Surfing in the northern Spain

If your passion is surfing, you will find places in the northern Spain to practice your favorite sport while you enjoy unforgettable landscape. The best plan is to cross the north with a typical surfer camper to feel that surfer life far from classic turism.

Surf sport is one of the protagonist in beautiful places as San Sebastian. Its known Zurriola beach is visited every year by thousands of surfers who travel there only for live its waves. Zurriola is also known because they celebrate local, national and international championship during all the year. It is placed in the heart of the capital. It allows you if you are starting in this sport and it has big and amazing waves for all those experienced. In the same region we can find Mundaka, another important surf destiny. This lovely beach is known because its left wave. They say that the better season is ends of September or October. Then you will find other surf addicts enjoying its landscape. It is international known.

The region of Cantabria is near and there the tradition of surfing was born in 60’ years, when a known citizen brought a board from France and started to surf in his beach. One of the most important beach is Berria, in Santoña. It is placed between Brusco Montain and the Buciero. Its golden sand will always welcome surfers from over the world. In the south of this place one can find also the Nature Reserve of Santoña marchlands.

Another beautiful places to find in Cantabria is El Sardinero beach, in Santander. This beach has made Cantabria famous. It has a big historical tradition and its curious name is based on the big number of sardines that one could fish there. It is an urban beach, known because its golden sand and its open space.

Rodiles, in Villaviciosa, can be found in Asturias. It is one of the best beach to surf in the north of Spain. It specially amazing because it gives you different possibilities. With the low tide you can find strong and long waves from left. With the high, one can find good peaks.

Also in Asturias one can find San Lorenzo, a known surf place in Gijon. It is an urban beach, one of the biggest in the region. It has 1,5 km of long golden beach. It usually gives surfers peaks from right to left. If we continue we can find Galicia. There we can find Pantin beach, in Valdoviño. This is a mythical place to surf. There they organize the Pantin Classic Galicia Pro, a binding event for the Qualification Series of World Surf League. Pantin is an almost virgin beach that have good waves during all the year.

Ferrol is another mythical place. One of its beach is Doniños. It is a beach known because of its good conditions in spring and summer. The perfect conditions are 2 meters’ waves from deep sea. One can usually find long waves from left.

We give you some options if you are not from Spain but you want to go there (or to northern Portugal/France) with for example Atlantic Surf Route (website), a famous company that mix campers and surf, offer the northern route, with which you can access to all these amazing places. Just choose the best camper for you and don’t worry only for enjoying the waves across the north coast. Another option is to stay in a surf camp (with the limits of travelling) but there you will have all you want a have the posibility to know very well some places, like Soulridercamp (website) offers to you.

Daily Trekking Trip in Torres del Paine

Here "Trekking Torres del Paine-Which Route to Take" you can red all the info about this trekking trip, but here we leave you all what we did, day by day:

Day 1 Starting Point: Refugio Paine Grande (bottom left of the “W” on the map) Ending Point: Refugio Grey (up the left side of the “W”) Sleeping Arrangements: We rented a tent from Refugio Grey and slept in their campground Length: ~8 miles (11 km)

Day 2 Starting Point: Refugio Grey Ending Point: Refugio Paine Grande Sleeping Arrangements: We slept in Refugio Paine Grande in a 6-bed dorm Length: ~8 miles (11 km)

Day 3 Starting Point: Refugio Paine Grande Ending Point: Campamento Los Cuernos Hiking Note: We left Paine Grande hiking east. When we got to the middle part of the “W” we went north towards Campamento Britanico in the Valle de Frances. After hiking all the up the valley and back, we continued heading east towards the right part of the “W”. Sleeping Arrangements: We slept in a 12-person dorm room, with 3 bed high bunks. I was on the very top of one. Not fun when having to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Length: 15 miles (24 km) Crazy long day that saw us up really early and hiking really late. Exhausted after this day. Be sure to check out the recap next Monday to get suggestions on what we would do if we had to do it over again.

