Altravesur: The South Spain Traverse

  • Distance

    820 Mi.

    (1,320 KM)
  • Days


  • % Unpaved


  • % Singletrack


  • Difficulty (1-10)


  • % Rideable (time)


  • Total Ascent


    (35,052 M)
  • High Point


    (2,135 M)
With the epic GR7 as its backbone, the Altravesur crosses southern Spain from Cadiz in the west to Valencia on the Mediterranean coast. This challenging bikepacking route flows through countless mountain ranges and parks, incorporating portions of the TransAndalus and TransNevada cycling circuits, the GR249, GR243, GR247, and GR66 footpaths, the Via Verde de la Sierra Alcaraz, and the Ruta de Don Quixote.
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Southern Spain is teeming with bikepacking opportunities. A massive network of off-tarmac Gran Recorrido (GR) footpaths, some of which which have been in use for hundreds of years, provide a good foundation for route planning. In more recent years, the Federación Española de Alpinismo (Spanish Mountain Federation) has done a great job developing beautiful trails and facilities for hikers and cyclists alike. Include a perpetual web of farm roads and the region’s vía verdes, old railway lines reborn as cycling and hiking greenways, and the combinations really do become limitless.

Equally as important, southern Spain is full of magnificent vistas and rustic charm. Twenty percent of Andalucía, the largest autonomous community in southern Spain, is sheltered as natural or national park land, leaving intact swaths of forested mountains and relatively wild terrain. Andalucía also seems to be frozen in time—as if it’s resisted contemporary modernity—and retains a somewhat traditional way of life. The olde world permeates the small agriculturally dependent villages that dot the landscape, and hints of Roman roads, Moorish architecture, and crumbled stone structures add to this allure.

  • Bikepacking Southern Spain, Altravesur
  • Bikepacking Southern Spain, Altravesur
  • Bikepacking Southern Spain, Altravesur
  • Bikepacking Southern Spain, Altravesur
  • Bikepacking Southern Spain, Altravesur

This route was born from a more focused goal to cycle across Andalucía via the GR7 footpath, part of the long European Route E4. On paper the GR7 sounds perfect for cycling; it follows mostly unpaved tracks and runs from Tarifa, near Gibraltar, across southern Spain, then north to Alsace in France, where it meets the E5. But the GR7 is a walking route, and, after we discussed route planning with local mountain bikers, not always ideal for mountain biking. In short, the Altravesur is loosely based on the GR7. But considering that its planning coincided with its inaugural riding, there was simply too much potential to join interesting geography and natural parks by integrating other options. The result is a ruggedly sublime trek through a sun-baked landscape and cultural time warp, over a weave of slopeside footpaths, winding pisté, agricultural tracks, and maze-like towns. One warning though, this is a tough route at times. Some of the tracks are steep and crumbly, and hike-a-bikes aren’t too infrequent.

  • Highlights


  • Must Know


  • Camping


  • Food/H2O


  • Trail Notes


  • Resources


  • The scenic beauty of the Andalusian parks, including the Alcorncales, Sierra de Grazelema, Sierra Nevada, and the amazing Sierra de Cazorla Segura y Villas.
  • Stretches of incredible rocky, remote dirt roads through forests and farms.
  • Nice and easy wild camping amongst ruins and olive trees.
  • Navigating ancient, maze-like hill towns; and the Alpujarras, the white villages in the Sierra Nevada range.
  • The GR247 and the landscape of the Cazorla: everything from Waldenesque forests, to moonscape mountains, to desert peaks.
  • A nice slice of singletrack through Rio Jucar and the incredible towns and sights there.
  • The food: an endless supply of inexpensive espresso, fresh olive oil, tortillas de patatas, fresh local goat and sheep cheeses, seafood, house made olives, and free-range Ibérico pork, just to name a few. In rural southern Spain, it’s fairly easy to eat on the cheap.

When to Go

  • The majority of the route takes place in Andalucía, Spain’s southernmost region, which has a relatively mild Mediterranean climate and attracts visitors throughout the entire year. Its southern coast, or La Costa del Sol, also known at the The Sun Coast, is somewhat warmer in the winter.
  • Spring and fall are ideal times to visit Andalusia. May and October are the best months in terms of both weather and crowds. In our view, however, the month of May is the ideal time with an average temperature of 61°F/16°C.
  • The mud in most of the southern sierras can be hell on a bike after a rain. There are many microclimates throughout Spain, but in general, the rainiest months are from December through March.


