An Overview of Your Journey
Northern Spain Travel offers a fully guided 7 day road cycling adventure that has you travelling from Pamplona to the Atlantic coast, and the French Basque lands. We cycle through lush forests of the Baztan valley, rugged mountain passes in the Valley of Malerreka, coastal villages in Gipuzkoa and majestic Jauregui, Basque castles in Iparralde. Be charmed by the superb cycling conditions, the Basque and Navarran people and the diverse landscapes framed by the Cantabrian Sea and the Pyrenees.
Always accompanied by an assistance vehicle, we customize our routes so that the difficulty and distances are tailored to your abilities and personal challenges and includes accommodation, bikes, if needed, and most meals.
Welcome to Pamplona
Welcome to a city with over 3000 years of fascinating history, where we will be living a European lifestyle that hails good living. Pamplona is a city tucked in the foothills of the pre Pyrenees and the centre of our cycling universe. It is interesting to note that the world renown cycling team Movistar chooses Pamplona as their year-round training grounds.
Afternoon Pleasures: We take a city walk to help you get your bearings, familiarize you with the meeting place for morning rides, and size the bikes and equipment you will need. Later we will dine like the locals on traditional dishes in the best gastro bars that are found along the city’s medieval streets.
From Pamplona to Mountain Spa
Our ride today: We cycle out of Pamplona northward bound through the Baztan Valley which is considered by many to be the most beautiful region of the north. We cycle through a magical thousand-year-old oak forest and pass by pastures where cattle and latxa sheep graze contentedly. The route climbs north up a slowly rising, winding, mountain pass that culminates in a truly idyllic landscapes of green pastures, rolling hills, and picturesque white-wash Basque farm houses. From here we descend to the town of Sanesteban.
Afternoon Pleasures: Enjoy a relaxing session in the thermal water of the spa and a well deserved rest in our charming hotel in the heart of the Malerreka Valley.
A Splash of the Basque Coast
Our ride today: We admire the breathtaking scenery as we coast to the coast. We cycle through five charming Basque villages, a natural reserve and along the Bidasoa River to Txingudi Bay, the home of centuries-old sea port and fishing traditions. We stop for a bocata and drinks in the Spanish border city of Hondarribia, which lies between France and Spain. The city was a Roman settlement in the second century AD, and became a fortified city in the 12th century. This region offers us excellent gastronomy and architecture as well as fabulous Atlantic coast roads and landscapes.
Afternoon Pleasures: Our charming hotel at the foot of a castle, just a 5 minute walk from the town center and port. We end the day with a group meal in a traditional seaside restaurant.
Sail the Atlantic to San Sebastian
Pleasures of the day: Today we take a break from the bike and sail from the port of Hondarribia across Txingudi bay in an authentic 19th century sailboat. We sail west to San Sebastian with its elegant French architecture and picture-perfect beach – a city that still retains its aristocratic air of a bygone era. Feel free to indulge in a dip, and dive into the warm salty Atlantic. Once docked in San Sebastian we enjoy a Pintxo vermouth in San Sebastian’s historic quarter before you set out to discover the city and more Pinxto adventures on your own. We return to Hondarribia via bus, where we rest for tomorrow’s riding adventure.
Cycling the French Basque Country
Our ride today: Well rested and reenergized, we cycle the coast north to the French Basque country. We ride along the coastal cliffs through picturesque seaside villages and then veer east towards the Pyrenees. As we cycle into the French Basque region you will notice a striking change of scenery as the village and town architecture, lifestyle, and even the pastures take on a different appearance. The Basque houses, accentuated with emerald green and boat red wood structures, are of different proportions and dimensions, giving us the feeling that we have traveled into a different country. Here we will visit Amaiur with its ancient caves where witches once cast their akelarres spells.
Afternoon Pleasures: Our charming rural hotel at the foot of a ruined castle gives us an opportunity to rest, regroup and visit the castle ruins and the town We end the day with a group meal in a traditional Basque restaurant.
Breathe in Fresh Country Air
Our ride today: A fabulous low level mountain ride awaits us. We travel through magnificent Tuscany-like breathtaking landscapes on excellent tertiary roads that wind through pleasant hamlets and Basque villages. Seventeen kilometers into our ride we take for a quick stop to visit an ancient water mill.
Afternoon Pleasures: Our five star rural hotel offers spectacular views stretching far across the countryside to the distant horizon. Here we have a chance to disconnect from our busy lives and breathe in fresh country air. The treat of the afternoon is a wine tasting event ending in a group dinner.
The Best of the Baztan Valley
Our ride today: This is the last ride of our adventure into the Northern region, so it has to be memorable in every way. After a spectacular breakfast in Arantza, we begin with a slow and steady ascent, gaining altitude as the morning progresses, and culminating in a beautiful mountain pass that takes us back to the Pamplona Basin.
Back in Pamplona: Our goodbye dinner will be in our private gastronomy club - a true Hemingwayesque location for a memorable evening of divine cuisine and awesome camaraderie.