Roads (curves per mile)
3 / 5
4 / 5
Culture / Architecture
5 / 5
Hotels / Food
5 / 5
As diverse as the towns as diverse will be our hotels. Some are behind historic walls (Vila Vicosa, Ronda), others offer fantastic views (Ronda, Milfontes, Granada, Cordoba, Lanjaron) and others are located right at edge of beautiful nature (Monsaraz, Almonaster, Vila Nova de Milfontes).
The capital with some of the most exciting geography and diversity in Europe is well worth a whole day of sightseeing. The Romans, the Phoenicians and the Arabs have settled here and left their well visible traces. We roam the hills of the town, stare down from great viewpoints and take the historic public transports once the feet are disagreeing with the cobblestones. Dinner will be in one of the atmospheric restaurants in an historic downtown alley.
In the morning we will pick up our motorcycles and head out of city. We cross the area of the Alentejo from west to east. The beauty oft this typical Portuguese landscape of rolling hills often is underrated by visitors. Roads are lined by Cork trees, which are still used for production. At this time of the year spring blossom is on. With some luck plenty of storks will be our escort. We stay in the town of Vila Vicosa, a quaint village, rich with history and historic buildings. Take a stroll in the afternoon on your own, even if you make it only a couple of hundred feet to the main square and enjoy a drink underneath the orange trees that surround the place. Our Pousada is located in the former Convent of the Chagas de Cristo, built in the 16th century. Between the several feet thick walls you get the feeling of times that have past away for a long time. It’s quite amazing that you can buy something like this just with a bit of money. Don’t worry: At the same time you still can enjoy all modern amenities of luxurious hotel.
Distance: 130 miles, 200 km
The morning starts with a ride along a curvy road to Elvas. We come here on our second day for a reason, even if we have to leave our general direction and retrace a bit. It would be a shame to visit this place rather exhausted in the afternoon on our first day and not spend enough time here. Many towns along the border to Spain are build like a fortress, Elvas probably is the most impressive one, actually the largest fortification of it’s kind in the world. But maybe even more memorable is the 4-story high Aqueduto da Amoreira, built in the 15th century to secure water supply of the town. From Elvas we head south along the border to Spain. Finally the village of Monsaraz appears out of the horizon, well visible from a distance. The closer you get the more the desire grows to visit this spectacular location. It was this beauty that in 2017 made it win the category “Monument Villages” of the contest 7 Wonders of Portugal - Villages. We will sleep in a hotel which is located right at the bottom. After we escape the afternoon heat at the hotels great pool we will explore the fortress on top of the hill, walk along the towns wall (which would be impossible in other parts of the world) and have a wine tasting with one the most incredible sunsets in Portugal. Dinner will be in quite a special location nearby.
Distance 70 miles, 110 km
It will be hard to leave our little Portuguese paradise in Monsaraz. But Cordoba, one of the 3 famous cities of Andalusia is waiting at the end of the day. After some minutes ride we will cross the border into Spain and notice quite some changes in the two countries. Towns will have a different architecture, at least as nice as in Portugal. Suddenly free roaming pigs will sit underneath oak trees, the raw material for the famous ham we will have the chance to taste several times. We stop for lunch in a town that has plenty of flair, but because it’s remote location will see hardly a foreign tourist. Between Monsaraz and the Cordoba we will cross several smaller mountain ranges to make up for a beautiful day of riding. We will spend the evening in the historic part of the city. One of the special features are the beautiful decorated backyards of the houses, a leftover from the Moorish times. They have build there houses like little fortresses around a backyard. Now inhabitants take big pride in them. There is even an annual competition, visitors are invited to see them.
Distance: 200 miles, 317 km
Cordoba was conquered in the 8th century by the Moors and became the Islamic capital. It has the second largest Old town in Europe, the largest urban area in the world declared World Heritage by UNESCO. The most important building and symbol of the city, the Great Mosque of Córdoba and current cathedral, alongside the Roman bridge, are the best known facet of the city. We will visit both in the cool morning air. Because Cordoba also is known as one of the hottest cities in Spain. Afterwards we start a beautiful ride and pass several pretty villages. Each of the seams to have a Moorish castle sitting on top of it like Baena, Luque or Alcala. Granada is not less pretty then Cordoba, but has a very different feeling. Cool mountain air comes down from the will visible snow covered peaks of the Sierra Nevada. The large university is responsible for a rather young crowd in town.
