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Spain - End to End (Biscay to Gibraltar)
7th May 2019 - 25th May 2019 (19 days)
This end to end is a moving on tour exploring the huge diversity of Spain, a trip for regular cyclists who wish to visit parts of Spain that many tourists never see. After travelling by ferry from Portsmouth to Santander, the tour crosses the coastal mountains of the Picos de Europa into Castille y León, a region of high plateau ringed by mountains, then it continues into Extremadura through Monfragüe National Park, home to Black and Griffon Vultures and Spanish Imperial Eagles. After a rest day there, the tour continues to the UNESCO Heritage City of Cáceres and on into Ronda in Andulicia, with views of the rock of Gibraltar finishing the tour. 1275km, averaging 85km per day, with approx 14,000m of climbing.
- Holiday Type Guided
- Tour Manager Julie & Nic Hodgetts
- Grade Challenging
- Booking Status Fully Booked
- Accommodation Hotel
- Board Basis Some Meals
- Travel Arrangements Ferry
- Road / Off Road Road
- Holiday Style Moving-on
- Vehicle Support Luggage Transfer
- Holiday Ref 01905
Tuesday 7th May
Meet at 1400 at Portsmouth for overnight Brittany Ferry to Spain, detarting at 1715.
Wednesday 8th May
Cruise the Bay of Biscay, arriving in Santander at 1815. Stay 1 night.
Thursday 9th May
Cycle to San Vicente de la Barquera. 63km (900m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Friday 10th May
Cycle to Potes. 60km (1700m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Saturday 11th May
Cycle to Cistierna via the Picos de Europa National Park. 90km (1900m total ascent). Stay 1
Sunday 12th May
Cycle to Villanueva Condesa. 90km (400m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Monday 13th May
Cycle to Toro. 86km (450m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Tuesday 14th May
Cycle to Salamanca. 73km (550m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Wednesday 15th May
Cycle to Vegas de Coria. 105km (1300m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Thursday 16th May
Cycle to Montfragüe National Park. 100km (1200m total ascent). Stay 2 nights.
Friday 17th May
Rest day in Monfragüe National Park.
Saturday 18th May
Cycle to Cáceres. 54km (640m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Sunday 19th May
Cycle to Merida. 80km (470m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Monday 20th May
Cycle to Llerena. 100km (1100m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Tuesday 21st May
Cycle to Carmona. 120km (1200m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Wednesday 22nd May
Cycle to Olvera. 80km (1200m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Thursday 23rd May
Cycle to Ronda. 42km (675m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Friday 24th May
Cycle to Spain/Gibraltar Border. 100km (1000m total ascent). Stay 1 night in La Linea.
Saturday 25th May
Tour ends after breakfast.
Accommodation & Meals
This wil be in a range of hotels chosen to give the best flavour of each area, in twin or double en-suite rooms based on two people sharing. Single occupancy is not available. Meals are usually taken at the hotel but occasionally at nearby restaurants. Vegetarians and those with other dietary requirements should make their requests known on the Booking Form, but options might be limited. Non-meat eaters should indicate if they will eat fish. Lunches and other snacks at stops are not included, though will be taken at local bars and restaurants along the route. Meals on the ferry are not included.
A backup vehicle will transport luggage each day between hotels.
Passports, Visa & Health
EU citizens must hold a passport that is still valid on the date of their return to their home country. Holders of non-EU passports are advised to check whether they require a visa. There are no compulsory health related requirements for UK residents, but you are strongly advised to check that your tetanus protection has not expired. You must also carry your European Health Insurance Card.
Our Booking Conditions stipulate that, for holidays outside the UK, travel Insurance is mandatory. Details of the level of cover needed and other conditions you should check are stated in the Booking Conditions. CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours Ltd cannot accept responsibility for any costs that may be incurred due to insufficient insurance cover.
The price of £1,850 is based on a minimum number of 10 people taking part in the holiday and is calculated at a rate of 1.12 Euros to £1 sterling (Based on exchange rates published on www.x-rates.com on 14 September 2018; please note Booking Conditions, clause 3). If there are insufficient bookings by 26th February 2019, we will contact you and return all monies paid, although in certain circumstances the holiday may still run at below minimum numbers but at the same price.
