Parts & Accessories

Must see Motorhome Spots in Northern Spain

21st May 2024 | Marcus Leach
I will be the first to admit that, until this year, northern Spain has never really held much appeal to us. Sure, we’ve passed through a few times, and I’ve spent a couple of days cycling up some of its most famous climbs, but we have never taken the time to explore, dig deeper, and discover what makes it such a fascinating part of Europe.
Motorhome pitched at campsite in Northern Spain

Thankfully, that has now all changed after a six-week tour across the breadth of the northern stretches of the country in our Bailey Adamo 75-4DL motorhome , a journey that has opened our eyes to the striking landscapes, sumptuous regional cuisines, and rich history and culture that permeates and distinguishes each region in turn.

In the past, we have always favoured France, drawn to the south like moths to a flame, but given how easy it is to reach northern Spain — there are regular ferries from Plymouth and Portsmouth arriving at either Santander or Bilbao — we are rapidly rethinking future travel plans to head back and broaden our Spanish horizons further still as, despite six weeks exploring, we feel there is so much more to discover.

Motorhome crossing Viaducto de Riaño
Motorhome crossing Viaducto de Riano

If you’ve never been to this part of the world and are wondering where to start, here are five must-see places that showcase the variety northern Spain has to offer.

  • Girona
  • Bárcena Mayor
  • Santiago de Compostela
  • Cabo Ortegal
  • Comillas


While it’s often Barcelona that comes to mind when people think of Catalonia, it’s the smaller, more intimate city of Girona that is the star of the region. At the heart of the city lies the Old Town, a maze of old cobbled streets and medieval walls amongst which you’ll find gothic architecture, numerous galleries, boutique shops, and several laid-back squares adorned with cafes and eateries perfect for whiling away a few hours as you settle into the local pace of life. As you meander the streets, be sure to stop at one of the many bakeries selling Xuixo, a Viennoiserie pastry famous throughout the city.

View of Girona city

Bárcena Mayor

Spend any period exploring Cantabria and you will quickly discover that it’s characterised by beautiful, rugged landscapes peppered with picturesque old villages where all buildings are made from the stone that comes from the hills. While places such as Potes draw the biggest crowds, for those looking to avoid the hustle and bustle, yet still experience an authentic Cantabrian village, head to Bárcena Mayor. Said to be the oldest village in Cantabria, it dates to medieval times and today is a designated historic-artistic site where the only vehicles allowed are those of residents. Fascinating to visit, it’s also the gateway to several walks that head through the surrounding beech and oak forests of the Saja-Besaya Natural Park.

Girl in front of medieval house in Bárcena Mayor
Bárcena Mayor

Santiago de Compostela

Famed the world over as the end of the iconic Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route, there’s so much more to the city than simply being the final stop for weary walkers. Given its importance, it comes as little surprise to know that the city revolves around the cathedral, and it’s in the web of streets that surround it that you will find some of Galicia’s finest restaurants, serving delicious local dishes drawing on fresh seafood and fantastic meat — don’t leave before trying pulpo a la gallega. On the topic of food, a visit to the Mercado de Abastos should be on any itinerary, not only to see the wide variety of produce available but also for the old stone buildings that house the market. A final word on the cathedral: if you book ahead, you can get a ticket that allows you to go onto the roof, from where you get the best views of the UNESCO World Heritage Old Town and its many charming squares.

Santiago de Compostela Cathedral
Santiago de Compostela Cathedral

Cabo Ortegal

There are few better places in Spain to watch the sunset than at its most northerly point. Before you even arrive at the tip of land adorned by a striking lighthouse, there’s the drive itself to get here, following the coastal road from Cedeira up to Cariño and onto Cabo Ortegal itself. Be sure to take the time to stop at the various ‘Miradors’ or viewpoints, as each offers a spectacular view of the wild, remote cliffs that define this stretch of coast. Once at Cabo Ortegal, you’ll be able to see the point where the Atlantic meets the Cantabrian Sea, as well as watch the sunset, adding a golden hue to an already staggeringly beautiful scene with the vast jagged cliffs plummeting down to the wild waters below.

Motorhome overlooking Cabo Ortegal coast
Bailey Adamo 75-4DL motorhome overlooking Cabo Ortegal

Cabo Ortegal coast during Sunset
Cabo Ortegal


Most people come to the little coastal town of Comillas to visit the wondrous El Capricho de Gaudí, a fascinating house designed by Gaudí, famous for other works such as the Sagrada Família and Park Güell in Barcelona. While the house alone is worth a visit to Comillas, there’s more to this charming place than just that. For starters, there’s the grandiose Sobrellano Palace, where you can join guided tours in Spanish and English, as well as the old centre of the town that spills down to a wide windswept beach. The dramatic coastline and rich architecture combine to make Comillas one of the most attractive coastal villages in Spain.

El Capricho de Gaudí in Santander
El Capricho de Gaudí in Comillas