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Cycling in Andalusia: Jerez to Cádiz  The Natural Adventure Company

Cycling in Andalusia: Jerez to Cádiz

Overview

Enjoy a cycling adventure through Andalusia’s iconic Pueblos Blancos, whitewashed towns and villages, often perched on hilltops overlooking the region’s vast landscapes. This is a trip for keen cyclists who like to combine great biking with cultural exploration. Each day the routes will take you through quiet countryside roads and cosy villages. In the evenings, you will be able to reflect on your adventure and enjoy the local hospitality in the authentic hotels we have selected for you. The itinerary is partially centre-based, so on some days you can choose between exploring on a bike or just relaxing and marvelling at the cultural riches of Andalusia.

Highlights

  • Stay in authentic Pueblos Blancos – the old frontier hilltop towns
  • Historical cities: Jerez and Cadiz
  • A delightful mix of coast, rolling hills, Roman roads and greenways
  • Excellent hotels full of local character
  • Bird-spotter’s paradise – storks, kingfishers, waders

Click to view map

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Jerez de la Frontera

Arrival at your comfortable hotel in Jerez city centre, depending on your arrival you will have the rest of the day for a walk around the historical centre before dinner. 

Day 2: Jerez to Arcos de la Frontera | 50 km

Leaving Jerez, you follow a lovely route passing vineyards, ancient settlements and riverside towns. Quiet country roads and gravel tracks alongside the River Guadalete take you past villages full of pretty, pastel-coloured houses and on towards Arcos de la Frontera. Why not stop to sample the local Tierra Blanca white wines en route? At the end of the day, a steep ascent will take you to the historic town centre in Arcos de la Frontera, which seems to be literally balancing on the edge of the cliff. Later there will be time to stroll along the narrow lanes or Arcos, enjoying Andalucia’s lovely evening sky and a luminous twilight of deep blue.

  • Accommodation: Hotel Los Olivos *** (Arcos de la Frontera) or similar
  • Cycling for the day: 50 km, ↑450 m ↓350 m

Day 3: Circular Route Arcos | 20 or 54 km

In the morning we recommend a circular tour along quiet countryside roads, through vast rural areas; you can either take a long tour of 53.3 km around the Bornos reservoir (past whitewashed villages Villamartin and Bornos) or the short route of 19.8 km around the Arcos reservoir. Arcos itself is worth a visit because it was one of the most important frontier towns during the Reconquista (hence the adjective “de la frontera”). Follow the old Arabic walls, passing the impressive Castillo de los Duques, as you make your way to the Iglesia de San Agustin with its fantastic views over the river and rich fertile valley of orange, almond and olive trees. Spend some time in the unique miniature art museum and have lunch in one of the numerous restaurants.

  • Accommodation: Hotel Los Olivos *** (Arcos de la Frontera) or similar
  • Cycling for the day (option 1): 54 km, ↑575 m
  • Cycling for the day (option 2): 20 km, ↑300 m

Day 4: Arcos to Medina Sidonia | 48 or 59 km

Follow a winding road, passing orange and almond orchards through the town of Junta de los Rios where two rivers converge. Passing through San Jose del Valle, dating back to Roman times, and the impressive El Tempul, you can choose between the direct route along gravel roads (total of 48km approx.) passing the Moorish Gigonza castle or the more challenging route of almost 60km along quiet but winding and undulating tarmac roads past vast estates. Both routes come together in Paterna de Rivera, famous for its healing waters after which a steep ascent of 225 m awaits to your hotel in Medina Sidonia. Take time to explore before dinner this little gem with its grand plaza, mediaeval Moorish architecture, narrow streets and views of the bay of Cadiz.

  • Accommodation: Hotel Tugasa Medina Sidonia *** (Medina Sidonia) or similar
  • Cycling for the day (option 1): 59 km, ↑800 m ↓650 m
  • Cycling for the day (option 2): 48 km, ↑650 m ↓ 500 m

Day 5: Medina Sidonia to Vejer de la Frontera | 37 or 69 km

A short route today to recover from yesterday’s adventure. A quiet lane through fighting bull estates and holm-oak woods takes you from Medina to Naveros. A lovely greenway then crisscrosses this stunning landscape for irresistible views of dark green meadows as they melt into the Sierra de Cadiz (look out for Egyptian vultures and Bonelli’s eagles) before you finally reach the most picturesque of our three white frontier villages: Vejer de la Frontera. Our standard hotel is an old convent from the 17th century, conveniently located in the centre of town.

