The wild beauty of Sierra Nevada, the endless Costa del Sol coastline …. Andalusia offers a perfect framework for cycling holidays in southern Spain. More and more referenced as easy transportation that makes you travel, the bicycle has become a must-have to truly enjoy Spain.
Why do your cycling holidays in Southern Spain?
This part of Spain is home to several different landscapes. You can bike through the countryside and discover the mountains from one day apart. Or, listen to the waves at the beach and admire the endless sceneries of a desert.
Southern Spain can be explored by bus, train, or walk. But cycling in Andalusia will give you a unique feeling of freedom and adventure.
Besides, this part of Spain is a well-known destination for cyclists. Therefore, you can browse online platforms to look for companionship during your trip. Strava or Mapmyride can also give you recommendations about local cycling groups and details on the best roads in your area.
1. Via Verde de la Sierra
We advise you to begin your cycling holidays in Southern Spain with la Via Verde de la Sierra. Whether in the past on Spanish railways or today by bicycle, this path has always amazed by its beauty. The roadway is often traveled by families and beginners. Indeed, la Via Verde de la Sierra presents beautiful flat landscapes to admire.
The trail is 35 km long, in Cádiz. It begins from the village of Olvera to Puerto Serrano. This one-day trail is ideal during summer when you can cool down through more than 30 tunnels. These passages are interspersed with bridges and viaducts, where you can appreciate valleys, meadows, and waterways.
La Via Verde de la Sierra has surprises along the road. Indeed, you will go past the Peñón de Zaframagón reserve. It’s hectares of nature reserved for Griffon Vultures. Further on, you will have the opportunity to see the Chaparro de la Vega. This holm oak is 700-year-old. In the prime of life, he spreads his branches at more than 28m.
This award-winning trail is worth it, but cyclists need to be prepared in advance. Food and water are recommended before starting any cycling in Andalusia. Companies also can provide you with bikes at the beginning of your trip, to Olvera or Puerto Serrano.
2. The Montes de Malaga
This cycling in southern Spain is more challenging but worth the effort. Every weekend, cyclists ride to the top and enjoy incredible views of the Montes de Malaga. Along the way, people can have a glimpse of the Almijara, Sierra de Loja, and Antequera.
It’s a 79km trail, starting in Rincón de la Victoria. In the beginning, you will bike on coastal roads and enjoy the sea view. Torre del Mare will be your next destination before heading to Vélez-Malaga. Until this moment, your ascension will begin. You will pass through the little pueblos of Triana, and discover Benamargosa and Salto del Negro as well. Landscapes will follow one another… and the roadway will take you higher and higher…until Table Mountain. You will be rewarded with the view provided by the Balcón de la Axarquía in Comares. But your ascension will not end there. The beauty of the Montes of Malaga will be unveiled at the top of the hill. After this, you will just have to descend the valley and enjoy the return journey.
If your stomach claims food during your journey, we advise you to stop at a restaurant near the Balcón de la Axarquía. You will admire the view as well as home-cooked Spanish foods. Otherwise, after Comares, the Table Mountain restaurant in Los Ventorros is famous for its delicious cuisine. You will need the energy to continue your cycling holiday in Southern Spain!
3. Ruta del Mudéjar
This roadway starts in Caleta de Vélez and extends over 73 km. The path differs from the others. Indeed, it allows cyclists to pass through several Moorish mountain pueblos. This cycling in Andalusia begins like the last one. Indeed, you will gently climb, but it will be in the other part of Axarquia. You will pass through the wild provinces of Sedella, Salares, Canillas de Albaida, and lastly Competa.
The traveled landscapes will vary throughout the day. The ascension will be difficult, but you will be awarded by the panoramic view of Maroma, then the Montes de Malaga. The valleys, meadows, and waterways will parade to finally give way to the sea. Indeed, you will descend into Torrox and cycle along the coastal road.
If the hunger catches up with you, the villages of Canillas de Aceituno or Cómpeta host good local restaurants. Otherwise, if you want to stay hydrated, a cerveza on the beachfront at Caleta de Vélez would be perfect for you.
