Spain ? Heart of Andalucia Cycling

Trip Length 7 Days
Group Size 4-14
Difficulty
Starting from
$3,299 for REI Members
$3,799 for non-members
Departures Mar 2020-Oct 2020
Mon���Fri 7am���5pm PT

Treat yourself to 7 days in Spain?s Andalucia, cycling and exploring its Mediterranean landscapes, stories and cuisine.

Discover a craggy fairytale countryside of whitewashed villages and stone watchtower ruins in the heart of southern Spain?plus some of the best-tasting cuisine you?re likely to find anywhere. This trip is a sensory journey as much as an active one. Enthusiastic local guides lead the way on two wheels as we traverse sinuous mountain roads and country lanes lined with olive trees.

Inhale almond-perfumed breezes while riding near Diezma, where peaks of the Sierra Nevada crown the horizon. Experience an olive-oil tasting. Be exhilarated by a roller-coaster loop through valleys of castles and watchtowers, then explore Zuheros, a beautiful traditional pueblo blanco (white village). Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Ubeda, city of Renaissance marvels. Stroll amongst orange trees and ornate fountains in the gardens of the Alhambra, a Moorish palace-fortress built over a thousand years ago. Savor the region?s bright, fresh cuisine: tapas and gazpacho, local goat cheese and Iberian ham, sherry and manzanilla wine. Come seek the real Andalucia in all its beauty, complexity and astonishment.

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Trip Highlights

  • Cycle across southern Spain's storied Andaluc���a region amongst olive trees, medieval castles and ancient stone watchtowers of the Sierra Nevada
  • Walk the cobblestone lanes of Zuheros, which some call the world?s most beautiful pueblo blanco (white village)
  • Savor the region?s exquisite wines and cuisine, illuminated by local experts
  • Visit UNESCO World Heritage sites in Ubeda, Granada and Cordoba
  • Learn secrets of the Alhambra, a Moorish palace with gardens meant to mimic Paradise

Activities

This trip is rated Moderate [3]. Although a support vehicle will be available for each day?s ride, participants should enjoy spending much of the day (4-6 hours) on their bikes. Most of our cycling route is along quiet, scenic back roads with little vehicle traffic. The countryside in Spain is hilly so a regular conditioning program beginning at least 3-6 months prior to departure is strongly recommended. Anticipate daily hill climbs of varying inclines to last anywhere from 10-40 minutes. Although our trips are designed so that everyone can complete each day, we make shorter options available to handle your specific daily needs.

  • Road Cycling
  • Cycling

What's Included

Double-occupancy accommodations; meals as noted in the daily itinerary; wine with included dinners; bi-lingual cycling guides; support vehicle; hybrid touring bike; entrance fees to sites noted in the daily itinerary.

Accommodations

Hotels; 6 nights

Your wheels for the journey

Every great tour begins with a great bike, and our top-flight fleet has been carefully curated for your cycling adventure.

Want to bring your own bike?�� You can do that too.

Your Adventure Itinerary

Day 1

Ride the Forests of Aracena

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.

Day 2

From Constantina to Cazalla de la Sierra

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.

Day 3

Day 3: Cordoba Hill Romp & Evening Ramble

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.

Day 4

Watchtowers, Countryside Castles & a ?White Village? in the Mountains

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.

Day 5

Olive Orchards, Eiffel Bridge & a City of Renaissance Glory

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.

Day 6

Sierra Nevada Vistas & Spanish Farewell Feast

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.

Day 7

Farewell Spain

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.

Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. This gear list has been created to help you choose the proper equipment. Try to bring only what is necessary; this will help you and the field staff.

Bicycles

We provide 27-speed Trek 7.4 FX aluminum-frame hybrid bicycles on this trip. These bikes are perfectly suited for the terrain we?ll encounter along our route and will fit riders from 4? 8? up to 6? 6?.

Bikes are equipped with a small handlebar bag, which has a shoulder strap so you can carry it with you when touring on foot; it will hold a compact camera, mobile phone, a packable lightweight jacket and a snack item. Bikes are also equipped with one water bottle cage and GPS.

You are welcome to bring your own pedal and shoe system and/or saddle (but not the post). Our guides will install your pedals and/or saddle prior to your initial warm-up ride. In order to size the bike prior to your arrival, please complete the sizing information in your Online Traveler Profile. Bicycle helmets are required, so please bring your own.?

Collection of selected R E I Co-op cycling merchandise and snacks laid out to pack for a bike tour

What to pack

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Travel documents

  • Airline Tickets (Confirmation and Itinerary)
  • Final Bulletin (Emailed Prior to Departure Date)
  • Valid Passport

Contact Us

Feel free to give us a call at 800-622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out REI Expert Advice , which has great information to help you prepare for your trip.