Biking Adventure in Spain


What does it need to make a biking adventure of 1,300 km and 11 days possible? Well, 3 crazy guys, 3 bikes, a tent and a lust for an adventure.

The Master Plan

Sooooo with my age already beginning with the number 3, I finally realized my wish of traveling by bike. My friends did it a few times in the past, but I always had the misfortune of not being able to join (bike crash 1 week before departure date, being on a different travel trip,...). The whole trip was quite a coincidence and happened quite spontaneous, but that's how I usually do stuff. While being back "home" in Slovenia for the Easter holiday's, I met with a friend (Klemen) for coffee and it turned out, he and another friend (Domen) had just booked tickets to go to Spain for a biking trip and asked if I had the time to join them. Well, as luck would have it, I did have quite some overtime / vacation days to use, so I agreed to join.


OK, enough horse manure, here is our master plan:

- 2.5.2016 - Fly from Trieste to Valencia (Ryanair) and spend the night at the Ibis airport hotel, due to late arrival (23:55).

- 3.5.2016 - Start biking from Valencia to Granada.

- 5.5.2016 - Arrive in Granada.

- 6.5.2016 - "Attack" the Pico del Veleta (highest road in Europe).

- 7.5.2016 - Start biking back from Granada to Valencia.

- 13.5.2016 - Fly back from Valencia to Trieste.

 

You might be wondering, why only 3 days to get to Granada and then 7 days to get back. Well, the weather forced our hand a bit, as it was predicted that on Friday, 6.5.2016, the Sierra Nevada mountains would have acceptable weather conditions and we decided it would be the best day to take on the mighty Veleta climb (as it happens sometimes, the forecast was naturally wrong).

 

Biking Adventure in Spain - let's go
Biking Adventure in Spain - let's go

 We were planning to mostly sleep in a tent, with the exception of Granada, where we booked an apartment in order to be able to leave most of our stuff behind, when climbing Veleta. The "famous" cold and rainy Spanish weather would force our hand in spending two more nights in apartments along the way.

 

Furthermore, we decided that rather than find official camps, we would just find a nice little spot along the road and make it our "hotel room" for the night. We made sure not to leave any trash behind (sometimes, we even took more with us, when we left) and that we would avoid private property. In addition, we figured that the odds of our bikes being stolen were higher in an official camp, as opposed to a remote place in a forest, where no one usually goes :)

Biking Adventure in Spain - the 3 crazy guys
Biking Adventure in Spain - the 3 crazy guys

Although, we made efforts to travel as light as possible (obvious fact is obvious), we made a conscious decision to each pack a "luxury" item, that is not essential, but a nice to have. With that in mind, Domen took a wok pan and a coffee maker (can't start a day without some good old coffee), Klemen took three glasses (made of glass, because, who wants to drink from a plastic cup) and I took three plates (made of plastic - I know, what a looser). We never used the plates and two glasses suffered a tragic accident and did not make it home... Other than that, we only took the barre minimum of clothes, bike repair tools & spare parts and sleeping equipment (tent, inflatable mattress and sleeping bags).

Our route

The distance in km measure is an educated guess, since non of us had the "bike computer" and we sometimes did not take the optimal route, which ended up in some extra km. 

 

Day 1:

Route: Valencia airport --> Requena --> Casas-Ibáñez --> Albacete (camping)

Distance in km: 200 km

 

Day 2:

Route: Albacete --> Alcaraz --> Puente de Génave --> Úbeda (camping)

Distance in km: 200 km

 

Day 3:

Route: Úbeda --> Jodar -->  Guadahortuna --> Granada (apartment)

Distance in km: 140 km

 

Day 4:

Route: Granada --> Pico del Veleta --> Granada (apartment)

Distance in km: 80 km

Note: Due to weather conditions (cold, rain, snow on the road) we were unable to reach the very top of Veleta. We made it to about 2500m, where we enjoyed the nice foggy view while drinking tea in a small coffee. A small tip: take the alternative route a bit south of the "normal" A395 road. Granted, it does get quite steep every now and then, but the scenery is amazing.

