Hi again to all our readers!!!
Last August (2016) we set out to run with our bikes the Pyrenees from end to end. The original idea was to start at Cap de Creus lighthouse (Roses, Girona) but considering that this area in summer but, particularly, in August is pretty busy because of the tourism in Costa Brava. Instead, we decided to start from Ribes de Freser (Girona). From there, we accumulated more than 1,900 Km in 5 days.
Stage 1: Ribes de Freser (Girona) – Alins (Lleida) ≈320 km
Once we had breakfast, we started climbing the N-260 road towards Collada de Toses (1,790 meters). After more than 50 km of curving, we arrived to Puigcerdà. From there we headed towards France on the N20 road to start 15 km of ascension to Porté-Puymorens (1,920 meters). Afterwards, we got the diversion to the road that entered us to Andorra (Pyrenees country) through El Pas de la Casa. At that moment, we decided to stop and have lunch because it was almost 2 pm.
Retaking the route after our stop to recover energy, we crossed the beautiful country of Andorra. In addition, we bought some motorcycle clothing, which sometimes is cheaper than in Spain, and also some parfumes and cosmetics for our family. Continuing down our journey, we came back to Spain through La Seu d’Urgell. From there, we headed towards Sort on the N-260 road and started Port del Cantó (1,720 meters) which meant 25 km of mountain curves. After that excitement, the road took us to the village of Sort. This is a very famous one because they sell Christmas lottery at its famous Administration: La Bruixa d’Or. Continuing our indications, we followed the road towards Vielha by the C-13 road, where we got diverted in Llavorsí. It was almost early evening and it was time to stop. For this, stayed in the small village of Alins (La Vall Ferrera). We were not far from the “ruta dels contrabandistes” (smugglers route) that come straight on from Andorra passing through a sand forest track Alins-Tor-Pal-Andorra. It would had saved us a lot of time but our bikes are not ready for this. You can watch out what it looks like at the following video of our friend Xavi Fabregas.
Stage 2: Alins (Lleida) – Jaca (Huesca) ≈370 km
We start a new day at the beautiful village of Alins and with good weather conditions. After having breakfast, we packed everything and started our journey. First of all, we took the road C-13 and C-28 towards the Port de la Bonaigua (2,076 meters). From the highest point, spectacular views of the entire Vall d’Aran. Continuing the road, we went through Baqueira and, finally, to Vielha (beautiful city of the Aranese Pyrenees). From there, we took the N-230 for a few km because we turned left at Bossost to catch the N-141 and start Col du Portillon (1,293 meters), border between Spain and France. Following this road we got to Bagnères-de-Luchon, famous city by the passage of Le Tour de France. At this point, begins the ascent to Col de Peyresourde (1,569 meters) by the road D618. Going down we will connect by the D918 to first complete Col d’Aspin (1,489 meters) and then the famous Col du Tourmalet (2,115 meters) where we stop to have lunch in the countryside.
After our lunch stop, we continued towards Lourdes on the D921 and D913. We wanted to explore the famous city and its Catholic Sanctuary. After being able to park our motorbikes, we were able to get in (free entrance). It is amazing how many people goes there to pray and to fulfil promises in its interior. After this break, we decided to continue our journey. It was very hot (35-40ºC) and with our motorbike equipment, our body was almost boiling. We drove back along the same roads to start the penultimate ascent of the day: Col d’Aubisque (1,709 meters) going through D918 road. The views there are spectacular! In addition, our body temperature was much better back in the nature than in the city roads. The noon was starting to fall. So better to start pushing a little bit to link the road that gets us back in Spain D934 road to the Portalet (1,794 meters). After crossing the boarder, we found us in Formigal (well known for its winter sports). From there, there were still a few km to reach the final destination of the day, the city of Jaca. We got there riding through the roads A-136 and finally the A-26. A nice dinner at the hostel was awaiting for us.
