+44 (0)191 265 1110   info@skedaddle.com
Spain

Badlands of Andalucia

Guided Gravel Riding Holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

£2,095 P.P.
BOOK NOW
Join us on this thrilling gravel adventure exploring the Spanish Badlands. 
This remote landscape of giant clefts and ravines, is so called for its resemblance to the Badlands of the North American West and we're here to help you explore the best of it. Home to the Badlands Ultracycling Gravel Event, this is gravel riding at it's absolute best. 
Our tour starts in Granada, the last Moorish capital, bursting with history and architecture. The beauty of the majestic Alhambra Palace and Generalife gardens are unmissable and we would highly recommend arriving into Granada a few days early to see the sights and soak-up the seductiveness of this wonderful city.
Our route meanders through craggy sierras, passing castle-topped villages with overnight stays in some lovely traditional towns along the way. We'll cover a mixture of terrain, from smooth asphalt to exciting single-track to really take in all that gravel riding has to offer. 
Heading out of Granada we'll make our way past huge clay cliffs, through arid deserts, past the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada, traversing vast forests as we make our way to the province's capital; Almeria, a great spot to celebrate our gravel adventure in the Badlands.
shutterstock_2089736197.jpg

Holiday Highlights

  • Spending the night in the magical city of Granada and riding out past the Alhambra as the adventure begins
  • Riding through the vast forests of the Sierra Nevada
  • Riding the Ramblas and through the incredible scenery of the Tabernas desert
  • Arriving at the beautiful volcanic Cabo de Gata coastline
  • Delicious seafood, sunset dinner on the coast
  • The dramatic empty landscapes of the whole adventure

Back to Top

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival Malaga - Transfer to Granada

Following your arrival into Malaga airport we’ll transfer as a group to our first hotel in Granada city centre.

Granada is almost unrivalled for its beauty, architecture, and dramatic setting at the foot of the imposing Sierra Nevada. With the Alhambra towering above it, it’s a truly unforgettable city and the perfect location to start our gravel adventure. If time allows, we recommend taking in the mosaic-tiled and landscaped gardens of the Alhambra, to discover the culture and history of Spain’s Moorish rulers and admire their exotic architectural legacy.

As evening arrives, we suggest taking in a Zambra flamenco show in Granada’s Roma quarter, Sacramonte, paired with some traditional tapas; one of the best ways to see the city and really take in its atmosphere.

Worth noting! We don’t include a visit to the Alhambra in the holiday cost, so to fully appreciate this magnificent building and the city itself, we recommend arriving a day or two early to take in the city.

Day 2
Granada to Purullena
45 Miles / 73 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1220 Metres Approx.

We’ll set out on our first ride past the Alhambra and Generalife, high above the Darro river. The views are magnificent across the Albycin and south to the towering Sierra Nevada.

We’ve got some great quality gravel tracks to enjoy this morning as we climb and contour into the wonderfully craggy, pine-clad Sierra de Huetor, before a long descent into the Aguas Bravas valley for our picnic lunch. Our local team will put together a delicious selection, full of local produce, as we relax next to the deep blue Embalse de Quentar.

Re-fuelled, some fast kms on asphalt will lead us to the climb of the day, on smooth trails taking us back into the Sierra.

Heading north the scenery changes, becoming more arid, as we begin to descend into the Hoyo de Guadix, characterised by huge clay cliffs and dramatic formations formed through millennia of erosion. The area, known as the ´Badlands´ was gifted to the moors after their ultimate defeat at the hands of the catholic kings, Isabel and Fernando in 1492, and was thought to be uninhabitable. They however, built cave houses, terraced and irrigated the land and still today many people of the area still live in the cave houses.

Day 3
Purullena to Huenejo
54 Miles / 88 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1630 Metres Approx.

The second day of our gravel adventure sees us climbing up and above the magnificent desert landscape against the backdrop of the enormous snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada. We’ll be traversing vast forests on the northern flanks of the Sierra, meandering on forestry tracks and crossing beautiful barrancos gushing with icy water.

On the plains below we’ll pass the castle-topped town of La Calahorra, and Jerez del Marquesado, nestled at the bottom of the dramatic Barranco Alcazar.

In the afternoon, we’ll cross over into Almería province, just below the Ragua Pass and take on a never-ending descent down into the Huenejo valley, passing ancient irrigation channels to our beautifully isolated accommodation for the evening.

