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French Pyrenees & Spain's Rioja Region Bike Tour

Basque Country from Bilbao to Biarritz

  • Soak up sweeping views of the grand Pyrenees as you pedal over the scenic border from Spain to France
  • Rioja's bold red wines pair perfectly with jamón serrano, ripe green olives or thick slices of Manchego cheese
  • Revel in the rare opportunity to visit and taste at one of Laguardia's few underground wine caves still in operation
  • Luxuriate in the artistry and comfort of Hotel Marqués de Riscal, designed by famed architect Frank Gehry
  • Learn about the rich and colorful traditions of Basque culture

A unique corner of Europe unlike any other. Part French, part Spanish, a warm and proud people with a history and identity all their own. Tranquil mountain villages, the capital of the French Basque Country, bold Rioja wines and world-class biking from the majestic Pyrenees to the sun-drenched Atlantic coast.

French Pyrenees & Spain's Rioja Region Map

Itinerary

Days 1-2 Explore the mountainous landscape of northern Spain on two wheels, from the foot of the Sierra de Cantabria to the ancient stone walls surrounding Laguardia Admire the vibrant reds, yellows and greens of Rioja vineyards shimmering in the morning light Stop for pintxos (tapas) along the way Tour the underground cellars of a Laguardia winery Only a few of these wine caves still operate within the village walls, and our chance to visit and taste here is unique A gentle descent brings us to the Hotel Marqués de Riscal, our exquisite home for two nights.

Days 3-4 Pedal across the Spanish border into the grandeur of the French Pyrenees Indulge in impossibly rich chocolate in beautiful St-Étienne-de-Baïgorry Incredible biking awaits as you ride through the idyllic French countryside  Local flavors come alive at our tasting of Irouléguy AOC wines and Ossau-Iraty AOC cheese.

Days 5-6 Breathe in the fresh sea air as mountains give way to coast Spin through charming towns festooned with garlands of bright red piment d'Espelette (sun-dried peppers), a cornerstone of the region's cuisine  Enjoy lunch in Bayonne, the fascinating capital of the French Basque Country  The quaint seaside village of St-Jean-de-Luz invites you to bask on a sandy beach or wander its shop-lined cobblestone streets Is your bike calling your name this morning? If you're up for a few miles, enjoy a final ride along the coast.

Wonderful time with great people! Our fabulous guides made it so easy for us to just get on a bike and ride without worrying about anything. All the accommodations were beautiful and unique. The bikes were always ready, snacks and water ready to pack and lunches on the road were fantastic.
CanadianCari - Winnipeg, MB Canada

We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception. Read the Straight Talk

Straight Talk
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.

Limited & Fixed Menus

On many nights, the gourmet restaurants where we dine offer specially prepared limited or fixed menus featuring a delicious selection of authentic regional cuisine.
$4,498 - $4,898
pp dbl. occ.
(+$1,000 to $1,110 for sgl. occ.)

Reviews

6 days, 5 nights
Activity Level

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Open 7 Days a Week
6 am - 6 pm Pacific time

Start / End
Bilbao, Spain/Biarritz, France

Meals
All breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners included

Bikes


C Classic Dates

Videos

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Premiere Inns

Accommodations may vary based on departure date. Any difference from what is listed below can be found by clicking on your desired date on the Dates & Prices tab.

800-462-2848 Open daily, 6 am - 6 pm Pacific time

Hotel Marques de Riscal

Hotel Marqués de Riscal

Elciego (2 nights)

Created by Frank Gehry to complement his famed Guggenheim design in Bilbao, this architectural masterpiece—featuring Michelin-starred cuisine—is a destination unto itself. (pool, spa)  

Auberge Ostape

Auberge Ostapé

Bidarray (2 nights)

A beautifully restored traditional Basque farm from the 17th century offering pastoral tranquility and dramatic views of the surrounding emerald hills. (pool, spa)

Grand Hotel Thalasso & Spa

Grand Hôtel Thalasso & Spa

St-Jean-de-Luz (1 night)

Built in 1901, this hotel has retained the charm of the belle epoque while seamlessly incorporating modern luxury. (spa)

Guest Reviews

There's no better way to find out about Backroads than by hearing it from the people who have traveled with us. For more about the Backroads Experience, read our Guest Testimonials.

800-462-2848 Open daily, 6 am - 6 pm Pacific time

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French Pyrenees & Spain�s Rioja Region Bike Tour
 
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5.0

Fantastic Trip with Great People!

By 

from Winnipeg, MB Canada

Verified Buyer

Comments about French Pyrenees & Spain�s Rioja Region Bike Tour:

Wonderful time with great people! Our fabulous guides made it so easy for us to just get on a bike and ride without worrying about anything. All the accommodations were beautiful and unique. The bikes were always ready, snacks and water ready to pack and lunches on the road were fantastic.

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Dates & Prices

The earlier you book, the more choice you'll have and the lower your price. And you can always change your mind—you won't be charged to transfer to a different trip before your final payment is due.

Please click on a date below for specific pricing and possible itinerary variations.

800-462-2848 Open daily, 6 am - 6 pm Pacific time

AVAILABLE TO BOOKi GOING FASTi CONTACT USi PRIVATE TRIP - RESERVEDi

Interested in a Private Trip? Check out the Make It Private tab for private dates available, or call us at 800-462-2848.

This Trip Is Rated Levels 2-5

Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one day to the next—and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.

