Cabezal-El-Desierto-small
Cabezal-El-Desierto-big

Cycling Tour in the Pre-Pyrenees, the Bardenas Reales and other unknown Spain Deserts

style GRAVEL - TREK - MTB

SELF-GUIDED CICLOTURIST ROUTE

From 2 to 6 Stagesof Expert and Medium levels

El Desierto
The Last of Europe´s deserts

El Desierto is a bike trip both for classic mountain bikes and for the modern concept of gravel bikes.
The route is located in Northern Spain, just at the South of the PYRENEES,

The PIRINEOS PUNTO BIKE proposal to pedal El Desierto 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.
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Horizon of the White Bardena. Cabezos Piskerra (left) and Rallón (right)
Castildeterra, the icon par excellence of the BARDENAS REALES
PRE-PYRENEES - Depopulated of Peña, during centuries the guardian of the borders with the neighboring Kingdom of Aragon
Sunset in the White Bardena.
Gravel tracks under the Cabezo of Piskerra
BARDENAS REALES views from the Aguilares viewpoint
Peña del Fraile and Punta del Aguilar, we are at the southernmost end of the route, in the Black Bardena.
Better not forget that we are in an "almost desert"
PRE-PYRENEES - "Watchover" village of Gallipienzo over the Aragon river.
La Ralla and El Rallón views from the Cabezo de las Cortinillas
Cabezo and hut, a constant binomial in the Bardenas
The tracks are lost in the bardenas horizon
PRE-PYRENEES - Ruins of the Church of San Miguel - In the solar hoop - and Ujue Fortress seem from Gallipienzo
.

In the North of SPAIN, just South of the Pyrenees, spread out between them and the Iberian Range - with the 2.314 meters of Moncayo - in the South, we find an extensive semi-desert geography with an average altitude that ranges between 300 and the 500 meters. For us it is El Desierto.
Speaking in geo-physical terms we structured it in 3 environments; the valleys of the Pre-Pyrenees immediately to the South of the Pyrenean mountain range, the well-known Bardenas Reales, Blanca and Negra, distributed between the regions of ARAGON and NAVARRA and located in the center of our Desierto, and a third geography that surrounds such Bardenas from the South with an arc formed by the Castejón Range, the aforementioned Moncayo and the Cierzo Mountains.

This third geography - that we resume with the name of Southern Deserts - due to its intrinsic characteristics, perhaps conveys more loneliness and isolation than the central Bardenas themselves.
This deserticity comes partly from its geological and environmental characteristics, and partly from the decline in rurality caused by a combination of factors throughout SPAIN.

Water is scarce, we should not forget it, tourist services or any other type are almost negligible, mobile phone coverage is very often non-existent, and the general atmosphere... bordering on harsh.
Our proposal to pedal through this Desierto is not a bikepacking proposal, it is necessary to be self-sufficient during the stages, but we provide the accommodation and other services, so the whole day-to-day life is "smoothed".
There are not many accommodation points available beyond the towns that surround the territory to be cycled. So, every day, at the end of the stage, it will be difficult not to have the feeling of entering what in another time and place we would have called "The Cities of the Desert." Something that although the local inhabitants do not perceive as such, it will be difficult for us to visualize in any other way.

The photography section available on this same website (below the map) and structured based on the 3 environments mentioned; Pre-Pyrenees, Classic Bardena and Southern Deserts, completes the information in this text and will help us with enough precision to decide if this is the trip we are looking for.
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El-Desierto-bike-route-Map-ref-9
El-Desierto-bike-route-Map-ref-9

El Desierto is a set of different stages through the isolated lands of the South of Navarra and Aragón in Northern Spain.
As can be seen intuitively in the image, the route runs through the Bardenas and other neighboring lands, even more deserted than Bardena itself.

The track that you see in the image is one of the most complete route options and with the most possibilities of getting accommodation.
We have a network of stages between possible accommodations named with letters as seen in the image. And we have practically the complete alphabet, so different combinations of letters result in different route proposals.
Many kilometers but very few hotels...

