Dominating the skyline for 430km, the Pyrenees straddle the French-Spanish border with their dramatic, serrated peaks. This picture postcard, pristine landscape is a haven for outdoor thrills whether it be skiing, climbing, hiking or zooming around the vast array of beautiful mountain passes on your motorcycle. Hidden within this snow dusted, wild land you will find quaint alpine villages, castles perched on hilltops, ancient caves and tax free havens such as Andorra in the heart of the chain. With deep valleys, serene lakes, mountain pastures and mountain roads that fling you around more than a rollercoaster, why not make the Pyrenees your location for a short break away.

Over 8 days on this tour you will experience the absolute best the Pyrenees have to offer with visits to the classical fortified Roman city of Pamplona with it’s medieval cobbled streets and gorgeous old town and Andorra, the tiny principality where you can get some duty free shopping done. Just make sure you save space in a pannier! As its a Magellan tour then of course you also get some of the best biking roads in Europe which twist and wind their way through the region making for day after day of jaw hitting the tank bag beauty and footpegs scraping on the floor fun. 

Andorra 

Sitting pretty between France and Spain in the Pyrenees mountains, the 453 sq. km nation of Andorra is known primarily for its motorcycling, skiing and hiking opportunities and, of course, its tax haven status. The little country receives over 10 million visitors, but remains largely unknown to most of the European union, with much of Andorra’s tourism coming from its neighbouring countries. In the 13th century, after a fight for control, two medieval counts signed an agreement recognising joint sovereignty over the territory, thus giving birth to the Principality of Andorra as a shared government, a format that still stands today. It is the sixth smallest nation in Europe and the 16th smallest country in the world and at 3,356 feet above sea level its capital, Andorra la Vella, is the highest city in Europe. The roads getting to Andorra are beautiful; sweeping bends and tight hairpins drop you down into the city nestled in between high mountains, where we spend a day exploring. Just remember not to take advantage of the duty free too much, otherwise you will never stuff it all into your panniers. 

Pamplona 

Pamplona, the capital of Navarre province in northern Spain has an air of magic and romance around every corner. The home to Ernest Hemingway’s novel ‘The Sun Also Rises’ is a fascinating place to explore and get lost in with its grand cathedral, 16th century fortifications, medieval cobbled lanes and beautiful old town. It is best known for its ‘Running of the Bulls’ festival, held in July. During the festival, which runs over nine days, bulls are let loose every morning over a course through the city streets led by daredevil runners. This terrifying event has been a tradition since the 13th century when cattle herders needed a practical way of moving their animals from the countryside into the city centre. Over the years it became tradition to clear a narrow path into the city where animals would run together following one brave herder. With a whole afternoon and morning set aside for exploring this stunning city you’re sure to be swept up and put under its atmospheric spell. 

N260 

The N260 has everything a good road should have; hairpins, fast, sweeping bends, even faster straights and views to knock your socks off. Over 8 days riddled with fantastic roads in the mountains, it’s hard to pick which is best but the N260 is consistently one of the top choices for bikers visiting this region of Spain. Unlike the very tight and high Tour de France mountain passes this area is so famous for, the N260 offers up a slightly different experience with long straights to gather speed on and smooth corners to dig the bike into and glide around. That’s not to say there won’t be the odd tight hairpin thrown in to keep you on your toes though. It’s not just about the road, some of the scenery you experience on this stretch is world class, with open forested sections giving way to steep climbs up into the high Pyrenees and open views of the surrounding mountain range. 

Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port 

On day six of this tour and after staying overnight in the former King – Juan Carlos’ favourite ski resort, the ride crossing from Spain into France is beautiful. As lunch time rolls around the road descends from the high mountains down to the foothills and into the picturesque town of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, translated this literally means Saint John at the Foot of the Pass. The town is the old capital of the traditional Basque province of Lower Navarre and is one of the most significant towns on the famous pilgrimage route – Camino de Santiago. Not only is it the finishing point for Le Puy Way, Vezelay Way and the Paris Tours Way but it also marks the beginning of the French Way Camino Frances, the most popular option for travelling the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. We take lunch in the beautifully preserved, walled town overlooked by it’s citadelle, where you are bound to see hikers on the pilgrim trail making their way to the Spanish border, some 8 km away. 

So there you have it. Get straight into the riding action with a ferry across the Bay of Biscay on Magellan’s fantastic new 8 day tour.

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