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Northern Spain trip - any good info?

Bmonck

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Afternoon all
now that summer has arrived in the UK we are thinking of holidays. We (2 grown ups, no kids) are planning a trip along the north coast of Spain - roughly from Bilbao to the west towards Portugal in Aug/Sept this year. So ferry from Portsmouth to Bilbao and then drift along the coast for some walking, fishing, bird watching, etc. We are thinking of 2-3 weeks so we have some time.
I was wondering if anyone has done this area and has recommendations on campsites, 4WD tracks, B&B's, state run Paradores, fly fishing spots, etc
Any other rules, regulations etc to be aware of? Anything to definitely avoid?

So far we are planning on Picos de Europa national park as the main goal
Spain map.JPG

All ideas , thoughts, welcome as always.
cheers
 

ratrace

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i am off to that area in sptember but my trip is for off roading only
 

stumog

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A coruna is amazing was there in jan. Loved it hope to go back at some point. The area is amazing lots of trails that go off in everyway.
 

Rodger

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Recently only one trail in the Picos National Park is open for 4x4, bikes, etc but you will need to check nearer the time as all motor vehicles are band (other than on tarmac) in the NPs and this is an exception. But being Spain they could change their mind!

Regards,
Rodger
 

Mojo

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Just be aware that places will be busy, but there are plenty of things to do and see. In no order I recommend:
1. Sotres as a base for the Picos. And do the Cares Gorge hike - quite spectacular
2. Check out a great beach called Esteiro in Galicia. Great wild camping, just find the track on the south of the estuary.
3. Worth tracking Iberian wolves in Peneda-Geres National Park on Portugal/Spanish Border
4. Try and have a nosy around the Lemoniz Nuclear Power Station that is abandoned - i managed to sneak in and wild camp there - too many seagulls and eerie.
5. Lots of wild camping & tracks all along the coast - easy to explore. Galicia is great driving country.
6. Good surfing e.g Mundaka Wave
7. Plenty more....
 
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Mojo

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Don't be shy - keep them coming :D[/QUOTE]

OK. One more.. Cathedral Beach (at low tide). It's near Ribadeo/Galicia.
 

Bmonck

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Gents thanks a ton for the ideas.

i am off to that area in sptember but my trip is for off roading only
we can always be tempted to do some off road too so please let me know if there are some nice places you would recommend

A coruna is amazing was there in jan. Loved it hope to go back at some point. The area is amazing lots of trails that go off in everyway.
Great will add this Stumog. by the way any maps/ navigation systems that are good at showing the off road routes?

Recently only one trail in the Picos National Park is open for 4x4, bikes, etc but you will need to check nearer the time as all motor vehicles are band (other than on tarmac) in the NPs and this is an exception. But being Spain they could change their mind!

Regards,
Rodger
yes was more thinking of hikes here.

Just be aware that places will be busy, but there are plenty of things to do and see. In no order I recommend:
1. Sotres as a base for the Picos. And do the Cares Gorge hike - quite spectacular
2. Check out a great beach called Esteiro in Galicia. Great wild camping, just find the track on the south of the estuary.
3. Worth tracking Iberian wolves in Peneda-Geres National Park on Portugal/Spanish Border
4. Try and have a nosy around the Lemoniz Nuclear Power Station that is abandoned - i managed to sneak in and wild camp there - too many seagulls and eerie.
5. Lots of wild camping & tracks all along the coast - easy to explore. Galicia is great driving country.
6. Good surfing e.g Mundaka Wave
7. Plenty more....

Mojo great list many thanks. Deffo have the Cares hike on our list. i really like the idea of the ex Nuc Power Stn too. Any particular maps/nav showing the tracks you talk about round the coast. We really like wild camping. by the way is that legal/illegal in Spain? or is everyone just very relaxed about it?
 

stumog

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I was working in the area so was just following my nose...

Sorry
 

Rodger

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Wild camping in Spain:
Wild camping in Spain is complicated. There is a “mother law” Article 46.1 of the order for July 28th which states that:

“Apart from tourist camp sites no more than three tents of caravans may be placed at the same location, nor should there be more then 10 campers, nor may the camp be in place for more than three days. Tents and (caravans) within 500 meters of each other are considered to be part of the same group.”

The law also states that it is prohibited to free camp within 200 meters of the sea, within a few kilometers of military installations, within a few kilometers of a regular camp site, and in protected areas like national parks, natural parks, bird sanctuaries called ‘ZEPA’s, (Zona Excepcional de Protección de Avifauna), etc.

However, there is the new law under the Spanish Constitution of 1978, which created seventeen ‘autonomous regions’ each with considerable, though varying, powers to make their own legal codes with their own territory.

Under these new laws, wild camping in Spain is COMPLETELY PROHIBITED in: Andalucía, Aragón, Asturias, Extremadura, Galicia, Navarra, Valencia

These areas have their own laws/permit requirements for wild camping: Cantabria, Murcia, La Rioja.

These areas fall under national rules and wild camping IS permitted: Basque Country, Cataluña, Madrid, Castilla y León, Castilla la Mancha. But in these areas you still can’t camp near the beach, in national parks, protected areas, etc. Also, a lot of the land is privately owned, so you’d have a hard time finding anywhere that would even fall into the permitted wild camping areas.

You can read more about wild camping in Spain here. In the linked article, it says that the fine for illegal camping is 30 euros per square meter of space used, per day. However, this link says that the fine is up to 5000 euros!

If you are just looking for a place to camp for free but not necessarily wild, this article has recommendations.

I’d avoid making a fire while wild camping in Spain. The locals might turn a blind eye to wild campers in some areas, but the risk of forest fire is very real and the fire will likely quickly attract police!

Wild camping in Portugal is illegal.

Potes is a good base for the Picos and there is a campsite 2 km from Fente De and a cable car can take you to the summit. We did this years ago and then hiked down - from memory about 6 hours except we cheated as a guy in a 45 gave us a lift in the pickup bed for the last third but that was when you could off-road throughout the Picos.

Rodger
 

Bmonck

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Rodger that is incredibly helpful information. I really appreciate you taking the time to write that out and include the links.
This forum is really exceptional. Again and again it is a source of great info and help.
Thanks again.
 

wobbly

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I'm aiming for a week on the Galician coast after the Portugal trip in October, watching and note taking also :)
 

froggy Steve

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We hid behind a hedge and wild camped in Portugal - good job we had an early start though - the local hunters had just arrived! The local campsite was awful. Thousands of camping cars 6" apart. yuk yuk yuk!
 

Rodger

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Galicia in October...
Take wet weather gear including wellies.
Take warm clothing - average daily high 13 C
It is very green because it is the rainy part of Spain and the rains really start in October.
It gets the winds off the Atlantic too.

Being prepared is part of the journey. Enjoy.

Regards,

Rodger
 
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