The Badgers Basque Tour – 5th to 9th June 2019

The Badgers Basque Tour – 5th to 9th June 2019

  • The Badgers Basque Tour
    June 5, 2019 - June 9, 2019
    8:00 am - 11:55 pm

In June 2019 we will be heading to the Basque country to ride from Pamplona to Bilbao, finishing at the stupendous Guggenheim Museum. The Basque country is a mecca for cyclists, hosting two events in the UCI calendar (Euskal Herriko Itzulia, aka Vuelta al País Vasco aka Tour of the Basque country) and the San Sebastian Classic, as well as being frequently visited by the Vuelta a España. The Basques argue that they started the Vuelta as it has its foundations in Subida a Arrate (“Climb of Arrate”) which some of us will experience on the Tour. With hills to challenge and views to satisfy the most hardened cyclist, we pick up the best of all 3 Tours.

Our trip will follow the usual fully inclusive formula of riding for Action Medical Research, 3 route options a day each of different difficulties, guided riding, support vehicles, medics, transport of bikes to Spain and back, a minimum of 3 food and drink stops a day, post ride food, excellent evening meals and accommodation along the way, finish celebrations with auction and prizes, and, of course amazing cycling.


June 5th – 9th 2019

Cost per person:


Includes all food, with wine in the evenings and pre dinner final night reception, 4-5 star hotels, 2 x jerseys, post ride food, group airport transfers, guides/mechanics, 3 route options per day, transfer of bikes to and from Spain to the UK etc. Excludes flights and travel insurance.


  • Cycle from Pamplona to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao
  • Measure yourself against the greats on the Vuelta, San Sebastian Clásico and Tour of Basque climbs
  • Cycle through National Parks and along stunning coastlines
  • Ride through the iconic towns of Pamplona, San Sebastian, Durango, Guernica and Bilbao
  • Relax each night in 4-star hotels with private dining
  • 3 route options a day (see table below)
  • 5 – 6 different guides so 5-6 different speeds

Day 1

Transfer from Bilbao airport to our hotel outside Pamplona – 1 ¾ hours. Lunch on coach, bike assembly as appropriate, divide into our guided groups, set off on your choice of route as per above.

(See below for flight details.)

Route – ½ day warm up loop:

  • Pamplona is the start of the Vuelta a Navarra and a stage finish of Vuelta a España
  • Rural riding straight from the hotel
  • Fantastic open plains and valleys
  • Some climbing for Badgers & Barking
  • Criss crosses The Camino de Santiago / The Pilgrim’s Way
  • “Explore” Pamplona – Ernest Hemingway statue / The Citadel / The Bull Ring / Plaza del Castillo / Cathedral

Dinner and accommodation at the **** El Toro Hotel

The hotel is set in the middle of the countryside, has a small spa area and indoor swimming pool which are brand new and lush.

Day 2

Route – Pamplona to San Sebastian


  • Heading north through wonderful climbs and valleys including 15kms of gorge descent from Alto Ezkurra
  • 3 named climbs:
    • San Miguel de Aralar (Barking) – Vuelta Stage Finish
    • Zuarrarate (Badgers and Barking)
    • Uitzi (for all groups) – on the Tour of Basque
  • Coffee stops and restaurant lunch for all
  • Quiet roads & good surface throughout the day

Dinner and accommodation at the **** Arima Hotel

This eco hotel opened in 2017, is set in its own forest glade, has stunning rooms, a terraced bar, and a swimming pool on the roof terrace to enjoy after your day’s ride.

Day 3

Route – San Sebastian to Durango


  • Downhill into San Sebastian exploring the bull ring, the old town and the beautiful Bahia de la Concha
  • Ride the Basque coastline featuring in the 2018 Vuelta a España, Tour of Basque and San Sebastian Classic
  • Arrate / Eibar – The most iconic climb of the region plus three other climbs
    • Monte Igueldo – for Barking and Badgers; featured in the Vuelta
    • Pass Askarate – for all groups
    • Asentzio – for all groups; featured in the Tour de Basque

Durango was bombed in the Spanish Civil War one month before Guernika. Hunt for original architectural gems just a few steps from the hotel.

Dinner and accommodation at the **** Gran Hotel Durango

This 19th century recently renovated mansion house may look traditional but as well as its outdoor pool, it has 3 floors of underground spa and swimming pool! A small charge is levied to use it.