Distance: 110 miles, 170 km
In the same league as Venice or Florence Granada is probably the most beautiful city of Spain. The location is hard to beat. At an altitude of 2000 feet it is overlooked by the always snow covered Sierra Nevada, at 11411 feet after the Alps the highest mountains of Europe. In the morning we will visit the Alhambra, a Moorish palace and fortress, the most visited sight in Anadalusia. Moorish poets described it as “a pearl set in emeralds,” an allusion to the color of its buildings and the woods around them. In the warm afternoon air we will visit the opposite part of town from where we will have a great view at the Alhambra with the mountains behind. If interested we could be part of one of the famous Flamenco shows in the Old Town.
Via exciting mountain roads with endless vista we will do a loop around the whole mountain range of the Sierra Nevada. We will pass interesting places like the Barrio de Santiago in Guadix, a quarter characterized by houses carved in tuff rocks, even visit a local place where a family still lives in a men made cave. Afterwards we ride 6700 feet high pass Puerto de la Ragua onto the southern side of the Sierra Nevada. Through the foothills of the range we will reach the mountain village of Lanjaron with great views towards the south and finish one of the most exciting riding days on this trip.
Distance: 120 miles, 185 km
After an exciting ride through mountains and gorges with hardly any straight stretch we will end in one of the most beautiful regions of Andalusia at the spectacular setting of Ronda. Olive orchards, wineries, cork trees are the dominating plants along the way. The location and feeling of Ronda is hard to describe, you have to see it yourself. We will stay in the hotel with the most beautiful setup in the town. It inspired once the famous poet Rainer Maria Rilke, who lived here. He wrote: “I have sought everywhere the city of my dreams, and I have finally found it in Ronda” and “There is nothing that is more startling in Spain than this wild and mountainous city.”
Distance: 168 miles, 271 km
Ronda has the most spectacular location in Spain. It sits on the rocks on two sites of the 400 feet Tajo gorge, connected by 3 bridges. American artists Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles spent many summers in Ronda as part-time residents of Ronda’s old town quarter called La Ciudad. Both wrote about Ronda’s beauty and famous bull-fighting traditions. Their collective accounts have contributed to Ronda’s popularity over time. There are possibilities to see the bullfight ring or walk down into the gorge to get another spectacular view at the town. For the ones keen on riding there is a beautiful loop through the mountains where we would see Gibraltar and Africa from a viewpoint.
Distance: 120 miles, 200 km
In the morning we will pass through mountains where we will have to stop a couple of times just to enjoy the views at the famous white villages of this region. Especially the location of Setenil de Las Bodegas will be an exciting surprise. We have to cross the plains of the river Guadalquivir, if desired we can have a stop in very picturesque Seville. That would involve some extra city traffic, but not too bad. We will spend the night in the pretty and tranquil mountain town of Almonaster la Real with a chance to visit the local Mesquita or just take a stroll through the pretty nature there.
Distance: 180 miles, 290 km
After an hour in the mountains of the Sierra de Aracena with it’s beautiful cork oak trees we cross the border back into Portugal. The first highlight will be the Moorish town of Mertola above the river Guadiana with it’s impressive fortress and the narrow alleys that lead up to it. Along our way on absolutely empty roads through the Alentejo we will visit some more hidden gems of this pretty landscape. Finally we arrive at one of the most spectacularly located beach towns on the west coast of Portugal: Vila Nova de Milfontes. It sits right at the mouth of the river Mira where the tides form some pretty and completely unspoiled beaches. We will enjoy dinner looking at the beach into the sunset.
Distance: 160 miles, 250 km
Portugal tries to impress up to the last mile. Across the huge bay of the river Tejo we ride back in Lisbon. The approach reminds of traversing the Golden Gate into San Francisco. Before that we ride along the Peninsula de Troja to cross by ferry into Setubal. Downtown we will enjoy the prettiest market in Portugal before riding across the Serra da Arrabida which offers great views across the Atlantic. The trip will end with a nice dinner in one of the very good restaurants in town.
Distance: 120 miles, 200 km
|Cost (Difference to the base price of $ 7160.00)
|Single Rider BMW F750
|Single Rider BMW 900 GS / BMW F 900 XR / BMW F 900 R
|Single Rider BMW 1250 GS
|Single Rider BMW 1250 RT / BMW S1000 XR
|Single room surcharge
This tour is culturally and geographically highly interesting and diverse, even if we only touch two countries. We will stay in famous cities (Lisbon twice, Cordoba, Granada), in beautiful selected country towns that are often built like a fortress and therefore in exciting locations (Ronda, Monsaraz), in a mountain village in the second highest mountains of Europe (Lanjaron in the Sierra Nevada) or in one of the prettiest coastal towns of Portugal: Vila Nova de Milfontes. As diverse as the towns as diverse will be our hotels. Some are behind historic walls (Vila Vicosa, Ronda), others offer fantastic views (Ronda, Milfontes, Granada, Cordoba, Lanjaron) and others are located right at edge of beautiful nature (Monsaraz, Almonaster, Vila Nova de Milfontes). Don’t be fooled by short distances on some riding days! There is so much to see and stop for along the way that our days will be thrilled with excitement. We always can do some extra miles, but by experience it won’t be necessary! The roads vary from narrow mountain roads to some wider and faster roads when we have to cross very few flat areas. But that will be exceptions though. Overall difficulty will be between 3 and 4. The tour is well suited for couples. It’s not only about riding, there is a lot of culture and some of the greatest food in Europe to be experienced. If your time allows I would recommend to come a day or two early to Lisbon. First of all: You will be over jetlag on the first riding day. Second: Lisbon is one of the nicest cities in Europe, well worth a day or two of exploring by yourself.
