Vacation and Vuelta 2012

Questions about bike hire abroad and everything light bike related. No off-topic chat please

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by Musiker

Hi all,
We (Me, GF and baby girl) are thinking of going to Spain for vacation this year and while there maybe catch a Vuelta etape or two. It would suit us best if it was late in the Vuelta, but if priority is to be in the perfect area..
I tried google, but its tough when you don't know anything about the areas in Spain :)

Our plan is to fly to Madrid (or where ever), rent a car and a house/apartment at a nice location, not too far from somewhere the vuelta passes. We also would like to bring (or rent) our road bikes (hence my posting here :P ). We might be there for 2 weeks, maybe staying at a place for a week then move to a new one..

Now we are total novices when it comes to Inland Spain (Although my GF speaks spanish like a pro, hehe). I was in Andorra 25 years ago and remember it to be pretty touristy, but that is about it. :lol: . We have been to France in our own car a couple of times and really like the area around Mont Ventoux, both for the calmness of the nature and for riding our bikes.
So the questions I have:
a) Are there any really nice areas in the northen spain where there are beautiful nature/mountains some good climbs :) It could be a smaller town or outside a town - We're not really into places like the top of Alp d'huez, but would like a place that is beautiful located.

b) Bringing two roadbikes on a plane and carrying our 7 month old daughter, might be a bit much :) - So if it is possible to rent decent roadbikes, that could be a bonus.

Hope someone have some good tips/ideas :)


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by micky

I've never been to norther Spain but everytimes I see Vuelta a Asturias looks like wonderful place to visit.

As for bike renting, Id guess most of turistic cities will have it, at least the ones I know (in some places quiet decent road bikes).

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by Musiker

Yes, just googled a bit around.. Does indeed look like it could be perfect.

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by KB

San Sebastian is a very nice place. Beaches, great shopping and plenty of cycling country near by.

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by 53x12

I can't recommend how to plan your trip around the Vuelta. However last summer my wife and I flew into Madrid. Rented a car. Drove to Barcelona where we spent a week (highly recommend visiting Barcelona if you have the chance). Then we drove along the coast down to Valencia stopping along the way. If you end up in Valencia you have to try the Paella there. There is a small down outside of Valencia that has the best Paella I have ever had.

After this we went to Granada where we spent several days and then ended our trip with several days in Toledo.

If you want to do some nice road biking, there are great roads and terrain around Granada. It is very close to the Sierra Nevada National Park. Beautiful terrain. Granada is a wonderful city where your wife will also have fun shopping. However, Granada is far from the Vuelta this year.

Maybe base yourself out of Barcelona? There is some great terrain around Barcelona and the city is world class. If you want to be more in a rural area, you could find a place closer to the France/Spain border. I have never been to northern Spain (San Sebastian and Bilbao), but that is one place that I would love to visit. But we had a great time in Barcelona.
"Marginal gains are the only gains when all that's left to gain is in the margins."

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