For cyclists who crave the chance to spin through challenging, hilly terrain while enjoying authentic, passionate Spanish culture, Andalucia is a dream destination for a biking tour of Spain. The country’s southernmost region is the focus of Ciclismo Classico’s Andalucia Precioso, a 9-day journey for intermediate cyclists. Here are five reasons why we think Andalucia rocks:
1. Respect for The Land – Twenty percent of Andalucia is comprised of nature reserves interspersed through the mountain ranges for which the region is famous. It is impossible to be bored spinning through Andalucia’s natural parks with their mix of limestone formations, ecological diversity and historic small villages.
2. Crossroads of Civilizations – Sitting on the Mediterranean Sea north of Morocco, Andalucia has long been a gateway between Europe and Africa mixing Arab, Christian, Roman and African influences. The 8th century marked the beginning of five centuries of Islamic rule. Our Andalusian adventure starts in the hub of ancient Muslim power Cordoba, where we get our first taste of the captivating Moorish architecture that will turn heads throughout our journey.
3. Totally Tapas – In Spanish, tapa means "lid" or "cover" in Spanish. No one is totally sure why the small dishes that Spaniards enjoy along with wine and Sangria in early evening are called “tapas.” Was it because folks used to “cover” their wine with a piece of flat bread or King Felipe III wanted to cut down on public drunkenness thus required food be served with alcohol? Andalucia, filled with olive groves, vegetable farms and ranches, serves up a bounty of fresh ingredients for tapas (the perfect post-ride indulgence).
4. Flamenco – Andalucia is the birthplace of flamenco, the colorful, staccato style of song and dance now popular all over the world. “Flamenco” means flamingo in Spanish. There are four facets to flamenco - cante (singing), toque (guitar playing), baile (dance) and palmas (handclaps). Warning: Our guests have been known to get into the rhythm and you will too.
5. Pink Flamingos – After a night in the medieval city of Antequerra, we ride to the Iberian peninsula’s largest natural lake, home to the second largest pink flamingo population in Europe. How many times do you see hundreds of flamingos on your rides back home? Laguna de Fuente de Piedra is also a haven for over 170 other species of birds.