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Spain

Andalucia - Los Pueblos Blancos

Guided Road Cycling Holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

7 days

Prices from

£1,325 P.P.
Spain

Andalucia - Los Pueblos Blancos

Guided Road Cycling Holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

7 days

Prices from

£1,325 P.P.
BOOK NOW
Riding in the unspoilt region of Spain, this journey takes you through the most stunning mountain range in western Andalucia. During the tour you'll find yourself cycling along quiet country roads and lanes which will lead you past limestone peaks and cork oak clad sierras, linking the traditional pueblos blancos (white villages) that this region of Spain is famous for.
This is a moderately paced road cycling holiday exploring exquisite countryside, Moorish history and fantastic food with lashings of Andaluz character. This rural corner of Andalucia is worlds apart from the busy costas of the Mediterranean. Immersed in its history and proud of their traditions, you will see the ‘campesinos’ working the land and herding livestock to produce exquisite cheeses and cured meats, succulent fruits, olives and grapes to turn into sherries and wines.
Our cycling starts out from the hilltop village of Alcala de los Gazules, the route heading straight into Los Alcornacales, with rolling hills as far as the eye can see. The road climbs past the peak of Picacho before a long sweeping descent down the lush Hozgarganta river valley and the village of Jimena de la Frontera, crowned by its impressive castle. Ronda is next on the cycling hit list, with time for us to explore the beautifully preserved old town and Tajo gorge, with the next few days spent in the beauty of the Grazalema Natural Park and finally Arcos de la Frontera.
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Holiday Highlights

  • Riding the beautiful Serrania de Ronda, past white villages, chestnut groves and craggy sierras
  • A fantastic mixture of great small rural hotels
  • Exploring beautiful Ronda, perched on its magnificent gorge
  • Reaching the dramatic Puerto de las Palomas
  • Grazalema, nestled below atmospheric, limestone mountains
  • Sipping local sherries with tasty tapas in the bodegas of Arcos

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The scenery was truly spectacular and the quiet roads offered some superb cycling. The guides were great and we particularly enjoyed the ‘very relaxed’ manner in which the holiday was run and also fabulous lunches!

Bettina, Hampshire

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival: Malaga Airport
Non Riding Day

On arrival you will be met by a Skedaddle guide and taken to your first night accommodation in the hill-top white village of Medina Sidonia. Considered as the oldest city in Europe, this elevated natural fort was founded by the Phoenicians. Today it’s a fascinating labyrinth of narrow lanes and whitewash, topped by a Roman archaeological complex. We will have time to unpack and unwind before our first evening dinner together as a group. We’ll build bikes on arrival and make sure that everything is fully functioning. This is also the time for anyone renting to be fitted to their rental bike.

Day 2
Medina Sidonia to El Colmenar
59 Miles / 95 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,700 Metres Approx.

Today marks the start of our adventure and we start with a which route heads straight into Los Alcornocales Natural Park, with forested rolling hills as far as the eye can see. This ‘Mediterranean Jungle’ is the largest cork oak forest in Europe and has been described as Europe’s last real wilderness area, so we may well see wild boar and deer with griffon vultures and a variety of eagles soaring on thermals overhead.

The road climbs past the peaks of Picacho and Aljibe before undulating on high ground offering great views down towards Jerez.

From the pass we’ll take a long sweeping undulating ridge road through stone pines and cork oaks, with glimpses of vast limestone peaks to our north. The route descends down through the lush Hozgarganta river valley on an almost traffic free road that drops then climbs and then descends dramatically down to the village of El Colmenar, a cork-cutters village hidden in the park next to the Guadiaro River.

Our accommodation for the evening is a beautiful ‘casa rural’, nestled by the river. This peaceful home from home is made up of a series of traditional village houses and is beautifully organic with rooms and terraces on many different levels.

Day 3
El Colmenar to Juzcar
31 Miles / 50 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,450 Metres Approx.

After a lovingly prepared breakfast of freshly baked bread, home-made jams and juices we’ll take on the first challenge of the day, with the climb out of the valley and up to Gaucin, a stunning medieval white village topped by a 13th century castle. The village sits high on a ridge almost a thousand metres above the Mediterranean and commands views in every direction across the sierras.

The road that leaves Gaucin is a beauty. Staying high on the ridge that divides the deep valleys of the Genal and Gaudiaro rivers, the road twists and winds its way through the Serrania de Ronda mountains, passing numerous picturesque villages of Moorish origin, each with a cluster of bars and restaurants for refreshments.

