July 7th
Departure day
France, Spain
Destination
Expert
Difficulty level

Biking in the Pyrenees is an amazing experience for those bikers that fancy travelling on mountain paths and singletracks. This bike trip is developed on gravel roads, lonely trails and singletracks and some few paved roads. Like in a masterpiece they link beautiful valleys and Romanic and medieval towns of the Catalonian and French Pyrenees. The tour starts in “Vielha”, Catalonia, the door entrance to the famous “Val d’Aran” where we find lots of ski resorts nearby and it finishes in Toulouse, capital of Languedoc Province and one of the most important cities in the south of France.
Along the ride we’ll have all sorts of possible weather, which is absolutely normal in the Pyrenees between springtime and summer. The tour combines nice and calm rides and very demanding up hills and down hills.
It’s remarkable that most of the singletracks and trails are extremely lonely, really off the beaten track and we’ll breathe nature every time. The beauty of this trip is not only given by the magnificent mountainous views and pristine fir trees and pine forests, but also for the Romanic towns and churches and old constructions that make us dream about centuries ago. The cuisine of the Pyrenees is inspiring: Mediterranean flavours that really worth to be tasted plus the will of the locals to make us feel comfortably “at home” are a recipe not to resist. This is an unforgettable experience; we look forward to ride together in the next upcoming tour!

ARRIVAL / DEPARTURE CITY Barcelona / Toulouse-Blagnac
DEPARTURE TIME: 12 p.m. at “Camp Nou” in Barcelona
SERVICES INCLUDED
Tracks to load in your GPS
Trilingual guide Spanish/English/French along the tour
All breakfasts and dinners included
Eight nights in Hotels (2 stars) double based, breakfast and dinner included
One night in refuge in communal rooms, breakfast included
Medical insurance
Mechanical assistance
Van transfer Barcelona – Vielha
and van transfer St. Bertrand de Comminges – Toulouse
Daily transportation of your luggage
NOT INCLUDED
Lunch and drinks, air tickets and taxes, transfers not detailed in the program, mechanical parts, laundry and personal expenses
MTB aluminium frame, front fork and disc brakes (to be rent)
Relaxed afternoon at thermal pools “Termas Baronía de Les”

Additional information

LocationSt Bertrand de Comminges, Vielha
Duration10 days
DatesJune, July

Pyrenees mtb tour, starting in “Vielha” in north Spain up to “St. Bertrand de Comminges” in south France.

1

Day 1:

We meet in Barcelona’s “Camp Nou” stadium and our van will drive us to “Vielha”, Catalonia. The transfer takes four hours, so once we arrive to the hotel we’ll receive and prepare the bikes and introduce the trip to everybody before enjoying a delicious dinner
2

Day 2: Vielha - Gotarta

The meeting will be in Vielha’s main parking from where we’ll take a shuttle of 20 minutes to drive us to the other side of the tunnel of Vielha, a tunnel that has 3.20 miles length and links the “Alta Ribagorza” with “Val d’Aran” and where is not allowed to ride a bike. Our luggage will remain in the hotel to be transported by our organization, so we’ll only carry a small backpack with us, with the most important gear to use during the day. During the first five days of the tour we’ll cycle bordering the national park “Aigüestortes i estany de Sant Maurici”. On the first haul we ride over a gravel road with moderate difficulty, with short technically demanding stretches. This side of the Pyrenees has a Mediterranean weather which means it’s a little bit better than the French side of the mountains. After passing by a water reservoir named “Embassada de Senet” we’ll arrive in “Viñal” and the old small Romanic “San Martín” church, built in the XI Century.
Another few miles and we are in “Vilaller” where we’ll have lunch and the downhill is finished. The following challenge will be the “Col de Serreres” a tough uphill of 3,2miles and 400meters elevation gain and once in the top we start an outstanding millenary “Alta Ribagorca” singletrack to “Val de Boi” that will challenge our riding skills and where we’ll find an original Romanic cross.
Another serious uphill is waiting for us and will take us through “Iran” where we’ll have our lunch and “Irgo” where we’ll find the lonely “Chapel of Sant Salvador d’Irgo” from where we’ll get great views of the valley. After achieving the “Coll de Sant Salvador” there will be some few remaining miles to arrive in “Gotarta” a very small town where only thirty seven inhabitants live. Merce, the owner of the house, will be in charge of a lovely and homemade dinner.
27 miles and 4500ft elevation gain
3

Day 3: Gotarta - Espui

A short downhill will be the start of the day, but it won’t last for long, as after passing by “Malpás” we start a strong uphill of five miles and 1970 feet to gain the “Collado de Peranea”. The tough ride makes up because of the beautiful surrounding views. Along the trip we’ll find drinking fountains, although we advice to cycle with at least two water bottles. Finally the first ride down starts, crossing old little towns like “Erta” and “Sas”, and lunch stop will be in “Les ‘Esglesies”. There’s a pending challenge for the afternoon: The “Coll d’Oli”, which is steep and hard, although will give us some short stretches to recover. In the top there are non cycling parts, so we’ll need to push the bike for a while until the “Chapel of Coll”.  “Astell” we’ll be the last town where to get fantastic views of the valley before arriving in Espui.
31 miles and 4300ft elevation gain
4

