May 29th
Departure day
Spain
Destination
Advanced
Difficulty level

Al-Andalus mountain bike tour in Andalusia is located in the south of Spain. Andalusia is nearly the largest autonomous community in the country. It borders Portugal, Extremadura, Castilla-La Mancha, Murcia and the Mediterranean Sea and is considered the “bridge” between Europe and Africa. It was invaded and inhabited by the Romans, before the fall of these arrived Germanic tribes like the Vandals and the Visigoths. Those who have undoubtedly left their most notable mark in more recent times have been the Arabs and Berbers. They have remained in Spain for more than seven centuries!
Andalusia returns to Christian hands with the fall of “Córdoba” and “Granada”. It lived its splendor from the year 1492 with the growth of naval expeditions and trade with the recently discovered America. The tour takes place along the “The Mozarabic way of St James”. The Christians residing in the lands occupied by the Arabs begin to make a pilgrimage on this road. It started from Almeria, Jaén, Granada, Malaga and Cordoba. Then it joined the “Via de la Plata” and thus continue from Mérida towards Santiago de Compostela. In our spectacular tour we will see infinity of architectural mosques, fortresses and palaces that have left the Arab occupation. We highlight the spectacular Medina Azahara de Córdoba and the Alhambra and the Nazari palaces in Granada. This mountain bike tour in Andalusia is not only an architectural experience. The spectacular geography allows us to make a demanding journey and ride through amazing landscapes. The irrigation and the hands of farmers will take us through olive groves and fruit plantations. And the cities bring art and aroma to jasmine and orange trees, and gastronomy … Gastronomy is a separate experience!

DEPARTURE/ARRIVALAlmeria/ Cordoba
DEPARTING TIME12 p.m. in Almeria
SERVICES INCLUDED
Tracks to load in your GPS. The GPS must be installed in the handlebar of your bike and it’s not provided by the organisation
MTB guide Spanish/English/French along the tour + Local Spanish guide
Seven nights in Hotels (2 and 3 stars) double and triple based, breakfast included
One night in Cabines, double and triple based breakfast included
Mechanical assistance (in case your bike break down)
Medical insurance
Van transfer Almeria- Rioja
 Daily transportation of your luggage
Support vehicle along the day to supply hydration and snacks. The vehicle will show up at different spots, as it can’t follow us during the whole day
Bike jersey of the tour
NOT INCLUDED
Meals not detailed in the program, drinks, alcohol drinks, air tickets, transfers not detailed in the tour program, bike parts, phone calls, laundry expenses and personal expenses
MTB rental

Additional information

LocationSpain
Duration9 days
DatesMay

Beautiful bike tour in Andalusia, south of Spain, starting in mediterranean Almeria, visiting Guadix, Granada, Alcala la Real, Zuheros and Cordoba.

1

Day 1: Meeting in Almeria, Andalusia

Reception and setting of the bikes, check in at the hotel and briefing about the tour before enjoying a delicious Andalusian dinner.
2

Day 2: Rioja to Abrucena

 The day begins in Almeria, where we will take a transfer to move to “Rioja”, where our tour begins. Today highlights are traveling part of the “desert of Spain”, by transiting the green valley of the Andarax River and accompanying the “Sierra Alhamilla”. The route takes us in constant ascent, going through different towns such as “Santa Fe de Mondújar” and “Alhabia”, where we will regroup and have some snacks. Then we continue through “Santa Cruz de Marchena” and after 26 kilometers we will arrive at “Alboloduy” where we will take a “Bocadillo” or a “Salmorejo” for lunch. Here begins an intense ascent until reaching “Nacimiento”, the next town that you will find at kilometer 38. The landscape is combined from time to time with plantations of fruit trees and olive groves, while we always have in sight the national park of “Sierra Nevada “, where the” Mulhacén “is located, which at 3,478 meters above sea level is the highest peak of the Iberian Peninsula. We will pass through “Abla” and on a steep climb we will reach “Abrucena” where our first stage ends. Accommodation in cabins. 60Km/1460mts elevation gain – Off road & asphalt
3

Day 3: Abrucena to Guadix

Today will be a demanding stage, and we begin riding downwards towards “Abla”. The landscape is mountainous and rural and the route has no technical difficulty. We will cross little towns like “Fiñana” or “Huéneja” have narrow little streets and they look like labyrinths for those who have not been born in this land. The castle of “La Calahorra” can be seen from far away: A splendid fortress and castle, built on a rise plateau by the “Marquesado del Cenete” at the beginning of the 16th century, emerges in the distance distinguishing itself in the mountains. After 38km of pedaling mostly in ascent, it is the ideal place for a good stop and lunch. We continue alternating dirt roads and gravel and we will see for the first time the famous “House-caves” of the region of “Guadix”. “Jerez del Marquesado” will be the last hydration point to continue descending to “Guadix”. The Alcazaba, the Cathedral and the “cave-houses” deserve to be visited!
69 km/1040mts elevation gain – Off road & asphalt
4

