A Slow Boat To Santander – Cycle Touring Northern Spain

There is something wonderfuly liberating about looking at the blank pages in your diary. No meetings with journalist, no proofs to read, no work to do in for the antique dealer and no schools to talk in. Just clear empty pages with nothing but days of the week, Bank Holidays and numbers. Which means for the first time in a long time, I can get away on my bicycle and take on some real pedal powered culinary exploring. 


The last time the beats was loaded with panniers, in 2008, it was to take to the desert roads of Israel and Egypt in search of the perfect meal, but this time I am taking the slow boat to Santander. Booking a birth on a ferry from Portsmouth this afternoon, after 17 hours of pumping the bilges and rolling on the open ocean, I will  arrive on the Atalantic coast of Northern Spain, home to some of the best Spannish food you can through your Euros at. 

The turbulent waters around Cantabria provide goose barnacles, crab, clams, lobsters, crayfish and king prawns, not to mention squid of the highest quality! There is also sea bream, scorpion fish, anchovies and sardines served roasted on a simple wooden dish and washed down with red wine.


Leaving Cantabria I will cycle for the state of Asturias the farming state where shepherds and fishermen provide some of the best rural cuisine in Europe. Even today many shepherds allow the flocks of sheep to roam the hillsides and to my delight there are over two dozen varieties of cow, sheep and goat’s milk cheeses produced in Asturias. As well as cheese Cider or sidra will be on the menu insuring that I wobble through the snow covered peaks of the Picos de Europa and along the wild coastline in good spirits. My camera and paints are packed so do keep an eye on the blog for updates, recipes and pictures from my ten day ride.


Spanish cheeses

This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 at 11:08 and is filed under Cycle Trips. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed or trackback from your own site. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


  1. Bon voyage and bon appetite.
    As they say in Barnsley…

  2. Have a good journey!
    Your right it is an amazing feeling to look at plain pages in the diary/calendar and think “ah finally I can do what I want!” think we all live for those moments.
    Looking forward to hearing about your experiences

  3. I cycled right across northern Spain last year, it was fantastic! Are you going to be cycling on any part of the Camino De Santiago?

  4. Your blog sounds good and great….
    https://www.yousendit.com/transfer.php? action=batch_download&send_id=817789614&email=7cff47bb7cdcb76fbfa15e66c81a1961

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