picos de europa motorhome

Discover the highlights of northern Spain during your motorhome trip

In the north of Spain you'll find beautiful historic cities like Pamplona, green, jagged coastlines and a culinary offer you can say goodbye to! Explore this region on a motorhome trip and be surprised by the beautiful route, which partly follows the famous pilgrimage route Santiago de Compostela. A total of about ten days on this motorhome route will give you plenty of time to visit all the highlights and locations. If you prefer to stay somewhere longer, then of course you can! Each location has an accommodation location listed, so you don't have to search for long. Vamos!

Northern Spain motorhome

San Sebastián

The first stop during your motorhome journey through northern Spain is San Sabastián. When you arrive after a long drive, it's time for maybe one of the highlights in this city: food! The city is often popularly referred to as the country's gastronomic capital. Not surprisingly so, with as many as nine star restaurants! If you don't prefer a starred restaurant, the city - and the whole of northern Spain - is known for its delicious pintxos. There are real pintxo bars where you can taste these baguettes with a delicacy on them. Besides the delicious food, the Monte Igueldo is another (literally) highlight: from here you have a beautiful view over San Sebastián and the Bay of Biscay, the sea on which the city lies. You can go up by foot or by cable car.

Near the city centre you will spend the night at San Sebastian.

San Sebastian motorhome
- A walk through the green surroundings will give you a wonderful view of San Sebastián!

San Sebastián – Pamplona (82 kilometres)

After all the pintxobarren it is time for the next stop of your motorhome journey through Northern Spain, namely Pamplona. Maybe you know the city The bullring used for these bullfights can also be visited outside the festival. Besides the fact that the city is known for bullfighting, the old town centre is beautiful. Here you will find many old buildings. Also the citadel is worth a visit, it has protected the city in the past and is known as one of the better defences of Europe. Compared to the bustling city centre, the surrounding park is just as peaceful, where the locals like to gather for a picnic or to play football.

In Pamplona you have the choice between Pamplona camper village and Berriozar camper village.

Pamplona motorhome
- The city gate is part of the citadel of Pamplona. 

Pamplona - Logroño (85 kilometres)

A city full of gastronomy: that's Logroño, the next stop of your motorhome journey through northern Spain. The city is in fact the wine capital of the La Rioja wine region and it was declared the gastronomic capital of the country in 2012. In the city you will find plenty of restaurants with delicious (red) wine and delicious food! If you want to learn everything about this (wine) region, you will find the Museo de La Rioja in the city centre. Even if you don't go inside, it is still worthwhile to walk past the museum as it is located in an old palace. With its balconies and ornaments, the building is a real eye-catcher! If you do need a glass of wine after your visit to the museum, then a visit to Marques de Murrieta is definitely worth it! This is one of the most famous wineries in the region, and the bodega is located in Logroño! Here you can of course do a wine tasting and afterwards bring the best wines for the evening in the motorhome.

In Logroño, enjoy your wine in your motorhome at Área de Logroño.

Logroño motorhome
- The Ebro flows through Logroño. The illuminated bridges give a beautiful view during an evening walk!

Logroño – Bilbao (136 kilometres)

After all the culinary delights in Logroño, it's time to move on to modern Bilbao. The city looks like just a small, unknown city compared to Spanish metropolises like Barcelona and Madrid, yet it is known worldwide for its Guggenheim museum. In the museum you'll find works by Picasso and Warhol among others, but for the other highlights you have to be outside! Here you'll find a huge dog, made of about 70,000 flowers, and a giant spider called Maman. So be sure to take a stroll around the museum! The dog and the spider can also be visited if you don't buy a ticket for the museum. Besides the Guggenheim, you will also find the Museum of Fine Arts in Bilbao, where you will find works by Goya and Gauguin, among others. For stunning views of this green part of Spain, take a cable car at Plaza Funikularreko, which drops you off at a height of some 226 metres. From here you can see, as far as you can see, only beautiful green mountains! If after a day strolling through the city you need a snack, there are plenty of (pinxto)bars at Plaza Nueva to relax in before you go back to your motorhome!

