In celebration of this year’s Vuelta a España, we are exploring what makes each stage of the tour truly unique and why Spain makes a great destination for cycling holidays. As this year’s race draws to a close we take you to Andalucia.
Why not take your own bike with you with one of our bike boxes? Riding your own bike after training means you know you have the bike set up exactly to your needs to enjoy your journey even more when taking on this terrain. Taking your bike abroad has never seen so easy. Contact Banbury Bike Box hire if you’d like to know more information for getting your bike your destination safely.
Ideal if: You love challenging climbs with panoramic landscapes, beautiful cities and delicious tapas.
Andalucia in Southern Spain is an area that is truly steeped in history, marrying Spanish and Moorish cultures into one mish-mash of beauty. Crumbling castles and beautiful weather will accompany you on your rides, and you’ll soon find yourself lost in the sheer beauty of it all.
It really is a region of extreme contrasts, and incredibly varied for cycling holidays. Challenge yourself in the Sierra Nevada mountains, visit stunning cities like Seville or Rondo and relax along the Costa del Sol. Be sure to explore Granada, one of Spain´s most beautiful cities and home of tapas and the Alhambra.
The national parks are host to mountain hamlets and hillside café stops galore. Garmin, Movistar and Lotto Teams are regulars training on the roads here so you can test yourself against Hors & 1st Category climbs along pro race routes.
Though the weather is warm and mild all year round, winters in this region are wetter than in the rest of the country, which means spring and summer are a real stunner, with wild flowers and lush green fields spilling onto the roads. And once you discover the rich Moorish heritage and regional Spanish specialties, you’ll never want to leave.
Sierra Nevada Mountains
Climb the highest road in Europe – the mighty Pico Veleta of the Sierra Nevada. Overlooking Granada, in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, boasts the highest paved road in Europe. The roads are generally quiet in the Sierra Nevada anyway, which is handy because, at almost 40km long, it means you can focus largely on your pedalling on this brutal climb.
As you approach the summit you’ll be greeted by a barren landscape and, of course, the thin air at well over 3,000m. Add the rough road surface, a six per cent average gradient and the threat of high winds on the wide-open mountain, this out-and-back climb is undoubtedly one of Europe’s toughest as well as highest. Climbing up from the city of Granada, the road is traffic free from Hoya de la Mora, which sits just above the Sierra Nevada Ski Station, but can still be accessed by road bike.
Already taking a bike box away with you? Read our top tips for taking using a bike box to make sure your bike gets to your destination safe and sound.