- Staying in the quintessentially Spanish town of Old Ronda
- Cycling through the rugged, ‘bandit country’ of the Sierra de las Nieves
- Climbing the 1,200m up ‘The Colossus’
- The seemingly never-ending descent down to the fine sands of Estepona
- Taking a refreshing post ride dip in the Med
- Tasty tapas and sunset sangrias
The guides’ love of the bike routes around Ronda and desire to share them with us was evident. I had a fantastic holiday, and our guides were integral to that. I can’t thank you all enough!
On arrival in Malaga you will be met by a Skedaddle guide transferred to our accommodation in the beautiful old mountain town of Ronda.
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.
The 5 days of riding that are described in the following itinerary are an example of what your week could look like. Your guides will develop an itinerary which will suit the group, enabling riders to get the best out of their week.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
- Ascent: 1,350 Metres Approx.
We set out of historical town of Ronda for the first of our 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.
We’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 us through holm oak and wild olive groves towards the majestic limestone peaks of Tavizna and El Hacho that sit like two 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 us 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. We’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 us into the fertile valley bottom. Of course once we’re down there, the only way is up! We’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 we’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 we stop for our first infamous Skedaddle style picnic.
Re-fuelled we set off 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 the hotel for a cold beer or maybe even a cup of tea!
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
- Ascent: 1,650 Metres Approx.
This route includes one of the most iconic cycling passes in Andalucia, Puerto de las Palomas (Pass of the Doves).
We ride out of Ronda as the rising sun illuminates the dramatic orange sandstone cliffs and after a long switchback descent we take on our 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 we 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 we begin our 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, (Spanish fir). It’s an interesting climb, which twists and winds giving ever changing views and perspectives of this stunning landscape.
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 we’ll 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 we descend back towards Ronda.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
- Ascent: 1,300 Metres Approx.
Today we take an easy road that climbs up into the Parque Natural Sierra de las Nieves. As we climb over the Puerto de la Ventilla a whole new world opens up. Down to our right we’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 us on our left, is a vastly different landscape of huge pine forests reaching up to shattered limestone and bulging peaks. As the road levels out we are offered incredible views of the Med, Gibraltar and even Morocco’s Rif mountains!
Now we take a twisting narrow descent which will lead us to the inviting village of Pujerra, a hidden, whitewashed mountain village of Moorish origin, seemingly lost in time. The village square offers us a chance to meet the local people while we grab morning refreshments.
Winding out of the village past flower filled patios we’ll cruise onto Igualeja, sat at the source of the Rio Genal. A stiff climb on a narrow lane puts us into a fantastic descent with some undulations and numerous corners. It’s a fun ride that will take us 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 we arrive at the next village of Juzcar.
Traversing the valley side, an undulating road takes us through more chestnut orchards to the beautiful village of Alpandeire sitting with open views of the entire Alto Genal region. 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 us to the door of our hotel for some well earned refreshments.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
- Ascent: 1,700 Metres Approx.
The first few kms today put us 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 we roll on, the road begins to drop through a moonscape of scattered rock before entering pine on a brilliant narrow descent that winds us 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 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 trees 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 we 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 we can watch griffon vultures soaring effortlessly over the 11th century castle of Hins Canit.
We 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 us over the steady Saltillo Pass and through an area of majestic dehesa (sparsely forested pasture land) before dropping gently down to the city.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
- Ascent: 1,550 Metres Approx.
Today we head all the way down to the shores of the Mediterranean. Yes, Ronda is sat at 700m above sea level, but don’t be fooled by thinking that it’s all downhill as there is over 2,000m of ascent to keep you happy!
We begin by rolling along the mountain ridges and up to the Encinas Borrachas Pass. The road from here drops dramatically down through the Serrania, passing impressive limestone crags and picture postcard perfect white villages that look like beacons of light on the forested hillsides.
The road is magnificent as it drops, climbs and weaves its way along this awesome ridge road. On reaching Algatocin, after a succession of tight bends, the road narrows and takes a fantastic switchback descent through beautiful scenery of olive and chestnut groves to cross the Rio Genal. Just the other side of the bridge is the historical Venta de San Juan, an age-old meeting place for villagers from either side of this enchanting valley. A hit of café solo wouldn’t go amiss before we begin the climb of the day, if not the week! It’s a solid 1,200m climb up onto the mountain known as ‘The Colossus’.
The ascent takes its time to gain altitude, winding us through the mountain villages of Genalguacil and Jubrique, passing tranquil orchards.
Above the villages we’ll enter pine trees and navigate switchbacks until we’re spat out onto the barren mountain-scape of ‘Los Colosas’.
On reaching the Puerto de Penas Blancas we’ll be rewarded with a vast view of the Mediterranean coast reaching from the Rif Mountains in Morocco all the way to the Costa Tropical and the brilliant white of the Sierra Nevada. It’s a fantastic spot for a final picnic together before we take on the last 7km onto the heights of Los Reales and the view point of Miguel Calvente at a little under 1,300m.
