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This guidebook describes eight multi-day cycle routes in Spain. The routes include Bilbao, Madrid, Sevilla, Serranía de Ronda, the Sierras Grazalema, Morena, Gredos and Guadarrama, Sierra Nevada, the Pyrenees and Picos de Europa. The routes vary from short, introductory tours of three to seven days to two-week demanding tours for enthusiasts.
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Spain offers some of the best cycling available in Europe. It is a country of variety and contrasts for which many claims are made, but one thing is certain: Spain offers some of the best cycling available in Europe. The cyclist’s Spain is not that of the Costas, those narrow coastal strips trapped between mountains and sea where millions head for their summer holidays, but of the country where Spaniards actually live, work and play.
This guidebook contains detailed route descriptions for eight self-contained multi-day cycling routes, described in 5-12 stages. Each stage can be done in a day by cyclists of moderate fitness. However, accommodation possibilities along the whole of each route have been given to allow the reader to tailor the ride to his/her own preferences and abilities.
The routes described extend from the Pyrenees and Picos de Europa in the north, through the Sierras of Demanda, Gredos and Guadarrama in the centre, to the Sierras of Nevada and Grazalema and the Serrania de Ronda in the south. They also visit the cities of Avila, Cordoba, Bilbao, Madrid, Malaga, San Sebastian, Segovia and Sevilla.
The routes have been designed for maximum enjoyment. The cycling is excellent, passing through the most beautiful parts of the country and visiting many historic and interesting towns and cities. Routes 1 and 2 are perfect for newcomers to cycle touring and Spain as they are relatively short and offer an excellent introduction to the country. Routes 4 and 6 pass through some of the less visited parts of Spain without encountering too much hard going. The other routes are more physically challenging, but not excessively so.
In the mountains there can be long relentless climbs that come with long descents, and ones lasting 15 or 20km are quite common. However, hard persistent pedalling uphill is amply rewarded with panoramic vistas at the col and scenic revelations during the freewheeling descents. By contrast once away from the mountains the plains can be very flat, and even when undulating allow good, fast travelling. Many stages have alternatives that provide either easier or harder options to the main route. A number of optional loop routes are described that allow further exploration of some of the more interesting parts of Spain.
All the above have been affected by significant changes to roads around Madrid and the opening of Terminal 4 at Barajas Airport. Route 5 Sierras de Gredos and Guadarrama Stages 1, 2 and 7. Stage 1 used originally used the M501 which has been upgraded to motorway standard and from which cyclists are banned. This has a knock on effect to Stage 2. Stage 7 used dual carriageways south of Alcobendas which have been upgraded to motorway standard and from which cyclists are banned. Have no fear that the revised routes are inferior to the originals. In fact many would consider them superior including the author. Route 6 Madrid to Bilbao Stage 1. The tunnel under the airport to Paracuellos has been rebuilt and cyclists are banned.
The following PDF file includes amended text and maps for these sections.
There are many other minor changes that will affect other areas of the guide but these should all be apparent from up-to-date commercial maps.
Route 7 – Los Pireneos
With thanks to Gail Boehm, October 2008.
Page 231 Delete Camping Peña Oroel. Reported closed autumn 2008.
Add Camping Aín, Camino de San Salvador (tel: 656 47 77 12)
Page 231 Add before Biescas
Camping Valle de Tena, Ctra. N260 km 513 (tel: 974 48 09 77)
(3) Casba, Unica, s/n (tel: 974 48 01 49)
Page 232 Add after Laspaúles
Camping Baliera, Bonansa (tel: 974 55 40 16)
Page 233 Add after Coll de Nargó
Camping Organyà, Calle Piscina, s/n (tel: 973 38 20 39
(3) Dom, Ctra. de Lleida, 56 (tel: 973 38 35 13)
Camping La Comella, Ctra. Organyà a Sant Llorenç (tel: 973 48 90 24)
Stage 5. The campsite 10 km south of Biescas is highly recommended and campers may wish to end the stage here instead of Jaca.
Stage 7. An alternative route from Campo is to take the road east through Aguascaldas, Egea and Villacarli. Then turn north through Beranuy and Bonansa. The Coll de Bonansa is 1,380m. At the N260 turn right to rejoin the main route. Recommended for its mountain scenery and canyons. There is a camp site at Bonansa
Stage 1 Álora or Málaga Airport to Carratraca
It has been confirmed that bicycles are allowed on all the local trains between Málaga and Álora. The rule is one bicycle per platform. Unless told otherwise this may be interpreted as one bicycle per standing area adjacent to the doors. Bicycles are not allowed on trains that leave Álora before 09:30.
Bicycles are not allowed on any train between Málaga and Fuengirola. This includes the trains between the airport and Málaga.
