• The rooftops over Besalu with mountains in the distance Spain, Catalonia, Besalu rooftops and landscape
    The rooftops over Besalu with mountains in the distance
  • Pyrenees coll-de-montllobar Spain Spain, Pyrenees coll-de-montllobar
    Pyrenees coll-de-montllobar Spain
  • Pyrenees lunch stop Spain, Pyrenees lunch stop
    Pyrenees lunch stop
  • Rider stopped to pose at hairpin bend Rest stop in the Pyrenees
    Rider stopped to pose at hairpin bend
  • Montserrat Monastery Spain, Montserrat Monastery
    Montserrat Monastery

Catalonia Basque Pyrenean Mountains - A Guided Motorcycle Tour

Pyrenees, Spain

3 - 5 star hotels, dinner, bed and breakfast

A 12 day, 11 night motorcycle tour of the Spanish and French Pyrenees with 9 days riding mountain roads along the Pyrenean French/Spanish (Catalan and Basque) borders.
On this guided tour you will ride some of the best motorcycle routes starting from Pyrenees
We have not set dates for this tour yet and there may have added a new variant, so, check our tour diary. If you are interested in this tour or something similar then please contact us and we shall set a date, alternatively, browse our upcoming tours to see what's new.

Contact us to discuss your bespoke tour requirements.
Provisionally Book This Tour Ask for more details about this Tour Learn about our group discounts

We have created several motorcycle tours in the Pyrenees and revisited sever times to explore many of the roads in the Spanish and French Pyrenean regions over several years to refine our Pyrenean tours and pick out the best mountain roads for thisPyrenean motorcycle tour that will cross from Catalonia into the midi Pyrenees, then back over the mountains into the Basque Country before returning to Barcelona.

Each day on this motorcycle adventure we visit different places of interest and pass through old villages and towns. We lead you to these places along relatively quiet backroads through outstanding scenery and visit the occasional city.

Out on the open roads of Spain and France you can expect daily distances to be between 140 and 200 miles and each days ride will involve around 4-6 hours in the saddle. The pattern will our usual format of riding for about 90 minute between stops so allowing for snacks, lunch and sightseeing, so, these will be long days of exploration across mountain terrain.

Look at this itinerary and discover some of the most interesting motorcycle routes in spain

Day of arrival

There will always be things to see and do in the towns and cities we chose to start and end our tours and often the hotels will often have leisure and spa facilities. This gives time to relax and recover from any travel or jetlag because guests arrive at various times with some arriving earlier than others, so, nothing can be formally planned.

If you are hiring a bike through us we shall arrange to either have it delivered to the hotel or take you to the collection point. There you can check over your machine and ensure all is to your satisfaction. You can take a brief ride to familiarise yourself with the machine.

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Barcelona Sightseeing Day

A thumbnail of the Gaudi house Casa Batllo in BarcelonaGuests will arrive at various times on the day of arrival and some may be jet lagged and so nothing is formally planned for today. You are free to relax or go sightseeing.

There is a lot to see and do in Barcelona and so there will be something to interest everyone. Some might wish to wander the streets admiring the architecture by Guidi and others of the Catalan Modernism. Others may prefer to relax on the beach and some might like to do some shopping. We shall regroup for dinner in the city before returning to our hotel.

One attraction is Casa Batllo (left) which was created by Gaudi 1904-1906 by a remodelling of a family home dating from 1875. Unlike the original dwelling the remodelling has created a home with virtually no straight lines. The first floor front rooms drew inspiration from Jules Verne's book Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Much of the furniture retained in the property was also designed by Guidi and fortunately the house is now a museum and so you can all visit and draw on the experience.

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Barcelona to Besalu - circa 230 km (142 miles) 4.5 hours riding

Thumbnail showing the bridge at Besalu in Cateloina SpainThose hiring bikes shall collect them the night before or first thing in the morning. One of the dealers is only a five minute walk from the hotel. 

We will depart soon after breakfast heading north on some highways at first before joining some great twisty mountain roads. This first day of riding is a relatively light journey heading north from Barcelona to Besalu. The route we shall take is indirect and traverses varied road types but all in all expect to spend about 4.5 hours in the saddle.

We break for morning coffee at a café close to Massís del Montseny which towers to just over 1700 meters and the route continues twist through the mountains to Les Guilleries park where we stop for lunch.

The final stretch takes us to the outskirts of Olot then east to Banyoles before turning north to Besalu. We rest for the night at a 3-star hotel in Besalu. It is a quaint old building with many of the bedrooms having mountain views or overlooking the old town bridge.

The name Besalu is derived from the Latin Bisuldunum, meaning a fort on a mountain between two rivers. The medieval walls and Romanesque bridge over the Fluvià river help emphasise the fortification that this ancient town commanded.

