Home > Córdoba to Granada: Historic and Sunny Andalusia
‘Dazzling’ is perhaps the best word to describe the Spanish region of Andalusia. Nature has painted a masterpiece with an intense palette of wildflowers, shadow-dappled mountains, and patchwork fields of olive trees. Over the centuries, a wide array of inhabitants contributed their own works of art: Roman bridges, palace-fortresses(called alcazars), grand mosques, and Baroque churches — to name only a few structures!
This sun-soaked region of Spain warmly welcomes visitors year-round, but cyclists should be prepared for a challenging itinerary (and bring lots of water!). The strategic hilly or plateau-top locations of Andalusia’s cities and white villages mean more work for travelers on two wheels, but the reward is well worth the ride.
For travel and cycling tips to Andalusia, visit our "Travel and cycling tips" section.
Arrive in Córdoba at the time of your choice. Trains from Granada, Seville, Málaga, and Madrid serve the city — those are the closest airports as well. By modern standards an average-sized city, in ancient times, Córdoba was a populous capital and a center of education. With an incredible mix of structures of different eras and religious influence, Córdoba’s historic centre is deservedly a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy a stroll through the tangle of streets to begin to familiarize yourself with the unique culture of Andalucia.
Trade your city legs for your bike legs and find yourself in a vast expanse of open countryside. You may not encounter lots of traffic, but you are certain to see endless rows of olive trees! Olive oil in Spain is to wine in France — it’s a world-famous product with controlled origins. The terroir and climate of Andalucia provide a distinct flavor that features in so many of the region’s dishes. Zuheros, your destination for the next two nights, is a mountain-hugging “white village” with a Renaissance castle crowning the skyline. The views from the castle plaza are nothing short of striking!
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before heading out for a serene ride today. You can choose from several loop options, including taking in the bat caves above the villages which were once home to Neanderthals via a short but intense loop, and visiting Baena, a town famous for its olive oil production and Cabra, before returning on the via verde.
This morning, commune with nature during a ride through Sierras Subbéticas Natural Park. The rugged terrain is home to dozens of bird species and a rainbow of wildflowers; Moorish watchtowers are some of the only evidence of human settlement in the area. The town of Priego is a sanctuary of a different sort, not in the least because it offers a bevy of cafés for your lunch. Interspersed with flourished Baroque buildings are piazzas and fountains that lend a spa resort-like quality to the town. After exploring, wheel onward to the lakeside town of Iznajar.
Balance out shorter mileage with higher climbs as you ascend the hills in Poniente Granadino, the region at the western frontier of the Moorish kingdom of Granada (called Al-Andalus). Each village is worthy of exploration, but it’s up to you whether to pause or to continue on your climbs. Alhama de Granada has plenty of delights in store, from its breathtaking natural surrounds (it sits high above a gorge!) to its medieval Moorish quarter. Ease your muscles with a dip in the Roman thermal baths.
Rejuvenated after your stay in Alhama, cycle toward the Sierra Nevada mountains. Hiding in the foothills is Granada, the provincial capital. Granada boasts a fascinating mixture of Moorish and Spanish architecture, much like Córdoba. Here you’ll find the world-renowned Alhambra Palace, another exquisite example of Moorish design, and the enthralling neighborhood of Albaicín. It’s the perfect place to cap off a week of adventures!
Your tour officially comes to an end after breakfast, but you're free to stay in Andalucia on your own.
6 nights’ accommodation in 2- and 4-star hotels and inns
6 nights’ accommodations in 2- and 4-star hotels and inns