Mountain Biking – Cycling

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Cantabria is a fantastic area for mountain biking having endless fire trails and unpaved roads passing through stunning scenery.  Bring your own bike or we can set you up with a professional tour with English speaking guides. A guide is a good option to find the best routes and not get lost, and is great fun.

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The interior of Cantabria towards the south is very interesting and mountainous with very steep climbs along the Cordillera Cantabrica.  Along the coast and in between is flat but also has pretty farming areas with lots of rivers.  There are many options for all skill levels.

Unfortunately, Cantabria has very limited information and development of this spectacular biking potential, so we have listed below a few bike paths and some links to routes to ride.

1) Easy mountain biking for the whole family. Only minutes away from our apartments (by car) is the Valdearenas Liencres Dunes Natural Park on the other side of the river from Mogro.  It has some nice trails through the pine forest, as well as some single tracks, that end up on the beach.  A very pretty, easy gradual slope. You can continue along the coast towards the town of Liencres along the cliffs to the beach of Arnia (see Seven Beaches route below), or bike up the La Picota mountain behind the forest where there are bunkers from the Civil War. There are two options where to park your car, either the upper parking near the main road and ride down, or park at the beach and ride up.

liencres forest dunas liencres

2) Easy mountain biking. “Costa Quebrada Siete Playas” (Fractured Coast Seven Beaches) route.  An extension of the Valdearenas forest route along the sea towards Playa Arnia to the east. Spectacular rugged coastline views.

“Siete Playas” route

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3) Easy bike path. “Bici Carril Suances a Corrales de Buelna” is an official bike path.  Very comfortable and no cars.  Starting from the Playa La Concha beach at Suances, the asphalt trail runs along the river Besaya 20 kilometers or so through to Torrelavega, Cartes and eventually to Los Corrales de Buelna. You can return the same way or if you want to continue upwards, there are further roads and trails towards the Cordillera Cantabrica.
“Bici Carril Suances – Corrales de Buelna” route

4) Easy bike path. The official bike path “Via Verde de Pas” from Maliaño to Puente Viesgo. Once you get to Puente Viesgo you can continue on the bici carril “Via San Vicente de Toranzo” bike path south to Alceda.  If you want more, climb the very steep and twisty “Escudo” road over the pass to the Embalse de Ebro lake. Very beautiful.
“Via Verde de Pas” route
http://mtbcantabria.blogspot.com.es/2007/11/maliao-puente-viesgo.html
http://bicisenderistasnovatas.wordpress.com/2008/09/08/via-verde-del-pas-cantabria/

5) Easy road biking. Mogro to Renedo along the “Rio Pas” river.  Leaving from the apartments in Mogro on your bike ride left towards the freeway, over the freeways bridge, and continue south following the river through Puente Arce. Here you can do a loop by going on one side of the river to Renedo and then return on the other side.  Very pretty, but watch out for cars on the road. From Renedo you can also join onto the “bici carril” bike path that goes to Maliaño.

6) Easy bike path. Santander coastline from the city center to Cabo Mayor lighthouse. Urban biking but comfortable along the bike path passing Puerto Chico marina, Playa de Los Peligros beach (glimpse of the Hotel Real and Botin mansion above), a loop into the Palace de la Magdalena royal palace park and small zoo, along the Sardinero beaches (passing the Casino, hotels and restaurants along the beach waterfront), climbing up to the cliffs to the Cabo Menor golf course and beach coves, and out to the Cabo Mayor lighthouse.  Spectacular views looking back at Santander and across to Somo beach with the Isla Mauro lighthouse on the island in the center of the bay. You can continue westward along the cliffs as far as you want to extend the ride.

7) Moderate trail. Monte Buciero loop in Santoña.  A breathtaking route around the rocky mountain of Monte Buciero that rises out of the sea at Santoña.  This is one of the most beautiful places on the Cantabrian coast with the path following the huge cliffs around the mountain.  You can also walk down 760 steps to Caballo lighthouse right above the waterline, and Pescador lighthouse near the El Dueso prison.

monte buciero2 monte buciero

8) Moderate local mixed biking. Mogro Beach – Robayera Beach – Cuchia Beach – Usgo Beach – Tubos de Solvay – Mogro loop. Via road and gravel trails this local route can be modified to your desired distance. To shorten it, ride from Mogro to Miengo then out to Playa Robayera beach out on the point across the bay from Mogro. Bike to “Playa Marzán” Cuchia beach area along the park where there are walking bridges and sand dunes near the beach, then into the “Cantera de Cuchia” abandoned quarry behind it which is now a natural area. Lots of waterfowl in the lakes and variations of trails. Follow the “tubos de Solvay” gravel trail which runs from the Cantera to the mining factory Solvay near Polanco. (To shorten the ride, head to Playa de Usgo beach along the “tubos” trail, then towards Miengo and Mogro.) Return the same way or ride to Mar then Mogro over the hills on the country road for the full route.

9) Difficult mixed biking. Peña Cabarga is the mountain on the south side of the bay of Santander.  It is a steep twisting climb up the auto road to the summit. Good workout.  Can be shortened by starting at the base of Peña Cabarga, riding up the road to the top, the riding off-road westward downhill along mixed trails to the main road along the freeway below.
http://mtbcantabria.blogspot.com.es/search/label/03-MALIA%C3%91O-PE%C3%91A%20CABARGA

peña cabarga peña cabarga view

9)Difficult mountain mixed biking loop. Sierra de Somo loop around Pico Enguinza. This route can be the one shown in the map below starting in Sarón or shortened by starting in Rubalcaba. See more images of the area where we have our “Cabaña Idillo” mountain cabin for rent.

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10) Difficult mountain biking loop. Rubalcaba Sierra de Somo loop. A variation to the west of the previous Sierra de Somo loop.

 

 

11) Difficult road cycling. San Roque de Rio Miera – Pozos de Noja – El Carcabal – San Roque de Rio Miera loop. A road cycling loop in the Miera valley.  Tough ascents with lots of switchbacks, but remote and beautiful valley views.

12) Difficult road cycling. Lierganes to San Roque de Rio Miera then up to El Puerto de Lunada.  Very steep climb from San Roque up to the pass of Lunada at the top of the Cordillera Cantabrica, but extremely beautiful. Demanding.

13) Difficult road cycling. Another variation is through San Roque de Rio Miera over the El Caracol mountain pass.

14) Difficult road cycling. Reinosa to Alto Campoo ski resort. If you have the time, and want to travel a long distance you can bike, drive or take the train up to Reinosa.  Starting in Reinosa there is a “bici carril” bike path going to the west towards the ski resort Alto Campoo.  Once the road starts to climb from the town of Entrambasaguas, you have to get on the regular car road and climb up to the small ski resort above Brañavieja.  Above is the mountain Pico Tres Mares, the source of the Ebro river that makes its way to the Mediterranean Sea.  This is a great workout and good views.

15) Difficult road cycling. Ason Valley loop.  This is very beautiful and lots of elevation changes. A difficult but interesting loop. You can cut the loop shorter by going directly from Ramales to the Collado del Ason without going on the N-629.

There are many more rides Cantabria, including in the Cabuerniga valley and the Picos de Europa area.  Best to research them on the internet or buy a guide book. Don’t forget your camera!

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