The group on the Camino de Santiago in Spain. Our first “proper” tour of 2021 provided brilliant roads, lovely scenery, top hotels and glorious weather – great to be back riding in Europe at last!!

The ferry to Santander

We start with a briefing on board

Adrian – KTM 990 Adventure

“Stoner” – KTM 790 Adventure

“BN – what a brilliant motorcycle holiday Company. My feet have just about touched ground after two wonderful contrasting trips. We lucky patrons of BN are bathing in the memories of great rides…I did Ireland and have just completed Spain & Portugal. Both of these trips I SO enjoyed. BN have the mix 100% right. BN people seem to draw together and enjoy a mix of roads that any m/bike rider is in heaven to experience. And Great Hotels, what a bonus on any trip to be able to enjoy the day and know your evening meal is organised – all you have to do is attend with new found friends.

I have always said BN scores over all other companies in many ways and I have tried quite a number. I know we can all carry luggage but it is so liberating to ride free and find a safety deposit van to park your helmet in when a stop for coffee or lunch is made. Brilliant. If you love riding bikes I say do it with the Mrs as BN are the best for looking after pillion girls. Now after a couple of days to cut the hedges & kill the weeds I will then browse next years offerings from BN.”

John “Stoner” Stone, 7th tour, KTM 790 Adventure, Cornwall

“Backmarkers” Terry & Fran, BMW R1200 RS

Rob – Kawasaki H2 SX SE

Hi there Jen & John, congratulations on completing the first post-covid tour for us. It was wonderful to be back in Europe, safe and secure, having another fab experience with you both.

A lovely group of people, bonding together through common concerns, but so enjoying good roads, lovely hotels, plentiful food and wonderful countryside. You haven’t lost your touch and we hope the effort hasn’t exhausted you too much. Thanks for trusting us to be back markers again we’re looking forward to seeing the review!

Terry (13th trip) & Fran (9th trip) Stanfield, BMW R1200 RS, Hampshire

Hi John & Jen, thank you for a most wonderful holiday. The help you gave with the paperwork when preparing prior to going was invaluable.

Hotels and food were of a very high quality, and to have so many meals and drinks included was a bonus. The routes and roads will not be forgotten along with the quality of riding skills and leadership demonstrated by you both. The friendships I have made within the group will add to the memories and I hope we will meet up again some time. Wishing you all the best in the future.”

Rob Damant, 1st tour, Kawasaki H2 SX SE, Leicestershire

Chris B – Honda GL1800 Goldwing

Guy & Sue – Suzuki V-Strom 1000

Bryan – Triumph Sprint GT

Stuart – Triumph Tiger 800

“Overall, this tour to Spain and Portugal exceeded my expectation in all respects. John & Jen are tireless in their efforts to ensure all are looked after. Throughout they ensured the riding standard was safe, predictable and consistent but was appropriately progressive. By the end of day 1 the group had bonded, social dynamics and riding etiquette showed we could be confident to ride for ourselves, trust the marking system (clearly described by John), and most importantly, our fellow riders who were a great bunch. The van backup/luggage carrier/tool box was a major asset. Very highly recommended.”

Bryan Symons, 3rd trip, Triumph Sprint GT, Hampshire

Lynne – Triumph Street Twin

John G – BMW R1250 RS

Chris & Christine – BMW GS Adv

Eric – Diversion 900, Gary – Street Triple RS

“Hi John & Jen, our thanks for what was a really great first trip for us.  There were certainly some quick riders on the tour and they were a joy to watch and follow. Being two up I did occasionally feel that I had to push harder than I normally would so as not to fall back too far, particularly when on the motorway sections, but always felt in connection with the Group due to the excellent back marker system.

The hotels were very good in our view, and the central locations really worked well.  We also very much enjoyed the remote Quinta and would have enjoyed an extra night there – the location was great and the roads to reach it even better. Food was fantastic and more than enough on all occasions – we even very much enjoyed the last night meal (a little lighter which was appreciated) and the entertainment was hysterical! The support van (and help with my puncture) was much appreciated.

Looking forward to travelling with you again (we are looking at your “menu” for 2022) and hope to see you both at the upcoming show at the NEC. Kind regards”

Chris & Christine Horsley, 1st tour, BMW GS Adventure, Bedfordshire

“Just returned from my 2nd tour with BN and will be returning next year for sure. Excellent riding on well planned and researched routes around Northern Spain and Portugal. Great hotels, great food, great people at a good price. What is there not to like? See you next time John and Jen 👍

Gary Moult, 2nd tour, Triumph Street Triple RS, Cornwall

Andy & Ros – Honda Blackbird

All luggage in the van

John’s in the lead today

Regroup after customs

A later ferry arrival means

we have to ride motorway

“We returned home safe and sound after what was an amazing trip.  As always good quality, comfortable hotels, in some great locations. One of our favourite hotels was in the centre of Santiago de Compostela followed closely by the rest…Food was abundant with lots of choice and local menus and mostly great quality.