  • Spain’s high speed trains don’t allow bicycles unless they are in a tiny parcel (i.e. folding bikes in a bag); the key is to use the Media Distancia trains. They allow you to roll your bikes on and off, anytime.
  • There are regular MD trains that run from Madrid to Sevilla or Cadiz (the route start).
  • Although we didn’t try this, it’s often easy and relatively inexpensive, if not free of charge, to stow bikes on a bus. However, sometimes bus companies do require bikes to be wrapped in some sort of plastic (bin bags or cling flim).


  • A mountain bike is almost necessary for this route. While a lot could be done on a CX or gravel bike, there are some pretty chunky sections. We chose 27.5+ bikes which proved perfect for the job; read in context reviews of the Marin Pine Mountain 2 and Jamis Dragonslayer.
  • Tubeless is a must here. Portions of the route are desert, and goat heads and spiky things abound.
  • As mentioned above, the mud in most of the southern sierras can be like concrete. Some folks even carry a spare derailleur.

Other need to know

  • Most of the route is off the beaten path, and next to China this is probably the least English speaking place in my travel repertoire. If you don’t know Spanish, bring a phrase book, or learn a little before your trip.
  • It’s easy to wild camp on most of the route. Check with each natural park you pass through for specific rules. There is a lot of farmland and it’s as simple as asking a local farmer; most of the time it’s absolutely OK. And as always, #leavenotrace.
  • There are campgrounds and refugios along the way as well, especially around the GR247.
  • Other than camping, hostals are the best option for cheaper accommodation. Expect to pay 20-50 Euros for a double in most small towns.


  • There is water by way of fuentes, or fountains, in almost every town or village. There are also fuentes in some of the parks.
  • There are a couple stretches where water can be an issue, particularly the western portion of the Sierra Nevadas and the Sierra de Baza, but overall as long as there is a town or village, getting water from a fuente is easy.
  • It’s sometimes necessary to time rides through villages when the market is open (markets usually close for siesta from 2-5PM).
  • Conversely, if you time your daily rides just right, you can roll through a village and catch their late lunch from 2-4pm.
  • The best economical source of fuel comes from panaderias, or bakeries. Typically you can get pastries or breads for pocket change. Pair that with some local cheese and olives and you have a nice lunch.

Eat Well

  • Cervesa can be ordered in one of three sizes, from small to large: caña, tubo, and jarra.
  • The Spanish know how to do coffee! We found it convenient, and enjoyable, to camp prior to a village, then break camp early and roll into town for coffee and tostada (large slices of toasted bread with olive oil and tomato puree). You can purchase a café con leche (espresso and steamed milk) and tostada for less than $2 US.
  • Olives are abundant here. Ask for olivas de la casa which are house cured olives that make a delicious afternoon treat.
  • If you are a meat eater, take note that this is Iberian-pork country and is full of free-range acorn fed pigs; get the “pluma” or “secreto” cuts from a good carnicería.
  • Tapas is the key to a good trip—buy a drink, get a complimentary snack—and usually consists of a tortilla de patata, cured ham, a montadito (small sandwich), or another small regional portion. It’s a regular practice in most of Andalucia, but a definite in the Granada province…

As mentioned above, the Altravesur was designed to cross southern Spain via a compilation of routes, trails and tracks that follow the general trajectory of the GR7, from Cadiz to Valencia. Here are a few notes on some of the tracks we used to assemble the route. As with all routes on this site, the Altravesur is relatively open source. If you have ideas on how to improve it, let us know.

The TransAndalus

The TransAndalus is a 2,000km long mountain bike route which makes a complete circuit through the autonomous region of Andalucía and runs the length of its eight provinces. The TransAndalus was originally designed as a mostly off-tarmac bike route for CX or rugged touring bikes, however there are sections which are fairly rough. The Altravesur actually starts out using the TransAndalus, and often diverges and rejoins. There is a little bit of crossover between the two, at least for the first half of the Altravesur. Find more info on the TransAndalus here.

The GR249 (Great Malaga Path)

The GR249 is a 644km loop around the province of Malaga. The Altravesur uses about 40 miles of the GR249 to connect Ronda with Ardales. Find the official website here.

The GR247

The GR247 is a fantastic 5 day route in its own right. The 190 mile (309 KM) loop through Andalusia’s Sierras De Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas Natural Park offers a nice mix of fantastically rugged riding, Spanish small town amenities, and rural Andalusian culture… all within what are arguably the most beautiful mountains south of Madrid. The Altravesur follows the western portion of the GR247 loop.

