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The Vuelta a España (Tour of Spain) 2018

Asturias to Andorra

6th to 16th September 2018

Join us on this 11 day tour to the final stages of the 2018 Vuelta from Asturias in northern Spain to Andorra. Hotels in the best places, transport to watch the stages and ride support are all taken care of by our experienced drivers and bike guides.
As an official tour operator for the 2018 Vuelta a Espana we have some great tours available for you this year. Exclusive VIP Vuelta access included in all our La Vuelta tours.

The 73rd edition of La Vuelta will again surprise with an innovative, ground-breaking and colourful stages. The 2018 Vuelta a Espana enters the Asturias region on Friday 7 September  and then spends 3 days in the region with stages peppered with climbs and mountain top finishes before having a rest day. After an individual time trial and visiting the Basque country, there is more climbing with a high altitude visit to the principality of Andorra before the traditional finish in Madrid.

On this tour, you arrive at Madrid airport on September 6th or make you own way to our hotel in Gijon and from there you will follow the riders of the Vuelta as they climb their way to Andorra. Hotels in the best locations are included together with daily guided rides, transport to the stages and the services of our bike guides and drivers. There is the option to add bike rental as well as an extra night in Madrid to watch the finish. Exclusive VIP access is included on various stages to make this tour extra special.

The Hotels:

★★★★ Hotel Silken Ciudad Gijon:
The Silken Ciudad Gijón Hotel is located in a modern architecture building, with a stunning glass and steel façade rising up in the beautiful coastal city. The hotel has non-smoking rooms, a café, restaurant, a business centre, wellness centre, equipped with a gym, saunas and heated pools, a garage and a spacious terrace.

The Rooms
Exterior, peaceful and comfortable rooms, fully soundproofed, perfect for a good rest. The rooms are spacious, decorated in modern style and warm colours. Equipped either with a 1.60 m x 2m double bed – Queen size – or two twin 1.05 x 2m beds, whatever your preference. Equipped for your comfort, with a duvet and the best bed linen. Parquet flooring, large work desk, free Wi-Fi connection, minibar, safe deposit box, phone, individually adjustable heating and air-conditioning, 32″ flat LCD screen TV, digital TV with connection to several international channels. Fully equipped designer bathroom with hair drier, shaving/make-up mirror and refreshing green tea amenities.

★★★★★ Melia Bilbao:
Located in the centre of the city, Meliá Bilbao perfectly combines comfort, quality, superb service, business and pleasure. The hotel has 211 contemporarily designed rooms, different dining spaces, free Wi-Fi internet throughout the hotel, a wellness centre with 24 hour gym, semi-outdoor heated pool and sauna.

We will stay here on Bed & Breakfast. In the evenings you can choose to explore Bilbao, or dine in one of the hotel’s two restaurants, one of which was awarded a Michelin star in 2014.

★★★★ Hotel Acta Andorra La Vella:
The Acta Arthotel in Andorra la Vella offers a Gym, Spa with Sauna and Turkish baths and all rooms have free Wi-Fi internet access. The hotel is in one of the main streets in Andorra la Vella. There is easy access to the shops and restaurants. The Plató restaurant has views of the river and it offers Gourmet cuisine. The Gallery Restaurant is on the 5th floor and it has panoramic mountain views. Breakfast is served here.
All rooms at the Acta Arthotel are soundproofed and air conditioned with free water in the minibar. Each spacious room has a TV. The city centre is within walking distance. There is a massage service and a business centre, at an additional cost.

Hotel Acta arthotel has 121 rooms with an urban, functional design, blending in with the nature that surrounds it. All the rooms are spacious and outward-facing. Natural light, combined with warm tones, create a pleasant atmosphere in which to enjoy a comfortable and relaxing stay.

All the rooms have:

  • Individually controlled air conditioning
  • Free WiFi connection
  • Free digital safe
  • 32-inch television with national and satellite channels
  • Fully stocked mini bar (with free water)
  • Room service from 10.30 am to 11 pm
  • Complete bathroom with direct telephone line, hairdryer, shower gel, shampoo, soap, magnifying mirror
  • Rooms adapted for people with disabilities

★★★★ Hotel Gran Melia Fenix Madrid:
With an exceptional location on the well-known Plaza de Colón, the Hotel Gran Meliá Fénix is a leader in the city’s finest accommodations, member of the exclusive group ‘The Leading Hotels of the World’, and with the famous DRY Martini Bar by Javier de las Muelas, the highest expression of luxury and service accompanied by traditional Spanish charm.

Since it opened in 1953, it has been the hotel chosen on the first visit to the city by the most prestigious guests such as The Beatles, Cary Grant and Rita Hayworth.