Day 6: Circular Route Vejer | 23 or 60 km

Wander through the maze of streets that makes up Vejer de la Frontera and understand why it has been decreed a historic site. Discover its Roman walls, Visigoth hermitage and its castle at the highest part of the old town, combining Moorish and Christian architecture. Lunch in one of the many cafes and restaurants, or walk up to the highest point with panoramic vistas and picnic next to the lovingly restored windmills of San Miguel. 

For those who want to cycle, we can offer a route along dirt roads through an entirely different landscape; first alongside the river Barbate, then across vast rice fields to the fishing village of Zahara de los Atunes to try some local tuna at lunch, and finally uphill across the nature reserve Parque Natural de la Breña y Marismas del Barbate. 

Day 7: Vejer to Conil and transfer to Cádiz | 24 or 38 km

You head to the coast today, with a choice of shorter (24 km) or longer routes (38 km); both ending in the charming seaside frontier town of Conil de la Frontera. The longer route heads east, passing the town of Barbate, and the pretty surf village of El Palmar. Taking the shorter route affords you more time to wander around the whitewashed houses of Conil de la Frontera, before being transferred to the cosy hotel in the centre of Cádiz; an ancient and magical fortified town.

  • Accommodation: Hotel Argantonio ** (Cádiz) or similar
  • Cycling for the day (option 1): 38 km, ↑250 m ↓370 m
  • Cycling for the day (option 2): 24 km, ↑125 m ↓250 m

Day 8: Departure

Your trip comes to an end today after breakfast. Taxi transfers to Jerez, Seville or Málaga airport can be arranged upon request.

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodation is in nice family hotels and B&Bs, in double or twin private en-suite rooms. All overnight places on this trip have been carefully selected for their location, atmosphere and unique services.

Click to view default hotels

Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal or higher value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.

Meals

All breakfasts are included in the programme. When no restaurant location is available en route lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops or you can pre-order a packed lunch at your hotel. Dinner is available either from the restaurant in your accommodation or from the restaurants in the town where you stay for overnight.

Difficulty & terrain

The actual difficulty will depend on whether you choose the longer/tougher routes or shorter/easier variants (read more about difficulty grades). The average daily distance cycled is 43 km (minimum 22 km, maximum 60 km), and the average ascent is 360 m (minimum 125 m, maximum 575 m). Generally, we would recommend this trip to cyclists who have some previous bike-touring experience and are in good physical shape.

When to go

This tour is bookable from the beginning of March until mid-December except for the hot months of July and August when temperatures reach 33º C. Blackout dates in 2022 are 28 April – 1 May (Moto Grand Prix) and 7 – 15 May (the Fair in Jerez). From November till March, rainfall could make it difficult to access the dirt roads (mud), but the chances are low that you will get wet (the number of days with rainfall per month is 8 in December and between 5 and 7 during the rest of winter). The most enjoyable cycling season is from March to June (first fortnight) and from September (2nd fortnight) till the end of October.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended airports for this tour are Jerez Airport, Sevilla Airport (SVQ) and Málaga (AGP)

By train or bus


Arrival in Jerez de la Frontera
There is at least 1 direct train to Jerez Train station from Jerez airport, but a private taxi transfer can be arranged as well for approx 25,- euros. From Jerez Station, you either walk to your hotel (5 min walk to Casa Grande) or take a taxi. By rail Jerez can be reached from all major Spanish cities.

Departure from Cádiz
At the end of your tour, you can take a direct train in Cadíz to Jerez airport. For timetables of the train connections between Cadiz and Jerez (train station or airport) check here.

Inclusions

Included

  • 7 nights at comfortable charming accommodations, rooms with en-suite bath
  • All breakfasts
  • Luggage transport on Days 2, 4, 5 and 7
  • Complimentary transfer from Conil to Cádiz (only if you rent bikes from us*)
  • Detailed maps and route descriptions in English
  • Routes in digital format (.gpx) for GPS or mobile devices
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

*Please note that if you bring your own bikes, you need to book this as an optional transfer

Excluded

  • Flights and airport transfers
  • Lunches and dinners
  • Additional transfers
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Tourist city taxes
  • Personal expenses such as snacks, lunches and dinners, drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Any items not specifically mentioned as ‘included’ in the programme

Options, extras & supplements

  • Single room supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; as costs are not shared, there is a solo traveller supplement to the standard price
  • Hybrid Bike, Road Bike or E-bike rental
  • Extra nights along the trail
  • Airport transfers

Bike rental

We offer rental of hybrid bicycles with 21 gears, repair kit, lock, pump, and front and back cycle bags with map carrier. E-bike is possible to rent as well.

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