Cycling in Spain

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jonno1987
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Cycling in Spain

Postby jonno1987 » Sun Nov 11, 2012 22:42 pm

Hi,

Myself and a few friends are planning a short cycling holiday in Spain next year and I was hoping to get some ideas on the best regions and routes, possibly from people with first hand experience.

We are planning for around April/May so its not at the height of summer, and my initial plan was for South Spain - think Malaga, Gibraltar, Cadiz , Seville - but more than happy to look at other areas! We are all of decent fitness and are looking at around riding around 70-80 miles a day for 4 days - mainly as we want to fit in some sight seeing, eating and drinking!

If anyone has any advice on excellent routes, the best regions, key places to visit, or any other advice it would be much appreciated!

Thanks all.

D

takeonafrica
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Re: Cycling in Spain

Postby takeonafrica » Mon Nov 12, 2012 09:47 am

I rode from Seville to Mijas (near Malaga) via Arcos and Ronda. It's a beautiful ride up in the hills (from Arcos to Mijas) and I'd recommend it. Only 150miles, took 2.5days with time to sight-see so you could probably go further in 4days.
More about it here, as discussing recently with someone else: http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=68908

jonno1987
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Re: Cycling in Spain

Postby jonno1987 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 13:44 pm

Thanks for the info - it looks a pretty good route. How did you find the hills in the area? Do you have any gradient info? What time of year did you go? We want to avoid excessive heat so are hoping April isn't too bad in the region.

takeonafrica
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Re: Cycling in Spain

Postby takeonafrica » Mon Nov 12, 2012 21:29 pm

I was there in August - it was hot. Used to cycle early morning and late evening and siesta/sight-see middle of the day.
Hills were fine - all cycleable fully-loaded (and I was carrying a lot of stuff back then!). Long yes, slow yes. But slowly slowly you get there. Don't know the gradients, looking at the long steep one possibly ~10-12% ? But not sure. The important point is you can cycle them :)
I expect April will be fine.
If you want the GPS track PM me your email address and I'll send it on.

renard
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Re: Cycling in Spain

Postby renard » Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:11 pm

I can't give any advice on where you are cycling but I will say that when I do the odd spin in the Madrid area, the motorists are very considerate.

When a cycle path crosses a road, even a motorway slip road, they will invariavbly give way.

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cycladelic
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Re: Cycling in Spain

Postby cycladelic » Thu Nov 15, 2012 09:13 am

I've cycled in Spain a few times and agree with takeonafrica - north of Malaga is a great part of the country. I was there earlier this year - March - and went through Mijas on my way north to Seville. You can see lots of pics etc on my blog here:

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page ... 75730&v=i6

I also rode in the Pyrenees a few years ago, ending up in Barcelona...

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=1 ... 6355&v=1T2

andrew@snowrace
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Re: Cycling in Spain

Postby andrew@snowrace » Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:34 am

I've only cycled in the north around Jaca, Sabinanigo and up into the Pyrenees great cycling country with the option of a couple of the tour passes just the other side of the hill have a great time where ever you decide. Andy

maringirl
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Re: Cycling in Spain

Postby maringirl » Thu Nov 15, 2012 23:07 pm

Try the area around Roses, Catalunia - choices of very flat or hilly rides or a mix.

whitebirdyman
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Re: Cycling in Spain

Postby whitebirdyman » Fri Nov 16, 2012 14:44 pm

maringirl wrote:Try the area around Roses, Catalunia - choices of very flat or hilly rides or a mix.


Thanks for the tip about Roses.

