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Spain: Andalusia, Córdoba & Granada

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Engage all your senses on this bike tour through Spain’s Andalusia region as you travel from checkered fields of orange and olive groves to historic cities and whitewashed villages.

Guided Biking

  • Daily Mileage: 18 - 45|
  • Biking: 2 - 5 hr|
  • Group Size: 22
4.8 out of 5 stars.
Activity Easy/Moderate
Easy / Moderate
E-Bikes Available
E-Bikes Available
Airplane
Air Package Available
People
Guided Group Tour

Starting From

10-day Bike Vacation + Air Package

$3,995

7-day Bike Vacation Only

$2,995

Per person, double occupancy

Spain: Andalusia, Córdoba & Granada

Your bike tour in Spain will provide a myriad of sensory pleasures. Andalusia offers a feast for the eyes with scenic vistas and iconic whitewashed villages surrounded by mountains. Additional pleasures arise from the gardens, vineyards, and fragrant citric and olive groves. On your bike tour through Spain’s sunny south, you’ll explore magnificent palaces, meander through Roman ruins, and stop for delightful picnics with the region’s specialty cuisine at local farms. Feel a refreshing breeze as you pass mountain villages on a downhill glide, and listen for birdlife in a national park. Our carefully curated selection of accommodations ensures that you’ll end each discovery-packed day in comfort and style.

What to Expect

This tour offers a combination of easy terrain mixed with moderate hills and is ideal for beginner and experienced cyclists. Our VBT van support shuttle is always available for those who need assistance.

  • Daily Mileage: 18 - 45|
  • Biking: 2 - 5 hr|
  • Group Size: 22
Activity Easy/Moderate Easy / Moderate
Cycling
Bar Graph Beginner - Experienced
Cyclists
Vehicle Support Vehicle
Support

Tour Highlights

  • Join a local family for a picnic lunch on the banks of the Guadalquiver River.
  • Embark on a guided tour of Córdoba featuring a visit to the amazing Mezquita.
  • Ride through olive groves and vineyards along the Ruta del Vino Wine Road.
  • Watch for peregrine falcons as you follow the Via Verde rails-to-trails path through a nature reserve.
  • Experience the reverie—and perhaps fresh orange juice—at a former monastery.
  • Savor the true taste of Andalusia from tapas, olive oil, and goat cheese to wine and sangria!
  • Pedal through peaceful farms along a bike path leading to Luque Castle.
  • Enjoy a garden-fresh picnic lunch at a genuine cortijo, renowned for its olive oil.
  • Admire sweeping views from Zuheros, one of Andalusia’s famous whitewashed villages.
  • Spin downhill past castles, Roman ruins, and mountain villages toward enchanting Granada.
  • Spend time people watching at a café, or relaxing in an Arab bath.
  • Explore the Alhambra Palace— one of Spain’s biggest attractions and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Climate Information

Temperatures

Average High /
Low Temperature (°F):

Mar70º/47º

Apr73º/50º

May80º/56º

Jun88º/62º

Sep90º/64º

Oct78º/56º

Nov68º/49º

Average
Precipitation:

Mar1.4 in

Apr2.2 in

May1.5 in

Jun0.5 in

Sep0.8 in

Oct2.2 in

Nov3.2 in

What's Included

Bike Vacation + Air Package

Bike Vacation Only

Round-trip international airfare Check
Transfers to and from international airport Check
One night in Palma del Rio and one night in Granada in conveniently located hotels Check
6 nights in 3-, 4-, and 5-star hotels Check Check
13 meals: 6 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners Check Check

Tour Bikes

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Road Bicycle (Carbon frame)

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Step-Through (Mixte Hybrid) Comfort Bicycle

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Step-Over (Diamond) Comfort Bicycle

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Electric-Assisted Bicycle (E-bike)

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Biking Packages Include:

Custom VBT Bike and Helmet

Two Local, Bilingual Trip Leaders

Vehicle Support

Luggage Transfers

Ride with GPS and Daily Route Notes

Welcome Reception

Facilitated Cultural Experiences

Your Choice of VBT Branded Gear for Your Adventure

Itinerary

Tue, Mar 16 to Thu, Mar 25 - 2021

Show Itinerary:

Depart home for Spain. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.