You can spend the night near Bilbao at Parking Ibaiondo or Camperstop Kobetamendia.

Bilbao motorhome
- Maman shows off next to the Guggenheim Museum.

Bilbao – Santander (100 kilometres)

From Bilbao continue your motorhome journey to the capital of the province of Cantabria: Santander. The town is perfect for a quiet beach holiday, although the sea here is also well known among surfers. One of the most famous beaches is on the peninsula of La Magdalena, which used to be the summer residence of King Alfons XIII, who was king of Spain from his birth until 1931. This residence is now a luxury hotel and in the surrounding area you can go for lovely walks on the peninsula! There is also a small zoo, so the peninsula is also perfect to visit with children. Although there are many museums in Santander, the Museo marítimo del Cantábrico is definitely worth a visit because here you can learn all about the history of the region with the sea. You will also find a prehistoric museum and the Museum of Fine Arts. At the latter is also a beautiful library, which used to belong to the philosopher Ménedez Pelayo. In this library you will find as many as 41 thousand books! Outside the centre you will find plenty of greenery for a nice walk, but the village of Santillana del Mar is also worth a visit. The main attraction of this village is the cave of Altamira, because here you can find prehistoric rock paintings! In addition, it seems as if you are in the Middle Ages when you walk through the village, among other things through an abbey that dates back to the twelfth century. The village is good to visit before you drive your motorhome to the next stop, Los Picos de Europa, because it is about on the route!

In Santander there are several RV parks, but Área de Las Llamas is closest to the centre.

Santander - Los Picos de Europa (100 -150 kilometres, depending on where you stop)

Attention mountain lovers: the Picos de Europa is a true hiking paradise. A green stop during your motorhome trip after your visit to Santander. Although the mountain range, which is an offshoot of the Pyrenees, looks rugged, suitable walks can be found for all levels. You can opt for a day trip or for a longer trek from mountain village to mountain village. During your hike you will encounter many wild animals: mountain goats, wolves and bears, among others, live in the area. There are also several mountain lakes in the mountains to take a nice dive after a long hike. If you want to take a local delicacy with you on the way, the Calabres cheese is highly recommended. In the municipality of Cabrales, which lies partly in the mountain range, you will find this cheese, which can only be made in this region. It is reminiscent of blue mould cheese and is made from cow's, sheep's and goat's milk.

You can spend the night at camper stop Posada de Valdeón, in the middle of the national park.

Los Picos de Europa – Oviedo (80 kilometres)

From the rugged Picos de Europa you travel by motorhome to the city of Oviedo. Oviedo's most famous landmark is the Santa María del Naranco, a church that is also on the World Heritage list. King Ramiro I, who ruled Asturias from 842 to 850, stayed here during the summer. The palace dates back to the same time and has been converted into a church over the centuries. Although the church is located a few kilometres outside the centre, it is definitely worth a visit! In the centre of Oviedo you will also find the Museum of Fine Arts, where you will find mainly Spanish and Flemish works of art. If you want to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, the Campo de San Francisco city park is a great place to relax. It's big enough for a nice stroll and if you want, you can also walk in to the botanical garden. Don't forget to taste cider in Oviedo at one of the many cider houses, because that's a real speciality of this region! In the Oviedo area you can visit several old churches, including the pre-Romanesque church of San Miguel de Lillo, which is close to the aforementioned Santa María del Naranco.

Spend the night in Oviedo near the Oviedo motorhome stopover.