There was a good selection of roads to ride along, twisties, nice long sweepers, mountains, national parks, the N304, fantastic scenery and a visit to the Sandeman port vineyard – amazing.  A great opportunity to make new friends and catch up with those friends  we have ridden with before.  Looking forward to catching up with you all again soon. Thank you John and Jen for another great trip.”

[we’ve deleted the name of the hotel in Santiago de Compostela as a rival tour company would have their customers believe there are no good hotels there! – J&J]

Andy (8th trip) & Ros (6 trips) Moseley, Honda Blackbird, Warwickshire

Drinks in a local bar

Dinner is in a local restaurant

Cider poured in the traditional way

John starts the joke telling

The old town was buzzing

“An eventful trip for us but that is the joy of biking! We both did enjoy the trip with the excellent hotels and roads I never thought I would ride. These trips have really improved my riding even as the slowest rider I was never too far away as I did mark a few junctions this time!

We both loved the hotel with the outside pool as we felt that we almost had exclusive use. The last hotel did not work so well for the last night entertainment but it was in a lovely square in the town. 

Thank you so much for helping us throughout the holiday, the support van was a real help for us to continue. This was my 8th trip and I am already planning next years. Big thanks”

Lynne Wareing, 8th trip, Triumph Street Twin, Lancashire

Morning briefing

Morning coffee stop

Statue to all immigrants

Stop for a photo shoot

The group on the Camino de Santiago

Absolutely fabulous roads

Jen’s leading today

John G – BMW R1250RS

“Hi John & Jen, as mentioned to you both the tour exceeded my expectations and I was very impressed by the way it was run. The hotels were better than I expected and the food quality was excellent but often too much.  The exception to this was the food at the final hotel and I am sure you were not happy with that.

Some days I wanted to plod along other days to ride faster. You operated an excellent marker system which allowed both speeds…allowing the faster riders to ride at their pace was good for all of us and if you were observant you could see them coming and allow them to pass safely, which they always did. At times you mentioned the group being strung out. When the lead rider is one of the faster riders that will happen but I never felt I was stationary too long when marking.

Any one of the tour party was great company at any of the stops or evening meals and I enjoyed the company of all the group, which is important on a tour such as this one. Finally having the van to put luggage in was great.

Overall I give you a 10.”

John Gordon, 1st tour, BMW R1250RS, Hampshire

Eric – Yamaha Diversion 900

Lynne – Triumph Speed Twin

Guy & Sue – V-Strom 1000

Terry & Fran – BMW R1200RS

View from the van

UNESCO town walls

Afternoon coffee stop

Our next 4* hotel

Lots of us enjoy the fab pool

A free night in Santiago de Compostela

Lovely areas

Back streets to explore


Octopus anyone???

Something’s going on…

There’s live music

Our hotel by night

Amazing breakfast hall

Our morning briefing

After an accident, Stuart’s in a hire car!

Morning coffee stop

We stop to admire the view

Stuart & Lynne

Sue & Guy

“Stoner” & son Adrian

Picturesque lunch stop

Feeding frenzy at lunch

Border control entering Portugal!

Ride through a National Park

Gorgeous scenery in Portugal

6 nights in Portugal

The HUGE pool at our next hotel

John jumps in

Jen’s still swimming

Drinks before dinner

Many love this quinta

We’ve arranged a surprise…

Mateus Rose all round


Dinner is included tonight

This was the starter!!!

John’s up again!

Inside the quinta

Breakfast area

Morning briefing

Chris & Chris

We stop at a huge dam

Morning coffee stop

Brilliant twisty pass

Adrian – KTM 990 Adventure

Overtakes the van

Did we mention the brilliant roads?!!

Pretty lunch stop

Our next 4* hotel for 2 nights

In the old capital Guimaraes

The UNESCO old town

Lots of restaurants to choose from

Fabulous fish

Drinks on the house

Next day is a day off…

Many of us take the train to Porto

We didn’t buy here!

Don’t jump!!

Head down to the river

Colourful buildings

Music on the quayside

We stop for sangria & calamares

Shame it’s a dull day

All the port houses

The local beer

Sample the different Ports

Brilliant sculpture

Lovely buildings

Another busker

Up at the Cathedral

Back at Guimaraes

The Birthplace of Portugal

John gets a haircut!

Others stayed to explore Guimaraes…

The old town walls

The Castle

Thanks Guy & Sue

Guimaraes by night

A political rally

The next morning…

Adrian’s KTM has a puncture

We catch up at coffee stop

Backmarkers Terry & Fran

We stop for another view…

It’s a “Titanic” moment!!

