La Vuelta a Espana 2014

Tour 1 - The South, Andalucia

vuelta espana 2014 cycling tour
La Vuelta Overview | Tour 1 | Tour 2

VIP Stage & Race Access! First Week
Jerez, White Villages, Ronda, Cordoba, Granada, Sierra Nevada
23rd to 30th August 2014 8 days
Fully Guided & Supported4 star Hotels & Country Retreats
Moderate / Challenging (non cyclists also welcome!) 1,999 Euros

Overview


This promises to be an incredible week of road cycling. After La Vuelta made it to the South last year after a year´s absence, it's not in any hurry to depart again. We are excited to be able to share with you our home region of Andalucia with the key stages that will have an impact on this year's race. An unprecedented mountain top finale in Granada, a team time trial, stages traversing the famed white villages and some fast roads & sierras to soar down, all in the Southern sun. It should be sizzling. You too could be here to ride and witness these fiery stages. With fewer crowds than the Tour de France, VIP race access and our expert local knowledge of the area, you are guaranteed an exciting and fun packed tour! We have options for non cyclists (partners or just enthusiasts) to join the buzz of following a grand tour but also enjoy the sights of the area.

Our journey will start from the city of Jerez, centre of the sherry industry, where we welcome you to the start of this great race. The throngs of cyclists and colour will be irresistible and a taste of things to come in this sun soaked heart of Spain.

From here, we head east for some warm up rides around the stunning sierras of Ronda and Grazalema. A natural parkland of mountains and a playland for cyclists, with stunning white villages and some of the best road cycling in Spain, battle the famous climbs like the Palomas Summit, preserve of soaring eagles. The highlight will be riding the race route and climbing the Puerto de Boyar on the big day, always thrilling with local spectators cheering you on before arriving in Arcos de la Frontera, with its flags flying and imperial Cathedral high above.

A quick turn north and we traverse the countryside to see what promises to be a fast stage finish in lovely Cordoba, home of the famous Mosque Cathedral, the Mezquita. We loop around the cool, leafy slopes of Cordoba's mountain backdrop with views of the Guadalquivir River below. Tackle some lively category climbs on the race route before arching into the city streets, lined with race lovers and atmosphere.

Enjoy this magical location before heading into the heart of Andalucía, inland Spain at its best with its Moorish heritage, curving roads and olive green landscape. Sample a stage depart to soak in the festivities of eager Pros, super bikes and thrilled fans, before pedalling into the countryside. Ride around lakes, cycling into Alhama de Granada, our home town, loved by the Romans for its enchanting gorge, thermal waters and delightful coastal mountain vistas.


Stay at the same hotels as the teams

Watch the pros ride the roads you have just ridden

However, the area´s great peaks of Spain, the Sierra Nevada await and we ride on race day the route of our local roads to Granada and a new category 1 ascent of Cumbres Verdes. This could be the first real shake up in the race and you will be there to see all the action. The atmosphere will be electric as the riders scale these roads! And we couldn´t let you go without an opportunity to ascend the most famous and highest ride in Europe, the Pico Veleta at 3398m. Are you ready?

With some fine hotels, great food and tapas, beautiful cycling routes, full van support, quiet roads, inside access to the race (including podium photos) and VIP viewing areas, we can hardly wait to be there ourselves!

Route Map


View Vuelta a Espana Bike Tour 1 in a larger map

Highlights

  • Watch 6 LIVE race stages of La Vuelta a España 2014
  • VIP Access to 3 stage finishes, viewing areas and Depart Village
  • Ride the race route as a VIP, only hours before the pros arrive. Ride to the finish line on race day!
  • Challenge yourself on famous category climbs
  • Enjoy the famous sights of Andalucia including Jerez, Cordoba, the White Villages and Granada. Options for non cyclists to spend time exploring.
  • Discover the best local roads where Cycling Country is based
  • Fully supported riding by experienced guides, including Vuelta a Espana masters rider and mix of male / female guides.
  • Fantastic accommodation, food, scenery and fun on the roads of Southern Spain - warm weather guaranteed!

Gallery

Itinerary

Our itinerary has been selected to include all the best stages of the 1st week, combined with some great cycling, sights and scenery of the area. The tour passes through dramatic mountain landscapes..not fogetting to stop in some great tapas and coffee bars.

Being fully guided and supported (with our support vans accredited to drive along the race route), you can cycle with the group or at your own pace, or even take a rest in the van! Non cyclists also welcome.

Day 1. Jerez de la Frontera, Team Time Trial

Saturday, 23 Aug 2014
We meet in the ancient Phoenician city of Jerez de la Frontera (12:00pm at the airport or 13:00pm at our centrally located hotel). This important city surrounded by regal horse farms and sherry bodegas is an imperial city of the highest order with its long and significant history. After an informal welcome meeting and some chilled drinks, we have a bike set up and squeeze in a quick ride.

