Getting here

Getting the tanks topped up.

Getting the tanks topped up.

There are quite a few different ways to get to Pyrenees Motorcycle Tours – Relais des Motards but by far the most popular are the Spanish ports of Santander and Bilbao or the French ports of Le Havre, Caen and Cherbourg, Roscoff and Saint Malo.  Journey times from any of the ports depends on which route you want to take, whether you want to get here quickly on the péages or take a more leisurely pace by the scenic route.  Having said this all the above ports can be done in one day, but whether this option is for you is your choice.  A more relaxed route avoiding motorways can easily double your journey time, hardly effecting the mileage but at the cost of an overnight stay or two.

From Spanish ports of Santander and Bilbao actual riding times are 4 1/2 hours and 3 hours and from the French ports it varies between 8 and 10 hours riding time.

A popular route from the Spanish side is via Pamplona and across the Pyrenees at Jaca for example, can be done in a day but probably best to allow an overnight.

Getting a ticket to board the ferry.

Getting a ticket to board the ferry.

As for a route through France heading north our favourite is the N21 up to Limoges and then the N147 to Poitiers after that you take your choice.  We prefer this way to the alternative of Bordeaux and heading up the west coast because we like the scenery better, more hills and less straights on the N21 route!

Whichever route planner you use don’t forget that timings are exactly what they say and make no allowance for petrol/coffee/meal breaks.  Time lost on refuelling stops can vary from 10 mins to 20 mins if you are part of a group so this needs to be remembered when calculating your journey and if you are carrying a pillion allow extra recovery time.