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Besalu to Llivia - circa 215 km (133 miles) 5 hours riding

Thumbnail of Llivia from the distance with fields in the foreground and mountains in the backdropAs we head north towards the Spanish/French border you will be on steep mountain roads. These roads can be twisty and narrow and so progress is never hasty.

Depending upon the progress made we might take a refreshment break at the hamlet of Rocibruna shortly before reaching the border. Otherwise we break at the border (if the café there has re-opened).

Regardless of the refreshment break, we shall stop momentarily to admire the panoramic views at the border crossing into France before beginning our descent.

We do not cross at this time into France, rather we double back through Mollo to take a succession of outstanding twisty roads and, if the riders are up for it, we turn down a steep gravel path to stop at a house that serves a great lunch.

The twisty roads continue as we contory our way through the mountains eventually crossing into France just after Puigcerda for just 1.72km because then we enter Llivia a small part of Spain encircled by France.

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Llivia to Chateau de Sibra- circa 200 km (140 miles) 4.5 hours riding

Old timer buildings in MirepoixLlivia is akin to an island, it is part of Spain et surrounded by France, so, it is no surprise that we cross the border today as we leave Spain to re-enter France to descend over 1000m to medieval walled city of Carcassonne where we break for lunch. We get some fun roads leading there including the D4C loop and parts of the D118. We pass the Nature Reserve at Lac de Matemale and later the ruins of Chateau d'Usson et maison du patrimoine and cross several quaint old bridges before taking a break at a roadside cafe and fishery.

Shortly after we set back on the road look to yopur right where you will see a most ornate sub station. It is stone built with a round tower that looks like a medieval fortress. Later as we ride along the side of the Aude rocks overhang the narrow road as we cut through the gorge.

When we arrive at the ancient fortified city of Carcassone we park and take a stroll before stopping for lunch. Note that although traffic is forbidden in the city small delivery vans nip around the narrow streets at certain times. After lunch turn to the south and return to the Pyrenees to visit the old market town of Mirepoix. A few miles outside the tomw we stop for the day at tghe recently refurbished Chateau de Sibra.  We should arrive early enough for you to relax and stretch your legs in the parkland settingbefore dinner.

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Chateau de Sibra to Lourdes - circa 300 km (187 miles) 6 hours riding

Thumbnail of St Girons looking across the river to the townWe leave the Chateau de Sibra and head south to Lavelanet then west to join the D618 a great twisty road largely through forest and at Massat we take a brief refreshment stop. This makes a convenient stop in terms of travelling time but the village looks like it has seen better days so if this doesn’t appeal we can press on to Saint-Girons (pictured left) named after a fifth century saint but with more ancient history having considerable Roman connections or further along at Audressein where there is a nice Patisserie.

We shall continue along the lesser travelled mountain roads of the French Pyrenees as we make our way towards Lourdes passing through many charming mountain villages and breaking for lunch at the Spa town of Bagneres-de-Luchon, which is in a valley where the rivers L'One and Pique converge and under 10km from the Spanish border although there is no pass to the south. After lunch we reach Col de Tourmalet one of the highest paved mountain passes in the French Pyrenees at 2,115 m (6,939 ft). It is one of the most famous climbs on the Tour de France. You might want to venture up the mountain to the observatory Pic du Midi de Bigorre. The road is loose gravel but there is a cable car to the top.

We end the day in Lourdes one of the world's most famous pilgrimage sites in 4 spa star hotel created from a classical old river fronted town house. Riders might want to try the wellness centre, spa, sauna or get a massage. The hotel is also close to the Sanctuary of Notre Dame de Lourdes where Bernadette Soubirous saw the Virgin Marys apparition. The sanctuary counts more than 60 miraculous cures registered by Lords. A nice spot to end this days motorcycle tour in France.

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Lourdes to Bidania-Goiatz ~ 295km / 184 miles ~ 6 hours riding

La Pierre Saint-Martin 1765m We depart Lourdes heading west along the banks of the Ousse crossing the river at the pretty village of Lestelle-Bétharram then onwards to another river crossing at Louvie-Juzon before rising into the Pyrenees to reach the border with Spain at the Ski resort of La Pierre Saint-Martin. Look out for the small ponies that can be grazing along the roadside here. We shall take stops along this path for photographs and just beyond the border crossing there is a viewing area that commands great views down a gorge there is also a little bar and grill on the Spanish side where the road takes a 360 turn that makes a nice stop when open failing which there is another a few km further on.

After our stop we continue on roads that twist and turn through the mountains and mainly have forest on either side. The villages we pass through tend to be stone built with white render and reddish brown tiled roofs mostly with rivers, that can dry up during the summer, passing through them. Many of the properties we pass will show dates over the door and you can often see one dated in the 1700’s and a neighbour a century later yet both look almost identical.  In the countryside the roads van be technically challenging especially the narrower ones if you meet oncoming traffic so this will slow progress and helps explain why the average speed is likely to be around 50kmph / 30mph.

