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8GS Pueblos Blancos of Andalusia

Thursday, October 21, 2021 | Ursula Peter / Michael Kreuzmeir | Edelweiss Bicycle Tours

Thanks ladies for a wonderful week. We hope to see you again!

Ursula and Michael

Day 1: Arrival in Granada

We start with the highlight - Granada. The Moorish royal castle Alhambra, a sight of world fame, lies beautifully against the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada.

The bikes are charged, the ladies arrived, tomorrow morning we are off - stay tuned!

Here is a brief information about the Covid situation for those who hesitate to travel. Spain was hit hard by the first wave of the pandemic, had the hardest lockdown in Europe and learned quickly from it. The vaccination rate is 82%, the highest in Europe, and public life is almost as it was before the pandemic.

 

The Alhambra at night.
Carolyn and Tamara at a guided tour inside the Alhambra.

Day 2: Granada to Antequera

We started out at perfect weather. Olive trees, veggie gardens, ups and downs, beautiful route, perfect scenery. 

Die Temperaturen sind perfekt zum Radeln. Wir verlassen und die Stadt und es beginnt die typisch andalusische Landschaft - Olivenhaine soweit das Auge reicht. Weite Felder mit allen Sorten von Gemüse. Die Arbeiter freuen sich über einen Plausch.

The first picture for the girls at home.
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Almonds - really huge ones and delicious!
Big veggie fields - that's broccoli.
Tamara is making new friends. Always good when you speak the local language. These guys sitting around the plaza have a lot of stories to tell.
After 105 km and 4.800 ft in elevation we finally made it! Carolyn and Tamara and the fortress of Antequera in the background.
Inside the hotel - the parador Convento la Magdalena.
Convento de Magdalena - our first parador
In the Torcal Naturalpark of Antequera welcoms you this impressing Hotel in Roman style. The old monastery from the 15th century has been carefully renovated. Vaults and frescos are original. The restaurant is excellent and you get disturbed by nothing else than the singing of the birds.

Day 3: Antequera to El Chorro

Let's go south. One of the most impressive geological Rock Formationen in Europe is the plateau El Torcal. The forces of weathering chiselled bizarre sculptures from the porous limestone. From the visitor center It is a few minutes to Mirador Las Ventanillas with views to the Costa del Sol. We cycle along three large reservoirs and a part of the Caminito Del Rey until we leave the canyon at El Chorro.

Ready to go - in Front of the parador Convento la Magdalena.
Beautiful clouds drifting over the mountains in the morning.
Really impressive rock formation.
On clear days you have a good view to Costa del Sol and Malaga.
View of the rock formations at the top of El Torcal.
El Torcal
One of the not so well know White villages Valle de Abdalajis.
You better don't get lost with the Van.
Our Hotel Gargantael Chorro.
View from the terrace of La Garganta del Chorro Hotel. It seems to be a short day - 56 km - but we had 4.500ft in elevation.

Day 4: El Chorro to Ronda

A perfect day that can hardly be topped. Sunrise is starting later and later, which is why we had a relaxing breakfast until half past nine. The sun was shining and dipped the Garganta del Chorro in a wonderful morning light. Perfect for taking pictures. A freshly paved, winding road took us along the dam to Ardales. 

In El Burgo we could hardly get enough of the delicious tapas. The Tapas were helpful, because the climb to Puerto del Viento is exhausting. Ronda can be seen from far away and we will spend 2 days here.

Gargantes del Chorro and parts of the Caminito del Rey. Some guys are already hiking.
Along the fertile Guadalhorce Valley, shortly after the village of El Chorro, we come across one of Andalusia’s geographical wonders. The Garganta del Chorro is a gorge, in some places a mere 30 ft. wide, which was carved into a 600 ft. sandstone cliff by the river. It can be seen best on the Camino del Rey, a wooden walkway along the cliff, The entire path was constructed at the beginning of this century for the construction of the hydroelectric power plant. For the inauguration, the Spanish king came especially for a visit to see this architectural masterpiece. From then on, the adventurous path got the name "Caminito del Rey", the King's Path.
Climate change has also reached Spain. The water reservoirs are nearly empty. It hasn't rained since March
Oh boy! If you want to go up you have to peddle like crazy! The view is awesome though!
Ardales
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In El Burgo we had a break. It was only with the Moors that the political and economic upswing of the area began.  After the end of the Caliphate of Cordoba (1031), the area became part of the Taifa Kingdom of Seville. In 1485, an army of the Catholic Monarchs conquered the place. Reconquest is called "reconquista" in Spanish and it is an important part of the local history.
10 Tapas later we were on top of the Puerto del Viento.
We made it!
Ronda - Puente nuevo.
And on top the Parador.
La Reina Viktoria Hotel in Ronda.

Day 5: Restday Ronda

Today there will be a surprise for our ladies on this special tour which is not part of the normal tour program.

Yes - we went to Gribraltar!
In the year 1713 with the contract of Utrecht, the steep rocky peninsula of Gibraltar became British property. Today, the rock is visited by 4 million people each year, mostly for toll free shopping. Many of Gibraltar’s attractions are linked to its strategic location. Half way up the rock sits the dungeon of a Moorish castle from the 8th century. It is still a prison today. St. Michael’s cave and the monkeys are part of the Upper Rock Nature Reserve.
To enter the peninsula of Gibraltar you have to cross the air strip. If a plane is landing or starting they just close the barrier and you have to wait like on a traffic light.
Suddenly you feel like being in Great Britain.
Going up with the Gondola to the Upper Rock.
Europe's only wild primate population has chosen a beautiful spot. At the very top of the Rock of Gibraltar, they look out to Spain, as well as Morocco. A magnificent view. The monkeys are quite cheeky. The animals live free and do what they want. However, food is provided for them, probably also so that they do not come too far into the city.
The Strait of Gibraltar connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Atlantic Ocean and is of great importance for the military. Therefore, there was a long back and forth of dominions, forced relocations during the Second World War and even today Gibraltar has a special status in many respects.
Point of Europe
What a dinner!
The Puente Nuevo at night.
Sleep well! We will have a big climb tomorrow.

