Great Explorations

(800) 242-1825
(604) 730-1247

National Geographic



“We found the people we met made the trip so special. Several of us have already been talking about which trip to go on next year.”

– Kay & Jim D,
Burlington, VT

More testimonials


Trip Dates:

Sep 10-16


Trip Size:

8-16 participants

Total Days:

7 days/ 6 nights


Bilbao / Barcelona


Hotel Miro, Bilbao

Palacio Guendulain, Pamplona

Cal Petit Hotel, Oliana

Andorra Park Hotel, Andorra


Activity Level:

Intermediate /Challenging

Daily options of 60/80/100+km
van supported


Land Cost (current year):
7 day trip
US $2750 ($2950 after April 30)
Includes 7B/2L/5D

Single Supplement:
US $675

Bike Rental:
US $280

Vuelta 2018, Biking

Tour with the Pros


This will be one of the most exciting years for the Vuelta in 2018 with 3 summit finishes in four days in the final week. We will catch these last stages of the race, beginning in Bilbao and finishing in Barcelona, two extraordinary cities. We will see 4-5 stages live as the race moves from Bilbao (home of the Guggenheim) to challenging climbs in the Pyrenees Andorra including the penultimate day that will test riders to their limit. We will often be riding the same route as the pros, choosing to watch at idyllic locations and then enjoying the comfort and splendor of accommodations in luxurious hotels and palaces. This is the year to ride the Vuelta and Great Explorations will have you front and centre for the action.


Only Great Explorations:

  • Small groups, extraordinary guides, and authentic experiences.
  • A ride you will never forget: each and every day
  • The opportunity to order off the menu at restaurants you won't find in guidebooks.
  • We design and operate our own trips so there are only good surprises.
  • live viewing on 5 stages



Getting there :
Bilbao can be reached by direct flights from London (Easyjet, Vueling, BA). Bilbao is the capital of the Basque region and home to the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim museum.

DAY 1 (Sep 10): Rest Day for Pros
We will meet in city of Bilbao at the Miro Hotel, a fabulous 4-star boutique hotel in the centre, steps from the Guggenheim. Bike fit and optional warm-up ride at 4pm. We meet at 7 pm in the lobby of our hotel and head straight out to dinner at an acclaimed restaurant. We will go over the trip logistics and prepare you for what is to come - a week of cycling, culture, great food, wine and more. Hotel Miro, Bilbao

DAY 2 (Sep 11): Stage 16 - Santillana del Mar to Torrelavega (Time Trial) (live viewing)
Start the day with a local ride from Bilbao (previewing part of Stage 17 route over Alto de Arboleda) with options for shorter and longer distances. Want an easy first day? Spend late afternoon visiting the Guggenheim. Want to watch the race? Shuttle 1h15 to Torrelavega to watch the time trial, returning after the final rider. The last time trial here took place in 1973, won by Eddy Merckx. Back in Bilbao, join the locals enjoying tapas in a moveable feast, tasting pintxos such as seared foie gras and fine Iberian ham and local wines from the Rioja. Hotel Miro, Bilbao

DAY 3 (Sep 12): Stage 17 - Getxo to Balcon de Bizkaia 166.4 km (live viewing)
The stage start for this day is just 7 km from our hotel so you can cycle there to watch the riders register and start, or follow the route from Bilbao east, getting a jump on the peleton with a series of climbs (Alto de Sant Juan Gaztelugaxe, Alta del Balcon de Bizlaia, Alto Lehotizt-Gane) culminating with the stage finish at Monte Oiz (950m), where our vantage point will provide the ideal locale to join in the festivities of this stage finish. Afterwards, we shuttle to exotic Pamplona, and the Palacio Guendulain hotel. We know Pamplona well (home of Miguel Indurain) and will show you this city that is a start of the Camino de Santiago. Palacio Guendulain, Pamplona

DAY 4 (Sep 13): Stage 18 Ejea de los Caballeros to Lleida 180.5 km (live viewing)
This stage is completely flat so it will be up to the sprinters to position themselves for the finish in Lleida. We will transfer to one of the villages mid-route and lead the peleton in to Lleida, taking in the final sprint finish and then transferring 20 km along the Stage 19 route to be in position for tomorrow. Cal Petit Hotel, Oliana


DAY 5 (Sep 14): Stage 19 - Lleida to Andorra 157 km (live viewing)

With our strategic position in Oliana, we have time to ride the stage route towards Andorra, ahead of the pros. For those with the legs and courage, tackle the col de la Rabasa (2,015m). Over 50 professional cyclists make their home in Andorra. After the finish, we will ride to our 4-star Andorra Park Hotel.


DAY 6 (Sep 15): Stage 20 - Escaldes-Engordany to Col de la Gallina & Santuario de Canolich 105 km (live viewing)
This is the toughest stage of the Tour with six classified climbs, culminating with 16-18 per cent switchbacks at the summit of Col de la Gallina. It is known as Andorra’s hardest climb and it should provide a dramtic conclusion to the 2018 Tour. You can, of course choose an easier route for yourself from our suggested options. Andorra Park Hotel


DAY 7 (Sep 16): Departure

Depart at your leisure for onward travel. We will offer transfers to Barcelona airport and downtown train stations. Should you wish to transfer to Madrid in time for the final stage arrival in Madrid, we will provide information on how to do so.


Note: This is a preliminary itinerary which will be updated as further route information becomes public. Hotels used on the trip are representative of those we will use. Any changes made will be done with the goal of making the trip the best that we can given available hotels, services etc.
On our Tour with the Pros trips, we generally try to provide options to cycle 60 km, 80 km or 100+ km on each cycling day. Although anyone of moderate cycling level may enjoy this tour, it is ideally suited to those with intermediate to advanced fitness levels. By this we mean you should be able to cycle 60 km at a minimum with some hills. If you have any questions about this trip, please consult our Travel Advisors.






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