You might have noticed that there is a new trip on our schedule? The Pyrenees Odyssey is a new trip for 2023 but we ran a test week in 2022 and really it is a combination of previous adventures. Read on to hear all about it.
This year we ran the first Pyrenees Odyssey. This is a combination of lots of previous adventures, the most recent being our Tour of Aneto. You can find a link to that at the bottom of this post.
We have been running our Ultimate Pyrenees trip for a few years now and the logistics involved in these trips as something that we have got pretty dialled. It still takes a bit of organising to make sure that all the bags reach the next hotel, the picnic is ready and when you cross into the next valley the shuttle vans are waiting for you. It gives an amazing sense of crossing the mountains, with a purpose, and that is one of the big reasons that we will definitely keep offering this style of trips.
In 2023 we will offer 3 trips, in late June and July.
This mountain bike holiday followed a set format. Each morning we were treated to a huge shuttle uplift and from there we pushed and carried up to a high mountain pass. From there we enjoyed a massive descent to the valley floor, usually around 1500m.
After the adventure of reaching a pass, usually our hotel for the next night was below us, and we filled the afternoon with shuttled runs and minimal climbing. This rhythm worked really well, with a bit of suffering in the morning, a massive descent, and then an afternoon where you could do as many, or as few, shuttles as you want.
Each day we when we descended we were treated to a big, Spanish-style, lunch. Sometimes it was a BBQ of local meat, at other times it was a picnic, full of local delicacies which we usually had by the river. The weather was pretty warm and often after lunch we enjoyed a dip in the river to refresh ourselves before continuing with the riding.
Antonio took care of the picnics and each day we had local baking, meat, cheese, pates, fish, fruit and salads all with “pan de verdad”, which is the traditional bread which meets Antonio’s high standards! Afterwards we had big slices of watermelon, coffee, twice-fucked cake (that’s what it is called!), chocolate and a big coffee.
This was a tough week. It wasn’t that tough though. The difficulty of the days ebbed and flowed, so after a difficult day there was usually an easier day to recover. The morning hikes weren’t too challenging in truth, we set into our own rhythms and in an hour or so we were at the top. The sheer amount of descending definitely took its toll though and on the last day when we offered one more run there was only one of the riders who wanted to come! Hats off to Manu from the Basque Country for being the last man riding!
Iñigo our guide made this brilliant little video on the trip. I think it gives a great idea of the trip.
The five days of riding meant almost 18,000m, 60,000ft of descending and around 5000m, 16000ft of climbing. It was more intense than any of our other holidays, but definitely manageable and fun. I couldn’t have managed another descent and that feeling was mutual. We never planned to run this trip more often, but it was one of the best weeks we have organised and so here we are… with it on the calendar for 3 weeks in 2023. Sign up now!
Find out more
Read about some of the trips which made up our Pyrenees Odyssey. If you want something even more adventurous try our Tour of Aneto, with added camping and mules!