North of Spain in a Van

We have been lucky enough to explore this van friendly coast on various occasions, all the way from the Basque Country to Galicia. This is by far the most wild coast of the country. Kilometres of coastline that you can have almost to yourself; what  a treat!

Asturias was our favourite van place because of the quiet and unbelievable views.

And the food, OMG the food in the north of Spain is something you can’t miss out on.

Asturias by Van

Asturias is a great place to visit by van. You can drive on lovely coast roads with amazing views, stop for lunch on the beach, and find a place to park your van relatively easy.

 

When thinking of Asturias, cows and green fields come to mind. And the most stunning coastline. It’s a remote place, but possibly one of the most beautiful we’ve ever seen… and that’s normally what you are looking for in Vanlife. 

It’s far from anywhere and everywhere, not crowded, and honestly feels like you are in a different world. The scenery is unbelievably wild and untouched by human kind, giving us vanlifers the perfect place to spend beautiful precious time. 

Oh, and as I have mentioned before… the food in Asturias… omg the food… everything is delicious, and so cheap!

Where to go by van in Asturias

A list of the places to go by van in Asturias; or at least the places we have been in our van because I'm sure there are some to still to discover.

 
  • Ribadesella –  Next one after Llanes, Ribadesella is a lively town for Asturias standards. It has many restaurants where you can enjoy some tapas and “sidra” (Spanish cider), for a very good price and great quality. We went to this Sidrería Rompeoals and had an enormous tasty meal. We decided to sleep on the car park of the town (far end) and didn’t seem to have any problems. There is a hight restriction though, so no RVs, but some beautiful sea views.
 
  • Rodiles – Beautiful beach, backed by huge eucalyptus trees, it felt like we were back in Australia. And not only that, when the tide is right, it is a great surf spot. There is a parking area where you can spend the night for a fee. 
 
  • Cudillero – A picturesque fishing town worth the visit, lovely to walk around and explore, maybe have a drink in front of the port. The surrounding coastline of dramatic cliffs and views make for hours of exploring.
 
  • Gijón – The big city in Asturias. A good place to eat, drink, and let the night flow. If you are looking for some excitement after all the calm and quiet, this is the place.
 

Discovering Cantabria by Van

Cantabria, our latest discovery and new found love. We had always, without meaning, concentrated on the Basque Country and Asturias. Always driving through but never stopping. Boy oh boy was that a mistake. We have still much to discover but we had some of the best times and best food of our trip. It is more lively than Asturias, so if your looking for a bit more of a buzz, this is the place. 

We especially recommend Santander. An incredible city with an amazing food culture, you wouldn’t believe the quality for price… and surfers, you will not be disappointed (unless it’s summer time then you might be) Cantabria has some of the best surf spots in Spain.

Where to go by van in Cantabria

A list of the places to go by van in Cantabria; we haven't been to as many places, but have loved everything so far and can't wait to discover the rest.

  • Santander – We absolutely loved this city. It is worth spending the time to discover, and most important, eat there! The restaurants will not let you down, and if you are into seafood, this is the place for you! Click here to see 48h itinerary that we think is spot on!
 
  • Somo – Very close to Santander, a nice little surf town where (in summer) its fantastic for beginners. Winter on the other hand attracts surfers (experienced) from all around as it has some great surf spots. We slept in the car park in the middle of town with loads of other vans. Just make sure not to stay there more than one night so we don’t hog all the parking spaces. 
 
  • San Vicente de la Barquera – Wow, just wow. This is our favourite place. It is a little piece of paradise on earth. It has some places to park (3€) and spend the night (10€) right on the cliffs. They offer the place, showers and toilets, and you have the most amazing views you can imagine. This is the place you want to be in your van. We’ll let you discover the rest 😉
 
 

For surfers, there are so many places in Cantabria, I think the best thing to do is drive along the coast-road, and basically stop where you deem appropriate. Click here to find the best spots. 

Euskadi - The Basque Country by Van

The Basque Country….I don’t think I have enough space to say everything I would like to say about this place. 

Maybe it’s better if I let you discover it without spoilers. However, I can point you in the right direction, things you can’t miss, like, did you ever hear about the Basque Cheescake? Do you know where the best place to get it is? 

For all of you food-lovers, you’re in for a treat. Eating in the basque country is not only mouth-wateringly good, it is really cheap for the quality you get. So, what are you waiting for, go oder some pintxos and tapas, and wash it down with some crisp fresh Txacolí!

 

Where to go by van in the Basque Country

A list of the places to go by van in the Basque Country; we have been to Euskadi so many times, and still discover new places everytime.

  • San Sebastián – One of our top 3 cities in Spain. San Sebastián has it all. The beaches, the life, the buildings, the food, the parks, the look outs… I could go on forever. In short, it is a very dynamic city with loads of things to do. We would especially recommend visiting the old part of town, where all the best “Pintxos” bars are. You can hop from one to the other and feel like you are in gastronomical heaven. It is also a great place for Surfers. The town center beach La Zurriola is the best place, as it can have different sort of waves for all levels. On the other side, you have the famous beach La Concha, that has beautiful views and a fantastic promenade. 
 
  • Zarautz – A small fishing town that atracts loads of surfers every year. It is a mini version of San Sebastián. It has a fantastic beach, with great waves for all levels. The restaurants in this town spoil you for choice, but one that we keep going back to is Okamika. We absolutely love the food in this place, with some great wine to go with it. The other feature of this town are its two great campsites. Panoramic views over the bay and a nice place to park your van for a couple of chilled days.
 
  • Hondarribia – Also know as Fuenterrabía, is a beautiful little town right next to the boarder with France. We would recommend this place to visit at sunset, as it has a beautiful view of France over the water. After this, the main street is full of little tapas and pintxos bars, and again, a little bar hopping never hurt anyone 😉
 
  • Bilbao – We haven’t been yet! But it is definitely on our list and should be on yours too! Home to the famous Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao is one of Esukadi’s treasures. A big city surrounded by stunning landscapes. We can’t wait!
 
 
 

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