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Spain

Spanish Pyrenees Coast to Coast

Guided Road Cycling Holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

12 days

Prices from

£2,315 P.P.
Spain

Spanish Pyrenees Coast to Coast

Guided Road Cycling Holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

12 days

Prices from

£2,315 P.P.
BOOK NOW
The Pyrenees, Europe’s second largest mountain range, provide the background for this fantastic road cycling adventure. Our new, extended itinerary has been redesigned to offer a more accessible and slightly less challenging opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the Spanish Pyrenees.
This trailblazing trip is varied and multifaceted and ventures onto roads rarely travelled by cyclists. From the crashing Atlantic Ocean to the calm azure of the Mediterranean our journey takes us through the whole of the Spanish ‘Pireneos’ and into four fiercely proud regions. Along the way we’ll take in many important historical Spanish 'puertos' (cols) not to mention a couple of French ones. It’s a rich and beautiful region guaranteed to feast your eyes and tantalise your taste buds.
We begin our adventure the Basque region where the all Basque former professional cycling team Euskatel Euskadi was conceived and funded by its team members. For many years the Basque country has been synonymous with some of the biggest names in Spanish cycling with the likes of Miguel Indurain and Joseba Beloki honing their skills in the hills and deep Atlantic valleys.
As we traverse the sierra we’ll venture into the region of Aragon in the high Pyrenees, a land of giant passes and enormous mountains with towering peaks. Aragon is the setting of the Gran Fondo Quebrantahuesos, the most important and challenging cyclosportive event in Spain.
As we reach the end of our journey we enter into the stunningly beautiful and craggy sierras of Catalunya whose meandering roads eventually deliver us to the shores of the Costa Brava.
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Holiday Highlights

  • A first evening feasting on Pintxos in beautiful Honarribia
  • Conquering classic climbs of the Pyrenees including the Cat 1 Puerto de Portalet
  • Winding through remote villages on unbelievably quiet mountain roads
  • Gazing in awe at the highest mountains in the Pyrenees in the Parque de Aneto
  • Wondering through the medieval streets of beautiful Ainsa
  • Finishing the week with a glass of Cava on the beach in picturesque Cadaqués

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Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival: Biarritz Airport
Non Riding Day

After arrival at Biarritz airport we’ll make a short transfer just over the border with Spain to the Basque town of Irun, a pretty fishing community situated on the banks of the Bidasoa river. After building and fitting bikes we’ll head out into the lovely town to enjoy a traditional Basque supper over which the Skedaddle team will talk through plans for the following days.

The local specialities in the Basque region are “pintxos” and the majority of the bars in the town are dedicated to this fun form of eating. Pintxos can be anything from a piece of delicious cheese or tasty sweet ham on a cocktail stick to a culinary work of art mounted on a piece of bread and we’ll enjoy a lively evening hopping from bar to bar trying out different delicacies.

Day 2
Irun to Eugi
57 Miles / 91 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 2,150 Metres Approx.

Our first day on the bike is a fantastically picturesque introduction of what lies ahead as we head out on a route popular with local club riders. It’s easy to see why these roads are so popular as we wind steadily through thick forest and follow the course of the Oiartzun river valley which leads us deep into the Natural Park of Aiako Harra.

The early stages, as we ride through a beautiful wild region linking the Cordillera Cantabrica and the Pyrenees range, feature relatively gentle climbs on which we warm our legs before leaving coastal Basque region and heading into the first true Pyrenean province of Navarra where things start to get a little more serious.

Smooth switchback roads drop us back into the valleys and, after a late morning coffee stop in the striking granite village of Lesaka, we’ll continue our way along the Bidasoa valley. Later we take on Puerto de Artesiaga with it’s beautiful ‘mirador’ setting presenting a perfect alfresco picnic spot before we end the day descending gently the village of Eugi where we will spend the evening.

Day 3
Eugi to Anso
71 Miles / 114 Km Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 2,190 Metres Approx.