The TransNevada

Chunky rock descents, 4,500′ heart-valve tearing climbs, and almost impassable hike-a-bikes make up a route that is as punishing as it is beautiful. The TransNevada climbs to heights of over 7,500ft (2,300m) where snow lingers on the higher peaks through May. It’s a must for any self-loathing bikepacker’s bucket list. The Altravesur follows the southern half of the TransNevada loop, then crosses the range to rejoin the GR7.

The GR66

The GR66, also known as Castilian-Manchego Path is a trail crossing 600km over Castilla-La Mancha from north to south, through Guadalajara, Cuenca and Albacete, to connect Aragon in the north with Andalusia and Murcia in the south. Overall, this trail can be pretty rough and tumble, but it has some nice gems of singletrack and amazing scenery scattered throughout.

Via Verde de la Sierra Alcaraz

From the city of Albacete the Sierra de Alcaraz Greenway (74 km) crosses the plains of the province of Albacete and drops down into the meadows of the rivers Jardín and Cubillo before reaching the city of Alcaraz in the foothills of the Sierra de Alcaraz mountains. There are plans to extend it as far as the border with the province of Jaén (106 km).

Related content:

Terms of Use: As with each bikepacking route guide published on, should you choose to cycle this route, do so at your own risk. Prior to setting out check current local weather, conditions, and land/road closures. While riding, obey all public and private land use restrictions and rules, carry proper safety and navigational equipment, and of course, follow the #leavenotrace guidelines. The information found herein is simply a planning resource to be used as a point of inspiration in conjunction with your own due-diligence. In spite of the fact that this route, associated GPS track (GPX and maps), and all route guidelines were prepared under diligent research by the specified contributor and/or contributors, the accuracy of such and judgement of the author is not guaranteed. LLC, its partners, associates, and contributors are in no way liable for personal injury, damage to personal property, or any other such situation that might happen to individual riders cycling or following this route.

  • Wow Logan, those Andalusian Parks are stunning. My summer riding partner and I are looking for a major riding project to complete in the summer of 2017, and this southern Spain route is definitely on the list of potentials. Thanks for the detailed report!

  • John Freeman

    Incredible! Your shots capture the essence of southern Sprain. Late afternoon tapas y cerveza after riding by olive and cork trees all day is hard to beat. I’ve been following this series and have loved every instalment. Thanks for sharing and inspiring. Route is loaded on the phone and ticket is booked.

  • Thanks Ben! There’s some others up in the Pyranees that would be good for summer riding as well. This one could get pretty damned warm from June-August…

  • Thanks John! Prepare for some good riding… and some tough riding!

  • felix

    What an awesome trip!. Hope to be there in the future.

  • Wm Coe

    super cool! can we talk camera equipment? What have you found to work best considering you have to pack it 800+ miles? I have a 3/4 DSLR, just bought a new 18-36mm lens for it but after thinking about it I’m wondering if I should be thinking about a mirrorless, bit lighter camera??? Comments form anyone?

  • I carry a canon 6d and three lenses, so I’m not the best to speak with regarding a minimal approach to photography. That said, on smaller trail trips, I simply pack a mirror less Fuji X100. It’s all personal preference.

  • John Freeman

    5 days out of El Choro and getting the feel for this route. So far it has everything a bike packer could want from a trail. A ton of elevation change, scenery, good food, culture and the range surface from brand new asphalt to gnarly steep single track. Thanks for putting this together. Melan (dog) and I are loving it.

  • Awesome!! Thanks for sharing John… glad you are enjoying it. Where did you hop on route?

  • Jeff Martin

    Hey, I’m starting this route in 10 days time but going from Valencia to Cadiz. Really looking forward to it, slightly later in the year than I wanted to start but had no choice. I’m currently in Mallorca & it’s still really hot so hoping it won’t get too cold.
    Are there any points where food / water was an issue for you guys?

  • Hi Jeff. Great to hear. As noted under Food/H2O, there were a couple places. Enjoy it! Should be a great time to ride.

  • Kev Kelly

    I have booked my flight to Gibraltar for the end of February 2017. I have visited Andalusia on many occasions previously wanting to explore the Sierra Nevada and this post has provided me with the inspiration required.

    Bravo Logan for such an inspired journal and photos.

  • Awesome, Kev! Have a great time… March should be a great time to ride there, I think.

  • Cristian

    I was born in the city this route starts. Really pleased to know you enjoyed riding “my lands”.

  • Awesome. Great to hear!

