The Spanish and French Pyrenees
The stunning beauty of Aragon and Catalonia.
An opportunity to ride the big French Pyrenees Cols!
The Tour starts at Portsmouth where we will meet for introductions before boarding our late afternoon departure on board Brittany Ferries Pont – Aven to Santander. We’ll find some time during the crossing to get together for the full Tour briefing. Our mid-afternoon arrival in Spain on Day One allows for quick progress into Navarre and our impressive first night (half board) four star hotel in Pamplona.
A relaxed start on Day Two is a ride heading towards the Sierra de Guara region of Aragon, we will be sure to take some fabulous routes through the Aragonese Pyrenees as we ride into the heart of this amazing Spanish region. The roads are flowing, twisty and mountainous in places with some incredible scenery along the way including the amazing Mallos de Riglos towers on the A-132 from Ayerbe to Huesca!
We will be at our second hotel for three nights, returning here after our 2018 trip, to once again enjoy the (half board) hospitality of this charming family run, rural hotel not far from Huesca. This is a beautiful, historic region situated in the Sierra de Guarra; expect stunning scenery, twisty roads and some wonderful, traditional home cooked cuisine with an ice cold beer waiting for us on our return from a day out on the bikes!!
On Day Five we have a short ride to the mountainous northwest region of Catalonia and a chance to return after 2018 to a wonderful, four star mountain spa hotel, for a two night (half board) stay. Once again we know the level of hospitality and quality of our accommodation with its wonderful cuisine; so we know its first rate! The Principality of Andorra is just a short distance away, along the familiar twisty N-260, which we will we pick up again on our ride out day into and around this small independent region; making good use of the routes through the high mountains of the Pyrenees.
Crossing the border into the French Pyrenees on Day Seven, is an opportunity to ride over the fabulous Port de la Bonaigua mountain pass and ski station at an elevation of over 2,072 metres on the Spanish side, en route for the Col du Portillon and onwards into France in some style! Our next four star (half board) hotel is in the Aure Valley, the heart of the Midi -Pyrenees, a short distance from the Aragnouet-Bielsa tunnel connecting France and Spain. With a high level of comfort and an award winning ‘Maître Restaurateur’ restaurant we enjoy these wonderful surroundings for two nights. The perfect opportunity then to experience the amazing, twist turns switchbacks and stunning scenery of the iconic Col du Toumalet and the Col d’Aubisque on our full ride out day!
It’s back into Spain on Day Nine through the Tunnel d’Aragnouet which gives us the opportunity to head west, again picking up the familiar and lively N-260, as we ride into the heart of the Aragonese Pyrenees, between Canfranc and Candanchú. Our quality (half board) Tour hotel for three nights is a former nineteenth century customs office and barracks of the Carabineros Corps, responsible for guarding the border crossing over the Col de Somport. Once again we will be treated to some wonderful cuisine, focussing on locally prepared produce, whist enjoying views of the River Aragon and the Canfranc Valley from the hotels panoramic terrace. Two full ride out days give good opportunity to enjoy the amazing roads and mountain passes straddling both sides of the border, including the Col de la Pierre St Martin and the Col du Poutalet; perfect circular routes in opposing directions from our ideally situated location!
The Tour heads back to Pamplona on Day Twelve, returning to our quality (half board) four star hotel and our final night’s stay in Spain. Day Thirteen is a leisurely breakfast and a relaxed ride back to Santander where we re-board Brittany Ferries Pont-Aven for our mid-afternoon crossing back home to Portsmouth. Plenty of time then to catch up with some banter on board, reflecting on our shared experiences on the highlights of this amazing tour to both sides of the Pyrenees!