Andalucia by Bike    *alt*

13 days, from £1499
Explore Worldwide
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Description

Discover the beauty and diversity of Andalucia as we explore the region by bike. We cycle on quiet backroads with varied scenery from stunning natural parks to deserts, canyon lands and mountains. Along the way we discover a rich Moorish heritage reflected in the food, language and architecture, most notably in Seville, Cordoba and Granada. We also spend time in the wind surfing town of Tarifa, the impressive location of Ronda and a unique cave hotel in Guadix.

Tour comfort rating: standard

Itinerary


 Day 1 Trip starts Malaga

Arrive Malaga and check in to our hotel. You may like a stroll around the old town before dinner.
Meals included: none
Single room option


 Day 2 Cycle with views over the Straits of Gibraltar to Tarifa

We start today with a bus ride to Alcornocales Natural Park which should take around two hours. After allowing time for bike fitting and once you are comfortable with your bike for the holiday we start our first ride - exploring the surroundings on a good off-road section, leaving from the Straits of Gibraltar view point. The route takes in some great views of the straits and across to Africa. The dirt track eventually becomes paved until reaching the lovely Andalucian town of Tarifa, on the southernmost tip of mainland Europe where we spend the night. The rest of the afternoon is left free to explore the charming historic centre of Tarifa. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 31 kilometres (150 metres ascent, 300 metres descent).
Meals included: Breakfast
Single room option


 Day 3 Ride through white villages of Grazalema Natural Park; continue to Ronda

This morning we leave Tarifa by bus and drive for about 2 hours up into another section of the Alcornocales Natural Park, this time to Puerto de Galis. From here we ride and enjoy the wonderful scenery and natural beauty of this region with typical Mediterranean forest until we reach the 'white village' of Benaojan in Grazalema Natural Park. Today's ride is on undulating terrain for the first 25km, then a 8km downhill followed by a 5.5km long climb that has an elevation gain of approx 300m. It's all downhill from the top of the climb until the end of the ride in Benaojan. From here we drive the short distance to our hotel in the historic town of Ronda, dramatically perched high above El Tajo gorge. You have the option to cycle the remainder to the hotel in Ronda which includes another climb. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 50 kilometres (600 metres ascent, 850 metres descent).
Meals included: Breakfast
Single room option


 Day 4 Downhill ride on 'via verde' cycle path; drive to Seville

We've allowed some time this morning to explore a little of Ronda before we leave at around 11am on our bus ride to the 'white village' of Olvera. Today's cycle ride starts here on our first 'via verde' - former railway tracks that have been converted into dedicated cycle routes. We follow the via verde downhill to Puerto Serrano from where we drive (1hr) on to Seville. The capital of Andalucia overflows with life and variety. It was originally divided into a working class quarter in Triana and a high-born area in Santa Cruz. Ramparts dating back to the 13th century, the Alcazar and the Giralda, all remind us of earlier Moorish occupation and later buildings reflect the Mudejar architectural style, a mixture of Moorish and Christian styles. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 34 kilometres (300 metres total descent).
Meals included: Breakfast
Single room option


 Day 5 Explore Seville on foot

After a morning orientation tour by the Explore Leader the rest of today has been left free for you to explore this beautiful city. We recommend a visit to the Alcazar, a wonderful Moorish and Mudejar royal palace and the impressive Cathedral with its imposing Giralda tower - originally a 13th century minaret. No cycling today.
Meals included: Breakfast
Single room option


 Day 6 Cycle along the Guadalquivir Valley to Cordoba and orientation tour

After a short drive of about one hour east from Seville we leave the city behind and reach a point near Ecija from where we cycle on quiet backroads. The valley scenery is complemented by the lack of motorised transport, so we can enjoy our cycle in relative peace. Your Explore leader will continue by road with the luggage vehicle to Cordoba to meet you on arrival. The cycle route is generally on the flat following the Guadalquivir Valley and leads us into Cordoba. Standing on the banks of the Guadalquivir river, Cordoba was the first of Spain's important Moorish cities established in 719AD. It was the most enlightened of the Moorish period with one of Europe's leading universities of the time and is nowadays considered one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. Some time later this afternoon there will be an orientation tour by your Explore leader before dinner. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 55 kilometres (total ascent and descent 100 metres).
Meals included: Breakfast
Single room option


