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Experiences Cycling Trips Cycling in Europe Cycling in Spain

Cycling in Spain

Spain is blessed with a warm, sunny climate, wonderful scenery and rich culture not to mention great food and wine. As Europe’s second most mountainous country Spain is a beautiful and incredibly varied destination for a cycle holiday. Where there are steep mountains you can also find rolling foothills and gentle valleys and so there is something for every cycling ability and interest.

Cycling has long been a popular sport and pastime in Spain, which is reflected in the country’s sporting successes and its extensive network of cycle options. The ‘Via Verdes’ are disused railway lines that have been converted into gently-graded, dedicated cycle trails away from traffic and can be found across the country. In a relatively short period of time Spain’s road network has been improved and expanded and there are many quiet back roads that avoid the heavier traffic. For the keen mountain biker there are a great many single track routes and hard-packed dirt routes.

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The Camino de Santiago is a classic cycle route that traverses northern Spain along a route that links ancient cities and towns and has been trodden by pilgrims for over a thousand years to pay homage to St. James. 

The Pyrenees form an impressive barrier to Europe and always play a key role in the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana classic road races. Catalunya has an exceptionally scenic Via Verde that runs gently downhill from the Pyrenean foothills, past medieval towns to the Mediterranean coast. Barcelona is famous in many respects and is now a cycle friendly city with many cycle paths that link the amazing attractions. Also in the north is the famous wine region of La Rioja, where you can ride across the all important Ebro Valley between picturesque villages and towns. 

Andalucia dominates the south of the country and is Spain’s largest province. For seven hundred years the Moors occupied the south and their Arabic influence can be found everywhere from food to architecture, most famously and impressively in the Alhambra Palace overlooking Granada. You can ride a Via Verde and link up the classic cities of Seville, Cordoba and Granada.

Spain has several climatic regions but generally the best times to cycle are from April to October. The south enjoys a mild winter and a very warm summer although the towns and villages at altitude help reduce the intense heat. The temperate north receives more rain but warm summer temperatures. Wherever you are the altitude has an effect and helps reduce the intensity of the sun. 

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