This late afernoon's inaugural Vuelta stage, a team time trial, will be an explosive flash of colour in the shimmering afternoon heat of this sun soaked land. An exciting day of cycling and real Spanish hospitality, have a late evening stroll around this city's interesting historic centre in the cool twilight.

(For those arriving to Malaga Airport on the 22nd, please enquire about transfers. Come early and explore Malaga and her nearby beaches. Transfers back to Malaga at the end offered.)

Day 2. Sierras De Grazalema (Ronda), Puerto de los Palomas

110 km
After a transfer out of the bustling city, we arrive at our base, nestled in the Sierras of Ronda and Grazalema. A beautiful 4 star retreat overlooking the mountains with swimming pool, it makes for the perfect place to ride the legendary climbs of this green, national park area. We have chosen to ride an incredible area of beauty rather than a long transfer out to today's race route.

We start the morning riding through the cork forests on quiet and good tarmac roads. Our objective of the day is to head up one of the legendary climbs of Andalucía, the Puerto de los Palomas ('the climb of the doves'). Featured in La Vuelta and many local races, this is a firm favourite 'subida' of the area. Incredible views greet us at the top before we return through the Park, looping back to Grazalema. Tonight we have a group dinner together and enjoy highlights of stage 2 of the Vuelta. (Option for non-cyclists to spend the day in Ronda).

Day 3. Puerto de Boyar, Arcos de la Frontera, Córdoba

100 km
We are now ideally located to ride to the race route from our hotel. Keeping ahead of the race (we leave at breakfast!), we ride through the sierras of former banditos and Moorish princes to Arcos. With cheering spectators, ride up the Puerto de Boyar, the most significant climb of the day and one that will leave you exhilarated. Especially when you see how fast the Pros do it!

Enjoy the party atmosphere of the stage finish town of Arcos de la Frontera, with its regal town and Gothic Cathedral, flags flying high on the mount above as the Race draws up the streets. Relax in an evening transfer to one of Spain´s most beloved cities, Cordoba, where we base ourselves for the next 2 evenings.

Day 4. Córdoba

100 km
We ride from our hotel and spin through the countryside well known to the Romans and see the Guadalquivir river which Columbus sailed down. We spin up into the green hills behind Cordoba with great views of the pulsating city below to join the race route.

The stage today is a great mix of flat terrain and a couple of short category climbs behind Moorish Cordoba which we will ride. We will conquer the climb passing a small hermitage perched on the hillside and the aptly named "alto de catorce por ciento" (14% climb!). These hills are part of a chain of stunning scenery and popular with local cyclists. We then descend down to be at the stage finish to enjoy the atmosphere and our VIP area. (Option for non-cyclists to spend the day in Cordoba and meet at the stage finish).

After the race, have some free time to see the sights of Cordoba, all near to our centrally located 4 star hotel. Try a flamenco show or wander the medieval quarter admiring the ambiently lit UNESCO heritage Mezquita complex.

Day 5. Priego de Cordoba Stage Village, Alhama de Granada

120 km
A short transfer out in the morning´s cool, enjoy the fantastic excitement of the Stage Depart in Priego de Cordoba where fans, cyclists and the starting line awaits! We will have VIP access to the sign-on of the teams, the depart village and hospitality. We then mount our bikes and ride, rolling through the countryside and its wonderful routes as we enter the province of Granada.

A more relaxed ride, today we journey through the “Last Kingdom of the Moors” ending in our home town, Alhama de Granada, beloved of writers, Romans and Cyclists for its great roads and generous tapas. Tomorrow´s Vuelta makes a regular appearance through the town at 895m and so we are ready to greet the race.

Day 6. Granada, Cumbres Verdes Climb

94 km
The excitement will be building as we join the race route and ride through the awaiting crowds on our local roads towards the Sierra Nevada and its brand new inaugural run of the summit finish in Granada, Cumbres Verdes ("green summits") at La Zubia. At 1220m, this 6km ascent (category 1) will be a tough challenge for us and no doubt will cause a stir in the overall general classification. This stage is classed as the first "High Mountain" Stage of La Vuelta.

We will enjoy watching the stage finish on the summit before literally flying back down the mountain to our luxury hotel with pool for the next 2 nights in the most fascinating Andalucian city of Granada.

Day 7. Granada, Pico Veleta climb, Sierra Nevada

91 km

We take a ride out in the morning and watch the stage depart on the outskirts of Granada. We then ride back towards the Sierra Nevada, as how could you go home without experiencing one of the world´s most evocative climbs and Europe's highest paved road? This climb, a firm favourite with the Vuelta of past years and where many a race has been won and lost, is an epic. With far reaching views of the city of Granada and its monuments, spin away into the deep indigo blue of high altitude and the smell of fir trees into a cool other world of this national parkland. The ski station resort near the top is where many of the pro teams base themselves and train for the Giro and Tour de France. (Option for non-cyclists to spend the day in Granada).

