Girona to Biaritz

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
N4th4n007
Posts: 1
Joined: 17 Jul 2018, 10:47pm

Girona to Biaritz

Postby N4th4n007 » 17 Jul 2018, 10:53pm

HI, First time poster after some help.

A group of friends and I are looking for a bikepacking route from Biaritz to Girona (unsure of direction as yet). Does anybody have any recommendations? Some gravel / road mix would be great. Maybe take in the Tourmalet.

Thanks in advance,

Bonroute
Posts: 16
Joined: 7 Apr 2016, 2:19pm

Re: Girona to Biaritz

Postby Bonroute » 19 Jul 2018, 12:21pm

Just to get the ball rolling!

From Girona consider following the old railway path the Via Verde to Olot. This is a grit cycle path through farmland. At the weekend used by very friendly mountain bikers. I have bivvied on a quiet bench after following this route from the coast.

Olot has supermarkets and proper campsites.

From Olot I headed north west via minor roads to Beget until eventually joining the main road over Col D'Ares and heading into France. The minor roads from Olot were quiet but with hard short climbs. I free camped on a walking path which joined the road as it was the only semi flat non farmland around. On this route a did a gravel side trip to visit a ruin I spotted but it was not a through route so returned to the road.

My reason for following this route was to join the Tourist version of the Raid Pyrenee which is a tarmac route that runs from coast to coast through France taking in most of the famous cols including Tourmalet. I normally follow the route as set out in the Lonely Planet Cycling France (pages torn out) with a couple of Michelin maps. Should be plenty of stuff online.

Most of this route is quiet especially over the cols but there are inevitably sections of main road that can't be avoided. Approaching Prades and St Beat come to mind.

Good campsites along the route and I have once used a very cheap Aire du Camping in French village which I had initially thought was a just a car park (I had to hang around until the bakery opened in the morning pay for). On one col I bivvied in a shed at the top which I think was for horse tours (equine ordure at the front and human out the back) but most cols have no shelter.

It may be possible to go west from Olot and stay in Spain which I have not done. Try the Cicerone Cycling in Spain book from your local library.

I realise I have not cited any gravel routes but hopefully others will weigh in!

tempsperdu
Posts: 109
Joined: 9 Jan 2014, 8:31pm

Re: Girona to Biaritz

Postby tempsperdu » 2 Aug 2018, 12:07pm

Have a look at this and see if you can use it or bits of it.
The map does not load properly on my computer but there is enough information to be able to work out the route.
There is usually a gps included but could not see one.
http://bikepacker.com/pyrenees-mountain-trail/

whoof
Posts: 1952
Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 2:13pm

Re: Girona to Biaritz

Postby whoof » 2 Aug 2018, 12:50pm

I've done most of this in the opposite direction. Picking up the Pyrenean route at St Jean Pied de Port through to Cerebere and then down the coast.
I also followed the Lonely Planet Cycling in France Pyrenees route and it took in most of the major Tour De France climbs.
The route avoided Andorra by going via Aix Les Therms & Tarascon sur Ariege.
As above the road through St Beat and up the valley is relatively large but I've never found traffic volumes to be too great. St Beat has a great value Municiple campsite and a very expensive small Casino supermarket. There was a hotel there Hotel de Paris where I once had a great meal, no menu, the food and wine just kept coming followed by a couple of beers but the bill was tiny. Probably why it when bust.
Once you get up the road and into Spain there's a huge supermarket where you can get your water bottle filled with wine. A little further on you cross back into France, turn onto the Col du Portillon and it gets really quite again.
As to where you pick up the Pyrenees route depends upon how long you have and how far you want to ride each day.
The iconic climbs are all away from each coast.