White Villages of Andalucia
Fantastic cycling in the heart of southern Spain , this bike trip takes you through beautiful white villages with picturesque and dramatic scenery.
Riding on a combination of country lanes and dirt tracks, your week’s cycling meanders through the Andalucian countryside by rivers, lakes, cork forests, the Via Verde and many beautiful white villages that are synonymous with Andalucia.
Prices are starting indications, per person, based on two people sharing a twin room, and include standard bike hire. Please make a booking enquiry for a confirmed price based on your chosen dates and exact requirements.
Your week long cycling tour takes you through the most scenic Andalucian white villages (“pueblos blancos”), visiting Benoajan, Montejaque, Grazalema, Zahara, Prado Del Rey, Olvera, Setenil de las Bodegas and of course Ronda. Ronda, Setenil & Olvera have recently been voted in the Top 25 most scenic villages in Spain, for me you could also include Zahara & Grazalema in that list as these are 2 of my personal favourites.
This village to village adventure starts in Ronda , one of the oldest and most beautiful cities of Spain. Situated on an impressive plateau and surrounded by mountains Ronda is famous for its spectacular gorge ‘El Tajo’ the cliffs are spanned by a bridge, a popular place for travellers to admire the breathtaking views.
We start the White Villages Tour riding through the Guardiaro Valley towards Benoajan, where you can stop for a swim at a fresh water lagoon followed by lunch at Molino Del Santo, (one of Claire & my favourite restaurants in this area) before riding through Benoajan & Montejaque and on to your accommodation for the night, the stunning Cortijo Las Piletas where you can relax & unwind around the pool enjoying a sangria or two before dinner at the hotel (Pablo is an exception chef)!
Your tour then takes you to Grazalema, a pretty mountain village, set in the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park and surrounded on three sides by mountains. Its steep cobbled streets are lined with white whitewashed houses whose window boxes bringing a splash of colour to this lively little village. After lunch you’ll then ride onto Zahara de la Sierra, a Moorish town which was fiercely fought over by the Moors and Christians. The prominent Moorish Castle, which can be seen from miles away, towers above this stunning hilltop village which is located at the foot of a beautiful lake. Your hotel has an infinity pool that looks out towards the Sierra Lijar. In the evening you can dine at the hotel or go to Restaurant Al Lago (another one of Claire & my favourite restaurants in this area) and dine Al Fresco on the terrace enjoying sunset views over the lake.
We then move onto Prado del Rey, Puerto Serrano and Montellano staying over night in a traditional Spanish Hacienda where, once again, you can relax & unwind around the pool enjoying a sangria or two before dinner at the hotel.
Next you ride along the Via Verde, an old railway line, perfect for cycling, as it rolls through the breathtaking scenery of the Andalucian countryside where we see the historic, cultural and natural delights of the ‘real’ Andalucia. The Via Verde will bring you to Olvera one of Andalucia’s most dramatic ‘pueblos blancos’ which is overlooked by a Moorish castle and stunning church here you can stop for lunch before riding onto Setenil de la Bodegas. Setenil is a unique little town with the overhanging limestone cliffs providing shelter from the elements and forming the shops, cafes and cave houses that run through the centre of this village. You’ll stop in Setenil for the evening giving you chance to explore the bars & restaurants set in the caves. We’ll recommend our favourite places to dine in the tour notes.
Finally we end your tour back in Ronda, visiting the Roman Ampitheatre at Ronda La Vieja along the way. Once back in Ronda you’ll have the chance to explore this historic town which has established itself as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Spain and has become reknown for its fine cuisine. We’ll recommend our favourite places to dine in the tour notes.
Amongst the many highlights of the trip are; the beautiful Grazalema Natural Park, the Moorish castle at Zahara, the Peñon Zaframagon, a craggy out crop which is the home to the largest colony of Griffon Vultures in Andalucia and last but by no means least the stunning Gorge, which splits Ronda in two.
The full eight-day itinerary:
- Ronda – Fly to Malaga Airport and transfer to Ronda where you will receive your bikes and Tour information pack.
- Benoajan – Onto the bikes for your first of many leisurely rides along quiet country lanes we head towards Montejaque via Benoajan. There is a chance to go for a swim at the fresh water lagoon at the Cueva de Gatos before stopping for lunch at, in my opinion, one of the best restaurants in this area. (approx 25km, 550m ascent)
- Grazalema & Zahara – We ride through an enchanting cork tree forest in the Grazalema Natural Park to the beautiful white village of Grazalema, which is surrounded by three sides of mountains. Here you have an opportunity to explore the narrow streets, enjoy the beautiful views back across the route we have taken and sample a few tapa’s and local hospitality. After lunch its back on the bikes you ride along quiet country lanes that meander there way towards Zahara de la Sierra. (approx 37km, 595m ascent – option to add 28km)
- Rolling Hills & Haciendas – Back on the bikes and we ride through rolling hills passing fields of sun flowers, olive groves and a few local vineyards too visiting Prado del Rey and Puerto Serrano before getting to your next Hotel a traditional Spanish Hacienda where there will be a chance for a dip in the pool & chill out on the terrace with a glass or two of Sangria and your favourite book before dinner. (approx 53km, 660m ascent)
- Via Verde – Following breakfast you ride along the ‘Via Verde de la Sierra’ which meanders from Puerto Serrano to Olvera. Along the route we pass through a variety of landscapes from farm land to a mountain region. Water is a common element of the landscape as the route follows the path of the two rivers of Guadalete & Guadalporcun, therefore the Mediterranean vegetation is lush. Riding along this old railway track you pass over several viaducts, the most impressive being at Coripe, and through 30 tunnels the longest of which is 990metres. Refreshments stops can be made in Olvera before riding onto Setenil. (52km, 1200m ascent)
- Ronda La Vieja – You’ll ride back to Ronda via the Roman Ampitheatre at Ronda La Vieja along the old ‘travellers route’. From the Ampitheatre you can enjoy stunning views across towards Grazalema. A short days ride gives you plenty of opportunity to relax and unwind at the end of your trip. (approx 32km, 850m ascent)
- Rest Day – A rest day in Ronda to explore the historic old town, the arabic baths, city wall and many mueseums. Or time for some retail therapy and an opportunity to indulge, after your week long white village tour. If you prefer we can add an additional day’s riding to another of our favourite restaurants in this area.
- Departure – Time to pack your bags before we collect you for your flights home.
The bike options for our Andalucia tours consist quality, well-maintained road, hybrid and eBikes.
Orbea Avant (aluminium frame & carbon forks) or Orbea Orca (full carbon) road bikes, with a Shimano 105 groupset, compact chainrings and 12/32 cassettes:
Specialised CrossTrail Disc Pro hybrid bikes, with front suspension and 27-speed gears:
Focus MTB eBikes with Rockshox front forks, disc brakes and a Shimano Deore groupset:
The hire bikes are supplied to you with pumps, spare inner tubes, tyre levers, locks and water bottle.