For thousands of years, Spanish farmers moved their livestock from valley farms to graze in the high Pyrenees Mountains for the summer months. This movement created hundreds of incredible livestock trails, now rediscovered and uplifted by local mountain bikers in search of adventure. This unique history of Spain has helped create a vibrant mountain bike scene you need to experience.
The trails crisscross over million-year-old sea beds, across wine-rich regions, through abandoned middle-age villages and along rocky foothills, before meeting the rugged Pyrenees mountains — the natural border between Spain and France. The terrain offers up the perfect ingredients for an awe-inspiring mountain bike trip. Heli-drops, shuttle runs and technical singletrack riding in the heart of the Pyrenees is topped off with mouth-watering Spanish cuisine (‘tapas’ included), local wine pairings and fascinating, rich cultural experiences. Descend 4,000 vertical metres in one day, pedal by 1,000-year-old castles and take countless photographs — the memories you’ll create on this ride will not be forgotten.
Is This Ride For You?
You are a skilled mountain biker who loves a good challenge, long descents and a fair amount of pedalling to keep you in shape! You’re fine breaking a sweat if it means incredible views and getting off-the-beaten-track where the chances of seeing another mountain biker are slim. You thrive off epic descents with the help of a shuttle van or helicopter. YES! We said helicopter! You’re comfortable riding rocky terrain, including rock slabs, loose rocks, grippy rock, slippery rocks — rock on! You’re comfortable riding for up to 6 hours a day, for multiple days. You have a solid, well-maintained do-it-all trail bike (with roughly 130–160mm of travel, dropper post and beefy tires. Rentals are also available). You love eating like royalty, trying new foods and learning about the local culture and history of the destination you’re visiting.
*This tour currently is only offering 1 heli-drop. New price reflects change.
Day 1. Welcome to Spain!
We’ll pick you up from our partner hotel in downtown Barcelona at 11:00 am or from the Barcelona airport (BCN) at 12:00 pm.
Enjoy a 3‑hour scenic drive from the bustling beach-side city of Barcelona to the small, historic town of Aínsa, on the edge of the Pyrenees mountains. We’ll provide snacks and lunch for the road trip.
The small village of Aínsa was the capital of the old Kingdom of Sobrarbe and was later incorporated into the Kingdom of Aragon in the 11th century. The now modern and vibrant tourist town constitutes a magnificent example of medieval architecture. The historic quarter was declared a Historic-Artistic Site in Spain and you will understand why when you’re dropped off in the beautiful town square. The houses are harmoniously packed together with the backdrop of bell tower, castle and church. The walls that surrounded the town centuries ago remain almost intact today and the streets are filled with monuments that will transport you back to the Middle Ages.
Upon arriving in Aínsa, you’ll meet your guides, review the week’s itinerary, build your bikes and enjoy your first Spanish dinner together.
There will be an option to go for a quick ride close to town to get your legs spinning and warmed-up for the incredible week ahead!
Day 2. Exploring Aínsa
Rise and shine!
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel, take an early morning stroll through the historic medieval town of Aínsa and then suit up to ride!
The village of Ainsa dates back to the 11th Century, and the trails that surround it are old trading routes, carefully brought back to life by the local mountain bike community.
In 2015 and 2018, Aínsa hosted the Enduro World Series and you’re about to find out why — it’s home to incredible mountain bike trails and terrain. From the ‘badlands’ north of town to the rolling rocky hills south of town, you’re sure to finish this day with a smile on your face. You’ll get your fair share of pedalling today, but with the help of a couple of shuttle runs, you’ll be rewarded for the climbs.
This morning, we’ll shuttle to the small town of Santa Maria de Buil, a small village outside of Aínsa, home to only a handful of people and an amazing array of medieval architecture. It’s a short gravel road ride before we meet singletrack. Loosen up your legs and take a deep breath, the trail will take us along a ridge above town, granting us incredible views of the 12th century Santa Maria church and fort of Aínsa in the distance.
We’ll pedal up to a look-out for a snack break, before descending into the valley and back to town for lunch.
After lunch, we’ll shuttle to the other side of town and ride trails from the Enduro World Series in what’s known as the ‘badlands’ of Aínsa. Here, the terrain is varied — from forested singletrack to rocky descents that will take us back down to the river (Rio Cinca) — anyone up for a refreshing swim?
We’ll head back to the hotel and get ready for a very special dinner and an amazing introduction to Spanish cuisine. Bring your appetite!
Day 3. Villages and Vino
Good morning Aínsa!
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll spend another day exploring the incredible trails around Aínsa.
In the morning, we’ll take our time on a ‘pedally’ ride stopping along the way to learn about the natural and cultural history of the area. After all, you’re mountain biking on an ancient sea bed and a couple trailside stops to search for fossils are a must!