Oviedo – León (130 kilometres)

From Oviedo you continue by motorhome to León, the capital of the province of the same name. You may also know the city from the autonomous community of Castille and León. Although you might think that León owes its name to the lion - león is the Spanish word for it - the name comes from the Legio Septima Gemina, the 7th Legion of the Romans. They were here in the first century BC. The army camp they set up here marked the beginning of the city of León. León originates from the word Legio. In León you can also enjoy a delicious meal, because in 2018 the city was proclaimed the gastronomic capital of Spain! So be sure to stop by the Plaza Mayor for a drink and some delicious tapas. In the city you will find many beautiful old buildings, including the Gothic Santa Maria de Regla cathedral and the Basilica de San Isidoro. In the latter you will find the Royal Pantheon where royal members of the city are buried in the Middle Ages and various art from this period.

In Léon you will spend the night at the camper village of León.


- Enjoy all the beauty Oviedo has to offer you!

Léon - Santiago de Compostela (320 kilometres)

For the last stop, you may be on the road with the motorhome, but that's not for nothing! You probably know Santiago de Compostela as the end point of the famous pilgrimage Camino de Santiago. During your stay here you will regularly meet tired but fulfilled pilgrims! Who knows, you may also see them with a shell around their neck. These are given to them on arrival when they have walked more than 100 kilometres of the route or when they have cycled more than 200 kilometres. The pilgrims come here because, according to legend, the tomb of Apostle James the Multiple is in Santiago de Compostela. James the Greater was one of the disciples of Jesus. As far as sights are concerned, the cathedral of course stands with one spot on one, because this is the end point for which the pilgrims come to the city. A mass is held every day at 1 pm, especially for the pilgrims. If you want to learn more about the pilgrims, you can visit the Pilgrim's Museum. Here you will learn all about the history of the pilgrims. In the city you will also find the Monasterio de San Martin Pinario, a Benedictine monastery from the 11th century, and the Museo do Pobo Galego, a museum about anthropology and the people of Galicia.

At the end of the Pilgrim's Way to Santiago you can spend the night in a motorhome at Salgueiriños Área de Autocaravanas, but there are plenty of other places to stay in the surrounding villages! To find these you can use the Camperstop-App, CamperstopAdvisor and Trip Planner.

Santiago de Compostela motorhome

- A hiker on the way to Santiago de Compostela.

Extra tips for northern Spain

These locations are located on or around the route, and are also well worth a visit!

- Burgos

The city of Burgos is full of beautiful old buildings, including the Monasterio de las Huelgas, a beautiful and impressive monastery where the Cistercian nuns, who are dedicated to Mary, live. The Castillo de Burgos, which is a castle ruin, the medieval city gate Arco de Santa Maria and the cathedral of Burgos, which was built more than 300 years ago, are also worth a visit. In the city you will find many more gems, which makes it worthwhile to visit during your motorhome trip through the northern part of Spain!

You can spend the night in Burgos free of charge at this official motorhome stopover.

- Gijón

In Gijón you will find one of the largest ports in the north of Spain. The historic centre is located in the fishing district. In Gijón you can eat delicious fish! You will find several beaches in the city for a nice day at the beach. Near Playa de Poniente is the Acuario, an aquarium that is also great fun to visit with children during your motorhome trip. In the vicinity of the city you can visit the Cabo Peñas, these are beautiful green cliffs where you can also spot dolphins! These cliffs are about 30 kilometres away from the city.

You can spend the night at the Área de El Arbeyal camper park or at the El Rinconín car park.

Gijon motorhome
- When night falls, Gijón's skyline looks great!

- Costa de Vizcaya

The Costa de Vizcaya is a must on your motorhome trip through northern Spain if you like a whimsical coastline! Along this coast you will find plenty of fishing villages - and therefore delicious fish -, various vineyards and of course beautiful beaches. The highlight along this coast is perhaps Gaztelugatxe, an island that can be reached via a bridge built by the locals. You have a beautiful view of the island when you walk here via the bridge!

On the Costa de Vizcaya there are many motorhome sites, including Area de Lekeitio.

Costa de Vizcaya motorhome
- When you walk to Gaztelugatxe, it gives you a beautiful view!

Don't want to spend too much money on an overnight stay during your motorhome trip to northern Spain? Then read our article containing 6 free motorhome stopovers in northern Spain!


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