Grand Cycling Tour of Andalucia in 13 days
ExperiencePlus! has redesigned our bicycle tour in Andalucia, Spain for 2016. You now have three itinerary options to select from: a 7-day bike itinerary from Seville to Cordoba, an 8-day version from Cordoba to Granada, or this grand tour that combines them both and has you cycling 13 days from Seville to Granada! Highlights include:
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- - Cordoba, Granada and Seville, three of the most culturally significant and historically important cities in Spain
- - Guided visits of the Alhambra and Mezquita de Cordoba
- - An opportunity to bicycle through ancient olive groves and sample some of the world's finest olive oil
- - Unique and welcoming accommodations including restored convents, castles, renaissance palaces, and a refurbished Hacienda where you will learn about local agriculture
Day 1: Arrive Seville, Andalucia
Highlights: Seville, fit bicycles, meet your tour leaders and fellow travelers
Plan to arrive in Seville a few days early to enjoy this beautiful city, and capitol of Andalucia. Be sure to visit the Giralda, a famous bell tower built by the Moors and later restored. Another must see is Seville's enormous cathedral, where Christopher Columbus is buried. The cathedral is considered by some standards to be the largest in Europe! We'll fit bicycles this afternoon and recommend a short ride. This evening after introductions and a glass of sherry (or juice), we'll stroll downtown and celebrate the beginning of our cycling journey by enjoying some signature dishes of the region.
Distance: Test Ride. Meals: D
Lodging: Hotel Las Casas de la Juderia
Day 2: Cycle from Seville to Carmona
Highlights: Calatrava's Bridge in Seville, Carmona and its Roman History
Pedal along the Guadalquivir river and pass Seville's famous Santiago Calatrava bridge. Your destination today is Carmona, once a Roman stronghold this historic city has been settled for over 5,000 years, making it one of the oldest urban settlements in the entire Iberian Peninsula. Enjoy the historic city center this evening.
Distance: 62 km (38 miles) Meals: B
Lodging: Alcazar de la Reina
Day 3: Carmona to Constantina
Highlights: Foothills of the Sierra Morena, cork trees, bulls and a Andalucian White Village
Our route takes us into the foothills of the Sierra Morena mountains where you will pass by cork tree groves with (peaceful!) bulls grazing under them. It's a fun and hilly ride. Your destination is Constantina where you will feel as though you've walked back in time as you explore the old town's white-washed houses. The Sierra Morena mountains add a dramatic flair to the scene and offer the perfect backdrop to the village.
Distance: 58 km (36 miles). Meals: B, D
Lodging: Los Pozos de las Nieve
Day 4: Constantina to Palma del Rio
Highlights: Sleep in a restored Convent, cycle through the Andalucian Sierra
Coast back down to the river valley and out of the foothills towards Palma del Rio on your bicycle ride today. Some of the orange groves you'll pass today have trees over 200 years old! Our hotel tonight is one of the main attractions of Palma del Rio, an otherwise sleepy town. Christopher Columbus slept here when it was a Convent in the 15th Century.
Distance: 64 km (40 miles) Meals: B, D
Lodging: Lodging: Monasterio de San Francisco
Day 5: Palma del Rio to Córdoba
Highlights: Museums and history of Córdoba, Mezquita de Cordoba
Take your time today and enjoy your ride to Córdoba, as tomorrow you can take a rest day to explore the city. Córdoba's heritage has Roman origins, and was also one of the earliest Islamic cities in Spain. Immigrants from Damascus arrived by 719 AD, and Córdoba thrived for three centuries under the Damascus Caliphate.
Distance: 64 km (40 miles). Meals: B
Lodging: NH Amistad Cordoba
Day 6: Loop ride out of Córdoba
Highlights: Visit the Mezquita and Jewish Quarter, Optional bicycle ride to Medina Zara
Enjoy a free day today in Córdoba, one of the oldest cities in Spain. Or, if you prefer to get out on the bike take a ride into the foothills and visit the impressive archeological ruins of Medina Zara. This afternoon we'll join a local guide to tour the Mezquita of Córdoba, and the old Jewish Quarter enjoying Córdoba's whitewashed neighborhoods with flower filled patios along the way. This evening we have dinner together to say goodbye to anyone doing the 7-day itinerary.
Distance: Optional ride: up to 38 km (24 miles) Meals: B, D
Lodging: NH Amistad Cordoba
Day 7: Córdoba to Zuheros
Highlights: Hills of Andalucia, visit to an olive press
The ride has you pedaling over hills and through countless olive groves into the heart of the Córdoba province. This region produces some of the world's finest olive oils and we'll visit a press this afternoon. The last leg of the ride is on a rails to trails path that takes us right to our hotel.
