I recently read a book on the multi faceted history of Spain and Andalucia, it made me understand and treasure even more what this beautiful area has to offer and the many stunning places there are to discover on your cycling holiday Andalucia in southern Spain.
When we first came to Andalucia in 2004, we fell in love with the rolling hills, turquoise lakes, and the mixed arcitecture in the cities and villages, we knew that southern Spain was the perfect place to set up our cycling holiday business, The Andalucian Cycling Experience. I came here as a recreational cyclist and I now love to road cycle and do a little mountain biking. Cycling through the White Villages of Andalucia allows you to get to the heart of the villages, meet the locals and stop for a cafe con leche, I am not a fan of driving through skinny streets so riding through by bike is perfect.
The White Villages, or Pueblos Blancos in Spanish, seem to emerge from the rocks and in some areas are actually part of the rock itself like Setenil de las Bodegas. Setenil is one of the villages visited on our White Villages of Andalucia Tours and by our Road Cyclists, Mountain Bikers and Leisure Cyclists staying here with us in Montecorto on their cycling holiday in southern Spain
Setenil is believed to have been occupied during the roman invasion of this region in the first century AD! It has a ruined castle at the top of the village where in historical times the Christians expelled the Moors. In the 15th century the new Christian rulers developed Olive, Almond and Vineyeards. ´De la Bodegas´means underground Bodegas where you could store wine, unfortunately the wine trade of Setenil de las Bodegas was wiped out by an insect infestation of the vines in the 1860´s.
When we came to Spain and decided to unite our love of Cycling and Andalucia, we visited many provinces and cities such as Seville, Cordoba and Granada, in a quest to find the perfect place to establish our cycling holiday centre, whilst these cities are a must visit and a short drive from us, personally, the White Villages of Andalucia offer peacefulness, beauty, history and culture combined, the diversity of valleys, lakes, rock faces, caves and lagoons to me offer the cyclist delights at every stop.
As well as Setenil de las Bodegas, close by is the Via Verde (greenway) a popular “non traffic” route meandering through the valley close to the Guadalete and Guadaporcin Rivers, here this old railway line with its tunnels and viaducts is also home to a centre dedicated the conservation of the Griffon Vulture which you can visit whilst riding
The villages of Zahara and Grazalema which are featured on television as two of the prettiest villages in Andalucia. Zahara de la Sierra which also means flower, owes its name to the abundance of citrus blossoms (azahar). Partially located on a Roman settlement. You can visit the castle on the top of the village or take a walk down the winding streets steeped in history. From Zahara, we cycle up the pass of the Puerto las Palomas, a 12km climb with stunning views of the lake below, this pass is frequented by many local riders which passes by the Garganta Verde walk, in the heart of the Unesco protected Natural Park finishing in Grazalema. Grazalema is a very traditional village, from the 17th century was famous for making textiles, blankets and articles from wool. Today you can still buy high quality woollen products. You should definately stop here for a while and take in the clean mountain air, and stop for a coffee and cake and watch the world go by.
With cycling becoming more popular we have expanded our range of bikes to include Specialised Hybrids, Orbea Road bikes with aluminium and carbon frames, BH mountain bikes and Specialised Levo E-bikes allowing everybody to enjoy their cycling holiday in Spain here in Montecorto
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