  • Alex Thompson

    I rode part of this route in December 2016, we started at Granada and followed from the southern traverse of Sierra Nevada to Valencia. It’s fantastic, rewarding climbing, a good mix of surfaces all in a fantastic landscape. We had some great weather, a touch of horrible weather and a little bit of quagmire mud to keep us on our toes. I enthusiastically recommend riding it!

    I have a two notes for anyone else following the route that may be useful.
    – Snow in Sierra Nevada. When we traversed Sierra Nevada, the snow line was down to ~1950m, this was fine on our 29+ tyres until the final pass over. Rather than backtracking, we found a path at mile 425.4 which was a fun single track descent down to the sealed road.
    – The campground marked in Sierra de Baza (mile 470) isn’t a campground, it’s a day use area and camping is explicitly not allowed and there are patrols to check. There is a refugio shelter there, but it was locked when we went through. Fortunately, it was pretty nice wild camping ~1km further along on the route.

  • Thanks Alex! Should I remove that camping icon? We camped there and thought it was OK; perhaps they’ve changed it since. I also wonder when the Refugio opens…

  • Alex Thompson

    Probably a good idea to remove the camping icon, although I imagine they won’t care if you leave early the next morning. They do run patrols to stop illegal camping in the park, we saw one leaving as we were entering (although they gave us a very friendly wave). I’ve got a picture of the sign if you want confirmation (and to check that we’re interpreting it correctly!). We tried to find information about the Refugios in Sierra de Baza, as there are quite a few near the route marked on OpenStreetMap, but our googling didn’t work.

  • Miguel

    Hi John!Did you custom Logan´s place for the trailer?Or you can find it somewhere, how that marvelous invent is called? I want to make a trip with my dog and want to save her some Km!

  • Luis Belmonte Díaz

    I just left a comment in the GR-247 route, and I was thinking how great it would be to join La ruta verde starting in Albacete to reach Cazorla and now I find these two connected here a part of this massive route.

    As a side note: while doing the route -we were doing it in Valencia to Andalucia direction – we took a detour before Alcaraz to Peñascosa as we there is a camping and a supermarket where to refill supplies. The camping in seasonal, as usual in mountain regions in Spain, although the supermarket was at the time open throughout all year – this was in 2015.

  • Logan Watts

    Thanks Luis!

  • John Freeman

    Hi Miguel,
    The trailer is a BoB trailer with a custom insert made by Porcelain Rocket. This insert adds to comfort and safety for him. Melan is a pretty fit dog but even so, I try to limit him to less than 30km of running per day if we are doing multiple days in a row. I make sure that he has water available and plenty of snacks.

  • Rowan

    Looks like a great route! I’m thinking about starting in Valencia and peeling off near Granada to stay with some friends. Is most of it rideable on a CX style bike or would you recommend something a bit more heavy duty?

  • Rowan

    Whoops, new to the site and just found the “must know” tab that clearly answers my question for the route as a whole! Any chance the section from Valencia to nearish-Granada is tamer? I’d be incorporating this into a bigger cycle that will take in a good amount of paved stuff so keen to try it on an all-rounder. Cheers!

  • Carlos Javier Martinez

    Hello Jhon,

    I have a bob trailer and I’m working to make you a quilted basket like yours to take Tara to travel. Could you send me some photos to take different ideas than I have thought?

    Sorry, my english is very bad :)

    Thank you

  • Hannah Attenburrow

    Is it possible to do this route in reverse?

  • Yes, definitely. There will be a couple challenging hikeabikes in that direction, and you’ll be trending uphill for a while at the start, it it should be good…

  • Hannah Attenburrow

    Thanks I am looking to maybe do a section which ends in Tarifa to end with some kitesurfing :)

  • JJ De la Torre

    A month ago I rode with my gf from Valencia to Albacete. We’re planning to do it in sections, but definitely will finish the whole route. Its very impressive, thanks a lot Logan for sharing this route and let the community know about it.

    I have a couple of notes that could help fellow riders:

    * If you decide to use the RENFE Media Distancia spanish train, (which I totally recommend). Ask where the wagon for the bicycles is, but in most of the cases is the first one (or last one) depends on the train.

    * We did in reverse way, the first couple of days, until you enter La Mancha, some sections are step and hard, so be prepared to push/hikebike.

    * We wildcamped the whole days (except in Valencia and Albacete -quite big cities-), because there are pretty small tows, most of them with no accommodations. You could call the town city-hall (Ayuntamiento), before 3pm, and ask them about camping area/accommodations or ask to friendly locals.

