SEVILLE TO GRANADA
Self-Guided Cycling Holiday
For over 700 years much of Andalucia was ruled by Muslim kingdoms, during which it became one of the most advanced and prosperous regions in the world. The legacy of this, as well as the following Spanish Golden Age can still be seen everywhere throughout the region.
In addition to the three main cities, you will also stay in some beautiful lesser known towns, such as Carmona and the white village Zuheros. The route combines the historic tradition of Andalucia, with spectacular scenery - as you cross three Natural Parks.
Along the route you will stay in a variety of stunning boutique accommodation; including a 15th century monastery, a reformed hacienda and a Mudejar style Alcazar.
This holiday is self-guided and is suitable for riders of a wide variety of 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 guided version of this tour.
Day 1 - Seville
There are too many highlights in Seville to go into great detail here (check out our Seville for further details). But the Royal Alcazar, Plaza de España and the huge cathedral are among those not to be missed!
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.
Plaza de España - Seville
Day 2 - Italica & Carmona
Along with a brilliantly preserved Roman amphitheatre, Italica also contains the remains of impressive mosaics, baths and Roman houses.
From Italica, you return to Seville passing the Castillo de San Jorge (home of the Spanish Inquisition). We will then transfer you to the ancient city of Carmona before lunch, where you will stay in an historic Mudejar style palace hotel, situated inside the fortified old town.
You can spend the afternoon looking around the beautiful center of Carmona, or you can do some more riding, with a nice circular loop through the orchards and sunflower fields which characterise this part of Andalucia.
Short Route: 26km (16 miles)
Medium Route: 48km (30 miles)
Long Route: 78km (48 miles)
The 4th largest Roman amphitheatre in the world, Italica
Day 3 - Route of Oranges & Sierra Norte Natural Park
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!
In the Sierra Norte park you ride alongside a picturesque lake, and can admire the vultures and imperial eagles that typically soar high above.
The ride finishes in Palma del Río, where you will spend the night in a beautiful hotel housed in a 15th century monastery.
Short Route: 48km (30 miles)
Long Route: 72km (45 miles)
Sunflower Fields, Sierra Norte
Day 4 - 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 Almódovar the route continues a short distance to the Medina Azahara. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Medina Azahara was a palace city 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.
The complex was a vast site designed to impress visitors with its incredible wealth. One of the most impressive sites was a pool of reflective mercury which Abd al Rahman would strike with a stick and wow the audience with the dazzling light show that it created. Today the Medina is largely in ruins, but enough of it survives to get an impression of how grand it once would have been.
The day finishes near to the Medina Azahara in the city of Córdoba - one of the undoubted highlights of the holiday, which you will have a free day to explore.
Short Route: 59km (36 miles)
Long Route: 73km (45 miles)
Almodóvar del Río Castle
Day 5 - 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.
If you would still like to cycle today as well as enjoy the sites, there is also the option of an enjoyable circular ride through the nearby Sierra de Hornachuelos Natural Park.
The Mezquita, Córdoba
Day 6 - Zuheros - White Village
The destination is the stunning 'white village' of Zuheros, dramatically perched on the side of a mountain. Historically, this was an important frontier village, constantly shifting hands between rival Muslim and Christian rulers. And the 12th century castle is testament to this era.
Your hotel is typical Andalucian style cortijo - a type of country villa which is beautifully surrounded by olive groves and rolling countryside.
Short Route: 38km (24 miles)
Long Route: 76km (49 miles)
Zuheros & Subbetica Natural Park
Day 7 - Montefrío & Subbética Natural Park
The olive groves and white villages are interspersed with small castles and towers, which dot the landscape and continue to hint at the importance of the region in centuries gone by.
Your route passes through the Roman village of Almedinilla, before finishing the day in the town of Montefrío.
Another one of Andalucia's typical white villages, Montefrío is dominated by its 14th century hilltop fortress and is home to some nice boutique shops specialising in the local olive oil.
Short Route: 35km (22 miles)
Long Route: 64km (40 miles)
Day 8 - Granada
After a short initial climb, the route is largely downhill, as you ride towards the impressive Sierra Nevada mountains. At a height of over 3400m (11,000 feet), these are the highest peaks in Europe outside of the Alps.
You enter Granada though on a pleasant flat cycle route alongside the river, avoiding all the traffic, continuing into the historic center.
Granada is dominated by its Alhambra palace which 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 and some of the best tapas bars in Spain.
Short Route: 45km (28 miles)
Long Route: 58km (36 miles)
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?
As well as this fascinating culture, Andalucia is also home to stunning natural scenery, which makes for great cycling routes.
Check out just a few of the many highlights of this tour in our photo album below:
- ✔ Eight Nights Accommodation (see the Hotels section for more details)
- ✔ Continental buffet breakfast each day
- ✔ Bicycle Hire (Hybrid, road or e-bike)
- ✔ Transfers to and from the arrival and departure points (see below for details)
- ✔ Luggage transferred between hotels
- ✔ GPS tracks and mobile app to easily follow the routes
- ✔ Detailed information pack
- ❌ Flights
- ❌ Tour Extensions (optional extra)
- ❌ Travel Insurance
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 a bit of a assistance!
More details can be found on our bicycles page. All of our bikes come with helmets and handlebar bags if required, as well as a water bottle.
Difficulty Level & Roads
The first three days cycling, between Seville and Córdoba are largely flat. 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 more hilly, although mostly rolling rather than mountainous. On some of the shorter routes we transfer you over the most challenging climbs, to keep the distances more manageable.
If you would like to do the longer routes but are worried about riding in 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!
Some of the longer routes in the second half of the holiday are classified as 'challenging' due to the length and amount of elevation on them.
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 routes are on 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.
What is your policy regarding Covid travel restrictions?
*Covid Policy 2021*
In response to the Covid Pandemic we have made some temporary alterations to our standard terms and conditions.
Reservations made in 2021 (for holidays taking place in either 2021 or 2022) can be postponed for any time in the following two years, without penalty, if you are unable to travel as a result of travel restrictions or other uncertainty. Notification of the postponement must be made at least ten days before the start of the tour.
Before the balance of the invoice has been paid, the deposit of €150 is also refundable in full for reservations made in 2021, if holidays are cancelled because of Covid related travel restrictions or uncertainty.
For reservations not made in 2021, the normal terms and conditions regarding cancellation apply.
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.
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, its 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.
Do you run this as a guided tour?
Yes, for more details, check out the guided version of this holiday.
What is your cancellation policy?
The full cancellation policy can be found in our terms and conditions.
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
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.
Alcazar de la Reina
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.
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.
|Tour Starting Date||Price (per person)¹||Single Supplement||Bike Hire|
|Mar, Apr, May, June, Sept & Oct||€1,470 EUR||€590 EUR||Included|
|Jan, Feb, Nov & Dec||€1,320 EUR||€510 EUR||Included|
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.