Love Spain 2018 Cycling Tour

Please check out the daily details of our Love Spain 2018 Cycling Tour itinerary from September 14-23, 2018 below.  The route across the scenic Andalucia region in southern Spain is 430 kilometers long over five cycling days, which averages out to 86 kilometers (53.4 miles) per day.  Although stages are relatively short, most days will involve substantial climbing.  Anyone with a moderate level of fitness should be able to complete the trip.  Road bicycles are strongly recommended.  For more technical details about the trip, consult the blog for occasional updates.  We will be staying in historic, luxury "Paradores" most nights.     Each registrant's fee helps us pay for a half scholarship for a Rivas Light and Life Cultural Center student and participants are encouraged to raise the half scholarship match ($360).  Participants who wish to do so can stay on for six more nights from September 23-29 and join up on September 23 in Seville with participants in the Love Spain 2018 Vision Trip at a reduced combined cost.  To download a summary sheet of the Love Spain 2018 Cycling Tour, click here

 
 
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Itinerary

 
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friday, september 14

All participants need to fly into Madrid, Spain - arriving early afternoon at the latest, if possible.  We will do all airport pickups and transport you to the Holiday Inn Express Rivas where you will be staying for two nights.  We will organize a late afternoon / early evening tour of Madrid followed by a group dinner  with introductions, discussion of the overall organization and schedule of the event followed by a "Love Spain" campaign presentation.  


Saturday, september 15

We will be staying in Rivas Vaciamadrid for the day to get involved in activities in conjunction with the Rivas Light and Light Cultural Center.  You will have a chance to meet some of the students and we will plan a variety of community activities including a possible community "fun ride" on bicycles on nearby roads.  We will plan an evening pool party and "paella" dinner at the home of Peter Clark, a long-time Rivas Vaciamadrid resident.  

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Sunday, september 16

We will depart Madrid early by car for the four-hour drive to Cordoba, where we will stop to tour the ancient city center, visit the old mosque (now converted to a church) dating from Moorish occupation times, eat lunch and continue on for another 2.5 hours drive to the southern coastal town of Cadiz, where we will stay on the beach at the lovely Parador de Cadiz.  The old town is a short walk from the hotel.  The warm air and the Mediterranean breeze should get everyone in the mood to begin cycling the following morning.  


monday, september 17

Our first day of cycling takes us inland from the coast at Cadiz for 80 kilometers to the Andalusian town of Arcos de la Frontera.  The route is relatively flat until a short final climb at the end up to the town center.  Arcos de la Frontera is the westernmost of the Andalusian "white villages" with most building painted white so they remain cool in the summer heat.  Our hotel, the Parador de Arcos de la Frontera, has a good view of the valley below.  To download a Google Maps route map of the day's cycle, click here.  To view and download the Strava route, click here.  To download the Strava cue sheet, click here.

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tuesday, september 18

Our second day of cycling takes us from Arcos de la Frontera into the mountains for 87 kilometers and about 1,500 meters of net climbing to the town of Ronda.  Our hotel, the lovely Parador de Ronda, sits on the edge of a ravine with a view of the famous clinging homes.  To download a Google Maps route map of the day's cycle, click here.  To view and download the Strava route, click here.  To download the Strava cue sheet, click here.


wednesday, september 19

Our 105-kilometer third day of cycling continues eastward as we wind through the interior of Andalusia until we turn south and more downhill to the coastal city of Malaga where we will stay at the Parador de Malaga Gibralfaro with its view overlooking Malaga's bull ring and harbor.   To download a Google Maps route map of the day's cycle, click here.  To view and download the Strava route, click here.  To download the Strava cue sheet, click here.

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thursday, september 20

Our short, 52-kilometer fourth day of riding will hug the south coast eastward from Malaga to our destination at the beachfront Parador de Nerja in the beach resort town of Nerja.  This short distance and relatively flat route will give us more time to enjoy the beach and save up strength for the "queen stage" the following day.  To download a Google Maps route map of the day's cycle, click here.  To view and download the Strava route, click here.  To download the Strava cue sheet, click here.


friday, september 21

Our 106-kilometer fifth and last day of cycling takes us along the coast eastward from Nerja until we turn inland and north near the town of Motril and begin a long climb up to Granada.  This will likely be the hardest cycling day of the trip, though the climb is not excessively steep even as you are going from sea level to above 800 meters in elevation.  Our lodging for the evening will be at the Parador de Granada within the grounds of the magical Alhambra palace.  In the evening we can celebrate successful completion of the cycling route with a live flamenco presentation inside a nearby gypsy cave.  To download a Google Maps route map of the day's cycle, click here.  To view and download the Strava route, click here.  To download the Strava cue sheet, click here.

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saturday, september 22

In the morning, before checking out of our Parador, we will take a tour of the buildings and grounds of the Alhambra - an unforgettable must-see tour.  After checking out of the hotel and lunch, we will drive three hours westward to Seville to our lodging at the  Hotel Las Casas de la Juderia located in Seville's old Jewish quarter.  The hotel has a rooftop pool with a view of Seville's famous cathedral.  All major sites are within walking distance.  Everyone will enjoy this stunning city - the capstone of the trip!    


sunday, september 23

Alas, all good things must come to an end.  Seville's airport is near the hotel and morning departures from Seville conveniently connect with international overseas flights out of Madrid and other European cities.  We hope you will have had an unbelievably spectacular experience and we will be grateful as you contribute significantly to the "Love Spain" campaign.  Participants who wish to do so can stay on for six more nights from September 23-29 and join up in Seville with participants on the Love Spain 2018 Vision Trip, at a reduced combined cost.  Participants on the Vision Trip should arrive in Seville on Sunday evening and will join cycling tour participants staying on in Seville at the Hotel Las Casas de la Juderia for one more night.  

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Registration and Payment

 

Stay tuned.  We will be updating this soon (by December 20, 2017) with full registration and payment details so you are easily able to register and pay for the Love Spain 2018 Cycling Tour.