Day 4

Route – Durango to Bilbao


  • To Bilbao via Durango & Guernica – the heart of the Basque Country, independence and war zones
  • Two of the most famous climbs in the area are on this day
  • Puerto de Urkiola – a fantastic valley ride
  • Balcon de Bizkaia – featured on Vuelta stage 17 on 12/9/18 with fantastic views towards Guernika and the sea
  • Coastal road (for Badgers) with views of Gaztelugatxe, where Game of Thrones was filmed
  • The horrifying story of Guernika
  • The finish at “The Puppy” and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao

As the 3 different routes converge on Bilbao, we meet at the Guggenheim Museum to celebrate our achievements.

Celebration drinks before dinner in hotel.

Dinner and accommodation ***** Melia Bilbao

This unique hotel has a central void reaching up 40m so all rooms face outwards over the gardens and river below. If you decide to stay on, there is a 6th floor open air swimming pool to enjoy and a short 500m walk to the Guggenheim, the Puppy and Maman, the Giant Spider.

Day 5

Wander around Bilbao until the transfer to Bilbao airport which is just a 20 minute bus ride.

Included in the Badger’s Package;

  • 4 night’s twin room en suite accommodation in 4 -5 star hotels
  • 4 breakfasts
  • 2 restaurant lunches
  • 2 excellent packed / picnic lunches
  • Refreshment stops in the morning and afternoon on each full riding day plus on the Wednesday afternoon
  • 4 x 3 course evening meals including wine
  • Transfers to and from the start / finish hotel from the recommended flights
  • Guided riding on your choice of 2 – 3 routes each day
  • Guides at a ratio of approx 1 guide to 8-10 Badgers
  • Support vehicles with bike spares, med kits, water, etc
  • Tour leaders in charge of the logistics of the ride
  • Medics x 2
  • Return transfer of your bike from The Storage Pod, Weybridge to the start of the ride and back to Weybridge from the finish
  • 2 unique Tour cycle jerseys
  • pie water bottles
  • Drinks reception before dinner on the last night
  • Gala dinner on the last night with auction and prizes

Not Included in the Badger’s Package

  • Flights
  • Transfer from/to Bilbao airport if you choose not to book the recommended flights below
  • Single room  – available for a supplement of £295
  • Travel insurance
  • Bicycle insurance
  • Personal expenditures
  • Friends and family package – contact us for details 01932 460090


There are no flights included in your package price. Please confirm which flight you have booked so we can accommodate you on the transfers.

Whichever flights you choose to book, we recommend you offset your carbon emissions here.

British Airways outbound:

BA0458 07:20 – 10:50
IB8536 12:10 – 13:05

PLEASE NOTE THE ABOVE MADRID TO PAMPLONA FLIGHT HAS BEEN DELAYED Y 3 HOURS. Please choose one of the following if you have not yet booked your flight or you would like to change your flight from the cancelled flight:

Day Airline Departure Departure Arrival Arrival Transfer Time Tuesday Hotel if relevant (at your cost) Bike Ride wed afternoon
Wednesday 5th EZY3225 Stansted 07.00 Bilbao 10.00 Wed 10am Not needed Yes
Wednesday 5th BA2684 LGW 11.20 Bilbao 14.30 Wed 14.30 Not needed No
Tuesday 4th VY7293 LGW 19.55 Bilbao 22.50 Wed. 10am Holiday Inn Bilbao airport Yes
Tuesday 4th EZY3227 STN 18.35 Bilbao 21.25 Wed. 10am Holiday Inn Bilbao airport Yes
Wednesday 5th BA7218 LHR/Madrid 16.20 Pamplona 17.15 Wed 17.15 Not needed Unlikely!


09 06 19
BA2685 12:50 – 14:10

Transfer time 20 mins


There are some people travelling on Tuesday to Bilbao and spending the night in an airport hotel at their own cost. We will then provide a transfer on Wednesday at 10am to the Pamplona hotel.

If there are people who would like to fly on the Easyjet from Stansted to Bilbao departing at 7am and arriving at 10am we can collect them on the Wednesday after the above hotel transfer.

** Whichever flights you choose, please advise us so we know which transfer to book you a seat on **

Testimonial from a Previous Rider

“I’ve ridden many time on pie events over the years, and I can say without fear of contradiction they are superb. And that word applies to all the essential components of a great trip – the organisation, accommodation, food, guiding, support, location and routing. Oh – I left out the craic and camaraderie as well!”

