So your annual holiday is approaching and you’re wondering where to go. You usually lie in the sun, eat and drink too much on an all inclusive — then feel lazy or guilty returning home. You hop on your bike for some activity and wonder: why didn’t you book a cycling holiday in the first place? On a bike, you can enjoy unparalleled freedom, take in spectacular scenery, discover hidden gems, and face challenging ascents with exhilarating descents. Sold? Great. Now, where to go?
Tough choice — but Spain is one of most awe-inspiring countries, and it also offers cyclists a truly varied experience. Think: stunning mountainous road routes, flat-cycling through idyllic countryside, delicious authentic cuisine, and the option of luxury hotels or basic camping accommodation. The beauty is: on a cycling holiday, you choose the experience you want. And if you’re going to spend money on all the necessary cycling gear, you could invest in these Spanish cycling holiday routes:
Northern Spain – cycle like a pro
The north of Spain is known for its awesome cycling routes — it’s the setting of the famous La Vuelta a Espana race. Here you’ll find genuinely breath-taking scenery as you make your way through the Basque country, past the Cantabria mountains, towards the renowned Alto de L’Angliru — also known as one of the toughest climbs in Europe, and not for the faint-hearted! However, with over 8000m ascent available, this area of Spain also has thrilling descents!
Coast along coastal routes
For a more laid-back cycle, the south of Spain and the Costa del Sol provides excellent stretches of road paths, which are adjacent to stunning beaches and can lead you to bustling villages like Torremolinos. There there is no shortage of restaurants and bars in which to re-fuel, whet your whistle or unwind. A popular route begins at Malaga’s beach promenade towards Torremolinos, taking in the local bird sanctuary, sandy beaches and bars. On arrival at Benalmádena town, you can opt to return via Metro train to Malaga. Spanning a largely flat route of 40km, you won’t be judged for taking a train back!
Urban cyclists welcome
If you enjoy the buzz of a city, you could cycle the Bilbao to Barcelona route. This is a fantastic path from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean coast. If you want to see panoramic Spain in all its glory — and in one journey — then this route is for you. Expect a dramatic Pyrenees backdrop, historical villages, family-run rural restaurants, natural canyons and a climactic, stunning view of Monserrat. Alternatively, the city of Seville recently enjoyed new cycle path upgrades. With 75 miles of (largely flat) segregated lanes, novice and seasoned cyclists can enjoy the city on their own terms. It’s worth investigating the Via Verdes — also known as Greenways.
So whether you’re racing up the Angliru, or coasting along the Costa del Sol, cycling in Spain is really one of the best ways to see a country filled with highs and lows — cycle paths, that is!