Rosanna and i were thinking about a cycling trip, we choosed south of France to Spain to visit one of my best friends in Gijon for this time. Flights booked and bikes packed.
Day one: Bordeaux – Biscarrosse (80k)
We flougth to Bordeaux to starts. In front of the airport build up the bikes and start! The weather was fine and we managed more k’s than expected. Getting nearer the coast we crossed a small village, getting some delicious french bakery stuff for energy! Great to ride in direction the coast line, a lot of nature on the way. Finally we arrived the coast line and passed some campsites. Still on power and good mood we kept going. We found a campsite, build the tent and went to Biscarrosse for a lovely dinner.
Day two: Biscarrosse – Mimizan Plage (70k)
Starting the day with a bit uphill… That would get normal on this trip 😉 After a while riding uphill i checked google maps again, it told us to go down again and ‘left’. Ok google,… we arrive at a fence with police and military, we asked one guy who came out his office that google told us to ride through there… Ok, we had to take the uphill again. The ‘right’ way let us pass a nicely lake where we made a break and had some food. This day we had to go more in the country in fact of the military area we had to bypass. Our destination of the day was a campsite in Mimizan Plage. I haven’t been here since years. A friend has a house over there where i have been a long time ago. The good point for this period of travelling the coast is that there are not much tourists around. The bad thing is that also a lot of camp sites and hotels are closed. Later more about that…
Day three: Mimizan Plage – Hossegor (75k)
We left the campsite on the bike lane. The next bump, my phone off the bar bag on the ground… Spiderman-App. Crashed. Also i crashed directly the usb cable. What a start in the day… We had a lovely ride through the woods a bit beside the atlantic ocean. Also passing Moliets, a place i’ve been when i was in school. A bit ago. We made there a stop for a coffee and some food. Quite a lovely part of the tour. We arrived in Hossegor and checked a campsite. Then we went with the bikes for dinner near the ocean for some fresh fish 🙂 For this period no pics. Phone empty.
Day four: Hossegor – Hendaye (60k)
Starting with clouds, but at the ocean. We had to cross Bayonne to take a bridge over the river. Since the start it was the first time we crossed a town. I could also buy me a new USB-cable to get energy in the phone. The next stop was Biarritz. Biarritz is an awesome town/ village. Some houses are directly built in the rocks. Shortly before Biarritz the coast line starts to change. Sandy beaches with dunes are switching to cliffs with green on top.
There is the ‘Grand Plage’ in the middle of the town direct at the coast. Very lovely. There we had a coffee with a great view. It’s the local surf spot located directly in the city. Then it started to rain. Starting go further in the wet. Also it started to get more hilly at the coast. Beautiful and hard to ride. Now there came wind, rain and bad surface. Sucks. 😉 Todays destination was Hendaye. So started to find a campsite. No way. We checked a the whole village, they were all closed. Plan B. Search for an hostel. Finally we found one which was open. Also not that easy. We placed all our wet some somewhere in the room to dry. Before we shopped in a supermarket stuff for dinner, but cooking in the room was not the best idea. As a reward for the hard day we went out in a restaurant.
Day five: Hedaye – Zarautz (50k)
The morning we just figured out the we are very close to the spanish boarder. It was like 10 minutes away. In spain the roads changed directly. No bike lanes anymore and the surface got more ruff. Soon we were passing San Sebastian, quite a big town. It always great to see towns you just know the name and cruise around with bike to find your way. Outside San Sebastian the weather got more bad, headwind…. This was nearly the hardest day… But it was worth, we had so awesome sceneries. One side of the road the cliffs and the ocean, on the other side great backcountry views. Every few k’s was a village, located at the ocean. It always went down to the village, then back on the cliffs. For today we set Zarautz as destination. We went downtown (in the village) to shop food and drinks for dinner. Next stop campsite. Damn, more uphill, the campsite was located on the highest hill around. 😀 The location was super, because it was close to the cliffs and you could see the ocean. We made dinner (soup with sausage) which was not so perfect that the night was not that quite and easy. On top there were also some dutch teenagers on the campsite… I’m sure you know how teenagers are if they are on vacation…
Sixth day: Zarautz – Mundaka (77k)
Good morning. Uphill 🙂 Ok, this one was to used the hardest day ;). Maybe because i made a next step for me in cycling. Just wearing lycra without a normal short above it. Riding that part of spain on the coast is for me so great cause i’m such in love with the cliff coast line. You have the rough sea, the cliff and on top green. We were riding old small roads beside the coast, crossing villages at the ocean, some backcountry. We arrived late at the campsite in Mundaka, placed the tent and went on the search for dinner. Walking around Mundaka most places were already closed or closed in fact of the (not)season. Finally we found bigger wooden house where was in the upper floor a huge older restaurant. A nice spot. And the food was great. After a solid dinner and some house wine we went back ‘home’ for sleeping.
