Guided Cycling Holiday
Every day we visit fascinating historic towns and villages; including Cordoba, Zuheros and Priego de Cordoba. We also visit charming white villages, imposing castles, ancient Roman remains and several UNESCO world heritage monuments on this unique tour. Discover the Alhambra Palace, the Mezquita and much more besides, while riding through picturesque countryside.
On the way we ride along quiet roads through orange fields, rolling olive groves and through three different Natural Parks. You will visit excellent local restaurants and stay in high quality hotels and other boutique accommodation.
This holiday is fully supported and guided and is suitable for riders of all levels. Below you can find a detailed itinerary, and click on the tabs to see more highlights, as well as all the practical information about the holiday.
We also run a self-guided version of this tour.
Day 1 - Seville
From the 13th to 16th century, Seville was the most important city in Spain. Several kings and queens resided here, and it was the planning centre for the New World expeditions of men like Christopher Columbus, Ferdinand Magellan and Hernan Cortes.
Another highly recommended option is to visit the Roman ruins of Italica, just a short distance outside of Seville. Italica was the home city of the emperors Trajan and Hadrian, and Hadrian in particular had a huge influence on the city. He sponsored the construction of the vast amphitheatre (the fourth largest in the Roman world) and also built many of the streets, baths and temples that are still standing today.
Plaza de España - Seville
Day 2 - Hornachuelos Natural Park & Palma del Rio
The terrain is gently rolling as we ride past palm trees, oranges, cotton fields, sunflowers and cactus. These are the fertile plains of the Guadalquivir river, which has been the region's main artery for centuries. The Romans used the river to transport soldiers and precious metals, while under Muslim rule it became part of a complex irrigation system. At least when it wasn't being used to carry out Viking raids!
As we get deeper into the Hornachuelos Park we ride alongside a pleasant lake, and you can admire the vultures and imperial eagles that typically soar high above. The longer route includes an additional extension through the oak and beech forests of the Natural Park.
Both routes finish in Palma del Río. Here we enjoy our lunch, where you can taste local specialities like gazpacho or salmorejo, and we spend the night in a beautiful hotel housed inside a 15th century monastery complex.
Shorter Route: 45km / 400m Elevation
(28 miles / 1200 ft)
Longer Route: 60km / 700m
(38 miles / 2400 ft)
Sunflower Fields - Sierra Norte
Day 3 - Almodóvar del Río & Córdoba
Dating originally from the 8th century, Almodóvar castle has a fairytale like appearance, as it towers over the surrounding plains. Its classic Medieval style saw it chosen as a filming location for the TV series Game of Thrones.
From Almodóvar the route follows gently rolling roads via the distance to the Medina Azahara - a UNESCO listed palace city. The Medina Azahara was built in the 10th century by Abd al Rahman III - the greatest of all the Muslim caliphs in Spain, and one of the most important rulers of the Middle Ages.
From there it is just a short distance to our lunch stop on the edge of Córdoba. There we enjoy a tasty local lunch, before continuing the short distance to the hotel in the historic center.
Córdoba is one of Spain's most enchanting and culturally diverse cities. You will have a free day here to fully explore the many stunning monuments and neighborhoods.
Shorter Route: 34km / 240m
(20 miles / 800 ft)
Longer Route: 61km / 400m
(38 miles / 1300 ft)
Almodóvar del Río Castle
Day 4 - Córdoba
Córdoba was the capital of the Caliphate of Al-Andalus for the best part of seven centuries. And at its peak, during the 10th and 11th centuries, it was the largest city in the entire world.
Many incredible monuments survive from this and other periods. Most well known is the Mezquita - the former great mosque which is now the city's main cathedral. Elsewhere the Judería (Jewish Quarter) is a fascinating network of tiny streets, where you can visit the former home of the great philosopher Maimonides.
There are also some impressive ancient remains dotted throughout the city, notably the Roman bridge crossing the river towards the Mezquita. Parts of the Roman wall also remain - although they sustained damaged in the 1st century BCE when the city was besieged by the army of Julius Caesar.