Here you have an example of one of the more frecuent option that bikers are pedaling

Stage G: Tudela - Tauste
Distance: 69 km   Unevenness: 960 m

Stage M: Tauste - Ejea
Distance: 74 km   Unevenness: 745 m

Stage P: Ejea - Murillo El Fruto
Distance: 73 km   Unevenness: 650 m

Stage A: Pre-Pyrenees Tour
Distance: 65 km   Unevenness: 1.070 m

Stage E: Murillo El Fruto - Tudela
Distance: 74 km   Unevenness: 420 m

Stage D: Cierzo Mountains Tour
Distance: 83 km   Unevenness: 775 m

Distance: 450 km   Unevenness: 4.685 m

   
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Gallipienzo-Aragon-river

Gallipienzo, one of the oldest towns in Navarre (10th century). Located then in a place border between the old kingdoms of Navarre and Aragon, at present and as far as we are concerned it is located in the "pure center" of El Desierto.

Aragon-river

from Gallipienzo, the course of the Aragón river takes us into what we could call "no man's land". We will pedal through the bottom of a strangely maintained valley without roads and that maintains for that reason a biological diversity far above the usual.

Navarra-Incognita.stage-1 Navarra-Incognita.stage-2 Aragon-Moncayo

South slope of the Sierra de Peña. During the ascent and once a certain height is reached, the silhouette of the Moncayo appears on the horizon line. He will accompany us until the end of the trip.

Despoblado de Peña Despoblado de Peña-cyclist

As an apparition and almost out of place, the Despoblado de La Torre de Peña arises in the middle of the Mountain Range.

Despoblado de Peña Despoblado de Peña Despoblado de Peña

Despoblado de La Torre de Peña. With the remains of its old tower at the top, the place invites an extended stop. Inhabited until the second half of the 20th century (1964) and with the ghosts of the past emerging in every corner, it is undoubtedly one of the neuralgic points of El Desierto.

Despoblado de Peña-panoramica

The view that can be seen from the remains of the tower makes us see the strategic value of the place during the years of conflict.

Santa-Criz-roman-village

Ruins of the Roman City of Santa Criz in Valdaibar, one of the "essential" places.

Gallipienzo-La-Nuit

It will be hard to forget a night walk through one of the most authentic villages of Navarre, something that we do at petition of the groups - and when posible -
In Gallipienzo things are, because they were and still are. Nothing is set for you to see it.

Valdaibar inside the mist

Low mists in the Pre-Pyrenees.

Eslava-wineyards

Paths between vineyards in the lands of ancient Valdaibar.

Aragon-river Aragon-river-vignobles

The course of the Aragón River is the natural line - and our SLOW option - to join the Pre-Pyrenean valleys with the Ribera Navarra.

Eslava-village

Medieval village of Eslava, a town that recovers its important historical heritage through its own efforts.

Eslava-village

The Sierra de Peña, where the stage of yesterday passed, closes the horizon. The Navarran vineyards begin to make their presence.

Ujue-San-Miguel Ujue-San-Miguel-inside-the-sun

Ruins of San Miguel church on the outskirts of Ujue. In the background, the snow-capped peaks of the Pyrenean chain. El Desierto occupies the geographical space located between said chain in the North and the Iberian System - with the Moncayo as the main and always recognizable peak - in the South.
In the solar hoop, the same church seen from Gallipienzo.

Ujue-village Ujue-church-castle

The kilometers that we have left to finish the stage are less demanding, so the stop in Ujue becomes "essential".
The monumental complex, which is in itself the entire Villa, is finished off with the impressive Fortress - Castle / Church - of Santa Maria. A church enclosed in a castle.

Laguna-Pitillas Laguna-Pitillas-detail

We visit the so-called Media Zone of Navarra heading towards the BARDENAS REALES. In this transition zone we will find the Laguna de Pitillas, a Natural Reserve, place of passage of thousands of migratory birds, and shelter for more than a hundred species of birds nesting.

Ruta-a-Murillo

Navarra forgotten during the final kilometers of the stage.

Ruta-a-Murillo

Murillo El Fruto and Carcastillo from the Mirador del Castillo. Today's stage comes to an end. On the horizon El Plano of the BARDENA tells us where we will continue tomorrow.

   
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Bardena-Caparroso

It is not necessary to cross the official limits of the Natural Park to realize that we are already in Las Bardenas.

El Plano - Bardenas Reales

Characteristic landscape of El Plano, the geographical area that together with the Bardena Blanca and the Bardena Negra, make up the orographic totality of the BARDENAS REALES.