Day 4: Guadix to Quentar

Today’s stage is fantastic! We leave “Guadix” and a few kilometers away we begin to pedal on an alley of earth encased in the middle of forests and farms. We will pass through “Purullena”, “Marchal” and “Graena” alternating uphills and downhills until arriving after 24 kilometers to “La Peza” where we will surely have lunch. There begins an intense ascent of five kilometers and three hundred meters of elevation gain to overcome, through forests, mountains and spectacular landscapes. The incredible sinuous downhill is done on an asphalt road that is usually traveled by many cyclists from Granada. A few kilometers before arriving at our hotel, we surround the “Presa de Quentar” (Quentar’s dam), an incredible turquoise water reservoir. 50.5 km / 1080 meters elevation gain – Offroad & asphalt
5

Day 5: Quentar to Granada

Today we are riding a very short stage, which will enable us having a break and also with the opportunity to arrive early to Granada and thus be able to meet one of the most important historical monuments of the Muslim world in Spain: the Alhambra, the ” Generalife “and the Nasrid Palaces. The route is not a walk since there are 4km that are made in strong ascent. This will allow us to downhill to Granada through “Sacromonte” and “Albaicin”, the Arab quarter and most beautiful viewpoint to see the “Alhambra”. The afternoon will be free to visit Granada and the Alhambra. Dinner will be at the “Albaicin”.
17 km/370mts elevation gain – Off road & asphalt
6

Day 6: Granada to Alcalá la Real

From Granada we leave towards the northwest to enter in an endless “sea” of olive plantations. As if it was a tapestry, there’s an endless landscape full of olive trees that loses on the horizon and justify the fact that Spain is the main producer of olive oil with 50% of the annual world production. In the first kilometers we pedal through rural areas where several oil producers are established. After pedaling 25km we will arrive at “Olivares” where we can have lunch. There begins a hard climb of 3km and 300mts of elevation gain to reach Moclin. For being in a very steep terrain, “Moclin” worked as a successful passage control between Alcalá la Real and Las Vegas de Granada in the old times. From “Moclin” we ride twenty kilometers more between farms and olive groves until we reach Alcalá la Real. In this city stands out the “Fortaleza de la Mota”, a 13th century monumental castle built by the Nasrids. The name “Alcalá la Real” comes from the Arabic “Al-Qal’a” (The fortress).
55 km/1090mts elevation gain – Off road & asphalt
7

Day 7: Alcalá la Real to Zuheros

We start our ride from “Alcalá la Real” surrounding the “Fortaleza de la mota”. The route to “Priego del Córdoba” takes us on the A-339 asphalt route, with more downhills than uphills. The route this morning will have a bit of traffic, which will extreme the precautions we will have to take. After 16km we pass through “Almedinilla” and the landscape continues rural and full of olive groves. “Priego del Cordoba” will be the place where we will use to rehydrate and have lunch. From “Priego del Cordoba” we start the second stage, the route will be much quieter, always wavy and we will approach the “Sierra Subbética”. From a distance you can see the cliffs of the sierras and the “Castillo de Zuheros” that is built on a monumental cliff. Reaching “Zuheros” by bike is absolutely astonishing: the combination of the rocks of the mountains, the olive groves on the horizon, the Muslim castle and the little houses all painted in white gives a charm that is difficult to describe. Its narrow and winding streets and its corners with a local traditional flavor have earned it the title of belonging to the network of “Most beautiful villages in Spain”. The rest of the afternoon will be free to walk around the town. 60.5 km/1220mts elevation gain – Asphalt road
8

Day 8: Zuheros to Cordoba

We say goodbye to “Zuheros” through a gentle downhill and northbound trend. A few kilometers away we pass through “Baena”, which also has its Arab castle built in the 9th century during the “Caliphate of Cordoba”. We continue through olive groves fields and very entertaining trails and downhill until we reach the river “Guadajoz”. “Castro del Río” will be the meeting point to rehydrate and have a sandwich. From the “Guadajoz” the road is undulated and drive us through farms of olive groves and fields of sunflowers. The last kilometers are made on a kind downhill, which allows us to see the spectacular city of “Córdoba” in advance. Crossing the Guadalquivir River through the 331 meter Roman bridge, built in the 1st century and that joined both banks for more than twenty centuries, is the crowning of a memorable journey. Cordoba, with its libraries, mosques, baths and souks would have been the most cultured, opulent and cultured city at the end of the first millennium. One cannot leave Córdoba without visiting the “Mezquita de Córdoba”, the narrow “Calle del Pañuelo”, the “Alcázar del Córdoba” or the royal stables, where you can see a show of Andalusian horses. 70km/970mts elevation gain – Off road, singletracks and asphalt
9

Day 9: Adiós Andalusia!

The tour officially ends at 10am in Córdoba. We highly recommend staying in the city for at least one more day in order to explore it and visit its heritage. The train station is near to downtown (1.500mts from the mosque) and is the best option to travel to other destinations in Spain.

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