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From the Alcazaba to the Alcazar – an Andalusian Adventure

Antonio Morales García

From the Alcazaba to the Alcazar – an Andalusian Adventure

Bike Touring Collection by Vincent Reboul

8-16

days

3-6 h

/ day

447 mi

30,200 ft

30,175 ft

Located in the extreme south of the Iberian Peninsula, Andalusia is an extremely interesting region of Spain. On this adventure, you sometimes feel as though you are in a desert in the American southwest or wandering through a North African city. These kinds of landscapes are quite rare in Europe, making this a fascinating cycling trip. The Andalusian coastline is heavily developed, with one untouched stretch between Tarifa and Trafalgar Cape. Therefore, this Collection explores the area inland which is much more authentic.

This adventure departs from the city of Almeria and takes you across the entire region from east to west, passing through the cities of Granada, Cordoba and Seville. The landscapes are ever-changing from the desert of Tabernas to the magnificent coastal mountains of the Sierra Nevada National Park. You also pass through the Betic mountain ranges before reaching the plains of the Guadalquivir.

Andalusia’s rich heritage is the common theme on this nine-stage, 700-kilometre (435 mi) Collection. The Moors, early inhabitants of the region, left wonderful architecture and also long-lived traditions. You can still find traditional hammams in the cities. These baths are a perfect way to recover from the physical exertions of a day cycling.

Spain is the second-highest country in Europe after Switzerland. Not surprisingly, the first five stages have plenty of climbing and require a certain amount of stamina. The last four stages are less hilly. The road surface is also very varied. It is not uncommon to switch from asphalt to quality gravel roads. This route is perfect for a bikepacking enthusiast with a gravel bike or someone who wants to travel more slowly on a touring bike.

Avoid riding this route in summer as the temperatures are very hot. Winter can also be difficult as there are some high-altitude passages. The best times of year to cycle are spring and autumn.

Andalusia has a rich culinary heritage, from Pata Negra ham to Pan con tomate (bread and tomatoes). Prices inland are very affordable and are two or three times lower than you may expect in France or the UK.

As you sometimes pass through deserted landscapes, always remember to take enough water with you. Almeria, the starting point of this adventure, and Seville, the finishing point, are both accessible by air and by train. You can find more information (in Spanish) here: renfe.com/es/es

If you have more time, I recommend exploring the Cabo de Gata nature park, near Almeria. Close to Seville, the Roman site of Italica and the village of El Rocio in the Donana National Park, are well worth a visit too.

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Une Aventure Andalouse

437 mi

29,300 ft

29,275 ft

Last updated: January 6, 2022

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Tours & Highlights

  • Difficult
    03:22
    28.7 mi
    8.5 mph
    2,775 ft
    1,475 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    For this first day of discovery of Andalusia, you are going to make your own cinema!

    

    The region of Almería, with its Tabernas Desert National Park and Alcazaba Castle, have served and continue to serve as the backdrop for the seventh art. Today is a trip to the American West or the Arabian Desert that

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    by Vincent Reboul

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  • Difficult
    07:38
    61.5 mi
    8.1 mph
    7,650 ft
    4,750 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    During this second day you will leave the Tabernas desert behind you to go towards the mountains of the Sierra Nevada and the Alpujarras of Almeria and Granada. You will follow the valley of the Andarax river until kilometer 40.

    

    Before tackling the serious climb in the afternoon that will take you over

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  • Difficult
    03:31
    33.4 mi
    9.5 mph
    2,850 ft
    5,600 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    This third day is one of my favorites of this trip to Andalusia.

    

    You will evolve in the very heart of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Villages like Trevélez and Bubión which are part of these famous "pueblos blancos" (white villages) will enchant you. The day is also less hard than the previous one, as you

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  • Difficult
    03:51
    34.7 mi
    9.0 mph
    2,850 ft
    2,075 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    As you get closer to the city of Granada, you will gradually encounter more traffic.

    

    You will start the day with a nice climb that will stabilize around the eighth kilometer. After about twenty kilometers you will reach an altitude of around 900 meters. After this point, the rest of the route becomes

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  • Difficult
    07:27
    66.1 mi
    8.9 mph
    6,725 ft
    7,150 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Of the nine stages of this Andalusian adventure, this fifth day is undoubtedly the one that deviates the furthest from the beaten track.

    

    It's a day that covers a little more than 100 kilometers but which presents a strong positive elevation. Listen to your body and your desires, if you wish, make an overnight

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    by Vincent Reboul

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  • Difficult
    04:38
    47.4 mi
    10.2 mph
    1,900 ft
    2,425 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The day will take place almost entirely on the "Via verde del Aceite", in other words the greenway of the oil. Of the 76 kilometers that present no major difficulties, 73 of them will follow this old railway line converted into a cycle path.

    

    You will move between mountains and fields of olive trees as

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  • Difficult
    04:05
    41.1 mi
    10.1 mph
    2,150 ft
    3,125 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    After Granada, it is the turn of the superb city of Cordoba, or Cordoba in French.

    

    The road will be completed for once with a majority of descents! It's rare enough to omit to mention it. You will return to near sea level elevation when you arrive at your destination this evening. The countryside is semi

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  • Difficult
    06:28
    51.6 mi
    8.0 mph
    1,600 ft
    1,325 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    I chose for this eighth stage to make you discover a village of die-hard Andalusians!

    

    Marinaleda is not what the name might suggest a seaside resort village for wealthy tourists, but quite the opposite. She is known for her social experiment based on a leftist ideology. In other words, you might meet

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  • Difficult
    08:48
    82.4 mi
    9.4 mph
    1,675 ft
    2,300 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    It’s a beautiful day ahead. It does not have much difference in height, but it is difficult because it covers the longest distance of this adventure. So don't hesitate to split it in two, for example with an arrival in Carmona, instead of Seville.

    

    There are long straight lines today made up of both asphalt

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Questions and Comments

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    9
  • Distance
    447 mi
  • Duration
    49:49 h
  • Elevation
    30,200 ft30,175 ft

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From the Alcazaba to the Alcazar – an Andalusian Adventure

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