 Day 7 Explore Cordoba

Today has been left free for you to explore the wonderful city of Cordoba. We recommend a visit to the renowned Mezquita (optional), an extraordinary and unique building where instead of destroying the original mosque the Catholic king decided to build a cathedral within it. The early massive structure dates back to the 8th century, its roof supported by a forest of 850 coloured columns. In the evening we suggest you take in some traditional flamenco music and dancing (optional). No cycling today.
Meals included: Breakfast
Single room option


 Day 8 Drive to the northern slopes of the Sierra Nevada; desert cycle to Guadix

We leave Cordoba this morning and drive for about 3 hours further east to the northern slopes of the Sierra Nevada, Spain's highest mountain range on the Iberian Peninsula. For the next couple of nights we will sleep in a unique cave hotel in Benalua de Guadix and before starting our ride today we will drop our luggage off and check in. The cycle route today starts from the town of Calahorra, passing through several villages before reaching Guadix and finally right the way back to our hotel. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 35 kilometres (100 metres total ascent and 350 metres descent).
Meals included: Breakfast
Single room option


 Day 9 Cycling in the stunning desert of Hoya de Guadix

Today we cycle in the spectacular valleys of the Guadix Hoya, a desert-like landscape reminiscent of Arizona. It was in these areas where in the 1960s the famous Italian Western movies were shot. The whole area was once a very fertile region with settlements from Megalithic times boasting hundreds of Dolmens (stone tombs) from those days. We return to our cave hotel from Hernan Valle village, taking a short taxi transfer. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 43 kilometres (500 metres total ascent and 300 metres descent).
Meals included: Breakfast
Single room option


 Day 10 Ride the old mountain road to Granada

We begin with a short drive to La Peza (30 mins), where we start our ride and what better way to warm up those muscles than a steady ascent for a few kilometres (again on a car-free road). Then it's free-wheel time on this old mountain road to Granada. Passing lakes and excellent mountain scenery, with just a few flat or uphill sections, we descend all the way to the outskirts of Granada, before dismounting and handing over our bikes. We drive the last short section to our hotel in the city, we can take a spot of lunch in one of the many excellent bars or restaurants and then the afternoon is free. You may like the idea of an optional visit to the ancient Arabic Bath to relax those aching muscles. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 35 kilometres (350 metres total ascent and 600 metres descent).
Meals included: Breakfast
Single room option


 Day 11 Explore Granada; included guided visit to Alhambra and Generalife

Today we have included a guided visit to the remarkable Alhambra Palace and Generalife gardens. In 1239 Muhammad al-Ahmar, founder of the Nasrid dynasty and Sultan of Granada, began work on this, the finest example of Moorish architecture outside the Arab world. The fabulous decoration in stucco, both inside and outside the buildings, reveals the purest expression of a sophisticated civilisation just before its decline. The Generalife, the summer residence of the Caliphs, are rated among the top ten landscaped gardens of the world. The rest of the day has been left free for you to explore the main points of interest including the Albaicin, the old Moorish quarter where many Islamic traditions are retained, giving the city its characteristic look of white walls and narrow streets. There is a balcony plaza with spectacular views across to the Alhambra and Generalife with the Sierra Nevada as a backdrop. When dusk falls, we suggest a stroll around the old Moorish Quarter to see its illuminated patios. No Cycling today.
Meals included: Breakfast
Single room option


 Day 12 Scenic cycle through the mountains to Velez; drive to Malaga

We leave Granada this morning and drive south into the mountains, reaching the town of Alhama de Granada after about an hour and a half. From a place near here we cycle, firstly uphill and then after Ventas de Zaffaraya on extended downhill sections all the way to Velez Malaga close to the Mediterranean coast. We end our last cycle ride here and pack up the bikes before the drive to Malaga (45 mins) and check into hotel. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 47 kilometres (400 metres total ascent and 1100 metres descent).
Meals included: Breakfast
Single room option


 Day 13 Trips ends Malaga

The trip ends this morning in Malaga after breakfast.
Meals included: Breakfast


Tour Map