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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 5 Jul 2010
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Spain/Portugal/Pyrenees

All,

I am currently searching this forum for advice there are a lot of posts to get through but I am after some very specific advise. I've booked the Ferry on the 1st Sept and return on the 13th. I want to see north spain, portugal and pyrenees. Here are my first thoughts:

Day 1 - Ferry to Santander.
Day 2 - Get From Santander to Potes (circa 80 miles).
Day 3-4 - Using Potes as a base explore Picos.
(Maybe spend one day here exploring Picos and one day getting closer to portugal?)
Day 5 - Get to Barca de Alva, Portugal. Circa 300 miles. Long day I know but the only one.
Day 6 - Day off the bike and take a cruise of river Douro.
Day 7 - Not too sure what to do this day - I want to see more of Portugal and have to stay close to the spanish northern border. Any suggestions??
Day 8-9 - Head to Jaca, cica 400 miles. I am not sure where to go VIA here. Any suggestions. Where's a good place to stay on day 8?
Day 10-11 - Explore Pyrenees using Jaca as a base.
Day 12 - Head to Santander.
Day 13 - Ferry Home.

I am hoping the more experienced here will guide me here. What would you do different and why? Am I missing out any obvious 'must visit' regions? What do you think of the route overall?

Cheers for any help!
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  #2  
Old 5 Jul 2010
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Potes is a nice place to be, as you enter the town (from Santander) there is a great hotel on the right that has some out-of-sight parking round the back for your bike.

Eating is easy in Potes, as is shopping.

Out of Potes (taking the left just as you enter the town) will take you on a fantastic mountain road. Once you have gone over the mountains you come to a Lake, on the day we were there it was as still as a tombe : ->




and the reflections were something else.

There is alot to see in Portugal, it's a great place, friendly, cheap, great roads (both Tarmac and dirt) and you can get to some remote places :->






Just don't cross the white lines in the middle of the road! even doing a U-turn, or a wide right/left - the Police don't like it one bit! You are allowed to cross where there is a dotted line next to it. Funny little rule.

Having been to both Portugal and the Pyrenees, I would suggest that you choose one or the other, then go back next year to look some more....

We took the off-road route that zig-zags south through Portugal, then turned North, we took the same ferry as you and just managed it covering about 150 miles per day off-road. I wouldn't suggest taking this route if you are travelling alone, we had a few impasses where we had to double back and find alternative routes, and a few places you wouldn't want to fall without someone there.
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Old 5 Jul 2010
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Sounds like a lot of distance for only 2 weeks, as said I'd stick with either one or the other mountain ranges but if you're going to Portugal, just do the Picos which are great. I was there for 2 weeks last year and did a couple of days hiking there which I'd really recommend. We camped in Potes, there's a very nice site there with a pool.
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Old 5 Jul 2010
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hm... I REALLY wanna do both pyrenees and portugal. The miles are only a lot on like 2 or 3 days max, plus I've got a complete day of rest in between. I will think about it though.
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Old 5 Jul 2010
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Its a very common mistake to try and cover too many miles in a short trip. Restrict where you're going and you'll enjoy it much more. The north of Portugal is meant to be very nice and you could probably catch a bit of that area as well as the Picos.

The Pyrenees will still be there next year and you can always explore them on a separate trip.

My 2p.
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Old 5 Jul 2010
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Hu Meet Malaga

Have you thought about joining us on the HU meet in Malaga...? 9-12th of September. Just a thought as the ride-outs in the hills are great and you'll meet like minded bikers.
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  #7  
Old 5 Jul 2010
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Malaga is really far!

I have to agree with the others about the mileage on your trip, there are so many great roads just in the Pyrenees that this is enough on its own really. If you find you have more time, just go a bit further east, more fantastic roads!

Portugual is also wonderful, especially near the coast, these are really two great biking regions.

Lost for ideas? See my site BestBikingRoads Motorcycle Touring Motorcycle Routes Motorcycle

Whatever you decide, I'm sure you'll have a great time so just have an idea of what you want to do and plan to be flexible if you feel more/less riding is possible.

David
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Old 6 Jul 2010
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Okay cheers for all the help and advice. I'll give it some serious thought. I would have loved to come to Malaga, sounds like a good laugh but as already said, it's too far. This trip I want to stick to the north.
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Old 6 Jul 2010
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Hi,

We went that way last year, here is our GPS map and a few pics, spent a few days off-road in the duoro. It really is a lovely area of Spain and Portugal, just stay off the motorways, we had a dead line for getting to Portugal.

Dan
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Old 12 Jul 2010
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I have decided to miss out Pyrennes. So am going to take the ferry over. First night in San Sebastian (apparently the food there is AMAZING) then head to Potes. Then spend two days in Picos. Then follow the north coast to Galicia. Then cut south into Portugal to Porto and follow the Douro as far east as I can. Then spend a couple of days getting back to Santander.

That's the rough plan. I really want to see Portugal and it's a lot cheaper than Spain. Also a lot more people speak English in Portugal than Spain!

That's the plan.
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Old 12 Jul 2010
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I agree Portugal is an excellent country, as is Spain if you get away from the tourists. But I think Portugal in my experience (Summer 2009) is roughly the same in terms of cost, fuel is no cheaper. I have never been very far south in Portugal so can't answer for all of it. I love it in the mountains around the Duoro.
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Old 13 Jul 2010
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Eating, drinking and accommodation is generally cheaper in Portugal than in Spain, petrol is about 30cents a litre more expensive though.

You should have time to head further south in Portugal, try for the Serra de Estrella region for great roads (with far less traffic than the Pyrenees) and great off-roading as well.
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