Upon arrival at the San Pablo Airport in Seville, you will meet your driver who will be holding a VBT sign outside the customs area in your arrival terminal. You will transfer by private car or van (about 60 minutes) to your Palma del Rio hotel.

The rest of the day is yours to settle in, explore the city, and begin your Spain vacation. Choose a local restaurant for dinner on your own.

Please note: Your hotel room may not be available until 2:00 p.m. If you are early, you may store your luggage at the reception desk.

Please note: Due to Iberia Airline’s limited flight service to Seville on Saturdays, some guests may fly from Madrid to the town of Jerez and then transfer by vehicle to our Palma del Rio hotel. This will avoid long layovers in Madrid’s airport and allow you more time in Palma del Rio. Travel from Madrid on all other days of the week will be directly into Seville. Please refer to your air itinerary to determine which location will be your final destination.

For guests flying into Jerez: Upon arrival at the Jerez Airport, meet your driver outside the customs area in your arrival terminal. The driver will be holding a VBT sign. Then, transfer by private car or van (about 2 hours) to your Palma del Rio hotel.

Your hotel in Palma del Rio is Monasterio de San Francisco. This former Franciscan monastery was built in 1492 on the orders of VII Señor de Palma. About 20 years ago, it was turned into a charming hotel that preserves the simplicity and tranquility of a monastery. The arrival of Europeans in America is part of the building’s history, since the Franciscan monks based here founded American missions, took their language and customs to the New World, planted the famous orange groves in California, and opened the Mission de Palma del Rio in San Diego. Columbus spent time here before setting out for his journey, as the monastery was a strategic and powerful center of learning and culture. The cities of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego owe their names to this region’s monasteries and holy places. Today, guests can drink orange juice (in season) from the garden’s 65 orange trees, some of which are five centuries old.

VBT provides you with City Information that includes recommendations on what to see and do in Palma del Rio.

Accommodation: Monasterio de San Francisco, Palma del Rio

Meet your VBT trip leaders at the Palma del Rio hotel at 10:00 a.m. Please ask for the exact location of the meeting at the hotel reception desk.

This morning, your trip leaders will host an informative tour overview as well as a safety and bike-fitting session, followed by a warm-up ride around Palma del Rio. You will be riding on the fertile lowland of the Guadalquivir River. Please be dressed for riding since your warm-up ride begins immediately follows the safety talk and bike-fitting.

After the warm-up ride, you will have time for lunch on your own at the hotel or at one of Palma del Rio’s restaurants. Spend the remainder of the afternoon relaxing by the quiet swimming pool, strolling through the vegetable gardens, or exploring the town’s sites. Ambitious riders may opt for an afternoon ride toward the foothills of the Sierra Morena.

Tonight, gather with your trip leaders and travel mates for a welcome reception, including tapas and sangria, two of Andalusia’s regional specialties. You’ll learn about the history of Spain and Andalusia before dinner is served.

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 13 – 40 km (8 – 25 miles)
Morning
Warm-up Loop: 13 km (8 miles)
Afternoon
Sierra Morena Loop: 27 km (17 miles)

What to Expect: Your ride in Andalusia starts with an easy warm-up loop. You will cross the Genil River as you exit town. From there, you will see the fertile plain of the Guadalquivir River and pass a typical Andalusian farm called a cortijo. If you choose to ride after lunch on your own, you can cycle out of town toward the foothills of Sierra Morena, looping back down to the Guadalquivir River valley.

Accommodation: Monasterio de San Francisco, Palma del Rio
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

En route to Córdoba, you’ll ride up to the foothills of the Sierra Morena Mountain Range and the Parque Natural de Horanchuelos. Following the Guadalquivir River, you will make your way into the Campiña Cordobesa-Córdoban countryside. Along the way, you’ll stop at a typical Andalusian cortijo, where you’ll meet a local family and enjoy a picnic lunch.

