Europe cycle TOURS AND HOLIDAYS | VUELTA A ESPAÑA 2018

Join us to experience the best of Spain, with our 14 day cycling tour of Europe. Includes Madrid, Northern Spain, East to Andorra plus more…

04-17 September 2018

Vuelta a España - Spain Cycle Tour

Bike Tour Overview

Seeing Spectacular Sights of Spain

We arrive in Madrid, and start our 14 day cycling tour. Heading north, we experience all that Spain has to offer along the way. On reaching the northern coastline, we head East staying at some amazing coastal towns. Next – it’s time to visit Andorra, a small country between France and Spain in the Pyrenees. At our leisure we return to Madrid, taking the time to experience the wonders and beauty of one of Spain’s great wine regions. And for those who like to see all that Madrid has to offer, we’ve created an itinerary that offers 4 days (in total) for you to enjoy the wonders of this great city.

3 Top Must-Haves for this Holiday

So, if you are looking for a holiday that combines:

  1. some great cycling (various options/levels)
  2. being in prime position to view 4 – 5 stages/days of the well-known Vuelta a Espana bike race; and
  3. seeing many of the great sites of northern Spain,

then we have packaged it here, in our unique cycle holiday.

What’s more, we’ve blended in many local experiences including stopping at some well-known local vineyards along the way. We believe it’s a must do for any great European holiday!

Separate Itinerary For Non Riders

For those looking for a little more of a true R&R holiday, be assured, you won’t be missing out. For the non-cyclists (Team Macchiato), we’ve packaged together an itinerary that lets you enjoy all the great, local attractions. With your own separate tour van, we get you out and about with one of our own tour guides. In RIDE Holidays tradition you won’t be simply following the cyclists!

Let’s summarise up this great cycle holiday…

Amazing cities, beautiful beaches, spectacular mountains. Not to mention the food, history, culture and a climate slightly hotter than Wellington…

We will find the perfect balance between experiencing 4-5 stages of the Vuelta a Espana bike race (targeting only the best stages), and experiencing the very best of what this stunning country has to offer.

Vuelta a Espana and Europe – awaits. Book your spot now.


Our Vuelta a España Cycle Tour Itinerary

Day 1, Tuesday 4 September 2018

Welcome to Madrid. Welcome to Spain.

Feel free to arrive at any time throughout the day. Our hotel is located at the airport. All we have to do is put the bikes together and then sit down to a traditional Spanish feast as we celebrate our first evening together.

Our goal is to show you everything that’s good about Spain. That includes a nice cool glass of Sangria. Let’s raise a glass as we introduce the team and go through the plan for the next two weeks.

It’s important that you realise how flexible we are. If you want longer, shorter, hillier, flatter rides then you only need to ask. Communication is the key.

Overnight – Madrid
Meals included – Dinner

Vuelta a España - Spain Cycle Tour

Day 2, Wednesday 5 September

We’ll have plenty of time in Madrid when we return for the final stages of the 2018 Vuelta a Espana. So, today is all about leaving the city and concentrating on a quality bike ride.

From Madrid we drive over the Morcuera pass - a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1,796m above the sea level. Today’s ride will only be short – 50km. However – it will be hilly. We want to make sure all the bikes are working properly. The support van will be close by.

This afternoon we focus on the natural mountain springs in Rascafria. May as well soak the legs. It is a holiday after all. Tonight we stay in Pedraza. This village has one of the most beautiful main squares in Spain. We’ll certainly sleep well tonight.

Overnight – Pedraza
Meals: Breakfast + Dinner

Day 3, Thursday 6 September

5am – compulsory morning jog around Pedraza. Nah, just joking. Nothing happens that early in Spain.

We’re not big on one night stays. So, no need to unpack. We ride to and from the hotel. Today’s bike ride will be longer than yesterday. Some will ride well over 100km. Others about 70km.

We take the back (hilly) roads all the way to the impressive Palacio Real de La Granja de San Ildefonso. (Let’s each try and say that fast ten times in a row). An 18th-century palace in the small town of San Ildefonso, located in the hills near Segovia. San Ildefonso’s main square is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Team Macchiato (non-riders) will have a fantastic day today – we’ll catch up with you later on after you’ve finished exploring the surrounding area.

Overnight – Pedraza
Meals: Breakfast (Dinner own arrangements)

Vuelta a España - Spain Cycle Tour

Day 4, Friday 7 September

Cycling in Europe amongst the vineyards…

Reasonably long drive this morning – 4 hours (that doesn’t include coffee stops). Our destination is San Vicente. Anyone like wine? This area is one of Spain´s most reputed wineproducing regions. Whites and reds. It’s only polite that today’s bike ride focuses on two things…(1) cycling amongst vineyards, and (2) finishing somewhere where we can do a tasting. Boom.

