Bike holidays in the Costa del Sol

Bike holidays in the Costa del Sol

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Biking in the Costa del Sol: take a holiday filled with adventure

Put on your lycra and grab your helmet! A thrilling adventure awaits you in the Costa del Sol. This is a cyclist's dream destination, with routes to suit every level. If you're an expert, you can comfortably spend hours in the saddle, taking the long, challenging trails that will lead you into the mountains and between the white-walled towns of the interior. Prefer something milder? Easy coastal trails are ideal for tackling with the whole family.

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Why choose the Costa del Sol for a bike trip?

The Costa del Sol boasts stunning natural beauty, charming traditional villages and year-round sunshine. There are main reasons why it's a great destination for cyclists, but two, in particular, stand out. First, it has a wide diversity of landscapes. On a multi-day cycling tour of the Costa del Sol, you can be riding your bike along the seafront on one day and go high into the mountains the next. Secondly, the weather is mild most of the year. With temperatures that rarely drop below about 15°C even in winter, and very little rain, you'll have year-round opportunities to hit the trails.

Where are the best places to go cycling in the Costa del Sol?

Keen cyclists will have plenty to choose from when looking for holiday lettings in the Costa del Sol. Almost the entire coast is covered by the Senda Litoral, a 170-km trail. It's primarily intended for hiking in the Costa del Sol, and in the high season some areas do not permit bikes. However, most of the trail is cycle-friendly, with a mixture of dirt paths and paved bike lanes. If you'd like to go cycling inland, consider staying in a major hub like Málaga city or Marbella. Both offer easy access to cycle routes.

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Cycle trails to suit everyone

Málaga to Mijas

This is one of the most scenic routes in the area, an 85-km loop that will see you ascending 1,534 m. The toughest part is the 5-km climb to Repetidor de Mijas, during which you'll gain 500m. At the top, you'll have some of the best views in the region. On a clear day, you can even see North Africa, on the other side of the Mediterranean. Take a rest and enjoy the views before heading back down - and watch out, as the descent can be made trickier by the presence of rocks and branches. This is a moderately difficult ride. Around Torremolinos, you will briefly have to cycle onto a road with cars.

Marbella to El Juanar

Here's one for the pros. If you want a challenging bike trail in the Costa del Sol, try this 34-km trip into the mountains. You'll need to gain 300 m of altitude in just 1 km, a challenge for even experienced cyclists. This is a lovely route that takes you from the upmarket resort of Marbella into the Ojen Mountains. Most of the trail is wooded, in a Mediterranean forest of oaks and pines. The highlight is arriving at the Mirador de Juanar, a scenic lookout point which features a monument to the Iberian Ibex.

El Torcal

Head a little way inland for this mountain bike route in the Costa del Sol. You'll start from the town of Antequera, a historic settlement nestled in the mountains. The steady ascent will have you gradually going uphill over 15 km. It's not too taxing, and it includes stunning views across a Jurassic landscape of prehistoric limestone rock formations. If you like, you can extend the ride to the tiny town of Villanueva de la Concepción with its picture-perfect white-walled houses.

Marbella to San Pedro

Many of the routes of the Senda Litoral are ideal for families. They're flat, and there are plenty of places to stop along the way if you get tired. You'll never be far from a restaurant or a shop, and there are lots of seaside views to admire. This is one of the nicest routes, as it gives you quite a bit of variety in just 17 km. You'll see the luxury marina area of Puerto Banús, packed with expensive yachts, before moving on to San Pedro Alcántara. This traditional fishing village has a completely different atmosphere, and you'll often see small fishing boats out on the water. Stop here for lunch at a beach bar before heading back.

FAQs: Bike trip in Costa del Sol

What's the best time of year to go cycling in the Costa del Sol?

Avoid the summer months. Not only are they too hot, with temperatures regularly reaching 30°C, but the Costa del Sol is very crowded. Many of the best bike routes have no shade, so heat can be a real problem. Instead, most cyclists come to the Costa del Sol between October and April. Temperatures are mild (with lows of 13°C on the coldest days of winter), and there is pleasant, year-round sunshine.

Will I need to share the road with cars or pedestrians?

If you are following the Senda Litoral, you'll find some areas without dedicated cycle paths, where you must share the trail with pedestrians. This is another reason to avoid the Costa del Sol for cycling in the summer. In the quieter months, it's less of a problem. Most of the best cycling routes follow either off-road trails or very quiet roads, where cars are not common. You will usually be able to find routes that do not involve sharing the road.

Where can I rent a bike in the Costa del Sol?

There are bike rental shops in almost every tourist town in the region. Prices tend to start from around €12 - €15 for a standard road bike and go up to €50 or more for a sophisticated mountain bike. You can often get discounts if you book for several days or a full week.

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