Day 4: Espui - Espot

Today we start with one of the main attractions of the trip: The “Coll del Triador” and “Coll de la Portella” the highest Peak in the tour at 7.440 feet. We won’t have an intermediate spot where to buy our lunch, so the best will be to carry our picnic from the beginning. The uphill is steady and moderate, that allows us to find our pace while we ride up surrounded by lots of pines and magnificent scenery. As soon as we go up we leave the forest and views open to let us admire the “Val Fosca” and the snowcapped peaks. After riding up and down we start the incredible downhill to Espot and “Vall de Espot”, and in the last stretches it will be necessary to take care, as the singletracks of “Super Espot” ski resort have some technical difficulties. Thanks to the accurate signposting plus the support of the GPS we’ll safely arrive to our hotel. When entering the town we’ll pass by the “Pont de la Capella”, a Romanic styled bridge of medieval times over the “Escrita” river, built between XI and XII centuries. The town is a framework of very old houses, and it’s easy to get lost while walking the tiny but charming streets.
27 miles and 4200ft elevation gain
5

Day 5: Espot - Montgarri

The day begins with a moderate singletrack parallel to the asphalt road. In the Pyrenees is not easy to find flat land, so little after the start we gradually start going up. From a viewpoint at 4.900 feet we get great views of “La Guingueta d’Aneu” reservoir and the town “Esterri d’Aneu”.  Eight miles after we arrive to “Son” a dream town and architectonic Romanic set where the “Sant Just i Sant Pastor” church, built between XI and XII centuries stands up. Just by the church we leave the asphalt and start a fantastic trail named “Camí del Calvari” bordering the national park “Aigüestortes i Lago de Sant Maurici” prelude of the incredible “Bosque del Gerdar” the biggest fir tree forest in Spain, the place we probably imagined in our childhood when listening to fairy tales. The forest is so dense that sunrays hardly hit the ground, but the lush green mosses, blueberries and raspberries give the perfect colours to turn the landscape into a perfect palette.
Once we are away from the forest we keep riding over a dramatic downhill until “Sorpe” and “Isil” another medieval rock town. From there and ahead we face a steady uphill, overcoming 1600 feet in more than 13,70 miles, following the narrow “Vall d’Aneu” valley and the “Noguera Pallaresa” river, tributary to the “Ebro” river.
The views of the pristine mountains covered by green and black pines, on the way to “Refugio de Montgarri” are again overwhelming. This refuge is a recycled building used by the priests when the “Santuario de Montgarri” was built in the 1.117 year.
33 miles and 420ft elevation gain
6

Day 6: Montgarri - Vielha

After breakfast we start a short but beautiful uphill to “Baqueira – Pla de Beret” one of the ski resorts of the “Val d’Aran” and the source of the “Garona” river. After crossing the parking of the ski resort we’ll find the Menhir “Peira roia” a giant standing rock, probably showing any sort of sacred place from the Stone Age. From 6.000 feet over the sea level we start a fantastic way down to Vielha, using different trails and singletracks with several difficulty levels while we passing by “Unha”, “Arties” and “Garos”. We’ll have a free afternoon to rest and walk in the town.
15 miles and 1000ft elevation gain
7

Day 7: Vielha - Les

We leave riding a slow and hard uphill, achieving 1.000 feet elevation gain in three miles through a demanding trail, and immediately we loose the same altitude in more than a mile! After crossing International road N-230 we start riding a beautiful gravel road surrounded by lush vegetation, which means we are leaving the Mediterranean weather influence to dive into the Atlantic one. We’ll pass through “Arròs”, “Vilamos” and “Arres Dessus”, we’ll get great views of the valley and then rush into the desired downhill to “Bossost” in the border with France.
From “Bossost” to “Les” is only a couple of miles to get there, following the Garona’s river course. We’ll have a second free afternoon to rest and enjoy the roman thermal baths of Les that rise at 37° degrees. Great oportunity to recover in the thermal pools.
20 miles and 3000ft elevation gain
8

Day 8: Les - Aspet (France)

After breakfast we leave Les to enter in France. In the first miles we’ll follow an easy gravel road parallel to the main road. Then in “Saint-Béat” we leave the gravel to start a hard uphill road that will lead us to the “Col de Menté” gaining 2600 feet in six miles. The “Col de Menté” is normally one of the “Cols” used in the “Tour the France” and in the top we’ll enjoy a soft drink and a snack before matching a fantastic downhill gravel road with lots of viewpoints of the rural farms of this side of France. The trail is surrounded by green deep forests until arriving in “Juzet d’Izaut”. We finish the ride in “Aspet” the first French town of this tour.
31 miles and 4200ft elevation gain
9

Day 9: Aspet - St. Bertrand de Comminges

After breakfast we leave “Le Bois Perché” towards “St. Bertrand de Comminges” on a paved road. Shortly after we match a trail, and if there’s any rain, we’ll probably have to deal with mud. The surroundings are pretty attractive, little coloured sown fields, carefully preserved farms, cattle of the mountains always carrying a bell from its necks and the Pyrenees in the horizon. The first town will be “Izaut de l’hôtel” and after six miles we’ll ride up to gain 1300 feet in four miles at “Col des Ares” and then one of the last great way downs of the trip to arrive in “St. Pe d’Ardet”.  The rest of the day will be undulated while crossing “Barbazan” and “Loures-Barousse” rural towns of the “Haute Garonne”. Almost getting there, we’ll be able to sight the incredibly fortified “St. Bertrand de Comminges” and its fabulous cathedral. Originally named by Romans “Lugdunum Convenarum” in the year 72 b.c., it changed its name in the year 1.100 a.c. after bishop Bertran de l’Isle-Jourdain had lived there improving the quality of life of the inhabitants by helping the town to develop. The city preserves the old medieval style, it keeps the walls and the “doors” that allow communication, and hosts the immense gothic Cathedral “Santa Maria”.
21 miles and 2500ft elevation gain
10

Day 10: Adieu Pyrenées - transfer to Toulouse-Blagnac airport

You can choose to be transferred to “Toulouse-Blagnac” airport, from where you can connect flights to different European and international cities, or to Toulouse City, where the tour ends.

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