Once again the day begins relatively gently as we cruise through the gorgeous Navarran pre-Pyrenean countryside. With the higher Pyrenean mountains looming in the distance the road meanders its way over the Puerto de Erro and the Alto Mezkiritz before we cross the path of the Camino Frances, the ancient pilgrims route to Santiago de Compostela.

Here we find ourselves close to birthplace, home and training routes of five times Tour de France winner ‘Miguelon’ or Miguel Indurain. Puerto de Larrau, a 1,573m/5160ft summit on the border French/Spanish border lies ahead of us. A significant climb in these parts, it was here that Indurain suffered badly during his final Tour de France in 1996 marking a sad end, on his home turf, to his five-year reign.

We push on down the mountainside into the beautiful glaciated Roncal valley with its shattered limestone landscape, eventually arriving at our destination in the small and beautiful mountain village of Anso.

Day 4
Anso to Escot
66 Miles / 106 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 2,070 Metres Approx.

Today and tomorrow we will ride the route of one of Spain’s most challenging Gran Fondos. The Quebrantahuesos, takes its title from the Spanish name for the enormous Lammegeier vultures native to the area and, aptly, translates literally as “bone-breaker”

To avoid any risk of breaking bones though we’ll tackle the route over two challenging yet manageable days the first of which takes us over the Puerto de Somport and back over the border into France where will spend the evening near to the small town of Escot, the gateway to the infamously steep Tour de France classic, the Col de Marie–Blanque.

Day 5
Escot to Sallent de Gallego
43 Miles / 70 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 2,230 Metres Approx.

Our second Quebrantahuesos day begins with something of a shock to the system as the Col de Marie Blanque is almost instantly upon us. It is a steep but thankfully short climb and the beautiful rural setting will help keep our mind off the gradient. After resting a while and taking in the lovely views from the summit we’ll enjoy a swift descent down the other side into the Vallee d’Ossau where we’ll take a right hand turn and make our way up the valley.

Our brief excursion into this beautiful part of France is almost over yet there is no reason to be sad as one of the most beautiful climbs, the mighty Puerto de Portalet, lies ahead of us and is waiting to coax us back into Spain’s Aragon region. The border lies at the 1,794m/5885ft high summit and after crossing it we commence a breathtaking descent to the pretty village of Sallent de Gallego.

Day 6
Sallent De Gallego to Ainsa
57 Miles / 92 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,400 Metres Approx.

A gentler day and a welcome change of pace awaits us today as we have an opportunity to recover a little from the rigours of the previous stages. We begin the day gliding around the mirror-like Embalse de Lanuza, a beautiful reservoir situated beneath the imposing Picos de Infierno. After dropping rapidly down into the Valle de Tena we’ll swing east where we start to ascent the Puerto de Cotefablo.

The descent over the other side delivers us to the edge of Parque National de Ordesa and Monte Perdido after which we head down the Valle de Broto and follow the course of Rio Ara via a series of small canyons and villages to Embalse de Mediano.

Finally we arrive at the beautifully preserved medieval town of Ainsa where will spend the evening beneath its impressive 11th century castle and enjoy feasting on local delicacies in the quaint cobbled plaza.

Day 7
Ainsa to Pont de Suert
53 Miles / 86 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 1,900 Metres Approx.

Our sixth day in the saddle sees us continuing eastward through more pleasant mountain towns and villages surrounded by towering peaks as we make our way into Catalunya.

After completing our first challenge of the day, Puerto de Foradada, the road leads us down to the banks of the gushing Rio Esera and through the dramatic Congosto (meaning canyon) de Ventamillo.

We’ll stop for a break in the town Castejon de Sos, nestled between majestic peaks of Posets, Maladeta and Aneto, the latter being the highest in the Pyrenean range at 3,408m/11,181ft, before pushing on over Puerto de Fadas and Puerto de Espina.

We end the stage descending the valley road for over 20km/12.5 miles to arrive, ultimately, in the market town of El Pont de Suert.