Stage 3: Jaca (Huesca) – Idiazabal (Guipuzkoa) ≈315 km
After recovering energies at this nice hostel, we started our next target of the morning: to get to Roncesvalles and enter to France by San Juan Pie de Puerto, mythical start of the French Way of Saint James. To get there, we took the road N-240 and, after, the A-21 Lumbier’s direction. From there, we turned to NA-150 Aoiz direction, where we linked with the NA-1720. From San Juan Pie de Puerto we decided to go straight on to Bayona and skip the two mountain ports that we had in mind. This was caused due to the high temperatures (+ 40ºC). We arrived to Bayonne by the D918 and D932 where we stopped to have lunch near the beautiful cathedral. We had the chance to visit a medieval market that was being held at the cathedral’s cloister.
After cooling down and visiting Bayonne, it was time to continue in order to reach our target: Híger lighthouse. To get there we passed through Biarritz, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Irún and, finally, Híger lighthouse (final point and end of the Transpyrenees route according to the RoadBook prepared by VectorNote). To finish our day, we had a little walk in Donostia back to Spain. Finally, it was time to go to bed and for this, we had the chance to stay in a hostel in the famous village of Idiazabal, well known for its cheese.
Stage 4: Idiazabal (Guipuzkoa) – Ainsa (Huesca) ≈345 km
We start our 4th day day of the Transpyrenees route with sadness. It is time to start our return home: Mataró (Barcelona). Our return was not going to be all at once. We decided to go straight on to Pamplona. To get there we took the motorway A1, then diversion to A10 and finally the N-240-A. We did not stay in Pamplona nor visit anything because the weekend of 7-9 October 2016 we were going to be attending Navarider challenge. From there, we took our way that had to get us to the Mountain port of Larrau. After a stop to fill in our tanks, we realised that the road was closed due to a forest fire. We had to find an alternative: we took another road which got us to the French La Pierre Saint Martin (2,200 meters). To get there rode to get to Lumbier by the A-21 motorway and got the diversion to Roncal by the roads NA-214 and NA-137, where we stopped to have lunch delighted by the awesome views of the nature and the countryside.
Afterwards, it was time to continue curving and delighting our eyes with this atmosphere and views. In addition, we had a visit appointed late afternoon at Canfranc Estación (Huesca): opened in 1928, the main building is 240 metres (790 ft) long and has 300 windows and 156 doors. We highly recommend you to book your visit in advance as there are only small groups visits. To get there we took the D132 and the D441 (cemented road) that finally linked with the N134 towards Spain and up to Col du Somport (1,632 meters) avoiding the tunnel pass. After the visit to the ancient station was finished, we continued our journey in order to get to Ainsa to stay our last night off from home in a very nice hostel (excellent home made food). For this, we took the N-330 and then a diversion to N-260 road.
Stage 5: Ainsa (Huesca) – Mataró (Barcelona) ≈305 km
Final day of the adventure. We had already ridden more than 1,500 km but we would not go back home by the easy way 😉 We started the day by reaching the National Park of Ordesa and Monte Perdido. We rode to find the N-260 road direction the village of Fiscal. From there, up to take the HU-631 (caution! very narrow roads). Excellent experience and loads of fun! Finally, after curving and enjoying the ride, we stopped to have a bath at the Canyon of Añisclo: freezing water to be in August!! hahaha It was nothing better before having lunch with a fresh feeling.
After the freezing bath and with our stomachs full, it was the time to go ‘home’. After 5 days of route full of riding, curving and enjoying food, views, experiences, etc. For that, we took the road A-138 to link with the motorway A-22 Lleida’s direction, and follow the A-2 to our final destination, Barcelona.
We hope that with this reading (also photos & videos) you enjoyed the route as much as we did. With our posts, we try to teleport you as if you were the motorbike riders. We wish you that you can find sometime to do some parts or the whole route.
Thanks again for your attention and stay connected to our social media!!
Ferran & Hector