Transfer from Somo to departure point

End of trip. Pick up from Somo hotel and transfer to departure point.

  • 7 nights accommodation in 3 & 4 star hotels and country-inns with breakfast
  • Set transport arrival/departure points ( from Bilbao & Santander )
  • Route maps and directions
  • GPS files of the route 
  • Luggage transport

Bike rental is not included in the tour price. This is an additional:
€125.00  Touring bike
€200.00  E-bike
€170.00  Road bike
€  42.00  Garmin rental
€  60.00  charge for bringing own bike as a transfer supplement for bike case

On a self-guided tour we will organize your bike hire, the accommodation, and the luggage transfer. On this tour, we will also organize your airport transfers for you. Your tour package will be waiting for you in your first night’s accommodation. You will set off by yourself and the luggage will be transferred to the next stop by our local taxi transfers.

You can start the cycling tour on any Saturday from April to October.

On a self-guided tour it is possible to add extra days or shorten the trip if you wish to or we can customize the route for you.

As this is a self-led trip you do not have the back-up of a guide and support van. Our aim is to allow you to feel like an independent traveler, free to cycle each day at your own pace while at the same time having the security of knowing that your luggage will be waiting for you in your next accommodation.

If you experience small problems with the bike (e.g., a puncture) you will have a spare tube, pump and tire lever. You also have access to a 24-hour helpline.

Bike hire is not included in the tour package.
You can rent hybrid-type tourist bicycles from Trek with conventional handlebars and with triple chain ring and easy-to-change gear ratios for comfortable and easy cycling. Road bikes may also be available on request. We can also provide tandems, children’s bikes, tow bikes and child seats for those with children.


Hybrid bikes will carry a handlebar bag, useful for carrying money, documents, camera and lots of other useful items which may be needed close at hand. This bag is easily removable from its click fastening and carried around with the shoulder strap. They are also equipped with a rear luggage rack and one or two panniers, or a rear rack bag to carry just what you need for each day's cycling. Road bikes carry a seat post bag if required.
In addition, all cycles are equipped with pump, spare inner tube, water bottle, bike lock and basic toolkit. Extras such as lights or toe clips are available on request.

Its possible to book trekking bikes, road bikes and e-bikes.

Is this tour suitable for children?

A continental-style breakfast buffet is provided each morning. Lunches and dinners are not included.

Specialized cycle clothing may be handy but not strictly necessary. What you do need (among other things) is the following:
• shorts/ long trousers/ track suit/ legging
• shirts/ sweater/ rain clothing
• gloves (only when you book a tour in April. It can be chilly in the morning that time of year!)
• good shoes
• sunglasses/ cap/ swimming costume
• extra towel
• soap/ insect repellent
• swimwear

We really enjoyed this holiday, cycling in Spain was a joy, I have never seen such respect for cyclists from motorists, it was great!
The terrain varied from coastal with lovely seas to mountains as high as you like. The mountains were fine as the bikes had the ideal gears for climbing. Mountains were not compulsory! The luggage transfer was great, the local people and tour operators were so gentle. I would recommend this tour.

R. Walsh (Cantabrian Coast, 2017)

I really enjoyed the trip to Cantabria. Its very well planned and all the hotels were very nice.

Ronn L. (Cantabrian Coast group 2014)

We really enjoyed the trip with Simon. All the hotels were very good... Choice of restaurants was great - very enjoyable meals. I highly recommend this tour and would go again.

John (Cantabrian Coast group 2014)

The holiday was enjoyable, lovely scenery and an interesting part of Spain to visit. The team in Spain were helpful and the bikes were good; the maps were clear and easy to follow. The hotels were good and comfortable.

Patricia Fitz (Cantabrian Coast self led May 2016)


Season 1
6 April – 31 May
21 September – 1 November
€880 per person sharing
€1110 single room occupancy

Season 2
1 June – 28 June
31 August – 20 September
€950 per person sharing
€1240 single room occupancy

Season 3
29 June - 2 August
€1120 per person sharing
€1470 single room occupancy

Season 4
3 August – 30 August
€1180 per person sharing
€1660 single room occupancy

Touring bike hire €125
E-bike, tandem €200
Road bike €170

Helmet & Pedals Included*

Self Guided Tour Information

Self guided tour dates: Any Saturday from 25th March to 31st October
• Groups of 4 or more can choose any start date at no extra cost
• Groups of 2 – 3 people can start any day at a supplement of €100 per person
• One person travelling on their own can start any day at a supplement of €300

How to get to the start point:

Best arrival points:

  • Airports - Bilbao or Santander
  • Ferry ports - Bilbao or Santander
  • Bus / train stations - Bilbao or Santander

By Air
Travellers generally arrive through Santander or Bilbao Airport where they are met by our pick up service. 
It is often possible to take connecting flights through Spanish airports such as Madrid or Barcelona or through other European cities. Nearest airport is Santander connecting with Madrid and Barcelona, although flights are not so frequent. RyanAir now have routes into Santander Airport,  closer to starting point in Santillana del Mar.