The Mezquita, Córdoba
Day 5 - Zuheros - White Villages
The shorter route begins the day with a transfer out of Cordoba and follows a circular ride along the edge of the Subbetica Natural Park. The terrain here is more rolling as we follow a balcony road through open scenery, passing between charming white villages that are so typical of the region.
We stop for lunch at a small cheesemaker, where we taste some of their local produce. And after getting refuelled, we continue the short distance to the village of Zuheros, where we stay in a typical Andalucian cortijo - a type of country villa.
Zuheros is one of the most charming of the 'white villages' in Spain, and is home to a 12th century castle perched precipitously overlooking the valley. The longer route includes an extra out and back ride into the heart of the Subbética Natural Park, climbing up to the impressively named 'Bat Cave' (Cueva de los Murciélagos))
Shorter Route: 42km / 600m
(26 miles / 2000 ft)
Longer Route: 75km / 1,150m
(46 miles / 3700 ft)
Zuheros & Subbética Natural Park
Day 6 - Subbética Natural Park & Priego de Córdoba
The rolling olive groves and white villages are interspersed with small castles and towers, which dot the landscape and hint at the importance of the region in centuries gone by. As usual we follow extremely quiet roads throughout, so you can fully focus on enjoying the scenery. Aside from the beautiful scenery, highlights include visiting the lively town of Luque.
The shorter ride finishes on the edge of the town of Priego de Córdoba, where we stay for the night. Priego is a picturesque town that was founded on one of the main trade routes of the Muslim Caliphate. It is known for its compact old town, centered around a castle and situated on top of an impressive cliff.
The longer ride includes an additional climb along the edge of the Subbética mountains; it follows a very winding road which is a lot of fun to ride!
Shorter Route: 29km / 450m
(18 miles / 1600 ft)
Medium Route: 38km / 800m
(24 miles / 2600 ft)
Longer Route: 63km / 1,200m
(39 miles / 3900 ft)
Olive Groves - Priego de Córdoba
Day 7 - Almedinilla & Montefrío
The shorter route finishes in Almedinilla, a beautiful town which is home to a well preserved Roman villa and extensive Medieval center. Here we stop for coffee in the central square.
The longer route cycles the hilly terrain between the two, tackling a couple of medium climbs, before a long descent to the hotel. Our destination, Montefrío, is another one of Andalucia's typical white villages. It's dominated by its 14th century hilltop fortress and is home to some nice boutique shops specialising in the local olive oil.
Shorter Route: 33km / 600m
(21 miles / 1950 ft)
Longer Route: 58km / 1,250m
(36 miles / 4100 ft)
Day 8 - Granada
Our route is largely downhill, but the Sierra Nevada mountains provide an imposing backdrop. We ride through the fertile Vega de Granada valley, where a huge range of different crops are cultivated. Depending on the time of year, you can expect to see cherries, asparagus, watermelons, apricots, tobacco, figs, lentil plants and much more!!
On the way to Granada we stop for coffee in Santa Fé - best known for being the town where Christopher Columbus met Queen Isabella to obtain authorization for his voyage in which he discovered the Americas. We then enter Granada on a pleasant cycle route alongside the river, avoiding all the traffic, as we make our way into the historic center.
After a traditional tapas style lunch, you are free to explore this magnificent city. First on the list of things to see is the world famous Alhambra Palace - probably the most iconic building in all of Spain.
The Alhambra was the palatial home of the Nasrid dynasty - the last Muslim rulers in Spain. It's a decadent display of fine architecture, ornate gardens and defensive fortifications which is truly memorable to see.
The last Nasrid rulers were defeated by the so-called 'Catholic monarchs' - King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella - in the year 1492. And they were so impressed, that they decided to live in the palace themselves for quite some time!
In addition to the world famous Alhambra Palace, Granada is also home to the charming Albayzin district, home to some of the best tapas bars in Spain.
