Small Is Beautiful
It never surprises us that each year more people feel 2 wheel trips are the way to go and know that the experience and view from the saddle is worth any hill you may have to go over.
We believe that cycling:
- connects you with the landscape,
- connects you with the people you meet roadside,
- makes you a better person,
- & what better way to explore a country?
Maggi Jones (Canadian) and Geoff Norris (British), both of whom have independently travelled over 65 countries, with more than a third of their trip photos being taken from the bike saddle, manage and guide operations in Cycling Country. Living full time in Alhama de Granada, Andalucia, each year they and the team add new routes to the schedule, as their love of exploration has not been dimmed, even with the copious paperwork needed to run a business in Spain! Small is beautiful as the company is very much owner operated.
Cycling does nothing but good.
This is our Company's ESSENCE...
...it is what we believe and want YOU to come away thinking too.
Travelling by bike connects and immerses you into a country, the terrain, the people, the landscape, like no other mode of travel. Around every corner there is something different, whether you are just popping to pick something up at the store at home or cycling out of a medieval village square in Portugal, busy with a local market that has gone on since the 1600s. Since smell is the key to memory, those sweet Spanish roadside fragrances of fennel and sun flowers you pass en route will linger in your thoughts for years after. Cycling can be that evocative and cycling in a different country even more so.
We want you to have life changing experiences returning from your voyage with us, inspired, challenged and enthused to continue a lifetime of travelling this way. That is our goal and we will provide what ever we can to make that happen for you. We offer cycling tours made by cyclists and are passionate about this whether you are a leisure rider to a competitive racing cyclist.
Local and Responsible
We are a local company, operating and traveling regularily to forge long-standing relationships with the independent and small businesses we use. We are also registered in Spain and financially bonded, and aware of our social and legal responsibilities to our guests and staff.
Being a small operator, we can provide you with an intimate knowledge, attention to detail and personalized service on your cycling holiday that mainstream, large group, churn them out tours, other operators just can´t offer. We stay friends with our past clients, when other operators consider them bottom line numbers.
We provide and promote responsible and sustainable tourism using local businesses and our objective is to support the local community and economy. Leaving less tyre tracks is an important aim to us. An infusion of culture, history, nature and gastronomic delights as well as the actual fun of cycling through some of the most beautiful countryside in the world, makes it a joy to live here running such a company.
We hope you will feel the same passion we do about our trips.
Enjoy the ride. We only go where there is good Cycling Country.
Bike and the Like
Everyone at Cycling Country is devoted to cycling and sharing that enthusiasm
We are passionate about promoting cycling and working with the local community.
Cycling Country endeavours to work with sustainable and environmentally friendly options whilst on road trips and in the office. We are committed to supporting several charitable programs, and the company regularly donates funds to humanitarian aid situations and community schemes. Read More.
However, we couldn´t do it without help and we are proud to list as our team, this special group of people
Despite her background in art, history and
education she has filled her photo albums
with pictures of high altitude trekking in
Nepal and backpacking in lovely and diverse landscapes like
Indonesia, Thailand, Israel, India and Morocco.
As a travel photographer and writer, Maggi decided to meld her love of cycle travel with her appetite for exploration by setting up Cycling Country with her husband Geoff. The photos on this website are her handywork.
Her favourite rides include the medieval area of Maramuris in northern Romania and cycling out of Lake Atitlan´s volcanic landscape in Guatemala.
Being the hot weather lover that she is, despite being Canadian, she was part of the first ever cycling expedition to tackle the 50+ degrees celsius temperatures of the Danakil depression in Ethiopia, the "cruelest place on Earth" according to National Geographic!
Geoff, a bike rider since he could walk, comes from a business and financial background having worked in his home town of London and then onto New York, Paris and Sydney. Growing up in London, England he was part of the group that broke the British school’s cycling touring club record for distance cycling by clocking up a mileage of 251 miles (404km) in a day. Little did he know, this was to be the start of a life-long connection with 2 wheels.
To avoid having to think about derivatives, chain set derivations brought too much allure and soon the pedals were turning again across whole continents as he embarked on cycling
travelogues across Europe, Central America, Australia and Asia.
Killing scorpions, fixing punctures in downpours, sewing up tents
being shredded by dingoes and the ability to use gaffa tape in 101
useful ways are some of his cycle touring skills he acquired on his
Living in Alhama de Granada for the past 11 years with his wife Maggi, he can often been seen towing their 8 year old daughter with a bike tag-a-long. Good training, he tells us.
His favourite rides include the famous cols of the Pyrenees, the coastal mountains of Andalucia, and when escaping the office, the morning loop around Lake Bermejales.
Here is quite the Renaissance Man from Derby who has lived around the UK and Crete, Greece. Dean´s past work experiences include steaming through the streets of London as a cycle courier, goat herder on an organic farm in France, and carpenter at the BBC. This racing cyclist (with 22 years of road racing under his belt) has the great distinction of winning the sub-champion of Andalucia title and has ridden La Vuelta a España in the Masters category (the first English speaker to finish), and is never far from wheels and winners.
