Explore Spain by bike. Are you up for the challenge? If your passion is cycling, pack your panniers. The long distance bicycle tourism routes in our country provide an opportunity to experience a thrilling adventure sport. Here we offer you some of the main long-distance routes you can cover by bike while you enjoy some of the rich landscapes and villages of Spain.
The St James Way is also a unique experience by bike
Experts say that the routes of the St James Way are a perfect way to start out in cycle tourism. They are well signposted with the famous yellow arrows and there is a network of hostels and accommodation where you can rest at the end of each stage and with all the necessary services along the route. If we add to that the possibility of discovering the monumental, natural and gastronomic wealth of different regions of Spain and sharing experiences with people from different parts of the world. What more could you ask for? There are many options to choose from, although the most popular is the French Route, providing you with 750 kilometres to pedal from Roncesvalles.
The Silver Route: from Seville to Gijón
Those who have done it before highly recommend it. This historical route, which follows the layout of an old Roman road, crosses Spain from south to north, from Seville to Gijón. The Silver Route has more than 800 kilometres that pass though Andalusia, Extremadura, Castile and León and Asturias, with a stunning variety of meadows, valleys and mountain areas. What’s more, it passes many villages and tourist destinations that you can visit along the way, such as Cáceres, Plasencia, Béjar, León and Oviedo. The cycle route is divided into 12 stages, with options to cover them either by mountain bike or by road bike. There is also a special passport available which you can get stamped at local town halls and tourist information offices and which enables you to benefit from discounts at hotels, restaurants and adhered establishments. On this website www.larutaenbici.com you can find all the information you need on the different stages with maps and tracks, as well as the services available (workshops, accommodation, rental companies, etc.).
The Ojos Negros Greenway: from Teruel to Valencia
The Vías Verdes (Greenways) network is another popular alternative for enjoying a spot of cycle tourism in Spain. The longest route to date is the Ojos Negros Greenway. This 167.5 kilometre route starts off in the town of Ojos Negros (Teruel) and ends in Sagunto (Valencia). It follows a former mining railway track and is split into two stretches, although it is recommended that you take it at a leisurely pace over a few days. On the route towards the agricultural regions of Valencia it passes through the Jiloca valley, the Javalambre mountains and the Palancia valley through tunnels, over bridges and viaducts, and close to cities, such as Segorbe and Teruel, whose Mudéjar architecture has been declared a World Heritage Site.
TransAndalus: tour of Andalusia by mountain bike
The 2,000 kilometres of this circular route can be done at any time of the year thanks to the great climate, and they give you the chance to admire the extraordinary natural beauty of southern Spain. The TransAndalus route mainly goes along tracks and cattle tracks, passing through all the region’s provinces, and visiting protected natural areas like Cabo de Gata, Sierra Nevada, Sierra de Cazorla and Doñana, to name a few. In fact, 35% of the route passes through places with some kind of environmental protection. What’s more, the route has been created by local cycling enthusiasts, who know the best tracks in each area. As the route is a loop, you can plan where you want to start or just do the stretch that appeals to you the most. On the following website www.transandalus.org you can find information on the stages, maps and tracks for GPS.
The Way of El Cid: a literary journey on two wheels
Literature and sport are combined in this route through the places related to El Cid Campeador, the famous Spanish knight who appears in the medieval Poem of El Cid. The journey starts in the town of Vivar del Cid (Burgos) and goes to Orihuela (Alicante). The road cycling option covers a total of 2,000 kilometres, divided into several themed routes of between 60 and 360 kilometres that are interlinked. The mountain bike alternative covers approximately 1,485 kilometres, split over seven stages of between 49 and 313 kilometres, which are also connected. On the website www.caminodelcid.org you can find detailed information on maps, services and tracks. What will you find along the way? World Heritage monuments like Burgos Cathedral, many castles and fortresses, small villages and historical sites as well as unique nature spots, such as the Gallocanta lagoons and the Alto Tajo Natural Park.
Transpirenaica: from the Mediterranean sea to the Cantabrian sea via the Pyrenees
The Transpirenaica route is an itinerary of some 800 kilometres that goes from Cabo de Creus (Girona) to Hondarribia (Gipuzkoa) crossing over the southern slope of the Pyrenees, passing beautiful mountain towns and villages and spectacular scenery along the way. In 1985, the GR-11 long-distance footpath was officially approved and since then it has been signposted with the habitual red and white markings. The cycling version of the route usually departs from the town of Llançá, although there is no official map and the alternatives vary depending on whether you are travelling by road bike or mountain bike. Late spring and summer are the best times to embark on this trip which has become a bicycle tourism classic. However, it is a demanding and difficult route and is only recommended for experienced cyclists in good physical condition.