Later in the afternoon, you’ll arrive at your beautiful and centrally located four-star Córdoba hotel. In the 11th century, Cordoba was the largest and most cosmopolitan city in Europe with a well-developed system for running water and streetlights, along with vast libraries where Arabic, Latin, and Greek manuscripts were translated. Jews, Muslims, and Christians all coexisted in this cultural crossroads. Exceptional monuments like the Mezquita of Córdoba are a good representation of the blend of these different cultures. Famous sons of Córdoba include the philosophers Seneca (Roman), Averroes (Arab), and Maimonides (Jewish). Córdoba has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1984.

Your hotel is a few steps from the Mezquita in the Judería—the charming Jewish district and the heart of Córdoba. It consists of ancient, private homes from the 17th and 18th centuries with lovely patios and fountains. The property was carefully restored in 2009.

Spend the rest of the evening at your leisure enjoying all the amenities of your hotel, or venturing out to explore Córdoba’s historic sites. Dinner is on your own.

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 32.6 – 51.6 km (20 – 31 miles)
Morning
Palma to Posadas (short option): 32.6 km (20 miles)
Afternoon
Posadas to Lunch (medium option): 15.2 km (9 miles)
Posadas to Lunch and Córdoba (long option): 32.6 km (20 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s ride starts through Palma del Río and continues gently uphill toward Hornachuelos. You’ll leave the Guadalquivir River plain behind as you bike along the border of the Sierra. The ride is mostly easy but there will be some uphill cycling no longer than 1 kilometer (0.6 mile). By noon you will approach the quiet town of Posadas for a break. If you are taking the short option, you can take our shuttle to our lunch location. If you continue cycling from the town of Posadas after your break, you’ll cross the Rio Guadalquivir for an easy ride to the Cortijo el Temple for lunch. After lunch, you will shuttle to Córdoba or continue cycling on longer option which includes a series of hills to the outskirts of Córdoba. From there, you will be shuttled to the hotel.

Accommodation: Casas de la Judería Córdoba, Córdoba
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast, meet your local guide and set out on foot. Start by visiting a nearby synagogue and then continue to the Mezquita.

Originally built as a temple, lighthouse, and warehouse, the Mezquita was once the second-largest mosque in the world and later consecrated as a Christian church after Córdoba was captured by the Spanish in the 12th century. Today, it is considered one of the world’s greatest examples of Moorish architecture. From the Mezquita, you’ll see the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos, and the Archiepiscopal Palais, the Roman Bridge with 16 arches spanning the Guadalquivir River, as well as the synagogue built in 1315 in La Judería. Córdoba is also an excellent place to shop for pottery, silverwork, abanicos (fans), cotton and leather goods, embroidered mantillas (scarves), shawls, and wooden crafts. A Bullfighting Museum pays homage to the controversial sport.

Take time on your own this afternoon to explore the many sites and shops of Córdoba. You might want to enjoy an ancient local tradition: an Arab bath in one of the nearby hammams. Immerse yourself in its warm waters, followed by a relaxing massage with essential oils.

Tonight, choose a restaurant for dinner on your own in Córdoba. You might visit a flamenco house in front of the Mezquita or one of the restaurants in La Judería, the Jewish district, where you can also taste local specialties like caldereta de cordero, ragout of lamb, or sausages such as morcilla, caña de lomo, and salchichón de Pozo Blanco. Salmorejo and flamenquines are the most famous Cordovan dishes. Arab influences can be found in the sweet alfajores and pestiños with almonds and honey.

Today’s Ride Choice:
Non-Biking Day: Explore Córdoba

Accommodation: Casas de la Judería Córdoba, Córdoba
Included Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast, you will leave Córdoba and shuttle to the Cordillera Subbética and the Ruta del Vino wine road. As the name suggests, this hilly region is full of olive trees and vineyards, producing and exporting excellent white wines and olive oils. One of the most renowned wines produced in this area is the Pedro Ximénez sweet wine, particularly recommended to complement local postres desserts. For lunch, you will stop at a beautiful bodega and taste locally produced wines with your meal.