Our destination for the next two nights is Cantabria. Yes, that’s on the beach. We really want to show you everything that Spain has to offer.

What a perfect day – cycling, wine and now the Bay of Biscay. Boom Boom.

Overnight – Cantabria
Meals: Breakfast + Dinner

Day 5, Saturday 8 September

Let’s see some Vuelta a Espana

By now we will be targeting a stage of the great Vuelta bike race. Ideally a stage start. We will try and get you V.I.P. entry in to where the rich and famous people hang out. We can’t finalise that until race route is released. With that in mind the plan may change however ideally today will tick a few boxes… Two great coastal rides of 70km and 120km plus.

Both must feature a visit to the Cave of Altamira - an absolute must. Again a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The first place in the world where the existence of rock art from the Upper Paleolithic age was identified. Bison, horses, deer, hands, and mysterious signs were painted or engraved up to 35,600 years ago. That’s a big number. How old is NZ again?

Don’t forget though that you are at the beach… It’s cold back in NZ – let’s make the most of it. Crayfish for dinner anyone?

Overnight – Cantabria
Meals: Breakfast (Dinner own arrangements)

Vuelta a España - Spain Cycle Tour

Day 6, Sunday 9 September

It’s time to hit the mountains…

Again, we’ll finalise the plan once the race route has been released. OK – ever heard of a climb by the name of Alto de l'Angliru? It’s a steep mountain road and a must while in Spain. It is one of the most demanding climbs in professional cycling and usually on the Vuelta a España schedule.

If it’s tough for the pro’s then no doubt we’ll find it easy. It won’t be a race. There will be plenty of rest stops and we’ll have van support along the way.

On our way back to the hotel, we will stop in the village of Ribadesella which is surrounded by mountains, beaches and cliffs.

Overnight – to be confirmed
Meals: Breakfast (Dinner own arrangements)

Vuelta a España - Spain Cycle Tour

Day 7, Monday 10 September

Bilbao & San Sebastián

It’s time to move on. There is a lot of Spain to see. Our next stop is Bilbao. Not related to Bilbo Baggins….(sorry) Bilbao, an industrial port city in northern Spain, is surrounded by green mountains. It’s the de facto capital of Basque Country, with a skyscraper-filled downtown. It’s famed for the Frank Gehry–designed Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, which sparked revitalisation when it opened in 1997.

We spend two nights in the Basque Country as it often dominates the great bike race that we’re here to see. San Sebastián is an absolute must when visiting Spain. Team Mac will love the market in the old town.

Rides today and tomorrow will be reasonably flat as tomorrow we are heading in to the mountains. Bring it on.

Overnight – San Sebastian
Meals: Breakfast + Dinner

Day 8, Tuesday 11 September

As high as a kite…

This morning we head for the mighty Pyrenees. It’s an early start as we have 6 hours of driving ahead of us. Our destination – Andorra. Andorra is a tiny, independent principality situated between France and Spain in the Pyrenees mountains. It’s known for its ski resorts and a tax-haven status that encourages duty-free shopping. It also attracts cyclists from all over the world and often features in the Tour de France and of course the Vuelta a Espana.

Today is a rest day on the bike. Tomorrow we’ll climb, climb and climb so the legs will appreciate the time off. Tomorrow we also see the final stages of a La Vuelta mountain stage. We’ve included V.I.P hospitality right on the finish line. You’re worth it.

Overnight – Andorra
Meals: Breakfast + Dinner

Day 9, Wednesday 12 September

Port d’Envalira

Heard of Tourmalet, Aubisque, Hautacam? All are category Hors climbs that are generally considered fairly tough. Well – there’s a paved road in Andorra that towers above them all and leads to Port d’Envalira. At 2408m above sea level it can make grown men and women cry. Just as well we’ll have a support van with you to hand out the tissues.

Our plan may change depending upon the final stages of the Vuelta a Espana, however it would be a real shame not to attack one of the giants of the Pyrenees.

This afternoon we recommend checking out the spa at Caldea. Not just an ordinary spa though…At 6,000m² it is Europe's largest spa, and at 80 metres in height, it is Andorra's tallest building. What a great day.

Overnight – Andorra
Meals: Breakfast

Day 10, Thursday 13 September

Last day in the mountains…

Tomorrow we start heading back to where it all started. Let’s make the most of today.

Andorra geographically is tiny – 15km by 35km. Cycling wise – the country is a giant with 21 mountain passes to choose from. This is why the Vuelta a España and Tour de France choose to come here most years. Today we will listen to what you want to do. Choose from classic climbs like Arcalís, Arinsal or Cabús. Or, target one of the slightly less formidable options. We do need to remind ourselves from time to time that we are indeed on holiday.

