Spain & Portugal
Extremadura, N.Spain & Star Mountains, Portugal
Paradors, Pousadas & 3 star Hotel
100 - 200 miles per day (longest 205 miles)
Combination of Motorway, A, B and Mountain Roads
Suitable for experienced rider who has ridden on the continent before
Fantastic roads and scenery in Extremadura, the Star Mountains of Portugal and the Picos de Europa
This tour is a firm favourite with our customers and at their request we will be repeating it again in 2019. We are staying with the September dates but as usual are tweaking the tour slightly, this time to spend two days in the Extremadura region, an area rich with culture and great biking roads.
Our tour starts with an overnight ferry from Plymouth to Santander. On arrival, we head southwards into the Castilla y Leon region of Spain before turning southwest to spend two nights in the Extremadura region.
Crossing into Portugal, we climb to an old favourite, the Serra da Estrela Mountains. Perhaps not as dramatic as the Alps, but the highest in Portugal offering stunning scenery, and traffic free roads that our customers tell us are some of the "best they have ridden".
More fantastic roads as we follow the Douro valley back into Northern Spain to enter the Picos De Europa. What this area lacks in size, it makes-up for with attitude, with its jagged peaks, mountain valleys and beautiful coastline. A 2 night stop allows us to explore further, before we must reluctantly take the Brittany ferry back from Santander to Portsmouth.
The combination of traffic free roads that endlessly twist and turn across landscapes that seem to go on for ever, and fantastic accommodation in the form of Spanish Paradors and Portuguese Pousadas make this one tour that books up quickly.
See previous years tour pictures on our website gallery.
This is an Escorted Tour which means that although the guide will be with you, you are responsible for doing your own navigation. We provide a Tour Pack which will include a full itinerary, suggested route directions, Gpx waypoints and hotel location. This system suits many people, as it allows them to ride at their own pace and style, either alone or in small groups. However, if it is your first time abroad, or you just prefer, you may ride with the guide, who will act as your escort throughout the tour.
Tour prices are inclusive of the following
|* Outward Plymouth - Santander return Santander to Portsmouth ferry with upgraded en-suite cabin|
|* 7 Nights' en-suite accommodation at Paradors, Pousadas & 3 star hotel|
|* 4 Evening meals (see note 1)|
|* 7 Regional breakfasts|
|* Full use of the hotels' leisure facilities|
|* Route notes as appropriate - Gpx satnav routes|
|* Guided Day tours|
|* Services of experienced Tour Guides (Dave & John)|
* Meals onboard ferry
* Evening meals as indicated
Those of you who have travelled in Spain and Portugal before will no doubt be aware that the Pardaors and Pousadas offer some of the finest accommodation available. Many of these hotels are converted palaces, castles, convents or monasteries. All hotel bedrooms are en-suite with the usual facilities, such as TV, telephone and hairdryer. Many have Air-Conditioning, fridges, balconies, and Wi-Fi access. It would take too long to itemise the entire different hotels' facilities, however items such as fitness rooms, spa, sauna and swimming pools where available, are all included, so we suggest you take your swimming gear.
We could not visit the Picos De Europa without staying at one of customers favourites, a family run 3 star hotel in a lovely little mountain village. Once again breakfast is included, but we leave you to dine out for the last two nights at one of the several excellent restaurants offering everything from a simple pizza to huge steaks.
Note 1. In Spain and Portugal, it is the normal practice to eat quite late - evening meals will be traditional regional menus and mainly meat-based. Although we will do our best to obtain an alternative, vegetarians should be aware that the choice can be very limited.
The tour itinerary is based on a Brittany Ferries crossing to Northern Spain (See travel choice)
Sunday 15th September: Today we start our tour by catching the mid-afternoon ferry from Plymouth to Santander. Our crossing will be on the 'Pont Aven', Brittany ferries flagship which takes just 20 hours to get to Northern Spain. Once on board, you can relax and enjoy the facilities provided, which include cinemas, bars, various restaurants and even a swimming pool. To make your crossing more comfortable we have included a 2/4 berth en-suite cabin (for two persons), but we leave you to make your own dining arrangements.
Monday 16th September (170 miles): Our ferry docks in Santander just after noon,giving us a good start for our journey southwards to our first night south of the Picos. Our accommodation is a Parador complete with leisure facilities which include both an indoor and outdoor swimming pool. Parador, dinner, B&B
Tuesday 17th September (260 miles): Continuing south west we pass the beautiful medieval walled city of Avila before entering the Sierra de Gredos Mountains. Crossing the Rio Tajo we enjoy the mountain roads passing the beautiful Monastery of Santa Maria de Guadalupe to our final destination in Trujillo. Parador, dinner, B&B
Wednesday 18th September (free day): Our accommodation here is a short walk from the town square. If you are a 'Game of Thrones' fan you may recognise the old Arab fortress above the square, as it was 'Casterly Rock' the ancestral home of the Lannister's in this popular series. Our customers loved this Parador and to be honest did not stray far from the pool, but there are lots of places to visit nearby. Merida, is the capital of Extremadura, and once capital of the Roman province of Lusitania. Today it has the most impressive and extensive Roman ruins in all Spain, including a theatre, amphitheatre, and the wonderful Puente Romano the world’s longest surviving Roman Bridge. The heritage city of Caceres may be next, with its cobbled streets, palaces, mansions and churches. Protected by defensive walls, it has survived almost intact from its 16th-century period of splendour. For those that like to ride, there are numerous scenic roads across the region.
