The quintessential Spain, Andalusia is famous for flamenco, fiestas, bulls and “pueblos blancos”. But it’s also home to some of the most stunning rides and challenging climbs in Europe - including the Goat’s Path, one of the most dramatic climbs in Spain!
Andalusia ticks all the boxes for a classic Thomson trip - stunningly beautiful rides, challenging climbs, great hotels, traffic-free roads and the best weather in Europe.
Our journey starts in the Alpujarras, travels westwards through the ancient cities of Antequera and Ronda, and concludes on the Mediterranean Coast in Estepona. Along the way we’ll conquer the Goat’s Path climb, considered by many to be one of the most spectacular climbs in Spain. Other highlights include the final day ride along the “pueblos blancos” route and over the HC Puerto de las Peñas Blancas to the Mediterranean Coast, Day 6 with 2 of our all-time favourite climbs - the Puerto de las Palmas and the Puerto del Boyar, the classic Vuelta a España climb to El Torcal with it’s dramatic limestone formations and the route through the El Chorro gorge which hosts the world-famous Caminito del Rey.
Join us and experience the essence of Southern Spain on this challenging and spectacular ride from the Alpujarras to the Mediterranean Coast in Estepona!
Welcome to Andalusia
Our trip starts at Malaga Airport where our staff will be there to welcome you. After the transfer to our hotel in Órgiva, we’ll have lunch, orientation meeting and bike build-up before heading out for our first ride in Andalusia.
Our warm-up ride features one of the most beautiful climbs in the region, the 8km climb to Cáñar. 20 switchbacks later you’ll reach the summit and after a quick coffee stop in the local cafe, enjoy the stunning views of the Alpujarra valley as we descend back down to Órgiva.
Meeting Time and Place Our guides will meet you at 8:30am - either at Malaga Airport or at the Malaga Hilton Garden Inn
Alpujarras White Villages
A magnificent ride today through the Alpujarras region in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. The region is famous for its white villages and our route takes us through many of the most picturesque villages including Trevélez which, claims to be Spain’s highest village at 1476m.
Of course we’ve also thrown in a fair bit of climbing and with a total elevation gain of almost 2700m, you’ll need your climbing legs for this one. Leaving from the hotel, the first 35km are all uphill, until we reach Trevélez. A long descent takes us to Torvizcón where the road kicks up again signalling the start of the 10km climb to the Puerto de Torvizcón.
The Goat's Path
A tough but strikingly beautiful ride today. With a total elevation of well over 3000m (10,000ft), it’s definitely one for the mountain goats.
And fittingly, the highlight of the day is called the Goat’s Path, locally known as the Carretera de la Cabra. The Goat’s Path follows the old road that was used by mules to transport goods from the coast to Granada and is now one of the most dramatic rides in the South of Spain. We start climbing at Km 53 in the village of Lobres and the climb finally tops out 46km later at 1350m. Take your time climbing this one to enjoy some of the surrounding scenery, the views are really quite special.
3 categorised climbs on today’s ride as we continue our journey westwards to the ancient city of Antequera. The first climb, the Cat 2 Alto de Navazo, starts straight out of the hotel. The next 25km are mostly downhill to Periana where we start our next climb, the Cat 2 Puerto del Sol. The Puerto del Sol is an absolute joy to ride: zero traffic, over 20 switchbacks in the final 5km, fantastic views and a pretty steady grade of between 6 and 9%. A Thomson classic!
A series of ups and downs over the next 30km takes us to the town of Villanueva de la Concepcion. Get the granny gear ready in Villanueva as the road kicks up signalling the start of the climb to El Torcal which last featured in La Vuelta a Espana in 2017. As you’re climbing El Torcal don’t forget to look around and admire the limestone scenery which is recognised as some of the most beautiful and impressive limestone landscapes in Europe.
Caminito del Rey
Our journey across Andalusia continues with a stunningly beautiful ride to Ronda. Leaving Antequera we’re quickly out of the city and onto the road that leads to the first landmark - the Valle de Abdalajis “pueblo blanco”. A short descent takes us to El Chorro Gorge and the Caminito del Rey, one of the world’s most spectacular walkways. We’ll ride through this amazing gorge - don’t forget to look up at the gorge walls where you’ll see the incredible walkway clinging to the side of the rocks several hundred metres up.
After El Chorro the riding gets serious with 3 puertos in quick succession through the Sierra de las Nieves. Once over the final climb, the Puerto del Viento, enjoy the 15km descent to our hotel in Ronda.
Sierra de Grazalema
An absolutely stunning ride today through the Sierra de Grazalema! 2 magnificent climbs, the Puerto de las Palomas and the Puerto del Boyar, dramatic mountain scenery throughout the ride, some of Andalusia’s most beautiful white villages and very little traffic. One of our Top 5 rides of the year. Enjoy!
Puerto de Peñas Blancas
Quintessential Andalusia today with this spectacular ride through the Andalusian whitel villages (pueblos blancos). The ride also features one of the most demanding climbs in Andalusia, the HC Puerto de Peñas Blancas. In true Thomson style, when we reach the summit of the Puerto de Peñas Blancas, we’ll continue upwards on a spectacular single-track road that continues to climb for an additional 5km to Los Reales viewpoint. Enjoy the incredible vistas of the Mediterranean coast, 40km off in the distance.
From Los Reales we head back to Peñas Blancas then enjoy the long descent down to the Mediterranean Coast in Estepona - and the end of a fantastic journey across Andalusia.
Unfortunately, our trip must come to an end. Our shuttle will take you to Malaga Airport, arriving at approximately 9:00am.