Why we love Northern Spain

May 16, 2017

We’re of the opinion that you should never travel to the same destination more than once. Occasionally it doesn’t work out that way, like the time we got diverted to Tahiti while en route to New Zealand. We took our honeymoon in Tahiti and had the most incredible time in both Tikehau and Moorea. As such, we always said we wouldn’t go back. And yet there we were dancing with the locals at the airport adorned with flowers!

Last summer was the first time we’d visited Northern Spain having taken trips elsewhere in the country many times. We loved it so much we’re heading back there this summer albeit to a totally different region. If you’ve not been to Northern Spain before, here’s a little taste of what it’s like.

The scenery

We travelled by cruise ferry to Bilbao then drove to the Picos de Europa region from there. It was a painless journey and it only took a couple of hours to get to our 200 year cottage. We travelled in peak season so we expected it to be busy but it wasn’t. Our accommodation in the Bedoya Valley was truly idyllic with the views from our balcony of the Picos de Europa dramatic. But that was the thing, the landscape is magnificent and it was everywhere we went. Even the roads were flanked by mountains, it just took our breath away.

The adventures

Regardless of who you’re travelling with in Northern Spain, there are an abundance of things to do. The Doves enjoy exploring (especially off the beaten track) so there was only half a day when we weren’t out and about. From taking the Fuente De cable car at the Picos de Europa to trekking (yes with a five year old!) from Dobarganes to Pico Jano and exploring the El Soplao Caves. Being mobile meant there were so many more opportunities available to us. We checked out villages in the local area and made all kinds of discoveries. Like the grandfather house that will be in the forthcoming Heidi movie and the beautiful village that will represent Dorfli in the film. Our daughter POD got to experience so much more than if she’d been in a pool at a resort – much as she loves that too of course!

The unexpected 

We always find the most memorable holidays are the ones where something unexpected occurs. Like seeing wild horses at the summit of the Picos de Europa. Accidentally finding a picnic spot with swings, football posts and the most spectacular views. Having lunch in a restaurant at the top of a mountain with views to die for. Being joined by a few chickens while eating in a pretty village. Discovering a bar sign at the top of a winding road for a quirky cafe we’d just left. We also found we could eat the biggest plateful of tapas (with wine or cider) for €13! While already adventurous in her nature, POD enjoyed playing in the river with the local kids in Potes. In Santillana Del Mar, on our way to the Santander port, she had an impromptu pony ride and got to jump the waves in Playa de Tagle.

So this year we’re venturing back to Northern Spain. We’ll be staying about two hours away from the Picos de Europa. This time in a cottage located in Sierra del Sueve situated in Asturias with the Pongo National Park the backdrop. We’ll be closer to the coast but within easy reach of the mountains too so we can explore the two. If you’d like to read more about the places we visited in the Picos de Europa region, check out this post.

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