    * Towns where you can restock (mid/big market): Montserrat, Real, Casas de Ves (good market, bars/restaurant, panaderias..), Las Eras, Alcalá del Júcar, Valdeganga

  • Awesome! Thanks for the feedback… always helpful!! I am glad folks are riding this route.

  • Ross

    Any strong reasons not to ride this route from East to west?

  • Not necessarily. You might check the prevailing winds per what time of year though. I recall having a lot of tail winds on he latter half of the route…

  • Sean Barker

    We are a few bikes from South Africa and are looking for a bike packing route to do in 2018 this one looks interesting, we unfortunately only have about 12days in total is it possible to be able to do 130-150 km per day on this ride ?
    Also with those distances will we get away with not camping, as not all of us are rigged up for camping?
    Thanks a mill

  • Hi Sean. If I were you, I’d consider starting in Granada and doing the latter half. From there it would be much better for that time constraint. That’s the better portion too…

  • Sean Barker

    Thanks Logan ,

  • Capt’n Pugwash

    Bikepacking the Transandalus version now, it has been an amazing trail and the scenery is incredible. Well worth putting on your list of things to do.

  • Joe

    I’m interested in doing part of this loop with my wife early this summer (I know, July might be a lot but that’s the only time we have off…). We are looking at combining a bit of the GR247 loop in the Sierra de Cazorla with sections here.

    My question though, is about bike rentals. Are there any bike shops in the area supporting bikepackers that we might rent appropriate mountain bikes from? I was thinking Granada might have something and that that would make for a good home base for our trip anyway.

    Thanks for any help you guys can offer!


  • RB

    Hi Logan
    Thanks for sharing this route. I’m planning to do either a modified first half (Gibraltar to Granada) or second half (Granada to Valencia) of the route in late March. Are you able to say any more on why you prefer second half? From Alcaraz onwards, it looks on the map like the next 100 mile stretch is flat and less interesting. Or are the Sierra Nevadas and Sierras de Carzola such a highlight that they make up for this?Any advice greatly appreciated.

  • Hi RB. Although the first half has its own historical and cultural interest, I prefer the second half for the mountains and scenery. The GR247 segment (look that route up too) is amazing, and the Altravesur uses half of that route as well as a chunk of the Transnevada.

  • RB

    Perhaps I ought to go later in the Spring when the snows have melted and aim for these high mountain areas then. I could even do a loop around both the Nevadas and the GR247, starting and finishing at Granada… Thanks for the advice!

  • I’m leaving for this tomorrow but having epic problems with the gpx track – displays points of interest but not the actual track. for some reason when I load it onto my eTrex30 it just displays the first 63 miles. The gpx file seems fine on basecamp. Does anyone have a solution and/or split sections from Granada to Valencia? Thanks :/

  • Check out the ‘CHECK, CHECK, RECHECK’ section on this page:

    You will need to chop it up into smaller sections to use with a Garmin. Also, you could try some of the tools at, but if you get it to a size fit for an eTrex unit, you will not have enough detail. We recommend using Gaia GPS instead, then downloading the open cycle basemap for that area… Otherwise, as mentioned, you’ll have to split it into pieces in Basecamp.

  • Thanks again Logan!

  • Absolutely… have fun out there; I’m jealous!!!

  • So I’m headed out tomorrow from Granada to Valencia. Weather seems OK if not a little cold. In terms of carrying food are there any stretches where you need to carry more than a days worth? Space is stretched due to carrying heavy duty bag and full water proofs etc (obviously keeping in mind limited opening hours of stores and restaurants). Thanks in advance! RS

  • Filippo Graglia

    Hey guys. I am leading south towards South Africa in bikepacking style…in february i will try to follow as much as possible the Altravesur. Travelling alone at the moment, if someone wants to join me from Valencia to Cadiz, let me know!!!

  • Heertje VW

    You already wrote a bit about ‘type of bike’, but still wondering.. It says 95% rideable and difficulty 7.. which seems to contrast the ‘hike-a-bikes aren’t too infrequent’. I’m riding a Santos 3+ now, like in the picture. 27,5, disc brakes, no suspension, rolhoff gear hub. I ride with panniers, but of course can make it a fairly light load for this trip. What would you say about that set up? If it’s ‘too much’ are there any specific sections I could avoid to make it doable? I’ve bike toured a fair bit (halfway round the world) but never followed a specific ‘bike packing route’.

