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2020 | 2021
Guided La Vuelta – Last Week to Santiago – Sept. 2021
Cycling Country took a group including me on the last week of la Vuelta 2021.
All details were pre-planned, routes, hotels, transfers, full backup on the routes.
I have been on many bike tours but none as good as this! Communication and planning prior to the event was efficient but when I first met the team I thought I would be dropped every day, they looked so fit and slim. But their focus was on each participant with helpful tips and advice. we cycled on the Vuelta routes and had to finish before the peloton arrived, we watched the finish from the VIP enclosure. We also had an opportunity to attend the start of the stage. This was truly amazing, the motorbikes, the lead car, the peloton, the broom wagon, team cars, police, ambulance, team busses.
Finally we rode the time trial and when we finished we enjoyed the facilities of the VIP enclosure to watch the finish and then the presentations.This went on for some time in the cathedral square in Santiago it was a truly memorable spectacle.
Thanks to Maggie, Jeff, Javier and Dean for pulling out all the stops for a great week of cycling the Vuelta Espana 2021.
The bike tour was THE BEST!
What shall I say.. magnificent care, very thoughtful planned routes (special adjusted White Villages one for my trip) and all the little things like the recommendations for eating and sightseeing, hints and local insight.. it is hard to mention every small detail suggested and there were a lot of such great ones..overall Geoff and Maggi made my first cycling tour very comfortable, right amount of challenging and with a lot of personal touch along the way.
I will definitely come back for another trip whether it will be a self-guided again (other part of Spain/ Portugal) or I dare to have a fully guided one, probably linked then to a Vuelta stage/-s.. lets see. I am excited.
This has been a perfect trip and even when It was challenging (especially because Spain appears to be non-english speaking almost at all except hotels in bigger cities..) when there were doubts I would make a PCR test in time before my flight, Geoff and Maggi made every effort (while they didn’t have to..) to try and solve the issue which they did.. I was saved and in time everywhere I needed to be..
My husband and I are back from our biking trip in Portugal with a suitcase full of wonderful memories.
I would like to thank Cycling Country for the amazing organization that they provided to make our trip go as smoothly as it did.
The bikes were very comfortable and in great condition (thank you for the special Dutch-style bikes – they were great!) and well equipped with emergency tools.
They really thought of everything we might need along the road.
The “Ride with GPS” navigation was very easy to follow and had lots of interesting tips and useful information. Also the hotels were all very nice and in great locations. In addition, the support we received before and during the trip was first class. Above all, the scenery was fantastic and the trails very varied along the coast, through beautiful parks and interesting places.
I highly recommend both the trip and Cycling Country as the organizers.
Where to start… we (my dad and I) joined the group a couple days after the official start for the last week of La Vuelta 2021. They were very accommodating to our travel needs and very responsive. Once we joined the group in spain, the staff was very friendly and professional, the hotels selected were topnotch. Most dinners were included and the quality was superb. We were a group of 9 riders with 3 guides. The rides were challenging but they were very accommodating to everyone’s abilities, you could ride as much or as little as you were comfortable with. We had amazing experiences from incredible access to the teams and riders, to one on one conversation with race directors. We got to ask them about logistics, advertising, etc. Super cool experience. They always had nutrition, and fluids readily available (I am sure they would have even offered a sticky bottle if you asked them for one). The bikes were in great condition. I got to ride a brand new Trek Emonda SL6. If you are not very knowledgeable about bikes, that is a very good bike, better than what I ride at home. I sent my measurements beforehand and the bike fit perfectly once I got there. I could not recommend them enough. I will most definitely be taking another trip with them.
Our guides were Javi and Dean. They both were super friendly and great riders. We shared beers, laughs and tears. Very amazing experience. Geoff and Maggi were also amazing. They made us feel as we were long time friends and bent over backwards to make everyone feel the same way.
Cycling Country`s Self Guided Porto to Lisbon
Great experience and very well organized! The selection of cities/towns and routes through Portugal’s central coast is varied and interesting.
The route was not very challenging (mostly flat) and great for those who want a laid back ride, and kept us off main roads ( love not having to negotiate much car traffic!).
Cycling Country was reliable, friendly and accommodating with good attention to detail. Hotels were solid, with some nice touches, like a few with spa amenities.
We were especially grateful for their help with finding places for Covid tests for our return flight to the US. Our flight got cancelled and they graciously made accommodations for us, much appreciated!.
