Cycling

Andalucian White Villages Cycling Tour

Self Guided Cycling Tour

 

 

TOUR TITLE:  "Ronda to Cadiz"

START:  Ronda     FINISH:  Cadiz

Duration* 8 days 7 nights 5 cycling days
Distance 200 km total 40 km daily avg  -  max 64km  -  min 18km
Grading Moderate to Challengingroute includes some hills each day (109-668m per day) and there are some longer distance days up to 64km. The final cycling day is a short distance which allows additional time to visit Cadiz in the afternoon. Route uses a mix of quiet roads, unsurfaced roads and tracks to keep you away from traffic as far as possible.
Availability** All year round. Avoid Easter due to inflated accommodation costs
Price*** €895  per person based on 2 people sharing a double or twin room (en-suite)

* Tour duration can be extended by adding rest days along the tour; let us know your preferences when you enquire.

** Check out the local annual weather conditions here. Start on any day of the week.

*** Solo traveller and single occupancy prices available upon request.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Setenil de las Bodegas - village of the cavehouses
  • Via Verde de la Sierra - disused railway track with tunnels and viaducts
  • Arcos de la Frontera - clifftop town
  • Jerez - Cathedral, Alcazar and sherry!
  • Cadiz - historic seafront city

 

Details

Take a self guided cycling tour through western Andalucia, from the mountains of Ronda and disused railway of the Via Verde de la Sierra, visiting Arcos de la Frontera and Jerez to the Atlantic coast and historic city of Cadiz. 

On this tour you will cycle through beautiful and unspoilt countryside, mainly on quiet roads and unsurfaced tracks. The landscape varies from arable fields, vineyards and olive groves, through rolling hills, lakes and finally to the sea. You will pass through charming and traditional white villages, many perched on rocky hillsides. You will see strange cavehouses carved into the rocks, grand Renaissance churches and Arab fortresses. Every day of this week-long cycle tour offers something special.

The cycling on this tour ends in Puerto de Santa Maria, so you do not ride the busy roads and bridge into Cadiz. Instead you will take the ferry across the bay with a full day to explore this ancient port town. 

 

Day 1 - Arrival in Ronda

Check in to your hotel and enjoy the sights and sounds of the beautiful clifftop town of Ronda. Briefing and bike set up will take place on your first evening

Day 2 - Ronda to Olvera

35km - 460m ascent  

From Ronda cycle northwards, past vineyards and olive groves. Lunch in Setenil de las Bodegas, under huge overhanging limestone cliffs. Ancient "cavehouses" built into the rock form the basis of many village houses, shops and cafes. Cycle on through limestone gorge and farmland, up into Torre Alhaquime village, with great views across to Olvera's striking skyline of Arab fortress and twin-towered Renaissance church. A final section through the olives brings you to your overnight accommodation in a traditional Andalucian style hotel.

Day 3 - Olvera to Bornos

60km - 588m ascent  

Today you ride along the Via Verde de la Sierra, a disused railway line through the mountains and olive groves, with long tunnels (automatic lighting), viaducts and a griffon vulture colony, perched high up on the rocks above the track. Lunch at one of the old station buildings before continuing through seasonal farmlands known for the sunflowers and cotton crops.  You final stop is at the lakeside town of Bornos. 

Day 4 - Bornos to Arcos de la Frontera

23km - 409m ascent  

A short day with a few “ups and downs”. The route is very quiet and rural, passing through endless rolling hills you soon find youself gaining height as you enter the town of Arcos dela Frontera. Arcos is positioned on the top of a large hill with one side of the town being a cliff edge. You will stay in the heart of the old town – the short ride today allows you longer to explore the steep narrow streets on foot; see the  church of Santa Maria (with its unfinished tower, where the church guardian still lives) and, on the opposite side of the church plaza, a balcony with views from the top of the cliff down to the river.

