9 Southern Spain
You want guaranteed sun on your cycling break? Southern Spain can do you guaranteed sun on your cycling break. In fact, go in September and you can expect probably a little too much sun, with temperatures hitting 29°C/84°F. Even by December, those highs are still tickling 18°C/64°F. What is the riding like in this part of the world, though? In Granada, you have the Sierra Nevada mountain range which appears regularly in the Vuelta a España and includes such notorious climbs as Alta Hazallanas, a 17km wall with inclines of 20% in places. If you want somewhere a little more ‘out there’, why not consider the Almería region? The most southeastern province on the Iberian peninsula is so hot – it gets just 25 days of rain per year – that few people live here, so the roads through this remarkable land are often completely traffic free. And it is a remarkable place, boasting one of the few deserts in Western Europe – the Tamaras where much of Lawrence of Arabia was filmed. And yes you can cycle through parts of it if you want. If you fancy something less extreme but no less exhilarating there’s also a number of spectacular coastal routes to follow, not least through the Cabo de Gata Natural Park, where the jagged volcanic landscape tumbles down into the brilliant blue of the Mediterranean.
FLIGHT TIME: 2hrs 45 PRICE: Flights from approx £125 return to Almería MORE INFO: andalucia.org