From there you will ride toward the Subbética mountain range, where you have the option of cycling on the Via Verde rails-to-trails path all the way to the hotel. Avid cyclists looking for some hills can opt for a more challenging route.

Hacienda Minerva, your base for the next two nights, was built at the end of the 19th century. Abandoned for years, it was restored and repurposed as a hotel in 2004. The old machinery of the olive-oil mill still serves as part of the décor. Enjoy time to relax by the pool, book a massage, or indulge in the hotel’s Arab baths (at additional cost – please ask your leaders to assist in booking massages and the Arab baths in advance of your arrival to the hotel). Later, meet up with the rest of your group to learn the fascinating story behind the property, which also includes a library and a cozy taverna bar. This evening you will learn how to make one of Andalusia’s popular dishes. Dinner will be served in the dining room of the hotel, which was once the pressing room of the oil mill.

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 20 – 55 km (13 – 33 miles)
Morning
Wine Road to La Primilla: 20 km (13 miles)
Afternoon
Easy after Lunch ride on the Via Verde: 13 km (8 miles)
La Primilla to Hacienda Minerva: 19 km (12 miles)
La Primilla to Hacienda Minerva Plus: 35 km (21 miles)

What to Expect: You will take a bus from Córdoba to the Montilla-Moriles hills, one of the famous wine regions of Andalusia, and start riding from Espejo, passing several lagares, farms where grapes are grown and pressed. You will stay on rolling terrain in the morning with just a few hills, arriving at Lagar La Primilla for lunch and a wine tasting. After lunch, you can shuttle to your starting point on the Vía Verde rails-to-trails path, where you can expect a beautiful easy ride to your hotel. Other riders may opt for some hills on the longer moderate ride to Hacienda Minerva.

Accommodation: Hacienda Minerva, Zuheros
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today, you’ll follow the bike path to Luque, passing peaceful farms, olive groves, and the lush, surrounding hillsides. As you pedal along the gently rolling path, keep your eyes open for a variety of birds, including two of the many protected species of this area: the peregrine falcon, symbol of the Natural Park of La Sierra Subbética, and the griffon vulture. Alternatively, you may cycle on a nearby paved road to Luque for a hillier ride with additional mileage.

Near Luque, you’ll stop at a cortijo for a picnic lunch made from local ingredients freshly picked from the garden of your host, Balbino. This cortijo, simply known as El Cortijillo is famous for its prize-winning, organic olive oil.

After lunch, retrace your way to Hacienda Minerva on a scenic route, passing through the quaint whitewashed village of Zuheros. Built onto a rocky promontory, Zuheros is considered one of the most beautiful, “white villages” of Spain. It is also known for its castle with spectacular views, as well as its cheese and olive oil production. Take some time to enjoy the scenery, marvel in the views of the castle, and wander through the picturesque little streets.

From Zuheros you can take the easy Via Verde bike path back to the hotel or continue on a more challenging scenic route for additional mileage.

Back at the hotel, enjoy time to relax before your small group gathers to learn about the olive oil industry and why it is the main business in the area. See how olive oil is produced and learn the additional steps required for the creation of extra-virgin olive oil.

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 21 – 55 km (12 – 34 miles)
Morning
Via Verde to El Cortijillo (easy ride): 21 km (12 miles)
Via Verde to El Cortijillo (moderate ride): 31 km (19 miles)
Afternoon
After Lunch ride to Zuheros and Hacienda Minerva: 13 km (8 miles)
Zuheros to Hacienda Minerva Loop: 24 km (15 miles)

What to Expect: A beautiful and undulating route on the gentle Via Verde bike path leads from your hotel toward Zuheros and Luque through the Parque Natural de la Sierra Subbética. An alternative route can provide additional mileage and hillier terrain. Enjoy a lunch stop at El Cortijillo with an organic home-hosted meal. Fully fortified, you will follow a gorgeous route up to today’s highlight village, Zuheros, and then back down to the hotel. The afternoon ride includes a 1.2-mile (2-km) hill plus a few shorter climbs to reach the hilltop village of Zuheros. If you are looking for more mileage after arriving in Zuheros you may opt for a longer ride back to the hotel. The longer ride not only offers additional mileage but some hills for a rewarding challenge.

