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4 Stages of Sport Cycling in the North of Navarre and the Pyrenees

The Best of the Basque Pyrenees, the BAZTAN region and the IRATI FOREST

style - road -

Mountains of the Atlantic Pyrenees. Munhoa mountain pass
Pastoral landscape of the BASOAK BAZTAN - IRATI route
The "bosses" of the Vuelta a España 2016 visiting BASOAK BAZTAN - IRATI
IRATI FOREST, cycle tourism in its pure state - Irati Extrem 2013 -
San Miguel de Aralar and Sakana Valley. Western end of the route in the PLUS option.
Tarmac road between Ahusky and Bagargi mountain passes, section 5 stars of the Pyrenean cycle tourism.

BASOAK BAZTAN - IRATI is a Route in Stages for road bike with 2 difficulty options. It goes through the Comarca of Baztan in Navarra and the Irati Forest on its northern slope.
The PIRINEOS PUNTO BIKE proposal to pedaal the route is in broad strokes,
a Self Guided Pack which includes the Half Board Accommodations, the Tracks of the route and the Luggage Transport from hotel to hotel.

Logistically, the first 2 days we will stay in the same hotel in Baztan, this will allow us to enjoy this unique enclave of Navarre geography calmly. This same approach will be repeated the last 2 nights in France, where we will stay in the small Bajonavar town of Esterenzubi, located in an idyllic place at the gates of the Irati Forest.

This strategy of not changing hotels every night brings something of relaxation to the hardness of the sporting activity and above all allows us to internalize - at least a little - in the life of the places where we stay.
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Map Basoak Baztan Irati

Self-guided Package 5 days / 4 nights BASOAK COMFORT

In this auto guided version you will pedal on your own and we will make sure that your luggage is waiting for you at your hotel by the time you finalize the stage.

Munhoa-campus-baigorri-bike-road

Standar Option
Distance: 377 km   Unevenness: 8.915 m

PLUS Option
Distance: 467 km   Unevenness: 11.180 m

Irati-Extrem-road-bike

Stage 1: Baztan - Ultzama - Baztan
Distance: 99 km   Unevenness: 1.900 m

PLUS Option: Baztan - Aralar - Baztan
Distance: 142 km   Unevenness: 2.780 m

Classic cycling stage with sawtooth profile and ascent to the ports of Orokieta, Urkizu, Uitzi and Usategieta. The ports are of moderate slopes but they are chained without hardly any transition between one and the other and they reach 1,900 meters of ascent in our progress, always pivoting on the axis of the Kornieta wind farm.
The first kilometers, between the Baztan and the Ultzama Valley - the Navarre Switzerland - share track with the new line assigned to the trans-European route Eurovelo 1, enabled here as the Ederbidea route. It will be enough to ascend Orokieta, the first port of the day, to fully understand the name of BASOAK - forests - that titles the route, forests that compete in these parts with those of the same Irati Forest.

If we opt for the PLUS option, we will extend the geographical area of the stage to the Sakana Valley, adding to the aforementioned ports the ascent to the sanctuary of San Miguel de Aralar, we speak of "one of the great ones". A Port that was the final stage in the Spain Tour 2014 with the victory of Fabio Aru. The stage will have hardened enough, we will need a state of optimal form to face it, but if we do we will have put our wheels in the Aralar Range, and there is not the slightest doubt that it will have been worth it.

Ultzama-Valley-1

The Aralar Range seen from the Ultzama Valley

Uitzi-road-bike

Preparing for the descent in the Uitzi mountain pass

Euskal-Itzulia-road-bike

Pelotón of the Euskal Itzulia 2016 passing the Usategieta mountain pass

Larraun-Valley

Representative image of this 1st stage. Larraun Valley.

