The Sierra Nevada, a snowy ridgeline spanning 80km in southern Spain, is one of our favourite all year round cycling destinations. With Granada resting in its foothills, the Andalusian mountain range boasts the highest road climb in Europe. Climbing to the brooding summit of the Pico de Veleta (3,380m) on your bike is a unique experience. All mountain ranges must start somewhere, but few places have access to over 3,000m so abruptly or theatrically on their doorstep. After your days exploring the deserted roads of the Sierra, spend evenings experiencing the old Arab quarter of Granada. From the allure of the Alhambra to the lively bohemian cafes and flamenco bars, this Moorish pocket of Andalusia is the perfect antidote to a hard day in the saddle.
Day 1: Arrive in Granada
We recommend a morning flight. After arriving you will be met and transferred to your chosen hotel in Granada. You will have time to build your bike (or pick up your hire bike) and grab some lunch. In the afternoon you will have time for a warm-up ride through the orange groves to the West of the city.
Day 2: Parque Natural Sierra de Huetor
This ride loops firstly south and then circumnavigates the Parque Natural Sierra de Huetor. Riding across the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountians, the backdrop is spectacular. Leaving Granada, you climb upwards for a solid 30km to the village of Tocon. From here the good news is that you are doing more down than up. We recommend coffee at La Peza (km 40). From here you skirt round a lake and through typical Andalusian scrub and farmland. Iznalloz is an ideal stop for lunch and then from here it is under 40km back to Granada.
Day 3: The Pico de Veleta
This ride is an out and back to the most famous mountain in the area, the Pico de Veleta. The climb summits at over 3000m, and few places offer the unique experience that climbing from Granada to the peak provides. The abruptness and theatre of the climb will not be lost on you. For 43 km you climb, this is after all the highest road in mainland Europe. A time of 3 hours will put you in the top ten for Strava but expect a time nearer 4 hours! After all your hard work, take a selfie, turn the bike round and whizz back down to Granada for a well-earned drink. Towering above the Sierra Nevada national park the Pico de Veleta stands at 3395 metres above sea level and is mainland Europe’s highest main-road climb. Perhaps not carrying the allure of some of the other high peaks in Europe, the Pico de Veleta still offers a huge challenge to anyone that wants to tick the biggest mountains of Europe off their bucket list. Climbing into the Sierra Nevada on your bike is a unique experience. All mountain ranges must start somewhere, but few places have access to over 3,000 metres so abruptly or theatrically like when climbing the Pico de Veleta from Granada.
Day 4: Departure day
There is one final cafe run around the lanes of Granada before we transfer you back to the airport. We recommend you get an afternoon or evening flight. If you want to extend this trip, this is possible.