- Checking out the white mountain villages of the Alpujarras
- A night in a luxurious cave house in Guadix
- The Sierra Nevada Challenge – riding to the roof of Spain
- The classic Vuelta ride through the Sierra de Pandera
- Tasty tapas and sunset sangrias
- The descent to Granada and its amazing Alhambra Palace
First ever cycling holiday and probably the best holiday I have ever taken and I have done a reasonable amount of travelling! All days were fabulous, different and unique. Favourite day probably was the climb up to Pico de Veleta for the effort involved!
On arrival into Malaga airport you will be transferred to the spa town of Lanjaron, the starting point of our classic loop of the imposing Sierra Nevada mountain range.
Lanjaron, famed for the quality of its drinking water, is the gateway to the Alpujarras, a spectacular region bathed in bright, clear light on the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada. Before the Spanish reclaimed their land the Moors left an impressive scattering of whitewashed villages across the mountainsides and above deep ravines almost identical to those found in the Atlas mountains of Morocco.
Tomorrow we start our incredible journey.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
- Ascent: 1,900 Metres Approx.
After breakfast we will head off on our bikes straight from the hotel door into the heart of the Alpujarra. With stunning vistas across the deep Guadalfeo valley we’ll pass through Orgiva, the capital of the area and begin our climbing into the High Alpujarra.
We’ll pass the stunning Poquiera Gorge and the traditional, picturesque villages of Pampaneira and Bubion, perfectly situated for a coffee break to contemplate your first experience of the simple local architecture and handicrafts produced in the area.
Winding our way on well surfaced roads we’ll pass over the Barranco del Sangre (Gully of Blood) where a last ditch attempt by the Moors of the Alpujarra was defeated in a bloody battle. Legend has it the blood of the Christian soldiers flowed up hill in order not to mix with the blood of the Moors.
There won’t be any blood, but maybe a little sweat, as we pedal high above the Trevelez river and onto the village of the same name. Trevelez is the highest village in Spain at 1,476m and is famous for its succulent hams that are cured in the thin, dry mountain air.
A fast descent into the village of Juviles will give us great views of the Sierra de Contraviesa and take us down through the Berchules gorge to Cadiar our resting place for the night. Local mountain fayre will be on the menu, not forgetting that succulent ham to be washed down with the house wine!
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
- Ascent: 2,100 Metres Approx.
Today we will head further east along the Alpujarra as we gradually gain height. Snaking through the villages of Valor, Yegen and Laroles that cling to the mountainside, we are rewarded with glimpses of the higher snow capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada, culminating in mainland Spain’s highest, Mulhacen, at 3,482m. Looking east from our vantage point we can see all the way to the desert lands of Almeria.
From Laroles at 1,050m we start the true ascent up to the Puerto de la Ragua. At 2,038m this is a tough climb rated as Category 1 and often features in the Vuelta a Espana. We’ll be rewarded though with views south to the Mediterranean and north as far as the Sierras de Cazorla and Segura in the far north of Andalucia. It’s a great place for a re-fuelling stop and a famous Skedaddle picnic of the best local produce. After lunch a 1,000m twisting descent takes us into the northern side of the range past the castle topped town La Calahorra and onto Jerez del Marquesado, nestled at the bottom of the beautiful Barranco Alcazar. It’s a steady ride into the cathedral town of Guadix, our home for the evening. The town is well off the beaten track and is famous for its cave houses that are still occupied today. This will be our chance to live as troglodytes as we stay the night in a cave hotel, but don’t worry they are now luxuriously appointed. It’s an excellent way to spend the evening in a magnificent desert landscape against the backdrop of the enormous snow capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
- Ascent: 1,300 Metres Approx.
After a breakfast we leave our cave behind and head off on fast roads, rolling our way through undulating farmlands towards the Parque Natural de la Sierra Magina. This rugged park of precipitous limestone is a joy to cycle through. Its summits, culminating in the 2,165m peak of Magina are frequently snow capped, reflecting a special Andalucian translucent light, topped by deep blue skies.
The riding flows on with yet more stunning views. If we are lucky we may get a chance to spot a bonelli or golden eagle soaring high above sheer limestone cliffs as we pass castle fortified villages that were once Moorish strongholds. The scenery becomes dramatic and desert like, almost a mini Arizona, with sheer sandstone cliffs guiding us though the ‘badlands’.
We take on a favourite ride of the local Granadense crew through the stunning pine clad Parque Natural de Huetor. The road twists and winds its way across high ground before dropping towards the ancient capital of Granada. For our lunchtime picnic, it would be unjust not to soak our bread in the olive oil of Magina, as it’s said to be the finest in Spain and is often described as liquid gold. Just before we reach the city we swing east and climb into the real Sierra Nevada, to the village of Guejar Sierra, with great views of Mulhacen and Alcazaba, the highest peaks in the range. Guejar is the perfect springboard for tomorrow’s cycling feast.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
- Ascent: 2,500 Metres Approx.
