Ahh España… the place of sunshine and solace where many Brits flock to each year on their holidays to lap up the sun and gorge on the delicious food, winding down whilst surrounded by wonderful views.
Spain has been a popular British tourist destination for many years, which is no surprise given how easy it is to get to and the envious Mediterranean climate. However, sunbathing with a drink in hand isn’t the only way to experience this wonderful country; in recent years, cycling tours have risen in popularity, becoming a unique and enjoyable way to explore all the beauty and joy Spain has to offer.
Below are some of the reasons why cycling holidays in Spain have risen in popularity and why you should consider one for your next holiday.
Bike Holidays in Spain: The Location
When people think of Spain, many will immediately picture inviting blue waters and sandy beaches, but the Spanish landscape has so much more to offer. From rustic mountains to endless countryside, deep gorges and alluring lakes, the scenery will leave you in awe wherever you go.
You could enjoy the enchanting city of Seville, taking in the sweet smell of blossoms as you walk under their famous orange trees, before setting off on your cycling tour alongside the turquoise waters of the Guadalquivir River, passing through fields of sunflowers and olive groves, through rich woodlands and across luscious foothills as you make your way through the region of Andalusia, famous for its dazzling pueblos blancos (white villages).
If you wish to experience a mix of culture and countryside, the trail from Burgos to Rioja is ideal. You can admire historic architecture at the start of your journey, later going on to cycle down some quiet country lanes surrounded by vineyards, finishing with a little tipple from the wineries in Rioja.
No matter what you want to see, cycling tours are the perfect way to explore various Spanish locations without compromising on the things you wish to see and the places you wish to go.
History & Culture
From scenic landscapes to historical landmarks, Spain is home to some fascinating pieces of architecture that are rich in both culture and narrative.
When visiting such a fascinating country, it would be a shame not to enrich your holiday by immersing yourself in and appreciating the culture that they boast. Spain is very much rooted in Roman influences, as well as being heavily associated with Catholicism.
One particular historic landmark that is most definitely worth visiting is the Sagrada Família. The Sagrada Família is perhaps one of (if not) the most famous landmarks in Spain; located in Barcelona, it combines three architectural styles (Spanish Late Gothic, Art Nouveau and Modernista) and (what further makes it interesting) is yet to be completed. It was designed by Antoni Gaudi and construction began in 1882, which slowed down after Gaudi’s death in 1996, and is expected to finish in 2026 – marking the centennial of Gaudi’s passing.
This is just one of the many landmarks you can see on one of the many road cycling holidays in Spain, which allow you to admire the larger and more popular landmarks and places of significance in the country, as well as those that are more remote and lesser known, which are the ideal places to partake in traditions with the local people.
Tapas, paella and churros are all widely known for being key features of Spanish cuisine, but these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the flavours you could delight your taste buds with.
Spanish cuisine has been heavily influenced by Roman, Jewish and Arab tradition, with all of these impacting the ingredients and spices used in Spanish meals today, as well as the ways in which they cook their meat and fish. Of course, this means that there are different food traditions across the different regions you visit within Spain, giving you the opportunity to try many unique flavours.
Some traditional dishes you should try on a trip to Spain include:
- Gazpacho – a traditional and refreshing tomato soup, served cold and traditionally drunk out of a glass or served in a special bowl.
- El arroz negro – a black seafood risotto dish in which the rice has been prepared with squid ink, originating in Catalonia.
- Garbanzos con espinacas – for any vegetarians or vegans, this simple but hearty Spanish style spinach and chickpeas dish is a must to try when in Seville or Andalusia.
Another reason as to why cycling tours in Spain are so popular is because all accommodation is arranged for you and included in the package as a standard, rather than at an extra price.
Furthermore, you will not simply be staying overnight in low-rated B&Bs or hostels, but an array of quality-service hotels and holiday residencies, unlike anything you may have experienced before.
For example, you may be staying in 4-star hotels, rural hotels and even some Paradors – these are luxury hotels that are located in National Heritage properties, which are both monumental and historic, often allowing you to learn more about the history and culture behind the location in which they’re in. Paradors can be either historic or modern buildings, though many are considered in themselves to be works of art.
Not only will you be staying in fantastic accommodation, all of which has been arranged for you and inclusive of the cycling tour package that you buy (saving you the time and money involved in trying to organise accommodation at multiple destinations yourself), but breakfast is also included with all of these. This saves you extensive planning before your trip, whilst maximising your comfort during it.
Cycling Tours in Spain: The Cycling
Though it’s true many people go on holiday to relax, unwind and do nothing, just as many will be sitting on the plane journey en route to their destinations already willing themselves not to ‘let themselves go’ too much, whilst others simply prefer to be more active on holiday and explore their surroundings.
One of the reasons that cycling tours are so popular is because they take both relaxing leisure and healthy activity and harmoniously combine the two.
Cycling tours are a great way to stay active on holiday without feeling like you are participating in strenuous exercise. The fantastic views, brilliant locations to explore and the comfortable stays between each bicycle journey are effective in distracting you from the fact that you are exerting yourself, whilst filling you with a sense of accomplishment after each leg of the journey.
Not only that, but you will be benefiting from the numerous benefits cycling has to offer, such as:
- A boost of endorphins
- Exercising multiple muscles in your body
- Increasing sleep quality
- Reducing risks of cardiovascular disease
Most cycling tours are also available with varying difficulties, meaning people of all abilities can enjoy both the delight of travelling through Spain and these health benefits at the same time – this also makes them very popular with families!
Meeting New People
Whether you travel as an individual or with your family or friends, cycling tours are a great way to meet like-minded people.
Many people who go on cycling tours in Spain go to meet fellow cycling enthusiasts who also have an interest in the Spanish landscape and culture. As well as meeting new people who are also partaking in the cycling holiday, you will meet plenty of new local people along the way, who can share their language, culture, cuisine and stories with you.
Unless you regularly travel in your free time or as part of your job, it is not often that you get to interact with people from different countries. This can be such a special and bonding experience that allows you to see the life of and perspective from people from other cultures outside of your own. Spaniards are especially known to be friendly and inviting, and will be more than happy to converse with and entertain you on your trip.
Ride Like the Professionals
Unlike riding down your local country lanes or taking your bike into work, booking a cycling holiday in Spain will make you feel like you’re one of the professionals.
Cycling along a pre-planned route with a group of other cyclists, surrounded by amazing architecture and beautiful scenery, will feel as though you’re cycling in a Grand Tour – your very own Vuelta a España, just with a relaxed nature instead of a competitive one.
Hooked on Cycling
If you’re planning on taking your next holiday in Spain, consider going on a cycling holiday with Hooked on Cycling & Walking.
We offer a number of destination bike tours in Seville, Catalonia, Andalusia and more with pre-planned routes and itineraries. All of our Spanish cycling tours are self-guided with accommodation and breakfast included at each stage of the trip, along with luggage transfer, allowing you to enjoy your cycling journey to the fullest.
Alternatively, we also offer walking tours for those who are looking for something less intensive or who simply would rather hike than cycle.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about the tours we have available.