Northern Spain & Pyrenees Motorcycle Tours

Northern Spain is one of the areas with the most cultural, landscape, and even climatological diversity in the entire Iberian Peninsula. Boasting a human presence for 10,000 years, the vestiges of other times remain palpable today. Traveling by motorcycle on the roads of northern Spain is undoubtedly one of the best ways to get to know and experience all that this part of the world has to offer– both geographically and historically.

Here are the most important mountain ranges of the Spanish territory: the Pyrenees, running along the border with France, and the Picos de Europa on the Cantabrian coast. The coastline itself is also remarkable, with a small but wild section in the Mediterranean, and a more extensive coast along the Cantabrian Sea and the Atlantic Ocean in Galicia.

The different civilizations that have inhabited the north of Spain have left their mark throughout the country. Their legacy is still visible in the richness and variety of the architecture, culture and cuisine, as well as in several languages ​​and dialects still used in their original form to this day, along with others that have practically died out.

Some of the most appreciated treasures left to us, especially by lovers of motorcycle travel, are undoubtedly the enormous number of existing roads. Many of the routes we use today were created thanks to the passage of nomadic tribes, travelers, and shepherds over the centuries. There are also many old Roman roads. In both cases, they are paradise to travel on a motorcycle.

The north of Spain has innumerable attributes, among which we must certainly count its famous and varied gastronomy, rich folklore, and charismatic inhabitants. These qualities have made it one of the most sought-after destinations for motorcycle travelers from all over Spain, as well as from other European countries. Although it can rain on occasion, it has a mild climate and is a joy to travel by motorcycle for most of the year.

At IMTBIKE, we have extensive experience organizing guided motorcycle tours in northern Spain. We offer 3 different routes here, and the roads, accommodations, and destinations in each are carefully selected so that those who travel with us by motorcycle through the north of Spain enjoy the best possible experience in this amazing region.

Northern Spain & Pyrenees Motorcycle Tours FAQ

What should I take into account when organizing a motorcycle trip in the north of Spain?

Northern Spain is one of the rainiest areas of the Iberian Peninsula. It didn’t get that green by chance! And although we at IMTBIKE carry out our tours during the less rainy months, it is still important to bring a good rain suit when participating in a motorcycle trip through this region. Equally important is to check that the tires of our motorcycle are in perfect condition.

Is Northern Spain too cold to travel on a motorcycle?

We find the two most important mountain systems in the country in Northern Spain: the Pyrenees and the Picos de Europa. Many towns and mountain passes are located above 1,000m above sea level, so cold and snow are a common factor in winter and even autumn. For this reason, the best dates to organize a motorcycle trip in northern Spain are from mid-May to early October. In July and August, we may encounter very hot days with high humidity, so it is vitally important to hydrate frequently if we travel in this month.

How do I prepare my motorcycle route through the north of Spain?

The north of Spain is very expansive! More than 1,300km separate Cap de Creus to the east from Cape Finisterre to the west. Many other regions of Spain intersect along the way, providing a huge variety of landscapes, culture, gastronomy, history, and places of interest. For this reason, we design our motorcycle route in parts-- unless time is not a factor. Three seven-day routes, for example, would be a great way to get to know this beautiful environment in detail. This way, we can delve into the different areas that make up the north of Spain--preferably using secondary roads.

What is the state of the roads in northern Spain when traveling by motorcycle?

When we venture into the north of Spain by motorcycle, we will see that general condition of the roads is very good. There is little traffic on secondary roads and in the less crowded areas, and the asphalt here has excellent grip. This provides us with excellent traction, but, the wear of the tires of our motorcycles will be more pronounced--especially on hot days. Even in optimal conditions for traveling by motorcycle, we should never trust ourselves. Slow and large vehicles can appear at any time, and in high mountain areas, the asphalt can be eroded by snow and salt. The presence of cyclists on the road is also common since it is one of the most famous areas in the world for this practice, as well as for pilgrims walking the Camino de Santiago. It is essential to always keep a good margin of safety in order to enjoy the spectacular landscapes around us.

Is the French side of the Pyrenees interesting if I travel by motorcycle in the north of Spain?

