When it comes to the best route for cycling in Spain, there are a few factors to consider. Different routes offer different landscape and difficulty.
Distance: 32 mi.
Elev. Gain: 3,800 ft
Today is a loop ride to the white village of Grazalema. During the morning ride, we will get to ride through the Grazalema mountain range, which is a very green area of Andalucia, something quite unusual in this predominantly dry region. In the afternoon, we will be able to admire the vast extensions of barley and wheat crops and the particular limestone landscape that the mountains create. Later this evening and before dinner, we will tour Ronda on a guided visit with Antonio.
Points of interest along the route:
Ronda: Despite being Andalucía’s fastest-growing town Ronda retains much of its historic charm, particularly its old town. It is famous worldwide for its dramatic escarpments and views, and for the deep El Tajo gorge that carries the rio Guadalevín through its centre. Visitors make a beeline for the 18th century Puente Nuevo ‘new’ bridge, which straddles the 100m chasm below, for its unparalleled views out over the Serranía de Ronda mountains.Ronda is also famous as the birthplace of modern bullfighting, today glimpsed once a year at the spectacular Feria Goyesca. Held at the beginning of September, here fighters and some of the audience dress in the manner of Goya’s sketches of life in the region.Three bridges, Puente Romano (“Roman Bridge”, also known as the Puente San Miguel), Puente Viejo (“Old Bridge”, also known as the Puente Árabe or “Arab Bridge”) and Puente Nuevo (“New Bridge”), span the canyon. The term “nuevo” is a bit of a misnomer, as the building of this bridge commenced in 1751 and took until 1793 to complete. The Puente Nuevo is the tallest of the bridges, towering 120 metres (390 ft) above the canyon floor, and all three serve as some of the city’s most impressive features. The former town hall, which sits next to the Puente Nuevo, is the site of a parador, and has a view of the Tajo canyon.The ‘Corrida Goyesca’ is a unique and historical bullfight that takes place once a year in Ronda in the Plaza de toros de Ronda, the oldest bullfighting ring in Spain.It was built in 1784 in the Neoclassical style by the architect José Martin de Aldehuela, who also designed the Puente Nuevo.American artists Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles spent many summers in Ronda as part-time residents of Ronda’s old town quarter called La Ciudad. Both wrote about Ronda’s beauty and famous bull-fighting traditions. Their collective accounts have contributed to Ronda’s popularity over time.
Sierra de Grazamela: Designated a Unesco Biosphere reserve in 1977, the Sierra de Grazalema was declared the first natural park in Andalucia in 1984 and is one of Spain’s most ecologically outstanding areas. The 51,695ha park is famous for its spectacularly rugged limestone landscape of cliffs, gullies, caves and gorges. By far the most impressive gorge is Garganta Verde, with its exceptional griffon vulture colony and rocky walls that tower vertically for 400m. Andalucia’s largest cave system is also here, the Hundidero-Gato with its biggest cavern measuring 4km long and an entrance of 60m tall.The region is well known for being the rainiest place in Spain, with an annual rainfall of 2,200mm, which means that the 1,300 Mediterranean plant species that have been registered here, many of them endemic and some of them unique to the Sierra, flourish. There is a magnificent and well preserved forest of the rare Spanish fir, a relic from the Tertiary period, in the Sierra del Pinar on the slopes of Cadiz province’s highest peak at 1,654m, El Torreón. Dotted around the sierra are attractive pueblos blancos (white villages), the one in the most dramatic setting being Grazalema, which nestles between the two rugged peaks of Pico del Reloj and the Pico de San Cristóbal. Other picturesque pueblos blancos include Cortes de la Frontera, El Bosque and Zahara de la Sierra.
Distance: 22 mi.
Elev. Gain: 2,200 ft
Amazing ride on new paved roads, very scenic and winding. Our ride this morning takes us up over the Col de la Creueta, which at nearly 6,200 feet is one of the highest paved roads in the Pyrenees. The ascent starts in Castellar de n’Hug toward the ski resort of La Molina. Enjoy majestic views of the Pedraforca peaks and the whole range of Spanish Pyrenees of the Alt Ripolles covered by huge forests of pine trees. From La Molina we head down for a wonderfully.
Distance: 36 mi.
Elev. Gain: 4,200 ft
Today will be for many people one the most beautiful ride of the week. On this ride you get to see a huge portion of the Tramuntana mountain range, member of the UNESCO World Natural Heritage list as well a go through some beautiful towns of Fornalux, Sóller before reaching Deià where your hotel, Belmond La Residencia is located.
Points of interest along the route:
Deià: Deià is a small coastal village in the Serra de Tramuntana It is located about ten miles north of Valldemossa, and it is known for its literary and musical residents. The English poet, novelist, and scholar, Robert Graves, was one of the first foreigners to settle in the village. He used the town as the setting for many of his stories, including the historical novel Hercules my Shipmate. His house is now a museum.In recent decades, the stars of literature have been eclipsed by the stars of rock and roll. The Virgin Records mogul, Richard Branson, has a luxury residence in the town, and his label’s stars have often visited the village and sometimes jammed at the local bar, Sa Fonda. The name of Deia (or Deya) comes from the time of the Moorish conquest of Mallorca, back in the 10th-13th centuries. The Muslims called the area ‘Ad-Daya’ which means ‘village’. They were the ones who created the terraced irrigation systems that allowed the steep hillsides to be cultivated. Olive trees flourished up to an altitude of 600 meters, and today cover much of the hillsides above the town.
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.