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5021

The Shepherd’s Way Electrified

Cycling from fairytale woods to wonderland desert
From: $4200
Next Tour: April 5 – 11, 2020 / October 7 – 12, 2020

 
DAYS

7 days / 6 nights

LEVEL

Activel

TYPE

Private

COLLECTION

Kingdoms of Navarra

NAVARRA BIKE TOUR

Each year, Pyrenean shepherds herd thousands of sheep down the slopes of the Navarran Pyrenees to graze in the desert for the winter. The Shepherd’s Way Electrified is a journey pays homage to this ancient culture of nomadic pastoralism and follows the shepherds’ seasonal route. Taking you from the lush mountain woods of the Irati Forest to the stark plains of the desert below, we follow the nomads’ route on two wheels, venturing deep into the history, culture, and gastronomy of the region along the way.

Best Time to Visit

May, June, July, August

 

Highlights

  • Visit medieval monasteries and castles that transport you to another era.
  • Cycle across the Navarra’s UNESCO wonderland desert.
  • Ride through the Pyrenees mountains on the original pilgrimage route.
  • Enjoy the produce of the acclaimed ‘Land of the Vegetable’ in southern Navarra.
Itinerary
Pamplona – Burguete – Ochagavía – Leyre – Bardenas – Tudela – Pamplona

* NST itineraries may be subject to slight route changes, hotel substitutions, and other modifications.

Day 1Pamplona

We begin with a meet and greet welcome, a chance to size up your bikes to fit and take you for a spin in direction the Navarra Pyrenees. Our cycling journey begins with a gastronomic experience of show cooking in a private gastronomy club where we learn how to make, and then enjoy, traditional Navarran dishes.

Food: Aperitif and dinner
Travel: Pamplona
Sleep: Hotel & Spa Castillo de Gorraiz ****
How far: 4,3 miles / 7 km

Day 2Through the Foothills of the Pyrenees

Today, we cycle from the hotel and begin winding our way up through the gorgeous Navarran foothills, crossing the Lizoain Valley, travelling eastward to where the Pyrenees begin. The trails in this region connect quaint Navarran villages and hamlets. Riding on ancient Roman roads, we go to where the Spanish section of the Camino de Santiago trail starts at the French border, all the while passing through numerous picturesque towns.

Food: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Travel: Pamplona Aoiz Burguete
Sleep: Hotel Roncesvalles ***
How far: 16 miles / 25 km, elevation gain: 814 meters
Even farther: 32 miles / 52 km, elevation gain: 1,300 meters

Day 3Traversing 5 villas

We head to the site where many numerous and dramatic historical events occurred over the centuries. From there we leave behind the green hills and pastures cycling into one of the most important beech forests in Europe. There is a magical atmosphere that permeates the dense forests and meadows we are surrounded by pure nature of the Pyrenees. The Romanesque Sanctuary of Muskilda is a stopping place on our great descent to the picture perfect village of Ochagavía . Dinner is a culinary classic in an authentic cider house, a meal of outstanding cuisine with chorizo, salt-cod with peppers, char-grilled steaks, and unlimited glasses of wheat-coloured cider.

Food: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Travel: Roncesvalles, Ochagavia
Sleep: Hotel Auñamendi “rural “
How far: 16 miles / 35 km, elevation gain: 714 meters
Even farther: 32 miles / 52 km, elevation gain: 1,300 meters

Day 4Into The Medieval Ages

Now at the intermediate stage of our trip we pedal from the mountains to the central region of Navarra, experiencing a subtle transformation of contrasting landscapes and colors. Riding along historic trails we see monuments from past eras, as well as notable contemporary sites before entering the most historic region of Navarra where kings and queens fought for dominance over the territories of Spain. We see some of the most impressive examples of regional medieval architecture and visit the beautiful Monastery of Leyre where we will visit the well preserved crypts of Navarra royalty.

Food: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Travel: Ochagavia Monasterio de Leyre
Sleep: Hotel Monasterio de Leyre***
How far: 16 miles / 25 km, elevation gain: 514 meters
Even farther: 26 miles / 42 km, elevation gain: 1,150 meters

Day 5A Changing Landscape

The changes we see in the landscape become more dramatic as we glide from lush green woods and hills to the warm golden plains of southern Navarra. Continuing on, we enter an even more arid terrain which is rich in medieval history. We visit the 10th century Castillo de Javier, where Navarra’s patron saint, St. Francis Xavier, was born and lived in the 16th century. From there, we enter the Bardenas Reales, one of Europe’s only deserts and its truly spectacular, almost surreal landscape. Your hotel in the desert is the Aire de Bardenas, winner of six architecture and interior design awards. The theme of the afternoon is all things southern, and our meal is no exception—we’ll dine on Navarra’s prize produce of the south: vegetables grown in the hotel’s organic garden and from nearby Tudela. Growing outstanding fresh produce is the pride of this region and its gastronomy.

