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Spain

Roads of Ronda

Self-Guided Road Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

7 days

Prices from

$1,335 P.P.
Spain

Roads of Ronda

Self-Guided Road Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

7 days

Prices from

$1,335 P.P.
BOOK NOW
A great self-guided road cycling tour in Spain for those looking for a little more freedom. Ronda, in the heart of Andalucia, is a beautiful city, famous for its 3 historic bridges, steeped in history and generally regarded as the birthplace of modern bullfighting. It's difficult to think of anywhere more Spanish and it’s difficult to think of anywhere more ideally situated for a center based, off season, 'winter warmer' road cycling vacation.
Flights to Malaga from a wide range of UK regional airports leave a little over an hour’s transfer to your accommodation in the beautiful town of Ronda. The town is surrounded by stunning mountain ranges, boasting a wealth of fantastic loop rides which meander through chestnut clad hillsides and dotted with ancient white villages which lead you to some of the more challenging passes in the area such as Puerto de Las Palomas.
This area of southern Spain is a road cycling paradise with miles of smooth surfaces and largely traffic free roads on which you can explore the Guadiaro Valley, the stunning limestone mountains of Grazalema and the Parque Natural Sierra de las Nieves. Throw in one of the best climates in Europe, lashings of fantastic home cooked food, beautiful, peaceful accommodation close to the monumental treasure of Ronda and a generous sprinkling of Skedaddleness and we reckon you’re definitely in for a treat!
This is the self-guided version of our Roads of Ronda cycling tour and it has been designed with extra flexibility to suit your busy lives. For riding parties of 2 or more, just choose your own dates and choose your own grade between grade 2 to 4. There are loads of top quality cycling routes to choose from each day ranging from between 45-150km over a variety of terrains. The price quoted is for the standard 7 day version but because the vacation is center based you can opt to extend or shorten the duration (minimum 5 days with 3 days of riding). 
There’s something to suit everybody’s riding needs so whether you’re an occasional rider, weekend warrior, or club rider looking to beat the winter blues, tell us what you’re looking for and leave the rest to us. The daily itinerary gives you an example of the routes you can choose from each day.
If you like the sound of this vacation but prefer the idea of a guided tour, please check out the guided and fully supported version which is scheduled for departures in March and November.
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Highlights

  • Staying in the quintessentially Spanish town of Ronda
  • Cycling through the rugged, ‘bandit country’ of the Sierra de las Nieves
  • Reaching the top of the stunning Puerto de las Palomas
  • Tasty tapas and sunset sangrias
  • White villages (pueblos blancos) cut into the hillsides
  • Planning your own cycling days based on our route notes and recommendations

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Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival: Malaga Airport
Non Riding Day

On arrival at Malaga airport you will be met by a member of the Skedaddle team and taken on the short transfer to your accommodation for your stay in the beautiful mountain town of Ronda.

We’ll help you build bikes on arrival and make sure that everything is fully functioning. Now is the time also to chat with your representative about what routes you would like to try out during your holiday.

Day 2
Guadiaro Valley and the Serrania de Ronda Ridge
37 Miles / 59 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 1,350 Metres Approx.

Today you set out of historical town of Ronda for the first of many rides, passing through its beautifully preserved Moorish quarters towards the Puente Nuevo. This is the most recent and highest of Ronda’s 3 bridges that span the awesome El Tajo Gorge.

You’ll cruise down some way before a steady climb up to the Puerto de la Calerilla. From here a terrific undulating back lane will take you through holm oak and wild olive groves towards the majestic limestone peaks of Tavizna and El Hacho that sit like 2 guardians at the entrance to the massive Hundidero cave system.

The road twists and descends to Montejaque village, squeezed in between a mass of magnificent limestone, reaching into the Sierra de Grazalema above. The village square is a perfect spot for a mid morning coffee, so it would be rude not to.

A descent out of the village leads you to a beautifully undulating road that clings high on the side of the Guadiaro Valley, often with vertiginous drops down to the river way below. You’ll sweep past the entrance to the Pileta cave, housing beautifully preserved cave paintings giving indications of what life was like over 25,000 years ago.