Tonight, we leave you free to enjoy dinner at one of the squares many restaurant. Parador, B&B
Thursday 19th September (150 miles): Not high in mileage terms but certainly high in scenery as we start with a ride through the Monfrague National Park. Declared an Unesco biosphere reserve, Monfrague contains a large colony of Vultures which you will get to see. Heading northwest we enter Portugal and our next destination comes into view - Serra da Estrela - Portugal’s highest mountain range. Our location for tonight is a beautifully restored Pousada. Sitting in a privileged location on top of the mountains, it offers panoramic views over the Cova da Beira along with modern facilities including an indoor and outdoor pool, spa, gym and sauna. Pousada, dinner, B&B.
Friday 20th September (202 miles): Descending down the glacier route we take a cross-country route to the Douro Valley. We follow the river has it flirts with the Spanish border before heading north back into the Trás-os-Montes. We finish the day on one on my favourite twisty roads before arriving at your hotel for the night, a Parador just over the border into Spain. Once again the hotel has all the facilities you would expect of a hotel of this standard. Parador, dinner, B&B.
Saturday 21st September (210 miles): Today, we leave the open plains of Spain behind, as we enter the Picos de Europa via the Embalse de Riano. The road twists and turns through the mountain range until emerging to our next hotel for a two night stay. This family run 3 star hotel is one of our customers favourites and ideally placed for touring the area. Situated in the centre of the village, we have the opportunity to dine-out in one of excellent local restaurants. 3 star hotel, B&B
Sunday 22nd September (free day): With a free day there is the opportunity to ride-out and see more of this lovely part of the world, with its fabulous roads through the valleys and mountain ranges of the Pico's. If you fancy a quiet day, you can shop in the local town of Potes; take a scenic cable car at Fuente De or maybe a bike-free day, sunbathing by the hotel pool? 3 star hotel, B&B
Monday 23rd September June (60-80 miles) :A final chance to enjoy the the beautiful Cantabrian coastline as we take a ride to Santander to catch our 1515 hrs ferry. Once again our return is on Brittany ferries flagship 'Pont Aven' ferry with its extensive facilities. With bike stowed, there is time to relax over a drink or two and reflect on the tour's events, before taking advantage of the on-board dining options. A 2/ 4 berth en-suite cabin (for two persons) is included in the package.
Tuesday 24th September:We arrive back in Portsmouth at 1415 hrs, from where we make our way home.
Recommended maps and guides for your tour - please put whiterose2019 in discount code box at check out for an additional 10% discount
Travel Choice : The tour itinerary is based on an outward ferry overnight from Plymouth to Santander and inward ferry from Santander to Portsmouth. These ferries save on overnight stops, fuel costs, and wear and tear on your bike, however, we understand that ferries are not for everyone, so there is the option to make your own arrangements and join and leave the group at the first and last nights hotel. Costs will be reduced accordingly.
Prices are based on two people sharing a 4 berth inside cabins, should you wish an alternative please advise us asap. These will be subject to availability and priced accordingly.
Personal Travel & Breakdown Assistance Cover
On all European tours (including Southern Ireland) we require clients to take-out some form of Personal Travel and Accident/Breakdown cover. This is essential for repatriation of yourself and your motorcycle in the event of an accident or medical emergency. If you have an existing policy you should check that your company would repatriate your bike, even if undamaged, should you be unable to ride it (many do not!) .
We also strongly urge you to take out insurance that includes cancellation cover in the event of accident, illness or redundancy when you make your booking. Information on such companies can be found on our insurance page http://www.motorcycletours.co.uk/more/travel-insurance.html
Tour check List
Thank you for your interest in our tours - we hope you decide to join us. Please feel free to download a PDF of our free Tour check list with a few hints and tips we have picked up over the years. We would be happy to hear from you, should you have any of your own.
|Tour Cost||Plymouth out - Portsmouth in|
|1 bike, 2 persons, sharing a room||£1115 each|
|1 bike, 1 person, sharing a room||£1275|
|1 bike, 1 person, own room||£1580 *|
|*(based on single hotel room & cabin share on ferry)|
|Deposit £100 per person|
|all room types available including a room share|
| note: all prices based on current Spanish & Portugese VAT rates