Last year, whilst racing in La Etapa of La Vuelta (in which he placed 10th), he helped push Big Mig, former 5 time winner of the Tour de France, Miguel Indurain up a mountain whilst the great man put his chain back on. A true gent of the road. We all try to keep up with Dean, but quite quickly throw in the towel, he is that quick. Catch Dean, if you can, riding his favourite mountain roads around his home town of Granada all year around.
A local lad, from a pueblo near to Granada, Javier brings some Andaluz flavour to the team. Allow him to explain the pleasures of a good cut of iberico jamon or what makes a fine olive oil, there is no end to his knowledge of local produce. From a strong cycling family, Javi is often seen out on the roads of Granada, sometimes riding with his father who still likes to push it on those hills he has ridden all his life.
His adventures have taken him from a year working abroad in the UK, to cycling the Camino de Santiago and some of the routes of La Vuelta. Trained as an architect and having worked as project manager in the building business, he has a love and indepth knowledge of the history and unique monumental buildings found all over Southern Spain. Meet him on our Andalucian tours!
A new addition to the Cycling Country team, Warren has recently made the step from teacher to bike guide. Warren cut his path as an art and design teacher in secondary schools where the daily practice of teaching went hand in hand with the ability to empathize with the needs of both students and colleagues. Warren is hoping this patient and understanding approach, which served him so well as a teacher, will allow him to flourish as a guide.
Inspired by friends many years ago, and the need to get fit, Warren took up cycling and his love for the sport has grown stronger with each passing year. His cycling experience is second to none, as he spends his time exploring the roads of Monachil and the foothills of the mighty Sierra Nevada where he now lives.
The quest for new cultural experiences has seen Warren travel extensively throughout the Pyrenean regions of Spain and France, the Swiss, French and Italian Alps, and the Carpathian Mountains in Romania. Recently, his travels have extended further to China and Northern Vietnam and the pull from China being so strong led to him living for one year in Beijing where he worked as an English teacher to vocational students.
Try and fit this Londoner
into a box so diverse are
his talents and experiences.
A former triathlete, Royal
Navy sailor, Ships Diver and
participant in the Royal
Tournament Field Gun
Competition (he and his team
Portsmouth impressively won all the cups
and also broke records that
year!), he has sailed all over
John, having run his own Tree Surgeon´s firm is also a pro with naming any tree, bush or bird (and in Latin too). Just try and stump him. Now living in Andalucia with his family, John loves to share his experience and immense knowledge of the outdoor lifestyle he so enjoys.
In The Office
Aimee got her travel bug early on and left her home town in the Philippines for more "exotic" locales and has not looked back. She has lived in Bangkok and Ha Noi and has been living in Spain for the past 8 years. Her favourite travel experiences include walking in the jungle of Sangklaburi, a town which borders Thailand and Burma, and exploring the North of Viet Nam with her husband on a Russian-Minsk bike.
Other Members of the Team
We have had many helpers and associates along the way who have formed friendships, lifted a lot of bags and were a vast aid to make our trips as fine as they can be with their good humour and wealth of experience. From Alhama de Granada, our home town, we are proud to have both Luis and Lalo who add their Andalucian experience into the mix. Ask them anything about olives, tapas and this area of the world and they will have an answer.
From further north, but a local girl, Tonie added the Danish perspective. Tonie has gone on to have her own family and spread that love of cycling on to her young son. Just ask her about winning her weight in asparagus for finishing first in a local Andalucia bike race.
Our Spanish walking guides and friends, Jose Alfonso and Alvaro in Sevilla and Lourdes in Córdoba are a fun group. All of them are kept busy with young families, but they still find time to cheer on their favourite football team (Betis -Alfonso), cultivate a fine collection of "Best Ever Flan" photos (Alvaro) and learn Japanese (Lourdes)! In Portugal, Jose and Rita cannot possibly have time for both babies and business but they somehow squeeze those things in AND know the most amazing facts to enthral you. Our friend and guide Maria in the Evora region, has 2 busy teenagers but will take time to show you the best spots for buying ceramics and wax lyrical about the Alentejo for hours!
What a great bunch! Meet them on our tours.
If you would like to join the Team, please check our Job Opportunities page for any openings.
Crossing all your "t"s and dotting all the "i"s is essential for your peace of mind for any cyclist when selecting a bike tour operator. We pride ourselves on being set up to meet all requirements as an operator and bonded travel agency.
The company (Cycling Country S.L.) is formed as a Limited Liability Company (B18907741) and registered with the Spanish Tourist board and the Junta of Andalucia as a Travel Agency (CIAN 184031-2). Registration as a Travel Agency is a legal requirement in safeguarding your monies and allowing us to book and operate the tour for you as a client. Beware of other operators who are not registered and bonded.
Cycling Country and the cyclist logo is a Registered Trade Mark - accept no imitations!
We are also extremely proud to be one of the few
companies to be an official tour operator for Spain´s greatest professional road race, La Vuelta a
España (the Tour of Spain). Viva La Vuelta!