I wondered if anyone had more suggestions for the Catalunya area. I want to do some cycling in Spain in the Spring, but I want to take the car so I do not have to fiddle around packing bikes or hiring, so I need somewhere not too far away ie the areas in the southbeing discussed are a bit too far and I do not want to pay for a ferry to get over to Mallorca.

jonno1987
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Re: Cycling in Spain

Postby jonno1987 » Sat Nov 17, 2012 21:21 pm

Some really good suggestions, thanks all. I think we will stick with South Spain, as from the feedback it's clearly a great place to ride! I've put together a rough circular route, starting in Malaga, then to Gibraltar, onto Seville, and returning to Malaga. Hoping to do it in 4 days.... Is this possible (keeping in mind the heat and hills, and that we do want to enjoy the local cervezas y tapas!) ?! Does anyone know of nice and cheap places to stay in those locations?

This is possibly a longer shot - but I'm flirting with the idea of renting a road bike out there. We are flying into Malaga, so taking my own bike would not only be more hassle, but potentially more expensive, and you always have the risk of a reckless luggage handler..... does anyone know of any shops in Malaga I could rent a decent road bike?

jonno1987
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Re: Cycling in Spain

Postby jonno1987 » Sat Nov 17, 2012 21:37 pm

takeonafrica wrote:I was there in August - it was hot. Used to cycle early morning and late evening and siesta/sight-see middle of the day.
Hills were fine - all cycleable fully-loaded (and I was carrying a lot of stuff back then!). Long yes, slow yes. But slowly slowly you get there. Don't know the gradients, looking at the long steep one possibly ~10-12% ? But not sure. The important point is you can cycle them :)
I expect April will be fine.
If you want the GPS track PM me your email address and I'll send it on.



Takeonafrica - I'm new to this website so am a total noob... I can't find out how to PM you! How do I do it?

renard
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Re: Cycling in Spain

Postby renard » Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:22 am

To PM somebody:

1. Look for their post on the thread.
2. On Left hand side of post you will see their user name, posts, joined and then a little box with "PM" in it.
3. Click "PM" box and wirte away.

takeonafrica
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Re: Cycling in Spain

Postby takeonafrica » Tue Nov 20, 2012 19:33 pm

Just a warning - the coast road between Malaga and Gibraltar is not much fun... busy and built up and i recall being forced to ride on the dual carriageway towards the gibraltar end which was unpleasant (and technically illegal on a bicycle). If cycling that area again I would definitely go inland.

As for other areas of Spain - riding from the north coast to Leon through the Picos de Europa is a lovely ride too.

grazza_e
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Re: Cycling in Spain

Postby grazza_e » Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:59 pm

Couple other areas i'd consider, although agree Malaga is great, i've spent only limited time in Malaga so hard to compare.

The almeria region (I stayed specifically in Mojacar but plenty of others around) is pretty quiet, lovely scenery inland, plenty of hills etc. inland and lot's of little villages inland to explore. I was there in Feb / March last year and really enjoyed, doing 60 or so miles each day, almost every time ran into a pro-team on the road, fortunately going the other way so I was not completely embarrassed. So if you headed north out of Malaga you could go up into the sierra nevada national park.

Additionally, the regional around Denia / Calpe further north also great cycling, for similar reasons to above, there are enough flat roads to keep you interested, but plenty of hilly country inland. As a tour you could go from Alicante to Valencia with stops en-route. I'd recommend doing inland loops as there is lovely scenery up in the hills.

Good luck, i'm jealous, not sure i'm going to have the time to make a trip next year.

MartAstur
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Re: Cycling in Spain

Postby MartAstur » Fri Nov 23, 2012 09:29 am

Have you looked at Asturias or Galicia in Northern Spain? I live in Asturias and there are some fantastic routes. It offers both coastal and mountain routes. The downside is that the weather is less predictable than other parts of Spain but it really is worth a visit. It's right next to Galicia so you could cycle bothe areas. If you saw the Veulta this year there were lots of stages in this region.
If you want more info I am more than willing to send you some :)

nwns88
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Re: Cycling in Spain

Postby nwns88 » Fri Nov 23, 2012 21:43 pm

I did some good rides out of Estepona last summer. I posted a report, including links of where to hire bikes and details of the local cycle club who are happy for non-locals to join them. I found Estepona to be a nice place to base myself and I enjoyed cycling with the local club. My report is here:
http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=40003&t=12834603


I hope this helps.

