Gravel Biking Adventures Introduction

We offer three gravel bike trips:

  • self-guided, lodge-based gravel bike holiday
  • guided, point-to-point Sierra Nevada gravel bike tour
  • guided, point-to-point Two Deserts gravel bike tour

Whichever you choose, you’ll discover the kind of deserted backroads that gravel bikers dream about; with stunning views, pretty villages and all the details taken care of for you. Come and find out why Andalucía is gravel’s best kept secret.

Lodge-Based Gravel Bike Holidays

Lodge-Based Gravel Biking Overview

These self-guided, ride-in ride-out gravel bike holidays are based at our beautiful mountain lodge.

You’ll explore the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountains, known as Las Alpujarras, which are criss-crossed by a wonderful network of gravel roads.

Your routes will include spectacular wilderness passes, magical forest roads, beautiful valleys and traditional villages. There will be demanding climbs and exhilarating descents. You’ll pass through a variety of micro-climates on the way. The average day is about 50km in length, with 1000m of climbing and descending. Being centre-based, unlike a point-to-point bike trip, you’re not under time pressure to get to the next place and you don’t have to unpack and pack more than once!

We provide you with GPS routes and detailed route notes for all the rides, a packed lunch, a daily briefing and emergency back-up.

The surfaces range from fine to chunky gravel and some tarmac/asphalt. We recommend a gravel bike with at least 40mm tyres. A good alternative is a hardtail mountain bike.

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrival.

Arrive Málaga airport. Transfer to the lodge accommodation. Bike assembly, with a helpful bike mechanic on hand. Briefing from your hosts and guides. Dinner at the lodge.

Day 2. Route 1.

You descend on gravel from the lodge to join the tarmac/asphalt road that takes you through the villages of Bérchules, Alcútar and Mecina Bombarón.

Then you start the main climb of the day up to the Pista Forestal and follow this gravel road around the mountains before a final descent to the farmhouse.

56km. 1500m of elevation. 20% tarmac, 80% gravel.

Day 3. Route 2.

You descend to the Cruz de Juviles on a gravel road and then follow the tarmac to the Bérchules cemetery. Then you descend to Cádiar on gravel, ride through the town and follow the rambla (dry river bed) to the village of Yátor.

Then you climb on a mixture of cement and gravel to Yégen where you take the tarmac road to Mecina Bombarón. From there you climb up to the Pista Forestal gravel road and follow this until you reach the descent to the lodge.

60km. 1940m of elevation. 30% tarmac, 70% gravel.

Day 4. Route 3.

You start with a transfer to a high gravel road, just below the mountain pass of Puerto de la Ragua (2000m).

You follow this gravel road, in and out of many beautiful valleys, before descending to the lodge.

58km. 1170m of elevation. 100% gravel.

Day 5. Route 4.

You descend to the Cruz de Juviles on a gravel road and then ride west into a small valley and climb up into the woods. Then you join the Pista Forestal gravel road and ride through several valleys until you descend all the way to the village of Mecina Bombarón.

Then you follow the road to Bérchules and climb back to the lodge.

52km. 1775m of elevation. 30% tarmac, 70% gravel.

Day 6. Departure.

An early transfer to Málaga airport.

What’s Included

  • GPS routes and detailed route notes for all the rides. (Short Weeks, four days. Extra Long Weekends, three days.)
  • Daily briefings.
  • Emergency back-up.
  • Accommodation at the Pure Mountains lodge. (Short Weeks, five nights. Extra Long Weekends, four nights.)
  • Delicious food. Full board: all breakfasts, packed lunches and evening meals.
  • Beer and wine at the lodge, including Pure Mountains real ales.
  • Málaga airport transfers (pick up 16.00, drop off 10.00).

What’s Not Included

  • Flights/train to Málaga
  • Bike rental
  • Tips

Prices are based on two people sharing a room. If you come on your own, we may allocate you a room with another guest of the same sex. You can guarantee that you will have a room to yourself by paying a 20% single room supplement.

Discounts

If you do not need airport transfers, €40/£35 ‘no transfers’ discount per person.

For groups of six people, there is a discount of 60% on the price of the holiday for the group organiser. For a group of seven this rises to 70% and for eight to 80%.

Non-cyclists and 13 to 17 year olds are welcome and pay 75% of the holiday price.

Booking

Once you’ve decided on dates, contact us to confirm availability and to ask any questions you may have. We will email you a booking form and hold your places while you book flights etc. On booking, you pay a 20% deposit. The balance is payable four weeks before arrival.

