Not cheap, but you definitely get what you pay for and I wouldn't think of doing this kind of holiday with any other company.
Showcased by the Vuelta every August, Andalusia (Andalucía in Spanish) has to be one of the best places in Europe to ride a road bike. The scenery is varied, the roads well surfaced and there are lots of beautiful climbs to be done. On this cycling holiday we explore the province of Málaga, home to several Natural Parks, the geological sculptures of El Torcal de Antequera, the gravity-defying walkway of El Chorro and the beautiful Moorish hill town of Ronda, where we spend 3 nights.
With an abundance of flights from Europe and beyond, a favourable climate, nice hotels and mouth-watering Andalusian cuisine, there are very few reasons not to come on this road cycling holiday!
This Classic Cols style holiday is lead by two exceptional guides in fully kitted-out support vehicles. Riders can cycle at their own pace, stop when they like and make each day their own. In a group of around 20 this usually means we have 3 – 4 mini-groups with similar aspirations and fitness levels who tend to ride together. We find this means that nobody feels held up, or as if they are holding others up.
It is important to us that you book the correct road cycling holiday for you, so do download and read the Trip Notes for all you need to know on how this holiday works: food, accommodation, travel and so on…
For the latest travel advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, check www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Departure Dates & Prices
We are pleased to offer some tempting discounts off trip costs (not including extras such as single rooms or bike hire):
- Book & pay your deposit more than 6 months in advance of your holiday for our 5% Early Bookers discount.
- Be rewarded for your loyalty by receiving a 10% discount from your 3rd Marmot trip onwards
- Get a group of 10+ people together for a 10% Group discount
Please note there is a maximum 10% discount on any holiday.
Day 0: Travel Day
We offer included airport transfers (a journey of 30 min) at scheduled times during the day from Málaga AGP airport to our start hotel, which is within walking distance of the historic town centre.
Full travel advice (essential reading before booking your flights) can be found in our Trip Notes.
Check-in, assemble bikes and share a hearty meal in preparation for the adventure ahead! Those of you on early flights may want to head out on the bikes to explore the Costa del Sol.
Day 1: Day ride from Málaga - Montes de Málaga Natural Park
The mountains of the Montes de Málaga Natural Park rise sharply to the north of the city. This is our playground for today! We start by climbing the Puerto del León (940m) on a spectacular road, which even does a couple of ‘loop-the-loops’ to gain altitude. The views are breathtaking and the sparse forest a delight.
Our route takes us over the Alto de Zambra (740m) from where we enjoy an undulating descent back to our hotel in Málaga.
For those wanting more, the challenge route detours over the Puerto de la Bolina (752m) and the Colmenar (695m), linking together the famous ‘white villages of Andalusia’.
Classic route: 87km with 1500m ascent [ride profile]
Challenge route: 104km with 2300m ascent [ride profile]
Day 2: Málaga to El Chorro via El Torcal de Antequera
The view from the swimming pool of our hotel in El Chorro should be enough to motivate you to get to our destination today!
Turning our back on Málaga, we climb up the Puerto de la Dehesa (570m). From here the horizon is dominated by the wind etched geological masterpiece of El Torcal de Antequera (1215m) – the highest point on our tour. Those on the Classic route will be pleased to enjoy the spectacular ride around the base of this mighty mountain over the Passo de Torcal de Antequera (950m).
We then head through Valle de Abdalajís to our hotel in El Chorro.
Here you have the option of relaxing or continue cycling up to the Mirador Tajo Encantada / Alto de la Mesa (603m). Alternatively you can also venture on a great loop over the Puerto de la Sabanilla (585m) and Puerto de las Atalayas (392m).
Classic route: 87km with 1500m ascent [ride profile]
Harder route: 112km with 2200m ascent [ride profile]
Challenge route: 143km with 3100m ascent [ride profile]
Day 3: El Chorro to Ronda
The Caminito del Rey is a walkway pinned along the steep walls of a narrow gorge in El Chorro – it has in the past held the title of most dangerous path in Europe! It is certainly no place to take a road bike, but we start the day looking up at this masterpiece of engineering.
Our destination is the historic and beautiful town of Ronda (where we stay in a town centre hotel for the next 3 nights) and we take a slightly obscure route over the stunning Puerto del Viento (1078m) to get there.
As always, there are extra options for those wanting more of a challenge. Starting the day by nipping up to the Mirador Tajo Encantada / Alto de la Mesa (603m) is a good option, as is detouring over the Puerto de los Martínez (713m) and Puerto de las Abejas (823m).
Classic route: 78km with 1600m ascent [ride profile]
Challenge route: 121km with 2600m ascent [ride profile]
Day 4: Day ride from Ronda - Puerto de las Palomas
You have the option of taking either today or tomorrow as a rest day to explore the many beautiful and historic sights of Ronda.
However, the Parque Natural de la Sierra de Grazalema to the west of Ronda is a total delight for a road cyclist looking for a good day out on the bike. Heading over the Puerto de Montejaque (774m) we enjoy a wonderful descent to the base of the challenging Puerto de las Palomas (1189m). Here you have the option of returning to Ronda or looping down to the cork tree plantations and back over the Puerto del Boyar (1111m) – certainly a challenging optional extra!
Whatever you decide to do – you are bound to be happy today! Tonight’s dinner is not included so you can explore the many fine restaurants in town.
Classic route: 81km with 1600m ascent [ride profile]
Challenge route: 136km with 2900m ascent [ride profile]
Day 5: Day ride from Ronda - Puerto de Encinas Borrachas
There are several route options today, ranging from ‘tourist’ to ‘elite athlete’! This could also be an optional rest day and there are many sights and attractions to visit in Ronda if you’d rather give the legs a break today.
Options galore, we head over the Alto de Benaoján (707m) on smooth surfaces linking together picture-perfect whitewashed villages. Here you can choose to head back to Ronda over the Puerto de Encinas Borrachas (1029m) with spectacular views, or detour further over the Puerto del Espino (780m) and the Cañada del Real Tesoro (625m). For those wanting that bit more, the Sendero El Pimpollar (700m) is a tempting addition!
Easier route: 50km with 1200m ascent [ride profile]
Classic route: 77km with 1800m ascent [ride profile]
Challenge route: 104km with 2900m ascent [ride profile]
Day 6: Ronda to Mijas
Bidding farewell to Ronda, we skirt the eastern edge of the Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park. Our route takes in the Puerto El Saltillo (885m) and the rural plains to the Puerto del Aire (950m). This is all beautiful cycling country!
From El Burgo, we continue south over the Puerto de las Abejas (823m), heading to the Mediterranean. We finish our tour of Andalusia with a glorious traverse around the base of the Sierra de Mijas to our hotel for the evening.
Those choosing the challenge route, however, must first take on the savage gradients of the Antena Mirador Benalmadena (920m) – the views are worth it!
Easier route: 85km with 1500m ascent [ride profile]
Classic route: 104km with 1800m ascent [ride profile]
Challenge route: 118km with 2300m ascent [ride profile]
Day 7: Travel Day
All good things must come to an end. We offer transfers back to Málaga AGP airport throughout the morning (30 min transfer).
For those of you on the later transfers, there is plenty to be done in Mijas and the hotel swimming pool has a particularly nice view!