Spain’s best summer bike rides
As the weather warms up, here are some of the best routes in Spain for enjoying your summer on two wheels.
1 Be a pilgrim on wheels
The pilgrims’ route of Camino de Santiago is perfect for bike rides, being dotted with picturesque villages at which you can stop along the way. Some of the most famous stops along this 770km route between Navarre and Santiago include Villafranca del Bierzo (in León), whose cuisine is known for its peppers and its DO (Denominación de Origen) wine, and Puente la Reina, a village in Navarre that is famous for its <tortetas>, which are similar to blood sausages. For the best experience, ride with a group or partner and, in July and August, avoid being on your bike during the midday sun. And to make it easier to organise your plans, you can even send your bike ahead of you to the starting point.
2 Keep it shady
The multitude of valleys and oak forests in Navarre make it possible for to enjoy cycling safe from the sun. Very close to the French border, the route starts off at Albergue Mendilatz, in the heart of one of the most spectacular beech forests in Europe: the Irati forest. You’ll cover nearly 70km through the towns of Ollokia, Abodi and Berrendi in about five hours. In addition, if you’re a fan of mountain biking, consult the Centro BTT, where you can find out about the 16 bike routes available in the area, ordered according to their degree of difficulty.
3 Discover Alicante’s hidden landscapes
There’s nothing like exploring a little-known area in the province of Alicante on your bike. The route through the Marjal de Pego-Oliva nature reserve – a huge wetland covering more than 1,200 hectares between the towns of Denia and Oliva – will delight cyclists, with 30km of the path running between natural springs and along the rivers Bullens and Racons. It’s smooth enough to be suitable if you’re travelling with children. To freshen up when you finish, visit the source of the Font Salada hot springs, which are suitable for bathing.
4 Experience tranquillity in the Costa Brava
The region of Empordà, in the north of Girona, is known for its laid-back lifestyle, natural wonders and cultural riches. If you choose the Rosas-Laguna de Vilaüt route, you’ll enter the Dels Aiguamolls nature reserve, a picturesque area with olive tree fields and vineyards. Once you’ve crossed that, you’ll reach the village of Vilajuïga, where we suggest you enjoy a wine tasting and discover the local Empordà DO. Complete the trip with a visit to the Teatro-Museo Dalí in Figueres – it’s the capital of the Alt Empordà region and the birthplace of the father of surrealism.