Day 4
Huenejo to Tabernas
57 Miles / 92 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 710 Metres Approx.

A big breakfast today as we’ve a long ride ahead! To ease us in, there’s plenty of downhill and easy kms as we drop onto the edge of the plains that offer views to the far north of Andalucia.

Staying low between the Sierra and the arid plains we head into the only true desert in Europe, the Desierto de Tabernas. Famed as being the location where the ´Spagetti Westerns´ were filmed, there are even some filmsets that still exist as museums in celebration of the western film genre.

These so called Badlands are characterised by their complicated topology and the deep ravines or Ramblas that become torrents in torrential rains! The route undulates on fabulous smooth sandy trails to reach the town of Tabernas beneath the imposing Sierra Alhamilla.

Day 5
Tabernas to Nijar
34 Miles / 56 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 970 Metres Approx.

Today we’ll be heading out across the craggy Sierra Alhamilla on a thrilling ride through isolated trails. We’ll be high up, passing the medicinal waters of the Alhamilla, topping out at the Colativa view point at 1387m above sea level. The views are far-reaching for 360 degrees with the Mediterranean to the south and endless sierras to the north.

The descent is varied, smooth with technical sections to test your handling skills. Over a 1000m of fun descending awaits, passing the ancient mining hamlet of Huebro, tucked under looming dark orange rocks.

Accommodation for the night is close to the white hillside village of Nijar, the last mountain settlement before reaching the Mediterranean.

Day 6
Nijar to Las Negras
42 Miles / 67 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1020 Metres Approx.

The morning is full of easy pedal strokes that gently warm us up for the fun day ahead. Skirting the Sierras and the volcanic coastal ranges of the Cabo de Gata Natural park we’ll take on short climbs and descents as the vegetation turns to Mediterranean scrub.

Cactus and Agave are abundant as we pass many plastic green houses, full of tomatoes and peppers, for the northern European supermarkets.

The trail switches between slick sand based tracks and asphalt until we reach the dramatic Cabo de Gata coastline at Agua Amarga for lunch.

The afternoon will be filled with fun as we hit some singletrack and trails before a final decent down to the pretty fishing enclave of Las Negras, hemmed in by delicate volcanic rock formations.

An optional final pedal along the clifftops towards the isolated Cala San Pedro for terrific views and maybe a dip in the big blue would be a great way to end the day.

Day 7
Las Negras to Almeria
43 Miles / 69 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 680 Metres Approx.

The last day of our adventure is a pure celebration of gravel riding, as we follow the coast and contours of the sierras of the Cabo de Gata. First we’ll take a single-track onto the agave lined Playazo, a gorgeous sweep of white sand guarded by a Castillo de San Ramon.

Passing Rodalquilar along silky smooth sandy tracks we’ll ride through ancient gold mines and past landscapes used in the Indiana Jones films as we descend to the picturesque harbour town of San Jose for a well-deserved lunch.

The afternoon trail is simply magnificent, passing interesting rock formations, white sand coves, and tall cacti with the deep blue Mediterranean always in view on our left. After the Faro (lighthouse) of Cabo de Gata the trail drops down to sea level and hugging the lagoon of the same name we are likely to see flamingos, heads deep in sand!

The final Kms are easy and celebratory as the route follows just behind the beach to the Capital of the province, Almería, looked over by its 10th century fortress, a great place to celebrate the end of our Badlands gravel adventure.

Day 8
Departure Almeria
  • Meals: Breakfast

After a relaxing breakfast it’s time to pack those bags one last time and head to Almeria airport for flights home.

Back to Top

The Cycling

Terrain

This is the perfect destination for gravel riding with a great network of hard-packed gravel roads, forestry tracks and fun singletrack. Whilst the majority of the riding is off-road, we’ll skip onto some tarmac at regular intervals, particularly to ease climbing or to break up more technical stretches. Whilst most of the region is relatively dry, there is occasional precipitation which can result in sections of muddy trails and as we get closer to the coast we encounter more sand-based tracks and smooth sandy trails. You can find more information on riding on gravel surfaces here in our Guide to Gravel Trails

We will be travelling through mountainous terrain and whilst the overall gradient of the holiday takes us down from the Sierra Nevada to the Mediterranean coast, there will be lots of up and down along the way, particularly on Day 3 where we’ll tackle over 1600m of ascent over the course of the day. Undulating routes through the week give us plenty of ups but even more descents, with some great smooth tracks but there will also be loose gravel and some technical sections where good handling skills will be required.

