After Granada we went back to the coast. From there up again to Murcia. It was a great choice!
We spent two nights in Granada. We didn't visit the Alhambra, because we were a little tired of tourist attractions at the time, so we just walked around, enjoying the atmosphere of the city.
We made a little detour to Granada, because so many people recommended visiting the city. The way there was great, cycling over a 1000m mountain pass, spending one night next to the water reservoir Embalse de los Bermejales.
From El Puerto de Santa Maria, we made our way to Gibraltar. Overcoming many hills and a lot of headwind, we got to see some beautiful beaches and a mountainous nature reserve on the way. Gibraltar itself was an interesting place to see. Suddenly we were in Great Britain, but the weather was nice. So once we were there, we climbed the rock, visited caves, saw some monkeys and had a few pints in a pub.
From Sevilla we cycled down to the coast. At the Atlantic ocean the nights got quiet cold sometimes, so Jan & Ellen sent us our warm sleeping bags to the campsite in El Puerto de Santa Maria. Until the sleeping bags arrived, we explored the beaches and the city of Cadiz.
We spent two days visiting Sevilla, the hottest city of Europe. We were there in October and we still found it extremely hot. We can not imagine how it must be in the Summer.
From Fuseta we made our way back to Spain. This time in the south into the autonomous community of Andalusia. Remember what we said about the traffic in northern Spain? It's just the same in the south. The instant we crossed the border, cycling became a breeze again. Spain has really the nicest traffic in the world. The other countries in Europe could learn a lot from Spain in that regard.
The ride through the Algarve region was quite a change to the atlantic coast. The temperature went up again in day and night time. The water was much warmer here, but we missed the waves from the Atlantic ocean. Besides the temperatures, we cycled through nice terrain and in between we had to pass through a crazy amount of golf resorts in the middle of nowhere...
From Lisbon we followed the Atlantic coast down to Sagres. On the way we visited some places we had seen on our last visit to Portugal, over 10 years ago.
Our second visit to Lisbon. The last time was more than 10 years ago. It was nice to walk through the alleys again and sit in the shade in all the small parks. We also found a craft beer bar with a nice selection of homebrew beers on tap.
From Figueira da Foz, we made our way to Lisbon. We stopped in Nazaré to see the famous big waves, and we discovered a beautiful little village called Santa Cruz with amazing beaches.
While going south the hurricane "Danielle" got closer and closer. In Espinho the rain started and we decided to take another train to Figueira da Foz. It would have been 80km cycling. Not that much, but with the hurricane behind us it was a good decision. We stayed in a hotel for three nights, waiting for Danielle to pass. We were lucky in Figueira, we only had a lot of rain. In Lisbon and the surroundings there was very heavy rain, resulting in flooded streets. On the last day, the sun came out and we did a 20km hike to Cabo Mondego, a cape north of Figueira da Foz.
We stayed two nights in Porto, exploring the city and the surroundings. It was instantly noticeable how calm and relaxed the city is. A lot of tourists are visiting the city and we were there on a weekend, but we always found a nice and quiet place to hang out in the shade.
After several days of rain in Santiago de Compostela we decided to take a train a little bit south to get out of it. We got out in Vigo, a coastal town about 90km south of Santiago. There everything was fine and we enjoyed sunny dry weather at the beach. We also met our new friends Thomas and Anastasia again and had a great time together. Until Porto we followed the Camino Portugues through pine forests and small villages with the coast always in sight. As we are now leaving northern Spain, it's time for a shoutout to all the drivers there: Thank you, you are the best! We never ever have encountered such bicycle friendly traffic anywhere in the world. People always slow down, they are always patient, they always overtake with great distance. And the most surprising thing: There are zero exceptions. Unbelievable. We wish it would be like this everywhere. Thank you!
The last part of the Camino took us to Santiago de Compostela. The city itself was a bit of a disappointment, mostly because of the weather. The old town is kind of nice but we didn't see that much. Most of the time we were just sitting around at the campsite, waiting for the rain to pass. That way we made many new friends there, which made up for all the rain.
Gijón was a surprisingly nice city we had never heard of. Really relaxed vibe, nice beaches, lots of art and a seemingly endless promenade.
Leaving Santander, we continued following the Camino Del Norte to Gijón, crossing from the Basque country into Asturias.
We spent two days in Santander. The campsite is in the district Mataleñas, next to the cliffs around the lighthouse, with amazing views of the ocean. The beach of Mataleñas is in a beautiful bay and perfect for swimming. We also took one day walking around the city taking some pictures.
From Zarautz we followed the Camino del Norte along the Atlantic coast. We enjoyed the constantly changing landscapes and many small villages. It was also quite the challenge because of the amount of altitude we had to overcome.
Finally nice weather! 25°C, some clouds, and we even had some real rain. Time for holidays at the beach! Zarautz is a beautiful small town, famous for the longest beach in the basque country and popular with surfers because of the waves. We spent the next 9 days at the beach, swimming in the waves, eating some good food and enjoying the promenade. We even made it to San Sebastian by train, ate some of the famous Pintxos and ran into a music festival by coincidence.
Hondarribia was our first stop in the spanish basque region. It is a beautiful little town and has influences of both the french and the spanish basque country. Lots of colorful houses with wooden balconies. We also met our friends Maria and Kristian again and spent a superb night together.
We made our way to the Atlantic ocean, crossing the departments Aude, Auriège, Haute-Garonne, Haute-Pyrénées and Pyrénées-Atlantiques. In Pau, a city famous as starting point of the mountain stages of the Tour de France, we stopped for birthday celebrations.
We spent two nights in Carcassonne and took a walk around town.