The hotel is at 15 minute walking distance from the Paseo del Prado and the venue of the finish of the 2016 Vuelta a Espana.
You will stay in a Premium room but upgraded room types are available on request by emailing us.
The Gran Melia Fenix offers a wide variety of Guestrooms and Suites differing in size, equipment and services to adapt to different needs.
All of these are fully equipped with the latest technology, plasma TV with numerous international channels, free WiFi, Dock Station for Iphone…, with an elegant and eminently classic décor.

Thursday September 6th, 2018 - Madrid arrival day:
Today we will provide an airport transfer from Madrid airport to Gijon at 14.00. We expect to arrive at the hotel at about 19.00. As soon as we arrive we will assist you with building your bikes and we will also do a welcome meeting during the evening meal tonight so you can get to know the rest of the group and your bike guides.

You also have the option to come and join us directly at the hotel in Gijon today. Please make your way to our hotel in Gijon, the excellent 4 star Hotel Silken. We will stay here for the next 4 nights with breakfasts and evening meals, a room to store bicycles overnight, free access to the spa included as well as free wifi.

If you have booked bike rental then your bike will be ready and fitted for you this evening.

Friday September 7th, 2018 –  Candás. Carreño / Valle de Sabero. La Camperona:
After breakfast at our hotel in Gijon, we will take you to the start in Candas which is just 7 kilometres from Gijon. Today we have VIP access to today’s start village.

The official start village:
Today we have VIP access tickets to the official start village. For a detailed description, please have a look here: more information on the included VIP experiences.

After the Start Village, riders will have the option to ride some of the Vuelta route today. We will load the bikes onto the tour vehicle and we will take you to the town of Buron from where those with bikes can ride to the finish of today’s stage at La Camperona. This is 50km of cycling with about 1000m of climbing along the way. After the finish we will make our way back to our hotel in Gijon which will take about 1 hour.

Spectators will go on the support vehicle and after the start village will go straight to the finish of today’s stage.

Saturday, September 8th, 2018 – Cistierna / Les Praeres. Nava:

Cross the official finish-line experience:
Today we have a fantastic treat in store for you. The cyclists have authorisation to ride on the final section of today’s stage route and cross the finish-line.  The riders will then join the spectators and you will have your photo taken on the official podium before a guided visit of the finish area’s technical zone and watching the finish of the riders today.

Cabanaquinta is located at the bottom of the climb of the Alto de la Colladona. We will take you here in our tour vehicle from Gijon. From here you will climb the the Alto de la Colladona which marks the half way point. We then tackle the Alto de la Mozqueta and Alto de la Falla de Los Lobos with 20km to go (4.3km with average of 8.2%.) The final climb of Les Praeres de Nava is located in the Sierra de Peñamayor and will really test all the riders with its average gradient of 13.5% and steepest sections of 23%. Today’s ride is about 90km.

Once at the finish we will await the arrival of the riders. Spectators will go directly to the finish today. After the stage finish, it’s a bout 1 hour to get back to Gijon.

Sunday, September 9th, 2018  – Ribera de Arriba / Lagos de Covadonga:
For the riders we will offer you the option to ride the final section of of the course today ahead of the finish of today’s Vuelta stage at the beautiful Lagos de Covadonga. We are well located in Gijon for access to the 2 climbs and the finale of today’s stage. Spectators will go directly to the finish today to enjoy the build up to the finish.

VIP Finish line hospitality:
At the finish, you will go to the exclusive VIP hospitality area located very close to the final stretch of the course with a view of the finish. Everyone will be served with drinks and snacks and there are are TVs to watch the LIVE action as it unfolds. After watching the finish, you will celebrate the victory with Champagne as riders arrive!

Monday, September 10th, 2018 – Rest day 2:
The Vuelta has its 2nd rest day today and we will be moving on to our next destination, the Basque city of Bilbao. We will spend the next 3 nights at the excellent 4 star hotel Melia Bilbao on a bed and breakfast basis.

Our itinerary:
After breakfast, we check out of the hotel in Gijon and we will load luggage and bikes will be transported fully assembled. After checking into the hotel in Bilbao, we will give you a free afternoon in Bilbao to enjoy this wonderful city.

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018 – Santillana del Mar / Torrelavega:
For the riders we will offer you the option to ride along the coast to the finish of today’s ITT in Torrelavega. The ride will be about 100km on mainly flat roads.

Today we have tickets to the official finish-line hospitality area in Torrelavega – more information on the included VIP experiences.

After the finish we will transport you back to the hotel in Bilbao.

Wednesday, September 12th, 2018 – Getxo / Balcón de Bizkaia:
Today’s stage takes place in and around Bilbao. The riders will pass through Bilbao twice before tackling the tough final kilometres to Mount Oiz. Spectators will be able to watch the riders twice before taking our minibus to watch the finish and riders can join us on our guided ride to Mount Oiz today from Bilbao.

