Málaga, Ronda, Jaén, Granada, Sierra Nevada Mountains
6 days / 5 nights, Fully Guided & Supported
Quality 4 star Hotels & Country Retreats
Cycle the route of legends as we tackle the best and most famous cycling roads that Southern Spain has to offer. From the dramatic landscapes of natural parklands around Málaga, Ronda, and Jaén to the classic cols that La Vuelta often ride (including the Pandera and "the wall" at Valdepeñas), we finish by ascending the highest paved road in Europe in the Sierra Nevada. Awesome.
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 Málaga and Jaén 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. Just a few we have met over the years include Cadel Evans, Alejandro Valverde and Peter Sagan when ascending the Sierra Nevada. You never know who you might meet!
Day 1. Málaga to Ronda (Grazalema and Ronda Loop ride)
45km - 500m · 1640 ft
We pickup in the ancient city of Málaga (10:30am in the centre or 11:30am at the airport) to travel out to the alluring hills of Ronda. 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. Stop for a café in the white village of Grazalema.
Enjoy the night at the fantastic Hotel Catalonia Reina Victoria Wellness and Spa with awe inspiring views of the mountains from the terrace. After a swim in the pool, be sure to take a stroll into the centre and admire the view from the Puente Nuevo bridge and the famous deep gorge it is flung over.
Day 2. Grazalema and Ronda Loop ride
115km - 1300m · 4265ft
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. Fly up the Caminito del Rey Vuelta Finish used in 2018 and pass by the El Gorro Gorge. It is truly amazing riding around aqua blue reservoirs and over mountain passes with classic hairpins. Our stop for tonight is the Roman loved Antikara (Antequera), a classic Andalucian town, where we stay in its centre at the relaxing Parador.
Day 3. Antequera, El Torcal, Mountains of Málaga
120km - 2100m · 6890ftAwake with the sun and move on to our next destination 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 Málaga and then, 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 2014 & Ruta del Sol (2018). We head to a small white village for the night to enjoy a relaxing evening.
Day 4. Coastal Mountains, Montefrío
105km - 2000m · 6562ft
We 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. Montefrio has recently been named by National Geographic as one of the top 10 village vistas in the world!
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 historic Granada, with its imposing castle atop the town and pleasant main squares and plazas to wander in the cool of the evening. The Sierra Nevada will be in your sights now as you head to this royal city. Our hotel of the next two nights is the centrally located 4 star Vincci Albayzin - a stone's throw away from all the main sights of this beautiful city.
Day 5. Pico Veleta, Monachil, Sierra Nevada, Granada
80km -1600m · 5250ft or 100km - 2400m · 7874ft
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 on the Pro Circuit with the Titans battling it out: 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. Enjoy the evening taking in the atmosphere of this great city at our farewell dinner.
Day 6. Transfers to Málaga
After breakfast, we say "adios" to each other before a transfer back to Málaga 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.
Road Cycling Tour - Guided
Bikes - Road
Route: Málaga / Ronda / Grazalema / Antequera / Málaga mountains / Montefrío / Sierra Nevada / Granada
Groups Size - 5 - 16
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. CAUTION - Road Cyclists' Paradise
- 5 nights
- Excellent 4 star City Hotels (3) & 1 Rustic Boutique Inn
- All bedrooms are en-suite
All 5 breakfasts and 3 well prepared dinners of local produce of 3 courses (including wine, beer, soft drinks)
- Welcome drink and meeting
- Complimentary custom Cycling Country Spain Race Cut cycling jersey
- Complimentary Cycling Country water bottles & helmet bag
- Tour guide book / Route notes / maps / profiles
- Experienced guides with a wealth of local knowledge
- Daily snacks and refreshments (MULEBAR Energy Bars and Goos inc!)
- Electrolyte drink supplements
- 5% off future trips!
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 Málaga airport/city centre and back to Málaga 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 Edmonda S6s with Ultegra (185 Eur) or Trek Madones 3.1 (160 Eur). Wheel upgrades (e.g. Dura Ace C50, or Ultegra wheelsets) available upon request. If you do bring your own bike, we recommend a compact or triple chainset.
Málaga 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.
On a sports bike tour, your accommodation is an important ingredient in ensuring you wake refreshed to start the next day's ride. We have chosen some fantastic hotels, a mix of rural and city settings.
In Ronda, enjoy two nights at the exceptional Hotel Catalonia Reina Victoria Wellness and Spa with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.
In Colmenar and Montefrío relax in the rustic retreats of these smaller villages before spending the final two nights in the Hotel Vincci Albayzin in the heart of Granada. You can be assured of a restful sleep at these great hotels.
"Hi Maggi! Many thanks for these. I had a great time and really enjoyed the whole trip, BA mess up with my bike notwithstanding! Once again a wonderful trip and for me the Pandera stands out, especially coming after 60km and already having done a cat 2!! I'm coming back for more!!!!"
D.Jones - UK - May 2018
"Can not recommend this guided tour highly enough to anyone thinking of signing up for a tour in Southern Spain. Routes, scenery, weather and climbs were perfect and Geoff and his team provided an amazing level of service throughout the trip which would be difficult to beat by any other tour operator. Geoff was also an amazing host whose passion for cycling and Spanish culture shone through at all times. This tour should be on every cyclist's bucket list!"
S.Trumper - UK - October 2017
Hi Maggi fantastic weekend even with the heat and incidents. Dean was brilliant really helpful and fab driver and did all we needed. The bananas and the Aquarius was much needed. He also took some photos which we look forward to. I loved the Pico and all its challenges I was not in perfect health but loved the insanity of the Pandera. The blog will have record and of course will promote you guys in the must have section. My next trip is across the Jorge next year and I am formulating plans which hopefully if works out can use you guys and dean again. Very impressed. Thank you so much for flexibility and I will repeat again Dean was fab and I am so glad as are the lads that we booked with you guys !! Thanks again. T ".
T.Blake - UK - July 2016
"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 - 2014
Testimonials from previous cyclists are always available and we enjoy receiving the feedback after tours. It helps us improve our services and offer you an even better experience. Please feel free to contact us if you would like a reference to talk to. Others have also posted reviews on the independent travel website .
DATES & RATES
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Famous Vuelta climbs of South Spain
6 days / 5 nights
CUSTOM DATES: Your Choice if booking with a group of 4 or more
Price includes all local taxes. Single supplements apply (see individual trip details). Please note we transact in Euros.
- 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 in Southern Spain
Total Ascent - 9200 meters · 27, 334 feet
Can not recommend this guided tour highly enough to anyone thinking of signing up for a tour in Southern Spain. Routes, scenery, weather and climbs were perfect and Geoff and his team provided an amazing level of service throughout the trip which would be difficult to beat by any other tour operator. Geoff was also an amazing host whose passion for cycling and Spanish culture shone through at all times. This tour should be on every cyclist's bucket list!S.Trumper
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