Part 1: The Pyrenees
France, Andorra, Spain
The Pyrenees mountains form a natural border between France and Spain. And in between, there is a little country named Andorra. The mountain chain is 50 km wide and extends over 400 km from the atlantic sea to the mediterranean sea, so it offers alot of serpentine roads/mountain passes with such beautiful landscapes.
When should you start the journey?
The best time of the year to do a motorcycle journey is in late summer or early fall we think, because the most mountain passes on higher ground are not opening until july, because of snowfall. Also we have pretty high temperatures between june and august.
In the pyrenees there are alot of biker hotels, you should consider when you want some guided day-trips for example, or meet some other people with the same hobby.
Also to consider: When the tour-de-france (cycling grand tours) reaches the pyrenees-stages in mid-july, these roads will be closed for traffic.
For those who want to see the whole pyrenees, from the west-side, the central pyrenees and Andorra to the east-side, have the opportunity to discover around 1500 km roads.
Starting in Biarritz (France) on the atlantic coast-side, which is known today for its surf-culture, you can take the D932/D918 to the resort of ‘‘La Pierre St-Martin‘‘ for example.
In Biarritz, there’s a festival in June every year called Wheels and Waves. If you like surfing and custom old school bikes, this event is the right one for you.
From ‘‘La Pierre St-Martin‘‘ you can ride over the ‘‘Col de la Pierre St-Martin‘‘ on the french/spanish border.
When you are in ‘‘Jaca‘‘ (Spain), you can ride to Biescas and from there on in the northern direction on the A-136 / D934. Trough the national parc (Parc national des pyrénées) you can take a nice ride on the famous ‘‘Col du Tourmalet‘‘, where the riders of the tour-the-france are writing history. ALSO the ‘‘Col du Tourmalet‘‘ is the highest (2115m above sea level) paved mountain pass in the french pyrenees.
After this Highlight on your journey, it is totally up to you where you want to ride. You can ride trough the middle of the pyrenees, so near the summits of the mountain chain (blue lines).
Or you can leave the passes and ride in the lower area in France along the mountain (red lines).
Central pyrenees and Andorra
If you are not interested in riding on the ‘‘Col du Tourmalet‘‘, you can take a ride on the legendary N-260 trough ‘‘Biescas‘‘, starting from ‘‘Jaca‘‘, to ‘‘La Seu d’Urgell‘‘.
On the N-260 you can have a lot of fun, right after ''Jaca'' the N-260 starts and you can ride on some really clean and long roads on different heights, until it ends on the mediterranean coast-side.
3 countrys in less than 2 hours?
Without breaks, you can ride trough 3 countrys within 1 hour and a half if you want. But what if you have some more time? You could start your journey in France, in ‘‘Porté-Puymorens‘‘ for example. After breakfast ride on the N320 and N22 and then take some serpentine roads in Andorra, stay for lunch and then start out to Spain for some tapas and live music, maybe on the N-145 to ‘‘La Seu d’Urgell‘‘, which is a nice little city in the north of catalunya.
Tip: If you are in Andorra, take the chance to fill up your fuel tank. The gasoline is very cheap over there.
On the famous N-260 you can reach the east-pyrenees and the mediterranean sea. In Figueres you can ride right to the coast which offers some gorgeous catalan coast views. If you want some City-Action you can’t get around Barcelona.
On coast-roads the City Perpignan in France is not far away. From there on you can ride back to Biarritz on the french-side of the pyrenees.