Another descent drops you into the fertile valley bottom. Of course once you’re down there, the only way is up! You’ll begin the main climb of the route, passing almond and olive groves as the road twists its way up past the perfect white village of Jimera de Libar, from where the valley narrows and the road switches back, ascending steadily. At the top of the climb you’ll reach the hilltop village of Atajate. The views are beautiful looking across the Serrania de Ronda, an area of deep twisted valleys cloaked in chestnut and oak.

Atajate is a perfect spot for a relaxing lunch with a view so here you can choose to stop for lunch if you wish.

Re-fuelled you can set off again along the ridge road as it climbs into a desolate landscape of shattered limestone and dramatic views across hillsides dotted with isolated white villages. On reaching the Encinas Borrachas pass it’s a smooth, fast descent down to your hotel for a cold beer or maybe even a cup of tea!

Day 3
Pass of the Doves and Grazalema
53 Miles / 86 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 1,650 Metres Approx.

This route includes one of the most iconic cycling passes in Andalucia, Puerto de las Palomas (the Pass of the Doves).

If you have opted for this ride you will ride out of Ronda as the rising sun illuminates the dramatic orange sandstone cliffs and after a long switchback descent take on your first climb, the steady Puerto de Montejaque. From the pass the splendour of the Grazalema mountain range comes into view for the first time, a mass of complex limestone towering above pastures and pine.

The road ahead is as smooth as silk as you drop down to the bright turquoise waters of the Zahara reservoir. The road hugs the bank as it winds its way, undulating upwards to the impressive hilltop town of Zahara de la Sierra topped by its dramatic 12th century Nazari castle. Zahara has a clutch of inviting bars with terraces for a quick coffee before you begin your climb up the imposing Palomas Pass standing at 1,347m. It’s a challenging ride up through memorable switchbacks on the flanks of El Torreon, the highest mountain in the range, clad in the rare pinsapo or Spanish fir. It’s an interesting climb, which twists and winds giving ever changing views and perspectives from this fantastic road.

The view from the summit is sublime, looking north and west to the lowlands. The ride from the pass down to the town of Grazalema is one that should stay with you for a long time. As you drop from the immense limestone massif, the pan-tile roofs of the town come into view nestled in a valley below the iconic Penon Grande peak.

Grazalema is an idyllic ‘pueblo blancos’ (white village) and has long been a haunt for nature lovers and artists. There’s an ideal picnic spot above the village to contemplate the beauty of the area and to give those well worked legs a rest.

After a wander through the winding lanes head out of the village on a curving lane that passes under huge cliffs to the Alamillos Pass. The road then dips in and out of a vast cork oak forest as it descends back towards Ronda.

Day 4
The Sierra of the Snows and the Genal Valley
34 Miles / 54 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 1,310 Metres Approx.

Today you can ride this route which takes an easy road that climbs up into the Parque Natural Sierra de las Nieves. As you climb over the Puerto de la Ventilla a whole new world is opened up to you. Down to your right you’ll see the immense Alto Genal, the head of the Genal valley. The higher reaches of the valley are cloaked in a vast chestnut forest, and gives way to steep sided ravines with precipitous terracing for olive, almond and citrus groves.

Above on your left is a vastly different landscape of huge pine forests reaching up to shattered limestone and bulging peaks. As the road levels out you are offered views of the Med, Gibraltar and even Morocco’s Rif mountains!

Now you will take a twisting narrow descent which will lead you to the inviting village of Pujerra, a hidden, whitewashed mountain village of Moorish origin, seemingly lost in time. The village square offers you a chance to meet the local people whilst grabbing morning refreshments.

Winding out of the village past flower filled patios you will cruise onto Igualeja, sat at the source of the Rio Genal.

A stiff climb on a narrow lane drops you onto a fantastic descent with some undulations and numerous corners. It’s a fun ride that will take you down past the village of Cartajima where weird and wonderful limestone shapes sit on the hillside. The lane continues to descend, twist and curve around the mountainside until you arrive at the next village of Juzcar.

Traversing the valley side, an undulating road takes you through more chestnut orchards to the beautiful village of Alpandeire, sitting with open views of the entire Alto Genal region, with its magnificent 16th century church protruding from the whitewash.

