Cycling

Andalucian White Villages Tour

Self Guided Cycling & Walking Tour

 

 

TOUR TITLE:  "Luxury Spa & Wellness"

START:  Ronda     FINISH:  Ronda

Duration* 8 days 7 nights 3 cycling / 1 walking
Distance 100 km total cycling 28-30km per day; walk 13km
Grading Easy to Moderate 
Availability** All year round. Avoid Easter due to inflated accomodation costs
Price*** €1150  per person based on 2 people sharing a double or twin room

* 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:

  • Two luxury spa hotels; half hour massage in each and spa entry every day of your stay
  • Tranquil countryside, scenic cycling and walking routes
  • Setenil de las Bodegas - village of the cavehouses
  • Cueva del Gato - waterfall and crystal clear water pool
  • Zahara lake and village

 

Details

Exercise your body and indulge your senses with a luxurious week in the beautiful countryside of Andalucia. Stay in luxurious 4**** spa hotels with excellent facilities; relax with soothing treatments and massages and spend your days cycling and walking through the very best mountain scenery that Spain has to offer. This luxury self guided holiday is sure to invigorate and refresh you. 

You will stay in three different locations, beginning in the historic town of Ronda, then moving on for further nights in the white villages of Grazalema and a rural cortijo overlooking the beautiful blue Zahara lake.

You will explore local villages and unspoilt countryside on self-guided bike rides and walks and enjoy delicious local food and drinks, including a seasonal lunch at an acclaimed local restaurant in a restored water mill, the Molino del Santo.

Day 1 - Arrival in Ronda

Check into to the 4**** Hotel Catalonia Reina Victoria Wellness & Spa for your first 4 nights of comfort and relaxation. Visit the spa or take a dip in the pool before heading out to explore the town. Ronda is a beautiful and historic town with varied architectural features from its Roman, Moorish, Jewish and Spanish past, interesting sights and a wealth of restaurants and bars in which you can enjoy traditional Andalucian and Moorish cuisine. The famous “Puente Nuevo” bridge spans a 120m deep gorge separating the old and new parts of the town.

Day 2 - Bike Ride - Ronda to Setenil de las Bodegas 

29km - 250m ascent  

An easy-moderate ride on off-road tracks through open countryside, past olive groves and vineyards, ending with a descent into the white village of Setenil de las Bodegas. Here you will see cavehouses built into the limestone valley walls and still used today as homes, cafes and bars. Minibus return to Ronda or you can cycle back to Ronda on a different route, adding 25km to your days' cycling. Entry to spa and pools on your return to the hotel included in your holiday package.

Day 3 - Walk - Ronda to Benaojan 

13km - 175m ascent  

A moderate walk which takes in the valley below Ronda’s gorge before heading out into open countryside. You follow the Guadiaro river valley, passing the Cueva del Gato, a local beauty spot and bathing area with a waterfall which flows all year round. You finish at the acclaimed Molino del Santo hotel restaurant, multiple winner of TripAdvisors’ award for “best in Andalucia for service”. It is located in an old water mill which has been sensitively restored by the owners in traditional Andalucian style. Here you enjoy a delicious, seasonal 3-course meal. During most of the year, this can be taken on the terrace which overlooks the tumbling river that used to power the old mill. Entry to spa and pools on your return to the hotel included in your holiday package. 

Day 4 - Rest Spa Day

Relax in the spa today, enjoying a complimentary half hour massage and maybe selecting additional items from the extensive list of relaxation and invigoration treatments available. Or take time to further explore Ronda's old town, narrow streets, bars and sights.

