Several decades ago, Jordi Laparra published the first edition of what, for many, would become the guidebook for the most epic journey conceivable on the Iberian Peninsula. Portable GPS devices were not yet the norm, phones were not as smart as they are today, and there was no komoot. If you decided to cross the Pyrenees mountain range from one side to the other, you’d most likely follow the great directions contained in Jordi’s guidebook.
Years have gone by, some paths have changed, others have disappeared, and many more have opened. The same can be said for accommodation along the route. Earlier, there were stretches where it was very difficult to find a place to sleep under a roof, but there’s much more choice today. Bike technology has evolved too: bikes are better and allow you to cover more distance with less effort. All this has meant that the original route has been modified over time. The one I propose here is the most up-to-date and, for my taste, the most complete.
Thanks to komoot, if you decide to embark on this adventure, you'll be able to improve the route as you go, adding new detours and points of interest to continue enriching what is, in my opinion, the most amazing MTB trip you can undertake on the peninsula.
You'll start from the Mediterranean Sea in Llançá and cross the Catalan, Aragonese and Navarrese Pyrenees. Your adventure ends in Hondarribia, on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.
The landscape changes constantly. You'll pass through hot, dry areas, Mediterranean landscapes, and the wooded, temperate areas of the Atlantic.
This journey takes you to discover the best corners of the Pyrenees on fun trails and tracks through beautiful valleys and green alpine meadows and up to high altitudes.
It's a tough ride, with a lot of elevation gain and difficult technical sections so you’ll need to be physically and mentally prepared for such an adventure. Check your bike’s in good condition too. My recommendation for this route is to take a MTB with front suspension and wide tyres, or one with light full suspension. Try to reduce your weight as much as possible to comfortably enjoy the trails. Bear in mind you'll cross high mountain passes where storms and rapid temperature changes are common.
There are companies that offer luggage transportation from one point to another at each stage. For me, the satisfaction of carrying your own, and very little, luggage adds to the adventure of the experience.
The best time to cross the Pyrenees is in summer, although this is also when you'll find more visitors in certain areas so try to book accommodation in advance.
Both Llançà and Hondarribia are well connected by train and bus to Girona and San Sebastián respectively, so it's easy to organise the logistics.
Enjoy this epic and unforgettable trip!
Ready to get going? Create and customize your own version of this adventure using the full Tour below as a template.
Last updated: October 17, 2023
Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.
This epic journey begins in Llançà, a coastal town in Alt Ampurdán with a fishing past and a clear Mediterranean aroma.
Although the itinerary begins at the FFCC station, to get the most out of the experience, I recommend that you pay a visit to the seashore before heading off into the mountains. It will…
If yesterday's stage served as an approximation, today's will take you to the beginning of the great adventure of crossing the Pyrenees.
The landscape begins to change and, as you gain altitude, the environment becomes greener, wetter and more mountainous. You feel how you leave the Mediterranean climate…
Get recommendations on the best single tracks, peaks, & plenty of other exciting outdoor places.
You leave Camprodon and go up the valley of the River Ter in the direction of La Roca. You pass next to Vilallonga de Ter, cross the river and start the first of the big climbs of the day. You face 950 meters of positive elevation gain spread over 13 kilometers.
After crowning, you launch into a long…
The fifth stage of the trip is hard in distance and unevenness. Although almost half of the route takes place on asphalt, you are going to pedal for almost 70 kilometers saving almost 2000 meters of positive difference in altitude.
You leave the town of Bagà going up the valley of the river Bastareny…
If you look at the profile of this stage, you will see that it is of the "bell" type, that is, it seems to develop in general terms with a big climb, a flat part in the heights and a big descent. Reality, you'll see, has many more nuances.
Unlike the previous day, where there were many road sections…
Today there are almost no roads along the Route, so the feeling of immersion in nature is greater than in previous stages. You will also spend a good part of the day pedaling above 2000 meters. The majesty of the landscapes that await you will be, at times, overwhelming.
Leave the town of Llavorsí on…
Today's stage runs through lower levels. It is shorter than the previous one and there are also fewer meters of positive unevenness. Today there are also few stretches of road and most of the route takes place on tracks, many of them paved. So we might consider this recovery journey. But do not trust…
Today you enter the Aragonese Pyrenees. The mountains seem to get bigger around here and, sometimes and in the distance, you can see tall silhouettes that make you think that you are approaching the Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park.
The stage starts uphill. As you leave Pont de Suert, crossing the…
This stage is the one that accumulates the most positive unevenness. In addition, it does so in less than 54 kilometers. The good news is that most of the ascents are going to be done on asphalt. The first ten kilometers and the last 20, run along small, stretched out and very little frequented mountain…
In this spectacular stage you will get close to the limits of the Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park.
The Route can be divided into two well differentiated parts. A first and impressive one, where the bulk of the unevenness accumulates. It runs along beautiful roads and dirt tracks, crosses massifs…
Today's stage is, compared to the previous ones, short and does not have much accumulated unevenness. It runs almost entirely by land and is, for me, one of the most beautiful of the trip.
Leave Fiscal and take the Bergua road. The climb is flat, except for two slightly stronger ramps, and it becomes…
This stage runs through more populated valleys than the areas through which you pedaled in the last stage. The feeling of loneliness and isolation also decreases due to the fact of going back to do kilometers by road. Even with all this, it is a beautiful day that will not leave you indifferent.
This stage supposes the transition towards the Atlantic climate, where the mountains begin to be less high and the vegetation is greener and more humid. It also means the passage from Aragon to Navarre. The day concentrates 1800 meters of unevenness in 53 kilometers and contains several technically complicated…
Today's stage is the longest of the Collection. Add 72.1 kilometers and 1670 meters of unevenness. It takes place almost equally on dirt and asphalt.
Before leaving Isaba, fill up the water reserves and buy food for the road, as you will not be able to refuel until the end of the day.
You leave Isaba behind…
Today's beautiful stage takes place for the most part on asphalt and paved tracks. And it is good that this is the case, since the humidity that reigns in the area due to the constant rainfall makes it difficult to cycle on dirt roads.
You leave Roncesvalles in the opposite direction to that of the pilgrims…
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