Signature Climbs Series - The North

8 days / 7 nights Bilbao, Basque Country, Cantabria, Picos de Europa, Asturias, Gijon Ride the famous climbs of Northern Spain Fully Guided & SupportedQuality Hotels & Country Retreats Challenging

Overview

A truly classic road cycling holiday that "bags" all the famous passes of the fabled Green Spain that the pros have ridden over the years in La Vuelta. On an unrivalled journey that takes us through the Basque Country, Cantabria, the stunning Picos de Europa and ends in Asturias with the incredible Angliru, this is a fully supported and guided trip for those who want to sample some amazing scenery and of course test themselves on some world class ascents and thrilling descents. ¡Vamos!

Route Map


View Signature Climbs - The North of Spain Road Bike Tour in a larger map

Highlights

  • Attempt the toughest climb in Europe - The Angliru
  • Famed ascents of Lagos de Covadonga, Pena Cabarga & El Fito
  • Discover the fabled home of Road Cycling in Spain!
  • Ride with the Cycling Country team, on legendary Vuelta climbs
  • Explore national parks with stunning mountain scenery
  • Epic A to B journey through 4 unique provinces, with local food & customs
  • Enjoy Asturiano cider, Basque country cuisine and mountain dishes of Cantabria
  • Traditional and quality accommodation in peaceful locations
  • Some of the best road cycling in Europe

Gallery

Cycling In Cantabria on a Cycling Country Road Bike Tour Cycling in Asturias on a Cycling Country Bike Tour Great eats on a Cycling Country Bike Tour Cycling In Cantabria on a Cycling Country Road Bike Tour Cycling In Cantabria on a Cycling Country Road Bike Tour Cycling In Cantabria on a Cycling Country Road Bike Tour Signature Climbs Series - The North - We love Road Cycling Cycling In The dreaded Angliru on a Cycling Country Road Bike Tour The Cider route in Asturias on a Cycling Country Bike Tour Cycling In Cantabria on a Cycling Country Road Bike Tour Cycling In Cantabria on a Cycling Country Road Bike Tour Cycling up Peña Cabarga on a Cycling Country Road Bike Tour Asturia and its dreaded Angliru Climb, Try it on a Cycling Country Road Bike Tour

Itinerary

Day 1. Bilbao Basque Country

63km
We meet in the Basque city of Bilbao, home to famous Gugenheim museum. A short transfer brings us to our beautiful rural hotel retreat in the quiet countryside. Ride into the foothills of the local mountains for a warm up ride. Climb a gentle 3rd category road up to Las Munecas, a famous pass where in La Vuelta race days of past the locals are out in a sea of orange supporting their home Eusakadi team. Enjoy our welcome dinner trying the high quality basque cuisine. Pickups offered from Bilbao airport. Please contact us if you require nights in Bilbao prior the tour.

Day 2. Puerto de Alisas, Pena Cabarga, Cantabria

105km
A full day today, ride from the hotel through small villages into the higher mountains. Our morning destination is the category 1 Puerto de Alisas, a climb featured regularly in many Vueltas. After dropping down to near sea level contemplate our next challenge, the unique Pena Cabarga climb. Another cat 1, the Cabarga was raced up 3 years ago with Chris Froome of Team Sky taking the win. It is only 6km long but the views from the top of the coastline explain the average 9% slopes that hit 19% for a few horrible metres. Descend back down to our tranquil beach resort on the Cantabrian coastline - maybe even time for a quick late evening dip in the sea?

Day 3. Picos de Europe, Potes, Fuente De

106km
Today's route takes in the stunning Picos de Europa, often voted as one of the most beautiful spots in Europe. A morning ride takes us past flowing rivers as we pedal onto the mountain village of Potes, our base for the next 2 evenings. From here we will climb the col of Fuente De (a gentler ascent), made famous in 2012 as the place Alberto Contador sealed his Vuelta victory. From this picturesque high head back down to our mountain retreat hotel and enjoy a group dinner together.

Day 4. Rest day or ride the Luengas pass

115km
An optional ride or rest day to explore this pleasant market town. Options exist to take a hike in the Picos, maybe venturing up the cable car. Potes is one of the most attractive villages in Cantabria and is surrounded by spectacular mountains and the interesting local stone housed villages. For those who would like to ride the bike, we will taking a spin out to the conquer the picturesque Puerto Piedra Luengas pass, heading onto the village of Cuervas de Pisuerguera. A free day to dine, try regional favourites like "cocido lebaniego" (mountain stew).