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elcanyonman
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Re: Cycling in Spain

Postby elcanyonman » Mon Nov 26, 2012 17:54 pm

http://www.cycling-rentals.com/aboutus
Used these to hire bikes this year. They will deliver anywhere in Spain with a few days notice.
The cheapest way to get accommodation is to just turn up at a Hostal etc. Can seem a bit risky but there always seem plenty to choose from in most towns and villages

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FJS
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Re: Cycling in Spain

Postby FJS » Wed Nov 28, 2012 17:39 pm

jonno1987 wrote:Hi,

Myself and a few friends are planning a short cycling holiday in Spain next year and I was hoping to get some ideas on the best regions and routes, possibly from people with first hand experience.

We are planning for around April/May so its not at the height of summer, and my initial plan was for South Spain - think Malaga, Gibraltar, Cadiz , Seville - but more than happy to look at other areas! We are all of decent fitness and are looking at around riding around 70-80 miles a day for 4 days - mainly as we want to fit in some sight seeing, eating and drinking!

If anyone has any advice on excellent routes, the best regions, key places to visit, or any other advice it would be much appreciated!

Thanks all.

D


Could well be possible with those distances, but in Spain, particularly the South, there is much value in staying off the main roads, which often can be mini-motorways. As mentioned the coastal roads around Malaga are to be avoided. Malaga itself is a great university city. The Puert de Leon is a great way out of Malaga. A great little city in the area is Ronda, and the hills West of Ronda offer in my view the best riding of that whole part of Spain. An area to spend a bit more time in.
The weather should be great in April. I've cycled there in May, when it was lovely but just a bit too warm for riding in the middle of the day. April/early May should be fine.

Galicia and Asturia are great for cycling too - the Galician coast is one of my favorite parts of the world. But, apart from the summer months when the weather is great, pretty much guaranteed to have loads of rain. It's one of the wettest parts of Europe, like Western Ireland. Something to reserve for June/July/August.

Catalunya is also a good place to ride. The Montseny national park north of Barcelona is great, or the southern Pyrenees around Ripoll.

jonno1987
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Re: Cycling in Spain

Postby jonno1987 » Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:17 pm

elcanyonman wrote:http://www.cycling-rentals.com/aboutus
Used these to hire bikes this year. They will deliver anywhere in Spain with a few days notice.
The cheapest way to get accommodation is to just turn up at a Hostal etc. Can seem a bit risky but there always seem plenty to choose from in most towns and villages


This website looks amazing - this was a fairly big issue for us (whether to bring our own bikes or not) and this covers everything. Now we can look into an A to B route as opposed an A back to A route. Thanks a lot!

Are the bikes they provide you decent? I would probably be after a medium to top range road bike.

jonno1987
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Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2012 22:04 pm

Re: Cycling in Spain

Postby jonno1987 » Thu Nov 29, 2012 14:07 pm

takeonafrica wrote:Just a warning - the coast road between Malaga and Gibraltar is not much fun... busy and built up and i recall being forced to ride on the dual carriageway towards the gibraltar end which was unpleasant (and technically illegal on a bicycle). If cycling that area again I would definitely go inland.

As for other areas of Spain - riding from the north coast to Leon through the Picos de Europa is a lovely ride too.



Thanks for the warning. Which road are you talking about in particular? I planned to ride the N34a - which is right next to the ocean (as opposed to the bigger road further in land (E15/E7) - heading East towards Nerja and Mortil. Generally when i'm planning a route I go through Google maps and go to street view ever so often to check on the roads (i know a pretty crude method, but it's worked fairly well in the past!) and to be honest the coastal road (N34a) looked beautiful in most parts! Good road, not much traffic, ocean sun set. Please let me know if this is the road you are warning me about as I don't want to be fooled by Google.

Thanks,

D


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