Bardenas-El-Paso Bardenas-Monumento-al-pastor

El Paso constitutes the "official" entrance to the Bardena from the North, the point at which visitors perceive that they enter a space of semi-desert character and with their own personality.
The Monument to the Shepherd which identifies the place, pays homage to the transhumant shepherds that for centuries have been repeating the cycle of bringing in winter to this place the sheep that graze during the summer in the incredibly close and different Pyrenees.

Bardenas-El-Plano-Cornialto

In its southern slope, in Cornialto, the plateau of El Plano collapses in Bardena.

Bardenas geological

Geological formations characteristic of La Bardena.

Bardena-blanca

At work.

Bardena-blanca-desde-El-Plano

From the slopes of Cornialto the most characteristic and recognizable Cabezos of the Bardena Blanca. are outlined. It is the territory where the stage of tomorrow will take place.

Castillo-Penaflor-Bardena-Blanca

Ruins of the Peñaflor Castle in the pure center of the barden geography.

Descenso a la Bardena blanca

Bardena Blanca

Bardenas-El-Yugo

Rest in the vicinity of the Ermita del Yugo. On the horizon the Moncayo is gaining presence.

Poligono-de-tiro

Bardean environment in the surroundings of the Poligono de Tiro.

Corral-de-Zapata

Corral de Zapata. The color of the slopes of La Nasa warns us that further south will appear the Black Bardena.

Bardena blanca Castildeterra

Castildeterra, the icon par excellence of the BARDENAS REALES.

Pedaling between crops under the walls of El Rallon

Bardena Blanca with bike

In the Cabezo de las Cortinillas we visualize perfectly the layers of plaster that color and make this Bardena be called "la Blanca".

Paso de los ciervos 1 Paso de los ciervos 2

The famous Paso de los Ciervos among the intricate geography that forms the Bardena under the walls of El Rallón.

Scenes in Bardenas

Pure Bardena

Bardena-Navarra-desde-Aragon-1 Bardena-Navarra-desde-Aragon-2

The heart of the Bardena seen from Aragon, one of the "star" moments of the day.

CLimbing up to El Rallon Cabezo Piskerra

Cabezo del Piskerra and its "niño". At the bottom the 2.314 meters of the Moncayo, habitual horizon of the Bardena.

Bardena Pura

Bardena in its purest state

Heart of Bardenas

Heart of the BARDENAS REALES. Unquestionably a completely different place.

   
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Bardena-Negra-panorama-Pirineos

Pyrenean Range seen from the slopes of the summit of La Negra.

Despoblado-Rada

Despoblado de Rada on the Basin of the Aragon river in the doors of La Bardena. Unlike the depopulated of the Peña Tower of the 1st stage, Rada was already depopulated in the fifteenth century.

Bardena-Naranja

In the surroundings of Cabanillas more than in "La Negra" it will seem to us to be in the Bardena Orange.

Route-Bardena-Negra

We lined up towards the Black Bardena

Caidas-de-la-Negra

National Park environment in the Natural Reserve of Las Caidas de la Negra from the vicinity of Cabezo de Sancho Abarca.

Cabines de Farrique

Typical constructions of Las Bardenas, Corral de Farrique. We are on the border with the Bardena Aragonesa.

Cabezos-Aguilar-Fraile

Cabezos de Sancho Abarca (left) Peña El Fraile (center) and Punta del Aguilar (right) are the last formations of the Bardenas in the South. They indicate that the end of the route is close.

End of day in La Bardena End of Bardena

From Sancho Abarca, the typical Bardenas territory is diluted in the Ebro Basin.

Plantando melones en el tejado

Amazing scene of locals planting melons on the "roof" of their house/cave on our arrival in Tauste, a "Desert City".

House-Tauste-Bardenas

Apparently, in Tauste, nature gave ready-made houses.

Fin de La Bardena - Moncayo

Ebro Basin and The Moncayo seen from Sancho Abarca

   
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If you have doubths, do not hesitate and use some of the buttons below, we respond quickly.

