How one can Journey to and By means of Spain With out Flying

The pandemic might need simply catalyzed a couple of lifelong desires of mine. It could not hassle me in any respect not with the ability to take a single airplane ever once more for a lot of causes, the primary one being its large environmental toll and large carbon emissions of the airline trade and the newest, public well being considerations, and the always-increasing security measures and guidelines put in place which are making us all dread flying. So if you happen to too are involved about this and questioning the right way to journey to and thru Spain with out flying whereas preserving your adventures as enjoyable as they are often; this submit is for you.

From micro-adventures to epic expeditions, I shall be sharing a couple of light-packing journeys round my residence nation I can not wait to embark on with out taking a single airplane. With out additional ado, right here’re 5 no-plane journey plans the place each the journey and having a deeper reference to the pure world turn out to be a necessary a part of the journey.

How one can journey with out flying – 5 No airplane plans

1. Strolling all over the place and anyplace

A second of relaxation whereas climbing the Camino between Fisterra and Muxia. Spain, 2019.

Self-explanatory and the simplest human-powered journey to make occur of all of them, a celebration of sluggish journey. Now, the one key to strolling on high of with the ability to do it’s packing as gentle as attainable. And that’s why likelihood is – until you take a fancier strolling journey just like the one we lately did from Finisterre to Muxia the place our luggage have been transferred every day – your again will harm in any other case. 

After strolling a couple of stretches of various Caminos, the through Francigena, and Riviera dei Fiori in West Liguria amongst different pilgrimage and climbing trails in Spain and different European nations; and harder routes just like the Annapurna neighborhood trek in Nepal, I really feel like the following route could possibly be just about anyplace under 3500m of altitude (or above that, till 5000m or so with a bit of coaching in place). If you wish to advocate any specific routes in Spain, you’re most welcome! 

In any other case, probably the most easy for me could be to select one other Camino. However, I’m based mostly subsequent to the ultimate vacation spot of all of them, Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain, and arising quickly the primary Holy yr since 2010 – Xacobeo 2021/2022 – shall be celebrated round right here. By way of de la Plata or Camino Inglés (English Approach) could be a few wonderful selections, agree?

2. Bikepacking a couple of Eurovelo routes

Having enjoyable on a fats bike in Sigulda, Latvia. 2019.

The place did my love for bikes – the best creation of contemporary instances – go? I used to bike to highschool to make it on time every day, and I’ve solely used it a couple of instances ever since. It’s time to return to my roots and discover a number of the Eurovelo biking community routes since extra distant feats akin to crossing the USA by bike may require a airplane or ship to get began.

Bikepacking in Spain

The primary one I’d take is the start of the EV1 Atlantic Route from the northernmost coastal spot in Portugal the place it begins – simply an hour and a half away from my base – to Brittany, on France’s northwest coast. 

Many of the route is developed with EuroVelo indicators, though there are a few stretches because it crosses Spain below growth. Exactly between Huelva and Caceres and from La Rioja to Irun, proper earlier than crossing to France. It could be secure to confess I might try to cycle the primary one crossing Extremadura in the course of the shoulder seasons of Spring or Fall to keep away from the extraordinary warmth this area provides in the midst of Summer season however for positive I’d be skipping the second for now. I’m unsure I’ve what it takes to cross the Pyrenees proper now, particularly if the route is within the planning and below growth levels.

Bikepacking past the Iberian peninsula

For a second bikepacking journey, I’d then head to the Baltic Sea Biking Route – Eurovelo route EV10 – that stretches throughout 9 nations for 9000km alongside the coast. My chosen half this time could be from Saint Petersburg, Russia, within the Gulf of Finland to Gdansk, Poland, on the finish of the Curonian Spit and Gulf of Gdansk stage; passing via the Gulf of Rigan and Courland’s Coast. It appears the flattest – learn best – of all of them in this elevation chart, what might go improper?

The latter additionally has some stretches below growth however it will be my second selection as a result of apart from a visit after I was fairly younger to Poland, a one-week keep in Lithuania and a few Latvia – one of the enjoyable nations in Europe! – journeys, I haven’t explored this a part of Europe a lot, and aside from a Moscow layover, I’ve by no means been to Russia or Estonia both!

Listed below are some documentaries and flicks about biking tourism I’ll be watching to prepare within the meantime, though the blokes at PCR Gravier summed up a couple of key guidelines to country-specific biking adventures in Europe fairly boldly on this quick video:

And we’ve additionally printed a all through information to backpacking you need to test if biking is in your upcoming plans.

3. Practice journey

A railway between Galicia (Spain) and Portugal at sundown. Circa 2016.


Practice journey adventures in Spain

As soon as left behind by way of high-speed railways, Galicia is catching up properly with the latest announcement of latest quick trains between Ourense and Madrid and Ourense and Alicante.

Crossing Spain by prepare following the latter route might be finished in simply 5 hours from September 13 (tickets will turn out to be out there quickly on Renfe’s web site) and I can not actually wait to teleport myself to the Mediterranean sea in simply a day.

Are you able to think about a hearty breakfast after browsing within the Atlantic ocean, having pulpo á feira for lunch in Ourense, and eating a seafood paella by the seaside nearly 1000km away on the identical day? THE DREAM!

