16-23 April 2016 (10 places available) 15-22 October 2016 (11 places available)
This tour starts and finishes in the San Sebastian / Bilbao area. Please contact us for travel details. The riding will be in the backcountry of the South Pyrenees in Spain. Bilbao is the best airport to fly into but Biarritz is also an option.
Booking is in UK pounds and is bookable through Great Rock with a £450 deposit. Balance is due 1 month before the trip. Please use the contact form for details of how to book. It is possible to pay by credit card. Maximum group size of 12 with 4 staff. Included in this cost is accommodation, breakfast and 3 out of 7 evening meals, guiding and skills tips. Not included are drinks and lunches. Airport transfers are not included as people may be arriving and departing at different times. There are frequent, easy coach transfers available to and from the airport which we will be able to advise you on. Terms and conditions apply see tab above under Courses.
This is a chance to see a hidden part of the Spanish Pyrenees, ride trails that you would never find and get some skills tips to help you make the most of riding in the mountains. Doug from Basque MTB will be our guide and Ed Oxley will be delivering the skills side of things. We are out riding great trails all day. Ed will run a dedicated skills session each day, usually for an hour in the morning, with the rest of the day spent riding. The trip makes an ideal “what next?” for those who have done skills days with Ed in the UK.
“The skills sessions were all very good, and were perfectly timed to make the most of them in the trails that followed. I’ll be practising my bunny hops at every opportunity! You could see the buzz in the group as everyone made improvements.” Andy
The riding across the South of the Pyrenees is something very special. It is generally dry and a bit loose, however less so than the south of Spain. The trails are old walking paths linking ancient villages, long since deserted. Our tour will take in the best singletrack that local mountain bikers have been kind enough to share with us. We will delve deep into some undiscovered mountain biking locations which boast stunning scenery and unbelievable world class biking. We will ride high on the Pyrenees and deep into the gorges which are scattered across the area, riding miles and miles of technical singletrack which is a kind of cross between the best Alpine descents and the south of Spain. Put simply this is some of the best most varied mountain biking anywhere and each day is different.
“Every day was top notch and every day different. The terrain both challenging and rewarding….I was able to ride new lines and complete technical sections I’d have walked previously. Really top notch and I’m still getting a rush of adrenaline thinking about it.” Dave
This trip is different from the Basque Skills Trip (which is based near the coast) in that we travel more, see a wider variety of areas and have less uplift overall.
If you want more uplift, more ‘five star’ food and less travelling the Basque Skills Trip is the one. If you want to see more remote parts of the pre-Pyrenees, ride very different trails each day and are happy with a bit more pedalling then the Backcountry Pyrenees is for you. Of course we change the trails each time on all our trips to make it fun for people who might want to come more than once and more fun for ourselves. Our high level of repeat bookings is testament to the quality of these holidays and we’re very proud of this!
In April and October the weather should be dry and the days will be cooler than summer, so perfect for mountain biking. In the summer the temperatures are too hot and later in the year there is more chance of bad weather. It goes without saying that if you live in the UK these are great times of year to leave for some Spanish weather!
Suitability (technical level)
The trails on this tour are going to be more advanced than beginner level. Don’t worry though you don’t have to be an expert! If you have been on a Great Rock ‘Flow’ or ‘Alpine Tech’ course, you should have the skills to enjoy the trip and be in a good place to progress your riding further. Please get in touch if you want to ask any questions about this.
The sort of rider who will get the most from this tour will be very comfortable on any of the trail centre trails in the UK and maybe have visited the Alps and enjoyed some of the more technical riding there. A good level of fitness is also required. The trails are not as extreme as some of the trails in the Basque Country but expect technical singletrack, rocky switchbacks and some exposure. There is a skills element on this trip, but it will be focussed more on developing skills that you already have rather than starting from scratch. The climbing will be challenging in places, although we will use plenty of van uplift to give us maximum fun time on the bikes. You should expect to be pushing your bike for some sections.
Accommodation and eating
The accommodation will be a mixture of high quality local bed and breakfasts, upmarket hostals and stunning, “rider owned” apartments, all chosen for their character and to keep us closest to the very best trails. We pride ourselves of the high quality of eating that you will experience on our holidays! We love to eat and also enjoy trying the good wines and local apperitives. We relish the chance to share the great traditional Spanish places that we have found with our guests and we can’t guarantee that you will lose weight on our trips!
6 full days of riding. We start and finish in the San Sebastian/Hondarribia area. Saturday is arrival and transfer day to the Pyrenees. We start riding on the Sunday. Friday is our last day of riding and you fly home the day after on the Saturday. We ride in a different place each day, driving in between locations with all our bikes and bags and stay in different accommodation each night apart from when we have have 2 nights in ‘Zona Zero’.
Guests sometimes arrive on the Friday and leave after a weeks riding on the following Sunday (Easyjet fly from Manchester to Bilbao on these days). If you choose to do this we can arrange the extra accommodation and can sometimes arrange a spa visit (with hot tubs and massage) and a tour of the famous pintxo bars (Basque tapas) in the old town. Ask about this if you’re interested.