Day 5. San Glorio Pass, Cangas de Onis

120km
Another epic day of riding awaits as we start by pedalling up the smooth hairpins of the San Glorio pass to a height of 1206 metres. The scenery of the surrounding mountains is breath taking (as is this 26km climb!). After this grand achievement we ride down through gorges before ascending again to a viewpoint that shows off a vista unsurpassed. What goes up must come down and so enjoy a descent of over 40km to tonight's town of Cangas de Onis Cangas is a great place for bars, restaurants, and of course the famous cider.

Day 6. Lakes of Covadanga, El Fito, Vilavicosa

95km
The morning is all about the ascent to the Lagos de Covadonga, a hors category thriller which is probably the most famous climb in Spain and many a past Vuelta has been decided here. To be featured in La Vuelta 2014, it will no doubt affect the general classification. Making it to the high lakes at the top, cruise back down to continue along a valley of flat and fast roads. After fuelling up for lunch, try the short category 1 "El Fito" to reach a 360 degree viewpoint of stunning vistas. Descend down the smooth tarmac along the green Asturian valleys, finishing in Vilavicosa. Stay in a restored 17th century inn in the historic centre.

Day 7. The Angliru

90km
Our final riding day could be the best! Cycle to the base of the most feared climb anywhere on the cycling race circuit - the mythical Angliru. This hors cat mountain will challenge us like no other climb. A 12.5km hairpin ascent of super steep bends of upto 23.5% (avg of 10%), your triple/compact chainset will be needed! A test for all climbers (previous Vuelta winners include Contador, Heras and Simoni), this was where Chris Horner sealed his 2013 victory and Wiggins cracked to lose the red jersey to Cobo in 2011. We transfer back to our beautiful rural hotel in Laviana and enjoy a group meal. Uncork a few bottles of Asturiano cider to celebrate our mountain adventure.

Day 8. Transfers

After breakfast, it is time to say goodbye as we take our transfers to Oviedo-Asturias airport or a drop off in the interesting seaside city of Gijon. Options to extend your stay in Gijon.

Trip Details

  • Tour Style
  • Classic Road - Guided - Challenging

    Bikes - Road

    Groups Size - 6+

    Route - Bilbao / Basque Country / Cantabria / Picos de Europa / Asturias / Gijon

    See Map for Details

  • Activity Level
    • Challenging - (Daily average of 100 km over mountainous terrain). The tour is suitable for experienced cyclists of all ages who have a good level of fitness and enjoy road biking. It goes without saying - expect climbs! Be prepared to descend mountain roads. Quiet country and mountain roads. Rolling countryside with long mountain passes.
  • Accommodation
    • 7 Nights
    • Specially chosen quality hotels
    • All bedrooms are en-suite
  • Food
  • 3 dinners of 3 courses (including wine, beer, soft drinks)

    7 breakfasts and

  • Extras Included
    • Welcome drink and meeting
    • Complimentary custom Cycling Country Spain Race cycling jersey
    • Complimentary Cycling Country water bottles
    • Tour guide book / Route notes / maps / profiles
    • Experienced guides with a wealth of local knowledge
    • Daily snacks and refreshments (muesli bars, fruit, nuts, etc and drinks)
  • Staff
  • 2 leaders with full van support to pick up souvenirs, provide refreshments, act as guides, offer tips and insights throughout the day, provide directional signs where required, transfer luggage and provide on-road assistance. 1 guide cycles with the group

  • Transfer
  • Arrival point - Bilbao centre Hotel

    Departure - Transfers back to Oviedo-Asturias airport or Gijon centre at the end of the tour

  • Bikes
  • You can bring your own road bike (we have facilities to collect and store bike boxes for the duration of the trip) or we can arrange good quality road bike hire either Carbon Trek Madones 3.1 (160 Eur) or Orbea carbon-alu frame (120 Eur) for the tour. If you do bring your own bike, we recommend a compact or triple chainset.

  • Getting Here
  • Bilbao is well connected with international flights, train and coach services. Please see our Getting Here section for further details.

Lodgings

“Oh sleep! it is a gentle thing, Beloved from pole to pole.” Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Will you be wishing you were back in bed on this tour? Possibly, sometimes, Yes of course! The hills are there for the day, so your night times should be free of any obstacles to blissfulness.

Dates & Prices

Dates For 2014 Price In EUR
22 - 29 June 2014 Eur 1,395
Custom Dates - Your Choice if booking with a group of 6 or more (check for availability)
Single Supplement Eur 250
*Price includes all local taxes. Single supplements apply (see individual trip details).
Please note we transact in Euros.
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