Sierra Nevada

Thursday 20/09/2018 - Thursday 27/09/2018


From the whitewashed, mountain villages of Las Alpujarras to the Moorish splendour of Granada, and from the eternal snows of the high sierras to the shining Mediterranean Sea, this is a bike ride that stretches the senses. We will take in the full, rugged grandeur of the Sierra Nevada National Park, scaling the panoramic pass, Puerto de la Ragua (2,000m), which regularly features in the Vuelta. On the final day, we will ascend the mighty Pico de Veleta, an extraordinary climb by any measure. At 3,393m, Veleta is the second highest peak in mainland Spain and Europe’s highest road. From the top, the view is astounding: you can see the entire Sierra Nevada range of mountains rolling out to the south and the east in a series of cappuccino brown peaks. Beyond that are the narrow, green, winding valleys of Las Alpujarras and in the distance, the silvery Mediterranean Sea.

In this profoundly rural corner of Andalucia - a region of sleepy villages, arid highlands, terraced hillsides, wooded valleys, almond trees and olive groves

- the weather is excellent. The roads are light on traffic and long on good tarmac and views. Off the bike, there is plenty to enjoy too – from the gentle pace of life in the cafes to the fine architecture and superb tapas in the essential Andalucian city, Granada.

Dates

Departures between 20/09 - 27/09/2018

Price - £1700

(Based on 2 people sharing a double or twin room)

Supplements

 

Single room supplement - £350

Bike hire - £200

Extra nights in double/single room with breakfast:

in Almunecar - from £100/£85

 

Group Size

The group will be a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 15 people. We feel that this size of group works best as there will always be enough in the group for some good company but there won’t be so many people that it becomes overcrowded.

Accommodation

Accommodation is in clean and comfortable 3 or 4-star hotels or top end 2-star hotels when 3 stars aren’t available. If you are sharing a twin or a double room, then the price is £1700.00 If you would like your own space then you can choose the single room option (£2050).

Food & Drink

All your breakfasts, lunches and dinners are included in the price of the trip. Lunches will be provided each day in a cafe or restaurant or picnic lunches provided by the guides when the weather is good. Evening meals are provided at your accommodation or in a nearby restaurant. We also supply fruit, biscuits, cake, nuts etc in the support vehicle that you are welcome to have throughout the day as well as sports nutrition if required. Water will be in the support vehicle but any other drinks will have to be purchased in resort.

Support 

Each one of our Guided Road Cycling tours is supported by at least 1 qualified bike mechanic as well as 2 professional cycling guides to ride near the front and at the back of the group. The mechanic will be leap frogging the group and delivering the luggage at the end of each day.

 

Rob's Highlights

  • The highest village in Spain, Trevelez

  • The white villages of Andalucia

  • Calahorra

  • Puerto de la Ragua

  • The highest road in Europe, Pico de Veleta

  • The descent to the coastal town of Almunecar

 

 

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Nerja

Arrival in Nerja, check into your first nights hotel before meeting the rest of the riders on the trip over dinner.

Day 2: Nerja - Lanjaron (90 km)

Our ride starts gently, following the coast road east to Almunecar. From there, we turn inland, climbing through satellite villages and hill farms, up into the mountains. We will skirt the Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama National Park, a rugged and remote region of limestone ravines, cliff faces, woodlands and scrub. We’ll stop for coffee in the village of Otivar before heading over the passes, through olive groves and almond trees, and on to the great plains to the south of Granada. There is a climb at the end of the day, to reach the bustling spa town of Lanjaron, the gateway to Las Alpujarras.

Day 3: Lanjaron - Cadiar (70 km)

Tracing the mountain sides on a balcony road, we pedal out of Lanjaron and into the heart of Las Alpujarras, the region of whitewashed, mountain villages, many of which seem to hang off the steep, southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada. There is a long, steady climb through a steep-sided river valley to Trevélez, the highest village in mainland Spain at 1,497m. Famous for its air-dried, cured ham or ‘jamón serrano’, it is a good place to stop for lunch. From here, it’s 30km of flat riding or descending, passed remote hermitages, terraced fields and Holm oak forests, all with stunning views, to reach Cadiar. The food in this part of Andalucia, and notably at La Alqueria de Morayma, our hotel this evening, is simple but very good: menus tend to be dominated by meat dishes – thick stews, charcuterie and black pudding are popular – but the locally grown fruit and vegetables are excellent too.

