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Steve’s Little Spanish Flee

Please note this trip is now fully booked. Please let Julie or Steve know if you'd like to go on the waiting list in case of a cancellation.

We will leave Portsmouth by Brittany Ferries at 11.45am on Wednesday 10 July and arrive in Bilbao on Thursday at 12.45pm. From there it’s only a 175 miles, 3 hours, ride to our hotel in Oviedo which we will do in two or three easy stages at speeds not exceeding 65 mph at the front.

Oviedo lies between the Cantabrian Mountains and the Bay of Biscay and has a mild climate. In July average temperatures are 23 degrees in the day and 15 degrees at night and usually only 6 days with any rain. The cider loving capital of the Asturias region, it’s known for its medieval old town, its Gothic Cathedral with its 9th-century Holy Chamber and a statue of Woody Allen! It’s a relatively small city, yet both elegant and refined, with a charming historic quarter, plenty of shops and restaurants for our evening meals.

We’ll have seven nights at the futuristic Ayre Hotel Oviedo which was designed by world-famous architect Santiago Calatrava and is part of Oviedo Congress Palace. A 10-minute walk from the historic centre, it offers free Wi-Fi, a free gym but other wellness facilities only for a fee. Its chic, minimalist-style rooms have wooden floors, and are soundproofed and air-conditioned. Rooms feature a laptop safe, TV and minibar. The bathroom comes with a hairdryer and amenities. There is a trendy lounge bar and restaurant. Underground parking is available.

We can take day rides on the incredible local mountain roads including those in the Fuentes Carrionas y Fuente Cobre a scenic park featuring mountains and glacial lakes; Parque Natural de las Ubiñas - La Mesa an expansive mountainous area with old-growth forests, archaeological sites & wildlife. 

For taste of riding on the beautiful mountain roads in the area take a look at this video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83tM7X10qG8. As you will see there are tunnels, bridges and some bendy bits to negociate but nothing most riders can't manage.

I want everyone to enjoy their riding and not feel pressured to go faster or slower than they wish. So for some of this trip will be ‘free running’; that is when circumstances are right everyone will be free to ride at their own preferred pace to a pre-set meeting point such as ‘at the top of the pass’ or a particular roads junction.

During the weekend of 13/14 July there are local celebrations and fiestas we can visit in some of the seaside towns within an hour’s ride.

Our time in Oviedo will include an optional night away to spend an afternoon and morning in Santiago de Compostela which is 190 miles, 3½ hours, to the west. It’s well known as the end of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route, and the alleged burial site of the Biblical apostle St. James. His remains reputedly lie within the Cathedral de Santiago de Compostela, consecrated in 1211, whose elaborately carved stone facades open onto grand plazas within the medieval walls of the old town.

Our return will be by ferry from Bilbao on Thursday 18 July at 15.30pm arriving in Portsmouth at 14.15pm on the Friday. NB: Ferry times and prices for 2019 are not yet confirmed.

Ferries should be £525 plus around £200 depending on your choice of overnight cabins. This isn't cheap but actually is no more expensive than the alternative which is to ferry/train across the channel then ride 900+ miles each way paying for fuel, road tolls, wear & tear and servicing; it also adds 4 extra days and 4 nights B&B to the trip.

Should anyone wish to fly in then Asturias Airport is only 30 miles away.

I have a maximum of 10 rooms reserved for B&B at the Ayre Hotel which will total €520 for 7 nights - plus parking. An overnight hotel in Santiago de Compostela will be arranged as required. 

If you’d like further info or a chat please contact me

E: steve.whitmore@surreychapteruk.org T: 07 968 448 891