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North West Spain Road Trip: A Unique Coastal Trip to Galicia

Svårighetsgrad

880 km

Distans

7+

Rekom. dagar

Culture, Adventure

Resetyp

Carlos Peñalba

Freelance travel writer and photographer who has lived in London and New York. He spent 18 months backpacking throughout Asia. His travel memoir The Year I Became a Nomad narrates his Asian adventures.

If you're looking for an amazing end to a North West Spain Road Trip then this golden coastline is a must

North West Spain Road Trip Itinerary: Bilbao to Porto

Head on a North West Spain road trip, an experience bound to be special. Spain's Atlantic coast is full of charming fishing villages and unspoilt beaches. Besides, food in Northern Spain is renowned for being one of the best in the country without being expensive. 

As your campervan heads west from Bilbao alongside the rugged coast, you’re greeted with views of the brave sea to the right and green mountains to the left. No buzzing Mediterranean coast here, but instead a rewarding combination of unspoilt nature, quaint villages, and historical sites.

For travellers looking for a unique trip, Cantabria, Asturias, and Galicia are the regions of Spain most promising.

If you're looking for an amazing end to a North West Spain Road Trip then this golden coastline is a must
Pick-up in
Bilbao Depot
1

San Vicente de la Barquera, a typical fishing village

San Vicente de la Barquera is one of Cantabria´s most beautiful villages. It’s a historical fishing village located next to the green slopes of Oyambre National Park. 

The village’s old quarter has been declared a Historical Site. San Vicente’s famous estuary of sandy beaches makes an ideal first stop on this North West Spain road trip

A typical fishing village on this North West Spain Road Trip

Pick up your campervan in Bilbao and drive west to San Vicente through the excellent free A-8 motorway. Spend half a day visiting Santillana del Mar, one of Spain’s oldest and better-preserved villages.

Santillana is just 40 km away from San Vicente, and besides its charming stone houses, it’s mostly known for the Altamira Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Halfway between the two villages, Comillas is worth a short visit too. It’s a charming aristocratic villa set on rolling hills that shelter a secluded port and a beautiful beach.

Famous architect Antonio Gaudí built a modernist palace in Comillas, known as El Capricho (The Caprice). Kids will love its fairytale architecture.

Besöka

San Vicente de la Barquera

1 - 2

Rekom. dagar

Huvudväg

150 km

1h30m

from Bilbao

drive

You can find Indie Campers RV rentals in more than 40 different cities and destinations across Europe.

Besök

Forestal Park Bilbao

Climb rocks and walk ropes before driving off

Santillana del Mar

Village of cobbled streets and medieval marvels

Comillas

Old aristocratic villa with stunning architecture

Ät på

Las Redes

€€€

Good seafood, local institute

Indie Campers has a fleet of 1200 camper vans and RV available for rental as well as an integrated marketplace for private and professional rental.

Parkering

Estación de Autobuses

Free

Waterfront parking lot with motorhomes

Bo på

Parking las Hazas

Motorhome parking in Cobreces with facilities

2

Enjoy the Coast and Mountains of Ribadesella

The province of Asturias is famous for its wonderful landscapes. Ribadesella is a small coastal town ideal for exploring not only the coast, but also the nearby mountains. 

Picos de Europa National Park is less than an hour away, and offers several hiking routes suited for all fitness levels that start from the Covadonga Lakes.

Ribadesella is a great spot for enjoying the beach, strolling around its old streets, or kayaking on the Sella River.

The coastal town Ribadesella in Asturias is a stop on this North West Spain Road Trip

From San Vicente de la Barquera, get back to the A-8 motorway and continue your North West Spain road trip until you meet the Ribadesella exit. The fishing village is split in half by the Sella river delta, forming the spectacular Santa Marina beach. 

Ribadesella´s old flamboyant architecture reminds us of the times when it was a buoyant town thanks to the Indianos, returning emigrants who had made their fortune in the Americas.

Besöka

San Vicente de la Barquera

2+

Rekom. dagar

Huvudväg

65 km

45 min

from San Vicente de la Barquera

drive

You can find Indie Campers RV rentals in more than 40 different cities and destinations across Europe.

Besök

Cangas de Onis

Gateway to the mountains, don't miss its Roman bridge

Covadonga Lakes

Two glacial lakes surrounded by stunning scenery

Ät på

Sidreria el Tarteru

€€€

Typical local cider place

Indie Campers has a fleet of 1200 camper vans and RV available for rental as well as an integrated marketplace for private and professional rental.

Parkering

Calle Marqueses de Argüelles

Free

Public parking next to the river

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Ribadesella Motorhome Parking

Free

Campervan area, 5 spots available

3

Amazing hilltop views in Castropol

Castropol is an enchanting fishing village that overlooks the river Eo’s estuary from the top of a hill with splendid views of the river mouth. The Eo’s Estuary is a protected nature reserve for its marine ecosystem, as it’s one of the most important wetlands in Northern Spain.

