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 get to know our bikes by chasing the lingering scent of jamon Ib���rico as we roll into Jabugo, the birthplace of Iberian dry-cured ham. We stop in legendary Jabugo for a guided tour of the cellars of Cinco Jotas, the most famous jamon in Spain. After our break, we continue pedaling to lovely Linares de la Sierra and take time to explore this beautiful whitewashed village (pueblos blancos). This afternoon we have free time to visit the ancient La Gruta de las Maravillas caves, the medieval Aracena Castle or to 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 miles; Elevation gain 3,400?/loss 4,025?. Shorter mileages supported.
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 the loop through the vineyards riding up a winding uphill to the small town of Cazalla de la Sierra. 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. A well-deserved downhill brings us back down to the vineyards in the valley. 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: 35 miles; Elevation gain/loss 2,475?. Shorter mileages supported. 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 10.4 miles of climbing. Our efforts are rewarded with a scenic six mile descent to a dedicated cycling path along the Guadiato River. Rolling into the town of Santa Maria de Trassierra, we enjoy a refreshment 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 Mezquita Mosque and Cathedral, a World Heritage Site, and enjoying a traditional Flamenco show. Breakfast included.
Cycling: 35 miles; Elevation gain 3,000?/loss 3,000?. Shorter mileages supported.
Our hilly loop ride to Zuheros takes us through the valleys and mountains that divided this land between the Christians and the Moors. We pedal past ancient castles and watchtowers that are reminders of the conflict that lasted for nearly 200 years. The ride follows the stunning Sierra Subbetica Natural Park and we?ll be sure to take a break in the delightful village of Zagrilla to chat with the locals. After lunch in the quaint town of Cabra, 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: 45 miles; Elevation gain 3,575?/loss 3,625?. Shorter mileages supported.
Once again we depart from our hotel on two wheels for an active rest day or a more challenging outing. With 60 million olive trees, this province produces the most olive oil in Spain. Apprentices of Gustave Eiffel engineered an iron bridge along a railway once used to transport olives, which is now used mainly by cyclists. We ride along the ?Via Verde? cycle path flanked by olive tree orchards as far as the eye can see. The perfect ?pueblo blanco? of Martos is an ideal spot to pull over for lunch in this relaxing oasis. Jumping back on our bikes, we continue cycling to Ja���n, where the van will take you to the city of ���beda, UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its unique Renaissance architecture. The afternoon is free to explore and have dinner on our own. Breakfast and dinner included.
Cycling: 46 miles; Elevation gain 1,825?/loss 2,100?. Shorter mileages supported.
Our last day of cycling begins in Diezma. This epic ride take 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 45-minute descent to the waiting van for a shuttle 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. Breakfast and dinner included.
Cycling: 45 miles; Elevation gain 2,650?/loss 4,200?. Shorter mileages supported.
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: 3 hours.