Accommodation: Hacienda Minerva, Zuheros
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast, you will start your morning ride in the small town of Benalúa de las Villas. Begin with a gradual descent through a valley with the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the distance and head towards the enchanting city of Granada. You will pedal through towns that were heavily fortified in the Middle Ages prior to the final conquest of Granada in 1492, including Colomera with its castle and towering church. As you continue on the Ruta de las Fortalezas, you will find traces of Roman influence, including a 2,000-year-old bridge. Passing through little mountain villages, you can stop for lunch at your leisure in one the many cafés. Leaving the mountains behind, you will enter La Vega Granada´s main valley and finish your ride under the shade of the shade of pine trees with a cool breeze coming from the Cubillas Reservoir.

This evening, join your trip leaders for a festive farewell dinner and sample some regional culinary delights.

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 25 – 63 km (15 – 39 miles)
Morning
Ruta de las Fortalezas to Olivares: 25 km (15 miles)
Afternoon
Olivares to El Chaparral: 23 km (14 miles)
Olivares to El Chaparral Plus: 38 km (23 miles)

What to Expect: Your final ride takes you from the mountains north of Granada down to the Genil River lowlands. You will leave Benalúa de las Villas and head down a mountain valley with the impressive Sierra Nevada mountain range as the backdrop. You will pass a 2,000-year-old Roman bridge and the towns of Colomera and Moclín with their Arab fortresses and Christian churches. The ride is a gently rolling route with a continuous descent into the valley and along the Genil riverbank. More adventurous riders have the option of a slightly longer, more challenging ride with a few more hills.

Accommodation: Hotel NH Collection Granada Victoria, Granada
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast, you will meet your local guide and walk to the Alhambra Palace for an included visit to the Palace and Generalife Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

After your visit to the Alhambra Palace, the rest of the day is yours to explore. VBT provides you with City Information that includes recommendations on what to see and do in Granada during your stay.

Accommodation: Hotel NH Collection Granada Victoria, Granada
Included Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast* this morning, you will transfer to the airport for your departing flight.** Please ensure that you are ready in the hotel reception area at the designated time.

*Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the front desk to verify when breakfast is served.

**VBT recommends that you check your transfer time in your Transfer Reminder. VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. Transfer times are about 30 minutes to the Granada airport or 90 minutes to the Malaga airport. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport is at your own expense.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Thu, Mar 18 to Wed, Mar 24 - 2021

Show Itinerary:

Meet your VBT trip leaders and the rest of the group at the Palma del Rio Hotel (Monasterio de San Francisco, Avenida Pio XII 35, phone +34 957 710183) at 10:00 a.m. Please ask for the exact location of the meeting at the hotel reception desk. If your arrival at the hotel is scheduled for later than 10:00 a.m. or if you are delayed, please contact the Monasterio de San Francisco hotel, and the staff will pass your message on to your VBT trip leaders.

This morning, your trip leaders will host an informative tour overview as well as a safety and bike-fitting session, followed by a warm-up ride around Palma del Rio. You will be riding on the fertile lowland of the Guadalquivir River. Please be dressed for riding since your warm-up ride begins immediately follows the safety talk and bike-fitting.

After the warm-up ride, you will have time for lunch on your own at the hotel or at one of Palma del Rio’s restaurants. Spend the remainder of the afternoon relaxing by the quiet swimming pool, strolling through the vegetable gardens, or exploring the town’s sites. Ambitious riders may opt for an afternoon ride toward the foothills of the Sierra Morena.