After the last challenging few kms we’ll be grateful of our reward, a seemingly never ending descent on a twisting, snaking lane to the fine sands of Estepona. For the brave a dip in the Med would definitely shake away any tiredness and a couple of sunset cervezas are a must after our gallant efforts on the bikes today.
A Skedaddle minibus will zip us back to our hotel for a celebratory final evening meal and drinks.
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
45-60 miles / 70-95 kms per day
For riders with experience, good fitness & a decent level of skill
Some features that may be experienced more frequently in a higher grade tour
Most days include a couple of significant climbs
Some long days & some steep to very steep sections
Not for beginners
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 definitely not a novice rider, you’re fit, you ride regularly at weekends, sometimes staying on the bike for much of the day, you love your bike! You also enjoy a challenge and if you haven’t already done so you’re keen to attempt a semi-serious to serious mountain pass or two. You’re as comfortable with the prospect of descending from the top of a col as you are with the idea of climbing it and you’re confident that you have the skills to do so safely. You’re not necessarily a “racer” but you can crank up the pace a little when it’s necessary and you don’t mind forgoing a coffee stop if the schedule demands it occasionally. You probably own and use clipless pedals. You have good control of your bike and can take a drink from a water bottle without having to unclip and put your feet on the ground. 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 3 would be a good option for you.
Ronda is well suited to a centre based cycing holiday with beautiful national parks in most directions in easy reach, mainly quiet and generally well maintained roads. The accomodation was very good – a comfortable, clean, large house with pool. The centre based holiday provides a little more time off the bike than a linear holiday, and the house with it’s veranda and living room with wood fire encouraged the group to socialise in the evening!
Dates & Prices
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.
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
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
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
Meet the guides: Ramon
We wanted to give you a chance to get to know ‘bicicletero’ a little bit better...
Cycling in Spain
Here's 8 things you’ll only understand if you’ve been cycling in Spain…
Wendy, Quebec, CanadaLoved every day!
Tour Leader Manuel was responsible and responsive. Really enjoyed his company. Santiago – omg – what an exceptional happy man – always a joy to have around. And Nacho was a special addition to the team. Quiet but fascinating and always ready to help out in any way he could. We had an awesome team and would ride with them again any day!! I just loved every day!
Helen, London, UKI can't thank you all enough...
I wanted to express my gratitude for your support and encouragement over the past week. Without it I don’t think I could have achieved as much as I did. The Guides unfailing cheerfulness and positivity fooled me into believing I could actually reach the top of those “ridiculous” climbs. Eventually I realised I was even enjoying myself (however grumpy I may have appeared)!
The guides love of the bike routes around Ronda and desire to share them with us was evident. I had a fantastic holiday, and our guides (Dan, Steve & Andy) were integral to that. I can’t thank you all enough.
Lawrence, Nottingham, UKDan (our guide) was outstanding!
He is a really relaxed individual but had clearly worked hard and effectively to ensure we all had a great holiday. He was careful to ensure that each member of the group had a good time, irrespective of the varying levels of cycling ability, and succeeded extremely well. He is great company, very positive and this contributed to everybody having a fantastic holiday!
Trevor, Manchester, UKThe holiday was wonderful from start to finish.
The organisation each day by Dan and Steve was very meticulous and well thought out and explained on easy to understand maps and graphs each morning. Must pay particular compliments to both Dan and Steve for making this all possible with their people and motivation skills, excellent knowledge of the area, and above all both easily approachable.
Breakfast was plentiful with lots of cereals, breads, cheese, jams and eggs with other energy foods needed for the rides. Lunch was provided by Steve which was a gastro delight after a slog through the mountains providing pasta, salads breads and other hot food slaved away on a stove. Dinner was also very good tasting the local cuisine and I liked the idea of being pampered at the farm house!
Overall package was excellent and would use Skedaddle again!
Martin, Nottingham, UKGreat holiday!
Dan and Steve were welcoming, friendly, enthusiatic, helpful & adjusted the schedule to circumstances.
Ronda is well suited to a centre based cycing holiday with beautiful national parks in most directions in easy reach, mainly quiet and generally well maintained roads.
The accomodation was very good – a comfortable, clean, large house with pool. The centre based holiday provides a little more time off the bike than a linear holiday, and the house with it’s veranda and living room with wood fire encouraged the group to socialise in the evening!
Sarah, Bristol, UKCouldn't really have asked for more!
Dan was an easy going guy who was very friendly to everyone. Gave a bit of encouragement and made sure people were ok in winds/rain/downhill etc. Dealt with comments/feedback in a very positive way. Changed the routes to suit us (including a decent length route to the smurf village and giving us a shorter day on the saturday so we could go and look around town).
Steve’s cooking just got better throughout the week and all lunches were really nice. On one particularly windy day he gave us roadside support by handing out bits of banana’s as we rode past (made me feel like a proper rider :-)) Both Steve and Dan were really accommodating with any requests, at times it was like being waited on hand and foot, getting blankets when we were cold and getting specific food we asked for!