• panoramic views to san vicente de la barquera traditional village at cantabria, spain
  • Picos de Europa mountains next to Fuente De village, Cantabria (Spain)
  • Santillana del Mar
  • Playa de Ribadesella
  • rural village of potes at cantabria, spain

From coast to mountain in Northern Spain

Highlights of from coast to mountain in northern Spain | View itinerary »

A wonderful 7-night tour taking in some of the most beautiful and unspoiled parts of Spain. The tour can run either way, and both start points are easily accessible by taking a plane or ferry to Bilbao or Santander. Discover sophisticated cities, beautiful hidden villages, traditional seaside resorts and the breath-taking glory of the Picos de Europa National Park. You’ll also get to sample the famous Asturian hospitality, not to mention the cider, the cheese, and fresh seafood like you’ve never tasted before!

For more information or to talk to a friendly expert who knows the ins and outs of this trip email us.

8 day trip as described, guide price £575 – £700 pp

What’s included

  • 7 nights’ accommodations in a selection of fantastic hotels
  • Buffet style breakfast
  • Economy 4dr car hire for the duration
  • or ferry crossings with Brittany Ferries (car + 2 berth interior cabin)
  • Point to point directions
  • Personalised travel App and e-Document manager
  • All attractions and activities shown in your personalised itinerary
  • Our own personally recommended restaurants guide

What’s not included

  • Flights (can be quoted separately)
  • Travel insurance - we are happy to advise
  • Car hire extras or garage parking

Travel Info

Fly direct to Bilbao or Santander from most major UK hubs and many regional airports. Alternatively take the ferry from Portsmouth or Plymouth.

Best time to go

We recommend you visit northern Spain in April-June or September-October as this is when the Picos de Europa are at their splendour.

Bespoke Service

Let us know your interests, ideal dates and duration, and preferred flights, and we’ll create the perfect northern Spain holiday just for you.

Day 1


A popular summer seaside resort for Spaniards, Santander on the north coast offers broad swathes of sand, sensational restaurants and charismatic bars. Much of the city centre was burned to the ground in a huge fire in 1941, but it’s been rebuilt with a sophisticated charm and provides a great launch or landing pad for your Mountains and Sea tour.

Day 2

Santillana del Mar

You’ll take in two of Cantabria’s greatest treasures on day two of your tour – the spectacularly beautiful Santillana del Mar, and two kilometres away, the fascinating Altamira Caves.

Santillana del Mar was once described by French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre as ‘the prettiest village in Spain’, and it’s not hard to see why. Its Renaissance churches and monastery, along with medieval mansions decked with flowered balconies, form a perfect picture-postcard scene that you’ll find hard to beat anywhere on the Iberian Peninsula.

Burrowed into a hillside just out of town, the Altamira Caves covet some of the best preserved prehistoric paintings on the planet. Nowadays, the caves are closed to the public to conserve the striking artwork, but there’s an exact replica in an adjacent museum that precisely depicts the guarded treasure next door.

Day 3

San Vicente Barquera

One of the most striking aspects of San Vicente de la Barquera is in the approach – via a long causeway across the River Escudo, but this picturesque town also offers fantastic seafood restaurants, vibrant local fish markets, and some great sandy beaches.

Close by are the coastal walking trails of the Oyambre Natural Park, and in the distance, the majestic Picos de Europa mountains provide the perfect backdrop.

Day 4


After driving through the magnificent Desfiladero de la Hermida canyon, you arrive at Potes on the edge of the Picos de Europa. Set in the Valley of Liebana this pretty town straddling the Quiviesa River is famed for its delicious cheeses, its ancient stone bridges and the surrounding 9th century monasteries.

Day 5

Picos de Europa

Half an hour from Potes lies the Picos de Europa National Park, the largest national park in Western Europe, and featuring some of the most incredible scenery throughout Spain.

We can arrange a guided trek, or you can simply stroll around some of the pretty mountain villages. It’s also worth taking the cable car from Fuente Dé up to a height of one thousand metres for sensational views of the verdant valley below.

Day 6


Today you travel into Asturias, a dramatic green region dressed with a rugged coastline and rustic villages. Highlights include the cliffside Covadonga hamlet with its gushing waterfall, cave church and monumental basilica. Head to nearby Cangas de Onis with its cute Roman bridge, or the traditional seaside villages of Ribadesella and llanes, both offering superb seafood at waterfront tables.

Close by are the charming coastal resorts of Llanes & Ribadesella.

Day 7


Capital of the Asturias region, Oviedo has an atmospheric, pedestrianised Old Quarter, superb restaurants and a sophisticated vibe. Visit the city’s two charming churches dating from the 9th century, try the local cider at one of the buzzing bars on Calle Gascona, and keep your eye out for the intriguing statues that dot the city.

Day 8

It’s home time! Head back to the airport, train station or ferry port for you return journey.

Get in touch

We don’t deal in one-size-fits-all holidays. We build amazing journeys tailored just for you. But before we can do that, we need to know about you – what excites you, what are your ‘must-sees’ and ‘must do’s’, and conversely, what do you want to avoid or what makes you feel indifferent. We don’t do indifferent, and neither should you!

  • hola@rediscoverspain.com

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