Picos de Europa Cycling Holiday
Spanish FlagSpain

PICOS DE EUROPA & ASTURIAN COAST

Self-Guided Cycling Holiday

Spanish FlagSpain

Picos de Europa & Asturian Coast
Self-Guided Cycling Tour
Length: 8 Days
Level: Difficulty Medium - Challenging
Price: from €1,130 EUR
This self-guided cycling holiday explores the Picos de Europa mountains and the Asturian coast in Northern Spain. You will cycle through stunning scenery in National Parks and along the dramatic Atlantic coastline, with unforgettable views on every ride.

The seven night tour stays in some of the most charming towns in the region, including Cangas de Onís and Ribadesella. And also visits the impressive cities of Oviedo and Gijón - both steeped in history and the unique culture of the Asturias region.

There are two or three route options each day, to give flexibility and to make the holiday suitable for riders of different levels. On the rides you can cycle some of the most beautiful and well known climbs of the Vuelta a España, including Lagos de Covadonga, Jito de Escarandi and Angliru. But it's not all climbing; you also ride through spectacular valleys and along rolling coastal roads.

Whether you choose the longer or shorter route on any given day, we are sure that you will love the views and the tranquility of the nature here. While the interesting history of the region, the Asturian hospitality and the excellent gastronomy, will make sure there is also a lot to enjoy off the bike! Below you can find a detailed itinerary, and click on the tabs to see more highlights, as well as all the practical information about the holiday.
Picos de Europa Cycling Tour Map
Click on the map to view it in full screen


Tour Availability

J F M A M J J A S O N D



Day 1 - Cangas de Onís

We will transfer you from the arrival point to the town of Cangas de Onís. The capital of the Kingdom of Asturias until the 8th century, Cangas de Onís is a beautifully picturesque town on the edge of the Picos de Europa. It is known for its Romanesque bridge and has a charming historic center with several great restaurants.

Depending on your arrival time, there is the opportunity to do an enjoyable circular route around the Ponga Natural Park.

Ponga Natural Park
The scenic Ponga Natural Park

Day 2 - Lagos de Covadonga

The tour begins today by tackling one of the most iconic climbs in Spain - Lagos de Covadonga. The climb is known for the beautiful scenery, culminating in two mountain lakes at the top. It's quite a tough climb with an average gradient of 7.3% over 12.6km, but is well worth the effort, and fully deserves its reputation as one of the most spectacular in Spain. We urge you to take your time and enjoy the incredible views as the scenery really opens out towards the top.

The longer route continues through the Picos de Europa National Park by climbing the Puerto de Pontón. This is a longer and much more gentle ascent, with the road running alongside the river through a spectacular gorge.

From here you loop back through the Ponga Natural Park to the hotel in Cangas de Onís.

Cycle Routes:


Shorter Route: 45km (1,100m Elevation)

Medium Route: 69km (1,500m Elevation)

Longer Route: 110km (2,600m Elevation)
Lagos de Covadonga
Lagos de Covadonga

Day 3 - Alto del Torno & Picos de Europa

Today you head east along the northern boundary of the Picos de Europa, on a route which offers excellent views of the mountains. You follow quiet country lanes for much of the route, with the highlight being the wonderful Alto del Torno - one of the most enjoyable climbs in Spain. The wide open scenery - a combination of vibrant green fields and rocky peaks, make this area really memorable.

The day finishes in the small town of Arenas de Cabrales, famous for its very strong local cheese. There is the option to extend the route from here, doing a circular loop around the northern boundary of the National Park.

Cycle Routes:


Shorter Route: 48km (1,000m Elevation)

Longer Route: 71km (1,620m Elevation)
Asturias Quiet Roads
Typically quiet roads and vibrant green scenery in Asturias

Day 4 - Jito de Escarandi

The route today begins by tackling the Jito de Escarandi, one of the most challenging climbs in the Picos de Europa, and certainly one of the most spectacular. It was not selected for use in the Vuelta a España until 2015, with National Park restrictions prohibiting its earlier use. However, it made an instant impression with Spanish climber Joaquin Rodriguez first over the line.

There is the option to extend the route with a really nice gentle climb to the village of Tresviso - one of the most geographically isolated in this part of the world. The open views along the way make this a special experience.

The route then returns to Arenas, where you can try one of the local dishes, such as the delicious Fabada Asturiana.