Trains & Buses
If you are travelling within Spain, there is an excellent network of road transport; The Spanish Intercity train service: Renfe. The local train service along the coast of the Basque Country, Cantabria & Asturias is called FEVE. The major coach companies, depending on where you are travelling, are Alsa and Continental Auto.

For more details please have a look at the tour dossier.

As always please contact us in the office for more information (info@cyclingsafaris.com).

Santillana del Mar

Day 1: Hotel Casa del Organista

Santillana del Mar image 1Santillana del Mar image 1

San Vicente de la Barquera

Day 2 & 3: Hotel Faro de San Vicente

San Vicente de la Barquera image 1San Vicente de la Barquera image 1


Day 4 & 5: Hotel Don Paco

Llanas image 1Llanas image 1


Day 6 & 7: Hotel Torres de Somo

Somo image 1Somo image 1

Tour Date Options

Red = booked out / not available, Blue = Limited Availability, Green = available

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Booking Form

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We require you to have Travel Insurance when you book the tour. It is important that you are covered in case of cancellation due to injury as the deposit is non refundable

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For single travellers, we organise accommodation on a twin sharing basis. Please note it may not be possible on all our tours and a single supplement will be applied.

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Payment Information

If you have been on a previous tour, there is a €50.00 discount on our week long tours in Ireland (unfortunately this discount does not apply to other European trips)

A €250.00 deposit is required for each person booking on a holiday. The Balance payment is required two month prior to the starting date. The deposit is forfeited in the event of a cancellation of your booking. The balancing payment is also non-refundable in the event of the cancellation occuring within 14 days of the tour starting date. All transactions are taken in Euro.

We will contact you to confirm your booking and payment details.

Please ensure that you have read the terms and conditions before proceeding.

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Booking Conditions

Irish Cycling Safaris Ltd (“the Company”) accepts bookings subject to the following conditions:

  • The contract is between the Company and the client, being any person travelling or intending to travel on a tour operated by the company. The contract, including all matters arising from it, is subject to Irish law and the exclusive jurisdiction of the Irish courts. A booking is accepted and becomes definite only from the date when the company sends a confirmation. It is at this point that a contract between the company and the client comes into existence. Before your booking is confirmed and comes into existence the company reserves the right to increase or decrease brochure prices. The company or their agents reserve the right to decline any booking at their discretion.
  • To secure a booking the Company or their agent requires a completed booking form and the necessary deposit. (Full payment if travel within 60 days). The first named client must be over 18 years of age. Clients booking by telephone, by website/E-mail or fax will be deemed to have signed the booking form and read and accepted our terms of booking. The person signing, or being deemed to sign, the booking form warrants that he/she has full authority to do so on behalf of all persons whose names appear thereon, and confirms that all such persons are fully aware of and accept these conditions.
  • The balance of all monies due, including any surcharges applicable at the time, must be paid to the company or their agents not later than 60 days before departure. In the case of non-payment of the balance by the due date the Company reserves the right to cancel your booking and cancellation charges will apply. If any cheque is dishonoured we reserve the right to charge €25 to cover administration costs.
  • Travel Insurance is mandatory for all clients whilst on a tour organised by the Company. Clients are wholly responsible for arranging their own insurance. Clients are responsible for ensuring that they are in possession of private Travel insurance with protection for the full duration of the tour in respect of at least medical expenses, injury, death, repatriation, cancellation and curtailment, with adequate cover.
  • An administration fee of €25 per booking plus any additional costs incurred will be charged if a confirmed booking is changed or transferred to a different departure date or tour, up to 60 days prior to departure. Thereafter all changes will be treated as cancellations and subject to the relevant charges. Changes are subject to availability. For an administration fee of €25 you may request a credit voucher. This must be redeemed within 12 months of issue and must be used against a new booking. The voucher is non transferable and cannot be exchanged for cash. In certain circumstances, which the Company considers reasonable, the booking may be transferred to another suitable person; however the tour arrangements must remain the same and will only be allowed if all suppliers agree to accept the name change. If a transfer is allowed an administration charge of €25 per person will be charged plus any extra charges levied by suppliers.
  • Should the client wish to cancel, cancellation charges will be imposed. These are calculated from the day written notification is received by the company or their agent as a percentage of the total tour price, including surcharges as follows:

