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Touring west of Barcelona Spain?

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Touring west of Barcelona Spain?

Old 02-13-09, 08:03 PM
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SteveA
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Touring west of Barcelona Spain?

Greetings,

We are looking for some suggestions for 5-6 day routes (at about 30 miles a day [roughly]) west of Barcelona (maybe Aragon area). From what I can gather - the auto traffic is pretty annoying going any direction other than west from Barcelona (except straight East!).

We are thinking that we'll probably want to rent/hire a car (one-way) in Barcelona and drive west to the Aragon area (maybe Lleida or Zaragoza) and then do a 5-6 day loop route (not camping, but small hotels, B&B Casa Rurales, etc.). Or we could do a one-way route from our start-point city to another city - where we could then rent/hire another car to drive back to Barcelona to fly home.

We realize that Spain is mountainous in a lot of areas and we don't want to ride through the major passes in the Pyrrenees, etc. There appears to be a lowland through which the Ebro rivers flows to the coast. We are not expecting it to be flat - but we also don't feel a need to conquer the big climbs.

We are looking for relatively low-traffic areas. This would most probably be in early June. We did a 10 day unsupported tour in Ireland five years ago and that was great.

Any experiences, suggestions, links, etc. that you can share will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Steve in Ohio, USA
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Old 02-14-09, 01:54 PM
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Steve, if your bikes can handle dirt roads, you could consider the TransAndalus in Andalucia. www.transandalus.org There is virtually no traffic on that route. We rented a car in Madrid and drove to our starting point in one day. photos at http://picasaweb.google.com/NedandElaineGriffin
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Old 02-14-09, 02:30 PM
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If you haven't allready, give a look at cycling the Camino d' Santiago. You can do sections of it if you wish. Wonderfull sights, and a very nice social experience as well.

I know this is a different region than you had asked about, but there are many resources available for cycling the Camino (maps, guide books etc etc).
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Old 02-14-09, 02:55 PM
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This page has 20 links to information about bike touring in Spain. None of them deal directly with the area west of Barcelona, but I believe several may be of interest to you.

Ray
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Old 02-14-09, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by ebg View Post
Steve, if your bikes can handle dirt roads, you could consider the TransAndalus in Andalucia[/url]
Elaine
I've been on parts of this, and I must agree that Andalusia is is very special, but I've never been to other parts of Spain yet so I can't compare.

If you do go through Aragon don't miss the black olives. You also have to get some good chorizo, serrano ham, and sheep's milk cheese, curado or viejo. Dried figs are great with almonds. All that with some fresh bread makes great dinner or supper on the road or trail. And don't forget the wine! I always carry a real Spanish bota made from goat skin and lined with pitch. Hard to find but worth the effort, 30-40 euro for the 1.5 liter version that holds 2 whole bottles! Campo Viejo tempranillo for 3.40 a bottle at any Mercadona is great value. I really like to drink Rioja with Oreos, but I'm weird. Speaking of Ireland a bottle of Paddy costs half what it does in Ireland, but real liquor stores are hard to find also though not that uncommon in cities, of course I digress...

June might be pretty hot in southern Spain, I'd go earlier if possible
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Old 02-14-09, 05:48 PM
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Ned and Elaine,

Thanks for your suggestions. Your slideshow is beautiful. Although we're not adverse to doing a stretch of off-road we are looking for a slight bit more on-road cycling than it looks like you did. Also, we are already headed into Barcelona - so any plans will be starting from there.

Have a good season this year. Thanks again.

Steve

Originally Posted by ebg View Post
Steve, if your bikes can handle dirt roads, you could consider the TransAndalus in Andalucia. www.transandalus.org There is virtually no traffic on that route. We rented a car in Madrid and drove to our starting point in one day. photos at http://picasaweb.google.com/NedandElaineGriffin
Elaine

Last edited by SteveA; 02-15-09 at 06:41 AM. Reason: Spelling (typo)
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Old 02-14-09, 05:52 PM
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We are starting from Barcelona. We assume that it will be hot - but we avoided anything south of Madrid for this reason.

Originally Posted by ekitel View Post
I've been on parts of this, and I must agree that Andalusia is is very special, but
June might be pretty hot in southern Spain, I'd go earlier if possible
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Old 02-14-09, 06:06 PM
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Have you looked at the vias verdes site? Some of those are paved, and there are a lot near Barcelona or in Northern Spain. Maybe you could string some together with back roads.
overall map: http://www.viasverdes.com/ViasVerdes...Localizaci%F3n
Click flag at top for English
Elaine
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Old 02-14-09, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by SteveA View Post
We are starting from Barcelona. We assume that it will be hot - but we avoided anything south of Madrid for this reason.
sorry, now that I look at the map I realize Barcelona is much further north than I thought
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Old 02-15-09, 06:40 AM
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You bring up a good point about the temperatures. Our last non-USA tour was in Ireland - which my wife found too cold for her liking. Hopefully, we aren't headed for the other extreme now.

Originally Posted by ekitel View Post
sorry, now that I look at the map I realize Barcelona is much further north than I thought
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