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Old 11-21-2013, 08:28 AM   #1
soises OP
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Location: Austria - South of the Alps
Oddometer: 13
Wicked around spain - advice welcome

Hi, buenas tardes!

My name is Markus and I´m planning to go around Spain in May 2014 with a friend.


If you have suggestions, tips and "must sees" please tell me! Weather, roads, recomanded shops, landmarks, places of interest, sights, biker bars and meeting places, cultural things, good mechanics, .... everything is of interest to us.




Code:
The Route
(more or less - without Ronda I noticed just now)

We are from the South of Austria and planning to go in one day to Livorno (about 600km) and leaving Italy by ferry to Barcelona (1 day transfer). The ferry-boat arrives in the evening and we want to start early the next morning.

At first we want to go north and cross the Pyrenees (with a shopping day in Andorra) in about 4-5 days (about 1.000km) until Donostia (San Sebastian). After that we follow the coast line (parallel in the mountains) to Santiago de Compostela (about 1.000 km)

At the second stage of our journey we like to "do" Portugal from North to South with stops in Porto, Peniche (surfing), Lisboa until Sagres and Faro. (about 1.200 km)

In Faro my travel compagnion will leave me and return home. He simply doesn`t have the time to stay any longer and so he is thinking about flying home and bringing the bike back with DHL, a carrier or something like that. Does anyone have ideas for that kind of transport?

I will continue through Andaluzia with Cadiz, Girbraltar (going to Tanger for an afternoon), Ronda, Granada (Al Hambra of course) and then as fast as possible back to Barcelona. This last part will be about 1.800 km.

Then back on the ferry and the autostrada home.

We did a simular trip - riding a 1.000 km on country roads for about 3 days then rest one day in a nice city and never set a foot/tire on the freeways/superhighways - last year to Italy, the south of France and Switzerland.

Anyone between Granada and Barcelona want`s to go for a drink?

Do you think it`s possible? Have we overlook something? Any advice? :)
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Old 11-29-2013, 06:59 AM   #2
skiller
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Hi!

It is possible of course :-)
Try to learn some words and frases in spanish. Generally nobody speaks english.
The cornice is rainy, you're need to some rainsiute.
The locals often said 'no tengo prisa' (i'm no hurry) and i like it.
Try to get more time for this trip, it is not a race :-)

Good luck

Sergio
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Old 11-29-2013, 07:03 AM   #3
skiller
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I recommend you:
Bilbao (Sopelana, Mundaka are the best places for surfing).
Avilés and Gijón (The best cider you drink is here).

At the end of may in Andalucía there are very strong sun. Be careful.

Yours,

Sergio
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Old 11-29-2013, 07:07 AM   #4
EltonAvenue
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEseJViidy8
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Old 11-29-2013, 08:18 AM   #5
The Spanish Biker
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Hi,

Basically you have a nice plan, but 'skiller' is right, you definitely need more time -or do less this time and come back again :)

It's far better to concentrate on one region, say the Pyrenees and the Cordillera Cantabrica, in the latter case running up the coast and then back down in the mountains - or a kind of 'spiral' route interchanging the two - check out my recommendations for the Pyrenees to see what I'm getting at - that way you can also alter your route in detail depending on the weather.

A few details. forget about Andorra, it sucks, as do all the roads in and out and you get better shopping on eBay.

You seem to be doing most of the Pyrenees on the N260, thee are some good bits - including the bit where I have my summer base - but you're missing the best by far.

Cantabria - you'e missing the Picos de Europa!!!

Galicia - you're missing the coast, that's what the place is all about. i.e the famous 'Rias' Spain's take on the fjords!

Portugal, off my patch so no comment.

The south - good, glad to see you're not missing Cordoba, brilliant but go via the Sierra de Grazalema region, Ronda, etc. rathe than along the Costa del Sol.

The Mediterranean coast - basically, forget it! Ride up inland of the Littoral mountains for some of the best roads and scenery money can buy. OK, some cities are worth an detour back, e.g. Cartagena, Valencia Tarragona (where you can also buy me a drink if I'm not in the Pyrenees!), and of course Barcelona.

