10 Things to Do in Northern Spain
In 2017, Travel and leisure ranked Spain as the world’s best vacation destination based on a survey report done by the World Economic Forum. The country’s natural beauty, as well as its cultural majesty, make it a top priority on most people’s must-visit bucket lists. With over 5,000 miles of coastline, the country boasts of the best beaches in Europe. Also, Spain has several ancient sites that tell of a rich history. While you may not know where to start on your holiday in Spain, here is our list of top 10 adventures that you may not want to miss.
1. Surfing - Ferrol, Playa de Doninos, Galicia
Surfing at the Doninos beach is nothing short of a dream getaway for any lover of water sports. The Galician region in Northwest Spain is known for its good surf conditions during the summer and powerful swells during winter. The Playa de Doninos has consistent surf whose best swell direction is from West to Northwest. A Galicia surf is recommended around low tide, especially for learners.
The Camp Doninos is one of the Galicia surf camps available, located 500 meters from Doninos Beach and provides a variety of accommodation options and surfing lessons. They have a team of experienced surf guides to ensure that your adventure is both fun and safe. The camp provides an excellent natural environment for those seeking to learn how to surf or want to improve their surfing technique. The adults’ camp takes place in July and August. For as little as 498 Euros per person, you can book your holiday today and get to acquire a new skill.
2. Skating - La madriguera, Ferrol, Galicia
La Madriguera is dedicated to skating and urban culture. La Madriguera Skate School located in Ferrol can give you an opportunity to learn a new skill while on holiday. The school provides skating classes for both kids and adults. You will meet Nacho, who owns the school, he is an incredible good skater and has a warm soul, you will definitley enjoy with him! Ferrol is worth visiting for it's endless nature and adventure playgroud located in the northern Galician region.
Ferrol has some of the largest installations of the Spanish navy and is also home to the Castillo de San Felipe, an ancient defensive port. The town is also Dictator Francisco Franco’s birthplace and last resting place. Tourists can see the house he was born in as well as his final resting place in the Valle de Los Caidos mausoleum. Ferrol. If you enjoy learning, you can plan an adventure holiday in Ferrol to know more about galician culture and improve your skating technique.
3. Mountain biking - Ribeira sacra MTB, Galicia
A nice biking trip in the mountains is not only an escape from the day to day city life but is also a sporting activity that keeps you fit. The region of Galicia has several mountain bike routes. The most common routes include the one from Pontecesures to Santiago de Compostella, from Balona to Pontecesures, from Pontevedra to Pontecesures and from Palas de Rel to Santiago de Compostella.
Climbing up these tracks is an intense sport which will push your body to the limit. On the way back down, you get to enjoy the surrounding flora and fauna, not to mention natural rock sections and exposed roots. Additionally, the region has several historical buildings, such as an ancient cloister that’s situated at the foot of Mount Castrove. You may choose to stop at these locations on your biking trip to have a rest while still learning something new.
The Ribeira Sacra MTB Centre
The Ribeira Sacra MTB Centre helps in organizing mountain biking trips from the banks of the Sil to the peaks of Cabeza da Meda Mountains. The centre is located in the Sil River Canyon. Mountain Biking with The Ribeira Sacra centre gives you an opportunity to explore the beautiful municipalities of Parada de Sil and Nogueira de Ramuin which is filled with native forests, canyons, mountain villages, and Romanesque style churches and monasteries.
The region also has a rich heritage which would interest you to know even on your adventure holiday. The biking trips use five main routes namely the Maquino Largano route, the Circular de Nogueira de Ramuin route, the Circular de Parade de Sil route, the Os Torgais route, and the Fabrica de Luz route. The Maquino Largano and the Fabrica da Luz routes are the most challenging. The centre helps in organizing accommodation which comes in varying packages ranging from hotels to self-accommodation. For as little as 600 euros, you can plan your sporting adventure with Ribeira Sacra MTB centre today!