What a wonderful ride through beautiful countryside. 7 riding days on. good and very quiet roads with beautiful views. Self guided tour was easy with GPS as well as written directions, Cycling Country put together a very helpful booklet of things to see and recommendations for lunch and dinner. The food was great and all our accommodations were excellent. We have cycled on vacations all around Europe, Africa,Asia, and the Americas and this trip is easily one of our favorites. From the initial planning through the final day of riding, Cycling Country took great care of us, they even provided great Sunny, cool days for riding in late February… We look forward to sampling other Cycling Country tours, it was wonderful.
We loved our White Villages trip and our experience with Cycling Country !
The bikes were excellent and general help and advice was great.
The scenery fabulous and both varied and dramatic.
All the villages we stayed in were just so lovely .
Highly recommend our trip and experience ! Hope to be back one day.
Thanks! We both had a great time-both cycling and exploring during our down time.
Javi was a gracious guide and host and I think he was entertained by our banter.
Hope you have a great fall as well and I/we will be back on another tour for sure.
We wanted a self guided tour at very short notice. Cycling Country sorted an excellent four day tour, moving our luggage to very nice hotels in great locations.
We were met at the airport, showed personally to our accommodation and personally fitted up to two excellent hybrid bikes.
The staff were personable and helpful throughout, changing a bike with no complaint, even though it was a consequence of an error on our part.
The rides were great, notes good.
We look forward to returning.
Thank you for an amazing trip. We really enjoyed the riding. And a big thank you to Geoff for putting me on the step through e-bike.
It was the best option for me! Thanks!
Thanks so much for an excellent trip. It was all (and more) that I had hoped for. Geoff you are an excellent guide – very helpful and great at managing expectations. I think we were also fortunate to have such an excellent group. I would be pleased to help you spread the word about your company and the excellent experience you provide.
Thanks again – it was fabulous .
It was great thanks. We thoroughly enjoyed every minute.
Many thanks for your organisation!
I have already talked with my wife about doing another of your tours and having her join us.
Thanks much and thank you again for memories that will last a lifetime!
Cycling Country`s Amazing Alentejo is Amazing!
This was my first guided trip with Cycling Country, after having a wonderful self-guided trip using them in Andalusia. Wow! So impressed with the level of service, the knowledgeable guides and local insight. I cannot say enough good things about this small, family run company where the owners make sure every last detail is perfect. Top notch accommodations and great food. Challenging yet fun cycling routes.
We arrived dry and happy at the hotel.
The bikes are safely locked in the garage and we will put all your stuff ( laminated book and so on) to the bikes.
It was a very nice trip, quiet roads, lovely sights, friendly hotels.
It’s been fun 🙂
Thank you very much for sorting that trip out for us!
Best regards, Mit besten Grüßen,
My sentiments are the same as my husband’s. Fantastic time had by all. And, Javier made the trip! Thanks for planning a great experience for us. I hope your trip to Canada (I believe that’s where you went?) was a success. Warmly, R. Katz.
We had a fantastic trip. Everything worked out well. Javier was perfect in every way. Kind, attentive, locally knowledgeable, and 100 percent on the job. The whole experience was a success. Had we not had the van and Javier, it would have been a problem for our group… a bit of rain etc. Many thanks!
Maggie and Geoff (and to all of Andalusia )
Thank you for helping to make this is great week for us. As it was our last day we “leaned in” and went for the full loop from Almunecar ( 134km and 2400m of climbing). It was a challenging ride for each of us. So much so that supper consisted (in our hotel room) of fish and chips from the shop on the beach promenade and the best bottle of wine that we could find at the liege grocery store by the hotel. We had to go next door to buy a corkscrew!
We really enjoyed the week and Andalusia. The routes were very good, and the bikes worked out very well for us.
The bikes are in the garage and all other bits at reception. Thank you both so very much for your support, organisation and planning. It has been a truly fantastic ride, we´ve loved it. It was challenging even on e-bikes and I felt a little nervous on first day setting out but once saw how good it all was I was fine. The roads were quiet and any traffic was so good, we felt very safe and relaxed. NZ drivers are not always patient so riding on roads can be a different experience from here in gorgeous Spain. Our memories of this wonderful trip (White Villages of Andalucia) will last for ever. Scenery forever, so huge and awesome. We loved the absolute quiet in the countryside, we would stop and just listen to it at times. Beautiful. Thank you again – and for the present, a lovely reminder every time we have tapas!! All the best, hope you have a wonderful summer.
It was a great cycling week again and the guiding by Dean like last year excellent. He knows the area very well …
Having a car with us was a new but also nice feature, it gave us more flexibility in the day planning.
And Granada as destination and base did the rest.
I am sure this was not our last time :).
Hope you will have a great season and greetings to Dean!
