An Overview of Your Journey
Northern Spain Travel offers a fully guided 7 day cycling adventure that has you pedalling south across the plains to the southern mountain ranges, taking us on a portion of the Camino de Santiago, through the wine-growing region of Navarra, la Rioja and Alava reaching the Ebro basin. We cycle in the harvest season - the vineyards turn bright October orange, and toasted November red. Get ready to feast on both traditional and modern cuisine and visit both sophisticated and family wineries, medieval cities and their monuments. Be charmed by the superb cycling conditions, spectacular landscapes of the wine region, our divine gastronomy, and history and culture that make this southern region singular.
Always accompanied by an assistance vehicle, we customize our routes so that the difficulty and distances are tailored to your abilities and personal challenges. This region is richly interconnected by a network of excellent secondary and tertiary roads in ever-changing landscapes and a territory that is beyond beautiful. A circular route that begins and ends in Pamplona 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 Medieval Navarra
Our ride today: We depart south passing Etxauri village and leaving the Pamplona basin behind us. Notorious for its natural springs and señoríos (noble Basque farmhouses) we cycle south along the Saint James Way path over the rolling hills of the Perdón to the largest Romanesque bridge of its time in Europe for a group photo. We cycling on superb country roads that wind through beautiful countryside to the city of Estella, a medieval town of incalculable historical value, where we can appreciate the best examples of the Navarran Romanesque heritage.
Afternoon Pleasures: We have an early group dinner in a traditional Navarran restaurant overlooking the main square of the town.
Into the Wine-growing Region
Our ride today: We cycle through the valley between two mountain ranges where we can see castles on mountain tops. The landscape transforms as we ride into the Alaba region over an abrupt mountain range where the protagonists are the clusters of hamlets that beautify the landscape. We reach the plains that accompany us into the fortressed city of Laguardia - the land of wines and castles, where we can enjoy its serene landscape descending on the Ebro River.
Afternoon Pleasures: We visit the prestigious Rioja winery of Ysios for a tour and wine tasting.
Visit the Wine Regions of La Rioja and Navarra
Our rest today: Today we take a break from the bike and enjoy the gastronomy and wine of the region. We experience the heart and soul of a small family winery, then move on to the grandeur of the well known winery Marques de Riscal, and its elegant and colourful buildings designed by the American architect Frank Gehry and a spectacular lunch and Renaissance visit in Tudela, in the paradise of vegetables. We visit Tudela to learn about how the Jews, Muslims and Christians coexisted and visit michelangelo’s fascinating dark room of the Tower of Monreal from which you get a 360 degree view of the city which was invented decades ago to control the community. Learn secrets about the history, evolution and curiosities of the city.
Tudela offers us a unique combination of history, landscape and cuisine. We produce the best vegetables and wines, which give our gastronomy its worldwide prestige. Our gastronomic adventure begins in our chef’s garden where we select the products he serves later serves us in his restaurant are grown, then it is off to his restaurant to sit down to a 7 dish high cuisine meal where the protagonists are the vegetables.
Afternoon Pleasures: To complete the day we arrive at Olite, with its Royal Palace, the most visited monument in Navarre and where the kings rested. A medieval village linked to wine and Gothic architecture.
From Vineyards to Castles on the Wine Route
Our ride today: We cycle an earthen region through golden fields merging hamlets and villages carved into the mountains and embracing hill tops to the village of Unjué perched in a hill with its fortress church standing higher than any. We stop to try their famous shepherd crumbs dish and then wind our way to the Valdorba Valley towards the Pyrenees. The Valdorba is a natural corridor that crosses central Navarre from east to west.
Afternoon Pleasures: To complete the day we arrive at our modern luxury rural Hotel for a three fork gastronomy experience on the "Wine Route" which specializes in traditional Navarran cuisine.
Dip into the Pyrenees
Our ride today: We cycle northward to the Pyrenees through the Valdorba Valley passing a diversity of landscapes riddled with architectural gems from the Romanesque era. The Valdorba is a natural corridor that crosses central Navarre from east to west. A winding uphill that takes us along secondary and tertiary roads all the way to Lumbier, a Roman settlement in the 2nd century that was and still is a strategic crossroad of the Mediterranean and the Cantabrian. In Lumbier we have our bocata and drinks and then return to Pamplona through the Izagondea Valley.
Afternoon Pleasures: Our goodbye dinner will be in our private gastronomy club - a true Hemingwayesque location for a memorable evening of divine cuisine and awesome camaraderie.
A Breakfast and Farewell
After a spectacular breakfast in Pamplona, we say our goodbyes and wish to see you on our next cycling adventure.