Day 4: Cadiar - Laujar de Andarax (80 km)

The Berber peoples from North Africa occupied Las Alpujarras for several centuries, before they were expelled along with the Moors from Granada in the 15th and 16th centuries. Remarkably, half a millennium later, their legacy remains – in the labyrinthine, white villages comprising clusters of terraced houses with flat, clay roofs and in the irrigation systems which are still in use today, taking snow melt water off the mountains to grow vines, oranges, lemons and pomegranates. The pace of life here is delightfully slow. Today, we wind over the Sierra de la Contraviesa through vineyards, to Laujar de Andarax. There are climbs at the beginning and the end of the day, and a long, delightful stretch of gentle descending to the town of Berja. 

Day 5: Laujar de Andarax - Granada (120 km)

This is a big day in the mountains, on lightly trafficked roads, through the distinct and ascetically beautiful landscapes of the Sierra Nevada, with lots of steady climbing and some sublime descending. We pass several villages before joining the main road up to Puerto de la Ragua: it’s a serious climb which has featured in the Vuelta several times. There is a delightful descent – some 15km, through pine forest with panoramic views down to the 16th century Renaissance Castillo de La Calahorra, one of Andalucia’s emblematic fortresses with its huge, squat turrets. Beyond, the great reddish-brown plain of Marquesado stretches away to the north. We turn west at the town of Guadix, where many of the inhabitants still live in caves, and skirt the northern foothills of the Sierra Nevada. This exceptionally lovely road, through limestone ravines and pine forests, ends up on the outskirts of Granada, where we will spend two nights. 

Day 6: Ascent of Pico de Veleta (100 km)

The ascent of Pico de Veleta has to be one of the greatest European cycling challenges. It is an extraordinary climb by any measure: the bare statistics take your breath away - 50km of climbing from the centre of Granada (though the first few are very gentle), clocking over 2,700m of vertical ascent. The major part of the ride is on a good paved road, which serves the ski resort in winter; the last kilometre or so is on gravel; the final 100m is on foot, over rocks. From the top, you can see the entire Sierra Nevada range of mountains rolling out to the south and the east in a series of cappuccino brown peaks. Beyond that are the narrow, green, winding valleys of Las Alpujarras and in the distance, the silvery Mediterranean Sea. 

Day 7: Granada - Almunecar (78 km)

Our final day is a lovely ride out of the mountains, down to the shores of the shining sea. We will roll gently south from Granada, through farmland towards the Puerto del Suspiro del Moro, the Pass of the Sigh of the Moor. The road then weaves over the Sierra de Albunuelas, through Holm oak forests and scattered pines. The views from the top of the final, 25km descent are outstanding. We will skirt the busy town of Almunecar to reach our hotel, on a quiet bay beside the Mediterranean Sea.

Day 8: Almunecar

Departure after breakfast.

 

Due to organisational reasons, weather conditions or provisions issued by local authorities, the itinerary may be subject to some changes before and/or during the holiday but you will be made aware of any changes ahead of time by the support team.

What's Included 

 

What's Not Included 

24 hour emergency back up support

7 nights in small & intimate hotels or B&B's

Full Board

Luggage transfers between hotels

2 Professional Cycling Guides

1 Bike Mechanic (including support vehicle)

Local Taxes

 

Flights

Bike Hire

Insurance

Airport Transfers

Drinks

 

 

 

What's Included

24 hour emergency back up support

7 nights in small & intimate hotels or B&B's

Full Board

Luggage transfers between hotels

2 Professional Cycling Guides

1 Bike Mechanic (including support vehicle)

Local Taxes

What's Not Included

Flights

Bike Hire

Insurance

Airport Transfers

Drinks

 

 

Testimonial 

A fantastic trip. - William

 

 

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