This mountain biking adventure in Spain is an incredible circumnavigation of the Sierra Nevada in Andalucía; from mountain to sea to the historic city of Granada. Intermediate biking skills required.
from $2,640 pp 8 Days/7 Nights $377/Day
ALBUÑUELAS SIERRA | CAPILEIRA | TREVELEZ | TORVIZCON | GRANADA
This mountain biking adventure in Spain is an incredible circumnavigation of the Sierra Nevada in Andalucía; from mountain to sea to the historic city of Granada.
On this week-long sun-kissed mountain biking adventure you’ll be immersed in the rich culture of Andalucía; from remote, mountain villages, to the shores of the Alboran Sea, and the vibrancy of Granada. The people of southern Spain are hugely sociable and will welcome you to share home-made tapas and wine with them wherever you go. Your local mountain bike guide will take you on rustic singletrack trails, connecting whitewashed villages in the Sierra Nevada and Alpujarra, where you’ll climb to the highest town in mainland Spain to sample its world-famous jamón and see how it’s made, in the traditional way, by a local family.
You'll be riding on a selection of Scott Ransom and Genius full suspension mountain bikes. This is an intermediate level trip, meaning you should be comfortable riding in most types of terrain in a variety of conditions. The trail will often be singletrack, and it could be anywhere from dry to muddy and loose. Rocks and roots might dot your path, but you can always get off and walk. You should be able to corner confidently and use your gears. The rides will often be up to six hours a day with a few serious climbs, stopping for breaks and photos along the way. If you exercise at least three times a week throughout the year for up to an hour at a time, this trip should be no problem for you.
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GROUP MEET-UP & WELCOME RIDE
Your first afternoon in Spain will be spent getting ready for the week ahead. Receive your bike from the airport and put it together, or get your rental dialed in to the perfect fit. You'll snack on tea, coffee, and cake and meet your guides in La Zubia, a village in the heart of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Sneak in a quick ride to get your legs spinning and get introduced to the amazing Spanish trails. This evening, you'll feast on delicious local food and wine in the village, which will immerse you immediately into the very sociable and relaxed way of life here, in the southern Spanish mountains.
HEADING SOUTH: LA ZUBIA TO DURCAL
The next morning embark on a ride straight from your base camp. Pedal your way across flowing singletrack, doubletrack climbs, and technical descents to dust off the jet-lag. Your guide will always make the call based on your groups ability to make sure everyone enjoys the perfect ride. You'll spend the night in another family-run hotel with tasty Spanish cuisine, warm hospitality, and mountain views.
- Distance cycled: 26 miles (app. 6 hours)
CONCHAR TO PADUL
After breakfast, ride straight from the hotel towards Albuñuelas Sierra, where you will follow the “Gudaris” track—singletrack trails hand-made by prisoners of the civil war in the 1940’s. The trails are lovely and flowing in parts and in other sections you’ll need to keep your wits about you as it gets more rocky and technical. True Andalucían style! Stop for a quick picnic lunch and photo op, then continue with the Spanish sun at your back. Enjoy riding through mediterranean agricultural landscapes of almond trees, vineyards and olive groves, slowly watching your surroundings transform into recovered forests of pine and local oak trees. You'll pop our onto the final stage of the route on some of the trails used for the Mamut Race, a very popular local mountain bike race. Stay in the town of Capileira tonight and enjoy wandering around the village, if your legs will allow!
- Distance cycled: 35 miles (app. 8 hours)
HIGH ALPUJARRA & TREVELEZ
From Capileira, venture even higher and deeper into the Sierra Nevada mountains with a selection of the most breathtaking singletrack on earth. You'll reach dizzying heights of 7,300 feet before dropping down through high mountain meadows to lunch in the highest village on mainland Spain—Trevelez. This remote village is famous across Spain and the world for its ‘Jamones,’ and you’ll have the chance to visit the museum and small family factory and, of course, taste some of this delicious ham. After lunch, climb out of the village on the GR-7 (mountain walking route) to a height of 5,700 feet, where, on a clear day, you can enjoy views as far as Morocco. Once you have your breath back, set off on what will be more than six miles of descending. Peel off your bike shoes at your accommodation for the next two nights, a quintessential Andalucían farm where they grow their own olives, grapes, almonds, and more.
- Distance cycled: 25 miles (app. 7 hours)
PISTA DE LAS MINAS TO TORVIZCON OR DAY OFF
Today you have the option of a day off to relax, explore the local village, read books… whatever you wish. Alternatively, your guide will take you on a great four-hour ride in the local area. Climb to a height of 6,500 feet where you'll find the head of a trail that will lead onto the lovely flowing section from the previous afternoon. This will give you the chance to ride this fantastic trail again with the benefit of having been there before! Then, peel off onto a new trail that weaves through mountain villages all the way down to roughly 2,000 feet and the town of Torvizcon. On returning to your lovely farm stay accommodation, your hosts will take you around their own olive and vine yards, before giving you a tastes of their exceptional home-grown produce.
- Distance cycled: 20 miles (app. 6 hours)
HEADING NORTH: CADIAR TO ACUDIA (GUADIX)
On day six the landscape changes. You'll cut across to the northern side of the Sierra Nevada and into a more arid, desert-like environment. Transfer by car (thankfully) an hour away before beginning. Today will feature doubletrack punctuated by flowy singletrack. As a result of the natural topography of this area, many people in this part of the Sierra Nevada built caves to keep warm in the winter and cool in the summer, thus effectively living underground. As you ride through this area you will see these structures and be in awe at how grand they can look. And it would certainly be remiss of us to bring you here and not stay in a cave! Tonight you will be sleeping in a luxury cave after enjoying more mouth-watering local delicacies in your subterranean dining room.
- Distance cycled: 19 miles (app. 4 hours)
Days 7, 8
ALCUDIA TO GRANADA
After a fantastic night’s sleep in your luxury cave, get ready for one final day on the bike. Your map for the day consists of an ancient trade path. As you snake along singletrack-strewn hillsides, completely engrossed in these spectacular trails, you will suddenly be hit by a surreal view of the Alhambra in the distance, which signals the start of your descent into Granada, via a much less ventured path. Your local guide will lead you through the old gypsy quarter and on to some old-school street riding through the Albaicín, down steps and onto cobbled alleys in the heart of the old town to your final hotel. After much high-fiving and laughing, drop your kit off before the best post-ride experience ever: a visit to the Hammam (Arab baths) for a soak in the warm pools, a massage and stretch out on the hot stone slabs. Utter bliss. When you’re feeling refreshed from all your pampering, hit the town on a tapas tour of Granada, where the good food, wine, and chat will flow late into the early hours on your last night together on this amazing adventure around the Sierra Nevada of Spain.
- Distance cycled: 22 miles (app. 5 hours)
WHY GO ON THIS TRIP
- Feasting on the best local food + wine
- Staying in luxury caves in the ‘Desertlands’
- Learning how the world-famous jamón iberico is produced
- Bar-hopping on a tapas tour of Granada
- Riding through the streets of the Albaicín, the old gypsy quarter
- Being immersed into the local way of life in Andalucía
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