Pyrenees and South Spain trip advice - Oct. 2017

Discussion in 'EMEA' started by RideDualSport.com, Mar 31, 2017.

  1. RideDualSport.com

    RideDualSport.com TPB all the way

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    Howdy fellow Adventure Riders,
    This October, for two weeks, my wife and I are renting a BMW R1200 RT, one-way from Bilbao to Barcelona Spain. I plan on riding the Pyrenees on both sides of the border, and it is highly likely I'll visit a friend in Alicante Spain.
    I'd really appreciate any input on a route, especially for the dip down south, as far as beautiful small towns, national parks, and any of your favorite routes . I plan on avoiding toll roads, and being in the country as much as possible, seeking great scenery, lots of local flavor, good food and wine.
    Any tips as far as riding gear, concerning the climate change from the Pyrenees to Southern Spain are welcome too!
    Cheers and thank you!
    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. brian sherriff

    brian sherriff arrested

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    The Pyrenees on the French side can be much cooler than the Spanish. In October the mountain passes should be open. Temperatures will vary considerably with altitude as you would expect. Snow is unlikely but possible? Alicante area is usually warm in October, 20 - 25C could be expected, perhaps higher at the beginning of October. San Sebastian may be a good first stop, great food and wine. You could spend all two weeks in the Pyrenees, but most routes are excellent for motorcycling. Check out Monasterio de Leyre (google), a hotel in an old monastery. Great roads nearby and its about a days ride through the mountains from San Sebastian. Most routes south will be enjoyable, an over night in Cuenca would be worth while, as are the surrounding roads. Returning to Barcelona, stay off the coast non toll road as it is slow. Inland is mountainous and many good roads. If you did need to hurry south, there is a dual carriageway from Zaragoza to Valencia that is toll free. Its a good month to ride in Spain. Enjoy.
    #2
  3. RideDualSport.com

    RideDualSport.com TPB all the way

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    Thank you Brian! That is just the sort of information I am looking for. I'll research your suggestions and see what kind of daily distances I can ride.
    I'd like to stay in bed and breakfasts, as well as motels, depending upon the circumstances. I appreciate your input!
    Cheers!


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  4. Dirtpatch

    Dirtpatch Getmesome

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    I'm flying into Barcelona around oct 4th. Would like to rent a motorcycle for a week to ride around that area during the trip. Anyone have suggestions.
    #4
  5. Danteee

    Danteee Adventurer

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    Me and my friend was around Albaida for a little more than 2 weeks and did some riding. We took our 450s with us in a van. We did some tarding but mostly enduro/free riding. Albaida is between Valencia and Alicante but a little bit inland. Around Albaida and the mountains to the coast is great riding. Also from Albaida to Benidorm was some great asphalt roads. We also visited Motorland Aragon and the road from Albaida to there was the craziest ever, and also to Lleida. Really steep roads going up and down the mountains with more hairpins than I can count. Unfortunately we took the van that road since we were on our way home and it was dark but I can just imagine it would be great on a bike.
    Enjoy!
    #5
  6. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    My experience with the Pyrenees is very limited, but it seemed to be a lot like the Alps. That being the assumption, figure on 250-300 kilometers/day if riding back roads and through towns. My average moving speed is around 55KPH - which usually includes a bit of high speed highway (Motorway, Autostrada, Interstate, whatever). Speed limits are generally low and lower yet in towns. And, if you're winding through the Pyrenees...

    This assumes "standard" touristy riding - stopping to take pics, have lunch, look at the scenery, etc. Cheap fuel (and lots of it) in Andorra.

    Re: lodging. I've found that booking.com has better listings in smaller towns and villages. Hotels.com seems to focus on larger cities. Haven't tried airbnb.com.
    #6
  7. RideDualSport.com

    RideDualSport.com TPB all the way

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    Dantee and Michael, thank you for your input! Much appreciated! My first, and only ride in Europe was 11 years ago all through the Alps, it was awesome. It's good to know that daily mileage in the Pyrenees could be similar to the Alps. I'll do a bit of planning on lodging in some potential small towns, but still remain flexible, in case a certain area attracts us more than another.
    Dirtpatch, I am using IMT Bike Rental.
    http://www.imtbike.com

    Cheers!



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  8. glitch_oz

    glitch_oz Long timer

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    Since you're SOOOO close (~200km), maybe have a look at the Picos de Europa. to the east of Bilbao.
    For dramatic landscapes ( and breathtaking roads) they leave the Pyrenees for dead.
    This route has a couple of dead-ends to it, for the sake of scenery and extremely picturesque (and friendly) local towns along the way.
    Not quite the "race-quality" asphalt, though :-) but no gravel (considering that "2-up" bit).
    For all I know, this might not even be the best of the Picos, but by gosh, you'll wish you'd have a few extra days :-)
    https://goo.gl/maps/VsQvqKnKoKL2

    Check it out with "streetview"
    #8
  9. RideDualSport.com

    RideDualSport.com TPB all the way

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    Glitch, thank you for suggesting Picos de Europa!
    I've heard of it, and I'll see if I can incorporate it. I am sure our two weeks travel, will just scratch the surface of all the beauty!
    Once I retire, I'd love to live in France, because I am a French born and a citizen.
    Cheers!


