Northern Spain: the Pyrenees and the Picos de Europa
Northern Spain’s Finest
Northern Spain has everything: the weather, the food, the roads, the mountains… but which ones do you visit? The Picos de Europa or the Pyrenees?
Why choose between them? This tour features the best roads in both sets of mountains, spread over eight easily managed days. It's mile after mile on some of Europe's best – and quietest – roads.
It is a tour structured around riding rather than sightseeing, but the daily saddle time is still suitable for pillions and there are regular stops planned into the schedule.
What’s included on the route? Each day’s route has recommended places to stop for coffee in the morning and afternoon, a suggested lunch stop and planned fuel stops.
How long is each day’s ride? Each leg of the tour is planned to be a full day in the saddle. If you check-out of the hotel and hit the road at 9am, you should reach the next night's stop by 5:30-6pm. That's with coffee stops and lunch. They are full days but relaxed days. It's not a hardcore slog: it's a nice, relaxed riding holiday. Saddle-time rating: six out of 10.
What are the highlights? For some riders, it will be the N260 that runs along the Pyrennes, but there are so many other roads to enjoy beside the famous one. Some prefer like the grey-tipped peaks of the Picos, with their quiet passes and shady gorges – not to mention their famous statues... But there are dozens of unexpected moments, crossing La Rioja and Navarre on some mind-blowing roads, as well as discovering the less-well known parts of the mountains. This is one of those tours where every day could be the best day you've had on a bike.
Why eight days? The tour is timed to fit in with the ferry schedule to Santander: sailing from Plymouth on a Sunday, then returning from Santander to Plymouth the following Monday.
How is it supplied? You can simply download the GPX files and install them in your sat nav. Garmin or BMW Navigator users should download the complete file; TomTom users (or riders using a GPX compatible phone app like Calimoto, Scenic or MyRouteApp Navigator) should download the individual files. However, I strongly recommend getting the tour pack of day-by-day route notes and marked-up maps (not sold separately).
Download the tour
Garmin/BMW users should download the complete-route file. Individual day files should be downloaded for TomTom or GPX-compatible phone apps.