A country of culture, traditions, sport, adventure and stunning scenery, Spain has a wealth of experiences waiting to be enjoyed. After a relaxing overnight sailing from the UK or Ireland, you will be refreshed and ready for the adventure that lies ahead. When you travel to Spain by ferry, you will arrive in the either of the northern ports of Santander or Bilbao. From there, the whole country stretches out before you, inviting you to explore it. But before you leave the area and head south, you will want to visit Frank Gehry’s world renowned Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao that has changed the way people think about museums and continues to challenge assumptions about the connection between art and architecture. Whether it is for a family holiday at one of the country’s glorious beach resorts, a cycling holiday with friends in northern Spain, a trip to explore the global cities of Barcelona and Madrid or to follow in the footsteps of Don Quixote, Spain is waiting for you to start your own adventure. When you travel to Spain, choosing a ferry is the way to go!

How to have a great cycling holiday in Spain via ferry

A cycling holiday is a great way to explore Spain at your leisure. Discover charming villas, ancient castles and serene cathedrals, and explore stunning beaches and vibrant cities, including highlights such as Barcelona and the capital, Madrid. Discover Ferries members sail to Santander and Bilbao in Spain, with easy access to the rest of the country, meaning there are plenty of options to entertain families, professionals and novices alike.

Spain is home to a variety of different routes, including the new EuroVelo 8, which strikes out from Tarifa on the south coast and runs all the way to Athens for the ultimate touring experience. Along the way, you can stop in one of a wide range of Bike Hotels, which offer specialist services for cyclists, including luggage transportation and recommended routes. For more information, as well as advice and recommendations on the best areas and times to visit, go to

Sail to Spain with Brittany Ferries if you are in search of dramatic scenery, sunshine and tranquil empty roads. If you are a thrill seeker, looking to experience lush green valleys, jagged limestone peaks and spectacular gorges head to the Picos de Europa mountain range, 127km from Santander Port and 208km from Bilbao Port.

For ferry timetables and fares, visit or call 0330 159 7000.

Travelling with a bike attached to a vehicle

The majority of passengers taking ferry holidays with bikes simply strap them onto their cars, caravans, or motorhomes in racks or boxes. That means they can drive to any destination and cycle wherever they go on their holiday.  The pricing of taking bikes on a vehicle is simple – passengers just need to include the additional height and length of the vehicle when making the ferry booking.

It’s worth remembering that rear mounted cycle racks can obscure rear lights and number plates so car owners may need a lighting board with number plate and electrical supply to ensure their car and bike racks are legally roadworthy.

How to take a bike on board a ferry as a foot passenger

It’s easy to take a bike on a ferry as a foot passenger and cycle off into the sunset from the port. Passengers travelling with bicycles generally check in at the same time as other foot passengers. They dismount from their bikes for safety reasons and push their bicycle up the same vehicle ramp as that used by cars. Stewards will be on board to instruct cyclists. Once onboard travellers will be shown where to park and secure their bicycle on the deck for the crossing. It may be attached to the floor, wall or a railing for the crossing.

Ferry company policies and charges

Brittany Ferries accepts bicycles for foot passengers for no additional charge on routes from Portsmouth to Santander and Bilbao and Plymouth to Santander.  They also have a useful video showing you the experience of putting a bike on board. Visit or call 0330 159 7000.

Cycling guidance

In addition to checking out the cycling sections of each ferry members’ website there is some great advice for cycling routes from cycling organisations such as Eurovelo – a European cycling network, or  for UK, Northern Ireland, Wales, England and Scotland. We also advise checking out the rules of the road in any international country before you set off.

Tourist Information