Back to Granada centre (what a descent!) to enjoy the afternoon, the city, the sights and our farewell celebratory dinner.

Day 8. Transfers

Saturday, 30th August 2014
After breakfast, we say "adios" to each other before a transfer to Granada airport (arrive at 11:00) or Malaga airport/centre (for 13:00) for onward connections. Or indeed take our option to stay in Granada for a few more days to explore the city and her famous Alhambra Palace.......

...or continue with the fun and come along for our last week Vuelta 2 tour as we head North to Asturias, Galicia and the finish in Santiago de Compostela! (combined trip discount of 5% and transfers included)

Trip Details

  • Route
  • (Malaga), Jerez, Grazalema, Ronda, White Villages, Cordoba, Priego, Alhama, Granada, Sierra Nevada, Pico Veleta (8 days, 7 nights)

  • Accommodation
    • Specially chosen quality 4 star hotels and country retreats
    • all bedrooms are en-suite
    • 7 nights
  • Food
    • All 7 breakfasts and 3 dinners (including wine, beer, soft drinks)
  • Extras Included
    • VIP access to 3 stage finishes and stage village depart. This includes a private race viewing area at the finish with complimentary drinks and snacks. We will also have access to the podium for your own photo and behind the scenes areas. We work with La Vuelta organisers to ensure your VIP experience is unique.
    • Ride the race route until the finish line on race day (we have access that the public will not have)
    • Stay in some of the same hotels as the teams
    • Our vans are accredited to drive the race route - jump in for a rest if required
    • Ride with experienced bi-lingual local guides, including the sub champion of Andalucia and a Vuelta a Espana Masters rider
    • Complimentary full zip Cycling Country La Vuelta cycling jersey (choose your size when booking!) - bib shorts extra
    • Complimentary Cycling Country gifts, bags, water bottles and caps
    • Tour guide book of your route and official Vuelta race book (great souvenir)
    • Route notes, maps, profiles
    • Daily snacks and refreshments (granola bars, fruit etc and drinks)
  • Transfers
  • From arrival point at Jerez airport on the 23rd August (or Malaga airport/centre on the 22nd) and back to Granada airport, train, bus station or Malaga airport/city centre at the end of the tour on the 30th.

  • Activity Level
  • Moderate / Challenging - The tour is suitable for cyclists of all ages who have a good level of fitness and enjoy road biking - of course expect hills! There are enough category climbs and mountains for the rider who wants to challenge themselves, whilst our support van enables other riders to enjoy the trip without worrying as you can take a rest or opt out of the bigger climbs. On the longer climbs everyone can ride at their own pace. There is the option for non-riders to come along - please enquire

  • Terrain
  • Quiet country and mountain roads. Rolling countryside with longer mountain passes.

  • Bikes
  • You can bring your own road bike (we have facilities to collect and store bike boxes for the duration of the trip) or we can arrange good quality road bike hire:

    • Trek Madone 3.1 full carbon frame, compact - 220 Euros extra
    • Orbea T105 alu frame/carbon forks, triple - 145 Euros extra
    • If you do bring your own bike, we recommend a triple or compact chainset.

  • Staff
  • 3 leaders with full van support to pick up souvenirs, provide refreshments, act as guides, offer tips and insights throughout the day, provide directional signs where required, transfer luggage and provide on-road assistance. 1 or 2 guides cycle with the group. Mix of male and female guides.

Lodgings

“Man is a genius when he is dreaming.” Akira Kurosawa


Slumber like a babe, well, we certainly don´t want that on this tour, you need your energy and we know, having a young child, how babies sleep. Our hotels are a great collection of spots, keeping in mind that the days are full enough, you´ll want to be having some down time off the bike in a comfy environment.

Dates & Prices

Dates For 2014 Price In EUR  
23rd August to 30th August 2014 Eur 1,999  
Discounts for groups of 4 or more!
Come along for the Vuelta 2 tour as we head up North for all the important last 10 days visting Cantabria, Asturias, Galicia and Santiago. - combined tour discount of 5%
Single Supplement Single supplement Eur 270
*Price includes all local taxes. Single supplements apply (see individual trip details).
Please note we transact in Euros.

Enquire About This Tour

Reviews

"Thanks Geoff and Dean for a truly wonderful week in northern Spain, climbing up all the famous climbs of the Vuelta's final week, then watching the pros do them in style, from the VIP vantage point of your preferred operator, special access status. The tour of 10 days was expertly run and organised by you, accommodating all abilities with your usual skill and good humour. This is my third tour with Cycling Country and I hope there'll be more to come. Excellent local food and comfortable accommodation - add great company, knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides who are expert road cyclists themselves, and what more could a roadie want! Thanks once again"

David, Oxford, UK,

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