Spain, best of three options?

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by Gotte, 2 Aug 2012.

  1. Gotte

    Gotte Active Member

    Location:
    Stockport UK
    My friend and I have never toured Spain before, but really want to. Where we live (North west UK), we can fly, with bikes, to three destiantions (best I can see it's three, but there may be more) - Bilboa, Barcelona and Malaga.

    Simple question, which destination offers the best options for credit card touring?
     
  2. MarkF

    MarkF Legendary Member

    Location:
    Yorkshire
    I've toured around Barcelona in 2009 and 20/10, this year I rode from Bilbao to Malaga, flew in from Manchester..

    I should be able to help but I have no idea what you mean by "which destination offers the best options for CC touring?" It's Spain, all facilities are everywhere. :huh:
     
  3. rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

    Location:
    Brighton
    Perhaps you want a list of ATMs?^_^

    I did some of the Picos behind Bilbao this summer and it is a very scenic range. Plenty of options for hotels if that's what you require although I camped.
     
  4. MarkF

    MarkF Legendary Member

    Location:
    Yorkshire
    I love that area, such a peaceful and beautiful place to cycle, I hope to go back next year, did you find campsites regular?

    Still super keen to know what the OP's "simple" question was!
     
  5. rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

    Location:
    Brighton
    I found enough at enough regular distances, if you know what I mean. One of the problems was knowing if the camps that were marked in books, the internet and the local Michelin maps were still operating. All three methods were either found wanting at some point or mentioned camps that the others didn't. Sometimes the camps had closed down, even some well-established municipal camps weren't mentioned and some new ones obviously weren't on any format. The ones I did find were uniformly good though and not super-expensive.
    I was mainly passing through not spending a whole holiday there but I agree that the area was superb. Lots of greenery and scenery, spectacular valleys and largely traffic-free.
     
  6. dellzeqq

    dellzeqq pre-talced and mighty

    Location:
    SW2
    I think the OP is asking about the availability and quality of accommodation and refreshments. And, in that respect, Spain has it all.

    Bilbao to Barcelona is a fantastic trip, whether you head for the hills or go straight across.
     
  7. bof

    bof Senior member. Oi! Less of the senior please

    Location:
    The world
    Depends when you're going. The south - indeed much of Spain - can get very hot at this time of year. I holidayed in Majorca around this time two years ago and you really didnt want to be out on the bike most days after 1000am. The northwest and Pyrenees can get VERY wet in Autumn.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Gotte

    Gotte Active Member

    Location:
    Stockport UK
    Thanks for that. Sorry, when I said credit card touring, I meant not camping (as dellzeqq righty guessed). Really looking for somewhere with a bed and a shower at the end of the day.

    I've been to Spain a couple of times, though never cycling - been to Girona and the Ronda area of Andalucia, so I have a fair idea of the availability of hotels, stores, etc.

    My friend and I are interested by the Rioja region, which we figure we can jump to from Bilboa (read about the Ebro valley, which sounds good), but I was reading a journal on Crazy Guy on a Bike, which seemed to suggest that the towns could be pretty small and quiet, sometimes with only a store, and nothing else.

    Thanks
     
  9. MarkF

    MarkF Legendary Member

    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Don't worry about it, I've just been to some remote areas of Extramadura, there is always somewhere to stay in Spain. If you can't see, ask, I've stopped in many rooms above bars that were not signed. Plenty of roadhouses between places too, but best not stay in ones with "Club" in their name. :whistle:
     
  10. bof

    bof Senior member. Oi! Less of the senior please

    Location:
    The world
    Stayed in Olite which is just about in Rioja (family, camping) a few years back for the Bardenas National Park nearby, which is great - a bit of the American West in Europe. You're well off the beaten track though and it's a lightly populated area and even Olite, which is one of the bigger places, is a bit limited in facilities. There are lots of monasteries in the nicer spots of inland Spain and some offer accomodation - maybe something to find out more about?
     
  11. rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

    Location:
    Brighton
    Only once did we have trouble finding somewhere to stay - we'd have taken anything but my wife won't wild camp. It was in an area just south of the Picos and meant we had to cycle 25 miles further than we wanted and finished at 8.45pm. It was the only time we struggled though so local difficulties are always possible.
     
  12. MarkF

    MarkF Legendary Member

    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Ok, so you are touring around an area, in that case I'd go to Bilbao. Barcelona, everybody's been there, more Brits down the Ramblas than on Blackpool prom (nice in Girona). Malaga? I Iove that city, it's gone upmarket, yet again, but still retained it's character, however it is hot and hilly and can also be barren and "samey" out of town along the coast or up into the hills. Bilbao is certainly different, "earthy" with great cycling scenery all around, you can get to Santander in 1.5 days easy (1st day is hard) along a spectacular coastal road, do a circuit and back to Bilbao and it'd be a great holiday.
     
  13. stewie griffin

    stewie griffin Über Member

    Location:
    Quahog
    You could have a really great time in any of those destinations.
    Recommending north or south would depend on what month were you considering & if you like high temps or not? For most it's the north in the summer as it's generally a tad cooler & south in the other seasons for the opposite reason.
     
  14. albal

    albal Veteran

    Location:
    Dorset
    i did Bilbao to Castro Urdiales< and back while i was too early for my ferry last year, its on the 'old' coast road, as most arenow on the m-way, very little traffic on it. Beyond Santander towards Gijon is great too.
     
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