Shorter Route: 44km / 200m
(28 miles / 660 ft)
Longer Route: 57km / 650m
(36 miles / 2100 ft)
Alhambra Palace, Granada
Day 9 - Possible Extensions
If you can afford the time, we would highly recommend extending the holiday with some extra nights in Granada. And we would also be happy to arrange this for you.
To find out more information about this holiday; including practical information, prices, dates and more tour highlights; return to the top of the page and click on the various tabs.
Extend your holiday?
And these are just a few of the many highlights of the tour. Check out more in the photo album below:
- ✔ Eight Nights Accommodation (see the Hotels section for more details)
- ✔ 14 meals: 8 breakfasts, & 6 lunches (these include tapas and three course meals in local restaurants - drinks inlcuded)
- ✔ Bicycle Hire (Hybrid, road or e-bike).
- ✔ Transfers to and from the arrival / departure point (see below for details)
- ✔ Luggage transferred between hotels
- ✔ Vehicle Support on the routes
- ✔ Experienced guides (Ian and Lucia from Cycle Fiesta) riding the routes and explaining the places of interest
- ✔ Detailed information pack
- ❌ Flights
- ❌ Tour Extensions (optional extra)
- ❌ Travel Insurance
We generally recommend our lightweight hybrid bikes on this tour for greater comfort and for the low gearing. But if you are more used to riding a road bike, we can also provide those. E-bikes are a good option if you are unsure about the distance or about tackling some of the more rolling sections of the route. Or if you just like to have the option of some assistance every now and again!
More details about our bikes can be found on our bicycles page. The exact model depends on availability, so please get in touch if you would like more information.
All of our bikes come with helmets and handlebar bags if required, as well as a Cycle Fiesta water bottle.
Difficulty Level & Roads
The cycling between Seville and Córdoba is gently rolling. There are some short climbs up to a couple of the towns on the route, but they are not too long and have fairly gentle gradients.
The second half of the route - between Córdoba and Granada is slightly more hilly. But on the short routes it is still rolling and enjoyable for riders of all levels - the ride distances are shorter on the days with more climbing, so there is absolutely no rush!
The longer routes include more sustained climbs, and are a good choice for riders who enjoy including some climbing and winding descents in their rides.
If you would like to ride the longer routes, but are concerned about the hills, then it may be worth considering using an e-bike. You can switch off the motor whenever you want, and ride it like a normal bike, just using the assistance as a kind of added insurance!
You can choose whether to do the longer or shorter route each day.
The routes are on paved roads and cycle paths throughout. We hate riding alongside cars and so avoid it as much as possible! All of the rides follow quiet, country lanes where you can ride for long periods of time without seeing a single vehicle.
Find out more about our tour difficulty levels.
Arrival and Departure
The departure point at the end of the tour is Granada. We will transfer you to the airport or train station. Granada has a medium sized airport with flights to a few international destinations.
If you can't find flights from Granada, the closest large airport is Malaga, which is one of the biggest in all of Spain and is easily reachable by public transport. Madrid and Seville are other major airports that can be reached by train.
Please contact us if you you would like some assistance in finding a suitable flight or train in either Seville or Granada.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please browse through some of the frequently asked questions about this cycling tour. If you have any further questions, or would like any more information, please contact us and we will answer by email.
Should I ride the longer or shorter routes?
This depends entirely on you! The longer and shorter routes all start and finish at the same place, and so you can decide on any given day which you would prefer to do. There is no need to commit until the day of the ride itself.
On the longer routes you see more and are able to visit more places, while the shorter routes are more relaxing and ideal if you like to take your time and go at a slower pace.
If you would like to visit the extra towns and monuments on the longer routes, but are worried about the distances, then we recommend hiring an e-bike, which will give you more flexibility.
What is the weather like?
Seville is the sunniest city in all of Europe, and Andalucia as a whole is the warmest region on the continent. It's a fantastic climate for cycling in Spring and Autumn/Fall, which is when we run the tour.
