New for our 2020 season is our tour of the Spanish & Portuguese border, this is one of the oldest borders in the world referred to as La Raya or A Raia depending on which side of the line you are in and is a very beautiful region for motorcycling through.
For the duration of the tour we will be staying in Spain in six unique and stunning Paradores with ride-outs across the border into Portugal offering you the chance to explore two countries in one visit both of which are not only rich in history and culture but have wonderful Nature Parks and Mountains to ride through with constant changes in landscapes and vistas to delight in.
On arrival into Spain our first night is in the historic and picturesque town of Lerma and from here we ride to Puebla de Sanabria a stunning medieval town and home to one of the best preserved castles in the province of Zamora overlooking the Tera River Valley. We are based in this location for three nights with two planned ride-outs taking you across the border into Portugal to ride through the Montesinho Nature Park defined by its granite mountains, deep river valleys and pretty villages all interconnected with great riding roads. The Sierra de la Culebra is close to our hotel with the roads and mountains criss-crossing through both Spain and Portugal.
Our tour continues riding south through the Serra de Mogadouro dotted with the olive groves and vineyards of the Douro River Valley and miles and miles of curves and quiet roads are there to be enjoyed. Our route takes in the village of Barca D’Alva nestled in a quiet curve of the Douro, it is a popular stop-off for the cruise boats and a good spot for lunch. We have an overnight stay in a beautiful Parador once a castle which overlooks the town and provides wonderful views of the countryside of the Campo Charro region before riding to our next destination hotel in the charming city of Zafra.
Basing ourselves for three nights in this location provides further opportunities for riding across the border back into Portugal. Our hotel was a former Palace and is in the heart of the historic walled city which is also known as “Little Seville”, there are narrow streets, large plazas with cafes and bars and beautiful buildings to explore, plenty to keep you captivated should you take a day off the bike. We have two ride-outs planned whilst staying in Zafra with the roads continuing to delight as we ride through the Guadiana River valley, visit the largest reservoir in Western Europe crossing the Alqueva Dam and enjoy the Sierra de Aracena with its rolling hills and quiet roads dotted with white-washed villages.
The Sierra de Gredos is our next destination for two nights staying in the first of the Parador hotels dating back to 1928 with the stone building retaining a typical Spanish style with a ride-out on open roads, through landscapes dotted with cherry trees and a terrific ascent to Puerto del Pico at over 4,000ft on the return to our hotel.
Our penultimate day in Spain takes you through the contrasting Provinces of Avila, Valladolid and Palencia, with mountain roads and the wide open countryside of the Spanish plains. We ride into the Fuentes Carrionas Nature Reserve for our last night with less than 100 miles to travel the following day as we return to the port of Santander for an overnight sailing to Portsmouth.