Day 5 - Bike Ride - Ronda to Grazalema 

30km - 600m ascent  

A moderate level ride on quiet roads through beautiful countryside and mountain scenery to the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park. This is a 52,000 hectare area of unspoilt countryside which was declared a Unesco Biosphere reserve in 1977 and is one of Spain’s most ecologically outstanding areas. Grazalema itself sits on a high mountain peak and is a particularly charming white village. It is nestled beneath the mountains, with typical terracotta-roofed, white-painted houses, a village square and fabulous views across the valley. Your hotel, the Hotel Puerta de la Villa is located close to the main village square and within a few minutes walk of the villages restaurants and bars. It is also less than 5 minutes walk from the Grazalema Wellness Spa which is an optional visit after your ride. Alternatively, simply relax in your hotel, enjoy the small outdoor plunge pool and terrace and the fabulous views.

Day 6 - Bike Ride - Grazalema to Cortijo Salinas

28km - 695m ascent  

A moderate ride out of Grazalema and up over the stunning Las Palomas Pass to the white village of Zahara. It is a climb up to the pass but you can take it at you own pace and the views from the top are stunning; you can see for miles to the west, back towards Ronda, and east over the stunning blue lake below Zahara village. Stop for refreshments in Zahara before cycling the final section along the undulating road which follows the lakeside. Your hotel for the final two nights is the luxurious Cortijo Salinas Spa Hotel, situated on the hillside overlooking Zahara's beautiful blue lake. N.B. An alternative easy ride option is available which misses out the visit to Zahara village and heads straight down from Grazalema village to the lakeside and then a short way up to the hotel.

Day 7 - Rest and Spa Day

Your final day is free for you to relax at the hotel and spa, including one complimentary half hour massage. Take a final opportunity to enjoy the calm and tranquillity of Andalucia’s rural countryside.

Day 8 - Transfer to Ronda

Collection from your cortijo hotel and return to Ronda to continue on your travels or to head to the airport. N.B. Airport transfers at the start and end of your holiday available on request.

 

Included in our prices:

  • 7 nights accommodation in 4**** hotels on B&B basis 
  • 2 x dinner (in rural cortijo hotel. On you nights in Ronda and Grazalema, explore the towns' many restaurants and bars)
  • 1 lunch at the Molino del Santo restaurant (Menu of the Month)
  • 1 half hour massage in each of the two spa hotels, plus entry to the spa each day of your stay there (other treatments can be booked for you in advance)
  • Route maps & Garmin cycling GPS with preloaded route for each day
  • Luggage transfers
  • Quality Hybrid bike, incl helmet and water bottle
  • Optional seat-post rear bag and/or handlebar bag for your daily needs (we recommend travelling light)
  • We operate locally to Ronda so support is always close at hand if needed

Will I be fit enough?

 

This self-guided spa wellness tour is designed for people looking for a relaxing, energising holiday mixing easy-moderate outdoor activity with indulgent spa treatments.

The region is mountainous, so on the cycling days you will have a couple of hills to climb but none of them are too steep and daily distances are kept manageable. Just take your time and ensure you have plenty of breaks to take in the views and catch your breath. Drink plenty of water every day. Anyone who is reasonably fit and happy to be on a bike or walking for 3+ hours a day will enjoy this tour. 

Just remember that in summer, higher temperatures can make cycling or walking 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 - 4**** Catalonia Reina Victoria Wellness & Spa. Clifftop hotel with extensive garden area, outdoor swimming pool, sun terrace gym and spa with hydrotherapy pool, Turkish bath and hydromassage showers.

Grazalema - 4**** Hotel Puerta de la Villa. Village centre hotel with valley views, plunge pool and terrace. Walking distance to Spa Wellness Grazalema.

Montecorto - 4**** Cortijo Salinas Hotel Spa Restaurant. Rural luxury cortijo surrounded by natural beauty - an ideal peaceful retreat. Hotel spa with pool Jacuzzi, sauna, hammam, ice fountain, two-sensations shower, caldarium and a relaxing area.

 

What to Bring

The essential kit to enjoy your spa, cycling and walking 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/walking/gym tops or T shirts
  • Sports bra (ladies only!)
  • Socks
  • Good trainers or shoes - firm soles are best for cycling and will also provide comfort when walking on uneven or stony ground 
  • 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.  https://www.ehic.org.uk/Internet/startapplication.do

For winter cycling and walking

  • 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