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Self-Guided Cycling in Murcia, Southern Spain
7 days
Spain - Trip code CSSM

Self-Guided Cycling in Murcia, Southern Spain

Ride past white-washed villages and Moorish towers, endless orchards, ancient irrigations channels and layers of history on this self-guided cycling holiday in Murcia. Pedal along country lanes, peaceful cycle paths and quiet roads, enjoying historic towns and a striking variety of landscapes. On three days there is the option to extend or shorten your rides if you wish.

Trip highlights

  • Cycling trails - Peaceful cycling on converted railway lines (greenways) and quiet roads
  • Pueblos Blancos - Picture-perfect white washed villages of Cieza and the Ricote Valley
  • Caravaca de la Cruz - One of the world's 5 holy cities and home to the medieval castle of Santa Cruz
  • Moorish Castles - Calasparra, Cieza and Moratalla home to restored Moorish castles
  • Local wines and cuisine - Re-fuel on delicious Spanish food, Murcia is known as the market garden of Spain
Accommodation grade:
Standard
Our standard, mid-range accommodation offers a good level of service, often with other amenities such as a restaurant, bar, garden or swimming pool. Generally rooms will be comfortable with en suite facilities.
Cycling grade:
Easy
Suitable for anyone who enjoys easy and relatively short rides on flat or gently undulating terrain. Ideal if you simply want to explore a region by bike at a relaxed pace.

Itinerary

Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Day 1 - Trip starts in Murcia

Your cycling holiday starts in Murcia, a small but bustling university town packed with culture. The city of Murcia sits in a fertile plain surrounded by mountains and is in the heart of the region. You will stay at a centrally-located hotel, the ideal base from which to visit some of the city's great sites. Walk the historic streets to the impressive Murcia cathedral, Bishop's Palace and Church of San Nicolas de Bari, past elegant 'fin-de-siecle' palace and the social club known as 'El Casino'. You will need to collect your included rental bike today or tomorrow morning depending on your arrival time. Details of how to reach the start point of your holiday can be found on our website in the tour specific 'dates and prices' section by clicking on 'Joining Info' and then the 'Show More' button.

Accommodation: Hotel Cetina(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: None
Day 2 - Gentle ride on dedicated cycle path to Caravaca de la Cruz

Today starts with a 45 minute drive to Bullas, from where you get on your bike and follow a gentle route along the Via Verde del Noroeste, a disused railway line converted to a cycling trail. The cycling trail leads you to Caravaca de la Cruz, one of the world's five Holy Cities according to the Vatican (the others are Rome, Jerusalem, Santiago de Compostela and Santo Toribio de Liebana). Pilgrims can obtain Eternal Forgiveness by visiting the Church in Caravaca de la Cruz during a Holy Year (every seven years, 2024 is the next Holy year). The church is part of an impressive fortress founded in 1617. Along the way you will have time to visit the hilltop village of Cehegin, with its fascinating old quarter. Then you can decide whether to continue along the Via Verde to Caravaca or do an extra loop on quiet country roads, cycling past flower and vegetable farms along the River Argos. Your total cycling distance today is approximately 25.5km (with an optional extra 13.5km) (total 300m ascent and 330m descent)

Accommodation: Hospederia Rual Almunia(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Day 3 - Circular route around Caravaca de la Cruz

Enjoy a circular ride around the beautiful and culturally rich area of Caravaca. Cycling past irrigation channels and Elm groves, your route will take you from fountain to fountain passing Roman and Christian sanctuaries and unique sites with remains of Paleolithic, Argaric, Iberian, Roman and Medieval settlements. The route starts with a long but gentle climb to reach the Iberian-Celtic village of Archivel. From here you pick up a way-marked path, which will lead you past tiny villages and farmed fields cycling downhill to La Encarnación and back to Caravaca. On the last section you follow a well-marked unsurfaced track. Back in Caravaca we recommend you take some time to stroll around the square at Plaza del Arco with its statues of 'Moros y Cristianos'(Moors and Christians). Your total cycling distance today is approximately 45km (total 450m ascent and 450m descent)

Accommodation: Hospederia Rual Almunia(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Day 4 - Cycle via Moratalla's fortress to the hill top town Calasparra

Today's cycling starts with a quiet section on a country road, pedalling through fields and olive groves with great views of the nearby mountain ranges, Sierra de Segura and Sierra de la Pila. The Moorish village of Moratalla, with its huge castle, comes into view early. We recommend you stop here for lunch and explore the town's steep narrow lanes and 15th century fortress on foot. Leaving Moratalla you cycle through agricultural landscapes filled with huge olive groves, almond trees and farmed fields. Wherever you find a bit of water and a river nearby, the orchards and vegetables gardens reappear, as do the rice fields as you near Calasparra. Your total cycling distance today is approximately 44km (total 450m ascent and 740m descent)