    > 60 days before departure – retention of deposit

    60-14 days before departure – 50%

    < 14 days before departure – 100%

  • Clients are responsible for arranging, and must be in possession of, a valid passport and any visas and vaccination certificates required for the whole of their journey. Information about these matters or related items (climate, clothing, baggage, personal items etc) is given in good faith but without responsibility on the part of the company.
  • Should the client have a reason to complain, you must immediately notify our representative and the relevant supplier. If the client’s complaint is not dealt with satisfactorily at the time, they must write to us with full details of the complaint within 28 days of the end of the tour. Failure to notify complaints entirely within accordance of this clause will diminish or extinguish the client’s ability to claim compensation.
  • The company provides all services on a “ground only” basis. The client is responsible for arranging their own travel to the designated start points of each tour. The company cannot accept any liability for any delay/cancellation in your transportation and cannot offer any refunds for lost holiday time.
  • Clients agree to accept the authority and decisions of the Company’s employees, tour leaders and agents whilst on the tour with the company. If in the opinion of such persons the health, level of fitness or conduct of a client at any time before or after departure appears likely to endanger the safe, comfortable or happy progress of a tour the client may be excluded from all or part of the tour without refund or recompense. In the case of ill health the company may make such arrangements as it sees fit and recover the costs thereof from the client. If a client commits an illegal act the client may be excluded from the tour and the Company shall cease to have responsibility to/for them. If you are affected by a condition, medical or otherwise, that might affect you or affect other people’s enjoyment or active participation of the tour, you must advise us at the time of booking. No refund will be given for any unused services.
  • The Company will use its best endeavours to operate all tours as advertised. However, it reserves the right to change any of the facilities, services, prices or itineraries described in our brochure/website. If a major change is necessary or deemed advisable, the company will advise the client as soon as reasonably possible, if there is no time before departure. A major change does not apply to a change of transport or named accommodation, but is usually considered a major change in itinerary or change in duration of a client’s holiday. If advised of a major change before departure, the client will have the choice of accepting changes (at additional cost if applicable), purchasing another available tour from the company, or cancelling the tour with a full refund.

    Provided that the major change is not as a result of situations outside the company’s control or consolidation, compensation will be paid as follows:

    Notification Period Given / Compensation Per Person

    More than 30 days: Nil

    14-30 days: €40

    Less than 14 days: €50

  • Force Majeure. We regret we cannot accept liability or pay any compensation where the performance or prompt performance of our contractual obligations is prevented or affected by reasons of circumstance amounting to “force majeure”. In these conditions “force majeure” means any event which we the supplier of services in question could not, even with all due care, foresee or avoid. Such events include war or threat of war, riot, civil strife, industrial dispute, terrorist activity, natural or nuclear disaster, fire or adverse weather conditions, epidemics or health risks and all similar events outside our control.
  • The company reserves the right to cancel a tour in any circumstances but will not cancel a tour less than 4 weeks before departure except for “force majeure”, consolidation, or the client’s failure to pay the final balance. Unless the client fails to pay the final balance, the company, upon cancellation will return all monies paid to it, or offer the client an alternative holiday of comparable standard if available (if less expensive than original we will refund the difference, if more expensive, the client will have to pay the difference). Compensation will not be payable (1) where the company is forced to cancel as a result of unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, the consequences of which we could not have avoided even with all due care or (2) where an insufficient number of people book the clients chosen holiday and we notify we are cancelling for this reason not less than 28 days before departure. In all cases our liability is limited to offering the above choices and the compensation payments (where applicable) set out in clause 11. No compensation is payable if we notify you of cancellation more than 8 weeks before departure. We cannot be held responsible for any costs or expenses you may have as a result of cancellation.
  • Client’s bookings are accepted on the understanding that they appreciate the risks inherent in adventure travel and that they undertake the tours featured in our programme at their own volition. Our obligations, and those of any suppliers providing any service or facility involved in any travel arrangements you book with us, are to provide services and facilities with reasonable care and skill. Facilities will be provided to the realistic minimum standard recommended by the regulatory authorities responsible.
  • Bike Hire: The equipment including all accessories supplied is let out on hire. The equipment remains the property of the company and the Client will not sell, hire out or otherwise part with the possessions thereof.

    The Client undertakes not to misuse the equipment and to return it with all accessories in the same condition as when received (ordinary wear and tear accepted). The company shall be entitled to charge the client for any damages caused to equipment during the period of hire. In event of a breakdown, other than a result of the Clients misuse, the company will use its best endeavours to repair or procure repair of the equipment.

    The company will not be liable for any damage or loss whatsoever, through breakdown or other defect in the equipment or other circumstances beyond the company’s control. The Client shall indemnify the company with respect to all costs, claims, expenses and demands suffered or incurred which arise directly or indirectly out of the use of the equipment during the period of hire. The company reserves the right to charge the client for partial or full settlement of any claim. In the event of the equipment being stolen or lost, the company reserves the right to call upon the client to indemnify the company the replacement of the equipment. However, should the equipment subsequently be returned in a satisfactory condition, the company undertakes to refund the clients indemnity within 14 days.

    The Client will ensure that the equipment is adequately secured when not in use, will not use the equipment whilst under the influence of drink or drugs and will immediately notify the company in the event of breakdown or loss of equipment.

  • Clients bringing their own bikes do so on the proviso that their equipment is in a suitable condition for participation in a tour. Responsibility for maintenance of bicycles brought by clients rests with the client. The company will endeavour to accommodate such clients, but cannot guarantee that correct tools and spares will be available, given the wide range of possibilities that exist.