Although the focus of our motorcycle trip is the north of Spain, we must not forego the opportunity to visit our neighboring country. The French Pyrenees are also beautiful, and we will be able to make various forays into France along the mountain range by carefully designing our route. Some of these will include the famous mountain passes of the Pyrenees, known thanks to its beauty and presence in the Tour de France. It is recommended to refuel our bikes in Spanish territory before venturing into France, as Spain has better prices and gas station use is simpler.

Does the Tour de France affect Spanish roads on a motorcycle trip through northern Spain?

The most famous cycling race in the world, the Tour de France, is held every year, usually in July, and many of its queen stages take place in the Pyrenees. On many occasions, roads in the Spanish territory are also used. It is therefore very important to take into account the dates and route of this race when we organize our motorcycle trip through the north of Spain and try not to coincide with them. This competition attracts thousands of fans from all over the world, and there may be a lot of traffic in addition to closed roads in the affected areas as a result.

What cities should I visit on a motorcycle trip in northern Spain?

On a historical and cultural level, the north of Spain has enjoyed great wealth and different influences throughout the centuries. So when we design our motorcycle route through this area, we can include many destinations of interest, such as: Cadaqués, Aínsa, Pamplona, San Sebastián, Bilbao, Oviedo, or Santiago de Compostela--just to name a few examples! Among them, we will find numerous fascinating medieval towns and villages of great architectural variety as we advance in our journey through the Spanish north.

What natural attractions should I not miss on a motorcycle trip through northern Spain?

The geographical variety is also immense in the north of Spain, with numerous natural parks that can be easily combined with one of the historical-cultural destinations we mentioned above. Some of the jewels that we can enjoy from our motorcycles are the Cap de Creus, the Aneto, the Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park, the Basque Coast, the Hermida Gorge, the Costa Verde, the Galician Rías, and the Gorges del Sil.

What are the best motorcycle roads in northern Spain?

When it comes to a motorcycle trip through the north of Spain, we are in luck! We find ourselves in a scenario in which there are abundant high-quality secondary roads of all kinds--from very twisty mountain passes in the Pyrenees to winding coastal roads on both the Mediterranean and Atlantic slopes.
To name just a few of the most spectacular:
- The N-260, in its section between Ribes de Freser and Puigcerdà--also known as Collada de Toses. Located in La Cerdanya in the Eastern Pyrenees, it has 55km of curves, spectacular views, and good asphalt. It is very popular with local riders with all kinds of motorcycles.

- The C-28, better known as Port de la Bonaigua, between Esterri d’Àneu and Vielha, gives us access to the Val d’Aran and its steep drop. Its famous 180º curves at the highest part with its incredible high mountain landscape will inspire us to keep our cameras at the ready! Its summit exceeds 2,000m above sea level, resulting in one of the most famous ski areas in Spain: Baqueira Beret.

- At the westernmost end of the Pyrenees, already in Basque lands, we find the GI-3440. This small road connects Hondarribia with San Sebastián. At 20km, it is a jewel worthy of being enjoyed by motorcycle. It passes through Mount Jaizkibel, with cliffs and views of the sea accompanying us for much of the journey.

- Between Ondarroa and Lekeitio, also in the Basque Country, we find another gem: the BI-3438. This route faithfully hugs the rugged coastline, where we enjoy lush forest and impressive cliffs in equal measure.

- The AS-260 in Asturias, commonly known as the Mirador del Fito. This road is home to numerous rallies and hill climbs thanks to its perfect layout for these motorsport endeavors. This should give you an idea as to how twisted this route is. Straddling the Costa Verde and the Picos de Europa, it quickly ascends to a significant height considering how close it is to the coast--a characteristic which gives us exceptional views from its summit.

How is the accommodation in the north of Spain by motorcycle?

There is no need to worry when it comes to accommodations while traveling through the north of Spain by motorcycle! The options are vast and varied throughout the territory--from campsites, to hostels, simple hotels, and even historical Paradores and luxury hotels, all budgets can be accommodated. As always, making reservations ahead of time is highly recommended in order to ensure the availability of your desired stay.

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