We fly into Bilbao airport and transfer to our hotel in Pamplona, best known for the Running of the Bulls (Feast of San Femin). You will have a chance to meet the rest of the pie crew over lunch before having a briefing and getting out on your bikes for a few hours in the afternoon, depending on flight times. The warm up loop offers some gentle rolling hills to ease everyone into the first day ride as the route criss-crosses the Camino de Santiago.
We start the day riding north as we head for the coastal town of San Sebastian. We will be riding on quiet roads as we navigate our way along stunning valleys. There are three named climbs during the day, San Miguel de Aralar, the Zuarrarrate, and the Uitzi. After all the climbing, your reward is a 15km descent into the outskirts of San Sebastian.
In the morning we ride downhill into San Sebastian passed the bull ring, the old town and the beautiful Bahia de la Concha. Unfortunately, what goes down, must go up, and that up is 6 hairpins which take you to the top of Monte Igueldo. The climbing continues for several kilometres as we follow the coastline which offers spectacular views out across the Bay of Biscay and takes in routes from the 2018 Vuelta a España, Tour of Basque and San Sebastian Classic.
Setting off from Durango we head to our final destination in Bilbao, via Guernika. This truly is the heart of the Basque Country where the battle for independence was once fought and the area bears the scars of war. We tackle two of the most famous climbs in the area, Puerto de Urkiola and Balcon de Bizkaia, before riding past the Guggenheim Museum to the finish hotel to celebrate everyone’s achievements.
Today is a free day to enjoy all the historic port city of Bilbao before your return flight back to the UK.