  • Unfortunately, because everyone’s riding abilities are different, all of those factors are nebulous. As far as time, I estimated about a half hour of hike-a-bike a day. Based on 9 hours of riding, that comes to 95%. For a stronger rider it may be less, and for others it may be a lot more. Because the climbs and steep and frequent, I recommend a lightweight set up for this route… but, with that said, I recommend a light set up for all routes :) I think the Santos will be a fine bike for this route.

  • Heertje VW

    Thanks a lot! Yeah.. there have been many times before I wished for suspension.. but most of the time I’m happy without it. The packing light will be a nice new challenge :). I’d go with the Smart Sam tires 2.25. Thanks for the info!!

  • Some of this route would be ‘drag’a-bike with that setup but the rest of it would be fine but definitely ensure you pack light. There are some stiff climbs over this route. Regarding the bike choice you can still follow most of this route but with some minor detours stick to decently graded dirt if not paved (but quiet) roads. Just download google maps, and try and avoid ‘tracks’ and stick to the larger roads. Once you’re through Cazorla National Park the route is plane sailing most of the way to Valencia so long as you avoid the single-track along the Jaen river (runs through the canyon – there are paved or graded dirt alternatives here but the single track was fun!). In Cazorla you will still get a great experience of riding through that place if you follow the paved options. Just make sure you don’t just follow the main lowroad but try and cycle over both sides of the mountains (but either way this is a stunning area to cycle through).

  • Logan Hi,

    One question to add to that actually – from memory do you think I’d get away with a pair of WTB Byways for the section between Algeciras and Granada (excluding the Sierra Nevada section) i.e. much roughstuff and/or singletrack?. I just booked some flights to Granda and was wondering if I could try and blitz northern Morocco and come back via joining the route north of Algeciras. Morocco looks like pavement if not hardpack so was thinking my 2.8″ers might be overkill… would love to see some plus size Byways!

  • Daniel Verdoodt Hi Heertje,
    I have identically the same Santos Travelmaster 3+. I’m preparing my journey on the Altravesur and will start on 23 March till 18 April. If you start later on the Altravesur, I’ll tell you my experiance if the Santos has managed it well, and me too.
    A good tip how to travel from Valencia to the Netherlands, if you won’t waste airmile carbon, buy your train tickets on You can travel in one day to Brussels (85euro), near Brussels very welcome in my Warmshower home, and leave the next day to the Netherlands.

  • Heertje VW

    Hi Daniel! Yeah, I’d probably ride it in July (yes, nice and warm..). I’d love to hear how you liked it and how the 3+ managed. And how much weight you were carrying. And thanks for the tip and invite! I’ll keep it in mind!!

  • Does anyone else experience problems trying to load this GPX file onto a Garmin eTrex? Works fine on my phone but bizarrely never wants to work on my eTrex. First 90 miles comes up and that’s it.

  • That’s the nature of a Garmin with longer routes. Check out this:

  • Thanks Logan. I’ve read that before. It’s taken me two hours but finally I seem to have made a workaround by using an online gpx editor and deleting the 93km. Now it seems happy to display the remaining track. I wonder if

  • Advisory !!!

    Part of this route has been cut off by the landowner. It’s just taken me the best part of two hours to get across and its been made very clear that people are not wanted here. The problem begins at 36.939497, -4.39774 and gets worse on from there. It was a muddy hike across a field and then another slog through an orchid or olive grove. I had to get under a fence here. After there was a gate (open) but further up was a massive gate and padlocked next to a white building with a fancy house. This required a real effort to scale. After another gate but thankfully waist height. I spoke to a farmer who lived further on and he says the landowner as cut off the route even though it’s public? At 36.956853, -4.423051 there is an alt path however don’t try it this also comes out at the fancy house which is all locked up. Unfortunately this hasn’t been the first problem like this I’ve encountered but I’ll post these when I get home. However save yourself a pretty big headache and possible angry confrontation with the “landowner” by either following the Trans Andalas or by following the paved route via Rozas del Pozuelo and reconnect using the A4152.