Sierra Nevada Gravel Bike Tour

Sierra Nevada Gravel Bike Tour Highlights

Highlights of this unique, expertly-guided, high altitude, point-to-point gravel tour around the Sierra Nevada mountains include:

  • Epic riding on endless gravel roads, through a variety of microclimates, with views of high plains, snowy peaks and the Mediterranean sea.
  • Exploring both the north and south-facing slopes of this scarcely-visited mountain range, where you are more likely to see a flock of vultures than other riders.
  • Staying in hidden white villages, where time stands still and the stars shine brightly in deep, rural darkness.
  • Enjoying local food and wine.
  • The jewel in the crown: conquering the other-worldly Veleta Pass, at 3269 metres above sea level.
  • Riding into the captivating city of Granada, beneath the Moorish Alhambra palace.
  • While you’re riding, we take care of everything else.

The Route & The Riding

This is a challenging mountain gravel route; about 80% light to chunky gravel riding and 20% quiet tarmac/asphalt roads. The total distance is 242 kilometres, with 6830 metres of climbing. The daily distances are not huge, but there is a lot of climbing and riding at high altitude. We will be in remote areas. You need to be a fit, experienced cyclist. We recommend a gravel bike with at least 40mm tyres. A good alternative is a hardtail mountain bike.

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrival

Transfer from Málaga airport to Lanteira, an intriguing village on the north side of the mountain range. We stay in a charming hotel overlooking a gorge, on the outskirts of the village. Over dinner in the renowned restaurant, we will talk about the adventure ahead of us.

Day 2. Stage 1

From Lanteira, we ride up into the wilderness and follow an undulating gravel road, traversing forested mountainsides, with glimpses of the endless high plains to the north. At 2100m, we crest the mountain pass of Puerto de la Ragua, which leads us to the south-facing side of the range, known since Moorish times as La Alpujarra. We descend to the pretty village of Mairena, where tonight’s accommodation is a stylish take on the traditional Spanish hotel, with a great restaurant.
Distance 55km, with 1460m of elevation.

Day 3. Stage 2

From Mairena we climb up to a spectacular gravel road at 2000m. From here, we have views of the highest peaks, the Mediterranean and, on a clear day, the Rif Mountains of Morocco. We follow this road in and out of several valleys and finish at a lovely, small hotel in the village of Bérchules. We will enjoy a hearty dinner and a few drinks on the terrace.
Distance 61km, with 1590m of elevation.

Day 4. Stage 3

A gentler day today.
We climb up through Bérchules on gravel and wind our way up to 2000m and a superb view of Mulhacén: mainland Spain’s highest peak. Then we have an exhilarating and challenging gravel descent before a lovely asphalt/tarmac ride into Spain’s highest village and world centre of jamón serrano: Trevélez. Then we take a stunning gravel road into the spectacular Poqueira valley. We stay in a charming hotel in Capileira, chosen by National Geographic as one of Spain’s most beautiful villages. An early night is advisable!
Distance 48km, with 1590m of elevation.

Day 5. Stage 4

This is the queen stage!

Today we head up from Capileira, climbing gradually on tarmac/asphalt and then gravel, into the famous lunar landscape of the Veleta pass. At 3269m, this is Europe’s highest cyclable pass. It used to be Europe’s highest driveable road, but was closed to vehicles when the area was declared a National Park in the 1990s. Crossing it by bike will be a memory to last a lifetime. We then have a truly epic tarmac descent, on quiet roads, to the valley bottom. Then we climb, briefly, to the town on Güéjar Sierra and onwards to the delightful village of Pinos Genil. From here we follow the River Genil, all the way into Granada, by way of a wonderful, gently descending, gravel cycleway.

On arrival in the centre of Granada, at the Fuente de la Ninfa, we are rewarded with cava and tapas to ease our weary bodies and to celebrate the end of our amazing adventure.

Distance 78km, with 2190m of elevation.

Day 6. Departure

Transfer to Málaga airport.

What’s Included

  • Four days of professionally qualified guiding, with two guides per group.
  • 4×4 vehicle support. Your luggage is transported in the support vehicle, which is on hand to provide water, cold drinks, spares and moral/physical support, if needed. You only need to carry a day pack.
  • Accommodation in charming, rural hotels, followed by a city-centre Granada hotel.
  • Full board: all breakfasts, packed lunches and evening meals, except dinner on the last night.
  • Málaga airport transfers.

What’s Not Included

  • Flights/train to Málaga
  • Bike rental
  • Evening drinks
  • Tips

Prices are based on two people sharing a room. If you come on your own, we may allocate you a room with another guest of the same sex. You can guarantee that you will have a room to yourself by paying a 20% single room supplement.

Discounts

If you do not need airport transfers, €40/£35 ‘no transfers’ discount per person.

Booking

Once you’ve decided on dates, contact us to confirm availability and to ask any questions you may have. We will email you a booking form and hold your places while you book flights etc. On booking, you pay a 20% deposit. The balance is payable four weeks before arrival.

Dates

The Sierra Nevada Gravel Bike Tour can run in June, September and October; there is too much snow on the Veleta pass to cross in winter and spring.