This tour is designed to be ridden most comfortably on a gravel bike. If you are bringing your own bike then we recommend tyres to be set up tubeless with a minimum width of 38mm and with some steep uphill sections, we suggest a wide range of gears. The route may also be suitable for cross country mountain bikes fitted with minimally treaded XC tyres.

LF-Badlands-2024-1067.jpg

Gravel Riding Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 3-4 : Moderate/Active

Moderate/Active – Aspects of both our grade 3 and 4 holidays. Distances generally between 40-75 miles / 65-120 kms per day.

For gravel and off-road cyclists with stamina and a good level of fitness.

This is gravel riding for experienced riders.

The gravel trails will be predominantly loose in nature and can include sections of much larger pebbles/small rocks. You will definitely need to pick your line carefully.

Traction may be difficult on climbs and descents can be loose and a little sketchy at times.

There might be sections of smooth/non-technical singletrack and the surface width will vary from one section to the next.

If you’re bringing your own bike, we would recommend a minimum tyre width of 38mm.

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?

Holidays that are graded as a 3-4, will have aspects of both our grade 3 and 4 holidays. You’re an experienced off-road rider and enjoy riding on a variety of surfaces and gradients. You can happily pick the smoothest line on a trail and don’t mind some trail obstacles to navigate over and around. You have a good level of fitness and are happy with spending 6 hours and more on the bike each day. You will be an enthusiastic and fit road cyclist or mountain biker and either already own a gravel bike or are seriously considering buying one.

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.

Back to Top

Dates & Prices

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
03/11/2024
Guaranteed
Return Date
10/11/2024
Duration
8 days
Price
£2,095.00
Start Date
30/03/2025
Return Date
06/04/2025
Duration
8 days
Price
£2,245.00
Start Date
02/11/2025
Return Date
09/11/2025
Duration
8 days
Price
£2,245.00

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) GPX files available on request

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

H) Airport transfer on scheduled departure day to Almeria airport (LEI)

I) 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

Back to Top

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.

The Essentials

Travel Options

Your tour starts in Granada and finishes in Almeria.

Group airport transfers are included in the cost of your holiday.

Arrival transfer from Malaga (AGP) airport and return transfer to Almeria (LEI) airport.

All transfers will be co-ordinated with the group flight schedules. We will provide you with details of suitable flight/arrival/departure schedules as flight timetables become available.

Please check with us before making any travel arrangements to ensure we have reached the minimum number required to guarantee your holiday and to make sure your arrangements fit with our scheduled transfers.

Please note If you make travel arrangements that fall outside of the scheduled transfer 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 and all with unique touches.

Bike Hire

If you don’t own a suitable bike or would prefer to avoid bringing your own we have gravel bikes available to rent.

These bikes are typically Bianchi Impulso (or equivalent), great bikes with aluminium frames, carbon forks and good quality components. These bikes are set up tubeless with 700×42c tyres. They provide a comfortable riding position and wide range of gears, running a 2×11 drivetrain with 31/48 chainrings and 11×34 cassette. They are fitted with hydraulic disc brakes.

Our bikes come equipped with two bottle cages and water bottle, a seat post bag containing: puncture repair kit, multitool, inner tube and pump.

If you do decide to rent and would like us to provide a helmet, please let us know at the time of booking, otherwise you should bring your own helmet with you.

Please also let us know if you plan on bringing your own clip-in pedals, or if you will use the flat pedals which our rental bikes come fitted with.

Given the variety of shapes and sizes of on bike luggage and the fact the mechanisms for fitting them varies so much, we aren’t able to safely accommodate customers own frame bags and on bike luggage on our hire bikes. This holiday has vehicle support and the riding group will meet the support vehicle at regular intervals, so you should be able to get away with using jersey pockets to carry any ride essentials. You are welcome to use a small back-pack on sections where you think it’s necessary.

Back to Top

News, Reviews & Stories

Gravel Riding Tips & What To Expect

If you're a roadie or mountain biker then here's what to expect when you hit the gravel trails.

Your Guide To Gravel Riding Skills

We cover essential skills for cyclists who want to conquer any gravel terrain! Read this for expert tips and advice.

Gravel Riding Holiday FAQs

Everything you need to know! We put all your questions and more to our gravelly-gurus and this is what they came back with.

Reviews

1

You May Also Like...

Back to Top