Total tour distance: 138 miles
Daily tour distance: 23 miles
Difficulty: 40 / 100
This bicycle tour of Andalusia in Spain, is a journey between the provinces of Malaga and Cadiz, set in dreamy landscapes of interwoven peaks and valleys. You will find the "Pueblos Blancos" (White Villages) of the Ronda and Grazalema Mountains, which are gems of the popular Andalusian architecture, lodged between the deep green of their valleys and the rocky gray of their mountains. This journey follows the designated Major European Cultural itinerary "Route of the Almoravides and Almohades" and ends at the Atlantic Ocean in El Puerto de Santa Maria.
Day 1 | Arrival Day in Ronda
Arrival in Ronda on your own. Depending on your arrival time you can visit the bullring (Spain’s oldest) with its small but very interesting bullfighting museum. There are spectacular views as you cross the bridge over Ronda’s famous gorge to take a stroll round Ronda’s old quarter. You can head down to the river to visit the 13th Century Arab Baths, some of the best conserved in Spain and Europe
To get to Ronda, there are 2 daily trains from Madrid (4 hours train ride) and serveral busses from Málaga.
Day 2 | Short loop ride around Ronda (18km)
Our local contact will meet you at 9:30am at the hotel for your orientation and bike set up. To try out the bikes, enjoy Ronda’s beautiful surrounding on a short loop the small village of Benaoján. You will arrive to the Cueva de Gato, a beautiful spot to have a picnic, and continue to the train station of Benaoján where you can take a drink in the bar ‘STOP’ before taking the train back to Ronda.
Day 3 | Ride to Olvera (37km)
You leave Ronda heading north towards Setenil de las Bodegas, one of Andalusia’s most surprising villages, a focal point of the Cadiz mountains white villages’ route. The people here used of the gorge to build their houses. It is one of the finest examples of this type of architecture, which instead of excavating into the rock simply makes use of natural overhang, with the houses developed laterally along the rock face. Lose yourself in the village’s intimate corners and tapas bars… You then follow the Trejo River and soon see the village of Olvera in the distance, with its typical church and the 12th Century castle atop a hill. Overnight in hotel** with swimming pool.
Day 4 | Ride to Villamartin on the Greenway (53km)
Olvera was originally supposed to be a stop on the Jerez-Malaga train line, but the line was never completed and the village went back to its business of producing olive oil. Eventually, new roads removed the need for a railway; now the railway has been given a new lease of life as one of the first Vías Verdes, or Greenways (old re-conditioned railway lines), in Spain. Your ride will be 36 km along this Greenway (no cars), passing Peñon de Zaframagón (Nature reserve with Andalusia’s – and one of Europe’s - largest colonies of vultures). You ride will take you through many tunnels (up to 30!) – some up to 1 km in length – where lights come on automatically as soon as you enter! You follow the Guadalete River as far as Puerto Serrano, where the Greenway finishes and from there you take quiet country roads through sunflower fields to the white village of Villamartín. There you sleep in an old railway station, now a nice 3-star hotel with swimming pool, just outside Villamartín.
Day 5 | Ride to Arcos de la Frontera (39km)
After breakfast, follow a narrow country lane, almost a cycle lane, surrounded by gentle rolling hills covered in sunflowers to get to the village of Bornos, nestled beside the reservoir that shares its name. You may want to stop in this village to try some of its local wines and recover strength as you now have a bit of a climb. Then you continue along a country lane beside a canal (prohibited to cars, so no traffic) to get to Arcos de la Frontera. This town is situated on cliffs high above a meander in the River Guadalete. This is a typical defensive hill village with cobbled-stoned streets leading up to a castle, built in the 15th Century on Moorish foundations. The view from the castle and village is staggering. You will stay in a hotel in the historical centre of Arcos.
Day 6 | Ride to Jerez and its Royal Andalusian Equestrian School (48km)
Today you will leave Arcos de la Frontera and pass through beautiful landscape and see the typical Andalusian agriculture while riding. You will pass the small village of Junta de los Ríos and follow a country road with barely any traffic until you get to the small and lively village of La Barca de la Florida, where you can drink & eat something. For the last 28 kilometers you will follow a road with a bit more traffic, which will lead you directly to your hotel in the center of Jerez, a beautiful town worth a visit. For example, at the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art to see the training of the beautiful Andalusian horses for their “ballet”. Try to make Day 6 fall on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday so you can visit, and ask for the thematic visit (8 Euros) There are no visits on Fridays in August and on bank holidays. And of course you can visit one of the many sherry bodegas. Your accommodation is in the historical center of Jerez.
Day 7 | Ride to Puerto de Santa Maria and the Bay of Cadiz (26km + optional 25km)
You start cycling through the town of Jerez. Then the ride to El Puerto de Santa María is short (around 28 km) but instead of the busy asphalt roads you will go by agricultural paths (so a little bumpy!) to show you where the grapes are growing from which they make the famous brandy and sherry. Afterwards, if you feel up to a bit more cycling on flat terrain, you can do the ride through the Bay of Cadiz, passing marshes, salt-flats and Mediterranean pine forests or take the boat to Cadiz to visit this delightful city, which is so different to other Andalusian cities. Overnight in a 3 star hotel in centre of the village, very close to the famous fish “market”.
Day 8 | Departure on your own after breakfast
After breakfast, end of services, unless you have asked for an extra night. Bikes to be left at the hotel with all material. After breakfast in the hotel your trip will be over and by bus or train you can get to Cordoba, Malaga, Seville or Madrid.
- 7 nights accommodations in 2 and 3 star hotels
- Breakfast daily
- Luggage transfers
- Local emergency support
- Orientation and bike set up on Day 2
- Road books with riding route maps and cue sheets, suggestions for visitation and dining. Additional services and stays can be arranged separately.
Accommodation: 7 nights in 2 and 3 star hotels. Upgrades are possible in some places, please inquire. All lodging offer a private bathroom and a variety of other amenities. Hotels include:
- Hotel Alavera de los Banos*** (2 nights), Ronda
- Hotel Sierra y Cal**, Olvera
- Hotel La Antigua Estacion***, Villamartin
- Hotel Los Olivos***, Arcos de la Frontera
- Hotel Chancilleria***, Jerez de la Frontera
- Hotel Los Cantaros***, El Puerto de Santa Maria
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