From what the press usually publishes about Euskal Herria you would never guess that this tiny nation in Western Europe is a paradise for those who enjoy practicing sports. There is excellent surfing spots like Mundaka, Zarautz and Biarritz, there is plenty of places where to go hiking and well, there is a wide range of options for those who love cycling. PezCycling News published this article about what the Basque landscape and geography offer:
GIANT TOURS: Cycling The Basque Country & Pyrenees
Friday, March 13, 2009
We first met Giant Tours last year as they launched with trips through the Pyrenees hosted by former World Champ Abraham Olano. For 2009 they’ve expanded their catalogue of cycling adventures, and the company’s Javier Sánchez offers some new reasons to go cycling in Basque Country…
Special Travel Feature By Javier Sánchez-Beaskoetxea of Giant Tours -
The Basque Country, Euskadi as it’s known in the Basque language, is a magical place for all lovers of cycling, and also is one of Lonely Planet's Top 10 Best, must-see, destinations for 2009. This green land has given the sport some of its great riders, cyclists who have shone in the world’s greatest races, like Marino Lejarreta, Abraham Olano or Miguel Indurain. GIANT TOURS offers the chance to enjoy cycling, gastronomy, life and this beautiful scenery.
The Basque Country is just a step away from some of the most important climbs in the Pyrenees, scene of some of the most historic stages in the Tour de France. So it’s a perfect chance to ascend the legendary slopes in the good company of some ex-pros, like Abraham Olano, World Champion, or Roberto Heras, three-time winner of the Vuelta a España, both of whom are present on some our our trips.
GIANT TOURS is a biking holiday company set up by Giant Bicycles in Spain, and all the people who are a part of it have one thing in common – a passion for cycling and life. And it’s this passion that we transmit with our cycling tours. We love riding the roads of the Basque Country and the Pyrenees, the ideal place to enjoy cycling at any level, whether you want to train hard or simply go for a relaxing ride.
Each cyclist who signs up for one of our trips can be sure that he or she is in the hands of people who truly love their work and who know the Basque Country and the Pyrenees perfectly, because we’re playing on our ground, a place which we want to share with everybody.
We offer many trips in our catalogue, but a few a worthy of note here. For those of you looking for a great adventure, we suggest riding through the Pyrenees from the Mediterranean to the Bay of Biscay on the TRANSPYRENEAN.
What cyclist has never daydreamed about going on a fantastic trip by bike? If we pick up a map of Europe, our attention will soon be drawn to the Pyrenees, whose name brings us memories of some of cycling's greatest moments from more than 100 years of history of the Tour de France. And the idea of crossing this majestic mountain range from sea to sea via its legendary climbs will have occurred to more than one.
This trip allows any cyclist to make this dream come true, since we provide all the organization, transport, accommodation and support necessary. So, cyclists only have to think about enjoying each stage with the only worry of hauling themself up the awesome climbs.
This trip consists of one day’s travel by bus from Hendaye to the Mediterranean, plus seven fantastic days cycling back on the most famous roads in the French Pyrenees following the D-618 and the D-918 from Argelès-sur-Mer to St. Jean-de-Luz - including a rest day in Luchon where you can just rest or climb other famous Cols like Port de Balés or Superbagneres.
THE TOUR DE FRANCE: In July, from 10th July to 14th July, we’ve prepared a trip to the French Pyrenees to see the best race in the world. During the stage in Argeles Gazost, at the bottom of Tourmalet, we’ll have the chance to live the Tour de France and to climb some of the most famous Cols of this race, like Col d’Aubisque, Luz Ardiden or Hautacam.
Dream landscapes, legendary climbs, cuisine for connoiseurs, surprising museums, exquisite hospitality. All this, and more, is offered by our GIANT VIP TOUR – an extraordinary holiday for lovers of cycling, travelling and life, all in six marvellous days divided between the Basque Country and the French Pyrenees, through green valleys and along an amazing coastline, with visits to the best restaurants and climbs up cycling legends like the Tourmalet or the Aubisque. What more could anyone who loves cycling and life ask for?
The restaurants and hotels have been especially chosen in order to make your stay a delight for all your senses. From the moment guests set foot in Bilbao Airport until the moment you have to leave, you’ll have the pleasure of being treated like royalty. You won’t have to worry about a thing, since at every moment GIANT TOURS will be available for your every need. For example, you’ll be able to enjoy riding a GIANT carbon composite bike, and we’ll even invite you to a beer if you fancy one!
THE FISH & WINE ROUTE travels through the breathtaking landscape of the old commercial route which joined the inland wine-growing areas with the coast for the trade of fresh fish for wine and other produce. From La Rioja Alavesa to the coastal villages of Bizkaia, guests travel through the Basque Country from south to north as we discover the changing countryside and enjoy the delicate shades of colour which are characteristic of this marvellous corner of Europe.
Read more about these and other trips at: Giant Tours
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