Day 5 - Arcos de la Frontera to Jerez de la Frontera

44km - 346m ascent  

Descending into the countryside below Arcos gives fantastic views of the clifftop town and makes for an easy 38km start to the day with only one hill before you head into Jerez. Take some time for a late lunch in this historic town, maybe visit the cathedral, the Alcazar or try some of the famous locally produced sherry.

Note: an extra night can be added in Jerez to give you more time to explore the town.

Day 6 - Jerez de la Frontera to El Puerto de Santa Maria

18km - 109m ascent  

Your last days ride is a short distance to Puerto de Santa Maria.  This allows time to enjoy Santa Maria or take the opportunity for some extra time visiting Cadiz in the afternoon before your full day of exploration tomorrow.

Day 7 - Rest day in Cadiz

From Puerto Santa Maria you will use the ferry to visit Cadiz. The city is famous for its long maritime history, having been founded by the Phoenicians in 1100 and being the main port of the Catholic Kings at the time of the discovery of America and the New World. The cathedral is hugely impressive, with twin towers and a huge yellow tiled, Moorish style dome, with a lovely plaza in front. The Museo de Las Cortes has many interesting artefacts and views of the changing size and shape of the city over the centuries. The botanic gardens overlooking the sea contain species brought back from travels all over the world. Soak up the atmosphere in the old towns’ narrow streets or at the seafront fort or simply go to the beach – this city has something for everyone!

Day 8 - Depart El Puerto de Santa Maria

Check out from your hotel and have a safe trip home or to your next destination. Transfers can be arranged in advance.

 

Included in our prices:

  • Route maps & Garmin cycling GPS with preloaded route for each day
  • 7 nights accommodation on B&B basis 
  • Quality Hybrid bike
  • Luggage transfers
  • Optional seat-post rear bag and/or handlebar bag for your daily needs (we recommend travelling light)
  • Helmet & water bottle
  • We operate locally to Ronda so support is always close at hand if needed

Will I be fit enough?

 

Our self-guided tours are designed for leisure cyclists rather than cycling experts or people looking for large daily mileages. There are hills throughout the region which will need to be tackled but we keep daily distances manageable, particularly on days with more hills. On the longest days, take things steadily and ensure you take plenty of refreshment/snack stops and drink lots of water. On the day you cycle to Arcos, save some energy for the final climb up into the town.

Just remember that in summer, higher temperatures can make cycling seem harder so we suggest starting soon after 9am and aiming to finish before 2pm.

Where will you be staying?

 

Double or twin room with en suite facilities in all locations.

Ronda hotel is normally 4****. In most of the villages you will stay in traditional, family-run Andalucian-style hotels close to the village centre, tapas bars and cafes.

Highlights are the hilltop hacienda near Montellano and hotel in the heart of Arcos de la Frontera.

In summer we prioritise hotels with pools.

 

What to Bring

The essential kit to enjoy your cycling holiday

  • Helmet (bring you own or use ours - free of charge) 
  • Padded cycling shorts (essential kit for staying comfortable over a few days' riding)
  • Your own saddle if you prefer - let us know if you are bringing one
  • Cycling gloves
  • Cycling tops or T shirts
  • Sports bra (ladies only!)
  • Socks
  • Cycling shoes (let us know if you want clip-in pedals) or trainers - firm soles are best.
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun cream and after-sun lotion
  • Casual clothes, swimwear and footwear
  • Health insurance policy document (for UK travellers, a European Health Insurance Card, EHIC, will give you access to reduced cost medical services in Spain but it is not an alternative to travel insurance. It will not cover any private medical healthcare or costs such as mountain rescue, repatriation costs or lost or stolen property. Therefore it is important to have both an EHIC and a valid private travel insurance policy. Some insurers now insist you hold an EHIC and many will waive the excess if you have one.
  • The EHIC is available free at  https://www.ehic.org.uk/Internet/startapplication.do

For winter riding

  • extra body layers with long sleeves (thin thermal tops are great)
  • leggings or cycling tights
  • light waterproof/windproof jacket 
  • neck scarf / snood (great as sweat bands in the summer and for warmth in the winter)
  • warm fleece and jacket for the evenings