Aralar-1

Climbing up to the Aralar Range - Option PLUS -

San-Miguel-Aralar

Sanctuary of San Miguel de Aralar and Sakana Valley seen from the top of Artxueta

Ultzama-Valley-2

Ultzama Valley - The Navarre Switzerland -

   
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Stage 2: Baztan - Esterenzubi
Distance: 93 km   Unevenness: 2.600 m

PLUS Option: Baztan - Esterenzubi
Distance: 87 km   Unevenness: 2.600 m

No, we have not been wrong with the data, the PLUS option is shorter than the standard one. The ports are the same but the routes are shorter, that is, steeper. We are talking about an unknown port located "above" the Basque-French town of Saint-Étienne-de-Baïgorry, Munhoa, and another "slightly less" unknown called Arnostegi, two true Pyrenean giants. The standard stage is already tough enough. If you think you can choke, we have a track to avoid Munhoa but without driving on the main road. We will ascend in this case Izpegi first, in our farewell of the Baztan and Arnostegi by Ondarolle later. It may be enough.

The faces chosen for the PLUS option are at the top of our mental list of "harder Mountain Passes" of the Pyrenees, Arnostegi by Bellurti with its kilometer at 17% will not leave anyone indifferent. The 87 kilometers of route may seem few, but today it is something else that matters.
Difficulties aside, we find ourselves in one of the wildest and most authentic places we can find today for the practice of road cycling.

Izpegi-road-bike-1

We croos the border with France in Izpegi and a spectacular landscape receives us. We descend to Baigorri and the "medium size" Mountain Passes are over, 3 days of Pyrenean Colossus are waiting for us.

Munhoa-road-bike

Ascending Munhoa mountain pass from Baigorri
 Campus Baigorri GIRLS Cycling Experiences 2019

Munhoa-road-bike-sheeps

Common scenes on the route

Munhoa-road-bike-2

High Pyrenean mountain environment during the ascent to Munhoa
 Campus Baigorri GIRLS Cycling Experiences 2019

Arnostegi-road-bike-1

Bucolic scenes in the 5 star territory of the Atlantic Pyrenees

Arnostegi-road-bike-2

High part of Arnostegi among shreds of fog, one of the best weather conditions to raise "cooled" the hard and prolonged slopes of this Pyrenean colossus.

Arnostegi-ovejas y caballos

And much better if a little later the fog stays down

Munhoa-road-bike-3

Gruppe of the "Campus Baigorri GIRLS Cycling Experiences 2019" giving all on the slopes of Munhoa

Arnostegi-Urkulu-roman-tower

Remains of the Roman Tower on the summit of the Urkulu guarding the "peaceful" slopes of the Arnostegi mountain pass

Arnostegi-road-bike-summit Arnostegi-road-bike-and-pilgrim

With its 5 different ascents, all of them around 1000 meters of unevenness, the arnostegi Mountain Pass begins to stop being a great stranger and begins to occupy its preferred place.

Its simplest route - from Esterenzubi, where we descend - has a coefficient of 268 APM points -Aubisque 255- and the most demanding, -the one we have choose for our PLUS option- the known as Arnostegi by Bellurti reaches 385, points these of which 358 have been achieved in just 7 kilometers - Tourmalet 342 in 23 kilometers - For our standar option we have choose a "less hard" alternative by Ondarolle -288 points- which although it is still demanding, is more "human".

This is the general tone; Points that are obtained essentially due to the high percentages of their pending and not so much because the mileage is excessive. That said we must add the good things ... to the usual in these lands of the almost testimonial traffic must be added simply that of a beauty that sometimes short breath - in case we did not have enough with the slope -
In some section we will coincide with pilgrims who often have the property to offer us unusual images, other times the view will stop on the natural walls of the pre-Roman fortress of Zerkupe ... always above us, in the vicinity of the Col, the Tower Roman Urkulu ... shepherds shepherds everywhere ...
Anyway! Bucolismo at the end of the Slope, that's what we have.

Arnostegi-descenso-Esterenzubi

The descent begins. End of stage in Esterenzubi.

