Bike Tour in La Rioja & Basque Country
First visit Spain's most famous wine region and its world-class wineries, picturesque villages and fantastic scenery. Then cycle through the coastal landscape of the Basque Country - a region with its own identity and charismatic history. Stay in the best hotels of both regions and delight yourself with local cuisine in its awarded restaurants, with up to 3 Michelin stars.
Starting from Bilbao, you will cycle through the spectacular landscapes of La Rioja, immersed in a sea of vineyards that is lost on the horizon. Stop at the local "bodegas" to enjoy the region's bold red wines, visit world heritage monuments or even cycle through a small section of the Camino Francés de Santiago. Rest and recover at a wine therapy spa, before leaving for the Basque Country and its magnificent coastal city of San Sebastián (or Donostia, in Basque).
Set at a natural amphitheater facing the sea and protected by mountains, enjoy its beach and gastronomy - after all, Donostia has the highest concentration of Michelin starred restaurants in the world per square meter, with a total of 11. From this privileged location,you'll get to ride along the rugged coastline of the Basque country and its lovely fishing villages that seem to be taken from a fairy tale, until you arrive at Bilbao.
Breakfast at your hotel; Today you'll have a very scenic and relaxed loop ride, through the hills and small pueblos alongside the River Ebro. You'll be riding on secondary roads, on a mostly flat route until Miranda de Ebro, after which you'll begin facing a long climb of 12 km. The first half is steady and not very steep, having the last kms a bit more accentuated steepness. After the peak at 657mts altitude, you'll be riding down for the last 24 kms of today's ride, all the way to your hotel. Hotel – Eurostars Los Agustinos or Palacio Tondón ("Premium" option)
Breakfast and check-out at your hotel; Start riding east on the roads towards San Vicente de la Sonsierra, and its church standing out on the top of the hill. From here we follow the GR-99, which runs along asphalt and some dirt and with continuous ups and downs, admiring the spectacular vineyards that accompany us throughout the trip. We go through Baños de Ebro and leave the GR-99 in the vicinity of Elciego where we can admire at the entrance of the town the modern architecture of the winery of the heirs of Marqués de Riscal. Continuing towards Laguardia, we'll be climbing 200mts throughout the next 7km - your hardest climb of the day. Ride atop a small plateau halfway to the peaks of the Sierra de Cantabria for around 8kms to start descending towards Villabuena de Álava and your hotel for the day. Hotel – Hotel Eguren Ugarte or Hotel Viura ("Premium" option)
Breakfast and check-out at your hotel; Today's ride will have a very smooth but continuous positive slope, for the majority of the route. Ride out of your hotel towards south and across the river Ebro, headed for San Millan de la Cogolla and its two UNESCO World Heritage Monasteries, at km 36. Set at the foot of the Demanda Mountains, this village is 728 metres above sea level on the banks of the River Cárdenas. You'll probably meet some pilgrims visiting the monasteries, taking a small detour from the Way. From here you'll head to Santo Domingo de La Calzada, with a short (4km) but rewarding descent, before a smooth and steady climb of 14km on a cycle path up until Ezacaray. Hotel - Hotel Pura Vida or Echaurren Hotel Gastronómico ("Premium" option)
Breakfast and check-out at your hotel; Transfer from Ezacaray to San Sebastián - 2h private transfer After breakfast and check-out, you'll be transferred to San Sebastián and to your hotel for the day. After check-in we have a small Loop ride prepared for you, in case you want to do a small reconnaissance lap. If not, just indulge into San Sebastián's many pleasures: it's bay and beaches, or one of the 11 Michelin-starred restaurants. Hotel - LaSala Plaza Hotel or Akelarre Relais & Châteaux ("Premium" option)
Breakfast and check-out at your hotel; Today's ride will send you along the Basque country coastline, amidst its green woods and atop the cliffs that overlook the sea. Start by facing your toughest climb of the day, up until km7, followed by the corresponding descent and a plain section until the magnificent beach of Zumaia. Being the rest of the route mostly flat, you'll still have to face two climbs this stage reserves for you. One right after Zumaia and the other up to Lekeitio and your hotel for the day. Hotel - Hotel Zubieta (upgrade to superior room in "Premium" option)
Breakfast and check-out at your hotel; Start by facing your toughest climb of the day, up until km 13. Then descend towards Guernica and its magical Oma woods. The rest of the day will be flat, except for two sharp but short climbing sections, until you arrive back at Bilbao. Hotel - Hotel Carlton or Gran Hotel Domine ("Premium" option)
At the scheduled time transfer to Bilbao Airport.