Northern Spain is a world away from the sun and sangria holidays that many people imagine when they think of Spain. Our cycling tours start in Pamplona which is one town that really does give northern Spain some true color. Once a year they have a festival that is gaining worldwide notoriety. Called “running the bulls,” it’s just that. In 2012 between July 6th and 14th a form of madness takes over the town of Pamplona. Its narrow streets become packed with young guns having some fun when the authorities release herds of angry bulls (and we mean angry, these bulls are bred to fight) into the crowds. The crowds run like crazy to get out of the way. It’s just the sort of thing that sane people do all over Europe.
Over a million people descend upon the area during the festival, but you don’t have to run with the bulls yourself. Locals with balconies will rent you a balcony for a reasonable sum while you watch the mayhem from above. Go on, you know you want to!
Biking tours of Spain are a much gentler event. A major highlight of these trips is heading up to the Rioja region. Home of one of the world’s most distinctive red wines, this is a must visit location to see how the Tempranillo grape is turned into the rich earthy red wine that is steeped in oaky vanilla flavours.