Total tour distance: 145 miles
Daily tour distance: 27 miles
Difficulty: 60 / 100
Centre-based mountain biking tour from the historic town of Ronda, cycling out each day with a British Cycling qualified guide to explore the varied landscapes of mountain and valley which surround the town. Cycling on a mixture of trails, tracks and roads, you visit charming white villages, “pueblos blancos”, and explore the two designated Natural Parks which sit on each side of Ronda, enjoying the sights and sounds of this celebrated region of natural beauty.
We ride through unspoilt countryside, past olive groves and vineyards, through holm oak and cork forests and along winding river valleys, with spectacular views of dramatic limestone mountains and gorges. Throughout the tour, time is taken to enjoy the surroundings and we ensure plenty of stops for a tapas break or two along the way to give you a true taste of rural Spanish life.
Day 1 Arrival. Transfer to Ronda and your hotel. in central Ronda, close to all local sights and amenities. Bike set up.
Day 2 Ronda to Olvera and Via Verde de la Sierra ( 42 km + 20 km; 700m ascent; 1180m descent)
Cycle through the rich agricultural land directly north of Ronda, passing olive groves and vineyards. Explore the narrow streets and ancient buildings of the hilltop village of Olvera, with its almost cathedral-sized church and an Arabic castle. Then an easy 20 km ride along the Via Verde, a disused railway line, passing through tunnels, over viaducts and past a Griffon vulture colony to Coripe. Evening free to dine out at your choice of local Ronda venue.
Day 3 Ronda to Jimera via Atajate (50 km; 1230m ascent; 1560m descent)
Riding west of Ronda, passing ancient stone dolmens and up to a mountain ridge with views of the Guadiaro river and the Genal valley, particularly beautiful in the autumn, as the chestnut trees which fill the valley become ready for harvest. An exhilarating woodland descent and then a winding riverside path lead to the village of Jimera.
In the evening we visit the village of Arriate for an inclusive dinner at a top local restaurant.
Day 4 Ronda to Puerto Banus ( 34 km; 470m ascent; 1520m descent)
An exhilarating ride from high up in the mountains of the Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park down to Puerto Banus near Marbella on the Costa del Sol. Experience the contrasts of unspoilt wilderness, rocky mountain tracks and pine and holm oak forests, which lead eventually right in to the heart of one of the most glamourous coastal resorts in Spain. Challenge your self with a steady climb along wide mountain tracks through the forests to the peak, where you can enjoy stunning views down to the Mediterranean Sea. Then its a great 27 km descent to the coast, for an optional dip in the sea to cool off or simply enjoy the beach bars before returning to Ronda. Inclusive dinner at your hotel.
Day 5 Explore Ronda. Free to explore the town by yourself. Evening free.
Day 6 Grazalema to Benaojan ( 42 km; 1000m ascent; 1400m descent)
Visit the mountain top village of Grazalema, famous for its bull-running tradition, then head through the countryside to the small village of Villaluenga. Ride singletrack paths through the mountains and cork forests to the village of Montejaque. Climb on foot to a viewpoint on the site of a long-gone Moorish castle before riding up a steep cobbled zig-zag path out of the village to a beautiful mountain-top valley with views across to Ronda. Then descend to the Guadiaro river, visit the crystal clear waters of the Cueva del Gato (Cat Cave) and on to the village of Benaojan. Optional extension for more technically experienced riders on undulating singletrack along the Guadiaro river to Jimera Estacion. Return to Benaojan to freshen up and enjoy an inclusive dinner at the renowned Molino del Santo Hotel.
Day 7 Ronda circuit, via Setenil and the ruins of Acinipo (60 km; 1500m ascent; 1500m descent)
From below Ronda’s famous gorge, with views up to the Puente Nuevo bridge, leave town past vineyards and bodegas, down into the village of Setenil de las Bodegas. The village is famous for its cavehouses, set into the huge limestone rocks and still in use today as homes, cafes and shops. We climb by road and track out of the village and up to the ruins of Acinipo. Only the remains of the amphitheatre are still intact but the views from the escarpment on which the town was set are stunning. We descend past more bodegas and olive groves, via the old Roman bridge back to Ronda. Final evening dinner in Ronda.
Day 8 Return to Malaga airport for flights home.
Moderate level mountain biking which uses a combination of country paths, tracks and trails, together with small sections of country roads. Requires some off-road mountain biking experience. Some hill climbing and descending involved, but not at a highly technical level, and we tend to use the roads as a way to ease the uphill climbs.
Minimum 2 people.
Includes airport transfers from Malaga airport at the start and end of your tour, full guiding, minibus back up and some dinners.