Location: Andalucia, Southern Spain
Number Days: 5
Number Nights: 6
Difficulty: Moderate (flexible)
Start Location: Antequera
Finish Location: Ronda
Bicycle Type: Road (racing) bike or hybrid
Meals included: Breakfast (6 days), packed lunch each day riding (5 days), Dinnner in quiet locations (3 nights)
Access Start and Finish Location: Both the start and finish locations can be reached by bus or train from Malaga. Malaga is extremely well connected with flights to all over Europe and beyond.
The White Villages of Andalusia bike tour passes through one of Spain’s most attractive landscapes. Even though almost all of Andalucia’s villages are whitewashed, the collection of villages perched on cliff-sides in and around the Grazalema National Park have gained fame as a spectacular location to visit, by two wheels or by four. The White Villages of Andalusia bike tour gives you the chance to experience it at its best.
White Villages of Andalusia Bike Tour: The White Villages
The joy of the villages, so isolated on their mountain perches until recently connected by roads, is their unique identities. The influences of the region’s various invaders and the associated Jewish, Muslim, and Christian populations have all been brought to bear, and the battles between them are still evident in many of the villages fortifications. Each village has its own specialities and delicacies, from wool production, to the most delicious cheeses,hams, or indeed fish.
Surpisingly the Grazalema National Park is the wettest location in Spain. This is due to the moist sea air being forced upwards by the steep mountains, and it means that the location is surprisingly lush and boasts a range of flora and fauna. But this microclimate is very localized, and you are unlikely to have a particularly wet time of things over the course of a tour through the region.
The White Villages of Andalusia bike tour route
The White Villages of Andalusia bike tour is designed to be flexible. The tour is classified as moderate as the terrain is not flat, but with the exception of a couple of climbs the mountains are largely optional. The hotels are very comfortable, and many have swimming pools, and if you prefer not to cycle long distances and make this a relaxing holiday then there is the option to have a short ride on most days. If you want to tackle high mountains though there are plenty of challenging routes, and we provide you with the route information.
This is a mountainous region, though the altitudes are not extremely high, and most of the gradients are not excessive. The scenery is varied and often spectacular, with a host of incredible cliffs, gullies, and gorges in the mountain passes. The National Parks are covered in oaks and pines, and turqoise reservoirs provide a beautiful contrast. The most eye-catching of the fauna we are likely to encounter are the griffon vultures, which circle above you in their hundreds if you catch them at feeding time.
Night of arrival (saturday): Arrival in hotel in Antquera, about an hour by car north of Malaga. Make your way to the four star hotel, one of the famous parador network, and prepare your equipment. Head out for a meal and to explore the city, which has some of the largest bronze age dolmens in Europe.
Day 1 – The route sets off flat passing between spectacular reservoirs of blue-green water. This is already one of the longest days of the tour, but if you fancy a bit extra you can take a detour to view the ‘King’s Path’, a spectacular narrow walkway set on a sheer cliff over 100 meters above the river below. Then a medium climb follows before descending to a tranquil white village and the rural hotel where you will stay for the night.
Distance: 72 km (45 miles)
Elevation gain: 1,100 meters (3,600 feet)
Day 2 – A short day, but with a steady climb up to over a thousand meters, before a steady descent to the famous town of Ronda, set on a cliffside and split in the middle by a spectacular gorge. Take advantage of the short ride to enjoy the fantastic four star hotel, and visit the town’s bullring, said to be the birthplace of the modern form of bullfighting.
Distance: 30 km (19 miles)
Elevation gain: 750 meters (2,500 feet)
Day 3 – A day you can tailor to your preference. It starts by heading north to the fascinating village of Setenil de las Bodegas, built in the side of a cliff-face. Take a break before continuing on the the beautiful 4 star hotel set in the countryside overlooking a reservoir. Options to extend the route by taking detour or tackling a mountain climb up the winding hairpins to the ‘pigeon pass’ to Grazalema.
Distance: flexible. Direct route 42 km. Optional extensions make route 72 km or 84 km respectively.
Elevation gain: Direct route 800 meters (2,600 feet). Optional extension make 1500 m or 1900 m climbing respectively.
Day 4 – Today you have the choice to take a short ride direct to the next 4 star hotel set in stunning natural surroundings, and spend the afternoon relaxing and visiting the beautiful Grazalema. Alternatively, loop around to the north through rolling agricultural fields, before climbing the mountain to Grazalema from the west side and visit the village before retiring to the hotel.
Distance: 17 km ( 11 miles) direct route, 59 km via the long loop
Elevation gain: 500 meters ( 1,600 feet) direct, 1100 meters (3,600 feet) via long loop
Day 5 – The final day takes the most popular route through the Grazalema National Park, heading west before looping back to Ronda. Expect to see fantastic views, several beautiful white villages, and the griffon vultures for which the park is famous. The route is rolling and challenging, but well worth your while. If you don’t think you are up to it you can follow a direct 25km route back to Ronda and enjoy the pool and the view from the 4 star hotel on the last night of your tour.
Distance: 76 km (47 miles)
Elevation gain: 1,500 meters (5,000 feet)
This is self-guided tour and can be scheduled at the time of your choice, though pricing may vary during high season (July/August and National Holidays). Pricing is based on Saturday arrival.
Pricing is based on Saturday night arrival during mid-season. This tour is self-guided and can be organized on alternative days, but pricing during high season and for alternative arrival day may differ.
Price per person for 5 days, 6 nights White Villages of Andalusia Bike Tour (min. 2 people, based on two people sharing accomodation) € 990
- 6 nights in shared accommodation (twin / double)
- Breakfast (6 days) and packed lunch (5 days)
- Dinner when in quiet locations (3 nights, drinks not included)
- Luggage transport each day
- Bike box transport from start to finish location (if required)
- Information on route and locality
Single supplement: € 284
Bike hire (see options here or contact us to discuss options and pricing)