Cycle Routes:


Shorter Route: 43km (1,200m Elevation)

Longer Route: 60km (1,700m Elevation)
Jito de Escarandi
Jito de Escarandi - One of the most scenic climbs in all of Spain

Day 5 - Ribadesella & La Cuevona

Today you leave the distinctive slopes of the Picos de Europa behind and head towards the Asturian coastline. The day begins with a short but extremely pleasant climb over the Alto de la Tornería, before a spectacular winding descent down to the town of Llanes, a very picturesque fishing town that makes for a great coffee stop.

The route continues along the coastline, visiting some of the dramatic coves and beaches which line this rugged shore and visits the stunning La Cuevona ('The Big Cave'). At La Cuevona you ride through 400m long cave, past imposing stalactites and spectacular rock formations.

You will also pass the Tito Bustillo cave - a UNESCO World Heritage site, which is one of the most important prehistoric sites in Europe. The walls are adorned with cave paintings of horses, bison and reindeer dating back over 10,000 years. The ride finishes in the lively town of Ribadesella. Your impressive hotel here is located right next to the large sandy beach, and the town in general is known for its excellent fish restaurants.

Cycle Routes:


Shorter Route: 59km (820m Elevation)

Longer Route: 83km (1,350m Elevation)
Ribadesella
The beach and harbour of Ribadesella

Day 6 - Gijón & Costa Verde

Your route today begins by heading west along quiet country lanes with some fantastic views of the coast. The ride is longer than other days, but no more challenging as it's mostly undulating, rather than hilly. Although there is the option on the longer route to include the climb up to Mirador del Fito - a regular inclusion in the Vuelta a España.

Most of the day is spent close to the Costa Verde (Green coast). It is a beautiful ride, which often has coastal views on one side, and green hills on the other. You pass through charming villages, including the incredibly picturesque Lastres.

The day finishes in Gijón - one of Spain's most attractive cities. Here you stay in the heart of the old town and can visit the Roman ruins, or simply enjoy the atmosphere along the promenade.

Cycle Route:


Shorter Route: 77km (900m Elevation)

Longer Route: 94km (1,650m Elevation)
Coastal village of Lastres
Coastal village of Lastres

Day 7 - Oviedo & Angliru

The final day in the saddle again has two options depending on how your legs feel. Both rides begin by following a cycle route out of Gijón, quickly entering the vibrant green Asturian countryside.

The shorter route passes a Roman villa, before continuing over rolling terrain and small hills. It heads through picturesque farmland with views at times of both the coast and the mountains, as you make your way towards Oviedo. On the edge of Oviedo, there is a climb up to Alto de Naranco which passes the UNESCO World Heritage listed Naranco churches - thought to be among the finest examples of later Visigothic and early Christian architecture in Europe.

The longer route heads through similarly rolling green countryside, but has more of a sting in the tail. It includes the climb up to Angliru - one of the most fearsome mountains in cycling. A regular star of the Vuelta a España, Angliru is famed for its steep gradients; but it is also incredibly picturesque, with stunning views over much of the province.

Both routes finish in the Asturian capital of Oviedo. It's a lively historic town with some of the best restaurants and tapas bars in Spain.

Cycle Route:


Shorter Route: 57km (1,250m Elevation)

Longer Route: 102km (2,500m Elevation)
Naranco Church - Dating from the 9th century
Santa Maria de Naranco Church - Dating from the 9th century

Day 8 - Departure / Extensions

After breakfast the tour comes to an end in Oviedo. We will transfer you to Oviedo train station or Asturias airport in time for your onward journey.

If you would like to extend your holiday in this beautiful part of the world we would be happy to arrange this for you.

Popular options include spending more time in Oviedo or Gijón, visiting some of the charming coastal villages, or doing even more hiking and cycling in the Picos de Europa mountains, or nearby Somiedo Natural Park.

To find out more information about this holiday; including practical information, prices, dates and more tour highlights; return to the top of the page and click on the various tabs.

La Cubilla Cycling Climb
La Cubilla mountain - one of many possible extensions

This tour explores the best of the Picos de Europa and Asturian coast. You will see some of the most spectacular natural scenery in all of Europe riding along quiet roads and through charming villages.

You can also enjoy the fine gastronomy of Asturias, and discover the fascinating history of cities such as Gijón and Oviedo.

