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MontañasVacías official — bikepacking across the Spanish Lapland


MontañasVacías official — bikepacking across the Spanish Lapland

Mountain Biking Collection by MontañasVacías



77:59 h

633 mi

51,200 ft

There is a place in Spain with an area twice the size of Belgium that has a population density similar to Lapland or the Scottish Highlands, only 6,99 inhabitants/km²! It is the so-called Spanish Lapland.

The main objective of MontañasVacías (empty mountains) is to raise awareness about the area's serious situation through an off-road bikepacking route (or MTB touring, whatever you call it…) taking Teruel as starting and finishing point. The route runs through the Montes Universales, Sierra de Javalambre and Sierra de Gúdar, mostly using fire roads and double tracks in good condition.

Even so, it isn’t strictly a route designed for gravel bikes, but it's neither a true MTB route. The right choice of bike and gear is part of the game. Whatever bike you choose, there will be points where you will find its limits, but these parts are always near easier gravel roads, fleeing as much as possible from asphalt.

If you choose light and fast gravel tyres, maybe you will encounter a couple of short hike-a-bike sections, and if you use a pure MTB, some fast gravel roads may feel very long. 40 – 42 mm tyres can be a good minimum, and in regard to gearing… go as low as you can!

MontañasVacías is a demanding route, it cannot be considered a beginner’s route. The elevation gain, the toughness of the terrain, and riding in such a remote place, require a fair bit of experience with these kind of trips. To avoid dangerous situations, it’s advisable to have sufficient knowledge of bike mechanics, navigation, map reading, first aid as well as an understanding of weather conditions and seasonal limitations. I would not recommend it as an introduction into bikepacking. My advice would be to start gradually, with easy routes, testing your gear, your bag set-up, and above all, testing yourself.

Without any doubt, my two main inspirations for this route are the CAT700 and the Torino-Nice Rally, both with the same philosophy of searching the man versus machine challenge. It was precisely while preparing for those events that I discovered most of the sections of this route.

However, unlike both, MontañasVacías can be considered as an 'open route', without a specific start date. You choose when to do it and with whom, but what remains at its core is the bikepacking philosophy: A sense of adventure, friendship, travelling long distances, experiencing culture, great food and more.

In all the people I've met over recent years I could see a certain desire in them to discover new routes, new places, new likeminded people, new excuses to gather your old buddies, or, why not, to embark on a solo challenge. This route – a permanent itinerary which is free and not a million miles away, at least if you're based in Europe – was born out of this desire and I feel it can satisfy it.

Choose your own distance: the route has several links or shortcuts, or 'atajos' in Spanish, so you can design your itinerary, anywhere between 150 and 700 kilometers (around 90 - 430+ miles). The idea is to give the option to gradually increase the miles and cover more and more areas in the Spanish Lapland.

For all the route information and the guide PDF, please visit:

Please take a look to the r(ECO)mmendations at montanasvacias.com/recommendations - conservation is an important aspect of the philosophy of the route.

IMPORTANT: These tracks are not valid for motor vehicles. Along the route there are a large number of sections that are not suitable for motorbikes or 4x4 vehicles. On the other hand, a good part of the route crosses protected areas with specific regulations on the transit of motor vehicles.

On The Map


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Montañas Vacías MV1-5

423 mi

40,025 ft

40,025 ft

Last updated: July 27, 2022

Tours & Highlights

  • MV1-Teruel-Nacimiento del Tajo

    85.0 mi
    6.5 mph
    8,875 ft
    6,725 ft

    Departing from the charming city of Teruel, do not forget to get lost in its historic centre and have a drink in the Plaza del Torico.

    After about thirty kilometres you'll reach the Laguna de Bezas and Peña de la Cruz, two perfect places to whet your appetite and get an idea of the landscape we will have

    by MontañasVacías

  • 09:24
    72.2 mi
    7.7 mph
    4,625 ft
    5,800 ft

    El Nacimiento delTajo /The Source of theTajo. Modest start for a river that runs majestically throughout the Iberian Peninsula for a thousand kilometres. Even so, a place full of symbolism.

    At this point, a shortcut through the port of Cubillo would allow us to link with the intermediate part of the stage

    by MontañasVacías

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  • 11:05
    86.5 mi
    7.8 mph
    6,125 ft
    5,925 ft

    After some kilometres through the province of Guadalajara, shortly before Valsalobre you will enter the province of Cuenca, head in the middle of the Serrania.

    You'll discover La Laguna delTobar, and pedal through infinite pine forests.

    Better if you manage your reserves, from Beteta to Beamud or Valdemoro

    by MontañasVacías

  • 11:05
    81.4 mi
    7.3 mph
    8,575 ft
    9,100 ft

    You will tread again soil of the province of Teruel shortly before Alobras. Just at that point, another shortcut would take you back to the finish point in the city of Teruel, passing by Jabaloyas and Tabernillas pass, but you’ll continue towards the Javalambre mountain range.

