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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Having got the “European Motorbike bug”, I am now planning my next European Tour and I have already booked the cruise ferry from Portsmouth to Bilboa and return from Santander to Plymouth for 2 weeks from mid- September 2019.

Our intentions are to spend a week in the Pyrenees (Spanish & French sides, along with Andorra) and then a week travelling into Central Spain (Córdoba/ Seville) and Portugal (possibly, Faro / Lisbon).

It could be up to 2,500 miles round trip and we will avoid Costa del Sol and Southern Spain as we have been there many times (by fly/drive).

If anyone has toured these parts on motorbike, i would welcome suggestions for key beauty spots and recommendations on best biking routes.

I already have the Ride magazine and website routes.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Ride suggest some good routes. Personally I would leave Madrid for another time - there is loads to see, but best to just fly in TBH or you will lose many days of fine riding opportunities.

We have used the Parador Hotel chain for many years. They have a route(rutas) arrangement which will engage you with many historic towns/cities ......... Routes | Paradores de Turismo. If you plan to use them, best join their Amigos scheme for the best deals. Similarly, Portugal have their Pousadas - www.pousadas.pt/en. Both are happy with one-nighters, but occasionally offer 2 night deals at weekends. We usually aim for c250 mile days, preferably arriving by 16.00 at the latest, to enjoy the destination, sight-seeing, pool & relaxation. BTW, mid July right through August gets way too hot for us in ATGATT, so best avoided - September will be fine, although the light starts to draw in..

Have a browse, see what you fancy & get plotting with Ride & a decent map.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Update:-

I have now booked my cruise (from Portsmouth to Bilbao and return from Santander to Plymouth) and all hotel bookings for 16 days in Sept/Oct 2019....11 months of anticipation grows!��

For all those living in Spain/Portugal or those who have travelled to same on K1600:
Do I need to remove the thermostat for my stay or will the bike be OK and not overheat in Sept/Oct, if the thermostat is left in?
 

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Make sure your insurance covers Andorra. Some do some don't. Not part of the EU

Take in as much of The Picos as you can.

Leave your thermostat where it is.

Enjoy the trip more than you are going to enjoy the wait!
 

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I was there last year - record was 47 Celsius in June! K1600 worked better under these conditions than the rider :D

I would not miss Granada - great area to ride (better than Madrid IMO).

You'll meet many K1600 riders in Spain - seems to be quite popular there.
 

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I rode to Bilbao a few years back on the way to Picos but it was in September so didn’t have any heat problems.
Make sure when you are in Bilbao you get a photo of the spider ‘maman’ outside the Guggenheim.
I am sure you will have a great time.
When I travel I use a Revolut card (no currency conversion or bank charges)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
...get a photo of the spider ‘maman’ outside the Guggenheim.
I am sure you will have a great time.
When I travel I use a Revolut card (no currency conversion or bank charges)
Some great suggestions... thanks
 

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I've done a few tours around inland Spain over the years and it really is a lovely place. Personally, I'd avoid the motorways unless you have big distances to cover because the regional roads are generally well-surfaced, pretty quiet and all in all a much nicer way to travel. As a general observation, your route covers lots of miles but perhaps misses out some of the more interesting places. A few suggestions:
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  • The Picos and Pyrenees are both spectacular, but can also be very wet! Avoid the higher passes if the weather isn't good: you won't see anything and the ride will be very unpleasant
  • Bagneres-de-Luchon is a reasonable base for a couple of days exploring the Pyrenees
  • Unless you really, really, want to see Barcelona and Valencia on this trip I'd be inclined to stay more inland
  • Morella - a medieval walled citadel - is worth a visit (a couple of hours is plenty). It rises up out of the plain and can be seen for miles
  • If you can work it into to your schedule, Cuenca, with its Casas Colgadas (hanging houses) is pretty special. The CM-2105 alongside the Rio Jucar is worth riding too
  • As already mentioned, Granada is worth a day exploring. The tour around the Alhambra is good
  • If you stay in Seville, make a visit to the bullfighting museum at the bullring. Whether you agree with bullfighting or not (I don't), it tells a fascinating story
  • If you're in the south, try to visit Ronda and see the bridge that Hemingway witnessed the fascists pushing their opponents off to their deaths below. The bullring is the oldest in Spain and quite spectacular
  • There are some very scenic roads in Extremadura, between Guadalupe and Toledo. Guadalupe is a good base for exploring from (stay in the Parador there).
  • The Roman remains at Merida - including a fabulous theatre - are worth a day's exploration
  • Lisbon is a wonderful city but, like Madrid, is probably better visited by air
  • The cathedral at Santiago de Compostella is spectacular
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Hope that gives you some (more) ideas!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I've done a few tours around inland Spain over the years and it really is a lovely place. Personally,..
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Hope that gives you some (more) ideas!
Absolutely brilliant suggestions and time /weather permitting I will certainly consider some en route. ?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
When I travel I use a Revolut card (no currency conversion or bank charges)
I used the Revolut card when I was abroad last month and 'yes', I concur with you. It is a great travel aid. I intend to use it on every trip abroad.
 

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I stayed over night in Burgos in Spain few years ago, that town is worth a look, good bars in the evening to find and they don't get many foreign tourists there. Its South west of Bilbao and directly South of Santander. If you take the N-627 heading north of Burgos then onto the N-611 to Santander thats a good road, could be a good route for you heading back to the port.


If your anywhere in the area Salamanca is a must for a stop off, amazing plaza and an old cathedral town. Fantastic bars and places to eat. Again not many foreigners there but that makes these places a bit more special to visit in my opinion. Very friendly place to visit.
Its just off the E-80 if you were heading south of Burgos, the E-80 can then take you into Portugal as well. It a fast road the E-80 so you can make 'progress' on it.
 

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+1 claw.

Burgos has an amazing historic centre, well worth a visit. However you do need to be careful on the weekends in season, as it's a popular wedding venue - the 'celebrations' tend to last through until dawn.

Salamanca - a magnificent historic university city. We usually stay at the modern Parador, which has fine views over the city-scape. The galleried main square is exceptional. You do need to take care after dark, once outside the old city though; the southern suburbs have been redeveloped in a somewhat clumsy concrete way & the properties that could not be sold/let after the crash, were home to many disenchanted jobless migrants when we last visited. Not a happy scene, but commonplace around Spain sadly.

Finally, do make sure you check out Fiesta dates wherever you intend to overnight, or you won't get a wink of sleep. We booked Alcaniz, without checking - they held a drummers fiesta - drunken drummers were still going strong at breakfast.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Spain, Andorra and Portugal Tour 2019

11 months of anticipation over... Today we start our 18 days Motorbike Tour with first overnight stop on Hayling Island, near Portsmouth, for tomorrow's Cap Finistere cruise down to Bilboa... Hoping for some dry weather in the Spanish and French Pyrenees...
 

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Enjoy your trip - and as sqibb says, be prepared to modify your plans once south of Valencia, although you look to be far enough west to avoid the flood areas.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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