FRENCH & SPANISH PYRENEES & PICOS

Picos de Europa, Spain, Europe

25 million years ago the Iberian plate collided with the European plate and created a paradise for motorcycles, the Pyrenees and Cantabrian Mountains. This tour takes in the best of both to offer one exceptional motorcycling experience. Join us as we ride through France to the Pyrenees and cross the plains of Navarro to the Cantabrian Mountains.

Organised by Global Motorcycle Tours

FRENCH & SPANISH PYRENEES & PICOS


Itinerary

Day one and we cross the English Channel via the Euro Tunnel and make our way to the capital of the Loire Valley, Orleans. Our hotel sits directly on the banks of the River and is only a short walk to the town centre. There are plenty of bars and restaurants to keep you occupied and of course if you want to take in a few sights there is the Sainte Croix cathedral and the Joan of Arc statue overlooking the Martroi plaza. Day two and we continue to the Auvergne region which is the largest regional nature park in France. This Volcanic area contains no less than four chains of extinct volcanoes. This area is regularly used for the Tour de France and today we ride a major section of the route as our journey continues to our hotel. Day three and we get our first glimpse of the Pyrenees but not before we cross the Gorges Du Tarn via the famous Millau Bridge. This British designed bridge towers over the gorge and attracts thousands of visitors a year. It is the tallest vehicular bridge in the world with the supports rising over a thousand feet from the valley floor. Continuing on through the Haut Languedoc national park we ride the same mountain passes used by many top bike manufacturers for testing their latest machines. Our destination today is one of the most impressive fortress towns in the world, Carcassonne. Built on an outcrop of rock on the east bank of the Aude this historic walled city was completely restored in the 19th century and now stands proudly as the once impregnable stronghold of the Middle Ages. Our hotel is just a short distance from the main gates so tonight you are free to explore the castle and town with its many restaurants. Day four and we pass through the Principality of Andorra and enter the Catalan Pyrenees. This spectacular National Park is a wild and untouched region and contains some of the most beautiful mountain scenery in all of Europe. The Pyrenees are some 300 miles long and form one of the world’s great mountain chains, stretching from the Mediterranean in the south to the Atlantic in the north. Our four star hotel is surrounded by the magnificent landscapes of the Pyrenees and will be our home for the next two nights. From this base high in the mountains we will experience not just the Spanish Pyrenees but venture over the incredible Col de Aspin, Peyresourde and Tourmalet in the French Pyrenees. Day six and as we travel further west through the Ordesa National Park to the plains of Navarro the landscape changes dramatically. The towering mountains now give way to valley roads with sweeping bends and open vistas. Following an overnight stay in a traditional Spanish hotel overlooking the impressive Castle of Xavier we move to another Regional National Park, the Picos de Europa. The ‘Peaks of Europe’ are a range of mountains approximately 20 miles inland from the northern coast of Spain and form part of the Cantabrian Mountains. The most widely accepted origin for the name is that they were the first sight of Europe for ships arriving from the Americas. With soaring jagged peaks and deep glacial gorges the scenery and riding is fantastic. Add to this the almost traffic free roads and you have the recipe for a truly exceptional riding experience. Our hotel for the next two nights is situated in the heart of the Liébana valley and features an outdoor swimming pool. This is a perfect place to relax or join our ride out around this stunning area. Day nine and we leave the Picos and head for our overnight ferry back to Portsmouth. We will be returning to Portsmouth aboard the Pont Aven which is Brittany Ferries flagship and the largest within its fleet. The ship features a pool and leisure area plus an a la carte restaurant, cocktail piano bar and 2-storey lounge bar and entertainment area. This tour has only one particularly high mileage day and therefore would be suitable for anyone. The riding as always can be challenging but If you are an experienced rider or it is your first time on the continent this tour should not present a problem.

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