Our trip begins in historic Seville, the capital of Andaluc�a, with an 8:30am rendezvous. We board our private vehicle and transfer to the heart of Aracena. We stop in legendary Jabugo- the birthplace of the Iberian dry-cured ham- whose scent wafts through the town for a guided tour of the cellars of Cinco Jotas. After the tour, we get to know our bikes on our first ride from Cinco Jotas making our way past cork trees and chestnut forests to lovely Fuenteheridos and continuing on to Aracena. This afternoon we have free time to take a short walk up to the medieval Aracena Castle or relax by the pool at our comfortable spa hotel. This evening we meet up again for a welcome dinner. Lunch and dinner included.
Cycling: 33.5 miles; (4.75 hours, 100% paved), Elevation gain/loss 3,880?/3,805?. Van transfer: 1.5 hours.
In the quiet countryside of Constantina in the heart of Sierra Norte de Sevilla Natural Park, we begin cycling the first of two gentle climbs. Our goal is the Via Verde (rails to trails path) at the old mine town of "Cerro del Hierro." It?s all downhill on the dedicated cycle path to a delicious midday creekside picnic. After lunch, we continue riding a loop through the vineyards riding up a winding hill followed by a well-deserved downhill bringing us back to the valley and to the town of Constantina. After an espresso at a local caf� we?ll board our van and the World Heritage Site of Cordoba is our next stop. We take time to freshen up before a guided walking tour of the historical city center. All meals included.
Cycling loop: 25 miles (3 hours, 92% paved/ 8% packed gravel), Elevation gain/loss 1,658/1,657?. Van transfer: 3.5 hours.
A favorite route with cyclists, today?s romp loops through the hills around Cordoba where we cycle on paved roads and enjoy the region?s splendid natural beauty. Hearts will soon be pumping as we take on 7.5 miles of climbing. Spain?s version of the Tour de France has raced along this road, so watch for the names of professional riders painted on the asphalt. Our efforts are rewarded with a scenic view of Cordoba and the Guadalquivir valley. Rolling into the town of Santa Maria de Trassierra, we enjoy a refreshment and a nice selection of tapas for lunch before cycling along a shaded road for the last smooth uphill before descending back to Cordoba. The remainder of the afternoon and evening are free to explore the many sites in Cordoba. We recommend the Mosque-Cathedral of C�rdoba, a World Heritage Site, and enjoying a traditional Flamenco show. Breakfast and lunch included.
Cycling: 28.5 miles (4.25 hours, 100% paved), Elevation gain/loss: 2,604?/loss 2,600.
Our loop ride to Zuheros begins with a beautiful slice of scenery full of olive groves, fortified cities, watchtowers and lovely villages. The ride follows the stunning Sierra Subbetica Natural Park whose mountains date from the same time period as the mighty Himalayas. After a few climbs, we?ll take a break in the delightful village of Esparragal to chat with the locals. The rest of today?s epic ride of ups and downs brings us to the 1890?s train station of Luque where a picnic lunch awaits. After lunch we cycle back to our hotel along the ?Via Verde? bike path. The afternoon is free to relax or explore in Zuheros, one of the most beautiful "pueblos blancos" in this mountainous region. Before dinner we will meet for an olive oil tasting experience. All meals included.
Cycling: 40.5 miles (4:75 hours, 87% paved/ 13% packed gravel), Elevation gain 3,411?/loss 3,542?. Van transfer: 1 hour.
Today?s adventure begins after a short transfer to Almedinilla. During the Moorish period, the Christians and the Moors were frequently at war in the area and we?ll pedal past ancient castles and watchtowers that are reminders of the conflict that lasted for nearly 200 years. As we cruise on our bicycles towards Granada, we'll have splendid views of the Sierra Nevada hour mountain range ? the home of Spain's highest peaks ? towering in the distance. In Mocl�n we?ll refuel with a picnic lunch, enjoying the viewpoint towards a stunning valley and the Sierra Nevada. We?ll finish our ride celebrate the day toasting with a "ca�a" (draft beer) before a short van transferring to the unique and elegant Hotel Alhambra Palace. Granada itself, at the foot of the Sierra Nevada, is a World Heritage city whose origins date back to the 5th Century B.C. This afternoon you?ll have the chance to relax at the hotel, explore Granada, and enjoy dinner on your own. Breakfast and lunch included.
Cycling: 40 miles (5 hours, 92% paved/8% packed gravel), Elevation gain/loss 4,239?/4,146?. Van transfer: 1.25 hours.
Our last day of cycling begins in Diezma. This epic ride takes place on well paved roads with amazing views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains towering in the distance. Pedaling past almond tree orchards with snapshots of local culture, it's no wonder that professional cyclists flock to Granada for winter training camps. The first twelve miles of the ride are a gradual downhill leading to a challenging, but thrilling climb topping out in the lovely town of La Peza. Today?s cycling finale is a fantastic descent to the waiting van for a shuttle back to Granada. This evening we visit the Alhambra Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site composed of an ornate presidential palace and gardens of roses, orange trees and myrtles that was originally built by the Moors in 889 A.D. We toast our new friends over amazing Spanish cuisine at our celebratory farewell dinner. All meals included.
Cycling: 41.5 miles (5 hours, 100% paved), Elevation gain/loss 3,025?/4,343. Van transfer: 1 hour.
It?s time to say our goodbyes after breakfast at the hotel. We will make a stop at the Granada airport this morning, or we transfer back to Seville with our guides.
Transfer: 4 hours.