European bike Express telephone number now 01430 422111 and fax 01430 422877. Website URL unchanged.
|Holidays and Public Holidays|
|A Short History|
|Passports, Visas, Health Care and Insurance|
|Money and Banks|
|About the Bike|
|What to Take|
|Eating and Drinking en route|
|Coping with Extreme Weather|
|How to Use this Guide|
|Route 1 Serranía de Ronda|
|Stage 1 Málaga airport to Yunquera|
|Stage 2 Yunquera to Ronda|
|Stage 3 Ronda to Teba|
|Stage 4 Teba to Álora|
|Stage 5 Álora to Málaga airport|
|Route 2 Sierra de Grazalema and Torcal|
|Stage 1 Álora or Málaga airport to Carratraca|
|Stage 2 Carratraca to Ronda|
|Stage 3 Ronda to El Bosque|
|Stage 4 El Bosque to Zahara|
|Stage 5 Zahara to Teba|
|Stage 6 Teba to Antequera|
|Stage 7 Antequera to Málaga airport|
|Route 3 Las Alpujarras and the Sierra Nevada|
|Stage 1 Almería airport to Alhama de Almería|
|Stage 2 Alhama de Almería to Bayárcal|
|Stage 3 Bayárcal to Capileira|
|Stage 4 Capileira to Granada|
|Stage 5 Granada to Alhama de Granada|
|Stage 6 Alhama de Granada to Colmenar|
|Stage 7 Colmenar to Málaga airport|
|Option 1 Bayárcal to Granada|
|Option 2 Pampaneira to Alhama de Granada|
|Route 4 Sierra Morena|
|Stage 1 Sevilla to Almadén de la Plata|
|Stage 2 Almadén de la Plata to Cazalla de la Sierra|
|Stage 3 Cazalla de la Sierra to Ojuelos Altos|
|Stage 4 Ojuelos Altos to Hornachuelos|
|Stage 5 Hornachuelos to Córdoba|
|Stage 6 El Pedroso to Hornachuelos|
|Stage 7 Cazalla–El Pintado loop|
|Route 5 Sierras de Gredos and Guadarrama|
|Stage 1 Madrid–Barajas airport to Navalcarnero|
|Stage 2 Navalcarnero to Piedralaves|
|Option 1 Navalcarnero to Piedralaves via the Vía Verde del Alberche and San Martin de Valdeiglesias|
|Stage 3 Piedralaves to Burgohondo via the Collado de Serranillos|
|Stage 4 Burgohondo to Ávila|
|Stage 5 Ávila to Segovia|
|Stage 6 Segovia to Cercedilla|
|Stage 7 Cerceda to Madrid-Barajas airport|
|Route 6 Madrid to Bilbao via the Sierra de la Demanda|
|Stage 1 Madrid–Barajas airport to Cogolludo|
|Stage 2 Cogolludo to Galve de Sorbe|
|Stage 3 Galve de Sorbe to San Esteban|
|Stage 4 San Esteban to Quintanar|
|Stage 5 Quintanar to Anguiano|
|Stage 6 Anguiano to Miranda|
|Stage 7 Miranda to Amurrio|
|Stage 8 Amurrio to Bilbao|
|Option 1 Najerilla valley to Santo Domingo|
|Option 2 Sierra de la Demanda loop|
|Route 7 Los Pireneos|
|Stage 1 San Sebastián to Leitza|
|Stage 2 Leitza to Auritz/Burguete|
|Stage 3 Auritz/Burguete to Ansó|
|Stage 4 Ansó to Jaca|
|Stage 5 Jaca to Broto|
|Stage 6 Broto to Campo|
|Stage 7 Campo to Pont de Suert|
|Stage 8 Pont de Suert to Tremp|
|Stage 9 Tremp to Coll de Nargó|
|Stage 10 Coll de Nargó to Berga|
|Stage 11 Berga to Olot|
|Stage 12 Olot to Girona airport|
|Option 1 Hernani to Leitza|
|Option 2 Olot to Anglès|
|Route 8 Picos de Europa|
|Stage 1 Llanes to Cangas de Onis|
|Stage 2 Cangas de Onis to Posada de Valdeón|
|Stage 3 Posada de Valdeón to Potes|
|Stage 4 Potes to Llanes|
|Option 1 Puerto de Pandetrave to Potes|
|Option 2 Puertos de Aliva loop|
|Option 3 Covadonga|
|Appendix 1 Temperatures and Rainfall|
|Appendix 2 Sunrise and Sunset Times|
|Appendix 3 Language Notes|
|Appendix 4 Travelling to Spain|
|Appendix 5 Spanish Airports: Routes and Maps|
|Appendix 6 Car Hire Companies|
|Appendix 7 Organised Cycle Holiday Companies|