During the afternoon the route will take us through some fantastic mountain scenery, before turning onto a local road linking the most beautiful white villages in the Serrania.

Accommodation for the night is at Juzcar in a beautifully preserved village inn. At present Juzcar is an incredible sight since being used as a film set in 2011 as the Smurf’s hometown! If you have the energy before dinner, a walk to the mid 18th century tin factory is well worth a visit.

Day 4
Juzcar to Ronda
43 Miles / 70 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,100 Metres Approx.

The day begins as we head into the sun, past Los Riscos, an area of amazing weather sculptured rock formations as we take on a satisfying climb out of the Genal valley, to the edge of the Natural Park of Las Nieves (the snows!). We will pass numerous white villages surrounded by hillsides cloaked with chestnut trees, a feast for the eyes as the leaves take on their autumn colours.

Climbing higher we ride into the mountainsides of shattered limestone and complex cliffs as the road snakes a beautiful thread across the hillsides.

The village of Pujerra is a pretty stop for our picnic lunch in the square before a fast traverse and final climb through a limestone gorge.

Continuing on our way we’ll pass wheat fields, pine forest and craggy mountainsides, until we take a thrilling descent down through vineyards and to beautiful Ronda and our accommodation for the night. It’s a delightful town to spend a night and wander the medieval cobbled lanes in search of the perfect bar or restaurant. Visit the museum of the infamous bandoleros; follow the history of bullfighting at Ronda’s elegant bullring or take your chance to relax on one of Ronda’s café terraces and watch the world go by in true Andaluz style. The old town across the Puente Nuevo is a beautiful example of Moorish architecture and the views are awesome down into the Tajo gorge and the surrounding mountains.

Day 5
Ronda to Grazalema
39 Miles / 62 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,750 Metres Approx.

Today we’ll head into the heart of the awesome Grazalema, which is undoubtedly one of the most attractive parts of the tour and makes for an amazing day on the bike.

Our day begins by descending into the Gaudiaro river valley, passing the huge Cueva del Gata cave mouth and climbing up a narrow valley past olive and almond groves. After a short climb through farmland we’ve a beautiful descent to the shores of the Zahara-Gastor reservoir. The road along the waters’ edge will take us to the beautiful hillside white village of Zahara de la Sierra, dominated by its magnificent castle.

The climb to come is probably the climb of the week; both in height gain and the views that unfold with each pedal stroke. At the half way point, we pass a viewpoint that looks down into the Garganta Verde, or Green Canyon, a stunning deep gorge cut into the limestone by the Rio Verde. It’s often possible to see huge groups of griffon vultures soaring beside the canyon’s cliffs here. The top of the climb will bring us to Puerto de las Palomas and a well deserved rest. From this lofty vantage point we’ll be able to make out the pan-tiled roofs and white washed buildings of our resting place for the night Grazalema, which nestles below the peaks of Penon Grande and San Cristobal.

Day 6
Grazalema to Arcos
37 Miles / 60 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,000 Metres Approx.

The final day of riding begins with a steady climb up to the Boyar Pass that stands at over 1,000m. Views are terrific down into the valley and across to the Salto del Cabrero.

The only way to go from here is down; and wow, what a descent. In all we’ll drop over a thousand metres, passing the small village of Benamahoma, through the Albarracin range covered in pines, to the small town of El Bosque.

After resting from your descent we’ll head out over rolling farmland of olives and cereals, through bursts of cork oak to the Guadalcacin Reservoir where lies the pretty village of Algar.

Our route now heads north west through some beautiful rolling countryside, winding past the waters’ edge until reaching your final destination of Arcos de la Frontera. One of Andalucia’s most dramatically positioned pueblos blancos (white villages), Arcos balances atop a rocky limestone ridge, its whitewashed houses and stone castle walls stopping abruptly as a sheer cliff face plunges down to the fertile valley of the river Guadalete below. Declared a national historic-artistic monument in 1962 in recognition of its exceptional architecture and impressive location, the old town is a tangled labyrinth of cobbled streets that lead up to a sandstone castle, the Castillo de los Arcos. As you’d expect from such a spectacular vantage point, there are exhilarating views over the town and the rolling plain below.

As Arcos is perched on the top of a huge cliff, we’ll have one more climb before we all sit admiring the dramatic views across the Bornos lake with a celebratory cerveza!