From the village it’s a good 300m climb to the Perdigones Pass from where a fast descent out of the Serrania takes you to the door of your hotel for some well earned refreshments.

Day 5
Bandit Country and the Pass of the Wind
52 Miles / 84 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 1,720 Metres Approx.

The first few kms today will put you onto the first climb, the beautiful Puerto del Viento (Pass of the Wind), and it’s a smooth 12km up to the 1,100m pass where olive groves give way to the open mountainscapes of the Sierra de las Nieves. In this wilderness it’s possible to see wild goats leaping effortlessly over the rocks and golden and booted eagles soaring high above.

From the pass the view back down to Ronda and into the Grazalema mountains beyond is awesome. As you roll on, the road begins to drop through a moonscape of scattered rock before entering a pine tree spotted landscape on a brilliant narrow descent that winds you down to the village of El Burgo. The views into the Turron valley are fantastic with the deep blue river meandering in the distance.

The Sierra de las Nieves are the highest peaks in the Malaga province reaching a height of a little under 2,000m with la Torrecilla. The range is rugged and complicated with twisting barrancos, deep ravines, caves, and hidden valleys, which have offered many a refuge in days gone by.

Next up is the Puerto de la Vibora (Viper Pass) starting straight out of El Burgo. It’s a stiff 400m climb that snakes its way up through pine and undulates along a ridge before a sharp drop down to the village of Serrato for a well earned lunch stop by the picturesque river.

After a siestita you can press on through a series of back lanes, through wheat fields and past villages topped by dramatic castles. It’s a delightful ride to Canete la Real, where you can watch griffon vultures soaring effortlessly over the 11th century castle of Hins Canit.

You then cruise onwards in the shadow of the limestone cliffs of Padrastro before a beautiful descent on a narrow lane to the villages of Alcala del Valle and Cuevas del Becerro.

The last leg to Ronda takes you over the steady Saltillo Pass and through an area of majestic dehesa (sparsely forested pasture land) before dropping gently down to the city.

Day 6
To the Sanctuary of the Cork Oak
49 Miles / 78 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 1,560 Metres Approx.

A short train ride will bring you to the cork cutters village of Colmenar setting yourself up for the first climb of the day up to Puerto de los Pinos. The road is narrow and winds it’s way into this vast forest, offering beautiful views of hillsides clad in thick forest. Other trees in abundance in the forest are acebuche (wild olive), holm oak and wild strawberry, which shade rare ferns, rhododendrons and holly along its many watercourses. Topping out at the Penon del Berrueco, an impressive limestone dome is revealed and the towering mountain of Los Reales, glowing orange in the southern sunshine. The forest is much sparser and accommodates an abundance of Iberian pigs, foraging for acorns which give their meat a distinctive sweet flavour. The road is undulating smooth tarmac and rolls onto Puerto Galiz and its lonely, isolated ‘venta‘, an ideal spot for a late morning coffee and maybe a slice of cake! From the Venta Galiz you take a fantastic road that undulates through stunning scenery to the ruined settlement of La Sauceda that was once a refuge to bandoleros and smugglers! Today it is used as a recreation area and can provide an interesting, shady refuge for your picnic. After lunch, the road ahead is a classic that follows the virgin Hozgarganta River valley and drops for nearly 9km before it undulates on a narrow twisting roller coaster of a road all the way to the white hill-town of Jimena de la Frontera, the end of this splendid ride in time for a refreshing beer before catching the last train home.

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

It’s time to pack up your bags and take the transfer bus back to Malaga Airort for your flight home.

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The Cycling

Terrain

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.

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Road Cycling Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 2 - 4

Grade 2 – 4

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?

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Dates & Prices

Daily departures available between January and June and from mid September to December.

Contact us on 1-888-414-6437 or email info@skedaddle.com to check availability for your specific date.

Choose your date
Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
Return Date
--/--/----
Duration
7 days
Price
$1,335.00

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) Detailed route notes and maps

E) GPS unit with GPX route files installed

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

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 16:00 and depart between 12:00 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 ensuite in 2 and 3 star hotels. 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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