Grade

Difficult

When

All year round

Hotels - Guesthouses

2 & 3***

Bike hire

On request

Single room

Available

From: 1,270

Description

Heart of Andalucia Cycling Holiday

Heart of Andalucia Cycling Holiday – self guided
The starting days for this Tour are 01 Jan – 09 Apr, 18 Apr – 30 Jun, 01 Sep – 24 Dec

For guided tours for groups, cycling clubs and teams we can tailor any program!

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This self-guided cycling Tour Heart of Andalucia is for those who looking for a little more freedom. During this cycling Tour you’ll cycle around Ronda. This beautiful city is famous for its 3 historic bridges, steeped in history and generally regarded as the birthplace of modern bullfighting. Ronda is also ideally situated for a centre based, off season, ‘winter warmer’ road cycling holiday.

Ronda 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”. This will 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.

Family run, personable, charming, comfortable and homely are boxes that are tick when looking for places to stay. A million miles away from chain style hotels all with unique touches. The cycling routes to choose from each day ranging between 45-150km over a variety of terrains. 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.

Cycle the roads of Ronda during this self-guided Tour

  • 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 the route notes and recommendations

The starting days for this Tour are 01 Jan – 09 Apr, 18 Apr – 30 Jun, 01 Sep – 24 Dec

Day 1
Arrival: Malaga / Ronda
On arrival in Malaga you'll be met by a member of the Skedaddle team and taken on the transfer to your accommodation for your stay in the beautiful mountain town of Ronda. Their will be help to build your bike on arrival to 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 - distance 59km
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 - distance 86km
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 - distance 54km
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 - distance 84km
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. Then you 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 - distance 78km
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: Ronda / Malaga
It’s time to pack up your bags one last time and sit back while you go back to Malaga for your onward journey home.



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  • Accommodation (shared twin or double rooms)
  • Meals as per the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • Local representative (with welcome meeting)
  • Detailed route notes and maps
  • GPS unit with GPX route files installed
  • Airport transfer on scheduled arrival day from Malaga airport (AGP)
  • Airport transfer on scheduled departure day to Malaga airport (AGP)
  • Bike hire (available if required)
  • Flights and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)
  • Meals not stated in the itinerary
  • Single room (available if required)
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal clothing and equipment
  • Personal expenditure (souvenirs, bar bills, hotel facilities etc)
  • Entrance fees to museums and other attractions en route
  • Airport transfers on days other than the scheduled arrival / departure days

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