Overall we had a great time and we would recommend Cycling Country to others.
Super thanks Jeff & Balbino & Maggi! “Over the Top” experience.. will highly recommend online and to family and friends”
As you probably gathered from Julie’s daily updates (ha ha) we had a great time! Everything was very well organised, hotels were good, Geoff was great with setting us up and the bikes were great (we are all tempted to buy trek bikes now!). The routes were all great and pretty tough. We loved the more gradual climbs in particular!
Epic riding, Epic Trip, Thank you so much for everything, Cheers!
Our group of 8 recently completed the 8 day Enchanted Andalusia tour with Cycling Country. Geoff and Maggi organized a fantastic itinerary that included 6 days of biking and 4 walking tours on our route from Seville to Granada.
The biking was fantastic. We had a great mix of ride profiles, fantastic scenery and, thanks to Geoff and Maggi’s local expertise, very little vehicle traffic for the vast majority of the ride.
The walking tours were very interesting and informative, culminating with the Alhambra in Granada.
Cycling Country offers a perfect blend of professional organization while maintaining a relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere throughout the trip. Geoff and Maggi are very knowledgeable about the area and enthusiastic about their bike tours.
Maggi and Jeff and Dean! Just wanted to thank you all so much for a wonderful Andalusian bike tour. It was everything we hoped it would be. I especially think your choice of hotels was outstanding: I am the sort of person that is happy if it is clean and the bed isn’t lumpy (!) but your choice of accommodations was way beyond the basics. I especially loved the homey touches of our family-owned hotel in Alhama de Granada. The rooms were lovely, and the view of the canyon behind the hotel was drop-dead gorgeous. What a special place.
I also want to thank you over and over for securing a ticket for the tour of the Alhambra when they were sold out. I was resigned to the fact that I would miss one of the premier sights/ treasures of Grenada, and both the site and the guide, Consuela, were outstanding! That was not in your job description, but it was very much appreciated. And I shall wear out my Cycling Country jersey from Espana–I get so many compliments on it.
Thanks again, and have a lovely holiday. And do think about a relaxed tour of the Big Island one of these cold, rainy winters in Spain!
Thank you for an amazing week of cycling we will never forget! It far exceeded our expectations! It was perfect and exactly what we were after. A big thank you to you and the team!
For first-time visitors, a tour across Andalusia introduced a country of rich culture and history, beautiful scenery and welcoming people. Detailed local knowledge, cycling know-how, caring people skills – Cycling Country riders took superb care my wife and I – fit but not expert – as our group rode Andalusia’s secondary roads through white towns, cities and countryside from Sevilla to Córdoba to Granada. We liked feeling “back-up” – always the option to “van” if a climb was too steep or a day ride too long. Hotel stays unique and very comfortable – Monasterio de San Francisco, Hacienda Minerva, Convento de Magdalena, Vincci Albayzin. Meal stops gave a wonderful introduction to Andalusian cuisine. Excellent guided visits to Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba and the Alhambra were fascinating highlights. This trip had it all! A memorable group tour offering a FUN introduction to Spanish and Andalusian culture and history – great meals, great weather and great hotels.
With Cycling Country we made our first cycling trip to Europe. Geoff, Dean, Javi and the rest of the crew made our rides and say really happy. Balbino took care of my mom and showed her Spain while me and my brothers went riding, then we met at the finish line of La Vuelta stages. It was a terrific Trip and we will for sure do it again!!!
Amazing Trans Iberian Cycling Tour! My wife and I just completed the Trans Iberian ride from Lisbon to Granada with a few days in Sevilla. It was a great trip, interesting and well organised. Amazing landscapes and villages. We are glad we chose to go with Cycling Country, who are based in southern Spain after being set up by Geoff and Maggi 13 years ago. Great local guides ( thanks Geoff, Maggi, Javier, Dani and Balbino) with a professionally run operation. Accommodation was also great and in many cases the same ( or more interesting) than more expensive tour options. If you are interested in cycling in Spain or Portugal I’d thoroughly recommend Cycling Country. Visited May 2017
Can’t possibly overstate what a wonderful experience it was to ride with Cycling Country. Every detail was so carefully planned that they would always be my go to company for cycle touring in Europe.
Just finished the Granada,Sierra Nevada tour with Dean. Had the most amazing rides. Did the 2013 Vuelta with cycling Country which was fantastic m, back for more and truly enjoyed every minute, great hotel and local knowledge. After experiencing other tour operators The Cycling Country team are by far the best. See you again soon guys
We would recommend Cycling Country without hesitation to anybody who has a sense of adventure and a love of cycling!
