Getting to and From the Classic Cols of the Picos
Start & End Point
Hotel Infantado, Carretera General S/N, 39584 Ojedo, Cantabria, ESPAGNE (Tel: 0034 942730939)
We offer included airport transfers to and from Bilbao and Santander Airports at the start and end of this holiday and there are a wide range of flights available to and from UK regional airports – see the trip Essential Information pdf for all the details.
Airport Choice for Long Haul Travellers
For clients flying from far flung destinations you might want to look at travel:
Madrid is the nearest major international airport for this trip and is served by most of the major airlines. The Spanish national airline, Iberia is also based here, and offers internal flights to both Santander and Bilbao to tie in with our group transfers.
Independent Travel from Bilbao Airport to Potes
Bilbao airport to Bilbao town centre: Some people choose to fly in a few days early to explore Bilbao and the Guggenheim Museum. There are buses every half hour from the airport to the main bus station (Termibus) and the journy take about 30 mins – please have a look at the Termibus website for timetables. There is a left luggage at the bus station, but not the airport.
Bilbao Airport to Potes: Travelling from the airport to the start hotel is possible on public transport but will take a bit of time. You can take a bus from Bilbao to Unquera and then continue by taxi to the hotel in Potes. Timetables and prices are available from ALSA.
Independent Travel from Santander Airport to Potes
Travelling from Santander to the start hotel by bus to Unquera then taxi will take about 2 1/2 hours. There is just one bus in the morning which leaves Santander at 08:30 and arrives in Unquera at about 10:00 with onward travel to the hotel by local taxi. There are several buses in the afternoon leaving Santander at 15:30, 17:00 and 19:30. Timetables and prices are available from ALSA.
Taking the Ferry
It is possible to leave your car at the hotel in Potes for the duration of the holiday, so taking the ferry is a very viable option.
There are a couple of ferry options travelling from Portsmouth or Plymouth to Bilbao or Santander with Brittany Ferries.
The ferry from Portsmouth leaves at 17:00 on the Friday and arrives in Santander at 17:30 on the Saturday. You could either stay overnight in Santander and get picked up by the leaders when they pick up cyclists from the airport or travel by train and taxi to the hotel in Potes. If you wanted to spend a few days in Santander there is a ferry which departs Portsmouth at 17:15 on Tuesday and arrives in Santander at 16:15 on Wednesday.
The other route to Santander is from Plymouth but doesn’t really tie in with our trips. The ferry leaves Plymouth on Sunday afternoon and gets into Santander at 12:15 on Monday. If you wanted to base yourself in Santander for a few days before and after the trip this might be an option.
Brittany Ferries also operate a crossing from Portsmouth to Bilbao leaving Portsmouth on Wednesday at 11:45 and arriving in Bilbao at 12:45 on Thursday. You would need to stay overnight in Bilbao and then travel on by bus or train to Santander then train to Unquera and taxi to the hotel at Potes. Alternatively spend a few days in Bilbao and get picked up by the leaders when they collect cyclists from Bilbao airport.
Taking the Train
Choosing to travel by Train is an environmentally responsible choice and means being able to avoid those queues at check in and the inevitable stress related to Air Travel. There are also some good deals to be had.
Train Travel in France and Spain is easy, cost effective and environmentally friendly. It should consequently be considered as an alternative to flying on all of our holidays. Most of our holidays start and finish in towns with railway stations so you can easily link to anywhere in Europe. It is possible to travel by train from Paris via San Sebastian and Santander but it will take you a couple of days. You could also travel via Madrid with hourly trains from Madrid to Palencia then trains onward to Torrelavega. From here it’s probaby easiest to
Driving can also be a very pleasant option if you have extra time available as this holiday starts and finishes at the same hotel so there is the option of leaving a vehicle there during the week. It can mean savings on costs of transporting bikes, and can relieve worries about taking your bikes on a plane