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Spain Tour
Twisty Ride Crew Motorcyclist in Spain

Bike Ride - Spain

Motorbike Roads Spain

Here are some pics and tales of the beautiful motorbike roads of Spain and Portugal, where Toto and I enjoyed a 5,000 mile motorcycle tour. We discovered the stunning beaches in the south and the breath-taking biking roads of the north. We travelled to the most remote areas, to the high mountains of Sierra Nevada and to some of the nicest cities of the Iberian Peninsula. If you go there make sure you don’t miss the A397 road which runs from San Pedro de Alcantra, in the south of Spain, to the historic town of Ronda. It features some of the most exiting corners. Pure biking heaven!

Spain is a very diverse country. Its landscapes contrast with the rest of Europe - deserts, canyons as well as beautiful mountain roads with snow at the top and fantastic rides by the sea.Some of our favourite motorcycle roads are on the various mountain ranges which you’ll find all around Spain: Pyrenees, Pico de Europa, Sierra Nevada and the More Mountains. If you stay on the country roads you’ll most likely have them for yourself, the tarmac is usually well maintained and provides a very good grip for those who like to put their knee down.

The cities and small villages are picturesque with historical castles, cathedrals and monasteries.  You can feel the Moorish influence, as well as  Celt and Roman in the architecture. After a long day on the road, you’ll be pleased to relax in a nice setting. The food and drinks are simply delicious and the night life is great. Spain is a country which always impresses and isa definite must-go for a motorcycle road trip as it provides everything you could wishfor: some of the best roads, good after-ride life, beautiful weather and welcoming people.

Motorcycle Road Trip Preparation

Motorcycle Fun BikerReady like tigers, the team is making their final arrangements before setting off for the journey. Before you set off, following the team’s lead and go through the final preparations. Brush upon  your Spanish as it’ll come in very handy. It’s better if you know at least basic phrases as very few people speak English, especially if you stop in the back country where the best motorcycle roads are.  Pack a phrase book with you so at least you can read it when ordering food at the restaurant, asking locals for directions to the nearest B&B or paying your bill at the hotel. In bigger cities and nice hotels you may find that they speak English at reception. Wherever you are, don’t be shy to engage with the locals;  they like to talk and are very nice. Any effort you can make to speak the language will be appreciated, even if your accent leaves a lot to be desired!

Where to go? You’ll find it hard to choose. There are so many great motorbike routes for the quality of the roads themselves as well as the breath-taking views which surround most of them. We found fantastic roads in abundance everywhere but especially around Costa Brava. You can find some great road descriptions and ideas for motorbike routes at Travels and Motorcycles of Sylvia Stuurman.

Where to stay? That very much depends on your budget and the level of comfort you require. We personally prefer resting on a bed after long days spent on the roads. With a budget of no more than €50 per head we have always found a room everywhere we went, even though we checked in very late. Our technique was simple: find a village or a city where you’d like to spend the night, stop at the local bar and have drinks, chat with the locals or the staff and they will point you to the right hotel. In case you’re in the middle of nowhere and it’s getting late in the night, get on the motorway as you’ll most likely find a hotel sign posted. This method saved us once as we were stuck in the Basque country with nowhere to go at 4am in the morning. If you are better organised you can find cheaper options by staying at camping sites or by looking up a hostel.

On the Roads

Attitude, looks and easy handling are what these two are all about.

The speed limits are fairly similar to the rest of the continent with a 50km/h limit in town, 120km/h on motorways (autopista) and between 60 and 100km/h on country roads. Limits are generally signposted but the usual speed on the back roads is 90km/h.


Motorcycle Rider

Motorcycle touring roads

Motorcycle Road Sign

Drinking limits in Spain are fairly standard and equate to around two glasses of beer or wine. Watch out with the liquors as they tend to be served generously and bartenders will poor far more than the standard 2cl you get in the UK.

Parking heaven. It’s nice to park your bike on the pavement near the café or the restaurant you stopped at. You can watch it while chatting to your mate and enjoying that well deserve meal. You can park anywhere you like including pavements as long as you use common sense and you do not block the traffic or  pedestrian access.

The Best Motorcycle Routes

You’ll find a wide variety of roads ranging from very sticky tarmac, which provides a grip nearly as good as a racing track, to very scenic old routes and dirt tracks. We managed both types with our naked and sport bikes and enjoyed each and every one of them.

How to find the best routes? Easy, look at maps on Michelin and spot the scenic roads (in green). You can also use our motorcycle journey planner at TwistyRide which will help you create your itinerary on the best biking roads by creating a custom route from A to B. Here are some of the most terrific motorcycle roads around the Basque country and the Pyrenees with new sights and sounds around every turn.

Best Motorbike country roads Motorbike country roads Motorcycle Scenic Roads

Motorcycle Rides in Portugal

Motorbike Portugal RoadsMotorbike Rides to cape RacoPortuguese roads were in general more congested, especially the country roads, and the tarmac was full of potholes and cracks, especially in the north, so watch out where you put your wheels! The people were amazing and very friendly and wWe found that most of the younger generations spoke English very well and were very welcoming and engaging. Back on track, we skirted the Atlantic coast south via Porto and Lisbon to reach the western-most cape in Europe: Cabo Raso. If you ride along the coastline, make sure you reach Cabo Raso for the sunset; simply beautiful.

 

Motorcycle Repair Touring

Motorbike touring repairLittle technical problem encountered on the way to the Moorish city of Sevilla… Who said that Japanese motorbikes are more reliable than the sexy but high-maintenance Italians?

We found that garages in Spain and Portugal were very friendly and helpful. Any time we stopped whether  for an oil leak or to change a tyre, theystopped anything they were doing to help us get back on the road as quickly as possible. This does make a huge difference as it can kill your timing and touring plan. Just watch out for the price tag as we had a few surprises, although  there isn’t much you can do and you’re happy enough to have the fault repaired soon to continue the road trip.

 

Biking Challenge

After exploring the city, we headed south to Tarifa and arrived right on time for the sunset. It’s the southern-most spot in Europe, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean Sea, right opposite Africa (in the middle below).

Motorcycle Roads South Europe Best motorbike rides by the sea Motorbike Roads Atlantic view

Exhausted form the long time spent on the roads, the team took the easy option and flew back home after the event.

Flying biker Another Flying biker