Quiet roads, mountain passes and smooth tarmac, not to mention pretty villages and great food make Andalucia a cyclists paradise and no surprise La Vuelta Espana (Tour of Spain) is a regular visitor! Despite this, the area is still somewhat of a secret and many associate the Costa del Sol with just the holiday and beach resorts.
The climate makes it ideal for a winter break or training camp to escape the Northern European winters with most days being sunny and clear. There are routes for everyone and the area is popular with road cyclists and mountain bikers alike. The scenery is stunning and views never fail to disappoint often with Africa visible in the background.
The main mountain ranges accessible from the Costa del Sol are Sierra de Nieves, Montes de Malaga and Serrania de Ronda. Just a couple of hours away is Sierra Nevada which has some serious climbs and is possible in the summer to reach the top, Pico Valeta which is Europe’s highest paved road at 3,300m. Most of the roads have been resurfaced in the last few years with great tarmac meaning you can enjoy the long descents at speed.
It’s not all mountains though and there are plenty of flat routes through the Guadalhorce valley for example. Estepona and Marbella in particular have an excellent cycling infrastructure with safe separate cycle lanes to enjoy the towns. There are numerous bike shops selling spares and providing maintenance or bike rental and always happy to share routes to ride.
Bike packing is also popular and a great way to see (and taste) the “real Spain” if you have a few days. There are lots of rural hotels as well as interesting towns to stay in such as Ronda, Antequera or Cazorla. The scenery and landscapes are ever changing, whether it be olive groves, pine forests or rock formations like Torcal.
With so much to offer it is easy to see why once a cyclist has found the endless quiet roads and experienced the scenery they keep coming back!