Trans-Iberia: three ‘Handy Highways’

These are useful routes for getting quickly and easily from one part of the Peninsula to the other. They are not meant to be interesting biking routes as such, but more for contingency plans, e.g. getting back from the to eastern end of the Trans-Pyrenees run to Santander in time for your return ferry. Having said this I do make some attempt to make the routes biker friendly – not simply using the radial network of major roads and motorways. In fact I have one to two ‘rat runs’ under my sleeve that actually save time by avoiding the main roads – your Satnavs will not believe these routes, but they’re there!

Just do it!

The routes:

  • Pyrenees: – Girona to Pamplona: this route starts just outside Girona Airport, right on the main A2 and Ap2 motorways, so it’s easy to pick up from anywhere on the Costa Brava as well as the Pyrenees. Furthermore, by heading south from anywhere beyond the half-way stage of the Trans-Pyrenees run you can’t miss finding yourself on this route – some of which actually coincides with the ‘Red Run’
  • The Duero Valley: – Zaragoza to Zamora: from the heart of the Ebro depression, roughly half way between the Bay of Biscay and the Med., this run takes you right across the country but avoids Madrid and its satellite cities. From Valladolid onwards routes then diverge north into Galicia and Asturias and south through Estremadura to the Deep South, while the access to Portugal from Zamora is ideal!
  • High Plains Drifter: – Santander-Salamanca-Seville: there are more interesting ways to do this trip, but plenty of riders just want to head south asap – poor fools! But needs must so here’s a route that makes use of the flat tablelands of Castilla y León and Estremadura. Sadly, the Spanish transport ministry has had the same idea so every year more of the route is made up of Autovias, or dual carriageways – but at least they’re free! NB – I’ll be exploring ‘rat runs’ during my Tour de España later this year!
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