Accommodation: Hotel Constitucion(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Day 5 - Bike along peaceful country roads to reach the lively town of Cieza

This morning, we strongly recommend you add 13km to your ride with a visit to the Sanctuary of 'la Virgen de la Esperanza' (Our Lady of Hope) and enjoy supurb views over the rice fields. Once you get going, heading for Cieza you will encounter very few villages, enjoy peaceful country roads with views to the hills, and the lovely Alfonso XIII Reservoir. As you reach the River Segura the landscape turns into a patchwork of almond and apricot orchards, particularly beautiful in March and April. The last section of today's ride follows a quiet road along the river to reach the lively town of Cieza with its Moorish hilltop castle, huge cisterns and aqueduct remains. Your total cycling distance today is approximately 32.5km (with an optional extra 13km) (total 350m ascent and 475m descent)

Accommodation: Hotel San Sebastian(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Day 6 - Cycle to Archena then along cycle path to Murcia

The Segura River and ancient irrigation channels will mark your way from Cieza to Archena, while offering a complete change of scenery. The Ricote Valley was once a Moorish enclave for which a 10 year battle was fought between the Kingdom of Castile and the Andalusian ruler Ibn Hud. It is characterised with contrasting dry slopes above the green river, and oasis-like orchards studded with palm trees. The white-washed villages of Abarán, Blanca, \'d3jos and Ulea were Murcia's last Moorish stronghold in the 15th century. From Archena you will follow inland roads and sections of the Via Verde (cycle path) back into Murcia, crossing some industrial areas and busy towns before a peaceful final section of 12 km along the banks of the river Segura. Your total cycling distance today is approximately 57km (if you wish to shorten this you can arrange to be picked up after 28km) (total 200m ascent and 340m descent)

Accommodation: Hotel Cetina(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Day 7 - Trip ends in Murcia

After breakfast, the organised part of your holiday comes to an end. If you have booked another night (and day of bike rental) in Murcia, you can do a short 18 km circular route to the Sanctuary of Murcia's patron Saint Fuensanta and enjoy the views over the city and its surroundings.

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Cycling information

CSSM Distance Chart
General cycling information
On this tour we cycle 175 km over five days (an average of 35 km per day). We generally cycle on quiet tarmac country roads with little or no traffic, dedicated cycle paths and a small section on a well-marked unsurfaced track. There are occasional hills and uneven surfaces. We have graded the route as easy.
Bike included
27 gear Mountain Bike with lockable front suspension.
Bike information
Your included bike is a 27 gear mountain bike with lockable front suspension and will be the correct frame size for your height. Various models are possible, each of a similar standard, eg Megamo Phoenix 2.0 or Bergamon Horizon 6.0. Each bike is fitted with a pannier bag (25 litre capacity). A water bottle holder is provided as well as the facility to fit your own pedals or saddle if you wish to bring them. A lock, pump, spare inner tube and puncture repair kit with tyre levers is included. All you need to bring is your own helmet. You will be required to sign an agreement of care upon receipt of the bike.
Cycling grade
Easy

Why book this trip

Unlike many other operators, we include the hire of your bike in the overall cost of the holiday: you don't need to bring your own or pay extra to hire one locally. We also provide a pump, lock, spare inner tube and tyre levers. All you need bring is your own helmet.

What's included?

Included meals
  • Breakfast: 6
Transport
  • Bicycle
Accommodation
  • 6 nights standard hotel
Award Winning Explore Leaders
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Price Guarantee Promise
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Airport Transfers
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FairFX currency card
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Trip information

Country information

Spain Holidays & Tours

Climate

Overall, spring, early summer and autumn are ideal times for a Spanish trip - though the weather varies enormously from region to region. The high central plains suffer from fierce extremes, stiflingly hot in summer, bitterly cold and swept by freezing winds in winter. The Atlantic coast, in contrast, has a tendency to damp and mist, and a relatively brief, humid summer. The Mediterranean south is warm virtually all year round. Spain's Islands the Canaries and Balaerics experience very mild winters and warm summers making them ideal year round destinations.

Time difference to GMT

+1

Plugs

2 Pin Round

Religion

Roman Catholic

Language

Castilian Spanish, Catalan, Galician, Basque

Budgeting and packing

Clothing

Bring cycling gear such as quick drying cycle tops, padded cycle shorts and cycle gloves. A waterproof cycle jacket is recommended in case of rain. A light windproof jacket is always useful.

Footwear

If you are not bringing cycle shoes then try to bring stiff-soled shoes as these are better for cycling - transmitting your energy into the pedals more efficiently. This becomes more relevant and recommended the more demanding the grade and distances to cover. SPD cycle shoes are not well suited to tours that combine sightseeing with cycling. Comfortable shoes, trainers, sandals or flip flops are useful when not on the bike.

