Bienvenidos a Cordoba!
Meet at 1 pm for introductions & light lunch at our hotel in Cordoba before a short warm-up spin through our starting city! This city owes its fame to the brilliance of the Roman, Moorish, Jewish and Christian civilizations that endowed it with a rich and varied history. It was the Spanish capital from the 8th to the 11th century, and has many hidden, famous garden patios on the cobbled streets of the old city, just waiting to be explored!
Soar across a flat, fertile valley typical of the region foothills of the “sierra Morena” on a twisting road full of rolling hills, and enjoy the beautiful views of the city of Cordoba. Farms, mills and olive oil presses are scattered along the path, adding to the serene feeling of the Andalucian countryside.
Cordoba to Priego
Ride to the southeast corner of the Cordoba province, one of the biggest olive oil producer areas in the world; we’ll do an olive oil tasting in an old olive oil factory in Castro Del Rio, where we’ll also have lunch. Our destination today takes us through picturesque Andalucian towns in the Subbetica National Park, stopping to stay on the outskirts of Priego. This town overlooks the rolling hills of the mountain range, providing stunning views.
Priego to Riofrio
On the way to Riofrio, we pass through the town of Priego, famous for its Baroque architecture. We pedal through a sea of olive groves and catch sight of the various farm animals that make the region agriculturally productive; in the background we can see the Sierra Nevada. Our ride today heads through the rural countryside to Riofrio, a village whose population of 300 people appreciates the stop from visitors! Thanks to a nearby river, Riofrio has become a favorite spot for both fisherman and fish eaters.
Riofrio to Antequera
The first sighting of Antequera in the distance is that of a typical medieval town, with towers of the great Moorish fortress silhouetted against the sky. In the valley below lie rich farmlands, irrigated by the Guadalhorce River. This is one of Andalucia’s most fertile areas. In summer, its fields turn brilliant yellow with sunflowers. The town is overlooked by a crag of limestone 880 meters high called La Peña de los Enamorados, or “The Lovers’ Leap.” The name comes from a local legend about an impossible love affair between a young Christian man and a beautiful Moorish girl.
A visit through this historical Andalucian town is a journey almost 5,000 years back in time, beginning with the Bronze Age and the native Iberians. The city has a cross section of burial mounds, dolmens, Roman baths, a Moorish Castle, Gothic churches, Renaissance fountains and baroque bell towers. Enjoy a scenic and flat ride to Laguna Fuente de Piedra, Andalucia’s largest salted water natural lake, the breeding ground for hundreds of flamingos.
Antequera to Ronda
Ronda retains much of its historic charm. It is famous for its dramatic escarpments and views, and for the El Tajo gorge that carries the Rio Guadalevin through its centre. Visitors make a beeline for the 18th century Puente Nuevo ‘new’ bridge, which straddles the chasm below, for its unparalleled views over the Serrania de Ronda Mountains. Ronda is also famous as the birthplace of modern bullfighting. The Plaza de Toros also has a museum in which visitors may stroll into the arena and view pictures of Hemingway with the most important bullfighters of the time.
Today we’ll spin along a rocky limestone ridge towards Grazalema, situated in the mountain range of Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park. This is a karst region which contains a large number of limestone caverns. The Sierra de Grazalema is also home to many colonies of vultures, including a few pairs of Egyptian vultures, a species which is seriously threatened: the natural park has been declared a biosphere. We’ll return to Ronda for a relaxing stroll in town before our final celebration dinner.
After breakfast, at around 9am, we will provide transfers to the bus or train station in Ronda. We say a fond farewell, as you head home or to a new destination. Return to Seville, or go on to explore the streets of Granada and the city’s famous Alhambra – an incredible sight worth seeing. Given its popularity, we recommend that you buy tickets for the palace ahead of time, as they are typically either sold out or require standing in long lines. Check out: www.alhambra-tickets.es. We are happy to make suggestions for you post-tour travels. Hasta pronto!