Signature Climbs Series - The South
A fantastic week of sunshine filled road cycling awaits for those aiming to challenge themselves on the famous Pro Climbs of Spain`s South. From Ronda to Granada via Malaga and Jaen provinces, this is the route of legends. And finish with the highest road bike climb in Europe......time to dance on those pedals!
The route has been selected to cram in as many of the great climbs and scenery of the area. The roads are regularly ridden by pros. We met Juan José Cobo (left) of Team Movistar, winner of La Vuelta 2011, when ascending the Sierra Nevada. You never know who you might meet!
View Signature Climbs - The South of Spain, Road Bike Tour in a larger map
- Climb the highest road in Europe - the mighty Pico Veleta of the Sierra Nevada
- Attempt Hors & 1st Category climbs along pro race routes
- Discover the best local roads where Cycling Country is based
- Mountain hamlets and hillside café stops galore
- Ride quiet and good quality tarmac roads through national parks
- Granada, magnificent city of Monarchs & home of tapas
- Visit Ronda and her impressive gorge & historic centre
- Fantastic accommodation, scenery and comraderie on the roads of Southern Spain
We pickup in the ancient city of Malaga (10:30am in the centre or 11:30am at the airport) to travel out to the alluring hills of Ronda. A beautiful area of natural parks, we start with a warm up of one of the closest of climbs, the Puerto de Viento with its rocky nooks and sheep that jump around the rough pasture land here. Enjoy our welcome Dinner at our central hotel and the view from the Puente Nuevo and the famous deep gorge it is flung over.
We can't wait to get started on the up, and up it is into the beautiful area of Grazalema and the impressive mountains around this pretty place. Stupendous climbs in this area and we take on one of the biggies, the Puerto de los Palomas (”the climb of the doves”). The name sounds almost poetic, the reality may be a little bit rougher! At the foot of the sierra del Jaralin, in Grazalema's Park, we visit the white washed village of Zahara de la Sierra before looping back to Ronda.
Awake with the sun and move on to our next destination being Roman loved Antikara (Antequera) to try out the thoroughly enjoyable, El Torcal climb, a favourite for the Tour of Andalucia ("Ruta del Sol"). Pro riders, with its last steep kilometres, have struggled through the strange limestone wind warped rocks. Fly down this descent and traverse the small villages lost in the hills around the Axarquia and mountains of Malaga. Next up is the optional climb of the famed cat 1 Puerto de Leon. La Vuelta managed to climb this twice in 2010. We head to a small white village for the night to enjoy a relaxing evening.
Fly down to edging closer to the Mediterranean Sea before you sneak up this snaking epic portal, the rocky Puerto de Zafarraya cat 1 summit featured in La Vuelta a few years ago. Keep going across the coastal mountain ridge to drop into the Genil Valley, a fertile plain. From here, we ride through the shady hillside of the Sierra Parapanda, route of the pros for many years, to attractive Montefrio, its precariously perched church a testament to its Reconquest heritage.
A challenging route that winds its way around the white washed villages of Jaen province, seeing those places in which battles were fought during medieval times. However, the main fight of the day will be up the famed Hors category La Pandera, featured in 4 Vueltas in the last 10 years, with some of the top places taken by luminaries such as Heras, Cunego, Simoni & Samuel Sanchez. End in historical Alcala La Real, which has an imposing castle atop the town and a pleasant main square to wander in the cool of the evening.
A more relaxed route today although there are always a few hills in this area being so close to the granddaddies of the Sierra Nevada. Making our way onto the regal city of Granada you head in time to arrive and enjoy its tapas. Over the hillsides across to Moclin with its sturdy fortress above town and an amazing descent (featured in La Vuelta 1994 - Pedro Delgado's last year). The Sierra Nevada will be in your sights now as you head to this royal city.
