Pyrenees Hotels, based 4×4 driving holiday,
17th to 25th September 2020
1 vehicle 2 persons £2,475 including hotels B & B
[Ferry not included best ways to get there and back Brittany Ferries to Spain or drive through France and take the tunnel]
Navarre & Aragon
Saturday: We recommend, sailing from Portsmouth on the 12PM, we need to check in around 10.30AM I will be waiting for you at check in to hand out 2-way radios and any other information required and arrange a meeting point on the ferry to give a briefing on your adventure.
Sunday; Arrive Bilbao around 2.30PM, we disembark and wait for each other at a pre-arranged point. Once all together we hit the road to St Jean Pied du Port for our first evening in France, St Jean is the start of the famous Santiago Compostela Pilgrim walk, and there are many interesting places to visit in the evening and some excellent restaurants to sample great wine and food. Hotel for the evening, Hotel Camou , 5 mins walk from the centre of town. B&B 4.5 hours driving approx. 290Km toll road.
Monday: It’s time to start your adventure, after an excellent breakfast we pop round to the supermarket to pick up supplies for the day and fuel, as we lunch most days in the mountains, It’s a good idea to have a cool box and picnic set table and chairs with you and a jet boil for hot water for your “Yorkshire Tea”. Once the fuel and supplies are sorted, we hit the tracks heading back over the mountains towards Spain, here we travel through lush pastures and high meadows with horses and cattle everywhere ringing their bells! We cross the border into Spain at about 1000 meters moving into dense forest before dropping down towards Lumbier where we will stop at the local hotel for a cuppa or ice-cream , from Lumbier we drop down on to a Plateau for a short while and then on towards Bardenas Reales desert region, where we are in for a treat as we head up 500 meters via a series of hairpins on a dirt track to a hotel! With a 360 panoramic view of the area, and we must make sure we are outside to watch the sun go down and capture the amazing changes in colours, Hotel Santuario. Driving 6 hours approx., every day we have morning and afternoon drinks stop, lunch picnics or we will advise if we are using a restaurant for lunch. 200Km approx. 50/50 tracks and tarmac.
Tuesday; After breakfast and some more photos of the desert, we head back down and skirt round the desert, stock up on supplies and fuel, and head off into the park its self, it’s one of the wonders of Spain and quite strange, once out of the park we pass by Roman aqueducts , castles and into another dry region with rolling hills farm land and vast views for miles, rarely do you see anyone at all in this area which is in direct contrast to the morning in the park, even the towns and villages appear empty, with narrow streets, that still have bull runs, as well, you are not too far from Pamplona . We are on a track for about 3 hrs it finishes near the town of Luna, we then pick up a tarmac road for a run along the foothills of the Pyrenees to Ayerbe, our local town for the next 3 days. We now check into our hotel in the square in Loarre with the magnificent backdrop of Castle Loarre. We are here for the next 3 nights, so you can check in relax, watch the world go by in the square with a rather nice G&T, this is a super place to spend our evenings with a choice of restaurant and places to visit. 6 hrs of mainly tracks 150Km approx., picnic lunch. Evening meal at the hotel
Wednesday: It is time to start exploring! After an excellent breakfast we pop round the corner to the bakery pick up todays supplies and head off into the hills passing the foot of the stunning Murillo de Gallego backdrop and on to Aguero a village set in the foot of a rock base, and then into the forest for a day of muddy tracks river/stream crossing, through wild boar clearings and deserted villages lost in time. We end the track back in Luna by the bull ring and run back on tarmac round to Ayerbe were we have time to explore the town and maybe a little tapas, before heading back to the hotel. 5 hrs, 100Km approx., picnic lunch. Evening meal restaurant up the mountain near the Castle looking over the plain of Spain. Amazing sunset!
Thursday: Breakfast supplies fuel up and we are off again! This is a short day but a fantastic route with great views, tracks and a bit of technical fun driving thrown in. We finish the day at the castle around 3PM giving you a chance to have a look around the castle or have a chilled beer looking at the birds of prey and Griffin Vultures overhead. 4 hrs 60Km approx. Evening meal at the restaurant off the Square
As we are here for 3 nights, it is possible if you want to have an afternoon or day off, which can be arranged at the time.
Friday: We leave Loarre for the last time and head off towards the town of Huesca, fuel up, grab food and hit the trail and what a trail it is today, clinging to the mountain side, you have it all, including viewing points for birds of prey, vultures, mountain tracks deserted villages, and tumbled down building you are in a time warp! Lunch is at a local beauty spot with ash trees, streams and rivers running through it, followed by a tarmac drive through a canyon, often we must pull over for horses and cattle on the road. Its then back on to a track into a village that has been empty for years why we do not know, and it is a shame it would have been lovely in its time. Once again, we are on to tarmac single road running the mountains towards our last night and it will be one to remember. We arrive in Ainsa a medieval town with ramparts, narrow streets, and a beautiful square for our last evening meal together for those on week one. 5 hrs 120Km approx. Hotel Meson de L’Ainsa down by the river.
Saturday: It is an early start to catch the evening ferry from Santander by to Portsmouth, this is the cruise ship Galicia arriving in the UK 8PM Sunday evening.
Sunday: Time to relax on the Brittany Ferries cruise ship back home, or if you wish you can travel to and from the trek via the French ports, it’s up to you.
Vehicles: Suitable for vehicles such as Freelander, Discovery 3/4/5, Defender, Range Rover, Shogun, Land Cruiser, Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux, Wrangler, Renegade prepared for off-road. Tyres: All-Terrain such as BFG KO2’s or better including a full-size wheel.