If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact [email protected]

Ferry to Bilbao - route advice?

  • 20-11-2022 11:36am
    Registered Users Posts: 649 ✭✭✭

    I see there is a new ferry to Bilbao that will take bikes. Any advice on a route for about a week - maybe around 800 - 1,000k. I’d prefer something less touristy than the coast - small towns etc with hostels and cheap-ish accommodation.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,533 ✭✭✭Trekker09

    Why not try the Camino route to Santiago? Plenty of cheap accommodation

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,550 ✭✭✭Large bottle small glass

    Even if you follow the coast it's going to be hard cycling at a guess 15m/km elevation.

    If you are going to be going cycling inland it's going to be even harder. Even you are in full touring mode or credit card you won't be doing any great speed.

    I'd be inclined to figure how many hours a day I want to cycle, and multiply that by your average speed in hilly terrain.

    I did a 700km plus spin over 3 days along the coast with over 10000m climbing credit card touring in 2015 and it nearly killed me 😃.

    I found the coastal route really pretty, quite for the most part ( there's a parallel motorway) and the town's and villages very pleasant civilised. If your idea of coastal tourism in Spain is what you might get in Andulicia, this area is very different. I'd love to go back.

    Be able to speak Spanish somewhat would be great as there will be very little menu etc in English or people able to speak it.

    As for route, once you have your distance, do a loop and mix up coastal with inland to the uplands.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,206 Mod ✭✭✭✭Weepsie

    Is there? From southampton yes, but the one from Ireland refuses foot and bike passengers unless something has changed

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,206 Mod ✭✭✭✭Weepsie


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 327 ✭✭Exiled1

    Bilbao is a great starting point for a week's cycling. Be warned.

    Northern Spain, including Basque country, Asturias, Galicia has a very different climate to elsewhere in Spain. Lots of rain (cf. very green landscape). So you need to be careful about when you travel.

    The coastline route is quite hilly as are the inland routes. However you will be treated respectfully by Spanish drivers and the roads are better surfaced than Ireland.

    As for routes... Lots of good ones either East or West of Bilbao if you choose to stay there. South around Vittoria Gasteiz is excellent too.

  • Registered Users Posts: 470 ✭✭selwyn froggitt

    Ride to Roscoff (1200km) and get the ferry home 😉

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,740 ✭✭✭brownian

    Ride to Girona via the Pyrenees, and catch a Ryanair home

  • Registered Users Posts: 482 ✭✭benneca1

    I cycled that route last summer or at least Roscoff to Bayonne nice route and lots of campsites to do it on the cheap

  • Registered Users Posts: 78 ✭✭cyfac

    I looked into the ferry before booking my summer tour it was pretty expensive and time consuming so I ended up just booking g flights half the price with more time for cycling

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 649 ✭✭✭TGD

    I'm now looking at doing full-road alternatives of sections of the Camino routes - plenty of accommodation guaranteed

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,303 ✭✭✭Daroxtar

    There's a good few Camino options along that coast with plenty of off shoots well worth checking. You could turn at Unquera and go up through the Hermida Gorge to join the Camino Lebaniego up to the Monastery de Santa Toribio, then continue up the Puerto San Glorio before descending back to Cangas Di Onis. You'd be hard pressed find a finer days cycling anywhere than that .

    As already said, there's not much flat road in the area. Even if the profile looks flat it's literally all up and down. Think west of Ireland on steroids.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,722 ✭✭✭Fann Linn

    I took the car and bike on that ship 18 months ago, the Connemara, drove to Luz Saint Saveur in the French Pyrenees and based myself there for 12 nights and did the Tourmalet, Luz Ardiden, Givarnie, and a good few more. Breath taking scenery, waterfalls, cirque lakes etc.

    Only for a few family weddings this year I'd be heading back. Drive from Bilbao to base in Luz took approx 4/4.30 hours at a steady pace with a few stops.

  • Registered Users Posts: 649 ✭✭✭TGD

    This looks great - please don’t be shy about any other suggestions!

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,978 ✭✭✭Seaswimmer

    you didn't say whether you intend returning by ferry but as mentioned above you could do worse than cycle south east to Pamplona or south to Logrono and pick up the Camino proper. Pleasant cycling with a couple of mountainous days towards the end. Well serviced with cheap accommodation. Cheap flights back with Aer Lingus from Santiago and a shop in Santiago that will box your bike and organise a taxi to the airport. Probably about 900km in total.

    You could do the Camino el Norte from Bilbao through Oviedo but I haven't done it. I would imagine it is slightly harder..

    Personally I would fly out and take the ferry home. That way you don't have to worry about boxing your bike on the way home.

  • Registered Users Posts: 649 ✭✭✭TGD

    Thanks - might be worth thinking about (flying out and ferry back). The main reason for taking the ferry is to avoid the palaver of airports. Plus, I’m in Kerry and flights from Dublin usually mean on (expensive) overnight in Dublin. But that flight is mid-day and could work. Then again, I’d have the problem of transporting a boxed bike on train and bus to the airport! I’ll think about it tho.