Tonight’s dinner is special. Bring your camera. Let’s hope you aren’t afraid of heights.

Overnight – Andorra
Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 11, Friday 14 September

Let’s make it easy…

As a company we are totally against 10 hour drive days. Yuk. So, our plan for today is simple. A few hours in the van, a nice lunch and a late afternoon / evening bike ride in one of the small Aragon towns that would be roughly half way to Madrid. The Aragon region is a massive wine area so let’s try and find a winery to stay at. Can’t see any reason why not. Again – the exact plan will be confirmed once the Vuelta a Espana race schedule is released.

Overnight – Southern Aragon
Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 12, Saturday 15 September

Back to the big city…

It’s only a 3 hour drive back to Madrid. And being a Saturday traffic shouldn’t be that bad. We will ideally have you settled in your hotel room by early this afternoon. The rest of your day is at your leisure. Your chance to explore.

Here are a few suggestions on what to do…

  • Tour Bernabéu – Real Madrid’s famous stadium. (must be booked and paid for in advance at http://www.realmadrid.com/en/tickets/bernabeu-tour
  • A must - The Paseo del Prado is one of the main boulevards in Madrid, Spain. The Paseo del Prado is the oldest historical urban in Madrid and was declared Bien de Interés Cultural.
  • Royal Palace of Madrid – The official residence of the Spanish Royal Family at the city of Madrid, considered by many to be one of the finest palaces in Europe.
  • Prado National Museum – The Prado Museum is the main Spanish national art museum, located in central Madrid. It features one of the world's finest collections of European art, dating from the 12th century to the early 20th.

Overnight – Madrid central
Meals: Breakfast

Day 13, Sunday 16 September

Madrid by bike

Over the years we’ve developed a really good day around Paris on the last day of le Tour. We get up early and ride around all favourite sights, stopping for champagne along the way and finishing with breakfast at a local café. It really is a highlight.

Madrid will be no different. In fact, given that it’s Sunday and the Spanish are torturous for sleeping in we should have the roads to ourselves. It’s a beautiful city – let’s make the most of it. We’ll arrange to meet the non-riders at Plaza square where the bubbles will be waiting.

Back at the hotel there will be plenty of time to pack away your bikes prior to heading out and watching the final stage. Purchasing a V.I.P grandstand ticket on the finish line is recommended. It’s a lot cheaper than the same experience on the Champs Elysees.

Tonight we’ve picked a cracking restaurant to celebrate our two weeks together.

Overnight – Madrid central
Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 14, Monday 17 September

The end for this great European bike tour

We say goodbye after breakfast. Some of you will fly straight home. In which case we will help with transfers. Others will stay on for a day or two or maybe head to other European places. Barcelona for a couple of days isn’t a bad idea.

Thank you for travelling with us. It’s been a great trip and we enjoyed your company.

Safe travels
Cheers Karl and the team from RIDE Holidays

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Vuelta a España - Spain Cycle Tour

Vuelta a Espana | Our 14 Day Cycling Tour of Spain, Europe 2018

Highlights and Inclusions

  • Experience and view 4-5 days and stages of the great Vuelta a Espana bike race. This includes one Vuelta V.I.P experience (probably in the Pyrenees).
  • Ride at your pace. No pressure
  • Multiple ride options daily: cappuccino, latte and espresso ride options.
  • Separate itinerary for non-riders (fondly referred to as the Macchiato group)
  • 13 nights' accommodation using quality 3 & 4* hotels
  • 10 week professional training program
  • 2-3 vehicles which allows for flexibility
  • All breakfasts and 8 dinners
  • 4 to 5 supporting staff depending on final numbers. (Combination of RH and local)
  • Fully qualified mechanic
  • Tips included for all staff as well as for the meals included
  • Souvenir booklet, itinerary included
  • RIDE Holidays cycling jersey
  • GPS assistance & physical maps

Vuelta a España - Spain Cycle Tour

Tour Exclusions

(Although Karl can take care of these for you)

  • Airfares and extra accommodation
  • Travel Insurance - compulsory!
  • Madrid Vuelta a Espana V.I.P grandstand ticket. Cost TBA
  • Plus all meals, alcohol not indicated in your tour itinerary

Approximate Tour Cost (per person)

All prices stated are in New Zealand Dollars

$7,900.00 NZD per person (Twin Share)

Want your own room? Single room supplement $1,400.00 NZD

Bike Hire:
$650.00 NZD (we can arrange this for you)

The cost for non-riders is the same as for cyclists, excluding bike hire.

Deposits Required

  • Initial deposit is $750. This is 100% refundable up until when the final Vuelta a Espana race route, itinerary and finalised cost is released (January 2018).
  • January 2018, you will be required to pay an additional $1250.00. From then all deposits become non-refundable.

Vuelta a España - Spain Cycle Tour



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