Cycling in Sierra de Grazalema will let you discover a pristine nature reserve, home to many endemic species, as well as the typical Andalusian Pueblos Blancos perched on scenic hilltops. The rolling hills of Andalucía provide ideal terrain for a cycling holiday, with all the pre-historic cave paintings, Moorish villages and Roman architecture that you will explore during this active itinerary. This is a circular route, starting and finishing at the town of Ronda, of which poet Rainer María Rilke wrote: “I have searched everywhere for the city of dreams and have finally found it in Ronda”. Holm and cork oaks and citrus trees adorn the countryside leading to the Sierra de Grazalema, where you will be able to enjoy varied cycling terrain, and on day 5, you will also have the chance to stop for a walk in the Natural Park.
- Fabulous terrain for cycling: gently rolling hills, olive orchards, quaint farmland, Moorish towns
- Roman remains, pre-historic cave paintings and the stunning bridge at Ronda
- Friendly, typically-Andalusian villages with a charming atmosphere
Click to view map
Day 1: Arrival in Ronda
Today you arrive in Ronda, a beautiful historical hilltop town and one of Andalucía’s “pueblos blancos”. Depending on the time of your arrival, you can spend the rest of the day exploring its charming streets.
- Accommodation: Hotel San Francisco or similar
Day 2: Ronda to Olvera | 37km
Your first day starts with an ascent to Arriate to Setenil de las Bodegas, perched on rocky cliffs overlooking the River Guadalporcun. You then continue via Torre Alhaquime to reach the pretty village of Olvera, surrounded by open farmland and vast olive groves.
- Accommodation: Hotel Mesón Fuente del Pino or similar
- Cycling for the day: 37 km, ↑450 m
Day 3: Olvera to Zahara | 48km
Today’s route follows narrow tarmac roads through the local farmlands, reaching the town of Algodonales, where you will experience the contrast of white-washed buildings among a variety of earth tones. Zahara de la Sierra is another magnificently-situated cliff-top village.
- Accommodation: Hostal Los Tadeos or similar
- Cycling for the day: 48km, ↑700m
Day 4: Zahara to Benaocaz | 39km
You start the day with a tough ascent of 470m to reach Grazalema, and then cycle onward to Benaocaz, coming upon sections of an ancient Roman road en-route. The historical town centre of Benaocaz is of Moorish origin, with a church built on the site of a former mosque.
- Accommodation: Posada El Parral or similar
- Cycling for the day: 39km, ↑700m
Day 5: Benaocaz to Jimera de Libar | 40km
First, you cycle down to Ubrique, the largest of all white villages with lots of bars, restaurants and shops. Then you start to climb along a quiet interior road and cross the largest cork oak reserve of Spain as you cycle around the central Massif of the Grazalema mountains. You will enjoy magnificent views while you cycle down into the green valley of the river Guadario. The following 10km section is downhill, taking you to the train station in Jimera de Líbar, where you will get on the train to Benaojan for a short ride to your cosy rural hotel. In case there is no train departure soon, or you prefer to cycle more, you can add another 9.5 km (with an additional elevation of 385m).
- Accommodation: Hotel Molino del Santo or similar
- Cycling for the day: 40km, ↑550m ascent (+ optional 9.7km/ ↑385m if you cycle between Jimera and Benaojan)
Day 6: Benaoján / Jimera de Libar back to Ronda | 14 or 26km
This part of the trip takes you back to Ronda by way of the Encinas Borrachas pass (at 1,000m), on the road from Gaucín to Ronda. The route is scenic and short, with two ascents of 350m. The day’s reward will be the descent to Ronda and the grand entrance by crossing the town’s spectacular bridge. If you prefer to skip the ascents, you can cycle directly from Benaoján to Ronda on an alternative route or take the train.
- Accommodation: Hotel San Francisco or similar
- Cycling for the day (option 1): 26km, ↑800m
- Cycling for the day (option 2): 13.5km, ↑450m
Day 7: Departure
Your programme comes to an end this morning after breakfast.
What to expect
Accommodation on this trip is in small family-owned hotels, all with en-suite rooms. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour. NB! When staying in Ronda on a Friday or Saturday, there will be a supplement for the hotel.
Click to view default hotels
- Hotel San Francisco
- Hotel Mesón Fuente del Pino
- Hostal Los Tadeos
- Posada El Parral
- Hotel Molino del Santo
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.
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 overnight.
Difficulty and terrain
We rate this trip as Moderate to Strenuous. Demanding cycling in areas where you cannot avoid steep and extended ascents of up to 750m. The daily distances are approximately 40 – 50km (read more about difficulty grades). The trip is most suitable for cyclists with some previous experience, who are in good physical shape and can train well before the tour. You can also rent an E-bike which makes the trip practically accessible to everybody.
When to go
The tour can depart on any day of the week from 22nd February to 15th June and 11th September to 26th November; the blackout periods are 21-31 March 2024 (Easter), 7-14 May 2024 and 16 June – 10 September. The weather is most pleasant in the spring and autumn; July and August can be quite hot.
Click to view travel options
From Málaga airport (AGP) you can take a taxi, train or shuttle bus to Málaga city centre. You then travel from Málaga to Ronda by bus, with Avanza Bus www.avanzabus.com or DAMAS www.damas-sa.es. Travel time is 3 hrs. Once in Ronda, it’s about a 10-minute walk from the bus station to your hotel. You follow the same route on the way back.
- 6 nights at comfortable accommodations in en-suite rooms
- 6 breakfasts
- Luggage transport on all cycling days (1 piece up to 20kg per person)
- Detailed digital holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions, road notes and maps. Please note that the info pack is emailed to you prior to departure, and no printed documents are mailed or provided on-site
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative
- Flights and airport transfers
- Lunches and dinners, drinks and snacks
- Additional transfers
- Bike rental
- Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
- Tourist city taxes
- Personal expenses
- Any items not specifically mentioned as ‘included’ in the programme
Options, extras and supplements
- Supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room / single use of a double room
- This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
- Hybrid bike or e-bike rental (upon request)
- Extra nights
- Obligatory supplement for overnight in Ronda on Friday or Saturday
- Airport transfers can be booked upon request
We offer the rental of hybrid bicycles with 21 gears, repair kit, lock, pump, and front and back cycle bags with map carrier. E-bikes or more sportive road bikes are possible to rent as well.