4. Climbing - Picos de Europa National Park, Pico Urriellu, Asturias
The Picos de Europa National Park is known to be the first National Park in Spain. Historically, the National Park is considered to be a very important site in Spain. Additionally, the ‘Reconquista’ began here with King Pelayo of Asturias and the Battle of Covadonga. There is a wide variety of wildlife including the Cantabrian Brown Bear, the Spanish Ibex, the Iberian Wolf, and the Western Capercaillie.
The park’ geography is determined by glacier modifications as it is divided into three different massifs that are separated by River Sella, Duje, Deva and Cares. The highest point in the park is 2600 meters high. Wildlife is just one of the tourist attractions in the park. The Marian Shrine in Covadonga is considered top tourist attraction site in Spain and the Cradle of the Reconquista.
The park is also a perfect getaway for anyone seeking a sporting adventure as the Pico Urriellu in Picos de Europa is internationally recognized as one of the best rock climbing sites. Additionally, the park is home to the Cares route which is a 12-kilometer hiking route that is carved in the stones of the gorge of River Cares. There is also the mythological route of Beyu Pen that goes through enchanted forests and provides beautiful scenery of various characters of the Asturian mythology.
Picos de Europa rock climbing in Spain is a dream sports adventure for any rock climber. The classic climbs located on the Naranjo de Bulnes have a mixture of bolted and trad climbing. There are routes on each of the four faces graded between HS and very hard in terms of difficulty. The most popular route is the Elixir Para Calvos, which introduces beginners to Pico’s climbing.
The South Face Direct route on the Naranjo de Bulnes is the original line of descent which has a steep start that eases off to slabby rock as height is gained. La Cepeda route is the most challenging route that is recommended for experienced climbers. There are equipped abseil stations that make your descent relatively easy. The best time to undertake your climbing trip is between July and August.
5. Canoeing - Picos de Europa National Park, Sella River, Asturias
River Sella makes Asturias one of the top holiday destinations for a water sports enthusiast. The 66-kilometer river flows from the Picos de Europa to the Bay of Biscay at Ribadesella. The river is host to The International Descent of Sella River. This is an annual canoe competition that is held on the first Saturday of August. It is one of the largest canoeing competitions worldwide and attracts competitors from across the globe. The race starts at the foothills of the Picos de Europa and has a 20-kilometer stretch that ends at the seaside resort of Ribadesella.
For tourists who wish to take a more recreational rather than competitive approach to their canoeing experience. The common canoeing route starts in Arriondas and stretches down a descent of 6, 10 or 14 kilometers which take between 2 to 5 hours. Canoeing in Spain takes place all year round, though River Sella is often overcrowded during July and August. There are many types of accommodation options for tourists in the area. These include hotels such as Hotel Posada del Valle, organic farms, guesthouses, and camping sites. You can book your canoeing trip on the Sella River with Jaire Aventure from 250 euros.
6. Surfing - Liencres, Cantabria
Visiting Cantabria in Spain should be on your bucket list. This region is located along the Bay of Biscay in Northern Spain. With 220 kilometers of coastline, the area is endowed with over 90 beautiful beaches. It is also home to several historic buildings and prehistoric caves. Almost half of the land in the region lies above 600 meters, with rolling coastal hills rising gradually into the Cantabrian Mountains. Cantabria is a top holiday destination not only for thrill seekers but also for hikers, mountain bikers and water adventurers.
Liencres is a coastal town in Cantabria. With a small population of not more than 4000, it is a hidden gem with beautiful beaches along the 8 kilometers of coastline. The beaches include Pedruquios, Somocueva, La Arnia, Portio, Cerrias, Canallave, and Valdearenas. Liencres, also known as the Playa de Canallave, usually has waves for most of the year except for summer when it tends to be flat.
The most favorable wind blows from the Southeast, and the best swell is from the Northwest. The beach break offers both right hand and left-hand waves. It is advisable for tourists to use the surf forecast Liencres to plan their surfing hours. This way, you are destined to catch the best tides.