Day 8
Pont de Suert to Seu d'Urgell
70 Miles / 113 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 2,400 Metres Approx.

We start the day by climbing out of the Valle Noguera Riborgocana to reach the Coll de Perves where we can take in the wonderful views overlooking the heartland of Catalunya.

Quiet country lanes lead us through a red-earthed lunar landscape and via the glacial lake of Montecortes and numerous isolated villages until eventually we descend into the main valley of the river Noguera Pallaresa. Riding upstream along the dramatic valley we’ll stop for a break in the bustling town of Sort.

From Sort a challenging 1,000m/3300m climb takes us up and over the Coll de Canto from where we can see the peaks of Andorra and the stunningly craggy Serra de Cadi. An exhilarating descent from the summit of the Canto takes us down open country roads, through holm oak forest and then deep into the Segre valley and our destination in the area’s capital town La Seu d’Urgell.

Day 9
Seu d'Urgell to La Pobla de Lillet
55 Miles / 88 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 1,920 Metres Approx.

Today we will climb into the Serra de Cadi, a region of outstanding natural beauty almost unheard of outside the immediate area which throws up some of the most fabulous riding on the whole route.

As the road snakes its way into the serra through thick forested hillsides, we are presented with a series of colls to tackle including the Coll de Trava, the Coll de Bancs and the beautiful Coll de Josa.

As the day progresses the dramatic Pedraforca (Stone Fork) comes into view, the unmistakeable and iconic mountain of the range that is said to bring a calming nature to those in its presence!

A fabulous 500m descent into the River Llobregat valley, which meets the sea at Barcelona, takes us away from the Serra de Cadi leaving us with a final, and thankfully gentle, 10km/6 mile climb to the picturesque village of Pobla de Lillet.

Day 10
La Pobla de Lillet to Banyoles
55 Miles / 89 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,220 Metres Approx.

As we inch ever-closer to the Mediterranean we find ourselves entering the legendary Catalonian cycling country and during the next couple of days we may find ourselves sharing the roads with some of the many professional riders who base themselves here for the training season.

We set off due east and before long we’ll be heading up the 8km/5 mile forested road that leads to the summit of Coll de Merolla, setting us up for a fantastic rollercoaster descent into the Ribes valley. Back on lower ground and the lush green wooded valleys of Girona, our route takes us past the monumental village of Vallfogona as we head for the modest Coll de Canes before descending into the busy centre of Olot where we’ll stop for refreshments.

East of Olot we head into the Parque Natural de la Zona Volcanica de Garrotxa, an area of wooded craters and green valleys, reaching the beautiful medieval village of Santa Pau where we’ll have lunch before ending the day conquering a number of minor colls on the way to the lovely lakeside town of Banyoles.

Day 11
Banyoles to Cadaques
64 Miles / 103 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 1,580 Metres Approx.

We’ve reached our final stage and in the process we will turn north and climb again towards eastern Pyrenees taking on a series small climbs as we make our way to the coast.

Skirting the west side of the town of Figueres, the birthplace of artist Salvador Dali, we pick up the road leading to St Pere de Rodes, a 6th century Benedictine monastery perched precariously high and overlooking the Mediterranean. The winding road rises steadily, offering us amazing views of the muddled Costa Brava coastline before plunging us almost 500m down to sea level.

From here one final climb takes us into the Parc Natural de Cap de Creus, snaking through Mediterranean scrub and thicket before dropping us back down to the coast at the stunningly pretty village of Cadaques, once a fishing village and now a charming seaside resort. The village, where Dali spent many of his later years, hugs itself around a series of sheltered bays where fresh seafood and the catch of the day is on the menu for a fitting celebratory dinner and maybe a glass or two of celebratory Cava!

Day 12
Departure: Girona Airport
Non Riding Day
  • Meals: Breakfast

Transfers will be arranged to Girona airport.

