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Spain

Andalucia - Los Pueblos Blancos

Self-Guided Road Cycling Holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

£1,460 P.P.
Spain

Andalucia - Los Pueblos Blancos

Self-Guided Road Cycling Holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

£1,460 P.P.
BOOK NOW
This incredible holiday in an unspoiled area of southern Spain will take you through the most stunning mountain scenery in 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 holiday for any road cyclist looking to explore 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.
 
Your cycling starts and finishes in Pizarra, located close to Malaga for easy access from the airport but quiet enough to enjoy great riding right from the get go. The route throughout the week winds through dozens of white villages with plenty of options for a café or lunch stop and beautiful riding through olive groves, wheat fields, cork and oak forests with rolling hills as far as the eye can see. From great riding at El Burgo and Setenil de las Bodegas the next few days are spent on mountain roads enjoying the beauty of the Grazalema and its Natural Park. Ronda is next on the cycling hit list but there’s still time at the end of the day to explore the beautifully preserved old town and Tajo gorge. 
 
This is a self-guided trip and your luggage will be transferred from place to place, leaving you free to enjoy the tour just carrying snacks and spares as though out on a day’s ride. 
 
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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 local bodegas

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Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival: Malaga / Pizarra
Non Riding Day

You’ll be met on arrival into Malaga airport and transferred to your first night’s accommodation in Pizarra in the Guadalhorce valley. After bike fitting or un-packing, should you have brought your own bike, time will be taken to talk you through the week, chat through how to use your navigation app, as well as to answer any queries that you may have.

Pizarra is a small town that lies at the foot of Sierra del Hacho. The community is still largely farming based, and so far remains untouched by the expansion of Malaga. Pizarra is famed for it’s palace: Palacio de los Condes de Puerto-Hermoso, which was built in the 19th century and played a pivotal role in the Spanish Morocco war. The Museo Municipal de Pizarra is another site to see in Pizarra. This museum contains an impressive array of archaeological artefacts from across the ages (including Roman and Moorish).

Day 2
Pizarra to El Burgo
33 Miles / 54 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 1,150 Metres Approx.

After a relaxing breakfast, packing your bags and leaving them at reception you will set off on your Andalucian adventure. You´ll ride up the Guadalhorce valley passing the dramatic cliff of El Chorro and the deep blue waters of Ardales before meandering up the Turon valley to the white village of El Burgo on the edge of the Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park.

Day 3
El Burgo to Setenil de las Bodegas
47 Miles / 75 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 1,350 Metres Approx.

After a delicious breakfast you have a beautiful day’s ride in store. Today’s route will take you through the Sierra de las Nieves and over the Vibora pass. As you drop down through lofty pines there will be great views to the east before you pass through the castle topped villages of Teba and Cañete. Tonight’s accommodation is in the village of Setenil de las Bodegas, famous for the dwellings that are built into the rock overhangs above the Rio Guadalporcun.

Day 4
Setenil de las Bodegas to Grazalema
30 Miles / 48 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 1,500 Metres Approx.

After gliding past the vineyards of Ronda below the saw-toothed limestone peaks of the awesome Grazalema Natural Park, the route takes some easy kilometers along the shores of the deep blue Zahara-Gastor reservoir to the picturesque white village of Zahara de la Sierra, dominated by its magnificent castle, a great place for a breather and maybe a spot of lunch.

The climb to come is probably the climb of the week; both in height gain and views that unfold as you turn each pedal. You will have more than enough time for the steadiest of climbs, so don’t worry. You’ll get great vistas back over the reservoir and across to the conical Penon del Gastor mountain.

Around halfway up the road, you will pass a view point 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 – an awesome sight. The top of the climb will bring you to Puerto de las Palomas (Pass of the Doves), and you will deserve a celebratory rest to admire your efforts.

Approaching the village of Grazalema itself; from above you’ll be in for a terrific sight of pan-tiled roofs and whitewashed buildings nestled beneath the Penon Grande and San Cristobal peaks. The village is famous for its hand-woven woollen blankets and delicious food but nothing compares to its beauty!

Day 5
Grazalema Loop
39 Miles / 56 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 1,350 Metres Approx.

An easy morning today as there’s no need to pack as the day’s loop ride will return you to Grazalema. The day begins with a steady climb up to the Boyar Pass that stands at over 1,000m. Views are terrific down into the Tavizna valley and across to the deep defile of Salto del Cabrero.