Seveth day: Mundaka – Sopela (40k)
We got a bit fed up after the last days. So we took it easy. We passed for lunch time a sea village for summer time. All looked likes a left town. Mostly everything was closed. It was a bit spooky. We found an open supermarket and grabbed food for lunch. We placed us at the lost beach and relaxed. Placed the clothing on the railing to dry them. After some relaxing time we hooped back on the bikes, direction Bilbao.
We figured out a campsite a bit before Bilbao, at the reception we had to wait a while, it was not occupied. We waited. Then came the owner, we did the check-in and followed his bmw to the place for us. Then we started building the tent and change the clothes. During that the owner was passing by with segway. He drove around ‘his’ area for looking if all is fine 😉 We had a fine lunch at the campsite restaurant. The sundown was very cheesy…
Eight day: Sopela – Santander (108k incl train)
We started to Bilbao, the plan was to take there a train to Santander because we’ve been slower than expected. Nicely riding beside the river, oh wait, there… a bike lane! Bilbao is huge and a lot of art everywhere. We found a trainstation, but it was the wrong one 😉 We managed to found the right one, had 10 minutes to get the tickets and hopp in the train. On the way to Santander 🙂 The train brought us beside a river in a canyon through the backcountry. Nice train ride 🙂 The train was quite slow that we could enjoy the view. In Santander we checked where the next campsite is. It was direction the coast, a bit outside the town, located very near to the cliffs. Shortly before we had the last uphill we passed a well looking small store (La Gallofa). We went inside to grab some stuff to eat and drink for dinner. The campsite was not crowed, just a few campers. Not bad 🙂 After doing the normal stuff when arriving (tent, shower, clothes) we went to the cliffs to hang around there for a while and watch the sea. When we arrived it was crowded but not when the sun starting to hide behind the horizon it was a lovely spot. Then we went back to the campsite, to the restaurant in front of the campsite to ask if we can get something to eat… We were the only persons in there, except the owners. They offered us some fried octopus and potatoes with aioli. During we waited we had a drink a the bar, when the cook lady finished the aioli she came over to let us taste with some bread. Delicious! When the food was ready she gave us a plate with the food on it to take it to the tent… Another drink in front of the tent and then… Sleep.
Ninth day: Santander – San Vicente de la Barquera/LLanes (61k incl. train)
The next morning we packed our stuff and passed again the fine shop to get more food for the ride. During the ride we watched the time because we wanted to arrive in Llanes. Some backcountry, some coastline. Interesting day. All the nature and the villages are beautyful. Always interesting if you don’t know how the way will be… When we figured out the next trainstation, we had still some k’s to go. The time became scarce. Then… downhill for the next 5 k’s. We were on time 🙂 Rolling down to the village with the station, located at the ocean. But wait… The train station is outside the village in the backcountry… a few more k’s to hustle. We arrived shortly before the date. Trains and Spain is a bit different. You never know if i the train will be there, on time 😉 Also if there are only 4 trains a day…. The train was a bit early. Yes! In the train was another german cyclist. An older man who started at the Lake Constanze to follow the ‘Camino de Santiago’, he told us that right now he’s a bit tired of cycling, all the hilly stuff after he crossed the alps. So he took the train. Big respect! It was again a lovely train trip to Llanes. Llanes was a destination for us because my friend we were travelling to told me to visit Llanes. Now we were on the search for the campsite. We found it and asked for a place to stay, unfortunately they told there that they have just opened the weekend. Now was sunday. Closed… Next time for a plan B. Hostel… We found one for a good price, we also could place the bikes inside the building. Oh, there was also the bike of our train friend. The room spend us the most comfort we had since many days 😉 For dinner we choosed a restaurant i got told by my friend. Really good finish for the day.
Tenth day: Llanes – Gijon (train)
In fact of time we decided to take directly the train to Gijon. Finding the dates for a train in spain is not that easy because they have several companies for different courses… When we went on the train we met the german of the day before again. Arriving in Gijon we took the straight way to the boardwalks at the ocean. We choosed a bar and waited for Bert. Having a beer. We made it! Gijon has a big boardwalk at the ocean, super smooth surface. After some relaxing time at the bar we got guided to the flat of our hosts. For dinner we got served with sea spiders. Local delicious sea food. A lot of work to satisfy your hunger 😉
Rest of the days:
We enjoyed Gijon and the area, got brought to secret spots for lunch, a walk beside the ocean and finally we rent a car to get to Santiago de Compostela where we had to let pack the bikes in boxes for the flight the next day.