Tonight, gather with your trip leaders and travel mates for a welcome reception, including tapas and sangria, two of Andalusia’s regional specialties. You’ll learn about the history of Spain and Andalusia before dinner is served.

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 13 – 40 km (8 – 25 miles)
Morning
Warm-up Loop: 13 km (8 miles)
Afternoon
Sierra Morena Loop: 27 km (17 miles)

What to Expect: Your ride in Andalusia starts with an easy warm-up loop. You will cross the Genil River as you exit town. From there, you will see the fertile plain of the Guadalquivir River and pass a typical Andalusian farm called a cortijo. If you choose to ride after lunch on your own, you can cycle out of town toward the foothills of Sierra Morena, looping back down to the Guadalquivir River valley.

Accommodation: Monasterio de San Francisco, Palma del Rio
Included Meals: Dinner

En route to Córdoba, you’ll ride up to the foothills of the Sierra Morena Mountain Range and the Parque Natural de Horanchuelos. Following the Guadalquivir River, you will make your way into the Campiña Cordobesa-Córdoban countryside. Along the way, you’ll stop at a typical Andalusian cortijo, where you’ll meet a local family and enjoy a picnic lunch.

Later in the afternoon, you’ll arrive at your beautiful and centrally located four-star Córdoba hotel. In the 11th century, Cordoba was the largest and most cosmopolitan city in Europe with a well-developed system for running water and streetlights, along with vast libraries where Arabic, Latin, and Greek manuscripts were translated. Jews, Muslims, and Christians all coexisted in this cultural crossroads. Exceptional monuments like the Mezquita of Córdoba are a good representation of the blend of these different cultures. Famous sons of Córdoba include the philosophers Seneca (Roman), Averroes (Arab), and Maimonides (Jewish). Córdoba has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1984.

Your hotel is a few steps from the Mezquita in the Judería—the charming Jewish district and the heart of Córdoba. It consists of ancient, private homes from the 17th and 18th centuries with lovely patios and fountains. The property was carefully restored in 2009.

Spend the rest of the evening at your leisure enjoying all the amenities of your hotel, or venturing out to explore Córdoba’s historic sites. Dinner is on your own.

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 32.6 – 51.6 km (20 – 31 miles)
Morning
Palma to Posadas (short option): 32.6 km (20 miles)
Afternoon
Posadas to Lunch (medium option): 15.2 km (9 miles)
Posadas to Lunch and Córdoba (long option): 32.6 km (20 miles)

What to Expect: Today’s ride starts through Palma del Río and continues gently uphill toward Hornachuelos. You’ll leave the Guadalquivir River plain behind as you bike along the border of the Sierra. The ride is mostly easy but there will be some uphill cycling no longer than 1 kilometer (0.6 mile). By noon you will approach the quiet town of Posadas for a break. If you are taking the short option, you can take our shuttle to our lunch location. If you continue cycling from the town of Posadas after your break, you’ll cross the Rio Guadalquivir for an easy ride to the Cortijo el Temple for lunch. After lunch, you will shuttle to Córdoba or continue cycling on longer option which includes a series of hills to the outskirts of Córdoba. From there, you will be shuttled to the hotel.

Accommodation: Casas de la Judería Córdoba, Córdoba
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast, meet your local guide and set out on foot. Start by visiting a nearby synagogue and then continue to the Mezquita.

Originally built as a temple, lighthouse, and warehouse, the Mezquita was once the second-largest mosque in the world and later consecrated as a Christian church after Córdoba was captured by the Spanish in the 12th century. Today, it is considered one of the world’s greatest examples of Moorish architecture. From the Mezquita, you’ll see the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos, and the Archiepiscopal Palais, the Roman Bridge with 16 arches spanning the Guadalquivir River, as well as the synagogue built in 1315 in La Judería. Córdoba is also an excellent place to shop for pottery, silverwork, abanicos (fans), cotton and leather goods, embroidered mantillas (scarves), shawls, and wooden crafts. A Bullfighting Museum pays homage to the controversial sport.

