A real ‘discovery’, and the highlight of this year’s camping, for us.
A family run site based at the converted old mill (El Molino de Cabuerniga), in the middle of the Seja National Park and adjacent to the River Seja, it is beautifully laid out with several different areas and is open all year.
Shade is abundant, but so are sparsely covered pitches, if that is what you want. There are one hundred ‘parcelas’.
There are three ways in to the campsite … if you have a big unit, you may find it easier to go to the second entry road, about half a mile up the road beside the bar/restaurant of Sopeña.
The meticulously cleaned and maintained ‘Services’ block is sumptuous … I’ve never seem double basins in marble tops with individually wood carved mirror frames and large pots of flowers placed between the adjoining basins. The quality of the taps are five star hotel in design and function. Paper towels continuosly available.
The toilets are the widest cubicles I’ve yet seen on a campsite (paper provided), as are the showers, which are powerful and temperature adjustable (as hot or cold as you like). Good wooden slats to stand on under the shower, with tiled area for the rest.
There is a washing machine and dryer, plus iron and ironing board, as well as a row of handwashing sinks.
The washing up area includes a huge SS sink for extra large items as well as the usual row of normal sinks.
Clothes drying frames are available for everyone … just take to your site and return when finished.
The reception office provides the usual plethora of information, and the manager is extremely helpful.
The Café/Bar comprises a large indoor section replete with tables and comfortable armchair seats (carvers) …. There are books available to borrow in english, spanish and several other languages, as well as a large table covered with magazines, comics etc … a variety of games can be borrowed from the bar.
The whole room is more like a genteel club room than a campsite.
Meals are not served, but continental breakfast (coffee and tostadas with jam/honey … large portions … at 2. 50 euros), and Bocatas (large sandwiches … take a loaf of bread, cut it in two and fill … 3. 50 to 4 euros), and plenty of drinks at extremely good prices … e. G. A large apple liqueur with ice in a tumbler: 1 euro … expresso coffee: 1 euro.
There is a shop at the bar that provides a small but decent range of interesting eatables, and bread is available all day, without having to pre-order! (maybe other sites could learn from this!)
Outside the Main room is an open air, covered, area … also available for eating and socialising, but is the main WIFI reception area, which is free.
Cars are not allowed to be used between midnight and 8 a. M. … a good carpark is provided immediately beside the reception area (we left the car there most of the time).
Good swimming is available in the river at the ‘Pozo Colorado’, just a few metres from the campsite, which more than makes up for there being no pool on site. There is also a good children’s play area next to the reception, with a range of equipment.
When we were there the greatest number of campers were in tents … three camper vans, half a dozen caravans (mostly not recent models) … two TT’s and two FC’s …
The site also rents apartments and stone built ‘cabins’.
From the campsite there are a lot of easy, flat, bike rides, plus as many hilly ones as you like …. You can ride up to the ski station … about a 20km climb. ATB’s can be hired on site.
There are dozens of walking routes, flat hilly, mountainous … whatever you fancy (maps from reception).
Some very pretty villages along the valley.
The nearest supermarket (Lupa) is in Cabezon … ten minutes by car …
The site is about thirty minutes drive from the coast … affording the delights of San Vincente, Comillas etc (The first is well worth a visit … if you like fish, San Vincente offers, arguably, the best fish restaurants in Spain … also, the biggest and yummiest ice-creams from the Regma Helados ‘shop’, beats the pants off all the opposition … it’s on the main road out (going west) after you turn right at the central plaza … about thirty metres on the right hand side) … a bit further west, another twenty minutes on the motorway is the delightful town and harbour of Llanes.
Santander is under an hour on the motorway (free).
The outstanding Picos area is about an hour (Potes), an hour and a half to Fuente De.
Santillana (much visited medieval small town) and the famous Altamira Cave paintings (a perfect replica of the original can be visited …. To see the original you have to book a long time ahead, and numbers are severely restricted) are thirty minutes.
Barcena Mayor (recently restored medieval working village) is twenty minutes.
Bilbao and the unique Guggenheim, about two hours (motorway).
The dazzling Soplao caves are about twenty minutes.
Five minutes away there’s a small adventure park (climbing routes … zip wire, bridges, high wires, etc … with archery, mini golf, trampolines, water games, paintball and quads … excellent for children, less challenging for adults … except quads, which are fun to tour about on)
Canoes/Kayaks are available at Unquera (thirty minutes).
We were there for eleven days … one rainy day, one overcast day, and the rest was wall to wall sun.
As you are high-ish, it can get cool at night.
If you want a week each at two different locations, I can’t think of a better choice than one week here, and a second week at Camping Las Islas Picos de Europa, just outside Potes, which will give you a really good base for the Picos … see my review.
And … the clincher … the little restaurant/bar in the adjacent village (ten minutes walk) offers a three course meal (at any time of day) … three choices of each course (large helpings!, and good food), plus a whole bottle of red wine between the two of us, with soft drinks for the girls … and hot crusty bread with everything … for … wait for it … 9 euros a head! Do I hear the stampede of tiny feet???
Delightful, peaceful caravan and camping site. Not cheap - about 28 Euro per night for us.
Very large open pitches, some in shade, some open, a few on slight slopes. Electricity 3 or 6amp.
Fabulous shower block - clean, new, ranch style, very hot water with excellent water pressure.
Site full of trees and woodland. Less than an hour from Santander. Well placed for cycling and visiting places in Cantabria like the nearby villages and towns, the city of Santander itself, caves, etc.
Kids there seemed to be enjoying play area in a glade. No swimming pool or other commercial facilities.
Lovely cafe / restaurant at reception area open until midnight where there is FREEE wi-fi!
NB quite a narrow approach road - very wide or long caravans or motorhomes might struggle to get through.
Reception staff very helpful although speak no english.
We got no satellite reception probably due to surrounding hills.
Really enjoyed our stay after we had left a busy unpleasant commercial site.
We understand very few campsites are open in the winter in the area around Santander with most people driving 3-4 hours to the first site. So when we heard of this site less than 40 miles from the ferry port we decided to give it a go.
A very straight forward drive from the ferry which follows the motorway for several miles then takes you through the National Park. The campsite is well sign posted from the main road and is a mile or so through the village. Roads are narrow bit passable with care.
Campsite is grass standings, all kept very tidy each pitch has ehu. The toilets / showers are high quality and look fairly new. There is dish washing and laundry facilities. There is also a small cafe / bar on site (closed whilst we were there).
On arrival we found everywhere closed but a phone number to ring and advise you were there.
Any negatives? Hot water was warm at best and toilets showers could do with a sweep out of the cobwebs. Other than that a brilliant site well placed for ferries and probably worth a few days to explore this beautiful area.
One slight disappointment was being charged €48 for 2 nights and that was with a €4 discount. We did think the price very high compared to lots of sites and bar etc all closed. However our fault for not checking on arrival as we had read a review elsewhere that showed less.
Would recommend this site - Pricey but good for the ferry and the village is stunning.
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