Dermot Murnaghan, Sky News Reader

Action Medical Research

Action Medical Research are a UK-wide charity saving and changing children’s lives through medical research.

AMR fund a broad range of cutting-edge medical research most likely to deliver real benefit to babies, children and young people. With the help of our supporters, we raise funds to make vital research possible.  We want to make a difference in premature birth, pregnancy complications and treating sick and vulnerable babies, as well as in preventing infections and helping children affected by disabilities, disabling conditions and rare diseases.


We encourage Badgers to raise money for, or make donations to, Action Medical Research if they wish. Corporate Badgers are encouraged to make a mandatory donation of £600. If you wish to make a donation to AMR please contact Emma Morgan for more information.  You can also set up a fundraising page via Just Giving for this event.  Go to the following link or head directly to the Just Giving website, search for Action Medical Research and The Badgers Basque Tour and set up your page.

Corporate Event Sponsorship:

This trip continues the great Badger’s tradition, going back 15 years, of raising money for Action Medical Research. We welcome sponsorship of the kit, drinks, meals, guides, and freight as every penny of sponsorship will go to support our partner charity AMR. For all you corporates and small businesses out there, any contribution towards sponsorship will help the trip raise funds for the charity.

Please contact Andy Dewhurst on


You will be receiving 2 exclusive tour cycle jerseys. These are made by our partner supplier Le Col. These high quality jerseys are made by Italians (and possibly for Italians). For that reason we have given you the sizing charts so you can make your own decisions about what size you would like. If you are happy with “Race” fit that is fine. If you would prefer a little more comfort, go up a size. To see more click here :

Men’s Sizing Chart:

Ladies’ Sizing Chart: 

For a Badgers review of a Le Col Product see here and take heed!:

Who are pie?

pie are unique in the industry offering only bespoke guided rides for companies, charities and groups of individuals.

Looking After You

The route has been fully recce’d and will be along smaller roads making the cycling fun as well as challenging.  The Badgers Basque Tour is fully supported with guides at a ratio of one guide to 8-10 cyclists, support vehicles, tour leaders and medics. Each day you will receive breakfast at the hotel before setting off, morning and afternoon refreshment stops while on the ride, a substantial lunch, post ride snacks, dinner and twin room accommodation each night.

pie Guides

The Badger’s Tour is a guided ride with groups being led by pie guides who are familiar with the terrain and who help all abilities complete the challenge. In an age where independence rather than group cycling is heralded, those not familiar with the pie guiding system may be reluctant to follow rather than lead.

  • We offer guided rides to make sure we offer the very best care to our cyclists
  • All of our guides are experienced cyclists. They range from ex-professional racers to keen amateurs and all are very used to guiding groups of differing abilities, experience and skill
  • All of our guides will navigate their small group of 8 – 10 cyclists, from start to finish
  • They are on hand to do mechanical work so there is no waiting around for a mechanic’s van
  • Many pie guides are first aid trained
  • Cyclists can change groups (up or down) at any time during the day


We have set up a Strava “club” for the Badgers Basque Tour. The link will be sent to you when you sign up.

If you have already got a personal Strava account you can just log on using the link we will send, join the Badgers “club” and start your training with other Badgers.

If you haven’t got a Strava account, simply enter your details in the “Sign Up for Free” section on Strava.

Don’t be daunted by the leader board and other people’s fast times. We offer 3 different routes and, with 5 different guides, we will be offering 5 different speeds as well, so there is something for everyone.

Social Media

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at #barkingbadgers #bespokeguidedrides #pieevents


To book on the Badger’s Basque Tour 2019 ride register using the Registration button below.


Payment is as follows:

      • £450 on registration as a deposit to secure your place plus the single room supplement of £295 to secure a single room
      • Balance of £1200 payable by 1st April 2019

All payments are non–refundable. Please therefore take out suitable travel insurance should you need to cancel for an insurable reason.

Method of Payment:

  • There are 3 payment options.
      • First option is to pay £450 deposit by cheque or BACS (please contact us for details:
      • 2nd option is to pay £450 deposit below online
      • Finally, the 3rd option is to pay the £1650 in full upfront by cheque or BACS (please contact us for details:

If you are signing up 10 weeks before departure or less, please pay the £1650 in full.  If you would like a single room, please check with us first as availability is limited (01932 460090).

We look forward to seeing you there!

Or, in Basque….

Aurrera begira egongo gara!

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