4. The coastal road to Cerro Gordo natural park
This cycling in southern Spain is the reflection of the Malaga region’s particularity. On one side, the cyclists can admire the sea in all its infinity. On the other side, they will be overhung by the mountains.
It’s 63 km of undulating roads, which will take you to famous villages such as El Morche, Torrox Costa and Nerja. After that, Cerro Gordo Natural Park will reveal all its beauty to you. Your trip will be strewn with impressive cliffs and hidden beaches. All of this, in a quiet setting that only nature can provide. Atop the wild reserve, you will admire Torre del Mar and the extent of Malaga’s mountains on a clear day. Furthermore, your ascension will be rewarded by the view of the horseshoe bay of La Herradura. And bonus, if the weather is lenient, you will have a gaze of the Sierra Nevada peak.
Cycling in Andalusia is an amazing opportunity to eat delicious, local foods. And good coffees and restaurants are open all along the way.
5. The rio verde to meson los prados
This is one of the hardest routes that Southern Spain hosts. A path categorized as HC (hard as nails) on Strava. A trail referenced for showing off in front of the others. A roadway, that is worth the pain.
Your ascension will take you to the wild nature of Jete and Otivar. You will testimony avocado groves covering the valley, the occasioned mountains wild animals, and at the top, a shaded forest.
Be careful through, cycling in southern Spain can be dangerous, especially on this path. The descent is vertiginous. Rocks can also fall and obstruct the road.
Apart from that, the trail is memorable. In addition, if you need to eat along the road, Jete and Otivar host plenty of restaurants.
6. The Grazalema loop
It’s a typical cycling road in southern Spain. A 69 km roadway that starts and ends at Ronda. From one of the famous villages in Andalusia, you will continue to Cádiz. Wild forests, dramatic mountains, and breathtaking views will populate the trip. And hidden in the natural park of Sierra del Pinar, a typical village is to discover. Grazalema is considered one of the best white villages in the region.
After passing through this secret gem, it’s time to go downhill and make your way back to Ronda. A cerveza in the village can be a good reward, at the end of the trip.
Finally, a little tip to lighten the journey. Where you will begin your quest can add up difficulties. Indeed, if you start at the entrance of Ronda, you can count 12 km more within 280m of climbing. So, doing your kickoff at the outskirts can relieve your legs a little bit.
All the trips described in the article are detailed on Strava.
How to prepare for cycling holidays in southern Spain?
Before cycling in Andalusía, you should prepare for your trip. First, adapt your clothes and gear to the weather. Indeed, it varies a lot throughout the year. Cycling in Southern Spain means also being careful about the heat waves in summer. In July and August, it’s better to go on a cycling trip earlier in the morning. You must put sun cream regularly and drink a lot, even more, electrolyte drinks because you will probably sweat. It’s also recommended to ride on shaded roads.
April, May, June, September, and October are perfect for cycling. Indeed, it’s sunny yet not too hot. Of course, even with this nice weather, you should bring plenty of water. You will have a chance to fill up your bottle with fountains disseminated throughout the road.
From November to March, the wind will be more powerful and chilly. The rain can also appear at any time. So make sure to wear waterproof and windproof clothing during this season.
Travel assurance for cycling holidays in southern Spain
It’s not the first thing that comes to people’s minds. But travel assurance is a must-have for cycling holidays in southern Spain. The company you choose should have great customer service. It also should commit to giving you the best for your safety and your health.
Word Nomad, SafetyWing, and HeyMondo fulfill these criteria.
Road regulations vary from one country to another. In Spain, it’s mandatory for cyclists to stand on the right-hand side of the road. Furthermore, they should never use the bus line and be on the opposite of the traffic flow. Since 2014, all cyclists under the age of 16 must wear a helmet all the time. For those older, the helmet is still obligatory, but only in non-urban areas. Yet, you can take it off during extreme heat, when you are on steep hills or if you’re a professional cyclist.
Cycling holidays in southern Spain are an excellent way to discover the wild beauty of the country. But you must prepare your journey carefully, even more, if it’s your first cycling trip. The Spanish Cycling Federation website can help you with safety recommendations, and daily updates.