Distance: 68 km (42 miles). Meals: B, D
Lodging: Hacienda Minerva
Day 8: Zuheros to Jaén
Highlights: Rolling Hills of Andalucia, Jaén and its olive groves, stay and dine in a Moorish Castle
We'll start the ride out on the same rails to trails path we came in on yesterday. After just a few miles you'll be back on the road and enjoying vistas of an endless sea of olive groves. You are now in one of Europe's largest olive growing regions - some estimate that there are over 150 million olive trees in this province. This afternoon enjoy the views from our hotel, a restored Moorish Castle.
Distance: 79 km (49 miles). Meals: B, D
Lodging: Hotel Parador de Jaen. The September 30 departure will be at the Hotel Infanta Cristina.
Day 9: Jaén to Úbeda
Highlights: Renaissance town of Úbeda
The ride today takes us through beautiful countryside from Jaén to the monumental city of Úbeda, our home for the next two days. Úbeda was a wealthy Renaissance town and it retains that character particularly in the old quarter. This afternoon we'll visit a famous local ceramics studio and enjoy an artist's demonstration. Take time to join the locals for a café con leche at an outdoor café. Our hotel this evening is a remodeled Renaissance Palace and truly fit for royalty.
Distance: 69 km (43 miles). Meals: B, D
Lodging: Hotel Palacio de Ubeda
Day 10: Rest day in Úbeda, with optional ride
Highlights: Discover the UNESCO sites of Renaissance Architecture of Úbeda and Baeza with an enjoyable ride into the hills
This is a free day to enjoy the intriguing city of Úbeda though we do encourage you to join us for a visit of the synagogue which was recently discovered during restoration work and is nearly completely intact. Then the rest of the day is yours to walk through the historic Renaissance district or consider cycling into the hills to Baeza, another prominent Renaissance town. The ensemble of Renaissance monuments of Úbeda and Baeza are on UNESCO's list of World Heritage sites and should not be missed.
Distance: 48 km (30 miles), additional miles available. Meals: B
Lodging: Hotel Palacio de Ubeda
Day 11: Úbeda to Benalúa de Guadix
Highlights: Ride towards the Sierra Nevada, "cave" hotel, winery visit
We head south today on our way to Benalúa de Guadix and towards the hills of the Sierra Nevada. Enjoy a change of scenery as you enter the "southwest" of Spain. You'll cross the Sierra Magina on your route and then head down towards the clay formations of Guadix. It is easy to imagine how for the past 500 years most houses of the villages in this valley were built as caves inside clay mounds. Even today about a third of the towns here are built in caves! Tonight we'll visit the winery of our cave hotel.
Distance: 105 km (65 miles). Meals: B, D
Lodging: Cuevas la Granja
Day 12: Benalúa de Guadix to Granada
Highlights: Views of the Sierra Nevada, orientation walk in Granada
Today we ride to Granada situated in the shadow of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Enjoy a fun downhill stretch and pedal past fields of asparagus and tobacco as olives and grapes give way to more diverse crops. Our destination is the glorious city of Granada, home of the Alhambra (the 13th and 14th century complex of buildings representing the finest example of Moorish architecture left in Spain). On the way you'll pass by the famous village of Purullena, known for its ceramics. We'll have a final dinner together after a stroll to see some of Granada's main sites and hidden secrets.
Distance: 57 km (35 miles). Meals: B, D.
Lodging: Hotel Villa Oniria
Day 13: Explore Granada, Spain
Highlights: Guided tour of the Alhambra
Stick around this morning for our guided tour of the Alhambra. This city has so much more to offer we recommend an extra night here to explore the beautiful old quarter and tea houses. Granada is also known for its fabulous tapas. If you must depart today be sure to schedule flights after 3:00 p.m.
HighlightsGranada, Andalucian Villages, Guided tour of Córdoba, Úbeda, Seville, Alhambra, Flamenco show in Granada, Guided tour of Jaen, Guided visit of Sinagoga del Agua, Pottery demonstration in Úbeda, Winery visit and tasting at Benalua de GuadixKeep in Mind: We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.
IncludesUse of a quality 27-30 speed bicycle; 13 days, 12 nights accommodation, 9 dinners with wine, & 12 breakfasts, guided visits as described in itinerary, including the Alhambra on Day 13. plus "The Usual""The Usual" (Included with every ExperiencePlus! tour)
Arrive/DepartSeville (SVQ)/ Granada or Seville or Madrid. plan to leave Granada after 3:00 pm
Total Distance636 - 674 km (393 - 416 miles)
Daily DistanceAverage over 11 days of riding 63 km (39 miles)
Rating301-401 First 7 days have climbs ranging from 1700 to 2900 feet. From Cordoba to Granada gets hillier (3 days in excess of 4000 feet) with longer mileage. Grades are relatively gentle, and only very rarely above 8%.