  • Thanks for the feedback. That’s unfortunate. I’ve updated the GPX…

  • Bobby Cotton

    I just came out of that beautiful route and I want to thank you guys for putting that out beautifully. Although I did a mix of atravesur and the tansandalus route looking for a little warmer zone after the Sierra Nevada. Have in mind that even end of mai was not as warm has expected. Cold and strong wind was coming down from the mountains. Not that cold but I had a full day at 11 Celsius with rain and sticky tracks. Really sticky! As if you had an anchor at the back of your bike! Little tricks on how to get there from Madrid: BlaBlaCar! Car sharing site. You jus have to ask the drivers if they have a place for a bike witch I managed to find easily. For the bus, you just need a food plastic foil roll to put around your bike wit the front weel off. Busbam are easy with bikes with a 10 euros extra. The transandalus is also a beautiful road that could be easily done on a very lite weigh setup no tent nor sleeping bags because it was build out there in parts of 40 to 70 km with info on loggings for every steps. Look for or Wikiloc app. For some it might seem far from bikepacking purist but for me it feel good every time I sit on my bike in remote areas! Thanks again for all the good work.

  • Nick Levin

    ***Advisory*** Do not plan on camping at the waypoint labeled “Nice Campsite” located at 36.71266, -5.33551 between Ronda and Ubrique. We arrived late at night to this location to camp and had one of the neighbors shoot a rifle over our heads at the abandoned house where this waypoint indicates to camp. He shot over 10 rounds. We highly advise also finding an alternate route to avoid the area even if passing through during the day, it is difficult to not end up on private property in this area.

  • I removed it from the map. I would hate to get rid of the Grazalema section. Much of that is Natural park and as long as you stay on the trail, there shouldn’t be an issue.

  • thanks!!

  • akindo

    Going to do this as my first bikepacking adventure! Arriving in Malaga on Saturday (May 5th), will start riding from there on the 6th in the direction of Valencia. Anyone else out then? After months of parts selection and building the bike, I’m well excited to do this.

  • Kevin Machtelinckx

    Did you have any other notes on areas to avoid? I will be starting this next week.

  • Kevin. I got these notes from Ross. I;ll be adding to the map this weekend; I’ve been slammed so haven’t had the chance to get through all of them yet:

    Fence, private property
    36.224687, -5.443304
    I rejoined the route at Almoraima. Luckily there is a dedicated bike path which runs all the way down the A405.

    Fence, private property
    36.740872, -5.329885
    The problem begins here. Your gpx track led through this. I didn’t find a work around which was a single track that ran parallel to the river. However, once I forded the river there was another big gate! Possibly I could have climbed it but was tired by that point. This added a significant workaround on pavement. A real shame! The second gate was here 36.749961, -5.321399 or there abouts.

    At 36.726493, -5.326679 there seems to be a trail which might be suitable. Sorry I didn’t have time to check it out. Feel free to post any of this info publicly and see if any one fancies having a go. Maybe I made some miscalculation here too because the gpx track wasn’t too clear for me.

    37.210947, -3.049488
    Here was a deep drainage which involved climbing down and up the other side. Possibly things changed since you were here?

  • Thanks for posting that Logan! It’s a shame but landgrabs and encroachment by ‘landowners’ is likely to increase. Those listed are small detours however – by far the worst being at 36.740872 … you could try an alternative route Kevin or if not taking the paved road isn’t too bad an option.

  • Kevin Machtelinckx

    Thanks I’ll take a look when I get up there in a week or so. And yes, I’ve been wondering how these routes would change over time as more and more of us come through to ride them. Definitely a shame that people feel the need to ‘claim’ a public land. But at the same time, I wonder what kind of interactions the locals with property nearby have had with past cyclists. I try to be as respectful as I can when riding through areas close to private property, but it might be all for nought if the previous cyclists before me were dickheads. Always have to consider the other perspective with these issues.

  • UPDATE: All of these changes were implemented: I got these notes from Ross.

  • Have fun out there. Make sure to re-download the latest GPX, there were several changes made over the last few days.

  • stefanrohner

    when your next time around … explore Sierra de Javalambre, Montes Universales and Serrania de Cuenca. have been there Easter week. very very rural, more then GR247! inhabitants per sq/km 0,87 persons! off road 8 days zero traffic, deers, deers and more deers … boars and foxes.

  • Szymek Ka

    Are there any reliable sources, such as paper maps, to plan such trip? Or are we dependent on electronic sources only? Which publisher? Recent experience shows that “orange” Michellin maps are barely enough to plan 2nd category roads trip. “Green” Michellin are not that much better, and don’t cover whole country, especially not south…

  • That looks amazing. Let me know if you have a GPS route…

  • Not that I am aware of…

  • Kevin Machtelinckx

    Rode through the area a couple days ago. No problems, but also no one around. I did choose to stay in Villaluenga del Rosario instead of camping just to play it safe. A local guide confirmed that there are a lot of problems between the government and private citizens claiming lands. Tons of hunting areas all along this route, and this location was no exception. There are plenty of open areas for camping elsewhere before and after this indicated spot though. If you’re conservative, like me, there’s a national speleology club that has a huge lodge in Villaluenga del Rosario with loads of space. 14 euros for a bed. Note that they may turn you down on the weekends when there are many clients and guides. Otherwise super friendly folks. A great find. Ask for the escuela de espeología

  • Daniel

    So I bought my tickets to do this over the holidays this December-January! Super stoked. I know it warned against that time of year but the Transandalus was more optimistic so I figured what the hell!? If I get stuck eating olives and drinking Spanish wine for days I won’t be too upset.