   
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Stage 3: Esterenzubi - Irati - Esterenzubi
Distance: 84 km   Unevenness: 2.275 m

PLUS Option: Esterenzubi - Irati - Esterenzubi
Distance: 121 km   Unevenness: 3.300 m

The 3rd stage is the IRATI FOREST stage. However, before reaching it, we must ascend and cross the Arbailles Massif, and cross the ridge that connect Ahusky with Bagargi mountain pass
It will be difficult to decide if this first part exceeds in quality the section by the Irati Forest itself. We can seldom enjoy so many kilometers in height without starting the descent after climbing a port. The ascent to Sensibil - the highest point of BASOAK BAZTAN IRATI with its 1,536 meters of altitude - its views over the Pico de Ori, and the last kilometers through Burdinkurutzeta or through the sheepfolds of Artaburu and Errozate, - if we choose the PLUS option - we dare say they are 6 * out of 5.

Ascending Inharpu / Ahusquy by Bastida, the ascend by which it was promoted in La Vuelta a España 2016. If it is hot we recommend the option of ascent by Behorlegi that is for which "officially" ascends BASOAK BAZTAN - IRATI

Vuelta-a-España-2016-en-Ausky

From the top of Ahusky and on clean days the view extends to the right to the Bay of Biscay and to the left towards the high peaks of the Atlantic Pyrenees.
Without any doubt, one of the best sections of cycling in the whole Pyrenees.
 Spain Bike Tour 2016

Ahusky mountain pass

Tarmac road between Ahusky and Bagargi mountain passes, section 5 stars of the Pyrenean cycle tourism.

Inmediaciones-del-Col-de-Surzai

In the vicinity of the Surzai Mountain Pass we meet some of the spectacular sections of Pyrenean forest that give name to BASOAK BAZTAN - IRATI
 Irati Extrem 2013

Ahusky-Spain-Tour

The peloton begins the descent towards Altzai during the Queen Stage of La Vuelta a España 2016, ahead of them Soudet, Marie Blanque and Aubisque, a childhood of those...
 Spain Bike Tour 2016

Pastos de Irati

Pastoral and cyclist environment in the pastures of Irati

Irati-Extrem

If we choose the PLUS option, in the last kilometers of the stage we will follow the Irati-Extrem track in the opposite direction.
 Irati Extrem 2013

Burdinkurutzeta mountain pass

COL de Burdinkurutzeta. In the background the massif of the Arbailles through which we have spent throughout the day. A perfect descend starts.

   
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Stage 4: Esterenzubi - Baztan
Distance: 101 km   Unevenness: 2.140 m

PLUS Option: Esterenzubi - Baztan
Distance: 107 km   Unevenness: 2.500 m

We return to BAZTAN, on the way we will travel through the villages of the Navarrese Pyrenees - surrounded by the pilgrims of the ever present Camino de Santiago, and the mountains of the Pyrenean chain that mark the Cantabrian / Mediterranean waters border.

Climbing up to Orgambide following the route that we descended at the end of the 2nd stage, we will enter Navarre through Azpegi mountain pass. We will start here a succession of small mountain levels - at least if we compare them with those of the 2 previous stages - through which we will go along the southern slopes of the Navarrese Pyrenees; Lapitzea, Mezkiritz and Erro.
Already in the final part of the stage, we will enter the territory known as Quinto Real where the Artesiaga mountain pass with its long descent, will place us again in the BAZTAN from which we started almost 12 Mountain Passes ago.

If we opt for the PLUS option, which is quite recommendable since the added hardness is not excessive, we will include the Collegiate of Orreaga/Roncesvalles in our souvenir bag. After ascending the soft face of Lindus, which begins just at the summit of Ibañeta we dive again into the environment of unknown mountain passes on the northern face of this area of the Pyrenees.
After a long descent to Urepel, interrupted briefly by small port of Nahala, will come a demanding ascent to the port of Urkiaga in which we will cross the curious administrative region known as Quinto Norte, in which its few inhabitants live in Spanish territory but exercise as French citizens.
Overcome Urkiaga we will join the standard route at the beginning of the last difficulty of BASOAK BAZTAN - IRATI, the Artesiaga mountain pass.

More everyday scenes on the route

Powerful Pyrenean landscape between Orgambide and Azpegi mountain passes. In background, slopes of Artaburu and Errozate, places of yesterday´s route. Irati Extrem Territory.

Cultural recreation of cromlech in front of Errozate mountain

Remains of the old Orbaitzeta Weapons Factory reconditioned for tourism. We are already on the southern slopes of the Pyrenees.

