One of my favourite experiences from last year, this was my solo four-day trip over the Pyrenees, starting from my dad's house in Valencia and finishing at a friend's place at Zero Neuf near Toulouse. For this multi-day trip I had a rough idea of where I was heading and had been studying some old paper maps with my dad whilst staying at his house for the week before I started.
Cycling over the Pyrenees from Spain through Andorra and then finishing in France was an exciting prospect and something that sounds as if it would be a big undertaking, yet in fact was almost the opposite. With smooth tarmac roads, amazingly quiet cycle paths and the mountain views as a backdrop it felt easy.
Choosing my road bike and packing pretty light for this trip, I was planning on finding hotels at the end of each day, but did carry a small sleeping bag and bivvy just in case. Being April in the mountains it was cold at night and little rain showers were still fairly frequent, so wild camping was not my first choice!
I’m looking forward to heading back to the Pyrenees soon and also to Spain where I hope to enjoy more of their wonderful cycle paths.
I didn’t have an actual route planned at the start of this trip so it was a bit of a freestyle as I went. On the first day I came across an amazing cycle path in Tortosa, I followed this for the next 35 km (22 miles) until it was no longer taking me the direction I needed to go.
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To finish my trip on the third day would have taken a pretty serious ride, and I would have had to keep stoppage time to a minimum, so instead I opted for a shorter day on the bike so I could take in some of Andorra and do some exploring. After climbing the Coll de Port you get a great view of what’s to come, and can properly see the gorgeous snow-covered peaks of the Pyrenees.
The last day of my trip started with the climb Port d’Envalira. 28 kilometres (17 miles) of uphill straight out of the gate is one way to wake up! Climbing above the snow line gives you some amazing views and this area is also very popular with pro cyclists. Don’t be disheartened if you get overtaken; the chances are they have done the climb more times than they can count.