Day 6: Ronda to Grazalema

Unfortunately, we have to leave beautiful Ronda. But more highlights are to be expected. The white villages of Andalusia! Zahara de la Sierra is a picturesque village nestled on a mighty rock on the northern edge of the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park. Above the village is the ruin of a Moorish castle. We drive across the Puerto de las Palomas, the pass of the pigeons and reach the next white village. Grazalema is said to be the most beautiful of them all.

shortly before Zahara de la Sierra along the water reservoir
Mulino di Vinculo - an oil mill with fantastic olive oil
picture taken by a nice Gibraltarian
a steep and long climb up to Puerto de las Palomas
we made it
a delicious picnic is waiting for us
Wow
the Plaza of Grazalema
now you know why they are called - pueblo blanco

Day 7: Grazalema to Arcos de la Frontera

On small roads we cycle through the Sierra de Grazalema to El Bosque. Small houses built of natural stones line the streets. El Bosque is located at the gate of Sierra Grazalema National Park. Arcos de la Frontera, our destination for today, is situated on a steep cliff. Several Moorish arches – arcos - span the narrow streets. Our hotel for tonight is a Parador in the middle of the old town.

Beautiful flowers in Grazalema as we leave town.
Our first climb of the day: Puerto del Boyar on the way to El Bosque.
Pretty staircases in Algar.
The pedestrian area was mostly covered to spend some shade for the siesta.
Tamara and Carolyn enjoying their lunch in El Bosque.
Fruits can be found almost everywhere.
Stopping at the Embalse de Guadalcacín resorvier for a quick picture.
What a pretty view!
We made it to Arcos de la Frontera!
The last stretch along the Río Guadalete to the hotel.
Almost there!
Arcos de la Frontera is considered the "Capital of White Cities in Andalusia".
A view from above down to our Parador right on the cliff.
Birds must have amazing views like this all the time.
The arches of Arcos.
Carolyn went exploring after a power nap.
They couldn't celebrate Easter because of Covid so they did it tonight. Celebrations went on until 2 o'clock in the morning
Inside the parador hotel.
Sunset in Arcos.
And Arcos at night!

Day 8: Arcos de la Frontera to Sevilla

We are about 40 km from Jerez de la Frontera. Jerez is the city of sherry. Names like Sandeman and Tio Pepe are now known around the world. One could spend a whole week here - the Moorish fortress from the 13th century, the Christian cathedral, museums and tapas bars, sherry tastings and much more could be discovered.

Wir sind ca. 40 km von Jerez de la Frontera entfernt. Jerez ist die Stadt des Sherry. Namen wie Sandeman und Tio Pepe sind mittlerweile weltbekannt. Hier könnte man eine ganze Woche verbringen - die maurische Festung aus dem 13.Jh, die christliche Kathedrale, Museen und Tapas Bars, Sherry Verkostungen u.v.m.  wären zu entdecken

What is it? Who knows?
Best coffee on tour and some ginger bread.
Cotton fields.
Stonework on a plaza in Jerez.
Small and beautiful alleys of Jerez.
We made it safe and sound all the way to Jerez on our e-bikes! So much fun!
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Add a comment Rate this post
Sarah
Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at 10:45

What a great blog - you immediately want to go there too
Ursula Peter
Thursday, October 21, 2021 at 17:48

Hi Sarah,
thanks for your comment. We really appreciate it.
Ursula
Claudia
Monday, October 18, 2021 at 20:30

Hallo Ursel, Hallo Kreuzi,
tolle Bilder, sieht super aus!!!
Liebe Grüße
Claudia
Ursula Peter
Thursday, October 21, 2021 at 17:48

Hi Claudia,
die Tour ist echt wunderschön und Spanien um diese Jahreszeit ein Genuß.
LG U
Barbara
Friday, October 15, 2021 at 15:23

Was für herrliche Bilder! Ihr alle im Sommeroutfit, während wir in Österreich die Winterjacke ausgepackt haben. Genießt es..! Liebe Grüße aus Tirol
Ursula Peter
Friday, October 15, 2021 at 16:42

Hallo Barbara,
Das machen wir. Das Wetter ist herrlich, die Strecken sind toll. Bis auf die späten Abendessen würde Dir die Tour sicher gefallen.
Ganz liebe Grüße
Ursula
Sarah
Friday, October 15, 2021 at 05:37

I'll take the Blue House, the Beach and the Bike!
It might snow tonight
Ursula Peter
Friday, October 15, 2021 at 08:15

Come over we have 25 C, sunshine and a nice pass to go over today.
Tamara
Thursday, October 14, 2021 at 18:10

Thanks Ursula and Michael - What a fun outing on British soil
Sarah
Thursday, October 14, 2021 at 16:00

Ahhh... so jealous! There should be more pigs on this trip. Looking forward to some good pictures.
Ursula Peter
Thursday, October 14, 2021 at 18:35

Miss Piggy we all miss you!
All the best
Ursula

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