Cycling

Andalucian White Villages Cycling Tour

Self Guided Cycling Tour

 

 

TOUR TITLE:  "Ronda to Cadiz"

START:  Ronda     FINISH:  Cadiz

Duration* 8 days 7 nights 5 cycling days
Distance 248 km total 49 km daily avg  -  max 61km  -  min 35km
Grading Moderate to Challengingroute includes some hills each day (460-960m per day) and there are some longer distance days of around 60km. The final cycling day can be split in two with an additional day added to the tour in Jerez. 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. Avoid Easter due to inflated accommodation costs
Price*** €895  per person based on 2 people sharing a double or twin room

* Tour duration can be extended by adding rest days along the tour; let us know your preferences when you enquire.

** Check out the local annual weather conditions here. Start on any day of the week.

*** Solo traveller and single occupancy prices available upon request.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Setenil de las Bodegas - village of the cavehouses
  • Via Verde de la Sierra - disused railway track with tunnels and viaducts
  • Arcos de la Frontera - clifftop town
  • Jerez - Cathedral, Alcazar and sherry!
  • Cadiz - historic seafront city

 

Details

Take a self guided cycling tour through western Andalucia, from the mountains of Ronda, via Arcos de la Frontera and Jerez to the Atlantic coast and historic city of Cadiz. 

On this tour you will cycle through beautiful and unspoilt countryside, mainly on quiet roads and smooth tracks. The landscape varies from arable fields, vineyards and olive groves, through rolling hills and peaceful lakes, to the dramatic limestone crags and pine forests of the Grazalema Natural Park and finally to the sea. You will pass through charming and traditional white villages, many perched on rocky hillsides. You will see strange cavehouses carved into the rocks, grand Renaissance churches and Arab fortresses. Every day of this week-long cycle tour offers something special.

The cycling on this tour ends in Puerto de Santa Maria, so you do not ride the busy roads and bridge into Cadiz. Instead you will take the ferry across the bay with a full day to explore this ancient port town. 

An extra night can be added in Jerez to explore the town and finish with a short final cycling day.

 

Day 1 - Arrival in 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 - 460m ascent  

From Ronda cycle northwards, past vineyards and olive groves. Lunch in Setenil de las Bodegas, under huge overhanging limestone cliffs. Ancient "cavehouses" 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 - 820m ascent  

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 - 650m ascent  

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 every year. Overnight in El Bosque in a traditional village hotel; a giant mill wheel and fountain on the village square provide a lovely spot for dinner.

Day 5 - El Bosque to Arcos de la Frontera

58km - 975m ascent  

A long day with lots of “ups and downs”. From the high forested mountains you head into arable farmland and on a winding hilly road around the still waters of Guadalcacin reservoir. The route is very quiet and rural, passing through the small village of Algar and just a few small communities before you find yourself at the bottom of a sheer cliff with the town of Arcos de la Frontera perched on top. You will stay in the heart of the old town – explore the steep narrow streets on foot; see the  church of Santa Maria (with its unfinished tower, where the church guardian still lives) and, on the opposite side of the church plaza, a balcony with views from the top of the cliff down to the river.

Note: A shorter more direct route of 38km is possible, omitting the lake circuit.

Day 6 - Arcos de la Frontera to El Puerto de Santa Maria

61km - 460m ascent  

An easy 38km start to the day with only one hill before you head into Jerez. Take some time for lunch in this historic town, maybe visit the cathedral, the Alcazar or try some of the famous locally produced sherry – though not too much as you still have 20km to ride to your destination!

Note: an extra night can be added in Jerez to give you more time to explore the town.

Day 7 - Rest day in Cadiz

From Puerto Santa Maria you will use the ferry to visit Cadiz. The city is famous for its long maritime history, having been founded by the Phoenicians in 1100 and being the main port of the Catholic Kings at the time of the discovery of America and the New World. The cathedral is hugely impressive, with twin towers and a huge yellow tiled, Moorish style dome, with a lovely plaza in front. The Museo de Las Cortes has many interesting artefacts and views of the changing size and shape of the city over the centuries. The botanic gardens overlooking the sea contain species brought back from travels all over the world. Soak up the atmosphere in the old towns’ narrow streets or at the seafront fort or simply go to the beach – this city has something for everyone!

Day 8 - Depart El Puerto de Santa Maria

Check out from your hotel and have a safe trip home or to your next destination. Transfers can be arranged in advance.

 

Included in our prices:

  • Route maps & Garmin cycling GPS with preloaded route for each day
  • 7 nights accommodation on B&B basis 
  • Quality Hybrid bike
  • Luggage transfers
  • Optional seat-post rear bag and/or handlebar bag for your daily needs (we recommend travelling light)
  • Helmet & water bottle
  • We operate locally to Ronda so support is always close at hand if needed

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 which will need to be tackled but we keep daily distances manageable, particularly on days with more hills. On the longest days, take things steadily and ensure you take plenty of refreshment/snack stops and drink lots of water. On the day you cycle to Arcos, save some energy for the final climb up into the town.

Just 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 you 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 hotel in the heart of Arcos de la Frontera.

In summer we prioritise hotels with pools.

 

What to Bring

The essential kit to enjoy your cycling holiday

  • Helmet (bring you own or use ours - free of charge) 
  • Padded cycling shorts (essential kit for staying comfortable over a few days' riding)
  • Your own saddle if you prefer - let us know if you are bringing one
  • Cycling gloves
  • Cycling tops or T shirts
  • Sports bra (ladies only!)
  • Socks
  • Cycling shoes (let us know if you want clip-in pedals) or trainers - firm soles are best.
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun cream and after-sun lotion
  • Casual clothes, swimwear and footwear
  • Health insurance policy document (for UK travellers, a European Health Insurance Card, EHIC, will give you access to reduced cost medical services in Spain but it is not an alternative to travel insurance. It will not cover any private medical healthcare or costs such as mountain rescue, repatriation costs or lost or stolen property. Therefore it is important to have both an EHIC and a valid private travel insurance policy. Some insurers now insist you hold an EHIC and many will waive the excess if you have one.
  • The EHIC is available free at  https://www.ehic.org.uk/Internet/startapplication.do

For winter riding

  • extra body layers with long sleeves (thin thermal tops are great)
  • leggings or cycling tights
  • light waterproof/windproof jacket 
  • neck scarf / snood (great as sweat bands in the summer and for warmth in the winter)
  • warm fleece and jacket for the evenings