Check out just a few of the tour highlights in the photo album below:

Included
  • 7 Nights Accommodation (see the Hotels section for more details)
  • Continental breakfast each day
  • Transfers to and from the arrival and departure points (see below for details)
  • Luggage transferred between hotels
  • GPS routes and mobile app to easily follow the routes
  • Detailed information pack about the routes, restaurants and everything to see along the rides
Not Included:
  • Bicycle Hire (Optional extra €150 - see below)
  • Flights
  • Tour Extensions
  • Travel Insurance

Bicycles
Bicycle hire is an optional extra for this tour, as we know that some of you may prefer to bring your own.

We can provide road bikes, lightweight hybrids (trekking bikes) or e-bikes for this holiday. If you plan to do the longer rides then we generally recommend road bikes to cover the distance more comfortably. Our full carbon road bikes have compact chainsets and large cassettes so that you can climb easily at your own pace.

For the shorter routes, hybrid bikes and ebikes can also be a good option if you are more used to riding them. More details about our bikes can be found on our bicycles page. We provide either these or similar models. All of our bikes come with helmets and handlebar bags if required, as well as a Cycle Fiesta water bottle.
Our Road Bicycle Our lightweight road bikes

Difficulty Level & Roads
We rate this tour as medium level of difficulty if you ride the shorter routes. This tour is in the mountains and hilly countryside and so there is a fair amount of climbing each day. But there is also some great riding through valleys and along gently undulating terrain.

The rides on the hillier days are shorter and so you can take your time and go at your own pace. It is a good idea to have done a few preparation rides before the tour, but you certainly don't need to be a club cyclist or a racer to get the most out of the holiday.

The longer routes are rated as challenging as they usually have one extra climb than the shorter routes. If you plan to cycle the longer routes, it's advisable to have cycled fairly regularly in the weeks leading up to the trip. But again, you don't need to be a club rider or racer to enjoy these rides.

If you would like easier or harder routes than those listed, please let us know, because there are so many great options in Asturias, that we can pretty much tailor the rides however you would like!

The routes are entirely on paved roads, and there is very little traffic throughout the tour.

Find out more about our tour difficulty levels here.

Arrival and Departure
The arrival point for the tour is Oviedo. We will pick you up from Oviedo (Asturias) airport or train station and transfer you to the starting town of Cangas de Onís.

We can also transfer from Santander, or anywhere else in the Picos de Europa area.

The departure point is also Oviedo. We will transfer you to the airport or train station at the end of the tour.

Asturias airport has a few international flights as well as regular connections to Madrid and Barcelona. Oviedo train station is also well served, with daily departures to Madrid.

If you have trouble finding a good connection to and from Oviedo/Asutrias Airport, please contact us, and we can make alternative arrangements.
Picos de Europa Arrivals and Departure Map

Frequently Asked Questions


Please browse through some of the frequently asked questions about this cycling tour. If you have any further questions, or would like any more information, please contact us and we will answer by email.


What is your policy regarding Covid travel restrictions?

*Covid Policy 2021*


In response to the Covid Pandemic we have made some temporary alterations to our standard terms and conditions.

Reservations made in 2021 (for holidays taking place in either 2021 or 2022) can be postponed for any time in the following two years, without penalty, if you are unable to travel as a result of travel restrictions or other uncertainty. Notification of the postponement must be made at least ten days before the start of the tour.

Before the balance of the invoice has been paid, the deposit of €150 is also refundable in full for reservations made in 2021, if holidays are cancelled because of Covid related travel restrictions or uncertainty.

For reservations not made in 2021, the normal terms and conditions regarding cancellation apply.

Should I do the longer or shorter routes?

This depends entirely on you! The longer and shorter routes all start and finish at the same place, and so you can decide on any given day which you would prefer to do. There is no need to commit until the day of the ride itself.

On the longer routes you see more and are able to visit more places, while the shorter routes are more relaxing and ideal if you like to take your time and go at a slower pace.

If you would like to visit the extra towns and monuments on the longer routes, but are worried about the distances, then we recommend hiring an e-bike, which will give you more flexibility.

When can I do this tour?

We run this tour between May and October each year, as we believe that these are the best months for cycling in the region.

The tour can start on any day of the week from May to October. If you would be interested in doing the tour at different times of the year, please contact us and we can let you know if there is availability.