Take time on your own this afternoon to explore the many sites and shops of Córdoba. You might want to enjoy an ancient local tradition: an Arab bath in one of the nearby hammams. Immerse yourself in its warm waters, followed by a relaxing massage with essential oils.

Tonight, choose a restaurant for dinner on your own in Córdoba. You might visit a flamenco house in front of the Mezquita or one of the restaurants in La Judería, the Jewish district, where you can also taste local specialties like caldereta de cordero, ragout of lamb, or sausages such as morcilla, caña de lomo, and salchichón de Pozo Blanco. Salmorejo and flamenquines are the most famous Cordovan dishes. Arab influences can be found in the sweet alfajores and pestiños with almonds and honey.

Today’s Ride Choice:
Non-Biking Day: Explore Córdoba

Accommodation: Casas de la Judería Córdoba, Córdoba
Included Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast, you will leave Córdoba and shuttle to the Cordillera Subbética and the Ruta del Vino wine road. As the name suggests, this hilly region is full of olive trees and vineyards, producing and exporting excellent white wines and olive oils. One of the most renowned wines produced in this area is the Pedro Ximénez sweet wine, particularly recommended to complement local postres desserts. For lunch, you will stop at a beautiful bodega and taste locally produced wines with your meal.

From there you will ride toward the Subbética mountain range, where you have the option of cycling on the Via Verde rails-to-trails path all the way to the hotel. Avid cyclists looking for some hills can opt for a more challenging route.

Hacienda Minerva, your base for the next two nights, was built at the end of the 19th century. Abandoned for years, it was restored and repurposed as a hotel in 2004. The old machinery of the olive-oil mill still serves as part of the décor. Enjoy time to relax by the pool, book a massage, or indulge in the hotel’s Arab baths (at additional cost – please ask your leaders to assist in booking massages and the Arab baths in advance of your arrival to the hotel). Later, meet up with the rest of your group to learn the fascinating story behind the property, which also includes a library and a cozy taverna bar. This evening you will learn how to make one of Andalusia’s popular dishes. Dinner will be served in the dining room of the hotel, which was once the pressing room of the oil mill.

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 20 – 55 km (13 – 33 miles)
Morning
Wine Road to La Primilla: 20 km (13 miles)
Afternoon
Easy after Lunch ride on the Via Verde: 13 km (8 miles)
La Primilla to Hacienda Minerva: 19 km (12 miles)
La Primilla to Hacienda Minerva Plus: 35 km (21 miles)

What to Expect: You will take a bus from Córdoba to the Montilla-Moriles hills, one of the famous wine regions of Andalusia, and start riding from Espejo, passing several lagares, farms where grapes are grown and pressed. You will stay on rolling terrain in the morning with just a few hills, arriving at Lagar La Primilla for lunch and a wine tasting. After lunch, you can shuttle to your starting point on the Vía Verde rails-to-trails path, where you can expect a beautiful easy ride to your hotel. Other riders may opt for some hills on the longer moderate ride to Hacienda Minerva.

Accommodation: Hacienda Minerva, Zuheros
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today, you’ll follow the bike path to Luque, passing peaceful farms, olive groves, and the lush, surrounding hillsides. As you pedal along the gently rolling path, keep your eyes open for a variety of birds, including two of the many protected species of this area: the peregrine falcon, symbol of the Natural Park of La Sierra Subbética, and the griffon vulture. Alternatively, you may cycle on a nearby paved road to Luque for a hillier ride with additional mileage.

Near Luque, you’ll stop at a cortijo for a picnic lunch made from local ingredients freshly picked from the garden of your host, Balbino. This cortijo, simply known as El Cortijillo is famous for its prize-winning, organic olive oil.

After lunch, retrace your way to Hacienda Minerva on a scenic route, passing through the quaint whitewashed village of Zuheros. Built onto a rocky promontory, Zuheros is considered one of the most beautiful, “white villages” of Spain. It is also known for its castle with spectacular views, as well as its cheese and olive oil production. Take some time to enjoy the scenery, marvel in the views of the castle, and wander through the picturesque little streets.

