CABO DE GATA COAST
Self-Guided Cycling Holiday
On this tour you ride between charming towns passing incredible beaches, extinct volcanoes, historic monuments and beautiful natural scenery. The area is known for its tranquility, and it is a great place to relax both on and off the bike.
The Cabo de Gata makes for a great winter cycling holiday. It has the highest temperatures and lowest levels of rainfall of anywhere in mainland Europe during winter. The daily distances are short, with optional longer extensions, making this a flexible holiday, suitable for riders of all levels.
Below you can find a detailed itinerary. Click on the tabs to see more highlights, as well as all the practical information about the holiday.
Day 1 - Arrival - Mojácar
Both areas are well worth exploring and have played an important role through much of history. The town was originally settled by Iberian tribes and Phoenician sailors, before growing more prosperous under ancient Greek and Roman rule. Most of the town today dates from the Medieval period, when Mojácar was part of the Nasrid Sultanate, based in Granada.
Depending on your arrival time, there is the possibility of doing a short ride along the coast and exploring the old town.
Mojácar - White Village
Day 2 - Coastal Road - Carboneras
There are opportunities along the way to explore some of the quiet beaches and coves, before arriving at the charming town of Carboneras. A traditional Andalusi town, Carboneras has fantastic beaches and a wonderfully relaxed feel. You can visit the castle here, or enjoy the charms of the various tapas bars and bodegas.
The longer routes head inland along rolling roads through pleasant scenery. The landscape here is dotted with olive and almond trees, with cactus and pomegranates making for a colorful backdrop.
Shorter Route: 21km (13 miles)
Medium Route: 33km (21 miles)
Longer Route: 50km (31 miles)
Carboneras Coastal Road
Day 3 - Cabo de Gata Natural Park
Here there is also an impressive fortified tower dating from the 16th century. You will see several of these along the routes; they were lookout posts built at strategic intervals so that messages could be passed quickly between them. Together they lined the perimeter of Spain's south-east coast. They would warn of potential attacks by pirates, who were sponsored by Spain's great rival of the time - the Ottoman Empire.
The ride heads briefly in through fine open scenery, before arriving at Rodalquilar; a beautiful village in the heart of the Natural Park. Here you can head down to the beach, or relax at the hotel's spa.
The longer route loops around to Los Albaricoques. This village is a throwback to an early time, and was the filming location for many of the Spaghetti Westerns, including The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. You won't find many gunslingers around here today, but the iconic scenery remains pretty much unchanged!
Shorter Route: 34km (22 miles)
Longer Route: 55km (34 miles)
Windmills in the Cabo de Gata Natural Park
Day 4 - Volcanoes & San José
The rest of the route is spent riding through the wild landscapes of the Cabo de Gata. The Natural Park was produced by volcanic rock formations and is recognised as a UNESCO Biosphere site because of its natural beauty. You can visit several of the charming coves and beaches along the coast, and ride past windmills and cactus fields, as you head towards the town of San José.
San José is the largest village in the Cabo de Gata park. But it is still a tranquil and beautiful place to relax - with a fine beach and some excellent restaurants.
Shorter Route: 25km (15 miles)
Longer Route: 39km (24 miles)
Winding road past volcanoes
Day 5 - Playa de Monsul & Salt Lake
First you reach Playa Genoves - a huge sandy beach situated on the most extreme south-eastern point of the Iberian Peninsula. From there it is just a short distance further along a quiet track to Playa de Monsul.
Playa de Monsul is a dream beach; it is very quiet and isolated with perfect golden sand, surrounded by dramatic cliffs and with crystal clear water. Director Steven Spielberg was such a fan that he moved the whole film crew to the area during the production of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, to shoot a scene on the beach.
From here you can return to the hotel in San José, or continue further to the salt lake. This is a popular spot with birdwatchers, who come to see the many herons and flamingos that typically hang out there.
Shorter Route: 24km (15 miles)
Longer Route: 42km (26 miles)
Cycle Route to Playa de Monsul
Day 6 - Almería Extension Option
If you can spare the time, we highly recommend adding an extra night in Almería city. It is home to a huge 10th century Alcazaba (citadel fortress), that was constructed under the great Muslim caliph of Al-Andalus - Abd al Rahman III. It is in excellent condition and a fantastic example of Islamic architecture.
Almería's cathedral is also well worth a visit. It was heavily fortified to help to protect it from pirate raids, making for a rather imposing monument.
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.
You will visit empty beaches, hidden coves, historic lookout towers and gold mines as you ride along quiet country lanes.
Check out just a few of the tour highlights in the photo album below:
- ✔ Five Nights Accommodation (see the Hotels section for more details)
- ✔ Continental breakfast each day
- ✔ Bicycle Hire (We recommend hybrid bikes or e-bikes for this holiday)
- ✔ Transfers to and from the arrival and departure points (see below for details)
- ✔ Luggage transferred between hotels
- ✔ GPS routes and mobile app to easily follow the routes
- ✔ Detailed information pack about the routes, restaurants and everything to see along the rides
- ❌ Flights
- ❌ Tour Extensions
- ❌ Travel Insurance
More details about our bikes can be found on our bicycles page. All of our bikes come with helmets and handlebar bags if required, as well as a Cycle Fiesta water bottle.
Difficulty Level & Roads
An electric bike is a good option if you are worried about the hills, or if you would like to do the longer routes on some days.
We hate cycling alongside traffic, and so ride on a combination of quiet paved roads and cycling greenways. The majority of the route is paved, but there are some light gravel sections to visit a couple of the great beaches. These can be avoided if you are on a road bike or prefer to stay entirely on paved roads.
Find out more about our tour difficulty levels here.
Arrival and Departure
At the end of the tour we will transfer you to Almeria airport or train station. From Almeria airport there are direct flights to a number of European destinations, as well as quick low cost daily flights to Madrid and Barcelona. From there you can reach most destinations in the world.
If you have trouble finding flights to the arrival or departure points, please contact us, and we can try to assist.
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 do 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.
When can I do this tour?
This tour is available starting on any day throughout the year.
Winter and early spring is a particularly good time to visit as the weather is dry and warm and the villages are still lively, unlike many coastal areas which can shut down in the off-season.
From June to September it can get very hot (average over 30° / 85°F) and so we only recommend doing the tour then if you are used to riding in the heat.
What is the weather like on this tour?
The Almería region contains the only desert in mainland Europe, which gives a fair indication of how much rain the area gets.
The region also has very mild winters, with daily temperatures regularly over 20 degrees celsius. Temperatures in July and August often touch 40 degrees celsius, so unless you have experience of riding in these conditions, we would recommend avoiding the height of summer.
Can I personalise or change aspects of this tour?
Absolutely! We have designed a tour that we feel strikes a great balance between cycling routes, accommodation and interesting towns. However, if, for example, you would like to do the tour
for a different number of days, stay in a different level of accommodation, or extend the route to a different location, we would be happy to discuss the options with you.
What is your cancellation policy?
The full cancellation policy can be found in our terms and conditions.
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.
Parador de Mojácar
Hotel Las Palmas
Hotel Naturaleza Spa
Hotel MC San Jose
|Starting Date||Price (per person)¹||Single Supplement||Bike Hire|
|Jan - May & Oct-Dec||€1,130 EUR||€450 EUR||Included|
|June - September||€1,240 EUR||€520 EUR||Included|
¹Price is based on two people sharing a double or twin room. If you would prefer to stay in a single room, the single supplement is applicable.
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.