A 9-day Pyrenees mountain biking tour where you will MTB from Spain to France. An amazing experience if you fancy travelling on mountain paths and singletracks
This Pyrenees mountain biking tour 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”. Here we find lots of ski resorts nearby. The tour 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. This is absolutely normal in the Pyrenees if you MTB from Spain to France between springtime and summer. The tour combines nice and calm rides with very demanding up hills and down hills.
1st day: 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
2nd day: 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”.
3rd day: A short downhill will be the start of this Pyrenees mountain biking tour, 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”.
4th day: 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.
5th day: 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.
6th day: After breakfast we continue out ride to MTB from Spain to France with 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”.
7th day: 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.
8th day: 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.
9th day: After breakfast on this Pyrenees mountain biking tour 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”.
10th day: 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.