A Bugatti Journey Through The Pyrenees And Beyond

Whether behind the wheel of the Chiron or Veyron, the Bugatti ownership experience transcends driving. Seamlessly blending elegance and cutting-edge technology, a Bugatti intensifies the emotions of a journey. To showcase this unique ability, owners of Molsheim’s hyper sports cars were invited to the Basque Region for the 2023 edition of the European Grand Tour.

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Home to one of Europe’s oldest and richest cultures, the Basque Region is remarkably unique in its history, language and traditions. Sprawling along the Atlantic coast from Bayonne to Bilbao, it is a region that intertwines stunning landscapes, spectacular historic and modern architecture, and world-renowned food and wine. Here, in this outstanding location, the most extensive array of iconic Bugatti models yet assembled for the European Grand Tour. This extraordinary fleet of 28, including the unparalleled Chiron Profilée1 and Divo2, journeyed through the Basque Region’s verdant hills, dramatic mountains and alluring beaches.

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Welcome to Biarritz

Once a favored destination of European royalty, Biarritz – a city known for its captivating Belle Époque architecture – marked the launch point for the Bugatti European Grand Tour. And ahead of the first drive, the Bugatti guests immersed themselves in the opulence and charm of Biarritz, taking in its architectural gems, Basque influence and natural beauty.

As the sun set over the wave-buoyant Bay of Biscay that night, the participants readied themselves for an extraordinary four-day voyage, enjoying an unforgettable evening at the Hôtel Du Palais – a renowned and majestic waterfront palace built by Napoleon III as an imperial summer residence for his wife Eugénie. At the Hôtel Du Palais, the Bugatti party enjoyed special contemporary French cuisine of La Table D’Aurélien Largeau.

Driving through the Basque Regions

The Bugatti line-up reflected the ripples of the Atlantic Ocean as they awaited ignition. Next stop, Chillida Leku, the unique museum created by  Eduardo Chillida. The convoy wound their way along picturesque coastal roads that morning, passing fishing villages and breathtaking views of the Bay as they crossed the border into Spain and powered on to Chillida Leku, where they absorbed the sculptural legacy of Eduardo Chillida.

From the sanctuary of a unique artistic expression that is the museum, the procession travelled through the lush hillsides that overlook the bay, heading back in the direction of France. Taking in the stunning vistas of autumn-colored, tree-covered mountains that follow the road, the guests found themselves back at Hôtel Du Palais for dinner and cocktails to enjoy an evening of stimulating conversation and friendship together.

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Crossing the Atlantic Pyrenees

As day broke on the next day, the Bugatti owners ascended through the rugged, mountainous landscape of the Atlantic Pyrenees to the Roncevaux Pass. As the road weaves, the group reflected on the emotions that come with sitting inside the meticulously crafted hyper sports cars of Bugatti that bring driving emotions like no other.

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A luxurious and engaging experience, driving across the Pyrenees alongside 27 members of the Bugatti family is a sensation that is without equal. The Bugatti community then enjoyed a delicious lunch in Etxarri Aranatz with traditional Basque cuisine before the tour continued.

The Bugatti W16 engines growled as the roads traversed the extraordinary peaks of France and Spain enroute to the Marqués De Riscal Hotel in Elciego. Nestled amongst the famed vineyards of la Rioja Alavesa wine region, the Marqués De Riscal Hotel  stands as a beacon for the area, its rooftop adorned with a captivating interplay of silver, gold and pink titanium ribbons. It is the result of the architectural vision of Frank Gehry – one which leaves an everlasting impression on every visitor.

Navarra and La Rioja

The picturesque vineyards that scatter the La Rioja Alavesa region gradually fell into the rear-view mirror, as the Bugatti guests headed in the direction of Los Arcos. First came spectacular rolling hills, then came the Navarra Circuit – the concrete structure of the track juxtaposed to the natural beauty of the gentle slopes that surround it.

In this temple of speed, the pilots felt the full potential of their Bugatti as they lapped the 4km track, before returning to the Marqués De Riscal Hotel. As the sun dipped below the horizon, the group made their way to Sierra Cantabria Viñedos y Bodegas for a truly magnificent dinner and wine pairing experience overlooking the abundant vineyards that stretch far over the horizon.

Basque Region – art and fashion

The next morning, the sun radiated across the heart of the Basque Region as the Bugatti guests set off once again on the remarkable European Grand Tour. Winding through the lush scenery of the region, the procession of Bugattis cruised to the Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum. One of the most influential fashion designers of the 20th century, Balenciaga was known for its purity of line, perfection in detail and innovative use of fabrics – much as the form-defining designs of Bugatti are today.

Guided by the dramatic coastal roads of the Bay of Biscay, the final drive of the tour began, proceeding to another masterpiece of modern architecture from Frank Gehry – the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. From behind the wheel of their hyper sports cars, the group of participants flowed effortlessly from the serenity of the surrounding countryside to the cultural and artistic mainstays of Bilbao, arriving at the base of the titanium structure of the museum, in time for a specially curated private experience.

The evening at the Guggenheim Museum encompassed an immersive tour and the spectacular local cuisine of Josean Alija’s Nerua; a fitting ending to a remarkable journey.

“It is a great pleasure to go on a journey such as this with customers that share our passion for the Bugatti brand, and to introduce them to the stunning Basque region, its local artists, architecture, gastronomy and culinary delights. With 28 modern Bugatti hyper sports cars on the European Grand Tour, including jewels of the collection such as the Divo and Chiron Profilée, this year’s wonderful journey broke all previous records. We look forward to seeing our Bugatti community continue to grow as we continue make these unforgettable experiences for our customers possible, together with the European Grand Tour organizers 2FAST4YOU.”

Christophe Piochon
President of Bugatti Automobiles

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