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The Cycling

Terrain

The Spanish Pyrenees, although not as steep as the French side are still a formidable challenge. Two or more significant climbs a day is not uncommon and many will include steep and challenging sections. Road surfaces are generally good although mountain weather can take its toll. Caution should be exercised, especially when descending as occasional potholes and gravel patches do occur. Descents are as frequent and long as the ascents and many feature numerous tight bends and switchbacks. Competent and confident descenders will undoubtedly enjoy the downhill stages, however all riders will be expected to exercise caution. Traffic is generally light throughout however it can become more busy on occasional stages approaching towns and villages.

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Road Cycling Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 4 : Challenging

45-80 miles / 80-130 kms per day

For cyclists with stamina & a good level of fitness

Long & challenging days with multiple tough or high altitude ascents, with steep sections over extended distances

Long & often technically demanding descents

Road riding for experienced riders

Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!

For more information about our grading system click here.

Is this suitable for you?

You‘re an enthusiast. It’s probably your main hobby and possibly the only sport you take seriously. You‘re in pretty good shape and you ride as often as you possibly can. You might participate in the occasional cyclo-sportive and when you do, you probably opt for the longest distances. You love bikes and fantasise about the latest model or the joy of a new set of wheels. You love challenges and you‘re looking for a tour with plenty of climbing, preferably with an opportunity to tick off some famous Tour de France cols or the like. You‘re a competent descender, and you‘re not afraid of speed, but you ride safely and within your limits at all times. You understand road etiquette and you‘re comfortable riding in a bunch. You‘re happy to do your stint at the front of the pack if the need arises. You know you can ride a century and probably have done a few. It sounds like you are a Grade 4.

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Dates & Prices

Private Departures

Private Departures

Are you keen to only travel with your family or friends? Struggling to find the right date? Well, we can organise a private departure for this tour and tailor aspects to suit your group's specific needs. Contact our friendly team and we'll help you turn your dream into reality.

Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
22/05/2021
Return Date
02/06/2021
Duration
12 days
Price
£2,315.00

Whats Included Tick

A) Accommodation (shared twin / double en suite rooms)

B) Meals as per the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

C) Full tour service, including Skedaddle guides

D) Unless stated, at least one leader qualified in first aid

E) Support vehicle and luggage transfers

F) Airport transfer on scheduled arrival day from Biarritz airport (BIQ)

G) Airport transfer on scheduled departure day to Girona airport (GRO)

What's not Included Cross

A) Bike hire (available if required)

B) Flights and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)

C) Meals not stated in the itinerary

D) Single room (available if required)

E) Travel insurance

F) Personal clothing and equipment

G) Personal expenditure (souvenirs, bar bills, hotel facilities etc)

H) Entrance fees to museums and other attractions en route

I) Airport transfers on days other than the scheduled arrival / departure days

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The Essentials

Travel Options

For this tour in particular, we ask that you fly into Biarritz airport (BIQ) and back from Girona airport (GRO).

Airport transfers are included in the holiday cost and both the arrival and return transfers will be co-ordinated with the group flight schedule. Please note – If you make alternative travel arrangements, which fall outside of the group schedule, there may be an additional charge for individual transfers.

Please contact us for more detailed information on the specific flight schedules that we recommend for your holiday and please check with us before booking your flights so that we can ensure they fit in with the scheduled transfers.

Accommodation

Accommodation (shared twin or double rooms) will usually be en suite in 2/3 star hotels or guesthouses. Family run, personable, charming, comfortable and homely are boxes we tick when looking for places to stay. A million miles away from chain style hotels all with unique touches.

Bike Hire

If you have opted to hire then your bike will typically be a Giant Contend (or equivalent) with Giant/Liv Avails (alu frames) for those preferring a women’s specific frame. They are great bikes with good quality components and generally come equipped with at least one bottle cage, a saddle bag and a small pump. We can also include a helmet which should be requested at time of booking. Please note that your bike will come with flat pedals as standard, so please do bring your own if you use clip-in pedals.

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