ANDALUCIA

Andalucia is a magic land in southern Spain, which seduced us with the beauty of Arab architecture, the charm of the pueblos blancos, the passion of flamenco and the conviviality of tapas.

We cycled 900km from Malaga to Almeria enjoying the scenic and cultural beauties this region has to offer, riding almost on back roads with very little traffic. From the sea to the desert, visiting the great art cities and climbing different Sierras, we have discovered that Andalucia is really welcoming and suggestive, and also much cheaper than other European regions.

Don’t miss our travel tips below.

DAY 1 MALAGA

Malaga is a vibrant city that has a lot to offer. Don’t miss to visit the Alcazaba, the Picasso Museum and the Center Pompidou, and a walk along the sea on Malagueta beach. For dinner try the tapas of historic El Pimpi or a more classic menu at El Meson de Cerventes. Overnight at very central Hotel Sercotel Don Curro.

DAY 2 MALAGA/RONDA: 95km/1.780m D+

Tiring but spectacular stage: you pass some very picturesque pueblos blancos and ride through amazing Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park. In Ronda you can’t miss the Puente Nuevo, but it’s also worth taking the time to visit Plaza de Toros. We suggest to sleep in the bike-friendly Hotel San Francisco. We had a specacular dinner at Tragatà that offers very creative tapas, probably one of the best dinners of the journey.

DAY 3 RONDA/ARCOS DE LA FRONTERA: 77KM/1.110m D+

Spectacular ride through the Sierra de Grazalema: the pueblo blanco with the same name is a gem where you have to stop for a break. Dinner and overnight at Parador de Arcos, best view of Arcos for sure!

DAY 4 ARCOS/JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA: 41km/290m D+

Jerez is flamenco and sherry. We attended a show while eating tapas at the historic Tabanco El Pasaje (shows are generally at lunch time!) Overnight at Hotel Jerez & SPA, that is not in the heart of the city, but it’is bike-friendly, has a beautiful pool and a delicious breakfast.

DAY 5 JEREZ/SEVILLA: 105km/360m D+

After passing picturesque Trebujena, you will ride along the Guadalquivir river on gravel all the way to Sevilla. Watch out for storks and other birds, we are very close to the Parque Nacional de Doñana. Overnight at Hotel Pasarela, that is in a very nice position in front of Plaza de España.

DAY 6 SEVILLA

Day off to visit amazing Sevilla. It could take several days to see everything, but we still enjoyed it by visiting the main attractions: the Real Alcazar and the Cathedral, which is the largest gothic cathedral in the world. To report the good dinner based on platitos at Ovejas negras .

DAY 7 LORA DEL RIO/CORDOBA: 80km/430m D+

Not an unforgettable road. We skippedd a part of it by train and then cycled the rest as fast as we could. The only thing worth mentioning is the Almodovar del Rio Castle. Night at Hotel Selu, close to lively Mercado Victoria where we suggest to have lunch or dinner in one of the many gourmet stands.

DAY 8 CORDOBA

Even in Cordoba you should stay for days… Definitely don’t miss the visit to the fabulous Mezquita and an Arab bath. We had it at Hammam Al Andalus and enjoyed it a lot.

DAY 9 CORDOBA/IZNAJAR: 98km/1.520m D+

Tough stage among olive trees on the edge of the Sierra Subbetica Natural Park. Iznajar is a very picturesque village, but beware that if you stay overnight on the lake then the climb is tiring, especially after the ride… We suggest to stay at Hotel Caserío de Iznajar: it’s nice and bike-friendly, there is a pool, a good restaurant, and an amazing view on Iznajar!

DAY 10 IZNAJAR/GRANADA: 99km/1.160m D+

Till Loja it’s a continuous up and down with challenging climbs, however rewarded by beautiful views. From there, the road runs off fairly easily to Granada. We absolutely suggest to stay at Hotel Casa 1800, a boutique hotel in a historic building in the heart of the city, just steps aways from Alhambra. Lovely!

DAY 11 GRANADA/NIGUALES: 30km/380m D+

Morning off because the Alhambra, a refined masterpiece of Arab architecture, is one of the most spectacular Spanish monuments, absolutely not to be missed! In the afternoon we left Granada, getting a little closer to the Sierra Nevada, which we will climb from tomorrow.

The overnight stay in Niguales was a surprise, because we were welcomed by a beautiful rural hotel surrounded by nature, where we also had dinner: Alquería de los Lentos.

DAY 12 NIGUALES/BUBION: 44km/1.130m D+

Las Alpujarras are a mosaic of deep valleys and gorges that stretches for 70km along the southern slope of the Sierra Nevada, famous for the picturesque Berber-style Pueblos Blancos. We went to explore the 3 most characteristic and known, which are in the Poqueira Gorge: Pampaneira, Bubion and Capileira. We reached Capileira, which is the one we liked the most, walking on a path, as we spent the night at the Villa Turística de Bubión. The whole area is full of trails perfect for hiking!

DAY 13 BUBION/LAUJAR DE ANDARAX: 63km/1.230m D+

Today we tried one of these trails! It was really beautiful, but very tiring as we had to carry the bikes on our backs for several km… Of course, you can also opt for the normal route passing through Trevèlez, famous for its Serrano ham. Beautiful stage on roads without traffic between arid rocky slopes, woods and terraced fields. In the eastern Alpujerras the landscape becomes more rugged and barren and you really don’t meet anyone. Overnight in the vineyards in Laujar de Andarax at the Villa Turística de Laujar – which has a gorgeous pool and offers a restaurant as well.

DAY 14 LAUJAR/TABERNAS: 73,5km/890m D+

Riding through the Desierto de Tabernas is like entering another world! Considered the only desert of Europe, in the 1960s this area was used by Sergio Leone as a location for his famous spaghetti westerns. Many places used as sets, today have become theme parks that can be visited: we have taken a look at the Oasys Mini Hollywood Oasys Mini Hollywood. Dinner and overnight at Hospedería del Desierto.

DAY 15 TABERNAS/SAN JOSE’: 75,3km/930,m D+

Ride along the traffic-free streets of the beautiful Sierra Alhamilla towards the sea, up to the spectacular cliffs of the Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata, which contains some of the most enchanting and least crowded beaches in Spain. A gravel road in excellent condition allows you to explore the park, San Josè is the main inhabited center with many accommodation facilities and restaurants. We spent the night at the very nice and bike-friendly Hotel Boutique MC San José.

DAY 16 SAN JOSE’/ALMERIA

The plan today was to ride the last 45km to Almeria through the Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata. But, you know, unexpected events are part of a bike journey… So we had to take a taxi to reach the finish line. In Almeria, however, we had time to explored the massive Alcazaba, the Cathedral and walk around the beautiful squares adorned with palm trees, so we forgot about not riding this last stage. The overnight in very central Hotel Catedral de Almeria was special. For dinner try the tapas of very popular Casa Puga.