This is a fantastic day on the bike, comprising the climb that all Spanish cyclists want to tick off their list. It’s a climb that will take us high into the Sierra Nevada on the highest drivable road in Europe, well that was until it was closed to traffic, but luckily not bikes! First off we’ll cruise around the Canales Reservoir and head up the beautiful valley, deep into the sierra. You can climb to the summit of Pico Veleta which stands at a grand 3,400m above sea level. The overall climb is pretty steady, but obviously its length and altitude create a great challenge. If you finish the whole climb to Pico Veleta it’s a whopping 2,700m of ascent! We stay off the main road that runs up to the Pradollano ski station by taking a little known detour up the picturesque Genil river valley. As this single lane road leaves the valley bottom it heads into a series of switchbacks that steepens the going a little.
Shortly after rejoining the main road we’ll reach the ski station at almost 2,500m. The views are incredible and the feeling of achievement is infectious at the roof top of Spain.
All that’s left to do now is let off the brakes and take the exhilarating, almost 50km, descent back to Granada on a different road. An evening stroll around the walls of the lit Alhambra Palace which without doubt is the most beautiful and innovative piece of architecture constructed by the Moorish people who occupied Spain. Then we hit the tapas bars for Granada’s infamous assortment of free tapas. Yes free!
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
- Ascent: 1,250 Metres Approx.
Our final ride takes us from Granada at 700m down to sea level and the calm shores of the Mediterranean. Once out of the city, a steady climb will take us over the Puerto del Suspiro del Moro. From here we have an exhilarating descent from 1,200m down through the awesome Sierra del Chaparral.
We’ll take in some of the best views of the western edge of the snowy peaks as well as far down the coast of the Med. We’ll see vultures soaring high as we drop off this coastal ridge following the fertile banks of the Rio Verde to the lively coastal town of Almuñecar. A couple of sunset sangrias and a celebratory dinner will bring this great trip to a very fitting end.
A 100% tarmac route entirely suitable for racing style road bikes. The route is varied and includes some significant climbs and a number of long and occasionally technical switchback descents.
Road Cycling Grade
Moderate to Challenging. For more regular riders who like to push themselves a little from time to time. Not extreme but certainly challenging on occasions with some good climbing opportunities. Distances between 80-120km per day.
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 an enthusiast. Road cycling is probably your main hobby and you ride regularly at weekends, staying on the bike for much of the day. You’re in pretty good shape, and you might also participate in cyclo-sportive events. You also love a challenge and are looking for a tour with some good climbing, preferably with an opportunity to tick off some famous Tour de France cols, or the like. You’re a competent descender, and you’re not afraid of speed, but you ride safely and within your limits at all times. You understand road etiquette and you’re comfortable riding in a bunch. You might even take a stint at the front of the pack if the need arises.
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.
Skedaddle are simply the best at cycling tours for serious riders. The overall package is first rate, the guides are excellent and the daily support is class! I wouldn’t travel with any other cycling company.
Dates & Prices
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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) GPX files available on request
G) Airport transfer on scheduled arrival day from Malaga Airport (AGP)
H) Airport transfer on scheduled departure day to Malaga Airport (AGP)
What's not Included
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) Travel insurance
E) Single room (available if required)
F) Personal clothing and equipment
G) Personal expenditure (souvenirs, bar bills, hotel facilities etc)
H) Airport transfers on days other than the scheduled arrival / departure days
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.
Cycling in Spain
We’re proud to call it our casa! Here's 8 things you’ll only understand if you’ve been cycling in Spain…
Meet the guides: Dan Hirst
Meet Dan, who is likely to be found coordinating at Skedaddle España's base (or out blazing the trails!)...
Hunter, HertfordshireA thoroughly lovely holiday from beginning to end...
Steve is a credit to Skedaddle. His enthusiasm and passion for his role show through each and every day. It is very difficult to please a large group of diverse backgrounds, but he did as fine a job as possible. Well done, mate. I will forever remember that final stretch together up Pico del Veleta.
Simon, LondonThis trip has been my favourite cycling trip ever!
The perfect combination of a well organised ride in beautiful surroundings on great roads. I was well looked after and only had to think about cycling during the whole week. A fantastic experience.
Phil, HampshireThanks to Skedaddle for an excellent trip...
Skedaddle are simply the best at cycling tours for serious riders. The overall package is first rate, the guides are excellent and the daily support is class!
I wouldn’t travel with any other cycling company!
Karen & Steve, LancashireOne of the best tours we have been on!
There was a good mix of hotels which wre of high standard and gave good service. There was a fantastic mix of local produce and healthy foods – a highlight of the tour. Water, energy food, fruit and nuts were always plentiful and freely available
The challenge pushed us to the limit and we are very proud we finished. The all-day climb to the top of the 30km climb was a real challengy but exhilarating. We enjoyed the trip immensely!
Stuart, CornwallBreathtaking cycling!
Breathtaking cycling. Good quality roads, didn’t feel unsafe on them and stunning views, brilliant – highly recommended. The big climb up to the Ski Station in Granada was incredible. Getting that high on a bike and the self-satisfaction of climbing it.
Dan was very friendly and amiable. It felt like I had known him for years at the end of the trip. The other guide was very knowledgable, highly skilled and patient. A mechanical genius!
I had regular contact, all questions answered and very little ‘faffing around’ The pre-departure information was very thorough and the holiday was definitely value for money. I would, without hesitation join Saddle Skedaddle again.
Simon, MiddlesexAll days were fabulous, different and unique...
First ever cycling holiday and probably the best holiday I have ever taken and I have done a reasonable amount of travelling…
All days were fabulous, different and unique. Favourite day probably day 5 with the climb up to Pico de Veleta for the effort involved.