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  10. glitch_oz

    glitch_oz Long timer

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    There sure are worse places to retire to :D
    Your 2 weeks will be a cracker.
    Just stay away from the coastal tourist circus, the locals in the hinterland are gold:clap
    #10
  11. Otherworld

    Otherworld Been here awhile

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  12. pip_muenster

    pip_muenster curious

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    That's also my recipe for all of the Spanish med-coast ...
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  13. glitch_oz

    glitch_oz Long timer

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    The thread starter mentioned
    indicating a road bike 2up, therefore "all paved", yes!

    Maybe start another "Picos-offroad" thread?



    Man, right you are! This thing's a beehive!
    Anything 30k+ inland is a relief.
    There is some great dirt/ gravel riding in the back of Roses (Rosas) and Cadaques/ Castelfolit de la Roca just south of the French border though...(slobber)
    #13
  14. MazztheSpazz

    MazztheSpazz Adventurer

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  15. L_Bomb

    L_Bomb Strewth and blimey

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    The N260 along the Pyrenees in Spain is like a race track, I highly recommend it! When I visited in 2013, the French roads were in noticeably poorer condition so I ended up spending most of the time on the Spanish side.
    #15
  16. WIBO

    WIBO Will it buff out?

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    Hi

    October can be a bit hit and miss in the French side of the Pyrénées weather wise. It's usually warmer on the Spanish side and less wet.....or not!!

    What I normally do is check www.viewsurf.com for town/mountain webcams so as to get an idea of live weather before I head off. I've seen me leaving home in inclement weather to have a coffee in sunshine on the other side of the mountains. :)

    www.lachainemetreo.fr is usually accurate enough also for a wee peep at what the weather holds in store.

    If you follow your front mudguard after a rough idea to see where you're going to go, then calling in at a tourist office will have an English speaker organise an hotel etc if need be. I'd say leave reasonably early and bimble along enjoying your ride so as you can be ensconced in an hotel at a reasonable hour....where you'll relax and be ready to dine at an easy speed. You could also set your GPS to avoid autoroutes and bigger main roads here and there as you choose.

    I usually check wikepedia the previous evening to see if there's any where of interest to see en route and relative to my interests.

    If you need any advice on specific routes around Pau 64000 FR to the Atlantic and Med' and to cover the Aragon and Navarre regions of Spain (and some) don't hesitate to ask.

    Enjoy your ride!!


    :)


    .
    #16
  17. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    October in the Pyrenees or Alps is likely to have wet moments. In August too, come to that. So have a set of waterproofs and warm wear available.
    Having said that, I have experienced plenty of days into December when it is warm and bright enough to sit outside and have lunch.
    Bearing mind by October, nights are drawing in and darkness drops early. It will not only be dark, but probably pretty cold, even if hot at mid-day.
    The big bonus is the lack of other people - which can mean some of the summer time facilities are closed down for the season.

    Wilbo is right, French towns with a tourist office are incredibly helpful and a great resource, many small town ones don't stay open beyond the various tourist seasons - either summer (mid September) and\or winter (xmas to easter in the mountains with skiing). Bigger towns where they become Maison de Tourisme are more likely to be open. They will also have every pamphlet and brochure of every possible attraction within miles around. Failing a pukka tourist office, you should always try the Marie - the Mayors office\Town hall. They always have the Bleu Blanc Rouge or tricolour, for anglophones, flying. Also look for Libertie, Egalitie, Fraternitie.

    The approach to many habitations have a lay-by with an "i" or"Info" board, with at least a map showing you the major attractions - the high school or swimming pool, and also the restaurants and hotels.
    Many Chambre d'Hote, the French B&B, have a small yellow and green sign outside. Not always much English, but a welcome, a bed and breakfast. An evening meal often requires forewarning.
    #17
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  18. WIBO

    WIBO Will it buff out?

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    Great additional info there for a would be traveller :)

    .......as an aside if you see a sign for ' table d'hôte' at accommodation they'll offer a set menu evening meal if you can't be bothered to go out and about and not just breakfast.


    Enjoy your ride

    :)


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  19. bavarian

    bavarian bavarian

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    I've spent a lot of time in the Pyrenees and there's a lot of good riding to be had there. The best for me? Take the road from Tremp to Berga via the Coll de Nargo. I've done lots of Dolomites, Tuscany etc., but this road was the best for me ever. Try it!!
    #19
  20. Fishnbiker

    Fishnbiker Tire smuddy, hook swet

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    If getting to Alicante, you are not far from some of the best areas in all Spain. Andalucia is a rider's dream. Roads, culture, food, cheap hotels. Ask more after looking here ...

    https://fishnbiker.smugmug.com/Travel/Spain

    Granada ...

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    Almunecar ...

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    #20
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