Food: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Travel: Monasterio de Leyre / Bardenas
Sleep: Hotel Aire Bardenas****
How far: 13 miles / 22 km, elevation gain: 284 meters
Even farther: 26 miles / 42 km, elevation gain: 565 meters

Day 6Across the Desert

The Bardenas desert boasts unique formations and abruptly changing landscapes, forming canyons and plateaus molded by a famous dry wind called the cierzo. The many layers of reds, golds, oranges and white reveal the erosion of clay, chalk and sandstone over many geological eras. We finish our journey in Tudela. Take time to explore the hotel or the beautiful old town, which was once the medieval crossroads of Christianity, Islam and Judaism in Spain. This evening, dine on your own in Tudela – our guides can readily recommend a few favorite restaurants.

Food: Breakfast, lunch
Travel: Bardenas Reales UNESCO park, Tudela
Sleep: AC Hotel Ciudad de Tudela****
How far: 21 miles / 35 km, elevation gain: 284 meters
Even farther: 27 miles / 45 km, elevation gain: 455 meters

Day 7Morning to Relax and Say Farewell

After a fine breakfast, you will be transferred to Pamplona city center. We’ll assist in arranging your transportation to the nearest airport or train station for your onward travels.

Inclusions

Hotels

  • Select hotels that reflect the uniqueness of each destination

Food

  • Daily breakfasts, all lunches, nutritious snacks, and cocktail hour
  • Gourmet dinners at our hand-picked restaurants and culinary events
  • Unlimited local wine, or beer with every meal

Support

  • NST local guides
  • Support vehicle that follows the day’s route
  • Pick-up and drop-off before and after your tour from predetermined meeting points

Activities

  • Wine tastings and activities as indicated in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees to historic sites, museums, parks, and all other exclusive events

Not Included

  • Airfare
  • Travel Insurance
  • Dinners on free evenings
  • Gratuities for guides
  • Extra services not outlined in the itinerary
 
  • Parador de Olite ****

    Delightfully Gothic

    This hotel is located within the majestic Palace-Castle of Olite, declared a national monument. The interior offers beautiful stained glass windows, arcades and other characteristic medieval features. The palace is the most significant example of Gothic non-ecclesiastical architecture in Navarra, and one of the most outstanding examples in Europe.

  • Elgorriaga Hotel + Spa ***

    Mountain spa getaway

    This hotel is located in the cinco villas region, surrounded by valleys and mountains, it is nestled in one of Navarra’s prettiest landscapes. Their mantra is Water, Nature and Silence, making this hotel the perfect reward after a morning of exercise. Its natural springs contain with the highest salinity in Europe and the thermal circuit and massage hit the spot.

  • Hotel Roncesvalles

    Where the Camino Begins

    At the gates of the Irati forest, the second largest beech tree forest in Europe, this quaint pre Pyrenee hotel is in the heart of the commencement of the Camino de Santiago. It is a charming oasis from the cities and town and an excellent base from which to visit numerous attractions in the Orreaga-Roncesvalles valley.

Tour Designers

Stephanie Mutsaerts - Northern Spain Travel

Stephanie Mutsaerts

Founder of Northern Spain Travel & Heart of Pamplona

Stephanie, the dynamo of our organization, is a Canadian who has fallen in love with Navarra. She is enterprising, innovative and has an endless amount of energy to design unique outstanding travel plans, making her passion her profession. She has the firm conviction that until the product standards are exceptional, they should not be offered.

“Our goals are two; one is to bedazzle our visitors and another is to share with them what we find so extremely enchanting about this region of Spain”

Oliver Blázquez - Northern Spain Travel

Oliver Blazquez

Product Manager & Public Relations

Oliver is our public relations ambassador of Pamplona. Oliver has it all; charm, conversation and more knowledge than anyone about Pamplona. You will feel like you’ve made a new friend during one of his energetic tours. Oliver is always on the beat searching for the perfect pintxo and exciting out of the box experiences. He is dedicated to designing the most exclusive events for our guest always with our added value, like Hemingway escape to the Basque coast, or a walking tour of the Running of the Bulls course with an international runner, as well as destinations and activities off the beaten cultural track and many more.

“ This is our essential hallmark that sets us apart from any other events agency”.

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