Classic Cols of the Picos
Last Updated on Sunday, 27 October 2013 10:04
"Your chance to cycle some of the beautiful climbs in the Spanish Picos and Cantabrian mountains, infamous thanks to La Vuelta."
The Picos de Europa in Northern Spain is a little known paradise for cyclists and a great place to spend a week. There are few places with so much variety and during the week we will encounter rugged limestone mountains, deep gorges, ancient forests, mountain pastures and unspoilt villages. The cycling is also very varied, and as the name of the holidays suggests, there are naturally lots of climbs, but some are gentle and meandering, others are short and sharp, and then there is the Alto de Angliru, which is just brutal (and thankfully optional!). This holiday really does showcase this beautiful part of the world.
We have designed the Classic Route, so that the distance and gradients between the hotels is manageable (and enjoyable) for most cyclists if taken slowly. However, each day there are 'optional extras' increasing the possible daily ascent to between 2600m and 3100m, making this holiday also suitable for those looking to really push themselves and take on our Challenge Route (see details below).
As with our other Classic Cols holidays, the unique thing about this type of holiday is its flexibility - you really can ride as much or as little as you like, at a pace that suits you without holding up or being held up by others in the group. That said, with a group of 20, you can be sure to find someone else on the trip with similar aspirations to you, whether that be sampling 'una cerveza por favor' in a rustic village bar, or taking on every optional climb on offer.
This week is definitely a 'holiday', and riding on the quiet roads through the stunning mountain scenery of the Picos National Park is a real joy. Despite the beauty of the area, the Picos is still unspoilt and more frequented by walkers than cyclists. This plus the good company of the others in your group and the local Spanish culture and cuisine, all make for an excellent week.
Why book with Marmot Tours?
- We have been running this type of road cycling holiday since 2001 so have fine tuned our product over the years. This is an exciting new itinerary that will give you the best cycling whilst maintaining our philosophy of supporting the local economy by staying in family run hotels which serve up generous portions of tasty regional dishes.
- This trip is all about you and your bike - we do the rest. We provide you with comprehensive notes with altitude profiles, route descriptions and top tips on the best places to eat lunch, plus GPS files if you use a GPS to navigate. You then ride whichever of the route choices you feel like doing, to bring you to the hotel, meeting up with our support vehicle periodically throughout the day to restock with water and snacks.
- We minimise time in the van so that you are only have the transfers at the beginning and end of the holiday - the rest of the time you are cycling, which after all is what you have come to do. Our routes go direct from hotel to hotel, and naturally all your baggage (including bike boxes) is transported on for you.
- With two support vehicles, we will never be far away, offering mechanical help, refreshments and lifts up (or down) the hills.
The Classic Cols Challenge
For those of you out there that like a challenge, why not ride all the optional extra cols and stage endings? This makes your weeks cycling km with m of ascent!
2014 Dates and Prices
Sun 8 June - Sun 15 June 2014
Sun 28 September - Sun 4 October 2014
Costs: £960 (twin share basis), starting and ending at Bilbao Airport. Single supplement £210 [To be arranged on booking. This supplement only applies if you are booking alone and would like to guarantee your own room for the holiday. If you are happy to share with someone of the same gender then there is no need to pay this supplement.]
Flights are not included but can be picked up very cheaply if booked in advance. Arrival and departure airport Bilbao. See our Travel page for more details.
Allow about €150 for lunches and daytime drinks that are not included (outlined below). There are no other local payments or hidden costs. Please note that we offer a 5% discount if you book more than 6 months before the departure date. We also offer group and loyalty discounts.
If your currency isn't GBP £, then you may find the Caxton FX currency calculator useful.
This price includes: 6 nights 2-star hotels, 1 night 3-star hotel, 7 evening meals (excluding drinks) and 7 breakfasts, fruit and cereal bars whilst cycling, airport transfers as specific times, 2 support vehicles offering medical / mechanical assistance.