Welcome to Andalucian Cycling Experience – White Villages of Andalucia Tour. Fantastic cycling in the heart of southern Spain , through beautiful white villages with picturesque and dramatic scenery.
Riding on a combination of country lanes and dirt tracks, your week’s cycling meanders through the Andalucian countryside by rivers, lakes, cork forests, the Via Verde and many beautiful white villages that are synonymous with Andalucia.
This village to village adventure starts in Ronda , one of the oldest and most beautiful cities of Spain. Situated on an impressive plateau and surrounded by mountains Ronda is famous for its spectacular gorge ‘El Tajo’ the cliffs are spanned by a bridge, a popular place for travellers to admire the breathtaking views.
We start the White Villages Tour riding through the Guardiaro Valley towards Benoajan, where you can stop for a swim at a fresh water lagoon followed by lunch at Molino Del Santo, (one of Claire & my favourite restaurants in this area) before riding through Benoajan & Montejaque and on to your accommodation for the night, the stunning Cortijo Las Piletas where you can relax & unwind around the pool enjoying a sangria or two before dinner at the hotel (Pablo is an exception chef)!
Your tour then takes you to Grazalema, a pretty mountain village, set in the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park and surrounded on three sides by mountains. Its steep cobbled streets are lined with white whitewashed houses whose window boxes bringing a splash of colour to this lively little village. After lunch you’ll then ride onto Zahara de la Sierra, a Moorish town which was fiercely fought over by the Moors and Christians. The prominent Moorish Castle, which can be seen from miles away, towers above this stunning hilltop village which is located at the foot of a beautiful lake. Your hotel has an infinity pool that looks out towards the Sierra Lijar. In the evening you can dine at the hotel or go to Restaurant Al Lago (another one of Claire & my favourite restaurants in this area) and dine Al Fresco on the terrace enjoying sunset views over the lake.
We then move onto Prado del Rey, Puerto Serrano and Montellano staying over night in a traditional Spanish Hacienda where, once again, you can relax & unwind around the pool enjoying a sangria or two before dinner at the hotel.
Next you ride along the Via Verde, an old railway line, perfect for cycling, as it rolls through the breathtaking scenery of the Andalucian countryside where we see the historic, cultural and natural delights of the ‘real’ Andalucia. The Via Verde will bring you to Olvera one of Andalucia’s most dramatic ‘pueblos blancos’ which is overlooked by a Moorish castle and stunning church here you can stop for lunch before riding onto Setenil de la Bodegas. Setenil is a unique little town with the overhanging limestone cliffs providing shelter from the elements and forming the shops, cafes and cave houses that run through the centre of this village. You’ll stop in Setenil for the evening giving you chance to explore the bars & restaurants set in the caves. We’ll recommend our favourite places to dine in the tour notes.
Finally we end your tour back in Ronda, visiting the Roman Ampitheatre at Ronda La Vieja along the way. Once back in Ronda you’ll have the chance to explore this historic town which has established itself as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Spain and has become reknown for its fine cuisine. We’ll recommend our favourite places to dine in the tour notes.
Amongst the many highlights of the trip are; the beautiful Grazalema Natural Park, the Moorish castle at Zahara, the Peñon Zaframagon, a craggy out crop which is the home to the largest colony of Griffon Vultures in Andalucia and last but by no means least the stunning Gorge, which splits Ronda in two.
Please note that we would grade this route as an intermediate ride. There are a number of hills to climb on most days, all of which are doable but do require a bit of effort. To get the most out of this trip you should be use to riding/exercising on a regular basis.
We take pride in our cycling route cards, checking and update them regularly. We also provide a map (usually 1:50,000).
Our route cards are your guide, providing much more information than the basic directions. Just as a guide would tell you about the places you pass, our route cards include information on historic villages, places of interest and momuments along the way. If it’s worth making a short detour to a fantastic viewpoint, we point this out too. We even suggest cafés and restaurants where you can stop for lunch. We can also provide you with GPS files for this tour.
Wearing a helmet while cycling in Spain is mandatory, we recommend that you bring your own or we can supply you with a helmet.
It’s important to be comfortable when cycling so we recommend wearing cycling shorts, jersey and gloves. In my opinion cycling shorts are a must, if you are not comfortable on the saddle you will be less likely to want to ride. Trainers are fine for cycling and for when you stop off to visit places on foot.
We want you to enjoy your self guided cycling tour in Andalucia to the full so, for your comfort, we arrange the transportation of your luggage from one hotel to the next. All we ask is that you leave your suitcases in reception each morning, and a member of the Andalucian Cycling Experience team will ensure that they are waiting for you at your next hotel. All you need to carry with you are drinks, a camera, some cash and sun cream.
Fly to Malaga Airport and transfer to Ronda where you will receive your bikes and Tour information pack.
Onto the bikes for your first of many leisurely rides along quiet country lanes we head towards Montejaque via Benoajan. There is a chance to go for a swim at the fresh water lagoon at the Cueva de Gatos before stopping for lunch at, in my opinion, one of the best restaurants in this area.
We ride through an enchanting cork tree forest in the Grazalema Natural Park to the beautiful white village of Grazalema, which is surrounded by three sides of mountains. Here you have an opportunity to explore the narrow streets, enjoy the beautiful views back across the route we have taken and sample a few tapa’s and local hospitality. After lunch its back on the bikes you ride along quiet country lanes that meander there way towards Zahara de la Sierra.
Back on the bikes and we ride through rolling hills passing fields of sun flowers, olive groves and a few local vineyards too visiting Prado del Rey and Puerto Serrano before getting to your next Hotel a traditional Spanish Hacienda where there will be a chance for a dip in the pool & chill out on the terrace with a glass or two of Sangria and your favourite book before dinner.
Following breakfast you ride along the ‘Via Verde de la Sierra’ which meanders from Puerto Serrano to Olvera. Along the route we pass through a variety of landscapes from farm land to a mountain region. Water is a common element of the landscape as the route follows the path of the two rivers of Guadalete & Guadalporcun, therefore the Mediterranean vegetation is lush. Riding along this old railway track you pass over several viaducts, the most impressive being at Coripe, and through 30 tunnels the longest of which is 990metres. Refreshments stops can be made in Olvera before riding onto Setenil.
You’ll ride back to Ronda via the Roman Ampitheatre at Ronda La Vieja along the old ‘travellers route’. From the Ampitheatre you can enjoy stunning views across towards Grazalema. A short days ride gives you plenty of opportunity to relax and unwind at the end of your trip.
A rest day in Ronda to explore the historic old town, the arabic baths, city wall and many mueseums. Or time for some retail therapy and an opportunity to indulge, after your week long white village tour.
If you prefer we can add an additional days riding to another of our favourite restaurants in this area.
This rest day can be taken at the start or end of your trip. The rest day is not a compulsory element of the White Village Tour and can be left out if you wish. Please ensure you opt out of the rest day upon booking this trip if it is not required.
Time to pack your bags before we collect you for your flights home.
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