This off-road trip in the Pyrenees is a “premiere” for our association. We have been thinking to propose a trip in this region for years, so in the autumn of 2013 we decided to look over these places directly. The result of it is a circuit of about 1300 km, starting from the French coast, going to Ainsa, then back through the Spanish side to finish at the starting point. The route is extremely various: from trails in the prairies among expanses of olive-trees to high elevation roads over 2000 m a.s.l.; from stony mule tracks to trails crossing pine forests. The scenery is very evocative: we ride across forsaken villages and ancient small towns, along lakes, through historical sites. In all these places we remark very very low traffic and very few people. Sometimes the landscape reminds the ones of Sardinia and Morocco. Food is typical Mediterranean. This tour is intended for the true enthusiasts of off-road single- and twin-cylinder motorcycles: a chance to experience the full spectrum of motorcycle performance.
Transfer from Italy to Argeles sur Mer (France). Meeting at the hotel on Saturday night.
Second day, 170 km.
Starting from Argeles sur Mer, we reach Collioure. A few kilometers on, we begin to ride on elevation dirt roads, from where a wonderful panorama on the sea opens up. We find ourselves in a Mediterranean environment, riding on flowing tracks. We enter Spain through Banyuls. After an evocative insulated shrine we go on dusty roads alternated with paved roads in an olive-tree valley. After reaching Panta de Boatella, we continue to Sant Llorenc de la Muga for lunch. In this village there is a wonderful church that dates back to XII century. Then, we ride on an asphalt road across a beautiful valley and continue on a dusty road to Sadernes up to our hotel in Camprodom village.
Third day, 210 km.
We start from the hotel and after a few kilometers a dirt road begins to lead to Ribes des Freses. Then, we cross the CadĂ¬-MoixerĂ˛ Park on a paved road. We are now in an alpine environment at high elevation and we ride on dirt roads among red rocks to Santa Fe, through the park. We ride on other dirt roads at a medium elevation up to Organya, where we stay overnight.
Fourth day, 220 km.
We ride on an asphalt road for a few kilometers. Then, at Coll de NargĂ˛ we start to ride on a very beautiful dusty road for about 40 km in an uninhabited valley. Then again we find a short stretch of asphalt road, followed by a nice ride along the Sant Antoni Lake on a wide dusty track that ends in the village of Tremp. We take northward a flowing dusty track of about 24 km in a deserted but very fascinating place to reach small isolated villages. After passing El Pont dâ€™Orrit, we ride on a never-ending succession of dusty and paved roads to the very challenging downhill track towards BesiĂˇns. Up again to the forsaken village of Caballera on a nice forest road, we then reach the Liguerre de Cinca lake, where we stay overnight.
Fifth day, 160 km
The road to Ainsa is paved, but after it we ride eastward to start the return journey, on a hard uphill dirt road to get over the hill. Here we find a beautiful downhill road across meadows towards the valley floor. Here we have to pass a short but very challenging stretch of a narrow mule track. You may need to push your twin-cylinder motorcycle! Along this track, dirt trails interchange with paved roads, with spectacular glimpse on surrounding mountains. We arrive in the village of Benes (18 inhabitants!) where we stay overnight in a typical agritourism.
Sixth day, 240 km.
We start on an asphalt road for a few kilometers. Then we go again to the mountains and we spend all day riding up and down these wonderful valleys. Once we passed Espui, we find a beautiful, dusty road of about 50 km that allows us to cross one of the most enchanting naturalistic place of the Pyrenees Natural Park. We meet some challenging stretches along the Andorra Principality and then we go down to the valley of Bellver de Cerdanya for the overnight stay.
Seventh day, 200 km
We start in the plain and then we ride uphill eastward. This route interchanges paved roads and dirt tracks; sometimes they may be very hard. Then we reach St. Llorenc de la Muga to stay overnight.
Eighth day, 80 km
Last day. We leave the hotel with no hurry to ride to an isolated castle and then we cross the French border on a dirt trail to Argeles sur Mer. Here we can even bathe: the season is still good! In the afternoon, those who still feel like riding can explore the area on various dirt trails….
We leave Argeles sur Mer to go back to Italy.
Participation fee: 1200 euros for 9 days and 8 nights + expenses for the technical service vehicle (the cost depends on the number of participants).
600 euros advance payment within 90 days from the day of departure.
650 euros balance payment + the amount for the vehicle within 60 from the day of departure.
Costs of the technical service vehicle and driver for the whole tour: 2300 euros to be divided into the number of participants (e.g. in case of 10 participants: 230 euros /each).
Terms of participation:
The tour takes place when the minimal number of ten participants is reached.
The fee includes:
â€˘ First day: dinner and accommodation
â€˘ From second to eighth day: breakfast and accommodation
â€˘ Ninth day: breakfast
â€˘ Luggage transportation by a 4-wheel-drive service car and motorcycle trailer for possible motorcycle recovery.
â€˘ The group is accompanied by two guides by motorcycle for the whole route.
â€˘ Accommodation in double or 3-bed rooms in hotels, agritourism or mountain lodges, according to local availability of accommodation. Mid-level standard of comfort is provided according to the local tourismÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â infrastructure.
â€˘ When possible, we shall have dinners in the same place where we stay overnight or in nearby restaurants.
The fee does not include:
â€˘ Any change of the terms of “The fee includes”; any single rooms, dinners, lunches and drinks (stops for lunch are connected to circumstances, tour schedule and weather).
A common pool of money will be kept to simplify the payment of the lunches, dinners and beverages.
The tour can be subject to modifications due to weather conditions, as well as possible roads closed prior to our arrival.
The routes are not demanding under a technical point of view, but they require an adequate technical and physical preparation since we shall ride for about seven or eight hours a day. The 70% of this route is organized on dirt roads, sometimes stony roads. Road width is no less than 1,5-2 m, practicable by 4-wheel drive vehicles as well.
Knobby tyres such as â€śKarooâ€ť, or more specific tyres such as the Pirelli â€śRally Crossâ€ť or the Michelin â€śDesert”, are highly recommended. It is possible to use dual-purpose on/off road tyres, but in this case please pay more attention!.
Every participant member shall bring along his own necessary kit for replacement of inner tubes or to repair his tubeless tyres.
Participant members shall wear adequate clothing for off-road tours (boots, protections and so on), and appropriate for possible turns in weather and temperature drops, as we ride on high elevation roads. We recommend bringing along few personal belongings in addition to motorcycle clothing, as we spend most of time on motorcycle.
This tour is organized in full â€śjourney spiritâ€ť, providing stops on the way to take photographs, have snacks, and so on, according to desires of the majority of participant members. However, every participant is committed to follow the scheduled time considering duration, distances of the route and booked accommodations to be respected.
The participant members are kindly requested not to use an own GPS. This is necessary in order to avoid that the incorrect use of route information by third parties may lead to future denial of access to the tracks to be covered. Of course itineraries can be learned by heart!!