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Backcountry Pyrenees: Itinerary

Backcountry Pyrenees | Sample Itinerary

We don´t really do itineraries for our mountain bike holidays, we try to keep them as flexible as possible so we can tailor them to the groups we have. The Backcountry Pyrenees tour has an approximate itinerary imposed on it though as we stop in different places most nights and that selects the areas we ride in. We still have at least a couple of days worth of mountain biking in each area though so each holiday is different. In addition to this we have some different areas we ride in and these vary each trip as we tailor the trips to guests who want a more, or less, technical mountain bike holiday, or perhaps groups who are returning for another holiday with us and want something different. The trails vary between Spring and Autumn as well, depending on how much snow remains in Spring.

Here is a typical trip we would run in Autumn.


Backcountry Pyrenees Mountain Bike Holiday | Transfer Day

We will pick everyone up for this mountain bike holiday in San Sebastian, please get in touch to arrange flight times that suit. Once everyone has arrived we will drive to the first stop of our tour where we stay in a nice hotel for the first night.

Distance Cycled0km
Riding Time0 hours
Technical Difficultyn/a
Physical Difficultyn/a
Time In Van (excluding uplifts)3:00


Backcountry Pyrenees Mountain Bike Holiday | Day 1

The first day of our holidays starts with a climb, on an incredibly scenic fireroad, to let us get our biking legs. Once we leave the fireroad we drop into some amazing rock features and the trail gets a bit technical right away before opening up and becoming more flow. The scenery is amazing as we descent 700m to the valley floor ready for a cold drink. After this we have a 45 minute van transfer to the top of the next trail where we will have a picnic lunch prepared for us. The next two trails are very different, the first loose and technical as we ride a steep path between huge rocky cliffs which are usually filled with climbers. After that we have a trail that isn´t used very much but which is one of the highlights of the week and drops us into the next valley. Another 20 minutes in the van takes us to the last trail of the day and we descend all the way to the accommodation for that night.

Distance Cycled35km
Riding Time7 hours
Technical DifficultyModerate
Physical DifficultyHigh
Time In Van (excluding uplifts)30 minutes.


Backcountry Pyrenees Mountain Bike Holiday | Day 2

Today we start with two big uplifts to ride a couple of big, 800m descents. The first descent is less technical, although by no means easy and some people may find it challenging. As the trail crosses through the northern and southern facing slopes of the mountain the singletrack changes between humid and loose and we finish riding switchbacks down a rocky scree slope with plenty of exposure. After this trail we ride Spunkkentrakken, definitely one of the best trails in the world and enjoy endless corner all the way to the floor of the next valley. From here we spend the rest of the day riding huge slabs of rock, with technical switchbacks and passes, it´s pure mountain biking heaven. The last descent takes us to the door of our accommodation where the van had dropped our bags and there are cold drinks in the fridge waiting for us.

Distance Cycled40km
Riding Time8 hours
Technical DifficultyHigh
Physical DifficultyVery High
Time In Van (excluding uplifts)None.


Backcountry Pyrenees Mountain Bike Holiday | Day 3

We wake up to a fantastic breakfast and stunning views over a valley with few traces of humans. We start the day with a 500m uplift to a col where we start by climbing another 150m on our bikes to the start of our trail. The landscape here is incredible, with strange rock formations and big beds of rock offering multiple line choices and jumps and drops everywhere!

The van will wait for us at the bottom of the trail, ready to drive us to our next trail head which is around an 45 minutes away. One big 700m descent with panoramic views of the Pyrenees will take us to lunch. After that we will select a variety of trails, each between 500m and 800m descents, to fill the whole afternoon. Tonight we are staying in a stunning medieval village, in a lovely rider-owned apartment.

Distance Cycled40km
Riding Time7 hours
Technical DifficultyModerate-High
Physical DifficultyModerate
Time In Van (excluding uplifts)None.


Backcountry Pyrenees Mountain Bike Holiday | Day 4

This morning we wake up to views over the mountain we will ride the following day. A special 4×4 will come and take us up to the high col and we will spend the rest of the day riding back to our apartment where we stay a second night. The trail could be done in a few hours but we have arranged a special paella in a little village and we will take our time. If anyone wants more riding that evening then we can offer some more uplifts to let you sample more of the fantastic trails in this area. Afterwards we have a local physiotherapist who come for optional massages or physiotherapy and then we have a tasting of local wines arranged for everyone.

Distance Cycled40km
Riding Time5 hours
Technical DifficultyModerate
Physical DifficultyEasy
Time In Van (excluding uplifts)None.


Backcountry Pyrenees Mountain Bike Holiday | Day 5

If yesterday was the rest day then today was the reason for that. Today has been christened Dirty Thursday because we ride late and often roll straight to dinner, still high on endorphins, and then on for drinks. It´s not unusual to be standing in the local bar at midnight still in our riding clothes! We have a 35 minute transfer in the morning to meet another 4×4 uplift van which will help us all day today. We start with a long uplift to a high pass where we enjoy the views before starting our trail for the day. The trail starts off fast and flowing, through high meadows, before dropping into a really old trail which is now sunk down into a toboggan ride tube through the trees. Afterwards we take another uplift to ride The Magic Line, which is just that! Then it´s one final uplift, way up into the mountains. We have to climb after that, pushing our bikes for 30-40 minutes to get to the top of this next trail. We have had several bike journalists and people who have ridden all around the world and they have all claimed that this trail is one of the best they have ever ridden. It´s steep and 1100m down. It just keeps going and going and going and has an incredible flow. You drop 900m in 3km but it doesn´t feel like wasted height. It´s an amazing end to an amazing day.

Distance Cycled35km
Riding Time7 hours
Technical DifficultyModerate to Very High
Physical DifficultyModerate
Time In Van (excluding uplifts)1 hour and 15 minutes.


Backcountry Pyrenees Mountain Bike Holiday | Day 6

Today is our last day and we start making our way back to the coast but we stop off for a ride on the way! We have around an hour in the van in the morning to reach the first trail, aa big uplift followed by an easy 450m climb with amazing views. The trail is a well known secret amongst local riders for its 1000m of vertical and 1000 switchbacks! Once you get into the swing of them the trail has real flow and a lovely rhythm. We ride down to the valley floor and follow the river to another town where the van is waiting for us with some cold beers to celebrate the end of the journey. That night we transfer back towards the coast and stay in a great hotel where the meal is legendary!

Distance Cycled25km
Riding Time5 hours
Technical DifficultyModerate
Physical DifficultyHigh
Time In Van (excluding uplifts)3 hours.


Sorry folks but that’s the end of the trip. This morning we will take you back to San Sebastian and pick up the next lucky group!

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Established 2008, basqueMTB have been offering amazing mountain bike holidays across the Pyrenees, San Sebastian and Northern Spain. Dedicated shuttles, the most experienced guides and more than a decade of experience organising our award winning mountain bike holidays, come and visit us and see what all the fuss is about.

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