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Old 05-14-2013, 08:53 AM   #1
akadas OP
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Question American lost in Spain!

Hi!

My first post here and I have 2 weeks to dedicate to a trip some time in the next 3 months. My first choice - land in Spain, get a motorcycle, and travel through Spain getting a mix of off-road and tourist attractions. I have never been to Spain so I am unfamiliar with possible routes - but I would like to hit Barcelona, Madrid, and Cordoba along the way. I'm not at all shy to spending several nights in a tent along the route, but I would like to get at least 2 hotel pit stops along the way to relax, shower, and enjoy the culture.

Personally, I'm not down to purchasing another motorcycle, I have an f800gs here in the States that I'm quite comfortable riding and would like something in the same category as a rental - rather than buy some junker for the two week trip. If that means that my route needs to somehow loop back to my starting point then I'm fine with that. Also if it is more realistic to ship my bike to Spain then back to the US, I would be fine with that, but I somehow think that this would be a huge hassle.

I am aiming for June 28th to August 11th weeks, so I will probably try to book by the end of the month. Your thoughts and insights are greatly appreciated. I'm counting on you guys, because I may have to settle for a boring hotel resort vacation otherwise!
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:13 AM   #2
Avispao
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Renting is the best option for you. Buying a bike for 2 wk is a stupid thing for multiple reasons (burocracy, mainly).

You won't have any problem renting a bike (bmw or other) in Madrid or Barcelona , where i supose you will end landing.

The main trouble only will be the hot and the traffic near the beaches for those days.
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:33 AM   #3
Meter Man
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I rented from http://www.imtbike.com/index.asp

Good folks, I rented from the Madrid location. Efficient and reasonable price. The motorcycle was in good condition.

I reccomend renting or bringing a GPS. Spain has a lot of poorly marked rural roads along with graffiti defaced signs in urban areas.

I did a ride up to the pyrenees and along both the French and Spanish sides and down to Barcelona as well. The road between Tossa Del Mar and Sant Feliu De Guixols is fantastic. The country of Andorra is also worth a visit.
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:36 AM   #4
akadas OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avispao View Post
Renting is the best option for you. Buying a bike for 2 wk is a stupid thing for multiple reasons (burocracy, mainly).

You won't have any problem renting a bike (bmw or other) in Madrid or Barcelona , where i supose you will end landing.

The main trouble only will be the hot and the traffic near the beaches for those days.
That is good to know about renting - my first choice.
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Old 05-15-2013, 05:20 AM   #5
MichaelJ
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Originally Posted by akadas View Post
That is good to know about renting - my first choice.
For a two week ride, it's really your only choice. Shipping your bike over and back will cost a lot more than 2 weeks of rental - not to mention the bureaucratic and shipping hassles.

Buying and registering a bile for a short term can range from merely difficult to virtually impossible.

Renting, you fly in, hand them your money, they provide you a new(ish) bike in good repair with all necessary documents & insurance and you ride off.

I rented for 6 years out of Italy & Switzerland until I finally wised up and shipped one of my bikes over to be stored between rides.

I'd go with the late June / early July time frame. The weather will be great and the crowds will just be starting to trickle in.

Europe goes on vacation in August, crowds are up, resources are down and it's hot at lower elevations.

OTOH - September can be great - everybody's back to work and the weather is still good.
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Old 05-15-2013, 05:30 AM   #6
Avispao
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJ View Post
OTOH - September can be great - everybody's back to work and the weather is still good.
In Spain, June and Sept are the best months for travelling, really: less people, less traffic, long daytime, hotels are cheaper than in july and august and weather is good for the first 2wk of the month, usually. The last 2wk of june are usually very hot, and the last 2wk of sept are usually very rainy.

But usually people can't choose when to go on vacation, so...
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:26 AM   #7
akadas OP
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I wish that June or Sept were possible, but I run on the same schedule as the rest of the world. I will try to push my trip into July as much as possible though.

That IMT site looks like they have reasonable pricing - and they are loaded with info too - I may use some of their route ideas.
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Old 05-15-2013, 12:17 PM   #8
Avispao
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akadas View Post
I wish that June or Sept were possible, but I run on the same schedule as the rest of the world. I will try to push my trip into July as much as possible though.

That IMT site looks like they have reasonable pricing - and they are loaded with info too - I may use some of their route ideas.

Some ideas:

- Going from Barcelona to Valencia throught the interior mountains. There are very pretty villages as Morella, and the roads are fantastic, avoiding all the traffic of the beaches and the tolls of motorways.
- Going from Madrid to Cordoba through the west (Jaraiz de la Vera, Trujillo, Merida). If you go in a direct way, that's completely plain and straight.
- As important cities to see: Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Cuenca, Córdoba, Granada... but there're lots of small pretty villages everywhere... so the best idea would be buying a guide book.

- Making spanish schedules for breakfast (7-9am), lunch (1-3pm) and dinner (8-10pm) you won't have any problem finding where to eat and you will taste much more dishes, because dishes for lunch are different than the ones for dinner.

- If you can, make the booking of the hotels before arriving, because it's high season. I usually use booking.com for that. You can do that from any smartphone at the many cafés and bars with wifi.

That's all !!!
Enjoy.
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