Getxo is a mecca for surfers. Its beaches, its cliffs and its waves welcome thousands of tourists every year who come from all over the world to practice this sport. La Vuelta will depart from here for the first time and will visit the Bizkaia Bridge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2006. The Getxo Circuit, the locality’s most distinguished cycling trial, will celebrate its 73rd edition in 2018, as will La Vuelta. The Circuito de Getxo is a one-day road race held annually in July in Getxo, Spain. Since 2005, the race is organised as a 1.1 event on the UCI Europe Tour. Established in 1924 as Circuito de Getxo, since 2001 it is also held as Memorial Ricardo Otxoa in memory of former cyclist Ricardo Otxoa, who died after a car hit him and his twin brother, Javier in early 2001.

Few territories can compete with the Basque Country’s passion for cycling: thousands of fans line the roads, a solid quarry of riders, and a privileged orography provide the local touch. This year, the prize for cycling lovers comes in the form of an unprecedented La Vuelta climb: the Balcón de Vizcaya, jewel of the village of Berriz, in Mount Oiz.

Thursday, September 13th, 2018 –  Ejea de los Caballeros / Lleida:
Today we will move on to Andorra for the spectacular finish of the 2018 Vuelta a Espana. We will leave early and it takes about 7 hours to get to Andorra where we will stay the next 3 nights at the excellent Art Hotel Andorra. Your stay here will be with evening meals inluded.

Friday, September 14th, 2018 –  Lleida / Andorra. Naturlandia:
The Vuelta comes into Andorra today with a stage that starts off flat but culminates with an uphill finish at Naturlandia. Andorra is a country with very good cycling options in a beautiful mountain playground. We want to do Andorra and all its cycling justice so we have teamed up with an Andorran local bike guide and his team to provide us with guided and supported bike rides. All rides start from our hotel and everything is provided during the ride:

  • Route planning and guiding
  • Vehicle support
  • Snacks and packed lunch en-route
  • Basic mechanical assistance

Our goal today is to conquer Andorra’s most difficult climb, the Coll de la Gallina where the Vuelta will have its winner decided tomorrow. After this, we will ride the final 20km of today’s stage to Naturlandia where we will cross the finish line and see the riders arrive.

Ride option 1
Distance: 126km
Ascent: 3100 metres
ROUTE: ART HOTEL – Encamp (km 5) – Canillo (km 10) – Coll Ordino (km 20) – Ordino (km 30) – La Massana (km 33) – Col de Cabus (km 51) – Escaldes-Engordany (km 77) – St julia de Lòria (km 83) – Col de la Gallina (km 96) – Naturlandia (km126)

Ride option 2
Distance: 91km
ASCENT: 2200 metres
ROUTE: ART HOTEL – Túnel 2 Valires (km 5) – La Massana (km 8) – Col de Cabús (km 26) – Escaldes-Engordany (km 52) – St Julià de Lòria (km 58) – Coll de La Gallina (km 71) – Naturlandia (91km)

Cross the official finish-line experience:
Today we have a fantastic treat in store for you. The cyclists have authorisation to ride on the final section of today’s stage route and cross the finish-line.  The riders will then join the spectators and you will have your photo taken on the official podium before a guided visit of the finish area’s technical zone and watching the finish of the riders today.

Saturday, September 15th, 2018 – Andorra. Escaldes-Engordany / Coll de la Gallina. Santuario de Canolich:
Today’s stage is short at just over 100km and the whole stage takes place in Andorra. We will provide a guided ride in the morning with our local Andorran guides. Today we have finish hospitality so ultimately the destination will be the Coll de la Gallina which you scaled yesterday.

Ride option 1
Distance: 70km
Ascent: 2600 metres
ROUTE: ART HOTEL – Encamp (km 5) – Coll de beixalís (km 12) – Anyós (km 20) – Escaldes-Engordany (km 30) – Col d’Engolasters (km 38) – Col de la Comella (km 46) – Andorre la Vielle (km 50) – St julia de Lòria (km 58) – Col de la Gallina (km 70)

Ride option 2
Distance: 42km
ASCENT: 1900 metres
ROUTE: ART HOTEL – Escaldes-Engordany (km 2) – Col d’Engolasters (km 10) – Col de la Comella (km 17) – Andorre la Vielle (km 22) – St julia de Lòria (km 30) – Col de la Gallina (km 42)

If you rented a bike through us, it will be collected this evening from the Art hotel.

Sunday September 16th – Barcelona departure or transfer to Madrid:
Today you have 2 options; you can either make use of our airport transfer to Barcelona airport and leave today or you can extend your Vuelta experience a little bit longer and take our transfer to Madrid today.

