Lucena – Granada
The classic route through the center of Andalusia
This tour is an excellent choice if, in a few days on the bike, you would like to see and experience much of what Andalusia has to offer. With the starting place, Lucena, being easy to reach from either Málaga, or Seville via Córdoba and given that the tour takes under one week, it can serve perfectly as the centerpice of your holiday in the region.
Underway, you’ll see rugged sierras, picturesque villages and a palette of the beautiful Andalusian countryside, with Mediterranean nature, the ‘sea of olives’ and the fertile valley of the Genil river. You’ll arrive to Granada in the best possible way: on your bike with the Sierra Nevada as backdrop.
The afternoons-evenings will be just as enjoyable as the rides. You’ll walk through the lovely countryside around Zuheros, discover the pleasant parks, alleys and hidden courtyards of Priego or just relax at a nice square or a terrace with great views.
Classic Andalusian landscape of hills covered in olive groves and craggy sierra's
'Via Verde' cycle path and quiet roads weaving their way through the landscape
Guided visit to olive mill in a splendid location among the orchards
Overnights in three of the most beautiful villages in Andalusia
End in Granada, with its atmospheric Albaicín quarter and stunning Alhambra
Each Sunday (day 1 in itinerary) March to May and mid-September to November
Mostly hills, with some flat and moderately mountainous terrain.
Good hotels in cities, villages and countryside. All with en-suite facilities
- 110km (69miles) Tarmac
- 40Km (25 miles) Via Verde cycleway on former rail track
- 5km (3miles) Unsurfaced lanes
Arrival in Lucena
Lucena is easy to reach by public bus from Málaga (1 hr 20′, aprox. € 10 p.p. see alsa.es) or Sevilla via Córdoba (to Córdoba by train, see renfe.com, then bus Córdoba – Lucena: 1 hr, aprox. € 8 p.p. see autocarescarrera.es) Besides on-line, you can buy the tickets in the stations before departure. Our hotel in Lucena is at a 10 minutes’ walk from the bus station. Alternatively, a taxi costs about € 90 from Córdoba or € 110 from Málaga.
Lucena lies in the middle of the ‘sea of olive trees’, as the landscape of endless hills covered with olive groves is known. This town has a rich heritage of Moorish and Jewish architecture, and the same vibrant atmosphere in its squares and bars as Málaga or Seville, only with locals instead of tourists.
15 miles/25 km 180↑m to Zuheros
The route starts with a fairly short and easy ride, perfect to get into the rhythm of the tour. It goes almost entirely on the ”Vía Verde del Aceite’. This cycle path on a former railway features many bridges providing for smooth cycling over river valleys and ravines. Your destination is a former traditional Andalusian country estate with great views on the surrounding landscape.
In the afternoon-evening there is a great walk to be done (about 3 hrs plus stops, eating): it goes up through a gorge and descends to the picture-card village of Zuheros, a nice place to relax and have dinner. The day can be wrapped up by walking back to the hotel on the Via Verde, at the enchanting hour between evening and night.
22 miles/36 km 580↑m to Priego de Córdoba
Today’s stage begins easy, just continuing along de Vía Verde between the sierra and the olive groves. Then it’s uphill for a very scenic ride through the craggy Sierras Subbéticas. The little back road twists and turns past rocky slopes and hidden valleys. This area was for centuries the border between the Muslim kingdom of Granada and Christian Spain, which explains the sight of several ancient watchtowers on top of hills.
Priego de Córdoba is a beautiful little town. It has many buildings, churches and monuments of interest and, even nicer, it retains an old-fashioned, provincial atmosphere. But before exploring Priego, a short taxi ride in the afternoon takes you to a guided visit of an olive mill splendidly situated among the groves, including a tasting of their top-quality olive oils. You’ll be back in Priego with plenty of time for dinner, after which, a walk at night through its narrow alleys, pretty squares and quiet parks is quite enchanting and the perfect rounding of a wonderful day.
21 miles/34 km 740↑m to Montefrío
A demanding stage, as you ride over the jumble of high hills in the center of Andalusia. You climb and descend amid the olive groves, with sometimes almond and pomegranate trees along the road. Given the limited milage, just take your time, stopping regularly for a breather with views and, for a change, maybe doing some bits of walking and push-bike if a slope turns shortly from cheeky to mean.
Destination is Montefrío, a very picturesque village with two remarkable churches and nice terraces for a laid-back evening.
35 miles/55 km 470↑m to Granada
Today’s cycling starts uphill to cross the last bit of sierra in our route. After a bit keeping altitude and enjoying the views, there comes a long descent into the wide valley of the river Genil. From village to village in this valley, it is a varied and entertaining ride. You’ll see the daily life of the locals while crossing the villages and then, again through the fields, you’ll pass poplar groves, reeds along river and canals, and diverse vegetable plots.
After going through the historic town of Santa Fé, where in 1492 the Christian army were camped during the siege of Granada, the arrival into the city is memorable: along the Genil river, with the high mountains of the Sierra Nevada as backdrop.
After breakfast, our part of your holiday ends.
If not departing from Granada airport, there are several busses per day to Málaga or Seville, and from their bus stations, there are good connections to their airports.
It takes about 2 hrs 30′ to Málaga and 3 hrs to Seville. See www.alsa.es
Price per person, on double room basis: € 630
- 5 nights hotel accommodation
- 3 x buffet breakfast and 1 x continental breakfast
- Route description in English, maps and GPS tracks. All sent digitally to your e-mail address.
- Luggage transport
- Telephone assistance
Excluded: all items not mentioned in ‘included’ above
Options and supplements
- Rental bicycle, trekking hybrid…………………. €120
- Rental e-bike …………………………………………. €190
(both rental prices include drop-off Granada)
- Supplement for single room ……………… €190
- Extra nights quoted upon request
Rental bikes delivered with one panier, small handlebar bag, repair set, pump and lock. If not bringing your own, you can buy a helmet from LucenaBikeCenter (start of the route) from € 60
This offer is covered by the STO Garant guarantee.
You can find the conditions for this guarantee scheme on STO Garant’s website (www.sto-garant.nl/en/downloads)