7. Surfing and Yoga - Playa Los Locos, Cantabria
Looking for a getaway with your friends? Then the beautiful beaches of Cantabria are the place for you! The beautiful, serene environment in Cantabria makes it a perfect place to do Yoga. Costa Blanca is home to one of the top holiday destination spots throughout the year: Torrevieja. This area has several beaches that will suit your preference whether you want to spend your holiday secluded or surrounded by other beach lovers.
Playa de Los Locos
Playa de Los Locos beach (The Beach of the crazy ones) stretches 760 meters long and 27 meters wide. It is an excellent choice for families as there are several restaurants and bars nearby. You can enjoy a quiet swim and Yoga in the early morning and early evening when the beach is not crowded. Water sports lovers can visit the surf camp in Cantabria which offers tranquility and intimacy with nature. They offer accommodation and help you organize your surfing schedules such that you can catch the best waves at Los Locos and La Concha. The facility accommodates a maximum of 20 people for eight days.
8. Surfing - San Vicente de la Barquera, Cantabria
San Vicente de la Barquera is the final town in the Western Cantabrian coast before you enter Asturias. It is backed by the mountain capes of Picos de Europa. It is well known for its local fish port and exquisite seafood restaurants. The town has a beautiful beach that is located on the east side of the river and is flanked by a small forest.
The beach has decent surf that works all year round, making it a top holiday destination for surfers. The ideal swell angle is from the Northwest. Waves here break both left and right. You can best enjoy surfing when there is a low tide. Tourists can use the surf forecast to plan their surfing trip. The area has a wide variety of accommodation including Hotel Miramar and Dreamsea Surf camp. You can book your trip today with Travel and surf for as low as 20 Euros.
9. Surfing - Mundaka, Pais Vasco, Basque Country
The Mundaka surf spot is often described as a left-hand dream barrel with one of the best river mouth waves in the world. Its long triangular sandbank catches the strong Northwestern swells to create a flawless tube with rides of up to 200 meters. The final section of the wave frequently offers hollow cylinders with less crowd pressure. However, the waves here rarely last more than two days while this wave is only reliable for about 50 days a year.
The wave is next to the village of Mundaka which has excellent facilities and friendly residents. Hotel Mundaka stands out for its commitment to environmental conservation. They also help in organizing surfing classes for their visitors in the surrounding area. Mundaka also has Hotel El Puerto, Hotel Atalaya, and Bungalows Portuondo which provide accommodation options that you can book for about 44 euros.
10. Skating - Skatepark Algorta
One of the most approachable sections of the skatepark is the 4-foot bowl with mellow roll in and bending and a downhill quarter-pipe along the western edge.A more challenging section has a large bowl with a daunting concrete half pipe and a touch of over- vert. It has a classic kidney bowl deep end that is around 12 feet deep with pool coping and little obstacles that go up the quarterpipe in the bowl tray area.
Located at the heart of Basque Country, is a perfect skating location that connects vibrations of snow and surf. La Kantyera in Algorta is nestled in historic ruins on the edge of a cliff which gives it a unique yet intriguing beauty. The park has a rich graffiti culture that infuses art and sport. The park presents street features with a technical approach and transitions of varying difficulty.Image Credit : Luis Marcos Marcos on Google
La Kantera Invitational
The skatepark hosts an annual pool called La Kantera Invitational. The competition draws international spectators and competitors all competing for a 10000 Euro prize. The unique ruins that are well hidden from the sight of people at the beach also act as a camping site for visitors looking for a closer connection with nature. You have to get up early though, to avoid being arrested by the local police.
In conclusion, Spain is not only a top holiday destination in Europe but also one of the cheapest. Are you planning a summer holiday? Get to experience the Spanish culture and favorite Spanish cuisines for about 78 Euros in some of Spain’s finest hotels. You can book your holiday today with Expedia.