Having returned to the UK from the beautiful shores of Ireland in late May we headed into France in early June for something of a road trip from the north of the country all the way through the centre to the Pyrenees and on into Spain for the last four days of our tour. The main destination in France was to the iconic Millau Bridge staying in the town for three nights giving us ample time to not only go to the Viaduct’s Visitor Centre but also to ride the surrounding roads through the valleys of The Lot River and The Tarn Gorge. If ever you find yourselves in this part of France we can highly recommend a tour of the Millau Suspension bridge which was designed by the English architect Lord Norman Foster and which touches the bottom of the Tarn Valley in only 9 places.
Our ride-out to the Bridge started off with a stunning route through the Tarn Gorge valley, the sheer scale of the rock faces dwarf you and your bike as the road carves its way through the limestone canyon making for not only a beautiful ride but also a technical one which is why we kept our mileage to just over 100 miles for the day. There are pretty villages to take some time out at over coffee and lunch and we met plenty of characters along the way with the owner of a local deli ramping up the volume of his music while encouraging our clients to sample local meats and cheeses 🙂
Having spent a total of six days touring and exploring France we crossed the border into Spain, taking the Bielsa Tunnel route over the Pyrenees into the Province of Aragon. The tunnel itself is only 3kms long and is at an altitude of nearly 6,000 ft. The ride both on the ascent from the french side to the descent on the spanish side offers a fun road to ride with spectacular mountain scenery to be enjoyed, given we were touring through here in mid June it was no surprise to find snow on the mountains at the summit but we were fortunate to have excellent weather for the ride giving us good views and warm temperatures as we rode to our hotel for the next two nights in the foothills of the Southern Spanish Pyrenees.
For the next 2 nights we stayed in a fully refurbished 17th century Monastery situated on the banks of the river Ara with a stunning ride-out the following day through some truly beautiful gorges and river valleys before heading into the Rioja wine region for the final two nights of the tour. Riding in Spain is always a joy, the roads are always super smooth, out in the open countryside there is very little in the way of traffic making for a very relaxing day of motorcycling and then the views simply take your breath away. We love it so much that when this tour finished with our clients taking the ferry from Santander back to the UK, we stayed in the port to greet our next tour group who were to join us on our Spanish Coast & Mountains tour over the following two weeks!
“Stayed tuned…..” we’ll update you on that soon 🙂