73km Sainte Marie sur Mer – Llanca (Spain)

Spain!! And Andrew climbs right into the vat Today we entered the sixth country so far on our tour, Spain. It’s the first time we are travelling in a place where neither of us speaks the language, so we have a steep learning curve ahead of us. The route here was nothing short of beautiful – first through flat nature reserves and then up into the mountains where the road hugged the edge of the hill and gave us a view over the Mediterranean to our left and vineyards to our right nearly all of the way. It was hard work, with plenty of climbs, followed by steep descents, throughout the day. The roads seemed to be reasonably graded though and we were able to stay on the bikes for quite a long period of time and maintain a good 12km going up some hills, which is a lot better than our normal pace when faced with a big ascent. We are now on the Costa Brava, an area we only know through seeing its name in the windows of travel shops in the UK. So far there’s no sign of the souless string of block holiday apartments and we are all the happier for that, but we’re told there are plenty the further we go south so we’ll enjoy the local beauty while we have it.

As we’re in a new country, it’s time to try something new so from here on in we plan to list all the roads we’ve followed and any relevant notes on them, to help future cyclists. You can see the road notes by clicking on the headline of a post and looking below in the comment field.


  1. friedel
    16th December 2006 at 9:25 pm #

    D81/D81a Sainte Marie – Collioure Busy in parts as you go through the last of the French holiday resorts but a nice, wide shoulder most of the way or, in some stretches, a bicycle path separated from the road with a boundry. Fairly flat except for the few kilometers before Collioure, where the mountains start and lead all the way to Spain.

    N114 Collioure – French/Spanish border at Col de Belistres Very hilly and twisty but beautiful views over the Mediterranean and most of the climbs were gradual, easily managed even on a loading touring bicycle! Reasonably quiet road with shoulders some of the way. Few towns in this area had fountains but we stopped for water in a cemetery in Cerbere, found just as you are leaving the town and heading for the border, on the right hand side.

    N260 French/Spanish border to Llanca The same type of terrain as the N114, but the road was in slightly better condition, seems to have been recently paved. A few tunnels but all pretty short, wide, well lit and with shoulders.

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