Christine & Chris

Jen’s taking a group photo

The group alongside the Douro

Chris B with his Goldwing

Ride the N222

Stunning views

As we head up to Sandeman’s

Lunch is included

They make Mateus wine

Stoner’s flirting again!!

Followed by a guided tour

Grapes being delivered

Grapes being pressed

Steam train passes by

Our next 4* hotel

In a medieval village

Fran & Terry have a balcony – we didn’t!!!

Fran & Jen

Hotel by night

A lovely sunset

We arrange a Port tasting

Rob, Chris B & Fran

Hands up for wild boar!!

Dinner is included

Stoner’s had a great day!

Morning coffee stop

It was at times !!!

Parking at lunch stop

Stop to view another dam

You MUST be happy riding hairpins

There are high-concentration twisties

Sweepers to our next stop

Torre – Portugal’s highest spot

Our next 4* hotel for 2 nights

Has an indoor pool

Dinner is included both nights

Breakfast area

Terry relinquishes the orange vest!

Chris & Chris ride as backmarkers

Some go for a ride-out

Some of the best roads we’ve ridden

Fantastic roads!

Stunning scenery

Jen rides pillion to take photos (thanks Ros)


Great sweepers

Andy & Ros then Gary

Andy & Ros then Gary again

Andy & Ros



Brilliant bends!

Rob then Stoner

Rob marks the junction


Up in the mountains

Villages tucked away

Portugal we love you!

Andy & Ros

Here comes Terry


Terry then Adrian

Chris B

Chris B again

That’s where we’re heading


Stoner then Adrian

Pretty lunch stop

Stoner enjoying black pudding

The town swimming pool

Our sticker’s there!!



Stoners’s backmarker as the vest matches his KTM!!


Gary then Terry

A circular route


Rob again

A pool competition

Rob’s taking this seriously!

Spot the difference – levitation?!!

Andy photobombs Jen!







Adrian again



The winner is – Andy!

A lovely sunrise

Chris’s BMW has a puncture

Lunch stop

Afternoon coffee stop

In wolf country!

The setting of our final hotel

Drinks before dinner

Dinner is included

John thanks our backmarkers…

Fran & Terry

Then the jokes start…

Chris H takes a turn…

He likes windscreen wipers!!!

Chris B goes next

Then we have a Mr & Mrs contest

We need a decision Terry!!!

No match…

A match !!

Stuart & Lynne

Another match

Oops – no match

Final match

Guy & Sue are next

No match

A match

And another match

And for a bit of fun…

Good mates Rob & Chris

No match

A match !!

The winners with 9/10 matches – Stuart & Lynne

Chris B has another joke

Lynne takes a turn

Fran’s written a poem

Fab! Poem is at the end of review

The square by night

Chris’s puncture repair is leaking

Then Rob’s H2 has a puncture!

Coffee stop

Heading back to Santander

All back to the port

Here’s Rob with a new tyre!

We’re on the new ferry Galicia

Adios Espana y Portugal!

Fran catches us working…

Thanks Fran!

Here’s Fran’s brilliant poem:-

Queueing for stamp in hot sunny Spain, then motorway moments, mountains and rain.

Tapas treats and busy streets, first night in Oviedo before riding Camino.

Wild crocus, walkers and wonderful views, then swimming at nunnery, morning breakfast between pews.

Eucalyptus scent, twisties on Wednesday, first cobbles to Quinta and Mateus Rose.

Clear day for dam and stunning 344 ride, lemons and grape vines, later eating outside.

Secure night in our bank and breakfast in bed, no bike – train & cable car to Porto instead. 

Saturday onwards – puncture, vineyards and Douro, then cobbled rise for lunch ‘n winery tour-o. 

Riding cut short to Medieval hotel,  sunset and port – food made us swell! 

Good roads and twisties to high mountains and views, hot sunshine, high altitudes and hotel with views.

Free day, negative testing, ride out for Terry, but me – I’m resting. 

More food and good wine, t-shirt hard sell, tomorrow to Spain, all will be well.

Down windswept mountain and motorway buffeting, to wonderful twisties, sweet chestnuts and…

I’ve run out of breath, and out of time, but thanks John and Jen for making EVERYTHING rhyme! 

And that’s all folks! An eventful tour with three punctures and two accidents (nobody hurt) – we hope these incidents didn’t detract from what we consider to be one of our best tours – with fantastic roads to ride, great hotels, breaks, days off & fabulous views. Thanks to everyone for their contributions to making this a really enjoyable trip, we look forward to seeing many of you again on future tours. Ride safe, John & Jen.

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