Day 7
Departure: Malaga Airport
Non Riding Day
  • Meals: Breakfast

We have an early departure from the hotel but we hope you have a little time to enjoy a last café con leche before your journey back to the airport and onward flight connections.

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The Cycling

Terrain

This fantastic place to place trip is 100% on tarmac, taking you through beautiful Andalucia on mountain roads and back-lanes with almost no traffic. You’ll start the trip up high in the mountains, finishing on the shores of the wild Atlantic. The roads tend to be well surfaced with smooth tarmac. There is some climbing along the way, but there is plenty of time to enjoy the scenery on the way up. The trip is designed for road cyclists with a good level of fitness.

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Road Cycling Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 2 - 3: Gentle to Moderate

Average distances around 70-90 km with occasional challenging climbs

A moderately difficult tour somewhere slightly tougher than a Grade 2, but not as difficult as Grade 3

Some long days and significant climbs

Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!

For more information about our grading system click here.

Is this suitable for you?

You’re reasonably fit and ride frequently at weekends, sometimes staying on the bike for a number of hours at a time. You do enjoy an occasional challenge and quite happy climbing but you‘re unlikely to be found daydreaming about ticking off all the famous cols of the Tour de France. That said the prospect of tackling a semi-serious to serious mountain pass doesn’t fill you with dread. You enjoy the social aspect of cycling and look forward to the occasional coffee-stop as much as the riding itself. You have good control of your bike and feel confident in your skills to ascend and descend safely. Whilst you find a full day in the saddle fulfilling, you’re not obsessed and as much as you are looking forward to the riding on your holiday, you’re also looking forward to a little local culture and cuisine. Grade 2-3 would be a good option for you.

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We had a great time, it was fantastic to be away in such beautiful scenery on my bike over New Year. My favourite day was over the Puerta de los Palomas. Our tour leader and the team were fantastic!

Bridget, London

Dates & Prices

Private Departures

Private Departures

Are you keen to only travel with your family or friends? Struggling to find the right date? Well, we can organise a private departure for this tour and tailor aspects to suit your group's specific needs. Contact our friendly team and we'll help you turn your dream into reality.

Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
21/03/2021
Return Date
27/03/2021
Duration
7 days
Price
£1,325.00
Start Date
27/12/2021
Return Date
02/01/2022
Duration
7 days
Price
£1,325.00

Whats Included Tick

A) Accommodation (shared twin / double en suite rooms)

B) Meals as per the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

C) Full tour service, including Skedaddle guides

D) Unless stated, at least one leader qualified in first aid

E) Support vehicle and luggage transfers

F) Airport transfer on scheduled arrival day from Malaga airport (AGP)

G) Airport transfer on scheduled departure day to Malaga airport (AGP)

What's not Included Cross

A) Bike hire (available if required)

B) Flights and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)

C) Meals not stated in the itinerary

D) Single room (available if required)

E) Travel insurance

F) Personal clothing and equipment

G) Personal expenditure (souvenirs, bar bills, hotel facilities etc)

H) Entrance fees to museums and other attractions en route

I) Airport transfers on days other than the scheduled arrival / departure days

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The Essentials

Travel Options

Group airport transfers are included in the cost of your holiday. To join the airport transfer on arrival, you’ll need to arrive into Malaga airport (AGP) between 09:00 and 16:00 for your transfer.

At the end of the tour, we will transfer you back to Malaga airport (AGP) for flights departing after 12:00 – please consider this when booking your return travel and allow enough time to check in for your chosen flight.

Please contact us for more detailed information on the specific flight schedules available for your holiday. Please check with us before booking any flights, to make sure we have reached the minimum number required to guarantee your holiday and to ensure your flights fit with our scheduled transfers. Please note – If you make travel arrangements that fall outside of the above time windows there may be an additional charge for individual transfers.

Accommodation

Accommodation (shared twin or double rooms) will usually be en suite in 2/3 star hotels or guesthouses. Family run, personable, charming, comfortable and homely are boxes we tick when looking for places to stay. A million miles away from chain style hotels all with unique touches.

Bike Hire

If you have opted to hire then your bike will typically be a Giant Contend with Giant/Liv Avails (alu frames) available for those preferring a women’s specific frame. They are great bikes with good quality components and generally come equipped with at least one bottle cage, a saddle bag and a small pump. We can also include a helmet which should be requested at time of booking. Please note that your bike will come with flat pedals as standard, so please do bring your own if you use clip-in pedals.

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