Practice hoboing my method to the East

A latest Fb thread in a travel-driven group introduced again one other long-standing journey want of mine and many recent information on the right way to make it occur.

Gotta love a helpful social media group that fuels your passions as an alternative of partaking in limitless nonsense nowadays! Anyway, it then grew to become clearer to me that I mustn’t wait for much longer to try one of many largest prepare rides on the planet: From Portugal (that I’d be in all probability skipping this time) to Russia and from there on the Trans-Siberian railway to Siberia to Mongolia and all the best way to China the place you possibly can cheat and take a ferry from Shanghai to Japan to remain in prepare mode – albeit at a really completely different velocity, and better price ticket, than in Russia and Mongolia – for a bit longer. 

Are you able to think about one thing cooler than spending months in Europe and Asia assembly attention-grabbing folks whereas always shifting landscapes cross by your window, witnessing how church buildings flip into monasteries, tasting unique cuisines, and being free to decide on whether or not you need to cease for some time someplace or hold going? I can not.

For the best way again – thoughts you, I haven’t forgotten concerning the ‘with out planes’ bit – I’d like to take my time and hold coming again to Western Europe to discover a couple of nations I haven’t had an opportunity to previously. One can dream, so let’s say we throw a prepare to Hong Kong after which Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Pakistan, and some different Silk Route nations within the lot earlier than coming into Europe once more and slowly however certainly going again all the best way to Galicia, residence! 

A multi-modal journey method could be wanted to try this one as buses and different technique of transportation could be required on high of trains to cross via a few of them. However I imagine it’s completely doable with out flying if well being and time are in your aspect. Rome2Rio, Omio, and Seat61 are your folks right here.

4. Tasting the van life

A reminiscence from a Sao Miguel Island – within the Azores, Portugal – street journey we took in 2018.


Spain by van

How did it take me so lengthy to get a style of the acclaimed van life?

After a couple of makes an attempt all through my late twenties and early thirties, we now have simply purchased a classic (learn, 33-year-old) motorhome and are slowly touring round Spain. After exploring the inexperienced Galicia, Asturias, and Cantabria coastlines, we plan to maintain touring south as temperatures lower this autumn and winter.

However we are going to see how the plan unfolds. If something, one of many primary benefits of this manner of touring is how versatile and simple it turns into. You simply have to drift and let the journey turn out to be your vacation spot.

Southern Spain, we’re on our means!

Learn every thing about our first van life expertise in Portugal

Jose taking {a photograph} of the gorgeous Montanhas Magicas at sundown. Portugal, 2017.

When our child grows, combining van life with a couple of strategic stays in sustainable and eco-friendly locations akin to these Galician treehouses we had a style of some years in the past, would make it even higher.

Right here’s an epic itinerary we’d like to go for sooner or later. 4+ months, 1 van, 2 folks, 1 ferry, 20+ nations, and numerous pure spots. For the sake of mapping it out shortly, dots are primarily cities and cities however the thought could be to skip as a lot of these as attainable and persist with coastal and mountain areas. 

If we prefer it sufficient, we would turn out to be a type of households that transfer to a van! Are you able to think about? JK, however it will be cool although.

The busy hour at Phinda recreation reserve, South Africa, 2015.

African desires from Southern Spain

As soon as we now have the van life nailed down, I’d completely like to go on an Africa overland expedition. A ferry service between Spain and Morocco masking the 17km of the Gibraltar trait opens up a complete new continent to discover with out planes for these based mostly in Southern Europe like us. Nonetheless, it will be as naive because it will get to place it on this listing as I nonetheless want to determine many issues to make that one occur and I’ve solely been to a few African nations thus far: as soon as to South Africa and 3 times to Morocco to go to Marrakesh and the Sahara desert in addition to to street journey the Moroccan coast from Rabat to Agadir.

Any Africa consultants on the market? I assume studying Paul Theroux’s Darkish Star Safari – which showcases his Cairo to Cape City journey – could possibly be a candy place to begin to begin studying about this continent. I couldn’t be extra clueless proper now.

Learn extra: 15 Campervan hacks that can change your life

5. Crusing across the Spanish archipelagos

Leaving one of many coolest to the top. Reminiscences of a several-day crusing journey on a 40.5ft crusing boat – the Domina – across the Maltese islands a couple of years in the past hold coming again each from time to time, and I can not wait to embark on an analogous journey across the Balearic or Canary islands. 

My face in these classic photos – god save early GoPro cameras! – says all of it.

The Mediterranean has a couple of learn-to-sail venues and heat waters all yr spherical, however to be sincere, I’d try coast crusing different Spanish routes – with an skilled crew – anytime. Then again, as interesting as they may appear, crossing the Atlantic Ocean by sailboat or crusing the world over (each fairly respectful of the oceans) are desires I higher go away for the true adventurers on the market for now.


Do you’ve gotten every other no-plane-required adventures in thoughts? In that case, I’d be endlessly grateful if you happen to might ship me an e mail to aworldtotravel @ gmail . com and let me know extra about them. Right here at A World to Journey we’re at all times looking out for cool, distinctive, and sustainable methods of having fun with our valuable planet. Thanks very a lot!

How one can journey with out flying was first printed in A World to Journey.


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