Cycling in Spain
My group of cycling friends has travelled to France or Italy for the last 4 years for 10 days of cycling. We normally stay in bed and breakfasts or hotels of the 3 star type. We were thinking about Spain or Portugal next summer, but I'm told that there is nothing similar to Tuscany, Dordogne or Provence. The reason given was that roads are not as good and the villages are farther apart and often quite poor. We like to do a 40-50 mile round trip each day, from a starting point within a half hour drive of where we are staying.
The Paradores look like a fantastic place to stay. Can anyone recommend an area of Spain or Portugal that suits our needs? We usually spend 5 days in 2 different locations a couple hours apart and take unloaded day trips.
Hi Phil you would be surprised by Spain it is as interesting as italy and provence. I did three tours in the Basque region ( north west of the country ) and can highly recommend it provided that you don't mind riding hills and if you really enjoy it you have some amazing Cols on the Pyrenees right across the border in France. Accomodations are the best quality/price you find compared to Italy and France and food in that part is amazing. The best meat I had in Europe, great fish near the north Coast and good wine too! Weather can sometime be a bit tricky though and it is best in early or late summer. See many travelogues on this and other regions in Spain here
if you do the camino de santiago and have a carne de peregrino with you, you can stay at alberques for 2 or 3 euros or sometimes you don´t even have to pay anything at all. they´re generally well-equipped, with showers and kitchen, very comfortable. but them tends to be quite crowed most of the time.
along the route there´re lots of villages, no more than 40 kms apart. road condition on this route is great, asphalt, and with special section cut out for people doing it in most part. the northern spain is plain beautiful, not too hot nor too cold.
You could try www.fcarvalho-ciclismo.com Portugal training tours. They organise self-guided tours with luggage transfer. I went with them last year - quite a tough route but extremely well organised and fantastic value for money.