How could you possibly come to Southern Spain without trying to tackle this peak, the highest on mainland Spain and the highest road in Europe, the Pico Veleta. Here you get a short warm up before the long climb of 25km up to the thin air at 2500m and above (weather permitting to 3398m!). It really is awesome and your own ragged breathing takes away the traffic sounds far below. Around each bend in the road you will expect to see the end....just keep going. Countless clashes occurred on this climb in the Pro Circuit with the Titans battling the Titanic: the names will all be familiar (Valverde, Menchoz, Vinokourov, Jalabert...). The way back via Monachil, another famous climb, is a departure from that barren rock where you've just been, the pastures and mountain plains, lush and green into thriving Granada.Â Enjoy the evening taking in the atmosphere of this great city at our farewell dinner.
After breakfast, we say "adios" to each other before a transfer back to Malaga airport (for midday 12:00) for onward connections. Or indeed take our option to stay in Granada for a few more days to explore and/or ride some self guided routes.
- Tour Style
- Activity Level
- 7 nights
- Charming country inns and 4 star City Hotels
- All bedrooms are en-suite
- Extras Included
- Welcome drink and meeting
- Complimentary custom Cycling Country Spain Race Cut cycling jersey
- Complimentary Cycling Country water bottles
- Tour guide book / Route notes / maps / profiles
- Experienced guides with a wealth of local knowledge
- Daily snacks and refreshments (muesli bars, fruit, nuts and drinks)
- Getting Here
Classic Road - Guided
Bikes - Road
Groups Size - 5 - 16
Route: Malaga / Ronda / Grazalema / Antequera / Malaga mountains / Montefrio / Jaen / Alcala La Real / Sierra Nevada / Granada
Challenging - (Daily average of 100 km over mountainous terrain). The tour is suitable for experienced cyclists of all ages who have a good level of fitness and enjoy road biking. It goes without saying - expect climbs! Be prepared to descend mountain roads. Quiet country and mountain roads. Rolling countryside with long mountain passes.
All 7 breakfasts and 3 well prepared dinners of local producion of 3 courses (including wine, beer, soft drinks)
2 leaders with full van support to pick up souvenirs, provide refreshments, act as guides, offer tips and insights throughout the day, provide directional signs where required, transfer luggage and provide on-road assistance. 1 guide cycles with the group
From arrival point at Malaga airport/city centre and back to Granada train, bus station or Malaga airport/city centre at the end of the tour .
You can bring your own road bike (we have facilities to collect and store bike boxes for the duration of the trip) or we can arrange good quality road bike hire either Carbon Trek Madones 3.1 (160 Eur) or Orbea carbon-alu frame (120 Eur) for the tour. If you do bring your own bike, we recommend a compact or triple chainset.
Malaga is the main international hub for all flights within Europe and outside. Other options are flying into Madrid and using the fast AVE train link. Please see our Getting Here section for more information.
“Sleep, that deplorable curtailment of the joy of life.” Virginia Woolf
Once the sun goes down in the south, everyone wakes up. We know you would like to fiesta with the best of them until all hours of the night and please do so.. safe in the knowledge that if you do want to go to sleep, your hotel will ensure a good solid rest, if even for a couple of hours!
Dates & Prices
|Dates For 2014||Price In EUR|
|12 to 19 June||1295|
|18 to 25 September||1295|
|Custom Dates - Your Choice if booking with a group of 5 or more (check for availability)|
|Single Supplement||Eur 250|
*Price includes all local taxes. Single supplements apply (see individual trip details).
Please note we transact in Euros.
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Enquire About This Tour
"We participated in Cycling Country's Signature Climbs of the South tour. It was incredibly well planned out and ran in the most professional and courteous way. Jeff and Dean are passionate about cycling and making sure their customers have a great time. They were always prepared and routes were well chosen. I have never been so challenged and so happy at the same time. The views on the rides were awesome. We rented their Trek Carbon road bikes and they were in good repair. This is a mom and pop organization that cares about you and making your adventure perfect for you. I recommend them highly".
C.Cover - Walnut Creek, California
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