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The Land of Contrasts: Cycling from Biar to Valencia

The Land of Contrasts: Cycling from Biar to Valencia

Overview

Take an unforgettable cycling holiday through the varied and contrasting regionя between Biar and Valencia. Cycle along rolling valleys and vineyards, pass grain fields and olive groves, admire the castle-topped medieval towns and finish on the coast of this sunshine-infused Southern Spain. The former railway lines which have been transformed into cycling tracks will take you through tunnels and along viaducts, cutting straight through the mountains and over valleys. Enjoy local delicacies along the way – from rice dishes made popular under Moorish occupation to cakes baked to celebrate the busy calendar of festivals. Your last stop will be vibrant Valencia, a colourful mix of medieval and ultra-modern architecture just made for exploring by bike.

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Biar

Located at the foot of the Sierra de Mariola in the Vinalopo Valley, Biar is just 45 km from Alicante. Stroll the narrow cobbled streets and visit the splendid castle with fantastic views of the surrounding area.

Day 2: Biar – Bocairent | 24 – 46 km

After breakfast get on track for some cycling through orchards and picturesque little villages to Banyeres de Mariola. From here you can choose between two routes. Follow the straightforward route bordering the Paraje Natural de la Serra de Mariola (Serra de Mariola Nature Reserve). Alternatively, head into the Serra to win higher ground and make the most of the beautiful views across the valley. The final stretch leads to Bocairent. A visit to the old town, declared a historical heritage site, is highly recommended. Cycle or walk along its steep streets to reveal hidden corners of great beauty. Fountains and plant pots are dotted along the route that will lead you to the three chapels of the old quarter: Sant Joan, Mare de Déu dels Desemparats and Mare de Déu d’Agost.

  • Cycling for the day: up to 46 km depending on the chosen route
  • Accommodation: Hotel L’Estacio*** or similar

Day 3: Biar – Ontinyent | 15-30 km

After a healthy and hearty breakfast, set off and pedal towards Ontinyent. Its unique aesthetic is due to the contrast resulting from its stately 18th century mansions and the more modest Valencian buildings. Walk around it to discover an enchanting urban setting: the architecture of the houses, the small inclined streets, the grated windows and balconies, the decorative ceramic. You can’t miss visiting the Iglesia de Santa María (Church of Saint Mary), with its magnificent Renaissance portal. 

  • Cycling for the day: 15 to 30 km depending on the chosen route
  • Accommodation: Hotel Kazar**** or similar

Day 4: Circular tour Ontinyent | up to 40 km

Have a rest day absorbing the sunshine and the pleasant rural views or cycle through vineyards, grain fields and olive groves to reach the charming Valencian village of Fontanars del Alforins. A visit to the historic noblemen’s mansions, now converted into wine cellars, and local artisan producers will be sure to give you a real taste for the place.

  • Cycling for the day: up to 40 km depending on the chosen route
  • Accommodation: Hotel Kazar**** or similar

Day 5: Ontinyent –Xàtiva | 35 km

Start your day of cycling through apricot and almond groves, a patchwork of persimmon plantations and time-honoured vineyards via historic Ontinyent and tiny hamlets to the shores of the Bellùs lake. Rugged and rural, the fascinating landscape here is marked by irrigation infrastructures such as azuts (water division dams) and old watermills. Continue along a path bordering the Albaida river gorge past historic stone aqueducts and onto Xàtiva. No visit in the area is complete without a trip around the Xàtiva castle, with stunning views over the city and its surroundings.

Day 6: Xàtiva – Cullera | 55 km

Part of your today’s journey follows the pilgrimage route which once linked monastic sites in this area, make sure to stop and explore the imposing monastery at Simat de la Valldigna. Spend the afternoon in Cullera. The first thing that surprises the traveller when reaching Cullera is undoubtedly its fantastic castle towering over the city. Climb up and reward yourself for reaching the top with the spectacular views of the entire region, the city and the Rio Júcar. Cullera is also famous for its rice dishes and paellas.

Day 7: Cullera – València | 46 km

If you choose the longer option, you’ll start off along the banks of the River Xúquer. About 15km south of Valencia you will reach La Albufera – a huge freshwater lagoon separated from the sea by a narrow strip of pine-forested sand dunes. It’s legendary for the rice that is grown here. It’s also an important dune and wetland ecosystem and much of the area is covered by the Parque Natural de la Albufera. The zone is great for birdwatching as well. Upon reaching Valencia, explore one of the most beautiful and well-preserved old towns in Spain. Treasuring a very important cultural heritage, there you will observe the great legacy left by ancient civilizations that lived on these lands. Visit the wonderful Turia Gardens, one of the largest city parks in Spain.

Day 8: Departure

After breakfast, your tour comes to an end. Extra nights in Valencia or Biar are available upon request.

What to Expect

Accommodation

You will be accommodated in 3 or 4-star hotels and high-grade B&Bs. 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.

Click to view default hotels

*Note that 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 value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation!

Meals

Breakfast is included on Days 2-8. Half-board supplement is available as an optional upgrade. When no restaurant location is available on the route, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. Evening meals can be enjoyed in the charming restaurants along the way.

Difficulty & terrain

The nature of the route has been designed to take advantage, as far as possible, of downhill slopes along valleys that start in the interior and wind their way towards coastal plains and the sea. The route hence does not demand a high level of fitness; notwithstanding this, we have different alternatives that can either shorten or lengthen a day’s ride. For the first two days, the route follows a former railway line, which is traffic-free. For the others, we have chosen small quiet roads where cars are seldom seen (read more about difficulty grades). We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. Upon arrival, you will receive detailed travel information with route maps, route descriptions, tourist attractions and important telephone numbers, and GPS with reloaded tracks.

When to go

This trip is available all year round except from 24 July to 27 August 2022 and 30 July to 26 August 2023, with departures on Sundays only.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended airports for this tour are Alicante and Valencia.

By train or bus
  • From Alicante airport you can take a bus to the train station – timetables and rates available here. From Alicante Railway Station take the train to Villena Railway Station for a 45 minutes journey (approx. 10 EUR per person). For further information, timetables and tickets, visit Renfe. Complimentary transfer to Biar from Villena Railway Station.
  • From Valencia airport take the underground to Xàtiva station and hop off at València Railway Station (Estació del Nord). Take the train to Villena Railway Stationfor – a 75 minutes journey (approx. 15 EUR per person). For further information, timetables and tickets, visit Renfe. Complimentary transfer to Biar from Villena Railway Station.
  • For more details, use the Omio planner above.

Inclusions

Included

  • Accommodation in 3- and 4-star hotels and high-grade guesthouses as listed in the Hotels section 
  • Welcome briefing
  • Luggage transfer between accommodations
  • Detailed travel documents (1x per room) with route maps, route description, local attractions, important telephone numbers
  • GPS with the preloaded tracks
  • Phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and airport transfers
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
  • Any items not explicitly listed as included

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single 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)
  • Bike rental, including bike insurance
  • Extra nights are bookable upon request

Bikes

We offer for rent standard hybrid aluminium bicycles which are fully equipped with front-suspension, 24 gears, anti-puncture tyres, tool/puncture repair kit, speedometer, one pannier per bike, one handlebar bag and one map-holder per bike.

We also offer e-bikes with low frame: 7 gears, aluminium, Shimano Altus, good quality display (6 levels of power) as well as standard e-bikes: 24 gears, aluminium, Shimano Altus, good quality display (6 levels of power). Both models have a 15 Am battery, so they can ride long distances.

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