800-462-2848 Open daily, 6 am - 6 pm Pacific time

Daily Route Options
Day EASYGOING ACTIVE AVID
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
miles feet gain miles feet gain miles feet gain miles feet gain miles feet gain
1 12* 600 15* 1500 30 2000 38 2700
2 21* 1900 26* 2300 38 3000 49 5200
3 6* 500 14* 1600 25* 2100 36 3300 46 5300
4 23* 2100 31* 2800 41 3900 47 4500
5 25* 1700 31* 2100 52 3600 62 4300
6 6 400
 

Note:

* Includes shuttle.

Learn more about how we determine our activity levels and fully support a range of abilities and interests.

Please note that our distance and elevation figures come from Ride with GPS. Other sources (such as Map My Ride and Garmin devices) may give differing elevation figures due to different GPS and mapping technologies. Readings from a Garmin or a smart phone are influenced by other factors such as air pressure.

Why Travel with Backroads in French and Spanish Pyrenees

We Take Away the Hard Choices

If you can't decide between France's mountainous southwest and the scenic wine country just across the border in Spain, we make it easy – with a unique itinerary that combines both. Start out biking among rolling vineyards and medieval hamlets in La Rioja, sampling great vintages as you go; then head into the foothills of the French Pyrenees, discovering the rich Basque culture and its hearty cuisine. With Backroads, two distinct experiences add up to one great trip.

More Leaders to Support You

On our French and Spanish Pyrenees trips we have an extra leader supporting you along the road—for a total of three, compared to the industry standard two. So we can be in more places at once, giving personal attention to guests traveling at their own pace. Here's more on our Trip Leaders.

A Second Van When You Need It

Backroads is the only active travel company providing two support vans in French and Spanish Pyrenees—because we know it's essential to ensure a truly great travel experience. It doubles our ability to be there when you need us to offer hydration, lighten your load or give you a lift if it's time to take a break. Read more on why two vans make all the difference.

Everyone at Their Own Pace

We design and support our French and Spanish Pyrenees trips to suit mixed abilities and varied interests—so you can set your own pace, then change things up as the day unfolds. And all guests are free to do the same, traveling together or apart, with no one cramping anyone else's style. Which sounds easy in theory, but it's hard to pull off. Here's more on how we do it.

A Variety of Routes Each Day

In French and Spanish Pyrenees you head off each morning after choosing among several expertly designed routes—all with detailed directions, mileage and shuttle options. Unlike trips with one fixed daily route (or worse, one guide that everyone's obliged to follow), you're free to enjoy the best of the region at your pace, stopping wherever you want to explore further.

The Best Leaders in French and Spanish Pyrenees

Backroads has the best-qualified people to lead your trip in French and Spanish Pyrenees, and our guests back that up, rating our Trip Leaders an average of 9.75 out of 10 for all-around quality of performance. Get the facts (and no fluff) on how we recruit and develop the very best people for your trip.

Great Bikes Included (or Upgrade)

Choose a Backroads Custom Titanium or Custom Electric Assist bike—both are included in your trip price. Maybe a Specialized carbon-fiber pro model is more your speed or go for double fun on a tandem. Our fleet is the best in active travel, so you don't have to roll the dice on this vital trip component. Learn why our titanium bikes are ideal for most riders. See the bike options for this trip.

Navigate Your Way in French and Spanish Pyrenees

Your ride comes equipped with a Garmin Edge Explore 1000, the best bike-touring GPS device on the market. This is a Backroads exclusive, and it's included with your bike in French and Spanish Pyrenees. If you prefer to bring your own device, we also have downloadable GPS files and of course, our good old paper directions are always available. Read more on why our navigation options are the best.

We Know Where We're Going

Tom Hale has been keeping Backroads on track, with one eye on the horizon, since 1979. His passion for active travel, and for ensuring the highest-quality travel experience, is evident in every detail we add to make a guest's trip unforgettable—and the fact he's right there in the office, making it happen. To hear Tom describe his vision, watch our video.  

Your Trip Will Run. Period.

Under our Book with Confidence policy, your Backroads trip will run even for one or two people (or a family of three or four), subject to a nominal extra fee. Or transfer to another trip, and we'll give you a credit. It's all part of our trademark commitment to treating guests with integrity, transparency and total accountability. Read all the details.

800-462-2848 Open daily, 6 am - 6 pm Pacific time

Private Trips Options & Pricing

Gather your favorite people to share a Backroads adventure on a ready-to-book Private Trip - featuring all the legendary Backroads hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities. You can pick from the selection of dates below for your group; some dates are only available for 16 or more guests while other dates are available for 8 or more guests. If your party has fewer than 8 guests, or your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you. Call or email us to reserve your date.

800-462-2848 Open daily, 6 am - 6 pm Pacific time

Pricing for Private Trips

2017

  • 10 or more guests: from $4,498 pp dbl occ
  • 8 - 9 guests: from $4,898 pp dbl occ
  • 6 - 7 guests: from $5,798 pp dbl occ
  • 4 - 5 guests: from $6,298 pp dbl occ
  • 2 - 3 guests: from $7,298 pp dbl occ

2018

  • 10 or more guests: from $4,498 pp dbl occ
  • 8 - 9 guests: from $4,998 pp dbl occ
  • 6 - 7 guests: from $6,298 pp dbl occ
  • 4 - 5 guests: from $6,698 pp dbl occ
  • 2 - 3 guests: from $7,798 pp dbl occ

Click on a date below for specific pricing and possible itinerary variations.

8 AVAILABLE TO BOOK FOR 8 OR MORE GUESTS 16 AVAILABLE TO BOOK FOR 16 OR MORE GUESTS RESERVED

Don't see your ideal travel date? Make a Date! i

Other Trips in French and Spanish Pyrenees

Easy to Book Private Trips

Invite your family and friends on an adventure that's entirely your own - for your group of 8 or more. Find out more