Your choice of BMW motorcycle rental including insurance
Support vehicle for additional luggage and limited space for passengers
Multilingual tour guide(s)
Accommodations at comfortable, family owned middle-class hotels to top hotels (12 hotel nights)
All breakfasts and dinners; lunch is not provided
Fuel during the entire trip
All entrance fees and tolls
A detailed tour information package
Not included in the tour price are international or other airfare to/from Lisbon, Spain, personal items, passport, speeding tickets and other fines, lunches, beverages, personal hotel room charges, laundry and dry cleaning, telephone calls, medical and accident insurance, and transportation to and from the airport.
The hotels are mostly family-owned and -operated and each has wonderful local flavor. They are three- and four-star establishments, and all provide breakfast and dinner. You will feel welcome and at home right away. Some hotels have a pool or sauna, so bring your bathing suit, and all provide hair dryers. If you bring any electronic devices, remember that Europe has different voltage (220V) and electrical outlets, so make sure you have the right converters and plugs and that your electronic devices work on both voltages. Casual clothing to wear in the evenings is fine; there’s no need for formal wear.
The group will be between six and 12 riders and will be led by one or two guides.
Though riding about 150 miles a day may seem easy don’t be deceived. But everyday there is so much to see and combined with rather winding roads our program will usually occupy as from morning to around 4 pm.
Available motorcycles may be subject to change.
Motorcycles are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis, depending upon availability and are not guaranteed.
Keep in mind that smaller bikes handle much better on alpine roads! Great choices for a carefree, leisurely ride are the F 750 GS, F 850 GS, F900XR and the R900R. They handle very easily on the hairpins and still have enough power to keep up with anybody else on the mountain roads. The R1250GS or the R1250RT are good choices for two-up riding. Anything bigger (and heavier) takes away the pleasure of riding in the Alps. You may want to check out these bikes at your local dealer to see which one feels the most comfortable for you.
One piece of luggage per person will go on the support van. Tour members will be able to securely store suitcases and any other extra luggage in the first hotel of the trip. The motorcycles we provide for our tours are equipped with a luggage system. Each bike will come with two side cases and a top case.
An electrical socket for GPS is available upon request on most bikes. You will need to bring your own 12 V accessory Powerlet plug that fits the BMW/Euro-style socket.
The rental motorcycles are not equipped with tankbags. If you bring a tankbag, make sure that it uses straps and not magnets, which won’t work on the BMWs’ tanks.
The deductible for the motorcycle insurance included in your tour package is approximately $1200. The actual amount may vary due to currency fluctuation. This amount is not charged or held to your card as we use an honor system with our guests. In case of minor damage to your motorcycle, an appraisal of the repair cost is made, based on the dealer’s cost, and billed to you with the understanding that you are responsible for up $1200. In case the cost of any damage to the motorcycle is higher than the deductible, or if the bike is stolen, the full deductible will be due. The insurance company will cover the remainder of the cost. Minimum Tour Requirement
We reserve the right to cancel any tour if the number of participants booked does not meet the minimum requirement to operate the trip or due to force majeure. In the unlikely event that this should occur, your payment will be refunded minus the non-refundable registration fee. This fee can be applied to another tour of your choice.
Please make your flight reservations after the registration deadline for the tour. We will send you a reminder email to book your flight.
Temperatures will range between 64 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit (between 18 and 28 degree Celsius). Dress in several layers so you can easily adjust to the weather conditions and always travel with rain gear! In case of heavy rain or other bad weather, we will choose the shortest route to the next hotel and avoid pass roads wherever possible.
It is highly recommended that you get trip insurance. Also, check with your health insurance provider about your coverage while traveling overseas. For additional information on trip cancellation insurance, visit insuremytrip’s website.
For more information about insuring your trip with us, please refer to our blogpost about that topic.
For our policies with regards to payment, reservation and cancellation, refer to our FAQs.