Other tips, definitely learn the language - a few basic words will maKE the whole holiday soooo much better :)

Regs

Simon
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Old 11-30-2013, 02:44 AM   #6
Teabar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skiller View Post
I recommend you:
Bilbao (Sopelana, Mundaka are the best places for surfing).
Avilés and Gijón (The best cider you drink is here).

At the end of may in Andalucía there are very strong sun. Be careful.

Yours,

Sergio
+1 for that cider, Sergio. Best I've ever tasted.

In the north I would recommend skipping the Pyrenees and stick to the N260 as you plan (you come from the Alps so the Pyrenees, although fantastic, don't offer you the contrast you're maybe looking for). Definitely head for San Sebastian (a truly beautiful city built around a great beach) - I've some words about it on my blog - link shown here. You can skip the Pyrenees bit :-)
http://sdtravelogue.blogspot.co.uk/2...s-belated.html

The coast road across the top is very nice and an inland trip to the Picos would be a great detour if you yearn for the mountains as you work your way towards Galicia and northern Portugal. Potes is a good central location in the Picos. Lots of accommodation, bars and restaurants. You can hire bicycles there if that's your thing.

Barcelona is a must. Madrid is a fantastic, mad and beautiful city. If you find yourself anywhere near I would recommend a couple of days. Malaga and Seville are also great cities with typical Spanish charm. You've also got Granada for the Alhambra palace. I would go inland at the Costa Del Sol as already mentioned. The whole area is now a massive connurbation lasting for miles and it comes with the traffic to prove it. The 397 from San Pedro to Ronda is a well known classic.

Have fun.
Steve
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Old 12-02-2013, 04:28 AM   #7
soises OP
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thank you guys! that`s a lot to think about.


Main Question to all of you: some people told us, that May is much to early for the pyrenees. the passes will be still closed because of snow, that it will be cold (about 5 degree) and rainy. Also the whole north coast could be grim because of bad weather.

is that true? has anybody experienced it like that? should we postpone it until june?


the "getting the bike back from portugal" problem is by now sorted out as it seems.

I took a basic class in spanish (Soy Markus. ?Que tal?") and will take a intermediate class in february, but getting it recommodated by you, I am even more happy to have taken that step.

"Ncesito una nueva rueda del tipo tour en la dimension 180 a 55." Vale? ;)


At the mediteranian coast I would like to include roads like this (just 4 fun and without the video game-thingy): https://www.google.at/maps/preview#!...13m1!1e1&fid=0



ad skiller>
Time is a scarce good on your trip. But I agee fully.
and thanks for the cider advice. I`ll think of you, when I hold my first cider in hands.


ad The Spanish Biker>
ad pyrenees: we want to start in "Roses" and take a route like this through the mountains.

I will write to you when I`m coming to Valencia for a nice drink. :)


ad teabar>
Thanks for the link. We will study it!
And take the 397 to Ronda. :)
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Old 12-03-2013, 06:27 AM   #8
hispaniaTours
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If you are in Barcelona or Malaga and up for it, have a stop at our stores - we are Austrians as well and happy to meet you !
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Old 12-04-2013, 05:17 AM   #9
The Spanish Biker
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Hi Matey,

Re, your route from Roses. it's fine from Vielha onwards, especially the C28 Port de la Bonagua before you get to Vielha.

But before there you're better on this route - see my Googlemap

If you start at Roses you could visit the Cap de Creus, the easternmost point on the Peninsula, then you can do all the extreme points on your tour: Cap de Higuer - northern end of the Pyrenees, Cabo de Estaca de Bares, - northernmost pint overall. Cabo de Touriñan - westernomost in Spain somewhere in Portugal - westernmost in Iberia / mainland Europe. Cabo de Tarifa , southernmost. Plus a few others. Cabo de Gata - whee teh straits of Gibraltar end and the med begins - also one of the few unspoilt bits of the Med coast. etc. etc.

