Leisure Cycling Tour - 'Take the High Road'
Self Guided Cycling Tour in Spain
Andalucian White Village Bike Tour
START: Ronda FINISH: Ronda
|Duration *||8 days||7 nights||6 cycling days|
|Distance||210 km total||35 km daily avg ( max 56km : min 20km )|
|Grading||Moderate to Challenging - route includes some hills each day (460m-960m per day), including 2 days with significant climbs into the mountains of the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park. 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. Choose the dates which suit you. Start on any day of the week.|
|Price ***||€895 per person based on 2 people sharing a double or twin room (en-suite) ( €985 with e-bike )|
* Tour duration can be extended by adding rest days along the route; let us know your preferences when you enquire.
** Check out the local annual weather conditions here. N.B. Supplements may apply during Easter week due to inflated accommodation prices.
*** Solo traveller and single occupancy prices available upon request.
Enjoy self-guided cycle touring in Spain; cycle at your own pace through beautiful, unspoiled countryside, visiting some of western Andalucia’s most charming “pueblos blancos”. Stunning views, quiet roads and delicious local produce offer something special on every day of this week-long self-guided cycle tour, giving you a delightful picture of rural Andalucian life.
You will cycle through 3 Andalucian provinces – Malaga, Sevilla and Cadiz - and pass through the heart of the protected area of the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park. You will enjoy a variety of mountain, valley, river and forest landscapes and see the different character and unique feel of many small white villages. This “High Road” tour includes two challenging and spectacular climbs through the high passes of “Puerto de Las Palomas” and “Puerto del Boyar”, so you can experience the full beauty and drama of the Sierra de Grazalema mountains.
Cycling Tour Itinerary
DAY 1 | ARRIVAL IN RONDA
Welcome to 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 +461m
From Ronda cycle northwards, past vineyards and olive groves. Lunch in Setenil de las Bodegas, under huge overhanging limestone cliffs. Ancient "cave houses" 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 MONTELLANO | 38km +823m
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 climbing up into the hills to your overnight hacienda. Peaceful, exclusive and with a hint of luxury. A table will be reserved for you in the hacienda restaurant for dinner.
DAY 4 | MONTELLANO TO EL BOSQUE | 56km +649m
Ride through farmland, passing through olive, sunflower and cotton fields. Lunch in the small village of Prado del Rey - lots of little tapas bars and cafes close to the picturesque village square. Ride on past an area of natural inland salt deposits, Las Salinas de Iptuci, managed as salt flats since Roman times and where 300 tonnes of salt are still produced evey year. Overnight in El Bosque in a traditional village hotel; an old mill wheel and fountain on the village square provide a lovely spot for dinner.
DAY 5 | EL BOSQUE TO GRAZALEMA | 20km +959m
Today's ride includes a steady 15km climb up "The Beast of El Boyar" to a high elevation of 1103m. The climb is tough and not to be taken lightly but it doesn't have to be tackled at race-pace, so should be perfectly do-able if you take your time. Enjoy the views along the way and you'll forget about the climb! Continue on to Grazalema, set beneath dramatic mountains with fabulous views out into the valley below. You will stay in the centre of the village, which is picturesque and well maintained with quite grand houses and a large central plaza and church. The village has lots of good restaurants for evening dining.
DAY 6 | GRAZALEMA TO MONTECORTO | 28km +681m
Another good but shorter climb today, up to Las Palomas Pass (1189m). Going in this direction, from Grazalema, is the easier way to enjoy this high Pass, as you ride up for 5km out of Grazalema and then have a fantastic 11km twisting descent down to the village of Zahara de la Sierra. All the way down you will have fabulous views of the beautiful blue lake below the village. Take a lunchtime stop here and then continue via an undulating road around the lake's edge to your spa cortijo accommodation, overlooking the lake. A table will be reserved for you for dinner in the hotel restaurant. Spa treatments can be pre-booked for you on request.
DAY 7 | MONTECORTO TO RONDA | 33km +942
Head back towards Ronda via Montejaque, a village nestled into the mountains with a lovely central square. Continue on to the Cueva del Gato ("Cat Cave"), a local beauty spot with a year-round waterfall which cascades from a cave mouth into a crystal clear, blue pool of water. From here it is a gradual climb back up to Ronda. You can shorten this day by either taking the train back to Ronda from a station near the Cat Cave or choosing to stay one night in a country boutique hotel with pool at the bottom of the hill up to Ronda. We will drive you to Ronda next day.
DAY 8 | DEPART RONDA
Check out from your hotel and have a safe trip home or to your next destination.
INCLUDED IN OUR PRICES
See our suggested KIT LIST for cycle touring in Spain.
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 but we keep daily distances manageable, particularly on days with more hills. Climbing up "The Beast" to Grazalema and then up to Las Palomas Pass is a challenge but take things at your own pace. Anyone who is reasonably fit and happy to be on a bike for 4+ hours a day will enjoy this tour.
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 I 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 the cortijo spa hotel overlooking Zahara lake.
In summer we prioritise hotels with pools.
Take a look at some alternative cycling tours in Spain:
White Village Cycling Tour Spain
A circular cycling tour that follows the same first 3 cycling days as Take the High Road but takes alternative routes on the days with the toughest hill climbs. Also allows more time at the end to explore Ronda.
Road Cycling Tour in Spain: Moderate
A tour designed for road cyclists who enjoy hill climbing and descents. Longer distances and more hill climbing than our Leisure White Village Cycling Tours.