Spain gain Have some fun in the sun

MCN - - This Week In MCN -

Good rides in Spain aren’t hard to find – any­thing on a map of the Ibe­rian Penin­sula that seems to be wig­gly will prob­a­bly turn out to be con­structed from the same stuff they use on race­tracks, and it’ll look and grip like they laid it a week ago. Added to that it’ll more than likely run through some stun­ning land­scapes, dot­ted with ro­man­tic ho­tels set in an­cient cas­tles, and come with enough sun­shine to recharge your bat­ter­ies for a year. This par­tic­u­lar four-hour trip north along Spain’s bor­der with Por­tu­gal is dif­fer­ent from the usual Span­ish rid­ing routes be­cause it’s not an ob­vi­ous north-south run – a more clas­sic path would take you round to the east of Madrid. But if you’ve man­aged to get as far south as, say, the Jerez GP, then

‘Stun­ning land­scapes, dot­ted with ro­man­tic ho­tels set in cas­tles’

mak­ing your way up to Seville and from there to Bada­joz is as good a way as any of wind­ing up a few days later at the ferry in Bil­bao or San­tander. The ride starts on the EX-110 north from Bada­joz and even­tu­ally winds up to­wards the town of Al­bur­querque, perched on the top of a hill. Get­ting lost in the nar­row side streets is fun, but pick up the EX-110 again north, head­ing for San Vin­cente de Al­can­tara. The road un­du­lates through dusty, red­dish Span­ish scrub, then skirts San Vin­cente. Once on the CC-91 you’ll pass through the Sierra de San Pe­dro moun­tains. Even­tu­ally you pick up the EX-117 to­wards Al­can­tara. The run down into Ci­u­dad Ro­drigo is a gen­tle un­wind and for the per­fect some­where to stay, the lo­cal Parador, set in a 14th cen­tury cas­tle, is as good as it gets.

Dry roads, sun­shine, stun­ning tar­mac (oh, and some sen­ery)

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