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 Priego de Cordoba, Montefrio 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.
Depending on your arrival time (or if you are staying more nights in Seville) there is also the possibility to do a pleasant out and back ride to the Roman city of Italica, on a nice route which also visits many of Seville's most impressive sights.
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.
25km / 100m Elevation
(15 miles / 300 ft)
Plaza de España - Seville
Day 2 - Hornachuelos Natural Park & Palma del Rio
After leaving the train station, you head towards the Hornachuelos Natural Park. 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 you get deeper into the Hornachuelos Park the route rides alongside a pleasant lake, where 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 the historic town of Palma del Río, situated close to the Guadalquivir River. Here you spend the night in a beautiful hotel housed inside a 15th century monastery complex.
Shorter Route: 46km / 600m Elevation
(28 miles / 1950 ft)
Longer Route: 75km / 900m
(47 miles / 3000 ft)
Riding around Palma del Rio
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 Almódovar the shorter route heads directly into Cordoba, while the longer route visits 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 in the city of Córdoba - one of the undoubted highlights of the holiday, which you will have a free day to explore.
Shorter Route: 61km / 350m
(38 miles / 1150 ft)
Longer Route: 72km / 700m
(45 miles / 2200 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.
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 Natural Park. This route can also be adapted to visit the Medina Azahara if you did not visit there on the previous day.
Shorter Route: 29km / 400m
(18 miles / 1300 ft)
Longer Route: 45km / 900m
(28 miles / 2900 ft)
The Mezquita, Córdoba
Day 5 - Zuheros - White Village
The longer route cycles out of Cordoba on quiet lanes through picturesque rolling countryside, passing the castle of Castro del Rio and the lively town of Baena.
The destination for all of the routes is the stunning 'white village' of Zuheros, which is 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. 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: 35km / 420m
(23 miles / 1300 ft)
Medium Route: 54km / 1,050m
(34 miles / 3300 ft)
Longer Route: 75km / 1,200m
(46 miles / 4000 ft)
Zuheros & Subbetica Natural Park
Day 6 - Subbetica Natural Park - Priego de Cordoba
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, As well as the beautiful scenery, highlights include visiting the lively town of Luque.
The ride finishes in Priego de Córdoba. 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.
Shorter Route: 33km / 550m
(21 miles / 1750 ft)
Longer Route: 55km / 1,050m
(34 miles / 3300 ft)
Olive Groves - Priego de Córdoba
Day 7 - Montefrío
The shorter route passes through the charming village of Algarinejo, while the longer route visits the former Roman town of Almedinilla, which makes for a great lunch stop.
The destination is Montefrío, which is another one of Andalucia's atmospheric 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: 43km / 900m
(27 miles / 3000 ft)
Longer Route: 62km / 1,250m
(39 miles / 4100 ft)
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.
The 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?
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)
- ❌ Train ticket from Seville to Lora del Rio on Day 2 (we provide full details of how to purchase this at the station - they can not be bought in advance - tickets cost around €4 EUR)
- ❌ 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 two days cycling, between Seville and Córdoba are gently rolling. There are some short climbs up to a couple of the towns on the route, but they are not too long or steep.
The second half of the route - between Córdoba and Granada is more hilly, as you enter the Subbetica Natural Park. But the short routes tend to stick more to the valleys and so the terrain is still mostly rolling and enjoyable for riders of all levels.
The longer routes include a few more sustained climbs and are classified as challenging, more due to the elevation gain than the length. They are a good choice for riders who enjoy including some climbing and winding descents in their rides.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Casa Baños de la Villa
The hotel is just a short walk from the impressive Adarve cliff and Priego's impressive fountains.
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, July, Aug, Sept & Oct||€1,570 EUR||€590 EUR||Included|
|Jan, Feb, Nov & Dec||€1,390 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.