Barcelona transfer:
The airport transfer to Barcelona takes 2.5hrs. We will depart Andorra at 08.00 so please book flights to depart Barcelona after 13.00.

Madrid extension:
The transfer to Madrid takes 7 hours. After an early breakfast we will take you to the finish in Madrid. In Madrid we stay at the Hotel Gran Melia Fenix.

Late afternoon, we will take you to the Paseo del Prado which is the location of the Vuelta finish line, podium and the various Hospitality and Grandstand options. You will see the passage of the Vuelta a Espana Publicity Caravan, followed by the arrival of the riders of the 2018 Vuelta a Espana. The riders will complete 8 laps of a circuit based on the Paseo del Prado.

We can offer a variety of official Vuelta a Espana Grandstand seats and hospitality packages on the Paseo del Prado for the 2018 Vuelta a Espana (see here for more information and prices).

Monday September 17th – Departure day from Madrid:
We will run one transfer to Madrid airport this morning, arriving at the airport at 09:00. Please book an onward flight that departs after 11:00.

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£1425 per person based on sharing a twin or double room
£550 supplement per person for single occupancy of a room

Included with your Vuelta tour:

  • Exclusive VIP hospitality experiences: Cross the Finish line experience, VIP start Village and finish hospitality  – more information here
  • Exclusive VIP hospitality experiences – more information here
  • The 2018 Vuelta a Espana road book
  • A Sports Tours International jersey made by Santini – More info
  • Airport transfers from Madrid airport if arriving on September 6th
  • Transport to and from the stages and bike and luggage transport
  • 4 star hotels throughout in Gijon, Bilbao, and Andorra in great locations
  • Daily breakfasts and 7 evening meals (B&B in Bilbao)
  • Detailed day by day itinerary with maps and all event information
  • Daily guided bike rides and stage access for spectators by vehicle
  • Services of our experienced drivers and bike guides

Also available:

  • Madrid extension – transfer from Andorra to Madrid, 1 night’s stay in Madrid centre plus airport transfer on Monday – from £210
  • Bike rental options – See options below  – More information here
  • Travel insurance – please visit our insurance page

BMC bike rental:
For our Vuelta tours we offer BMC bike rental. We can offer the below bikes and sizes. Other sizes are on available request.

  • BMC GRANDFONDO GF 01 ULTEGRA D12 full carbon BMC bike with Shimano groupset and 50 x 34, 11 x 28 in size 47, 51, 54 and 56 – £540
  • BMC TEAM MACHINE SLR03 105 full carbon BMC bike with Shimano groupset and 50 x 34, 11 x 30 in size 54 and 57 – £420

For full specifications and size, please have a look here.

One of the best experiences for obtaining an insight behind the scenes of the biggest show on earth. Wear your VIP access badge and mill around the official Vuelta a Espana start village with celebrities, journalists and of course the riders and their entourage.
The 2018 Vuelta entourage and organisation travel around with the riders. The team buses park within an enclosed and restricted area. An expo type village is created at the start of each one of the stages. It is usually here that everyone who is linked in any way to the Vuelta like TV, sponsors and celebrities from the cycling world will show themselves. Also local companies will be keen to show off their wares.
Your VIP passes will give you access to the village and the rider’s paddock. If you into collecting autographs, this is the best place for it.

Finish hospitality area:
This is an exclusive area located just a few metres from the finish line. Access only for those with VIP Vuelta accreditation.


  • Great view of the stage
  • Race broadcast live on plasma TV screens
  • Gourmet cocktail
  • Open bar all afternoon

Live the Dream Ride – only included with our tours:
You will ride the stage route 2.5/3 hours ahead of the professional peloton, before crossing the finish line in front of cheering cycling fans.
Stand on the Winner’s podium to have your picture taken and take home your very own slice of La Vuelta history. The amount of the route you will ride varies from stage to stage according to logistics. This is like having your very own Etapa de la Vuelta!
Spectators will have podium pictures, and a guided tour of the technical area (TV and Media, anti-doping, podium etc).


Click on the green button below.

Book Now

At time of booking we require a non-refundable deposit per person plus any applicable entry fee. The balance of your travel package must be paid, at the latest, 12 weeks before departure to avoid the cancellation of your trip.
Please click here for our full booking conditions


Sports Travel – Keeping safe:
For some tips on how to stay safe whilst you travel, please have a look here.

Entry requirements:
Visas are not required to enter Spain and France. You need a passport to enter. General Travel Information is also available here & here.. All non-UK passport holders must check their own country’s entry requirements for Spain and France.
For details of insurance for the our travel packages, please visit our insurance page. There is additional information here about our Concierge Services



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