We stop at Ezkaroze for lunch. It is a nice quiet and clean town with narrow cobbled streets that most vehicles are prohibited from entering, but there is a good carpark and the town’s only café and solitary restaurant are just a short walk away. The Café is a good option for a light lunch and the restaurant for those wanting a heavier meal. There are also some picnic benches opposite the carpark where a fruit and veg van often parks for anyone preferring that.

We shall take an afternoon tea break just north of Pamplona and complete the day a little south of San Sebastian at a lovely country house hotel.

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Basque circuit 1 ~ 280km / 173 miles ~ 6 hours riding

Plaza de la Virgen Blanca Vitoria The first 40km / 25 miles or this route will take at least an hour as we progress along a narrow twisty road leading through a forest and onwards to a lake, Ibai-Eder Urtegia, as the road contorts south to Segura then a further 20 minutes (13km / 8 miles) brings us to a coffee break stop.

The next hours ride will make better progress and arrive at Estella or Lizzarra as it is otherwise referred. This ancient fortified town dates back to 1090 and was one the headquarters of Don Carlos before he was proclaimed King in 1833. We stop to see the town highlights which include a religious buildings, palaces and public buildings.

After a stroll through Estella we get back on our bikes and ride for another hour to the seat of government and the capital city of the Basque Country at Vitoria-Gasteiz or Vittoria as it is also known. This city dates back to Roman times and in 581AD the Visigoth King Liuvigild founded the city of Victoriacum on those roman foundations in celebration of the victory against the Vascones. This will be our lunch stop but here are much to see in the city if you want to explore.

The return part of this route heads north passing the reservoir of Ullibarri-Gamboa and as we approach Bergara we deviate to Onate and Legazapia before reaching Zumarraga where we take another break.

Next we take an arched route back to our hotel to end the day as we began on some outstanding twisty roads bordered by tree lined hills.

This is just one of many circular routes we have planned from this location, all are in the rage 240-355km / 150-220 miles and involve 5-6 hours riding and so we can adapt the day to suit what most in the group prefer, naturally some might want to simple take a day off from riding and that is fine too.

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Bidania-Goiatz to Boltano ~ 320km / 199 miles ~ 6 hours riding

Rick at hairpin bend in PyreneesWe depart Bidania-Goiatz to begin our return journey the initial twisty roads will bring us just north of Pamplona. There is no plan to enter the city unless a group member specifically wants to see some of the city attractions but we shall take a brief refreshment break.

The route will continue to the reservoir Embalase de Yesa and about a half hours ride beyond that we stop for lunch at Puente la Reina de Jaca. There is not much to say about this town but it does offer 3 roadside diners.

After lunch those who prefer a shorter and faster ride could join the 240/260 or 21/23 heading east and regroup later but the plan is to ride north to catch a great mountain twisty road that will eventually loop back to those main roads which we ide a short while before deviating again on another northern loop where we shall take a break at Broto before returning to re-join the 260 and complete our day at Boltano.

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Boltana to Castell de Ciutat - Circa 225km (140 miles) 4 hours riding

The market Square in AinsaWe begin our return journey to the east along high mountain roads. The surface can be a little broken from the harsh winter weather so progress is never quick in these parts.

We take a break in Tremp which is a town of about 6000 population but most of the villages we shall pass are small and the area is mainly hill farms.

There are so many mountain passes we can take in this region but one of our favourites is the L511, Coll de Boixols to Coll de Nargo, which has good surface and superb views, so, you will want to stop and take pictures.

We end the day in a former castle just south of the border with Andorra. Some might want to cross the border to Andorra which is favoured by many for tax free purchases but note that it is not uncommon to be stopped at the border where a tax might be levied others will prefer to stop and enjoy the excellent hotel facilities.

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Castell de Ciutat to Barcelona - circa 232km (145 miles) 5 hours riding

Thumbnail near Montserrat MonasteryWe end the journey heading to Solsona where much of the old town fortifications remain. The town is about 10k population and makes a pleasant stop.

As we progress south we take our next stop at Montserrat, not to be confused by the Caribbean Island that Christopher Columbus named after this location, this Montserrat is where you will find a Benedictine abbey (pictured right) and the backdrop is a multi-peaked range of mountains.

Our final section of the journey returns us to our hotel on Barcelona's sea front. You stay for dinner bed and breakfast and depart the following day.

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Day of departure

Homeward bound or onward travel. After breakfast you will checkout of the hotel and be transported to the airport or station for onward travel. Those who have come on their own bikes will ride off.

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Route Variation

Please note that maps are indicative because it is not always possible to enter all the waypoints and on the day of departure as we need to review our routes based upon the latest traffic and weather information available making changes as and when necessary.

Ask for more details about this Tour Provisionally Book This Tour Learn about our group discounts

Further details

Parties interested in this tour should get in touch now to intimate interest via our Enquiries Form or email hi@mctours.eu or phone +44(0)141 416 0230