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Ride and savor the absolute best of Spain's glorious, gorgeous Basque Country. From the Spanish Pyrenees to the Rioja wine region to the San Sebastian seashore, this tour offers the region's very best riding, lodging, feasting and drinking. Start off with 3 nights in Isaba, a noble town in the foothills of western Spain's Pyrenees. Ride from here across the border into the French Pyrenees for more iconic climbs. Ride west to cycle and explore Rioja's wine region. Feast on regional specialties. Sample local wines. Bike farther west and north to finish off with three nights at a gorgeous seaside inn in San Sebastian. From glorious mountains to flower-filled vineyards to salty seashore, the memories from this trip will stay with you forever.
Meet us in the Basque Country. Head to Kili bike shop for a bike fitting, then on to Isaba, a cobblestone-lined town tucked into the Spanish Pyrenees.
Meet us in the Basque Country. Head to Isaba, a noble town tucked into the foothills of the Pyrenees in the valley of Roncal. Narrow cobblestone streets lined with steep-roofed stone mansions are hemmed in by rugged mountain peaks. The historic town center boasts a 16th-century church-fortress, that of San Cipriano. In this region of Navarra's Pyrenees, the higher peaks begin, making for stunningly beautiful cycling and few cars. Isaba will give you the opportunity to climb to the 2015 July 14 Tour de France finish at La Pierre Saint Martin. Stay three nights here at Hostal Lola, near the town center.
Ride a warm-up loop in the Navarra Pyrenees, from Isaba to Zuriza to Anso to Puerto de Matamachos - then north again to Garde and back to Isaba.
Bicycle from Isaba through the gorgeous Navarra Pyrenees to Matamachos col today. Rolling roads wind through stunning mountain vistas on this loop. Pedal south, west, then north again to Isaba's cobbled streets. Stop along the way for a typical Spanish 'pintxos' (similar to tapas) lunch. Today's ride is about 60 km.
Choose between two options for the group today: Somewhat challenging. Or seriously challenging.
The group will choose between two great rides today:
Option one: The Laza col is a view-filled 70-75 km loop through the hillsides from Isaba to Puerto de Laza (with a 4 km climb to the summit), then down again to Otsagabía, Navascués, then a 7 km climb up to Puerto las Coronas - and back again to Isaba.
Option two: Head north into France for a 90-km hilly loop tackling some of the tougher climbs in the Pyrenees, including Arette La Pierre Saint-Martin and Larrau. Stunning views that even your legs will remember!
Transfer to the Basque wine region of La Rioja and the town of Laguardia. Stop in Pamplona to explore the streets where the running of the bulls takes place during the San Fermín festival.
This morning, van to the wine region of La Rioja province, just south of the Cantabrian Mountains. Stop en route to see the old quarter of Pamplona where the running of the bulls takes place every July. Check into the sumptuous Villa de Laguardia, home for the next 3 nights. Hop back onto the bicycle for an afternoon ride through the vineyards and up the Puerto de Bernedo and the Puerto de la Herrera. Stop along the way to explore the fabulous Marques de Riscal winery, designed by Canadian architect Frank O Gehry. Feast at the Restaurant Amelibia tonight, with its fabulous views of the vineyards. Off to a great start in the wine country!
Take on the 8%-average grades of the Puerto de la Herrera, a mountain pass through the heart of the Sierra Cantabria.
Take on a beloved local climb today, over the Puerto de la Herrera Pass through the Cantabrian Mountains. Pass through one of the stops of the Camino de Santiago: the village of Viana, where Cesare Borgia is buried. Today's ride is 65 km. Dine tonight at Hospederia Los Parajes.
Ride an 85 km cultural trade route for fish and wine, stopping along the way for a museum visit.
Ride 85 km today, visiting a museum celebrating the route of the fish and wine - a fascinating commercial route that in the past was well known and much traveled.
Transfer to the coastal town of San Sebastian and a 2-night stay at the magnificent beachfront Hotel Londres.
Take a morning shuttle to the beautiful seaside town of San Sebastian. You'll spend 3 nights here at the gorgeous seaside Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra. Jump onto your bicycle for an unforgettable seashore ride. Enjoy sheltered roads and matchless views, always with the sea at your side, as you bicycle through tiny fishing ports and acres of vineyards. The history of the Basque Country - one of wine and fish - is inextricably linked to the ocean. The region is especially well known for Txakoli grapes, which produce an exuberant, bright, often fizzy white wine. Today's ride is one you'll remember forever. And tonight's dinner at a San Sebastian Gastronomic Society - the very essence of the culture of Basque Country gastronomy - will also be one for the books.
Ride part of the circuit of the Clasica de San Sebastian. Feast at one of the oldest restaurants in Basque Country.
The one-day Clásica San Sebastián bicycle race has a place in the mind of every lover of cycling. The route runs along the seashore, through the city and includes a climb up the Alto de Jaizkibel - the defining moment where all is bet. Ride a 70 km section of the race route today, including this don't-miss climb with incredible views. Tonight's feast is at one of the Basque Country's oldest restaurants: Casa Camara, housed in a 17th century mansion with a dining room overlooking the sea.
Bicycle 70 km to the Santuario de San Miguel de Aralar, a monastery dating from the 9th century that served as the finish line for the 2014 Vuelta a España.
Spain's smallest province, Gipuzkoa, is synonymous with beauty in a pure state. The Monastery of San Miguel de Aralar is a beautiful spiritual symbol of respect towards the land, of pleasure and beauty. Today's final ride, a route climbing San Miguel de Aralar to finish at the monastery (as did La Vuelta a Espana in 2014) is something barely explainable with words. Celebrate the ride - and the trip - tonight with a final dinner at a Basque cider house specializing in regional dishes. Stay one last night at the Hotel de Londres.
Shuttle to the airport for your return journey home.
As an optional extra, a person traveling solo on any inn-to-inn trip may reserve a room for his or her exclusive use. This will guarantee you a private room and private bath every night. Unlike other tour companies, if you're willing to share a room, there is no extra charge for coming solo, no matter when you sign up for the tour - even if you wind up with a private room by default.