My Great Escape: The Hills, Spain

Cathy Adams

Our reader Donna Garner from Cheshire sets off to explore the highs and lows of the beautiful Spanish mountains in her trusty motorhome.

Monty the motorhome has been our home since 2010, during which time my husband Phil and I have driven many miles in the UK and Europe.

But few places are as challenging as the Picos de Europa, the mountain range in northern Spain: roads that would be a minor challenge in a car are much trickier in a motorhome. Most Picos roads are narrow and twisting, with overhanging rocks looming around every bend. Some roads are full of potholes, with small rocks littering the surface.

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Dona and husband Phil on the trip

On this trip, we started from a campsite on the northern Spanish coast before driving up to Fuente Dé, where we rode the cable car to the 6,000-foot-high top station. It’s a four-minute, 2,500-feet whizz up the mountain, which did nothing for my husband Phil’s vertigo but afforded jaw-dropping views of snow-covered vistas to take his mind off it.

Leaving the snow behind and above us, we descended to the relatively low heights of Potes, a pretty Cantabrian village. We stayed at a riverside campsite and sunbathed and relaxed, or indulged our palates at the local restaurants.

After a few days, we continued our journey with Monty, heading for the village of Riaño. We lunched on the banks of the amazing reservoir and admired the spectacular mountain backdrop.

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The Romanesque bridge in Cangas de Onís

Our next stop was Cangas de Onís, famous for its Romanesque bridge that spans the Sella River and the local cider. The cider must be poured in a way to increase the frothiness. The bottle is held above the head, while the glass is held as low as possible in the other hand, creating a distance of about four feet!

Despite the driving conditions, the Picos more than compensated with its spectacular scenery, natural beauty, and culinary delights.

 

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