Cheers

Simon

Re, the Pyrenees in May. You'll have no problems with roads being clsed with snow - this year's weather was exceptional and in any event the main roads are cleared the same morning. May is a lovely month but the weather can be a bit unstable - along the north coast it's always a gamble! -
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Old 12-25-2013, 10:45 AM   #10
jesperd
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A friend and I are taking a two week ride in Spain end May/early June, so I'm interested in your advise too. We don't have any route planned and is probably going to collect points of interest and just decide the back roads once we're there. Thanks, Markus, for starting the thread. Maybe we'll bump into each other somewhere.
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Old 12-27-2013, 03:34 AM   #11
The Spanish Biker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesperd View Post
A friend and I are taking a two week ride in Spain end May/early June, so I'm interested in your advise too. We don't have any route planned and is probably going to collect points of interest and just decide the back roads once we're there. Thanks, Markus, for starting the thread. Maybe we'll bump into each other somewhere.
Jesper
What kind of things do you find interesting, castles, forests, wineries, etc.?

Cheers

Simon
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Old 12-27-2013, 11:03 AM   #12
yorkieterrier
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I have a 15 night trip round Spain and Portugal planned next summer.

If you drop me an email address I will share the route with you.

I am planned however so spend more of the journey than you not just just following the coast
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Old 12-27-2013, 11:07 AM   #13
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https://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?ms...7332,21.643066
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Old 12-30-2013, 12:58 AM   #14
The Spanish Biker
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Originally Posted by yorkieterrier View Post
This looks like you have a fantastic route Matey!

I see you're planing to ride to the top of the Peña de Francia - absolutely worth it!



The road you're taking up from Ciudad Rodrigo is very rough - you can just see it winding down the mountainside in the distance - reminded me of Morocco years ago :)

Two or three comments:

You're obviously riding right down south on day 1, after staying near Santander. But a similar route via Avila takes you o¡to a road that runs along the main massif of the sierra de Gredos - this is an unmissable road, so unless you have a special reason to go via Salamanca - which would be a good place to stay - it's Spain's equivalent to Oxford/Cambridge with architecture to match - head down to Avila, which is famous for its medieval walls that are still visible as you ride around the city, then take the N502 as far as the Venta Rasqilla and turn onto the for Barco de Avila and on to Bejar to rejoin your itinerary.

http://youtu.be/fF_CzJ1igg0

It may be worth staying on the N502 as far as the viewpoint in the video and doubling back, but it would be a great mistake to miss the Gredos highway - one of the best roads in Spain in my humble o :)

I can't comment much about Portugal but the road through the Peneda-Geves national park is amazing.



But it may also be worth staying up there, heading north from Lobios towards Castro Labiero and then riding down along the Minho river, hopping from Portugal to Spain and back as the fancy takes you along the way.

I see you're taking it fairly easy on the 25th. It's worth staying at Santiago, I usually avoid cities but when i was on tour I felt I ought to see the cathedral and i was very pleasantly surprised - the city s everything the guide books tell you and it's not 'overwhelmed' by the pilgrims. But the road there is a bit boring so instead of going back down it on head down the N550 to Padron and from here there's a small and wild road that takes you back to the coast at Noia. Stop for lunch at Muros - one of my favourite places!



Sorry to barge in with so much. You can see more details on my blog.

Regs

Simon
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Old 01-01-2014, 07:12 AM   #15
yorkieterrier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Spanish Biker View Post
This looks like you have a fantastic route Matey!

I see you're planing to ride to the top of the Peña de Francia - absolutely worth it!



The road you're taking up from Ciudad Rodrigo is very rough - you can just see it winding down the mountainside in the distance - reminded me of Morocco years ago :)

Two or three comments:

You're obviously riding right down south on day 1, after staying near Santander. But a similar route via Avila takes you o¡to a road that runs along the main massif of the sierra de Gredos - this is an unmissable road, so unless you have a special reason to go via Salamanca - which would be a good place to stay - it's Spain's equivalent to Oxford/Cambridge with architecture to match - head down to Avila, which is famous for its medieval walls that are still visible as you ride around the city, then take the N502 as far as the Venta Rasqilla and turn onto the for Barco de Avila and on to Bejar to rejoin your itinerary.


It may be worth staying on the N502 as far as the viewpoint in the video and doubling back, but it would be a great mistake to miss the Gredos highway - one of the best roads in Spain in my humble o :)




Thanks Simon,

I have changed my route from the top of the Peña de Francia

Could you please post a map the route you suggest regarding the N502

Cheers

James
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