By Liza Ellis
Spain is home to some of the best bike tracks in Europe, and it’s fast becoming one of the most popular destinations amongst the international cycling community. The weather is ideal throughout much of the year, with plenty of sunshine and relatively little rain. And the Spanish countryside is beautiful, with rolling hills, sun-dappled forests and dramatic mountain scenery.
Best of all, Spain has an excellent network of cycle paths and routes, making it easy to explore the country on two wheels. Whether you’re looking for a challenging climb or an easy ride, you’ll find plenty of options in Spain. No matter which part of the country you choose to explore, it’s always useful to travel armed with some top tips. Here are three things to bear in mind when planning your cycling holiday to Spain.
Timing is everything
Particularly for an active holiday, the time of year you decide to go will have a huge bearing on your overall experience. Travel in the wrong season, and the elements could all but ruin your cycling adventure. But what specifically is the wrong season?
Where possible, it’s generally best to avoid visiting in July and August if you’re planning to spend most of your time on the saddle. At this time of year, the whole country will be contending with extremely hot and dry conditions, and you can expect average highs of 30°C. Perfect for a beach holiday, but perhaps less conducive to long days battling the elements on two wheels.
However, with proper preparation, it is still possible to enjoy a cycling holiday in Spain during the summer months. If you’re heading to the Spanish tracks at this time of year, make sure to meticulously plan your routes, and be sure to take enough water and nutrients. It’s also advisable not to cycle on your own – you’ll always be safer in a group, so if you’re a solo traveller, consider visiting at other times of the year .
Research the routes
Spain is a cyclist’s dream, with a huge variety of routes to explore. But long before you strap on your helmet, it’s important to research which will be best suited to your ability and
preferences. From the mountainous Pyrenees to the flatlands of Andalusia, there is something for everyone.
For those looking for a challenge like no other, the ascent of Alto de l’Angliru is a must-do. You’ll be faced with an average gradient of over 10% during this near-eight-mile climb, making it one of the hardest in Europe. For those wanting to take it easy, the Camino de Santiago is a popular choice. This network of routes covers over 800 kilometres, and takes riders through some of Spain’s most beautiful scenery. Whichever route you choose, you are sure to have an unforgettable experience.
Preparation is everything
Whether you’re planning a week-long tour of the Spanish countryside, or a day-trip to the Costa del Sol, there are a few things you’ll need to do to prepare. Firstly, you’ll need to make sure you have the right gear for the trip. A good pair of cycling shoes and a helmet are essential, and you might also want to invest in some weather-resistant clothing.
If you’re going to be attempting some of the more testing routes, then you’ll also need to prepare yourself. A little training at home before your holiday can go a long way to ensuring you can get the most out of your time on the Spanish tracks, making for a more enjoyable experience.
With a bit of preparation, you’re guaranteed to have a great time on your Spanish cycling adventure.