Bike Touring Spain: The Easy Way

Share Facebook 0 Twitter Pinterest Google+

I am always up for a burly and rugged challenge, but there is certainly nothing wrong with a smooth and mellow ride, sometimes…

One afternoon, while wandering the streets of Granada, we met a couple from San Francisco who are touring throughout Europe for the summer. They were within 30 minutes of boarding a train to France in an effort to make up some lost time. As passing touring cyclists usually do, they offered us a few things they no longer needed. I always thought of this pastime to be the equivalent of a decluttering ritual— an act of offloading place-specific things on the perfect recipient. Sometimes things of value are exchanged, sometimes it’s just a clearing place for information that might help the other cyclists in their travels. In Malawi, we met a French cyclist en route from Cairo. During that transaction, we took on a few SIM cards for countries further North and a nice waterproof map of Tanzania. In Zambia a German fellow gave us his collection of Malawi maps, and we gave him a map of Zambia and some road recommendations.

The booty that we took on from the couple in Granada included a paper map that outlined walking paths, Via Verdes (greenways), and trails throughout Andalucia. So after our big bikepack on the Transnevada, and a short respite in Granada, we mapped out an easy route that factored in a train ride, a Via Verde and some rolling hills through the foothills of the Sierra.

Andalucia, Spain Bike Touring Off-road Trails

The Senderismo map given to us in Granada. It’s also available at some tourist information centers and serves as a valuable resource for finding gravel and single track routes through southern Spain.
Bikes on Train in Spain
From Granada we caught our first bike friendly train. Simply roll them on, put them in a designated spot, and relax.

Bike touring Spain, Ronda

Our first stop was the ancient Roman town of Ronda. Ronda is situated in a fairly mountainous area at about 750 meters above sea level. The Guadalevín River runs through the city, dividing it in two and carving out the steep and deep El Tajo canyon upon which the city overlooks.
Bike touring Spain, Ronda
We pitched our tent at a local campground outside of Ronda and spent 2 days cycling around the city and countryside.

Bike touring Spain, Ronda

Ronda has some pretty nice hills.

Ronda artifact

And an interesting antique museum.

Ronda antique car

Bike Touring Ronda, Spain

Iron Maiden, Spain
An iron maiden.

Bull, ROnda

Bike Touring Spain, Ronda

Bike Touring Spain, Ronda

Some nice cliff-side singletrack.

Ronda, Spain

Approaching the New Bridge from the valley.
Ronda, Spain

Descalzos Viejos

Carrying a delicious bottle of red back from Descalzos Viejos, a beautiful winery set in an ancient monastery on the outskirts of Ronda. We had stopped at the winery/bodega and ended up chatting with the owners for some time… great folks!

Bike Touring Tent - Fy Creek UL3

Gin making a 70s album cover style shadow the next morning.

Damp Cloth COoler, Bike TOuring

Packed up and ready to go. We put our leftover wine in my bottle cage and use the damp cloth method to keep it cool.

Map, Via Verde de la Sierra

After 40 kilometers of road riding, we reach the easy part: The Via Verde de la Sierra, a beautifully done 35 kilometer greenway that goes through some fairly remote and stunning countryside in the foothills of the Sierra.

Bicycle Touring the Via Verde de la Sierra

Scenes from the Via Verde…

Bicycle Touring the Via Verde de la Sierra

Bicycle Touring the Via Verde de la Sierra

Bicycle Touring the Via Verde de la Sierra

Bicycle Touring the Via Verde de la Sierra

Bicycle Touring the Via Verde de la Sierra

Bicycle Touring the Via Verde de la Sierra

Countless tunnels, the longer of which had automated lighting.

Bicycle Touring the Via Verde de la Sierra

Bicycle Touring the Via Verde de la Sierra

Bicycle Touring the Via Verde de la Sierra

Once we left the Via Verde, enroute to Seville, we rolled through unending fields of grain.
Bicycle Touring the Via Verde de la Sierra

Bicycle Touring the Via Verde de la Sierra

Seville, Spain
A few snaps from Seville.

Seville, Spain

Seville, Spain

Bikes, Seville, Spain

Bikes, Seville, Spain

Soon enough, America, but first we have one more nice route to complete…

Tags

  • Mark

    Looks like it’s time to re-tension that chain!

  • http://www.pedalingnowhere.com/ Logan

    Funny you mention that because I think I did right after I took that photo…

  • Victoria Liu

    Looks amazing! Would you be able to share your route or GPX files? I will be in Granada tomorrow and want to get to Seville. We have road bikes but this seems doable with road bike. Also, what train did you take from Granada that was bike friendly? We have yet to find a bike friendly train in Spain, seems Renfe requires you to have it in a bike bag

  • http://www.bikepacking.com/ BIKEPACKING.com (Logan)

    The trains that take bikes are the Media Distancia trains … Unfortunately, they have shut down several from Granada because of line construction. We are actually cycling from Cadiz to Valencia now and took MD trains from Madrid to Cadiz where we started cycling mostly off-road on trails and piste. I do not have the GPX for that one. You could try the TransAndalus of you are in interested in something harder with off road stuff; also check out cycloturismo.sur … We met the folks who run that site yesterday.

Share This

others did. Support us and pass it along...

Follow Us

and join the conversation.
art