DAY 1 : Malaga – Almuñecar
Elevation gain: 600m
This trip starts with an easy ride along the shoreline called Costa del Sol. Leaving Malaga take road N-340 through Pedregalejo and El Palo parts until you reach the village La Cala del Moral, all the while you can combine promenade and small track next to the main road.
Generally, the first part to the city of Nerja is a flat ride between coastal villages. Full of classic Spanish culture and with plenty of bars & apothekas. Nerja is just half way so it could be a target for a stop with refreshment. Beautiful views from its balcony and a nice atmosphere in the center just above some cliffs, makes this place unique throughout the year.
From this point, still on N-340, we leave civilization behind and a beautiful winding coastal road takes us along and above nice natural cliffs, an example of how was the shoreline before we made the sandy beaches for the lazy people. An undulated ride to Almunecar, one of the oldest cities on the peninsula, founded in IX century B.C. by Phoenicians as a city of Seksi. And now the first day is over.
DAY 2 : Almuñecar – Granada
Elevation gain: 1900m
The second day is basically only one climb, but a really amazing one. 8 kms to the small village of Jete is a flat section to warm up, then comes an ascent to a pass called Collado de los Poyos (1276 m. a. s.). First a beautiful hill 24km long between rocks, later pines and dry rocks again. Finally, you will reach 1300m of altitude, having all the time for nice views around and back over the sea!!! All this on the quiet road A-4050. Take enough water though, there aren’t many sources.
Once you reach the summit, keep on to theT-junction with GR-3302 direction village Jayena. Probably the highest point of the day, but not of the trip. Views over Sierra Nevada and downhill to Granada are coming. Being closer to Granada, there is a better possibility to get a refreshment, especially close to the city of Otura.
Last section is more or less an entrance to the city of Granada through all of the surrounding villages and industrial parts, not as nice, but topped by amazing views over the mountains!!!
DAY 3 : Granada – Veleta Peak – Guejar Sierra
Distance: 100km or 80km
Elevation gain: 2800m or 1900m
Royal stage of the whole trip, concerning the elevation for sure. Even views from 3000+ must be always impressive.
This is the longest climb you can do and even the highest point you can reach on an asphalted road in Europe (OK, there can be a discussion of if the last section is considered asphalt due to the hard weather conditions).
There are two different ways of how to climb to the top. The easiest way is to ride over main road A-395 from Granada direction Sierra Nevada Ski Station / Pradollano. From this point you still keep on up to the point called Hoya de la Mora, which is about 2500 m.a.s. There is an end area for car access and the rest can only be ridden on bike up to the peak. From this point, the road has a quality according to the elevation and weather conditions, but still a beautiful one!!! Enjoy!
Generally, there are more ways to reach peak Veleta, such as over Monachil (road GR-3202) or over Guejar Sierra (road GR-3200).
All the way up, there are many restaurants and bars to get a refreshment or a regular meal, up until 2500 m.a.s., where the last snack can be bought. During the last part, you have to carry everything with you, but the views and the descent are worth the climb!!!
DAY 4 : Guejar Sierra – Alhama de Granada
Elevation gain: 1000m
After a climbing stage in the mountains, comes a relaxing undulated ride over small and beautiful hills towards Malaga Province.
Crossing Granada city it will be a bit busy, as always, but later on you will face majestic peak Maroma (2062 m.a.s.), a natural border between both Granada and Malaga Provinces. In the village of Ventas Huerta, take the direction towards Alhama de Granada and start climbing the main hill of the day. Nothing special in comparison to the previous day, but even this gradient is amazing. The descent towards lake Embalse de Bermejales is nice and the views are even better. Turn left to ride towards village Arenas del Rey, another option to get a snack before the final section.
Keep on towards Alhama de Granada, and at km 75 you will reach a small lake with a spa. This hidden place is called El Ventorro. A nice location to stay overnight for those less interested in the rush of the city of Alhama, even though it is quieter than Granada proper. But if you want, there are the last 5 km to reach Alhama de Granada. Its history, beautiful location & historical buildings will impress everyone.
DAY 5 / Alhama de Granada – Malaga
Elevation gain: 1300m
Last day is a beautiful undulated track between all the hills of the northern part of Malaga Province, topped by absolutely impressive downhills to the centre of Malaga, the queen of all hills for locals, from pass Puerto del Leon.
From Alhama de Granada take old road to Zafarraya to ride between fields and behind the range of mountains called Sierra Tejeda. Nice views and short hills greet you during the whole day. Coming closer to Zafarraya, you will observe the mighty hole, pass Boquete de Zafarraya. Just in front of this pass turn right to a proper village, Zafarraya and Loja. Behind this village starts a steady and easy climb to reach the highest point of the day, an 1120 m.a.s.
The descent between peaks and fields with views over a small plateau, Depresión de Alfarnate, which you will enter later on. In 7 kms comes a crossroad, so take the first left to follow A-4152 direction Colmenar. A good undulated road at the bottom of mountains offers views over hills and the shoreline too. There is one restaurant on the road, if it is closed, you can enter one of the villages to find some snacks, then keep on going for Colmenar in another 20km.
In Colmenar are many more bars to be refreshed before the last section along the N.P. Montes de Malaga. The last 32 km of which 20 km are downhill, sounds great!!! When you reach pass Puerto del Leon / Fuente de la Reina, you can get another snack, enjoying those unforgettable views over the huge bay of Bahia de Malaga. The cycling trip is almost over, just the last descent, but a really nice one!!!