Jump to content
Jump to footer

Travel Story: Andalusia Cycling Holiday

Bettina explores the most beautiful places on the Iberian Peninsula
Country road in the middle of Andalusian landscape with blue sky

The preparations for our tour are complete, the suitcases are packed, and we are ready to go. Accompanied by my husband, we'll take the train from Salzburg to Vienna Airport station, and from there, we will continue towards Malaga. Let's go on our cycling holiday Andalusia!

Country road in the middle of Andalusian landscape with blue sky

Sightseeing in Malaga and Antequera

Enchanted by the allure of Malaga, we've decided to take a brief vacation there before our cycling adventure. Following three delightful days of exploration, we hop into a cab bound for Antequera, nestled to the north on the fringes of the mountain ranges. Warmly greeted at the Hotel Parador, we swiftly settle into our room. Having extended our stay, Antequera beckons with its myriad attractions, and we're eager to delve deeper into its charms.

Our first stop is the magnificent Arena Plaza de Toros bullring, adjacent to the hotel and an iconic gem in Spain, graced by the presence of cinematic productions and even Madonna, who filmed her "Take a Bow" music video here. Wandering through the tranquil streets, deserted during the customary Andalusian lunchtime siesta from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., we anticipate the reopening of restaurants at around 7 p.m. or later. Our appetites heightened we eagerly look forward to a delicious Spanish dinner.

After a restful night and a hearty breakfast, we set out once again. Today, our destination is the Alcazaba, a fortress that majestically overlooks the town. The path upward is adorned with numerous pine trees, diffusing a delightful fragrance. The view from the fortress onto the white houses below is impressive indeed. Enthusiastically, we explore the Alcazaba and feel transported to another era. On the way back, we pass by some of the numerous churches, and as night descends, we indulge in the warm and inviting atmosphere of our hotel.

Moorish fortress with high walls and Mediterranean landscape

First day on our way to Lucena

Punctually at 8:30 a.m., our colleague Hardeep greets us. We'll meet him every morning as he handles the transfer of our luggage from hotel to hotel. With our travel documents in hand, the bicycles are handed over and adjusted, marking the start of this year's cycling adventure! Today's route covers the longest section at around 70 km. After an initial busier stretch, we pedal at a leisurely pace amid almond and olive plantations. Following a brief climb before the serene village of Cartaojal, we roll along a peaceful country road with minimal traffic. Beyond the halfway point, the terrain gently undulates, and a slight wind prompts us to pedal a bit more. In Benameji, we take a short break before continuing towards Lucena. The remaining journey is flanked by olive groves, and the vastness of the landscape is awe-inspiring. Alone in this expansive setting, we relish the scenery. Upon checking in at Hotel Los Bronces, where a warm welcome awaits, we eagerly anticipate a refreshing shower and a brief respite before indulging in a delightful dinner at the hotel restaurant.

View of green Andalusian landscape with blue sky

Off to Dona Mencia

The following morning, fueled by a hearty Spanish breakfast, we embark on the next leg of our tour heading towards Dona Mencia. Soon, we find ourselves on a scenic cycle path tracing the route of a former olive oil train. We pedal past rocky landscapes, through abandoned tunnels, over viaducts, and alongside countless olive trees. The "Via Verde de la Subbtetica" meanders through the nature park, where vineyards and olive groves thrive. After covering just 25 kilometers, we arrive at our destination for the day, Dona Mencia. In the spirit of cycling joy, we decide to extend our ride to Zuheros, a serene town with only 700 residents. Perched at an elevation of 656 meters, Zuheros is characterized by a castle dating back to Moorish rule. The final stretch involves a walk, including crossing a suspension bridge. Along the narrow alleyways adorned with bright white houses and flowers, we reach the castle square. There, we indulge in delectable Spanish cuisine, savoring the view of the expansive countryside. A leisurely stroll through charming alleyways leads us back to our bikes, and we trace our route back to Dona Mencia, following the old railroad line. The evening unfolds in comfort at the Hotel Mencia Subbetica.

Cyclist takes a break at a fence

Discovering Cordoba

The following morning, we set off towards Cordoba. We ride leisurely along an old country road, mirroring the undulating terrain around us. Glancing at the map, I note that we'll pass only one town on this 65-kilometer stretch: Castro del Rio. Entering this village, we replenish our supplies and water from a small store. Overall, this leg grants us a glimpse into the boundless expanses of Andalusia: we occasionally pass farms, yet encounters with cars or people are rare. The roads are flanked by orange groves, interspersed with plentiful olive trees. If you seek escape from the routine of everyday life, this section certainly delivers.

Just before Cordoba, we encounter another challenging uphill stretch. After a swift descent, we arrive at our destination for the day. Cycling across the ancient Roman stone bridge into the city center, we find the "Sercotel Selu Hotel" ready to welcome us. Upon dismounting our bikes, a staff member promptly greets us and kindly directs us to the garage for bike storage.

In the evening, we wander through the picturesque city center, where tiled and flower-adorned doorways, alongside numerous shops and restaurants, define the landscape. We attempt to visit the "Mezquita Catedral de Cordoba," but unfortunately, time constraints only allow us to view it from the outside. Concluding the day with a satisfying dinner, we leisurely make our way back to the hotel.

View of Moorish fortress and green landscape

Overnight stay in a monastery

The fourth stage initially takes us along a gravel path alongside a riverbank. Afterwards, we continue on a busier road for a stretch before returning to an old country road. An awe-inspiring view unfolds over the beautiful landscape of Andalusia. Today, it's not just olive trees; lush green orange groves and almond plantations line the way. At the end of the stage, we are greeted by something special: the "Monasterio de San Francisco" hotel—an old monastery with an impressive backdrop where we enjoy our dinner in the monastery's dining hall.

Westbound to Carmona

Our cycling holiday in Spain is gradually winding down! Today's leg leads us to Carmona. Alongside the familiar olive, orange, and almond trees, we also pass through fields of cotton. Arriving in Carmona around Spanish lunchtime, we indulge in a light meal and a refreshing beer before making our way to the hotel. Perched atop a hill, the "Alcazar de la Reina" hotel treats us to a stunning view. Later, we take a leisurely evening walk through the historic old town.

Rounding off in Sevilla

Right on time the next morning, Hardeep collects our luggage for one last time. We pedal vigorously once again. Unfortunately, the wind is against us today, but we take our time. Hardeep awaits us at Brenes train station, takes the bikes from us, and hands over the train tickets for our journey to Seville. He then transports our luggage to the hotel. In the afternoon, we take a leisurely stroll through Seville, where we are captivated by the impressive architecture. We pause at a charming bar to savor tapas. Later in the evening, we indulge in a glass of red wine at the hotel. After a restful night, we depart for the airport by taxi following breakfast.

Public square with imposing buildings, a staircase and a canal
You now receive special conditions when you book a trip.