 

Day 5: 

Route: Granada --> Quéntar --> Guadix --> around 25km before Baza (camping)

Distance in km: 140 km

 

Day 6: 

Route: around 25 km before Baza --> Baza --> Huéscar (apartment)

Distance in km: 80 km (rainy day)

 

Day 7: 

Route: Huéscar --> Caravaca de la Cruz --> Jumilla (camping)

Distance in km: 160 km

 

Day 8: 

Route: Jumilla --> Yecla --> Alcoi (apartment)

Distance in km: 100 km

 

Day 9: 

Route: Alcoi --> El Castell de Guadalest --> somewhere along the road (camping)

Distance in km: 60 km

 

Day 10: 

Route: camping site --> Pego --> Oliva --> Gandia --> (camping)

Distance in km: 100 km

 

Day 11: 

Route: camping site --> Valencia Airport

Distance in km: 36 km

Biking Adventure in Spain - Requena: Lunch break in front of Lidl :)
Biking Adventure in Spain - Requena: Lunch break in front of Lidl :)

Closing Thoughts

The whole experience was very positive, I really enjoyed "logging off" and just spending the whole day on the bike or chilling somewhere in nature - the scenery was really amazing and some mountain passes were just biking perfection. The roads where we traveled were in amazing shape and very wide, so biking was a pure pleasure. We did not encounter a lot of traffic, but when that was the case, the drives showed a lot of respect for us. We were, however, quite surprised by the relatively low temperatures (especially during the night) and we did not have the best of luck with the weather, as only the first two and last two days were really sunny. But, on the other hand, maybe cycling in scorching heat would be much harder. In addition, it was quite often windy and as usual, it was not blowing from behind :)

 

If you are considering traveling by bike, stop thinking and just do it. It is a really splendid way to travel and you will not be sorry. Just remember to pack light and have fun!

Biking Adventure in Spain - camping near Albacete
Biking Adventure in Spain - camping near Albacete
Biking Adventure in Spain - stunning landscape
Biking Adventure in Spain - stunning landscape
Biking Adventure in Spain - beautiful landscape
Biking Adventure in Spain - beautiful landscape
Biking Adventure in Spain - beautiful landscape
Biking Adventure in Spain - beautiful landscape
Biking Adventure in Spain - a typical Spanish town
Biking Adventure in Spain - a typical Spanish town
Biking Adventure in Spain - Conquering the top of Pico del Veleta
Biking Adventure in Spain - Conquering the top of Pico del Veleta
Biking Adventure in Spain - Conquering the top of Pico del Veleta
Biking Adventure in Spain - Conquering the top of Pico del Veleta
Biking Adventure in Spain - Conquering the top of Pico del Veleta
Biking Adventure in Spain - Conquering the top of Pico del Veleta
Biking Adventure in Spain - Embalse del Canales
Biking Adventure in Spain - Embalse del Canales
Biking Adventure in Spain - the Team
Biking Adventure in Spain - the Team
Biking Adventure in Spain - Stunning landscape in Andalucia
Biking Adventure in Spain - Stunning landscape in Andalucia
Biking Adventure in Spain - Stunning landscape in Andalucia
Biking Adventure in Spain - Stunning landscape in Andalucia
Biking Adventure in Spain - stunning landscape
Biking Adventure in Spain - stunning landscape
Biking Adventure in Spain - Embalse de Quéntar
Biking Adventure in Spain - Embalse de Quéntar
Biking Adventure in Spain - Stunning landscape in Andalucia
Biking Adventure in Spain - Stunning landscape in Andalucia
Biking Adventure in Spain - Huescar
Biking Adventure in Spain - Huescar
Biking Adventure in Spain - Shelter from the rain before Jumilla
Biking Adventure in Spain - Shelter from the rain before Jumilla
Biking Adventure in Spain - Camping in the bush near Jumilla
Biking Adventure in Spain - Camping in the bush near Jumilla
Biking Adventure in Spain -
Biking Adventure in Spain -
Biking Adventure in Spain -
Biking Adventure in Spain -
Biking Adventure in Spain - Cooking risotto
Biking Adventure in Spain - Cooking risotto
Biking Adventure in Spain -
Biking Adventure in Spain -
Biking Adventure in Spain - stunning landscape
Biking Adventure in Spain - stunning landscape
Biking Adventure in Spain - stunning landscape
Biking Adventure in Spain - stunning landscape
Biking Adventure in Spain - coffee brake in Pego
Biking Adventure in Spain - coffee brake in Pego
Biking Adventure in Spain - Oliva
Biking Adventure in Spain - Oliva
Biking Adventure in Spain - Oliva
Biking Adventure in Spain - Oliva
Biking Adventure in Spain - Sunset moments near Úbeda
Biking Adventure in Spain - Sunset moments near Úbeda
Biking Adventure in Spain - Embalse del Cubillas
Biking Adventure in Spain - Embalse del Cubillas

Thanks to Domen Bizjak (Ustvarjalnica Spominov) for the stunning photos! Check out the Go Pro video too:


What has been your best biking adventure so far? Let us know in the comments below! 


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