- Ferry from Portsmouth to Santander, sharing 2-berth inside cabin
- 13 nights hotel, sharing room, half-board
- 4 nights hotel, sharing room, bed and breakfast
- Backup vehicle to carry luggage
- Cardboard bike box and packaging for return flight
- CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours costs
Price Does Not Include
- Return travel from Gibraltar at the end of the tour
- Meals in transit
- Drinks with evening meals
- Lunches or refreshments during the day
- Entry fees at any attractions
- Any other personal expemses
- Travel Insurance
A deposit of £400 per person is payable upon booking, with the final balance of £1,450 per person to be paid ten weeks prior to departure, by 26th February 2019.
Should you be forced to cancel your booking for any reason you must notify us in writing. Cancellation charges are as follows:
Written notice received:
Before 26th February 2019
From 26th February 2019 through to departure
The Area Covered By The Holiday
We set off from the port of Santander and follow the coast west to the sea-side resort of San Vicente de la Barquera on the Cantabrian coast then head south into the Picos de Europa. After passWe set off from the port of Santander and follow the coast west to the sea-side resort of San Vicente de la Barquera on the Cantabrian coast then head south into the Picos de Europa. After passing through the Picos the route takes us through the region of Castille y Leon, a high plateau ringed by mountains, before continuing to Salamanca, known for its 12th-century university, Renaissance churches and baroque Plaza Mayor. The next region is Extremadura, one of the least visited regions of Spain, which boasts a number of impressive Roman cities - Merida, having been one of the most important cites in the Roman Empire and Caceres, now a World Heritage site. We then pass into Andalucia, the region that covers most of southern Spain, much of it having a hot dry climate. It is different from much of the rest of Spain, partly due the influence of the Moors who controlled the area for several hundred years. Finally we arrive at the border to the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar.
Rides & Rest Days
Most of each day will be spent cycling and sightseeing from the saddle. We will lead a group at a pace to suit participants, but you are welcome to ride separately at your own pace, meeting up at pre-arranged points along the day’s route.
To get the best from this tour you should be fit enough to ride back to back days. You should be riding regularly, including some hills.
A detailed itinerary with maps, route sheets and GPX tracks of each day will be sent with the final tour information.
Accommodation & Meals
Participants will be sharing en-suite rooms in all the hotels, with meals on a half-board basis for 13 nights and bed and breakfast for 4 nights. Vegetarian meals (if pre-booked) may be available. Please note the Spanish eat late, some hotels serve evening meals from 2100hrs. Breakfasts are generally continental style, offering fruit juice, bread and jams and hot drinks, but many also supply cereals, yogurt, cheese, ham, eggs and fresh fruit. Lunch can be taken as a group or individually in local bar-cafés and restaurants when practical. Where possible we will try to have mid-morning and mid-afternoon café stops.
The overnight crossing to Spain is aboard Brittany Ferries' flagship the "Pont-Aven" sharing 2-berth inside cabins. This large and comfortable vessel is equipped with the range of dining and entertainment options you would expect on a cruise ship. Return travel from Gibraltar is to be arranged by yourself.
The maximum group size will be 18, excluding the Tour Managers.
Weather & Clothing
Travelling through such a diverse country means that we could encounter all four seasons during the trip. Please come prepared for potential colder, wet weather in the north, especially in the Picos, as well as the heat of the south and everything in between. The support vehicle will, where practical, be available during each day’s ride to pick up or drop off additional clothing.
Cycles & Equipment
A road or touring cycle or a hybrid would be suitable and must be in good working order, especially the brakes. A bottom gear of 27 inches or lower (eg a small chainring approximately the same size or smaller than the largest cog on your rear wheel) is recommended. If unsure about gears, please talk to the Tour Managers. Mudguards are optional, though you should consider bringing a small front light and flashing rear LED light in case of poor weather conditions or unexpected evening riding. Each participant is expected to carry spares and tools and be able to deal with punctures and minor repairs, although one of our Tour Managers, Nic, is a very competent bike mechanic and will have tools and some spares in the support vehicle and can usually fix most things.
Maps & Guides
GPX files will be suplied for GPS cycle computers as well as route cue sheets and maps. If you would like to purchase a paper map to cover the entire route we suggest you use http://www.marco-polo.com/shop/road-atlases/detail/read/spain-portugal-1-300-000.html
Travel Insurance & Advice
In addition to travel insurance, EU nationals should carry a European Health Insurance Card, obtainable from www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/EHIC/. This enables you to take advantage of emergency medical services free or at a discount under a reciprocal provision that exists between EU member states. Your travel insurer may refuse to meet the extra costs of medical treatment if you do not carry this card.
Before booking you should check the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice or on 0845 850 2829.