My wife and I just finished Cycling Country’s self-guided Moorish Andalucia tour and had a fantastic time. The route that CC put together for this tour – the same as their guided tour I believe – was just perfect: beautiful country side, quiet roads, beautiful towns, excellent hotels. The length of days and elevation ups/downs were also just right – the payoff for the bigger climbs were windy downhill rides that were a blast! The materials CC provided were top rate – they help us not get lost and also appreciate the history and culture of everywhere we went. The Orbea road bikes we rented from CC were also perfect and they helped us set them up nicely. The whole team at CC were responsive and really pleasant to connect with – we’re looking forward to our next CC trip! Thanks Maggi, Geoff and Dean! Cheers, David
We can’t say enough good things of the time you spent pointing out the local history to us from the beginning of Columbus’ expedition to the 2 BC Roman bridge.
Took the 6 day Cordoba to Granada bike trip with Javier and Mike, our two guides. Great rides through the mountains, wonderful hotels, and good guides. I went single and had a blast – Will be looking at doing the Portugal Ride with Cycling Country in 2017, I liked the tour group that much.
Just returned to Australia. 🙁
The highlight of the trip was the Enchanted ride. We still miss Spain. The ride was perfect in every way!
Hello everyone, What terrific memories!!! As the rain pours down here it’s fantastic to enjoy the photos from our travels with the Cycling Country crew and new international friends! Can’t wait to see if anyone adds some of their photos as we relive a great trip. Let´s go… Portugal 2016!!e.
We had a great trip. The cycling was challenging but well worth the scenery, the views and the white villages we visited. The accommodations were wonderful and the hosts were very pleasant and helpful. The food was very tasty but then how can you go wrong with tapas, cerveza and sangria. Kathy and I would like to thank Cycling Country for setting up the tour, providing the bikes, maps, information sheets/booklet and directions. Definitely, an A-One job. It was a pleasure meeting Warren, Geoff and Maggie. Otherwise as we said, the trip was great and the organization and preparatory help from Cycling Country was superb. A great big thank you from us both.
Good day Maggi, Geoff, Dean & Javi! Thank you for a most enjoyabable and memorable vacation! Maggi, we thank you for all the behind-the-scenes preparation. Dean and Javi, you were always so patient and kind to put up with us novices, and out of shape cyclists! Also we appreciate your constant enthusiasm, and imparting knowledge of all of Spain! We can not wait to return and I am working with Michael to adjust his time off so we can go to Portugal with you! We adore the photos, thank you so very much! We didn´t realize you were all such shutterbugs (engaged with trying to climb the hill, no doubt!)
Thank you so very very much again and again!
Thank you so much for the pictures. They brought back wonderful memories and will be indispensable in creating our own photo book. We were just saying this morning how we missed riding every day. Many thanks to Dean and Javi for taking the great pictures, but also for all their encouragement and advice along the way. The tour – but mostly all the hills – pushed our comfort level and gave us the confidence to attempt more on our future rides.
Thank you again, Maggi and Geoff, We had a VERY nice cycling holiday thanks to you! We are looking forward to doing this again before too long!
Hi Maggi and Jeff – we really enjoyed our tour – definitely some challenging climbs (El Torcal comes to mind!) but the scenery was amazing and overall we had wonderful weather – slightly cool in the morning, warm but not too hot during the days, rainshowers in the late afternoons. Even the one day that had several rainstorms was beautiful – we saw a double rainbow that day. Thanks for the GPS routes – that really helped us get into and out of some of the towns. And we loved the information packets – its always fun to know more about the place you are in. Hope you are having fun in Portugal – it was great meeting you!
Hi Maggie, I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed my recent Enchanted Andalucia trip (Sept. 8) with Javi and John. Everything was run brilliantly. Javi and John were superb, they were very professional, always helpful, supportive and a lot of fun. It was evident they really cared about providing us with a happy and memorable experience of this region of Spain. A few of our group were unlucky to draw a season’s worth of punctures in a few days. Javi & John were quick and unruffled in dealing with these minor issues on the road to keep us moving. But more so, I know they worked long and tirelessly after hours to ensure the following day ran smoothly, checking wheels, patching tubes (repeatedly) and buying more spares. (Ask John about the tube patching nightmare that woke him in Zuheros 🙂 They always ensured we had whatever we needed on the ride. Each pre-ride briefing was excellent, I appreciated the profile overview and the advice on when extra care might be required on a road hazard or dicey descent. (Although it must be said that Javi’s interpretation of upcoming climbs that are ‘not too difficult’ and mine varies significantly!)