Cicloturista-La-Indurain-2016-Mezkiritz

Scenes from the southern slopes of the Navarrese Pyrenees between Espinal and Erro. Small mountain pass ofMezkiritz.
 Cicloturista La Indurain 2016

Pilgrims and cyclists sharing track in Espinal, typical village of the Pyrenean Navarre.
 Cicloturista La Indurain 2016

Nahala Mountain Pass Road to Urepel

Spectacular scenery in the small port of Nahala during the descent from Lindus to Urepel in the PLUS option.
 Campus Baigorri GIRLS Cycling Experiences 2019

The same slope and the same trees at different times. Ascent to Urkiaga from Urepel through the intermediate Col de Paradar. 510 demanding meters.

   
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The Hotels - Day by day

1st and 2nd night: Oronoz Hotel Urgain -

Urgain-exterior-1 Urgain-exterior-2 Urgain-lunch-room- Urgain-interior Urgain-room-1 Urgain-room-12

www.hotelurgain.com

3rd and 4th night: Esterenzubi Hotel Andreinia -
La base de PIRINEOS PUNTO BIKE à Estérençuby est situé dans un superbe hôtel rural au coeur du Pays Basque ou Christelle et Eric Larramendy nous réservent un accueil familial dans leur établissement avec piscine chauffée, an petit Spa, et une restaurant avec terrasse couverte entouré de montagnes au bord d’une rivière.

Hotel-Adreinia-exterior
Hotel-Adreinia-hab-1 Hotel-Adreinia-hab-2 Hotel-Adreinia-comedor Hotel-Adreinia-terraza Hotel-Adreinia-spa Hotel-Adreinia-piscina

www.hotel-adreinia.com

TARIFFS

475 € Price per person for groups of 2 or 3 people

450 € Price per person for groups of 4 or 5 people

430 € Price per person for groups of 6 or more people

Rates for the whole year, subject to availability.
The prices may vary when the dates coincide with the Easter holidays or with the Patron Festivities of any of the places of accommodation.


In the COMFORT format, accommodation is offered in single beds in the rooms each hotel assigns. These may be for 2, 3 or more people.

INCLUDED

  • 1 night of accommodation with breakfast
    Corresponds to the 1st night as usually the groups prefer to choose themselves where to dine during the arrival trip to the destination
  • 3 nights accommodation in half board
  • Transport of luggage between hotels
    1 bag or package of a maximum of 20 kg per person
    If not needed, the cost of this service will be deducted from the proposal

  • Tracks of the route in GPX format for mobile phones or GPS devices
    Warn us if you prefer them in another format
  • Laminated road maps (so they can “survive” in the jersey’s pocket)
  • Shower and luggage reception at the end of the last stage despite you don’t spend the night at the finalising point of the route
  • Presentation of the route and delivery of information in hand the day of the arrival of the group to the hotel or the morning of the next day when groups are of 6 or more people
  • Telephone assistance for incidents or consultations during the days of the contracted activity

NOT INCLUDED

  • Beers or other consumptions outside the proposed menus in the dinners or during the stay in hotels
  • Meals in restaurants at the time of the noon, unless it has been agreed previously to replace dinner with meals
  • Any kind of sports material, helmets, shoes, etc
  • Anything not expressly indicated in the offer

OPTIONS

  • Airport/station pick up
  • Hire cycling tour guide
  • Hire assistance vehicle during the route
  • Bicycle rental
    We put you in touch with a rental service in Pamplona
  • Hire Accident Insurance
  • Add a night at the finalising point of the route
  • To replace the night before the start of the route per night at the end of the route
  • Single room supplement: + 120 €
    When the group is made up of an odd number of people, will be equally necessary an odd number of requests to access this supplement
  • If your need is different from what we propose here, if for example, you have fewer days than the required ones for the route and do not know how to trim off, or if instead, you have more days and you want to stay a whole day in one of the lodges, pedaling or touring the area and continue the next day, do not hesitate to contact us. We will send you options and alternative routes for these or any other variable you can think of.


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