Long and winding roads for cyclists in Alicante

Spring is celebrated in the Alicante region of Spain with vibrant colours. Valleys in the Jalon region turn a bright pink thanks to the almond blossom while the fallas fiesta brings vividly coloured cartoon-like characters as big as houses to the streets.  

Another flash of colour heralds the start of Spring in the region too with groups of Lycra-clad cyclists enjoying the challenge of the mountain trails or a mad dash along the flatter coastal roads. The Alicante region is a popular winter and spring destination for amateur and professional cyclists who love the climate as well as being able to pick routes to suit all abilities. The roads are also much quieter than during the summer season. 

The region has also been boosted by featuring in the Tour of Spain and the tough Valencia Region Cycling Tour, which is 827 kilometres long and has attracted top cyclists such as Tour de France winners Alberto Contador and Oscar Pereiro in the past. This winter, the bright blue colours of the Astana cycling team were very much evident in the roads in and around Calpe. A group of Norwegian trail bikers also enjoyed the challenge of the roads around Alfaz del Pi with some off-road biking this Spring.

If you are a beginner or have not ridden a bike for some time, a gentle route along the coast will get you back in the saddle. Most towns have dedicated cycle lanes to keep you safe on the roads while cycling along the seafront means you can enjoy fresh air along with great views while getting some exercise. More experienced or fitter cyclists could try a longer or circular route. 

View of the Montgo mountain from Denia

A favourite trip is to cycle from Javea to Denia over the Montgo mountain and then catch the boat from the port back to Javea. A stop for lunch in one of the restaurants in Las Marinas or the Denia marina is highly recommended while you get your breath back. Some people head for the Costa Blanca specifically to take part in an organised cycling holiday. However, it is possible to hire bikes for a day as part of your break. Spain-Holiday has chosen five favourite cycling routes.   

Up for a challenge?   

This route often forms part of the Tour of Spain and is not for the faint-hearted. This is for experienced riders with plenty of stamina who can face steep uphill climbs. It is a circular tour of 77 kilometres, starting and ending in the pretty little historic village of Abdet. Allow plenty of time because the views are stunning. You may also want to explore the mountain-top town of Guadalest, known as the Eagle's Nest with one of the most spectacular views in Spain. From the cobbled square you can look down on a beautiful turquoise reservoir formed from the Guadalest river This is a great place to stop for lunch with several restaurants serving tasty regional cuisine. The route takes you through the pretty towns of Sella, Finestrat, La Nucia and Callosa d’en Sarria before reaching Guadalest. Again, a stop at Callosa is highly recommended for the stunning Algar fountains, which are a perfect place for bathing in the hotter summer months.   

Guadalest reservoir

Coasting along by the sea  

An easier ride takes place in Denia, where you will find dozens of restaurants and bars to take a breather or enjoy a spot of lunch. This ride is suitable for most people and for families. The ride starts on the Denia via verde (green way) which has been formed from a disused railway line so is flat and suitable for easy riding. The route starts amid orange groves with fabulous views of the Montgo mountain. The path is just six kilometres long so you could go through the Pego natural park, well-known for its marshes and rice fields, to El Verger. The alternative route is to take a right about half-way along the path and head for the Las Marinas beaches of Denia.   

Feeling pink in Torrevieja 

Another via verde or green route takes place further south around the bustling coastal resort of Torrevieja. On the edge of Torrevieja are two salt lagoons, one of which is pink and the other is blue. This route takes cyclists around the pink lagoon, home to flamingoes and other wild fowl. It is also along a former railway line and is suitable for everyone, either on foot or by bike. This is a great peaceful haven for a picnic while enjoying the views of the picturesque lake. The Torrevieja and La Mata lagoons are protected because of their outstanding beauty and are classified as natural parks. They cover 3,754 acres.   

Torrevieja salt lake

Into the valley at Jalon   

In the Valencia region of Spain are several BTT centres for all-terrain bikes and mountain bikes. One of our favourites is in Parcent, in the wine-making Jalon Valley region. The Vall de Pop BTT centre is surrounded by mountains which provide popular and some challenging cycle routes. On the way, riders will pass by historic villages, farms, terraced vineyards, orchards and almond groves. There is a choice of nine routes, of varying difficulty, with a total length of 260 kilometres. 

The Jalon Valley would, therefore, make an ideal base for a cycling holiday. The easiest ride is suitable for children too at just 9.9 kilometres and goes along the countryside to the charming little village of Murla. One of the most gruelling all-day rides is 28 kilometres long, taking you up the long and winding roads in the Sierra de Bernia mountains. The views are well worth the effort and there is a very interesting restaurant and wine museum at Maserof, where you can take a well-earned rest.       

Jalon valley vineyards

Pedalling by the beaches   

Another tranquil bike ride is along the coast where you can stop at any time for a rest on the golden sandy beaches. The ride is 26 kilometres along flat roads starting at Playa de San Juan in Alicante befoe going north through El Campello and onwwards to Coveta Fuma. El Campello is a fabulous place to break up the journey as it is home to some fine seafood and shellfish restaurants. Coveta Fuma is a very pretty and peaceful village with lovely little coves for sunbathing as well as a few bars and restaurants for refreshments. You can also hop on the little cheap tram which runs every hour and will take you back along the coast to Alicante city in 35 minutes.     

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