    This section includes another

    by MontañasVacías

  • 12:19
    97.8 mi
    7.9 mph
    9,225 ft
    9,950 ft

    La Puebla de Valverde, Mora de Rubielos, Linares de Mora,Alcalá de la Selva…It seems that in this final stage you’ll always have places nearby to calm your appetite. You've left behind the most depopulated stretches. But don’t relax, you still have another 3000 meters ahead.

    In this section you'll reach

    by MontañasVacías

  • 01:32
    13.5 mi
    8.7 mph
    1,275 ft
    1,075 ft

    It joins the Nacimiento del Tajo with the intermediate point of the Sector MV3 Serranía de Cuenca, through the beautiful Puerto del Cubillo.

    translated byView Original

    by MontañasVacías

  • 12:55
    102 mi
    7.9 mph
    5,300 ft
    5,350 ft

    Impressive route from Puente de San Pedro to Teruel, passing through the peaceful Molina de Aragón, and the impressive castles of Zafra and Peracense and the ruins of the castle of Los Ares. A perfect alternative for those looking to create loops with less elevation gain.

    by MontañasVacías

  • 04:08
    34.5 mi
    8.3 mph
    2,100 ft
    3,725 ft

    From the surroundings of Alobras to Teruel. It allows you to return to Teruel if you think Javalambre is too much. It can also be a nice option to leave from Teruel and link up with the Javalambre Sector.

    It includes the passage through Jabaloyas, the ascent to Pico Javalón (the mountain of witches

    by MontañasVacías

  • 01:38
    17.3 mi
    10.6 mph
    375 ft
    1,125 ft

    From La Puebla de Valverde to Teruel. Allows you to return to Teruel on the way down from the Javalambre massif. This section belongs to the Via Verde de Ojos Negros, the longest greenway in Spain with more than 200km.

    This greenway would also be a great option to reach the Mediterranean from MV.

    by MontañasVacías

  • 00:44
    7.93 mi
    10.9 mph
    250 ft
    725 ft

    Small shortcut on asphalt from Orihuela del Tremedal to Checa, passing through Orea. It can save you almost 70 kms, avoiding the final part of Sierra de Albarracín and the beginning of the Tajo Sector.

    by MontañasVacías

  • 34.9 mi
    -- mph
    4,500 ft
    3,275 ft

    From Torrebaja to La Puebla de Valverde passing through Camarena de la Sierra


    This avoids passing through the highest areas of Javalambre when there is snow up there or if you need to arrive faster to La Puebla de Valverde avoiding part of the toughest climb of MV.

    by MontañasVacías

  • © OSM

    Refugio de la Falaguera

    Bike Touring Highlight

    Basic shelter with no facilities: only for use in case of an emergency.

    Tip by MontañasVacías

  • © OSM

    Refugio Rabadá y Navarro

    Bike Touring Highlight

    On the Montañas Vacías route you will ride close to the Refugio Rabadá y Navarro, with guard, next to the Javalambre ski station, where you can also have dinner and breakfast.

    It is advisable to call to book if you plan to spend the night there.

    Tel:0034 978 768 083 rynrefugio@gmail.com

    Tip by MontañasVacías

  • © OSM

    Refugio de la Sima de Alcorón

    Bike Touring Highlight

    This refuges boasts large arcades but little interior space.

    Tip by MontañasVacías

  • © OSM

    Refugio Vado Salmeron

    Bike Touring Highlight

    This is a basic shelter with no facilities, only for use in the case of an emergency.

    Tip by MontañasVacías

  • © OSM

    Tramo final del puerto de Escandón

    Bike Touring Highlight (Segment)

    It is the longest greenway in Spain with more than 200 kilometers in length, from Ojos Negros to Sagunto. Currently, 167 kilometers are conditioned. It is the section that goes from Santa Eulalia del Campo to Algimia de Alfara.

    The route only has one pass and is, for the most part, following a long descent, if you start from the interior.

    The route is full of tunnels, bridges, ravines and curious formations. In addition to other landscape surprises.

    translated byView Original

    Tip by Ana Carmen

  • © OSM

    The Maqui Camp (resistance group after the Spanish Civil War), in the Sierra de Albarracín, was one of the most important. The Maquis managed to hide here until 20 December 1947, when the camp was assaulted by several forces of the Franco regime.
    The camp had everything necessary to live here: it had a school, a rest area, an area for livestock, etc.

    Tip by MontañasVacías

  • © OSM

    Pico Javalón

    Bike Touring Highlight

    Beautiful views from this mountain, which is full of legends about witches.

    Tip by MontañasVacías

  • © OSM

    Piedra del Peruano

    Bike Touring Highlight

    Curious sculpture in a remote location. Made by a Peruvian emigrant in the 1990s.

    Tip by MontañasVacías

  • More Tours & Highlights

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Highlights
  • Distance
    633 mi
  • Duration
    77:59 h
  • Elevation
    51,200 ft

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