  • Daniel

    Did you do this in the opposite direction? I was also interested in riding west-east

  • Milan -Czech rep.

    I have ridden from Valencia to Castillo de Castellar viejo de la frontera (cca 100km to Cadiz), then I had to cycle to Malaga airport. I followed GPS track like 90% of time. I did it in 14 days(30.4 – 13.5) including detour to Granada, which was quite embarrassing as I came to Alhambra gate at 7 pm and even though there were not so many people I was told that tickets are sold out and I should order it through some webpage and return next morning. As Granada is about 30 km from the track be more careful with planning as I did…
    Few remarks:
    – if you do it in a whole it is really physically demanding with a lot of dragging of a bike up to single trails. It is better to have less equipment and good shoes(I completely destroyed mine). There is less dragging if you do it from Cadiz to Valencia
    – first days from Valencia and parts above Malaga I experienced a relatively strong head and side wind
    – nights are cold in the mountains in this period
    – some waypoints are obsolete(e.g Good MTB shop in Baza which is closed, but there is another shop Ciclos Montoya), but some helped a lot especially rifugios and hostals. There is also not perfect description of place in Sierra Nevada as Good campsite, which in reality is a rifugio(I almost ddin’t stop there). I would also prefer to have some warning in Trevelez that following track is quite demanding instead of 4 restaurants there which are already closed…. I also had to skip fences around Trevelez
    – sometimes is it easier to find hostal in small mountain village as in larger city, especially if you are not online
    – a lot of fences, barbed wire especially on Cadiz half,many “self installed gates” on public paths and just only once I saw “pour favor close it again”
    – really beautiful mountains and some towns like Ronda
    – I preferred sections without too much civilization (Montserrat to Alhama de Granada)

    Hopefully it doesn’t sound too critical. I have done almost no theoretical preparation for a trip, I don’t speak Spanish at all(and my English is not the best too..). I had just quick idea, there are some holidays, cheap flight tickets from Prague, so let’s do it.
    Thank you for inspiration, in general I liked it

  • Any joy?

  • Kevin Machtelinckx

    Logan and Ross: For the track down to the river that Ross could not find, I instead took a right at 36.726493, -5.326679, as Ross had suggested. There are several gates, but they are all open, and the way to Montejaque is even signed making me believe this will stay a good option for a long time. It’s also very pretty. I can’t trace out the path as I’m still riding the route and don’t have a computer with me, but here are a series of waypoints that this path follows:
    36.7214190, -5.3163649
    36.7242354, -5.3125515 (turns to single track through small section of woods).
    36.7244901, -5.3068846 (rejoins dirt track)
    36.7293723, -5.2970641 (dirt track goes through unlocked gate to bigger gravel road that leads down to river)
    36.7491943, -5.2677177 (rejoins river track)

  • kbud

    Logan- can you see a problem with doing this route in reverse order? Trying to get a medium distance train to Cadiz end has proven difficult from Zaragoza where I presently live. Easy to get one from here to Valencia.

  • Rosie Bartholomew

    I’m wanting to join a friend on this route meeting him at La Collahorra and cycling to Albacente. Can anyone give me rought estimate of the number of days it will take him/t has taken you in the past to get from the start to La Collahorra and then also a rough estimate from La Collahorra to Albacente? Just trying to figure out meeting dates and places and transport to and from Malaga at the beginning and end. Also any tips on accessing this route from public transport are much appreciated. Thanks!

  • It’s certainly doable. That first section to Riopar won’t be too fun… But, I think it should be fine

  • It really depends on how fast of a rider he/you are. That’s really tough to say. I think it took us like 15 days, but we weren’t rushing.

  • Richard Palmer (SkinnyBiker)

    Hi was it you I passed on Saturday between Facinas and Puerto de Omen? I was riding a black Ghost you were on a Salsa something or other. If do would be interested to hear about your ride and any difficulties. Richard. Ps sorry don’t know how to send a private message thru this system.