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Wine, tapas, oranges, olives, ... the route of Don Quijote

Monday, April 24, 2017 | Stephan Weckschmied / Franziska Falkner | News / Europe

Every once in a while, these opportunities just pop up out of nowhere. You just need the flexibility to grab them...

So when Edelweiss Bike Travel asked me, if I would have time to prepare a new tour – the Moto GP Valencia and the route of Don Quijote tour – it took me about two seconds to decide! Why?

  1. The weather in my home country this time of year is less than perfect, to say it politely.
  2. The region of the tour, mainly Valencia and Aragon, belongs to my favourite „hidden secrets“ in Spain.
  3. I couldn’t wait to be back in the country of great wine, tapas, oranges, olives,...

And now here I am: enjoying the nice 20°C (70°F) weather and blue sky, drinking a glass of Somontano red wine, eating a few olives – and trying to put on paper what it is about this region that makes it so enjoyable.

The food is a big part of it.

Valencia is situated on the Spanish Costa del Azahar (which basically means Orange Blossom Coast). Wherever you go in and around the city, you will see oranges. And as the Mediterranean Sea is there as well, you will find an abundance of seafood in all the restaurants.

A little bit further inland, things change with the rising terrain. The oranges are replaced by olives and almonds, the seafood will be exchanged against the famous ham from Aragon: Jamon de Teruel, the dry-cured Serrano ham!  And the white wine, that went well with the seafood back in Valencia, is now followed by the red variety or maybe a Spanish Cerveza!

But of course, there is a lot more to this piece of heaven than food...

History, for example.

A number of small churches and large cathedrals is amazing. And if you see how many little villages have a big castle on top of a hill in the centre of town, you can imagine that the middle ages were not quite as peaceful as it is nowadays. Just like us today, a lot of people have been interested in this region and have left their marks: The Iberians, the Romans, the Moors, the Christians,...

But that’s exactly what gives this area its special touch: the mixture of all these different and magnificent cultures. They have left and mixed their architecture, their spices, their clothing styles,... For example, the Mudejar architecture that can be found in this region, with Teruel at its centre – so beautiful and unique, that the UNESCO put the town on the World Heritage List!

Food, culture – but there is one more thing that makes this area so special, especially for us motorcycle riders:

The roads and the (non-existent) traffic!

As soon as you have left the busy coast behind, you are in motorcycle heaven...that is, if you like turns and curves!

99% of the roads are in great condition and those that are not will take you into hidden valleys which are so beautiful, that you don’t even care about the road surface. But 99% of the tour consists of excellent roads with turns in every variety: tight, wide, uphill, downhill, slow, fast and anything in between. 

I tried to take some good pictures, but these photos don’t even start to show you the fun that you can have here. The photos will show you two turns – you don’t see the 50 turns that follow! This is one of the few regions in this world where you might think at the end of the day: it would be nice to ride straight for a few minutes now, I am getting tired!

I hope I could transfer some of my feelings for this region – it is hard to describe paradise!

And if you should decide to explore this beautiful part of the world with us, there is one more attraction that I haven’t even mentioned yet: the MotoGP world championship race on the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia!

Here are some more impressions of the tour.

Your tour guide,

Marko Bauer 

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