In the afternoon, it’s a 25-minute shuttle to an old abandoned fort for a trailside lunch before pedalling through native Spanish forests. We’ll stop to explore abandoned villages along the way and enjoy a snack at an impressive look-out.
Hold on! It’s a technical switchback descents before the terrain turns into a gradual descent into a small rural town. The shuttle will meet us here and we’ll head out for another shuttle run.
After the ride, we’ll enjoy a cold post-ride beverage and cheers to another day on the trails! After the ride, cool off with a swim before getting a private tour of a winery (wine tasting and tapas included, of course)!
We’ll head back to the hotel and get ready for dinner in Aínsa.
Day 4. EWS Trails, Aínsa Classics
Rise and Shine!
It’s a 40-minute drive to the trailhead near the small town of Morcat where we’ll ride a famous trail from the 2015 Enduro World Series.
We’ll ride through abandoned villages and challenge ourselves on the rocky terrain. It’s most likely that we won’t see another soul out on these trails — besides the local farm animals that wander free. Time to enjoy a trailside lunch (Spanish paella, perhaps?).
The ride will finish back in the town of Aínsa where we can cool off with a swim before heading to the hotel.
Dinner is on your own tonight and the guides can make recommendations on the best restaurants in Aínsa. Explore on your own or join other Riders.
Day 5. Heli-Drops and Long Descents
We’ll enjoy breakfast at the hotel and then head to the small mountain town of Bielsa (1‑hour drive), close to the French border and the gateway to the beautiful Pyrenees mountains.
When we reach Bielsa, we’ll do two shuttle runs with the van and then get ready for our first heli-drop! Watch our shuttle arrive on our official heli-pad (a farmers field, then load up and head to the peak of Punta Suelza (3,000 metres/9,842 feet). To start off, it’s a short walk (5 ‑minutes) with our bikes to the top of the peak where the ride begins. The trail offers up a variety of terrain, from high-mountain technical descents to long grassy meadows mixed in with a few climbs.
Today, the total descent from all rides is approximately 4000 metres (13,120 feet)! Challenge yourself, as the terrain around Bielsa in the high mountains is rocky and rooty, and the views are incredible! There will be many photo ops.
After a full day of riding, we’ll drive to the small town of Benasque — the main town of the Benasque Valley — and check into our hotel in the heart of the Pyrenees mountains. Benasque is surrounded by some of the highest peaks in Spain. You’ll get an amazing view of those peaks on Day 8 during our second heli-drop.
Rest up, the adventure continues tomorrow.
Please Note: Weather and/or riding abilities may dictate the heli-bike to be changed to an alternative route.
Day 6. Choose Your Own Adventure
Today is a ‘choose your own adventure’ day!
If you’re ready for more amazing descents, we’ll be doing two shuttle runs — you can choose to join one or join both! If you’d like a day to relax off the bike, you can visit the local spa, go for a short hike or enjoy an espresso in town.
At the end of the day, the group will reconvene and set off on an adventure you won’t forget!
We’ll pack a small overnight bag and transfer to the Spanish border to explore the French Pyrenees where we’ll sleep in an alpine camp. It’s a short 1‑hour hike to the camp and we’ll have the help of mules to carry our bikes and gear.
Hot showers, delicious homemade food and wine (of course!) will be available for your enjoyment. You’ll sleep well in the fresh mountain air, far away from the cityscape.
Day 7. Droppin’ Into France and Heli-Drop Back Into Spain
Today, you’ll awake to amazing views of snow-capped mountains and alpine lakes. After a hearty breakfast, we’ll pack up and hit the trails. Today, we’re droppin’ into France!
After an amazing ride that finishes in Luchon, France where we’ll say a quick “Bonjour” and “Bön Appetite” while enjoying French cuisine for lunch with a picturesque view of the Pyrenees. After lunch, you will get true VIP service. Our helicopter will pick us up near the restaurant and transfer us to the Spanish peak of Sierra Negra at 2,850 metres (9,678 feet).
We’ll stop for photo ops and a trailside snack before starting our second heli-drop descent. The trail starts off with impressive mountain views of the Pyrenees, then drops into the forest. We’ll end close to town and pedal along the river back to Benasque.
We’ll check into our hotel in Benasque, enjoy a final dinner together, share stories and say “Salud” to an amazing adventure!
Day 8. Adiós España
After breakfast, we offer a complimentary shuttle back to Barcelona at 8:00 am. We will drop Riders off at the Barcelona airport (BCN) by 1:00 pm or provide a drop-off to our partner hotel in Barcelona in the late afternoon.
Picture Yourself Here…
The following data represents a typical itinerary, but adventure travel can be unpredictable and our Guides may need to make last-minute changes to ensure your enjoyment. Inclement weather, road closures, changes to the itinerary to accommodate requests, and other issues may affect the itinerary. The ride data represents an ‘average’ itinerary, and may differ when you actually show up to ride. Our guides make every effort to stick to the itinerary as posted, but your safety is our #1 priority.
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