9 South­ern Spain

Bikes Etc - - TRAVEL -

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

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