Day 4 Starting Point: Campamento Los Cuernos Ending Point: Campamento Chileno Hiking Note: After arriving at Chileno, setting up camp, and eating lunch, I hiked up past Campamento Torres to the Mirador de Las Torres and back before dinner. Sleeping Arrangements: We rented a tent from Campamento Chileno and slept in their campground. Length: 9.5 miles (15 km) to Campamento Chileno. It’s another 7 miles (~11 km) round trip to the Mirador de Las Torres. 16.5 miles (26 km) total

Day 5 Starting Point: Campamento Chileno Ending Point: Hosteria Las Torres Hiking Note: This was a short hike to the end where this is a lodge that serves hot meals and cold beers. Sleeping Arrangements: We took a bus back to Puerto Natales and checked back into our B&B, the Erratic Hostel 2. Length: 3 miles (5 km)

Trekking Torres del Paine-Which Route to Take

A big part of our RTW trip, particularly in South America, was built around hiking and trekking. We hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Colca Canyon in Peru, and various hikes in and around El Chalten. All were in preparation for our biggest trek yet, hiking the “W” in Parque Nacional Torres del Paine (TDP) in the Patagonia region of Chile. n addition to being drop dead gorgeous, one of the other main appeals of hiking in TDP is that all hikers and trekkers can do it independently if they want. Sure, you can sign on with an expensive tour, but it’s unnecessary.

Going at it without a guided tour is highly recommended so you can go at your own pace, take the route that’s right for you, and have a multitude of choices along the way.

TIP #1: This post will be littered with different costs for hiking the “W”. I will summarize them all at the end of the last post, so all prices will be broken down in one nice, neat place.

TIP #2: When planning your trip to TDP, make sure you schedule AT LEAST ONE, if not TWO, days in Puerto Natales. On your first day there, make sure you attend the FREE INFORMATIONAL MEETING at the Erratic Rock hostel at 3pm EVERY SINGLE DAY. Seriously, if you take any advice from this post, take this one. The meeting is chock full of EVERYTHING you need to know about hiking the W or the Circuit, and it’s FREE. Why would you not go?

TIP #3: Check out this map–it’s one of the better ones I’ve found, and if you keep it open in another tab while reading this post, it will be easier to follow along and plan.

Hiking the “W” or El Circuito?

This is the first question you must ask yourself when heading to TDP for a multi-day trek. If you’re not a hard core hiker, let me suggest the shorter “W” trek. While we aren’t accomplished hikers, we have done our fair share of longer treks, and the “W” was more than enough of a challenge for us.

  • The “W” Trek- Allow 4-5 days for trekking the “W.” It is named the “W” because the shape of the trail resembles a “W.” 
  • Trekking the “W” or the full circuit has it’s pros and cons. 
  • The “W” is shorter- The “W” is at least 2 days shorter than hiking the full circuit, but depending on your fitness level, the full circuit could take twice as long. 
  • Options- Hikers and trekkers have options for hiking the “W,” as far as where to start and end and how long to take. You can try to fly through it in 3-4 days or really take your time and do it in 5-7 days (more on this later in the post). 
  • No tent necessary- There are refugios, which are hostel type accommodations, along the “W” trail, allowing you to sleep in a bed under a roof and not carry a tent. These are more expensive though (more information about camping vs. refugios Wednesday). 
  • More crowded- The W is shorter and draws all types of people, so the trails are more crowded. NOTE: While I have read complaints about the overcrowdedness of the “W,” we hiked it during high season and found it to be fine. Sure, you’re not isolated the whole time (though there were plenty of times we didn’t see another person around us), but it’s not like walking around Times Square either. 
  • El Circuito- El Circuito is a little more hardcore, and most hikers complete it about 7-10 days. This circuit goes around the Torres and Cuernos del Paine, and it is typically done counterclockwise, starting from Laguna Amarga guarderia. 

NOTE: The rest of the post will deal with hiking the “W” as this is what we hiked. The “W” is part of the circuit, so much of the information will still be applicable.

