Where is it?
Asturias is a beautiful but somewhat overlooked part of Spain. Situated on the Northern Coast it is bordered by Galicia and Cantabria and offers stunning coastal and mountain cycling opportunities.
How to get here.
(Update Jan 2017 – In addition to Easyjet, there are now Direct flights from Gatwick with Vueling Airlines and Heathrow with British Airways)
Asturias is easy to get to and takes less than 2 hours by plane from Stansted Airport. There are flights every day in summer and 3 times a week during winter. Alternatively, you can come by ferry to Santander and drive here (or catch a coach) which will take about 2 hours. Or ride here of course.
The Airport is near Aviles but it’s only a 30 minute drive to the main cities of Oviedo and Gijon.
Alternatively you can fly from Manchester to Santander or Bilbao, as neither are too far away from Asturias. There may be other routes too as they add new ones all the time so it’s worth checking on the web.
Asturias has many hotels and casas rural (country houses) at very affordable prices. You can either choose a hotel or house as a base and cycle from there every day or arrange a route staying in different small country hotels. There are also many hostels if you are on a budget. I rent out The BIKE BARN which is an ideal place to stay if you want to explore Asturias by bike.
Great Food, Great Places
If you come cycling in Asturias you won’t have a problem fuelling yourself for the rides. The food here is great with the Sea food probably being the best of the lot. Cheap, Fresh and cooked to perfection, it’s worth coming to Asturias just for the sea food. The local drink is Cider which will help you wash the food down nicely.
Asturias abounds with places to visit, most of which are accessible by bike. The cities are great, particularly Oviedo with its beautiful Old Town. There is a great Aquarium, a Dinosaur museum and plenty of cultural and historical places to visit.
What to expect as a cyclist.
Asturias really is a cyclists paradise. The roads are generally in good condition with very low volumes of traffic compared to somewhere like the UK.
Asturias offers Coastal and Mountain cycling routs and offers some of the best cycling in Europe. If you don’t believe me come see for yourself.
The Mountains in Asturias are stunning with the main mountain range being The Picos de Europa. The most famous climb in this range of mountains is ‘Los Lagos de Covadonga’ that is regularly featured in La Vuelta a España. Asturias is also home to one of the toughest climbs on the Pro Tour circuit the ‘Alto de L’Angliru’ which once again proved decisive in the outcome of the Vuelta in 2013.
If you are not up to tough climbing every day, Asturias still offers amazing coastal routes that are far less taxing. Llanes, Ribadesella, Tarzones, Cudillero, Puerto de Vega, Luarca are just a few of the numerous coastal towns/Ports along the Asturias coast. Since the opening of the new Coastal motorway the old coastal roads have become very quiet and as such offer fantastic traffic free cycling.
Asturias’ cycling History
Asturias has a long history of cycling and has featured in the Vuelta a España almost since its conception. With its hilly terrain Asturias has produced some of the world’s best Grand Tour cyclists such as Samuel Sanchez and Chechu Rubiera. Also the home of F1 driver and former World Champion Fernando Alonso, Asturias is also likely to be the base of his new cycling Team which one hopes will be formed in 2015.
Now if all that doesn’t wet your appetite along with all the photos you can see on my blog, I really don’t know what will. I’m privileged to have all this on my door step every day and can even see the ‘L’Angliru from my bedroom window. I cycle a lot and never tire of Asturias and discover new, great rides every week.