As I stand here in a bustling tapas bar in the old town of Granada in southern Spain, my mind is working hard to process the adventure that’s just passed. Riding through the rich fabric of this tantalizing country that revolves entirely around spending time with family and friends, sharing great food, and a “coppa” at every opportunity is an experience not to be missed.
Over the past eight days we have circumnavigated the Sierra Nevada mountain range; eaten tapas in Granada town; had dinner with a local family in their hotel, washed down with wine grown on the hotel grounds; climbed to the highest town in Spain; pedaled through whitewashed mountain villages; slept in a luxury cave; and ridden some of the most sublime singletrack in Europe.
On arrival we transferred to our first accommodation on the flanks of the Sierra Nevada mountains, where we set about building our bikes and getting to know our new team over a couple of beers, with a backdrop of the world famous “Alhambra.”
Day one started with the perfect introduction to Spain, as we rolled out of town at around 9am in the shadows of the Sierra Nevada mountains, weaving our way through almond groves, until we turned uphill, and Boom! the sun had breached the ridge to bathe us in warm morning sunlight. We climbed through trees on singletrack, punctuated by the occasional short descent, for around two hours until we popped out above tree line, where we all stopped and took in the view without saying a word to each other.
After a short lunch on the ridge, consisting of local sausage, bread, oranges and chocolate, we set about tackling our first real descent of the tour. I could go on about this, but instead I’ll let your eyes go to work on the pictures and allow your imagination to fill in the details…
Each day, this adventure kept on delivering the wide-eye and big-grin moments that mountain biking gives you when you’re exploring new territory:
But riding is only half the story of a new destination, and this mountain biking adventure is certainly no different. Along the way, we enjoyed a healthy slice of cultural experiences, food, journeys, and encounters with the locals:
With such rich experiences, we were left not wanting each day to end, which meant we stayed out in the hills late into the evening sun. On the last night before returning to Granada, we couldn’t pull ourselves off the hill before the very last sliver of light was left in the sky… which made for an interesting descent!
So after a great week of trails, cultural interactions, food, and vistas, it was time to head home to share so many stories of an unforgettable mountain biking adventure in southern Spain.
Hasta la próxima!
This mountain bike circumnavigation of the Sierra Nevada mountains in southern Spain was delivered by H&I Adventures. They specialize in hand-crafted mountain bike adventures around the world, and Spain is their latest exciting offering.
Website – www.mountainbikeworldwide.com
Tour web page – www.mountainbikeworldwide.com/bike-tours/spain
Toll-free – 1-888-228-50-35
Dates: Be the first to ride this new tour October 18th-25th, 2014. 2015 dates also available.
Price: $2,210 per person