As shown on the calendar, via the link below, these scheduled tours are available to book:

  • Saturday 22 June to Thursday 27 June 2024
  • Thursday 5 September to Tuesday 10 September 2024

To open a new tour, we need a minimum of four riders. If you have a group of four or more, please contact us to arrange dates to suit you.

Two Deserts Gravel Bike Tour

Two Deserts Gravel Bike Tour Highlights

Escape the gloomy northern winter on this luminous, point-to-point gravel tour of southern Spain’s Gorafe and Tabernas deserts.

Highlights include:

  • Astonishing scenery, sculpted by millennia of wind and rain, accorded UNESCO Geopark status and home of the infamous Badlands ultra bikepacking event.
  • Exploring remote, frontier-like landscapes, where many Westerns were filmed, such as The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.
  • Sleeping in fascinating cave houses.
  • Riding endless gravel roads, from valley floors to exposed ridgelines.
  • While you’re riding, we take care of everything else.

The Route & The Riding

This is a challenging gravel route; about 85% medium to chunky gravel and 15% quiet tarmac/asphalt. It’s a low-altitude tour, which makes it ideal for winter, but there is a lot of climbing and descending.  Daily averages are 65 km, with 1000 metres of climbing. We will be traversing remote, sparsely populated areas. You need to be a fit, experienced cyclist.

You can ride this route with a rigid gravel bike, but we recommend at least 40mm tyres. A great alternative is a hardtail mountain bike.

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrival

Transfer from Málaga airport to Hinojares, on the northern edge of the Gorafe Desert. We stay at a family-owned hotel on the outskirts of the village, where there is plenty of space to build our bikes over welcome drinks. During dinner at the hotel restaurant, you’ll be briefed on the adventure ahead.

Day 2. Stage 1

Pedalling out of Hinojares, we soon hit gravel. Today’s ride takes in forest, river crossings and classic Gorafe Badlands landscapes. We pass through one village today, where we resupply, before heading onto a route that traverses canyons and ridgelines. As we approach our destination, the scenery becomes more agricultural and we join a tarmac climb into the frontier-feeling village of Gorafe, which sits below an escarpment dotted with cave dwellings. We spend the night in a lovingly-restored cave. Dinner in an authentic village bar.

Day 3. Stage 2

Having slept soundly in the silence of our cosy caves, we ride the stiff climb up onto the escarpment to begin the classic Gorafe Desert route of Los Coloraos. On this cinematic 25km loop, the towering cliffs display a myriad of colours as you ride among them. Having recovered from this sensory overload, we head south towards tonight’s destination, the village of Gor, where we stay in a quaint rural guest house on the banks of the river. Dinner in a local bar.

Day 4. Stage 3

Today’s ride is mostly downhill. To begin with, we ride through ranch country and olive groves. We then join an ancient droving route which skirts the Sierra Nevada Natural Park, before arriving in the oasis village of Bentarique. We stay in a charming village hotel, notable for its colourful décor and super-friendly owner. Dinner is at a bar run by the same family, just around the corner.

Day 5. Stage 4

Today we traverse the Tabernas Desert; famous for dry riverbeds and endless sandy mesas, punctuated by towering buttes. It stands in for the American West in many film productions. It’s challenging, but rewarding, gravel riding terrain. Our destination today is the village of Tabernas. We’ll finish our ride with a well-earned beer or two in the bar of the small hotel, where we will stay the night. We’ll have our last night celebration dinner in a local restaurant.

Day 6. Departure

Transfer to Málaga airport.

What’s Included

  • Four days of professionally qualified guiding, with two guides per group.
  • 4×4 vehicle support. Your luggage is transported in the support vehicle, which is on hand to provide water, cold drinks, spares and moral/physical support, if needed. You only need to carry a day pack.
  • Accommodation in rural hotels, caves and guest houses.
  • All meals.
  • Málaga airport transfers.

What’s Not Included

  • Flights/train to Málaga
  • Bike rental
  • Evening drinks
  • Tips

Prices are based on two people sharing a room. If you come on your own, we may allocate you a room with another guest of the same sex. You can guarantee that you will have a room to yourself by paying a 20% single room supplement.

Discounts

If you do not need airport transfers, €40/£35 ‘no transfers’ discount per person.

Booking

Once you’ve decided on dates, contact us to confirm availability and to ask any questions you may have. We will email you a booking form and hold your places while you book flights etc. On booking, you pay a 20% deposit. The balance is payable four weeks before arrival.

Dates

The Two Deserts Gravel Bike Tour can run from October through to March.

As shown on the calendar, via the link below, these scheduled tours are available to book:

  • Thursday 15 to Tuesday 20 February 2024
  • Monday 14 to Saturday 19 October 2024
  • Thursday 12 to Tuesday 17 December 2024

To open a new tour, we need a minimum of four riders. If you have a group of four or more, please contact us to arrange dates to suit you.