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Basque Country Bike Tour

French Pyrenees & Spain's Rioja

From $4,498 - $4,698 pp dbl. occ. | 6 days / 5 nights

(+$1,000 for sgl. occ.)

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.

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Spain & France

Start Bilbao / End Biarritz

French Pyrenees & Spain's Rioja Region Map

Highlights

  • Admire sweeping views of the grand Pyrenees as you pedal over the scenic border from Spain to France
  • Savor Rioja's bold red wines, which pair perfectly with jamón serrano, ripe green olives or thick slices of Manchego cheese
  • Luxuriate in the artistry and comfort of Hotel Marqués de Riscal, designed by famed architect Frank Gehry
  • Learn about the rich and colorful Basque culture, a fascinating blend of French, Spanish and local traditions
Spain & France

Start Bilbao / End Biarritz

French Pyrenees & Spain's Rioja Region Map

Itinerary

Days 1-2 Explore the mountainous landscape of northern Spain, from the foot of the Sierra de Cantabria to the ancient stone walls surrounding Laguardia | Take in the vibrant reds, yellows and greens of Rioja vineyards | Stop for pintxos (tapas) along the way | Tour the underground cellars of a Laguardia winery, one of only a few wine caves still operating within the village walls | A gentle descent brings us to our exquisite hotel for two nights.

Days 3-4 Pedal across the Spanish border into the grandeur of the French Pyrenees | Indulge in rich chocolate in beautiful St-Étienne-de-Baïgorry | 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 | If you're up for a few more miles, enjoy a final ride along the coast.

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. View cancellation policy.

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

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C Classic Dates

2018 July
2018 August

View Private Dates

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 of 8 or more. 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.

2018 Private Trip Pricing
  • 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

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

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

  • 8 AVAILABLE TO BOOK
    for 8 or more guests
  • 16 AVAILABLE TO BOOK
    for 16 or more guests
  • Reserved

C Classic Tours

2018 May
2018 July
2018 August

View Scheduled Dates

Prices

From $4,498 - $4,698 pp dbl. occ.
6 days / 5 nights

(+$1,000 for sgl. occ.)

Premiere Hotels

Hotel Marques de Riscal
Hotel Marqués de Riscal

Elciego (2 nights)

Auberge Ostape
Auberge Ostapé

Bidarray (2 nights)

Grand Hotel Thalasso & Spa
Grand Hôtel Thalasso & Spa

St-Jean-de-Luz (1 night)

Activity Level

This trip is rated Levels 2-5

What's Included

Services and equipment are included.

Why Backroads

Why Travel with Backroads in French and Spanish Pyrenees

Reviews by Power Reviews ®

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Premiere Hotels

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 View Scheduled Dates or Private Dates tabs.

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)

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.

Daily Route Options (drag to see full )

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 level 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.

Meals

All breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners

Available Bike Options

The key to a stellar day’s ride is a bike that’s perfectly in tune with your cycling style… Backroads has you covered with the best bike fleet in the world! Read on for your available bike options for this trip or view our full bike fleet in further detail.

Backroads Titanium Bikes (Included in your trip price)

Our custom-built titanium bikes are specially designed for you—and we offer different models for varied terrain so your bike is ideally suited to the region. Our custom-made bikes are included in your trip price.

Touring Bike (Included)

Road Bike (Included)

For trips departing before 4/15/18, please see available bike options here.

Backroads Custom Electric-Assist Bike (Included in your trip price)

Wishing for a little extra assistance up those hills? Our custom Backroads Electric-Assist Bike lets you experience the thrill of exploring on two wheels while providing a boost when you want it. We've modified a selection of our great Titanium Bikes with the intuitive BionX "pedal-assist" system.

Backroads Custom Electric-Assist Bike (Included)

Specialized S-Works Roubaix & Ruby ($400 rental fee)

Ride like a pro with the new top-of-the-line S-Works bike featuring ultrasmooth Shimano Di2 electronic shifting. Faster and smoother than any other bike out there, this race-ready carbon machine delivers phenomenal acceleration and handling in an ultralight, ultrapowerful package—perfect for experienced riders. The Specialized S-Works Ruby is a light, agile speed machine precisely designed for women. You can upgrade to a Specialized S-Works Roubaix or Ruby on your trip.

Specialized S-Works Roubaix (Upgrade)

Specialized S-Works Ruby (Upgrade)

Co-Motion Torpedo Tandem ($400 rental fee)

Do you prefer to spin in tandem with your partner? You'll love the Co-Motion Periscope Torpedo tandem on your Backroads trip. You can upgrade to a Co-Motion Torpedo Tandem on your trip.

Co-Motion Torpedo Tandem (Upgrade)

Also Included

  • Expertise and services of our experienced Trip Leaders
  • Snacks and beverages between meals
  • Additional guides and experts from the region on many trips
  • Van shuttles to support a variety of route options
  • Comprehensive Travel Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at museums, historic sites, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the Travel Planner
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Special events, including wine tastings and other select attractions as mentioned in the Travel Planner
  • On biking and multi-adventure trips, use of fully equipped Backroads titanium bike plus helmet and accessories
  • Trailercycles, carriers, and kid-sized helmets for Family Trips
  • Equipment and experienced guides for kayaking, rafting, snorkeling, sailing and canoeing as described
  • Park and other entry fees
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the Travel Planner
  • Select coach transfers
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Get the Straight Talk about This Trip

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.

Terrain & Shuttles

With Rioja's limestone cliffs and Pyrenees' foothills, you can look forward to some great climbs and steep descents. If you want a boost, we can flatten some of the hills with strategic shuttles, but you should be comfortable with some long downhills or hopping in the van for a lift.

Why Travel with Backroads in French and Spanish Pyrenees

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—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 more about our bike fleet.

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.

Photo Gallery

French Pyrenees and Spain’s Rioja Region
French Pyrenees and Spain’s Rioja Region Bike Tour
French Pyrenees and Spain’s Rioja Region Bike Tour
French Pyrenees and Spain’s Rioja Region Bike Tour
French Pyrenees and Spain’s Rioja Region Bike Tour
French Pyrenees and Spain’s Rioja Region Bike Tour
French Pyrenees and Spain’s Rioja Region Bike Tour

Videos

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.

Terrain & Shuttles

With Rioja's limestone cliffs and Pyrenees' foothills, you can look forward to some great climbs and steep descents. If you want a boost, we can flatten some of the hills with strategic shuttles, but you should be comfortable with some long downhills or hopping in the van for a lift.
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