What is the weather like?

From May to October the weather in the Picos de Europa is usually very good for cycling. It is warm, but without the searing temperatures that are common in much of Spain throughout the summer months. Typical day time temperatures range from 20-25°C (68-77°F).

Asturias is one of the wetter parts of Spain, due to its proximity to the Atlantic, and there are a few rainy days each month - even during the summer - so be prepared for this possibility.

But it's all relative; this is still Spain! And it's common to have dry, sunny days throughout the holiday.

Can I personalise or change aspects of this tour?

Absolutely! We have designed a tour that we feel strikes a great balance between cycling routes, accommodation and interesting towns. However, if, for example, you would like to do the tour for a different number of days, stay in a different level of accommodation, or extend the route to a different location, we would be happy to discuss the options with you.

Do you run this as a guided tour?

We do sometimes run this as a guided tour. Please if you would like to know when we will be adding new dates.

We can also run this as a guided and supported tour any time for groups of six or more people. Again, please if you would be interested in arranging this.

What is your cancellation policy?

The full cancellation policy can be found in out terms and conditions.

Why book with us?

We are a small and independent company who are locally based, which offers several advantages:

- We have a lot personal experience of all of our tours, which have been refined over many years. We believe we are genuine experts in the regions where we run tours, and we are also close at hand to offer support and a personalized service.

- We are flexible and can tailor our itineraries to suit your requirements.

- We have low overheads. We don't spend money on advertising and don't use third party agents. We only sell our tours through this website.

By cutting out the middle man, you can be sure that more of what you pay is being spent on the important things: like hotels, equipment and other services.

- We are a registered and fully bonded tour operator in accordance with EU regulations.

Which famous mountains will I climb?

The following are some of the most famous and spectacular mountains that you can climb on the holiday:


Lagos de Covadonga
Alto del Torno - Labra
Collada Llomena - Beleno
Puerto de Ponton (L)
Jito de Escarandi
Alto de Mazuco
Mirador del Fito (L)
Alto de Naranco
Angliru (L)


(L) = On longer route

Where can I find more information about the region?

We have plenty more detailed information on the website.

Check out our page on the Picos de Europa for a general overview.

And we also have some more indpeth articles looking at the fascinating history and culture of of the Asturias region:

Hotel Santa Cruz
Hotel Santa Cruz - Cangas
You spend two nights in this stylish 3-star hotel in the centre of Cangas de Onís. It is situated next to the picturesque Sella River and the town's stunning Romanesque bridge. The rooms are very comfortable and the breakfast here is excellent.
Hotel Picos de Europa
Hotel Arenas
You also spend two nights in this 3-star hotel in Arenas de Cabrales, which lives up to its name, situated in the real heart of the Picos de Europa mountains. It's housed inside a historic building in the old town of Arenas and has comfortable rooms, as well as a nice swimming pool and terrace for relaxing after the ride.
Gran Hotel de Sella
Gran Hotel - Ribadesella
This 4-star hotel in Ribadesella is situated just a few metres from the town's fantastic beach. It's a great location for exploring the town, and also has a nice large swimming pool set in its gardens.
Hotel Hernán Cortés
Hotel  Hernan Cortes
This 4-star hotel is ideally located in Gijón, just a short walk from the beach, the old town and the lively restaurant area. Named after the controversial conquistador who defeated the Aztecs in his search for gold, the hotel has very comfortable rooms and is housed inside a listed historic building.
Gran Hotel España
Gran Hotel Oviedo
A very comfortable 4-star hotel in the beautiful historic center of Oviedo. It is situated just metres from the cathedral and museums, and a short walk to Gascona street - famous throughout Spain for its tapas bars, Asturian cider houses and bodegas.
To find out more about how we select our hotels, please see our accommodation page.


Starting Date Price (per person)¹ Single Supplement Bike Hire
May, June, Sept & Oct €1,130 EUR €540 EUR €150 EUR
July & August €1,250 EUR €530 EUR €150 EUR


¹Price is based on two people sharing a double or twin room. If you would prefer to stay in a single room, the single supplement is applicable.

To reserve a place on the tour, click the button above and complete the reservation form. We will then get back to you within 24 hours to confirm the reservation, and to arrange for payment of the deposit.

For more details on the booking process, please check out our Reservations page.


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