Bardenas-bike-tours

  • Lodging for stages with start in Tudela

  • - Hotel Bed4u Tudela - 3*

    The base of PIRINEOS PUNTO BIKE in Tudela 3 star establishment strongly linked to the world of cycling in all its styles. In its vicinity we will have cleaning boxes to remove dust and mud from the Bardenas of our bicycles, and inside all the comforts that cyclists and their bikes need.

    bed4u-tudela-ext bed4u-tudela-breakfast-1 bed4u-tudela-breakfast-2 bed4u-tudela-room bed4u-tudela-bath bed4u-tudela-caja-rural-team
  • Lodging for stages with start in Valtierra

  • Camino de Bardenas

    Bike-tours-Camino-de-las-Bardenas-ext Bike-tours-Camino-de-las-Bardenas-bar Bike-tours-Camino-de-las-Bardenas-room-1 Bike-tours-Camino-de-las-Bardenas-room-2 Bike-tours-Camino-de-las-Bardenas-rest-1 Bike-tours-Camino-de-las-Bardenas-rest-2
  • Lodging for stages with start in Murillo / Carcastillo
  • Hostal-Txapi-Txuri-ext Hostal-Txapi-Txuri-terrace Hostal-Txapi-hall- Hostal-Txapi-Txuri-room-1 Hostal-Txapi-Txuri-room-2 Hostal-Txapi-Txuri-rest

    Deportivo-Carcastillo-ext
  • Lodging for stages with start in Tauste - Sancho Abarca
  • Hotel Sancho Abarca

    Sancho-Abarca-ext Sancho-Abarca-bar Sancho-Abarca-room-1

  • Lodging for stages with start in Buñuel
  • Hotel Plaza

    Hostal-Plaza-ext Hostal-Plaza-comedor Hostal-Plaza-room

  • Lodging for stages with start in Ejea de los Caballeros

  • - Hotel Salvevir 3* -

    Our PUNTO BIKE in Ejea de los Caballeros will be chosen based on availability and other circumstances between the 2 options shown here. In any of the cases establishments of proven quality.

    Salvevir hotel ext Salvevir hotel hall Salvevir hotel dinning room Salvevir hotel bath Salvevir hotel room-1 Salvevir hotel room-2

    - Hotel Sekia 3* -
    Hotel Sekia ext Hotel Sekia dinning room Hotel Sekia room

   
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  • Best time to go: The route can be done at any time of the year as long as there is no snow, something rare in this geographical area of Spain.
       Spring and autumn are usually the most pleasant seasons; in summer it can be very hot and we will have to take the same precautions as in a desert journey.

       The route is also cyclable during the winter, but some hotels are closed and the route tracks are therefore different from the rest of the year.
  • Type of tracks: In general, trails and tracks with more physical than technical demand, both uphill and downhill.
  • Orientation: The route must be followed with a GPS device or with the mobile phone App that you are used to using for the same purpose.
       It is not advisable to try to learn how to use an App on the fly.
       We do not provide Apps or GPS user manuals. It is up to the users to have this knowledge.
       There is no on-site signage.
  • Ciclability: The route is 99.9% cyclable.
  • Provisioning: We are in a desert, now and then we will find some services, but we must be self-sufficient.

   
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TARIFFS 2024

Here you have the rate for the proposal shown on the map (Ref ED-9). If you are interested in trips of another duration, just let us know.

6 Stages / 7 Nights

Minimum group 2 people

1.290 € Price per person in double room

1.050 € Price per person for groups of 6 or more people in double room TWIN

Single room supplement: + 322 €

In these proposals when the groups are odd, the accommodation is offered in double rooms and a single room.
- TRIPLE ROOMS ARE NEVER USED -


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.

INCLUDED

  • 7 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 and printed map with each day routes options
  • Explanatory printed map-sketch of the different route options for each stage
    One per stage
  • Link to services that may be necessary along the route
  • Telephone assistance for incidents or consultations during the days of the contracted activity

   
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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
  • Mechanical Assistance during the activity
    If possible, we will try to help you in case of a breakdown, but in many situations this help can be very limited due to lack of specific spare parts or other circumstances. The cost of the service if it can be done is € 18 per hour + € 0.40 per kilometer.
  • Anything not expressly indicated in the offer

OPTIONS

  • Airport/station pick up
    We put you in contact with the transfer companies that provide these services. We do not include its cost in our proposal.
  • Bicycle rental
    We put you in touch with a rental service in the nearest place to the route start point
  • Hire Asistance / Accident Insurance
    and / or Trip Cancellation Insurance
  • Hire individual room
    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

   
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