Located on the Northern Route of the Way of St James, Castropol is the last village of Asturias before this North West Spain road trip enters the Galicia region.

The coast of Castropol in Galicia is beautiful and a certain stop on your North West Spain Road Trip

Just a few minutes away to the north of Castropol, Playa de Peñarronda is a gorgeous wild beach the shape of an elongated shell, a round rock in the centre lending the beach its name.

Across the bridge over the Eo River sits Ribadeo, Galicia´s very first town. From there, head west just 15 minutes in your campervan to reach one of Spain’s most famous beaches, Playa de la Catedrales (Beach of the Cathedrals). While pretty around the clock, visit the beach during low tide to fully appreciate its natural arches and caves.

Besöka

Castropol

1 - 2

Rekom. dagar

Huvudväg

190 km

2 hr

from Ribadesella

drive

You can find Indie Campers RV rentals in more than 40 different cities and destinations across Europe.

Besök

Ribadeo

Old Galician town just across the bridge

Playa de la Catedrales

Magnificent cliffs and picturesque sea caves

Ät på

Meson La Santina

Great views of the estuary

Indie Campers has a fleet of 1200 camper vans and RV available for rental as well as an integrated marketplace for private and professional rental.

Parkering

Town centre

Free

public parking across town

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Tapia de Casariego

10 km away on the north coast

4

Wander the sacred streets of Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the Galicia region. The city’s origin is the shrine of Saint James the Great, now the Cathedral of Santiago and final destination of the Way of St. James, a pilgrimage route since the 9th century. 

Santiago’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and welcomes thousands of pilgrims and tourists to its well-preserved stone streets every year. It’s a must on any North West Spain road trip for culturalists, historians and travellers alike.

Catch the sunrise over Santiago de Compostela on your North West Spain Road Trip

The cathedral is Santiago’s main attraction. Recently refurbished, it’s a stunning piece of architecture, particularly its towers and the Portico de la Gloria, the cathedral’s main entrance.

Because there’s much more to see in Santiago, consider giving your legs a break (and the kids a great time!) by hopping on the tiny tourist train that runs through the hilly town. Santiago is a university town, hence it’s very lively and offers plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from.

Besöka

Castropol

1

Rekom. dagar

Huvudväg

195 km

3 hr

from Castropol

drive

You can find Indie Campers RV rentals in more than 40 different cities and destinations across Europe.

Besök

The cathedral

Impressive architecture containing the tomb of St. James

Museum of the Galician People

Colourful puppets, pipe bags, and wooden clogs

Ät på

Abastos 2.0

€€

Next to the food market

Casa Felisa

€€

Beautiful garden

Bico de Xeado

€€

Best artisan ice cream in town

Indie Campers has a fleet of 1200 camper vans and RV available for rental as well as an integrated marketplace for private and professional rental.

Parkering

Parking Catedral

€€

Big parking lot near cathedral

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Milladoiro Motorhome Parking

€€

Bus to the centre every 15 min

5

Breathe the Galician coast on Illa de Arousa

Your final destination on this North West Spain road trip, the Galician coast is truly unique. Its long and deep estuaries, locally called rias, are not only of extreme beauty but also hold some of the best seafood in the world. Galicia’s long coast is divided between the Rias Altas and Rias Baixas.

Ria de Arousa is one of the main rias in the lower section, and Illa de Arousa, the island at the centre of the estuary, is the perfect place to park your campervan and enjoy this privileged location.

End this North West Spain Road Trip at the edge of Galicia

On the southern tip of the island is Carreiron Natural Park, great for a short family stroll. There are some secluded beaches with pristine waters within the park. On the mainland, Cambados is an old town worth a visit.

From there, head south towards another island: Illa da Toxa, one of Galicia´s most famous tourist areas. Visit the nearby Lanzada beach and the O´Grove peninsula for a complete family day out.

Bonus: spend a day in Porto, Portugal before returning your van at the Porto depot!

Besöka

Castropol

2+

Rekom. dagar

Huvudväg

65 km

1 hr

from Santiago de Compostela

drive

You can find Indie Campers RV rentals in more than 40 different cities and destinations across Europe.

Besök

Cambados

Contemplate the Pazo de Fefiñanes, typical old Galician palace

O´Grove & Illa da Toxa

Take the kids to O´Grove Aquarium

Ät på

O' Triskel

€€

All about seafood

Indie Campers has a fleet of 1200 camper vans and RV available for rental as well as an integrated marketplace for private and professional rental.

Parkering

Parking AC

Free

Parking just after crossing the bridge

Bo på

Camping Salinas

€€

Next to Carreiron National Park

Drop-off in
Porto Depot

210 km

from Illa de Arousa

2h20m

drive

Indie Campers
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