TermsTerms & Conditions
Dates Price Private Room Charge Notes Sep 30-Oct 12, 2017 USD$4900 USD$650 Sold Out. Wait List Available Book it Oct 28-Nov 9, 2017 USD$4700 USD$650 Book it May 5-17, 2018 USD$4995 USD$650 Book by November 15th and save $200 Book it Sep 29-Oct 11, 2018 USD$4995 USD$650 Book by November 15th and save $200 Book it Oct 13-25, 2018 USD$4795 USD$650 Book by November 15th and save $200 Book it
* We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the private room charge. This charge will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available it will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.
Andalucia Highlight Video
A short video on why Andalucia is many of our Tour Leader's favorite tour - including our narrator tour leader, Philipp Alexander Schmitt.
- Andalucia Highlight Video
Of the more than 15 professionally led bike tours I''ve taken, this was the best supported trip I''ve been on and one of the very best cycling and cultural experiences I''ve had.Jeff A., Portland, OR
Challenging cycling but rewarding. Very interesting places and towns to visit - Cordoba and Granada were both fascinating cities to get to spend time in. The guided tours in each city were both nicely done and most interesting. Beautiful countryside. All around was a great tour.Cliff M., Knoxville, TN
Beautiful cities and countryside - had visited Seville and Granada before and always wanted to return. Had never been to Cordoba or Ubeda and they were stunning.Heather and Ian B., Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland
A great trip. Good balance between sightseeing and riding. Look forward to traveling with ExperiencePlus! again soon.Susan C., Berkeley, CA
Like all ExperiencePlus Tours -- excellent, well planned and supported, definitely the way to go.Guy C., Vallejo, CA
Super trip. Everybody should do both the Camino de Santiago and the Andalucia trip. They complement each other nicely.Manfred K., NY, NY
Amazing tour! Had a great time!Brice P., Calgary, Canada
Really great trip, impressed with the hotels and meals. Leaders were outstanding! I was surprised how majestic and beautiful Spain was - my first visit, but not my last!Joan K., Palatine, IL
Great tour. Planning on doing Camino de Santiago bicycle tour across northern Spain in August next year.Bob L., Fort Collins, CO
It was wonderful.Chuck and Jacque W., San Luis Obispo, CA
This was a wonderfully conceived trip... the cycling was great; the lodgings were wonderful; the new bicycles were a real treat... a great trip!Ed R., Palmyra, PA
Super trip. Everybody should do both the Camino and the Andalucia trip. They complement each other nicely.Manfred K., New York, NY
This was a wonderful trip! Beautiful area of the world to bike. The marriage of Islamic and Christian cultures and architectures was fascinating. Food was excellent. Tour leaders were superb. And...the local people were incredibly friendly.James B.
Incline Village, NV
Our favorite bike touring company! Chalk arrows (really sets XPlus apart), amount/level of biking, limited van shuttles, enthusiasm, knowledge and teamwork of leaders. Also, food and wine and local "feel" of trips. These are some of the things we really value.Deena B.
Incline Village, NV
[My favorite part?] Miles and miles (or kilometers) of great cycling on rural roads! Topped off by great dinners with the group.Gregg M.
[My favorite parts were] The Moorish buildings of Cordoba and Granada, and the foothills of the Sierra Morena (great countryside and roads)Richard R.
Charles Town, WV
You are loved, and most appreciated for such trips of such quality.George & Jane N.
We have always loved the ExperiencePlus! trips on a Bicycle. Great food, wine and hotels, also a good bike to ride all those hills. We are forever grateful for such a wonderful sojourn in other countries.George & Jane N.
I loved the people and the tours in town -olive oil factory, pottery, alhambra etcIvy D.
Great touring company! the hat cambio is a great idea to force your clients to reach out to others ... My tour was nearly perfect. I loved the trip. I couldn't pick a single moment [ that was best ].Diane C.
[My favorite part was ]the scenery in the last 40Km from Ubeda to Guadix. Overall, the trip exceeded my expectations. The diversity of towns and scenery was very pleasing. The accommodations and meals were excellent. The guides were tirelessly patient and informative.Sara G.
Loreto, Maria Elena and Claudio were just wonderful leaders! They were so competent, helpful and knowledgeable. Really, they are what made the trip so enjoyable. It was hard to pick just one [ favorite part]. There were many. I loved riding through the Sierra Nevada on the last day with fall color and beautiful scenery. I think the Mezquita was the most unique cultural sight. I enjoyed all aspects of this tour. It was another wonderfully planned and executed Experience Plus! tour.Linda M.
These have been my favorite vacations ever! [ My favorite part was ]the biking to one interesting town after another. Regional food was great. Local guides for tours were great.Jack I.