Luggage: On tour

Bring one main piece of baggage as per your airline luggage allowance, maximum 20 kg per person. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage if using public transport so don't overload yourself. Luggage transfers between hotels are normally arranged by the hoteliers. Mark your bags clearly and leave them at the place and time arranged with them. When travelling on public transport you should always take your luggage with you.

Luggage transfer

Included between each hotel.

Equipment

On all Explore cycle holidays we strongly recommend you bring along and wear your cycle helmet. It is a legal requirement in Spain to wear a helmet that meets current safety criteria. In case of an accident resulting in personal injury, certain insurance policies are invalidated in cases where a helmet was not being worn. Cycle glasses (to protect against dust, insects, pollen, sun etc) , cycle gloves (padded for more comfort) and a water bottle or water delivery system (eg camelback or platypus). You may choose to bring your own gel seat cover for added comfort. If a handle bar bag or pannier is not provided (check bike details) then you may like to bring a small rucksack to wear while cycling. Please carry some or all of your cycling equipment e.g. helmet as part of your hand luggage. Maps - Along with the destination manual and route notes you will be sent a set of maps that have been created specifically for this trip to help you navigate. The route is marked on each map together with a series of numbered waypoints which correspond with instructions in the route notes. Should you wish to purchase a more detailed commercially produced map we recommend the following:-

Tipping

Local fees
There are no local fees for this trip.
Country Information

Spain Holidays & Tours

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Dinner price
£12.00 - 16.00
Beer price
£1.50 - 2.50 (depending on the region/area in Spain)
Water price
£1.4
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Euros
Recommended Currency For Exchange
We recommend you take the majority of your spending money in Euros cash.
Where To Exchange
We recommend that you change any currency into Euros prior to arrival. Bureau de Change are generally only found in major cities and large airports.
ATM Availability
In cities and most major towns.
Credit Card Acceptance
Visa and Mastercard are generally accepted in larger restaurants and some shops.
Travellers Cheques
Not recommended.

Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

Bicycle

Accommodation notes

Booking a Single Room

All of our group tours are planned and operated on a twin-share basis, meaning that the standard cost is based either on individual travellers sharing accommodation with another group member of the same sex, or people who book together sharing accommodation. Please refer to the tour notes where the single room option availability is detailed on a night by night basis for this tour, and the price for the available nights is detailed on the dates & prices tab by departure date. For Self-Guided trips the Single Room supplement offers the option of a single room each and is charged per person. The Single Room supplement also applies to the third person in a party of three that will be accommodated in a single room.


Standard - Our mid-range accommodation offers a good level of service often with other amenities such as a restaurant, bar, garden or swimming pool. Generally rooms will be comfortable with en-suite facilities.

Essential information

FCO Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here
 

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Essential Information

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa Information

Spain: Visas are not required by UK, Australian, US, New Zealand, US or Canadian citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office. All visa information is subject to change. You should confirm all visa related questions with the relevant Embassy prior to departure.


If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may consider applying through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

Transfers

Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The transfers will be from the Explore designated airport or train station to the joining point of your tour, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  


For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

  

Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Spain Holidays & Tours

Vaccinations

Nothing compulsory but Tetanus is usually recommended as a precaution. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at http://www.explore.co.uk/Travelhealth/ and from your local healthcare provider. Vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed before departure.

Dates, prices and booking

Date
Price from
Single room option
Saturday 24 March 2018 - Monday 30 April 2018
Your trip can depart anytime between the above dates.
CSSM_2018
From £625
Single room option +£215
Show full details for this departure, including trip notes
All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
Joining Point
Town
Murcia
Time and place
00:00 at Hotel Reception
Ending Point
Town
Murcia
Time
23:59
If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
Download Trip Notes
Tuesday 1 May 2018 - Friday 15 June 2018
Your trip can depart anytime between the above dates.
CSSM_2018
From £569
Single room option +£180
Show full details for this departure, including trip notes
All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
Joining Point
Town
Murcia
Time and place
00:00 at Hotel Reception
Ending Point
Town
Murcia
Time
23:59
If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
Download Trip Notes
Friday 7 September 2018 - Sunday 23 December 2018
Your trip can depart anytime between the above dates.
CSSM_2018
From £569
Single room option +£180
Show full details for this departure, including trip notes
All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
Joining Point
Town
Murcia
Time and place
00:00 at Hotel Reception
Ending Point
Town
Murcia
Time
23:59
If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
Download Trip Notes
Monday 24 December 2018 - Monday 31 December 2018
Your trip can depart anytime between the above dates.
CSSM_2018
From £625
Single room option +£215
Show full details for this departure, including trip notes
All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
Joining Point
Town
Murcia
Time and place
00:00 at Hotel Reception
Ending Point
Town
Murcia
Time
23:59
If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
Download Trip Notes

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