Both Javi and John spoke highly of you and Geoff, and it was evident in your company policies on things such as collecting snack litter and recycling the large water bottles that you have in place a great ethic and team. I arrived in Spain with a bad flu bug, leaving me cycling way back well at the rear of the group. Both Javi and John (and the rest of the group) were very accommodating and ensured there were sufficient ‘re-group’ stops for me to catch up for which I was extremely grateful. I knew the van was always available should I need it, no drama, no fuss. I loved the selection of hotels, thank you. Each had something special in either their heritage or their location. Or, like the more modern hotel in Cordoba, offered a great view and rooftop pool. I believe we were incredibly lucky with the group make-up, we were of a similar cycling standard (flu notwithstanding) and had the same mindset in enjoying being on the bikes and the challenge of the climbs and all enjoyed each others company. That plus the wonderful route and scenery and Javi and John made for a great time. Best wishes to all the team at Cycling Country,
“Thank You!!” – Hi Maggie and Geoff, We want to thank you both so much for a truly wonderful and memorable cycle tour. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and everything was just perfect. We have told so many friends about it and I am sure that next year we will have them joining us. The photos you took are really good and brought back so many good times.
Isabel, Oscar and I wanted to thank all of you for showing us such a good time on our bike tour the other week! The cycling was fantastic – just what we’d hoped for – and the accommodations were excellent. We were so happy to explore Granada and Alhama, and doing it with Cycling Country was the perfect way to do it. We especially wanted to thank Javi for all of the care and attention he showed us. Isabel and Oscar were very sorry not to have been awake to say goodbye and thank you to him. We all thought he was the ideal guide – knowledgeable, patient, informed, and thoughtful. We looked forward to seeing him every day; he really couldn’t have taken better care of us, especially given our lack of experience and many different needs (my seat is too high, my handle bars are too low, I need to stand in the shade, can we put our feet in the river? Etc. etc.) Thank you, Javi! I’ve attached a couple of photos that will help us remember our wonderful trip and that we thought you would enjoy also. Muchas gracias y hasta la proxima.
“Thanks” – The quick answer is the trip was fabulous in all respects. We will do another self guided trip for sure. Absolutely beautiful scenery, good roads, nice hotels where we were treated wonderfully by the staff, nice bikes and great weather. Will recommend this trip to friends.
Just wanted to take a moment to thank you, Geoff, Dean & Warren for making our recent tour in Spain such a wonderful experience. We had a blast, and will always remember our days on the road and at the wonderful hotels, especially at Paco’s and Dominique’s. Really first class folks. I just completed a review for you on Tripadvisor.com, stating my high regard for the trip. I sincerely hope your business prospers, and hopefully within the next year, we will be able to return to Spain and do another tour with your company. Thanks again & best wishes,
What great shots! Terrific! They bring back wonderful memories and memorable moments! They are so precious!! Thanks so much for sharing!!
Hi Maggi, You were absolutely right, cycling the Pico Veleta is much cooler than the Ventoux/ alpe d’Huez. What a great views, when I was up there I felt on top of the world!! What a great way to spend my 50th birthday! Tnx for your advice and the wonderful bike.
“Great Way to See Andalucia” – We just finished the fantastic “Enchanted Andalucia” Cycling Country Tour. The trip was well planned, the guides were very knowledgeable and engaging. The scenery was quite a variety of olive groves to beautiful mountains. Most places we stayed for 2 nights, so we didn’t have to pack up every day. We visited the three most important cities in Andalucia (Seville, Cordoba, and Granada), as well as many little intriguing “white villages”. There were a few challenging climbs, but the van was always there if you preferred. We found Andalucia to be the most interesting and endearing part of Spain, and biking is a great way to see it
Fantastic! Loved every minute of it! With only 3 months cycling preparation we managed the 320km distance (hopped in van twice). Accommodation, food and guides Dean, Geoff, Warren & Javier were excellent! Had a ball with our group of 7 and experienced so much of this special area of Spain. Highly recommend this tour!.”
“Thanks You!” – Dear Geoff and Maggi, I would like you to thank for a wonderful bike trip. We really enjoyed the tour a lot and all of us came back home with the promise to make this tour again, next year. Please also pass my thanks to Dean and Warren.
Hi Maggi, Lorraine and I are settled in with friends in Nerja…..it was a lovely trip with Cycling Country. I really had a wonderful time. ..can I cc you on the group email and can you forward to our great cycling guides and then they can respond too! We all wanted them to know they were more than welcome to come to Canada, the US and Australia to ride if they ever wanted too!Thanks, Maggi!
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