Explore the Picos
After crossing the bay of Biscay on the ferry you head up into the Picos riding past the lakes and gorges that make the area so dramatic and enchanting. Winding through sleepy Spanish towns and villages, and cruising down smooth, empty roads you’re sure to fall in love with the breathtaking beauty and sleepy atmosphere.
From your first overnight stop in the Picos themselves, you ride west through the high hills of Galicia and explore the tremendous backroads with several stops along the way at local coffee houses and tapas restaurants. The hotel waiting for you tonight is a real gem nestled in the quiet backstreets of Tineo where you can ditch your bike kit and enjoy a well deserved glass of wine as the sun goes down on another incredible day.
Explore the Picos
You continue your journey through this biking mecca and wind via the scented forests towards the famous pilgrimage destination of Santiago de Compostela. This exquisite city, steeped in culture and history is a place that 300,000 people still make a pilgrimage to each year, Magellan riders make their own pilgrimage here too but mostly for the Tapas and wine!
From Santiago you cross back eastwards through rolling hills and unspoilt countryside to the historic city of Zamora ringed by well preserved defensive walls and gates where you can relax over dinner and drinks with views of the castle.
You head back northwards towards the lake of Riańo, with its stunning mountains providing the backdrop for your lunch stop. You can sit by the water drinking coffee and indulge in some of the fantastic local prawns while gazing up at the passes you will cross that afternoon.
You carry on after lunch and journey up across the Picos one final time to your hotel for the final stop. The following morning you can choose a longer more scenic route into Santander or a shorter relaxing day taking in a stop at a local’s favourite lakeside grill on the way back to the ferry home.
Picos mountains: A dramatically beautiful combination of geological magnificence, lush green vegetation and fantastic roads provides the setting for the beginning of your tour.
Santiago de Compostela: The capital of Galicia in the Northwest of Spain. A pilgrimage destination for 300,000 Caminos a year, the city is steeped in history and culture.
'Riding the Picos Mountains is a firm favourite for me. I have ridden them a few times but I was looking for something different, that still allowed me to ride them and help me explore more of Spain while keeping the trip to about a week long. I'm so glad I found Magellan's website as this trip was just what I needed. Brilliant, thank you.'Gary H
Historic city of Zamora: Ringed by well preserved defensive walls and gates this historic city has been described as a ‘Romanesque Museum’, you stay in the old town and can take a walk before dinner to go and explore some of the sights.
High hills and twisties of Western Galicia: These quiet, smooth hills are a bikers dream. With empty, perfectly tarmacked roads, bucketfuls of twisties and no traffic, this ride is incredible.
Starting in Plymouth you take the ferry to Santander. Relax in the comfort of an ensuite cabin and enjoy dinner in one of the on-board restaurants.
Day 2 114 Miles
Your first taste of the Picos de Europa.
Day 3 160 Miles
Wind via little sleepy Spanish towns along smooth empty roads and onto your overnight stop on the Pilgrim Trail.
Day 4 169 Miles
The National park and it’s scented forests lead you towards the pilgrimage destination of Santiago de Compostela.
Day 5 198 Miles
You journey from Santiago through national parks and past the spa town of Ourense to the delightful walled city of Zamora.
Day 6 195 Miles
Heading back north you ride towards the lake of Riano with its stunning mountains providing the backdrop for your lunch stop. Continuing on north you journey up to your hotel back in the Picos de Europa.
Day 7 117 Miles
Hearty breakfast and then on through the rolling countryside towards Santander to get your overnight ferry for the final leg of the trip home…
Arrive home safe and sound and make your friends jealous with your tales of the tour!
When is the best time of year to do this trip?
May to September as a rule (with August being too hot for most people) although April and October can work with a dash of luck. The limiting factor with these trips is the start and end dates of the Brittany Ferries timetable for their crossings over the Bay of Biscay.
Is what I hear about the Spanish not eating until 10pm correct?
The Spanish do indeed eat late, in fact it's not unusual for people to go out for dinner at 11pm or later. We've tailored the trip to take in English sensibilities and rumbling bellys after a long day’s ride and you will normally be able to find somewhere to eat around 8-8:30pm.
Can I get a different crossing on this trip?
Of course, while the crossing from Plymouth on the way out and returning to Portsmouth on the way back allows you to fit the tour into 8 days and arrive at a sensible time we know that Plymouth doesn't suit everyone. If you would like to make your own arrangements to get over to Spain and join the route at the hotel on the first night near Santander just let us know in the comments section of your booking form and we will deduct the cost of the included crossing from your booking.
Ride the exquisite scenery of northern Spain and then down through national parks into Portugal on this fantastic trip.
Self Guided Tour
Explore fairytale castles and forests with some WW2 history and epic roads thrown into the mix.
Self Guided Tour