The only way to go from here is down; and wow, what a descent. In all you’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.

El Bosque could be a good choice for a lunch stop as its river, of the same name, is full of succulent trout (quite a rarity at such southerly latitudes).

There’s plenty more beautiful rocky scenery on this afternoon’s route through holm oak and cork forests and skirting the beautiful white towns of Ubrique and then Benaocaz before returning to Grazalema for a well-deserved rest.

Day 6
Grazalema to Ronda
38 or 57 Miles / 62 or 91 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 1,400 or 2,150 Metres Approx.

There is a choice of two routes today as you head to the dramatically situated town of Ronda, perched on the top of the El Tajo canyon.

Our first leg of the day takes you east out of Grazalema through holm oak and cork trees and soon you’ll be zipping past Montejaque snugly tucked into the rocky sierra beneath the symbolic El Hacho mountain.

The most significant climb of the day begins after the pretty village of Jimera de Libar but there’s plenty of time to take the climb at a steady pace. Just before the top a choice needs to be made about whether to take the more direct northerly road to Ronda or to continue on and take in Juzcar. On the longer route there’s one more climb for the day through Los Riscos, an area of amazing weather-sculptured rock formations that lead you out of the Genal valley to the edge of the Natural Park of Las Nieves (the snows!).

Whichever route you take there will be a rewarding descent to beautiful Ronda and your accommodation for the night.

Ronda is 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 Andalus 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 7
Ronda to Pizarra
42 Miles / 57 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 1,100 Metres Approx.

The final ride takes us across the northernmost edge of the Sierra de las Nieves National Park and then down to revisit the white town of El Burgo. You can take your pick of pueblos blancos to take a relaxing break today with a gentle mix of great village stops alongside viewpoints over the national park. Returning to Pizarra tonight there will be time to enjoy a celebratory cerveza or vinto tinto. Felizidades!

Day 8
Departure: Pizarra / Malaga
Non Riding Day
  • Meals: Breakfast

Hopefully, before setting off from the hotel, you will have time to spend the morning exploring the town and enjoying a last café con leche before your short journey back to Malaga for onward journey home.

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The Cycling

Terrain

This fantastic place to place touring trip is 100% on road, taking you through beautiful Andalucia on mountain roads and back-lanes with almost no traffic. The roads tend to be excellently surfaced with lashings of smooth blacktop. There are some meaty climbs taking you over 1,000m/3280ft, but there is plenty of time to enjoy the scenery on the way up. The trip is designed for the more laidback roadie with a good level of basic 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.

For more information about the grading of this holiday in particular, please check out the terrain section which will give you some specifics of what to expect on this tour.

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Dates & Prices

Daily departures available. The prices below are per person and are applicable for all start dates between and inclusive of the stated dates.

2024 – £1460 – 01 Jan – 17 Mar / 03 Apr – 30 Jun / 01 Sep to 24 Dec

Secure Your Holiday With A Deposit

Book now with a £200 deposit and nothing more to pay until 60 days before departure. Choose a date to start your booking and see all prices, including bike hire and single room supplements.

Select a date to view prices and book
Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
Return Date
--/--/----
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,460.00

Whats Included Tick

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

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

C) Local representative (with welcome meeting)

D) Access to an app for holiday information and navigation

E) Luggage transfers

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

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

H) Financial Protection through ABTOT

What's not Included Cross

A) Bike rental (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

This tour starts and ends in Pizarra.

Airport transfers are included in the cost of your holiday.

For this tour we ask that you fly into and back from Malaga airport (AGP). Please arrive between 09:00 and 15:00 and depart between 11:00 and 20:00.

Please check with Skedaddle before making any travel arrangements. Please note – If you make travel arrangements that fall outside of the above time windows there may be an additional charge for your 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 and all with unique touches.

Bike Hire

Rental bikes will typically be a Giant Defy Advanced 2 or Giant Liv Avail Advanced 2 (for those preferring a women’s specific geometry) – or equivalent, with a carbon frame and hydraulic disc brakes.

Our upgrade bikes are typically Trek Domane with carbon frames, an Ultegra Di2 group set, and hydraulic disc brakes.

All our bikes have good quality components, and come equipped with two bottle cages and water bottle, a seat post bag containing: puncture repair kit, multitool, inner tube and pump.

We can also include a helmet which should be requested at the 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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