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Of all the cycling holidays we offer, our tours in the Spanish Pyrenees have a special place in our hearts. The roads are very quiet; some days you'll be lucky to pass a dozen cars. The people are warm and friendly and they revere cyclists. The food is wonderful, the hotels are all 3 - 4*. The landscape goes from the lush, green, rolling hills of Basque country to the manicured vineyards of Catalonia, and in between there are beautiful lakes, cool, shady gorges, tiny cobbled towns perched on isolated hills, and fields of peaches and sunflowers. The cols aren't as high, or as famous as those on the French side of the Pyrenees, but they're equally as challenging.
Everyone who's ridden it so far has been astonished by the sheer beauty and tranquillity of this undeveloped and unspoilt part of Spain, and they all say it's nothing like they expected it to be. It's the perfect place to unwind, away from the hassle and pressure of modern life.
We start in Irun on the Atlantic coast, heading straight out of town and into Basque country with its rolling green hills. As with the Raid Pyrenean, we stay as close to the French/Spanish border as we can, but on this side of the border we're riding through tiny towns on virtually empty roads. There are 25 cols on the route, but some of them have no obvious names and no markers, although you'll definitely know you've climbed them.
The stages are as equal as we can make them within the geographic limitations of the mountains, averaging 164km per day, with a maximum of 187km and 3,000 metres of climbing.
SPANISH RAID™ - 6 NIGHTS - £1,000 - 850 KM - 25 COLS, CLIMBING AROUND 16,000 METRES
This follows the same route as the Spanish Raid, but gives you an extra day to enjoy the ride. We cycle across the Spanish side of the Pyrenees, keeping as close to the French/Spanish border as possible. Apart from the beautiful scenery, this area is steeped in history, much of it from the wars, including the Spanish Civil War. There are monuments and memorials dotted around the mountains, as well as sculptures in the most unexpected places.
We cycle five fairly equal days, with a maximum distance of 150 km and around 3,000 metres of climbing.
6-DAY SPANISH COAST TO COAST - 7 NIGHTS - £1,200 - 850 KM - 25 COLS, CLIMBING AROUND 16,000 METRES
It was only a matter of time before it occurred to us that if you were to cycle the Reverse Raid Pyrenean and then cross over the border and cycle the Spanish Raid, finishing where you started, it would be a complete circumnavigation of the Pyrenees. This is probably the most difficult tour that we offer, and it makes the perfect charity cycle ride.