From March to early June and from late September to November, the days are long and warm (but not too hot) and with very little rain or wind. Although, as on any tour, it is always best to be prepared for the odd shower.
If you are thinking about dates to do this as a private group tour, we advise against it in July and August. It's simply too hot for cycling in the middle of summer. Winter is much more pleasant, with daytime temperatures often around 20°C (68°F) in Seville, and only slightly cooler in Granada.
Can I extend the tour?
If you wish to include extra nights at the start or end of the holiday, we would be happy to organize this for you.
It's certainly worth spending extra nights in both Seville and Granada if you can spare the time. Other nearby places worth extending the tour include Madrid, Lisbon, Cadiz or the beaches of the Costa del Sol.
Can non-cyclists come on the trip?
Absolutely! Non-cyclists are more than welcome.
Although cycling is a big part of the holiday, we also do a lot off the bike. Usually non-cyclists ride in the support vehicle and can explore the various towns and villages along the route.
How big are the groups on your tour?
We usually limit the groups to a maximum of 10 people. We find that if there are many more than that, it can become a bit unwieldly. We think that smaller groups also provide for a more personal experience, as well as enabling to book more easily in some of our favourite restaurants.
Who is leading the tour?
All of our guided tours are led personally by the founders of Cycle Fiesta - Ian & Lucia.
See our about us page for more information.
How does the cycling work on the tours?
This is a relaxed tour, and we encourage everyone to go at their own pace. It's a holiday after all, and we don't want you to feel rushed at any point.
Sometimes we ride in big group, but usually people tend to split up into smaller groups riding at different speeds and we regroup at several points throughout the day.
What do lunches consist of on this tour?
Lunches are taken in local restaurants and consists of a three course menu, tapas or paella. The menu normally has three or four options for each course (including at least one vegetarian option) and is food typical of Andalucia and the rest of Spain.
The evening meal in Seville on the first night is taken in a traditional tapas restaurant.
Drinks are included (water, soft drinks, beer, wine) with all meals.
What is your cancellation policy?
The full cancellation policy can be found in our terms and conditions.
This includes our latest Covid policy.
Can I do this as a private guided tour?
Yes, we can run this as a private tour for groups of six or more people. Please get in contact with us to discuss dates and any changes you would like to make to the itinerary.
Why book with us?
We are a small and independent company who are locally based, which offers several advantages:
- We have a lot personal experience of all of our tours, which have been refined over many years. We believe we are genuine experts in the regions where we run tours, and we are also close at hand to offer support and a personalized service.
- We are flexible and can tailor our itineraries to suit your requirements.
- We have low overheads. We don't spend money on advertising and don't use third party agents. We only sell our tours through this website.
By cutting out the middle man, you can be sure that more of what you pay is being spent on the important things: like hotels, equipment and other services.
- We are a registered and fully bonded tour operator in accordance with EU regulations.
Where can I find more information about the region?
We have plenty more detailed information on the website.
Check out our pages on Seville, Cordoba or Granada for more information about the main cities on the tour.
We also have several indpeth articles looking more at the fascinating history of Andalucia:
It also has a fantastic rooftop swimming pool and terrace, offering views across the city.
Monasterio de San Francisco
Previous guests include Christopher Columbus, who spent some nights here 500 years ago, while trying to secure permission to sail across the Atlantic from Queen Isabella.
Hotel Macia Alfaros
It also has a swimming pool if you would like to relax on your free day.
The outdoor terrace and swimming pool, overlooking mile upon mile of olive groves is a fantastic place to unwind in the evenings.
Huerta de Las Palomas
The hotel is housed in a historic building and has large, comfortable rooms. It also has a great swimming pool and patio area for relaxing.
It is a traditionally styled townhouse, run by a local family.
The hotel has spacious rooms and is beautifully set around a traditional Andalucian courtyard.
To reserve a place on the tour, click the button above and complete the reservation form. We will then get back to you within 24 hours to confirm the reservation, and to arrange for payment of the deposit.
For more details on the booking process, please check out our Reservations page.