Which route to take 

So you’ve decided to hike the “W” and now it’s time to decide which way to go. Basically, you have two choices on where to begin.

  • The traditional way is east to west, starting at the main lodge, Refugio Las Torres. You take the bus from Puerto Natales then take a minibus up to the lodge from the park entrance (more specific transport information Thursday). 
  • The opposite route is becoming more popular, however, hiking from west to east. On this route, you take the same bus from Puerto Natales but take it further into the park, all the way to the catamaran launch across Lago Pehoe. Then you load onto the catamaran and arrive at Campamento Pehoe/Lodge Paine Grande in the early afternoon where you can begin your hike. 

Route we took- We decided to take the second option-west to east. Our main reasoning for this is because the Torres (for what the park is named) are seen near the end of the hike instead of the beginning. In retrospect, while the torres were spectacular, they were by no means the major highlight of our hike. It’s not like the Machu Picchu payoff at the end of the Inca Trail. In fact, if we had to do it all over again, we probably would have taken an extra day to camp in the Valle de Frances on day 3, which was our personal highlight. 

Here is the breakdown of where we hiked and camped each day. There will be a recap post next week that will go into more detail about the actual hike itself. This is just a quick guide showing which route we took. There is a small map below, but I suggest opening this map in another tab for reference since it is much bigger and easier to read.

See, this is not a simple thing as for example camping in Spain and having fun with the beaches and having a sunbath, is something deeper but exciting and amazing.

100 Reasons to live in Spain

You have probably wonder why all the old people go to Spain to live, what does it foffer better than our land, our family?

Well, with this video I´m goint to explain you 100 reasons (you do not need to be old to go to Spain to live);

Camping in Spain (Camping tips for Spain)

Why not arrive to Spain, rent a caravan and going viting places by you rhythm? It's the perfect way to know every single and magic place of this region. Besides there are many ready sites.

You can stay with all the facilities that they offer. One can choose between a oficial camping where you have to pay to stay there or you can find a place where to park is safe and legal. With this vintage way of trip, you go with your house everywhere so you wouldn't have problems about time, checking, etc.

Touring by caravan lets you, not only meet a new place, but also feel that peace that only the natures gives to you, to get into an idyllic wilderness where the time doesn't exist. Autumn and spring are good two season to visit Spain by caravan because there is not so many people. In addition, is not a cold country as well as other in the north Europe. In summer, in the other hand you will find so many people everywhere you go and sometimes it can be stifling but you will find traditional parties and concerts. It all depends on what are you looking for.

So, why Spain for camping? 

Spain wheather is one of the best in Europe. You will find sun almost every day of the year, sandy beaches, great mountais, big cities, little and old towns.

You can go from moorish architecture and culture to a current one in the same city, from big mountains to magical beaches. Cadiz, in Andalusia, for example is famous for its White Town Route, where the views are more than spectacular. One can enjoy the sunset between the mountains. In fact, there are special parks in some of these town specially for caravans (by the way you can book a hippie camper here). In this region is known too to park near to the beach. You will discover caravans in Tarifa, Los Caños, Conil... and not only in summer season.

You will find these magical laces in all over the country. It's easy to be lost without worries, just to enjoy. Spain is prepared for caravans in each region, and each one has amazing things to do and to explore.

Here are some camping tips for Spain:

  1. Bring table and chairs: normally your campsite does not have any of these things. You`ll probably find some rock table and standar chairs, but are a little bit uncomfortable and dirty.
  2. No camp fires are allowed: you can get in trouble if you do not respect it. Anyway, you should ask for it whe you just get to you campsite.
  3. Talk with your campsite neighbour: people in spain are so friendly, they are not perfect in english but at least you could have some fun and maybe have a new friend.
  4. Check the city normal weather out before you go: I say that because the weather is so different in Spain. The south is so warm and cities like Malaga, Seville, Cadis, Granada are perfect to have some sun and do not worry about the bad weather. But if you go to the north like Santander, Pais Vasco... You´ll have to get some jackets even in summer.