From Zuheros you can take the easy Via Verde bike path back to the hotel or continue on a more challenging scenic route for additional mileage.

Back at the hotel, enjoy time to relax before your small group gathers to learn about the olive oil industry and why it is the main business in the area. See how olive oil is produced and learn the additional steps required for the creation of extra-virgin olive oil.

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 21 – 55 km (12 – 34 miles)
Morning
Via Verde to El Cortijillo (easy ride): 21 km (12 miles)
Via Verde to El Cortijillo (moderate ride): 31 km (19 miles)
Afternoon
After Lunch ride to Zuheros and Hacienda Minerva: 13 km (8 miles)
Zuheros to Hacienda Minerva Loop: 24 km (15 miles)

What to Expect: A beautiful and undulating route on the gentle Via Verde bike path leads from your hotel toward Zuheros and Luque through the Parque Natural de la Sierra Subbética. An alternative route can provide additional mileage and hillier terrain. Enjoy a lunch stop at El Cortijillo with an organic home-hosted meal. Fully fortified, you will follow a gorgeous route up to today’s highlight village, Zuheros, and then back down to the hotel. The afternoon ride includes a 1.2-mile (2-km) hill plus a few shorter climbs to reach the hilltop village of Zuheros. If you are looking for more mileage after arriving in Zuheros you may opt for a longer ride back to the hotel. The longer ride not only offers additional mileage but some hills for a rewarding challenge.

Accommodation: Hacienda Minerva, Zuheros
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast, you will start your morning ride in the small town of Benalúa de las Villas. Begin with a gradual descent through a valley with the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the distance and head towards the enchanting city of Granada. You will pedal through towns that were heavily fortified in the Middle Ages prior to the final conquest of Granada in 1492, including Colomera with its castle and towering church. As you continue on the Ruta de las Fortalezas, you will find traces of Roman influence, including a 2,000-year-old bridge. Passing through little mountain villages, you can stop for lunch at your leisure in one the many cafés. Leaving the mountains behind, you will enter La Vega Granada´s main valley and finish your ride under the shade of the shade of pine trees with a cool breeze coming from the Cubillas Reservoir.

This evening, join your trip leaders for a festive farewell dinner and sample some regional culinary delights.

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 25 – 63 km (15 – 39 miles)
Morning
Ruta de las Fortalezas to Olivares: 25 km (15 miles)
Afternoon
Olivares to El Chaparral: 23 km (14 miles)
Olivares to El Chaparral Plus: 38 km (23 miles)

What to Expect: Your final ride takes you from the mountains north of Granada down to the Genil River lowlands. You will leave Benalúa de las Villas and head down a mountain valley with the impressive Sierra Nevada mountain range as the backdrop. You will pass a 2,000-year-old Roman bridge and the towns of Colomera and Moclín with their Arab fortresses and Christian churches. The ride is a gently rolling route with a continuous descent into the valley and along the Genil riverbank. More adventurous riders have the option of a slightly longer, more challenging ride with a few more hills.

Accommodation: Hotel NH Collection Granada Victoria, Granada
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast, you will meet your local guide and walk to the Alhambra Palace for an included visit to the Palace and Generalife Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Due to hotel check-out times, please settle your hotel bill and check out prior to your included visit of the Alhambra Palace. After the tour, you will return to the hotel to collect your luggage and continue to your next destination. Your flight from Granada should not be scheduled to depart earlier than 3:00 p.m.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Enjoy Your Vacation Longer With Low-Cost Trip Extensions

Airplane

Air Package Only

2021

2021 Pre-Trip Extension - Seville

2 Nights From $295 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $95

  • 2 nights at the Las Casas de la Judería
  • Daily breakfast
  • City Information
  • Airport transfers
  • Visit the iconic La Giralda bell tower, a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Feast on traditional Spanish cuisine including the bite-sized delicacies on a tapas menu
  • Explore the maze of cobblestone streets in the old part of town

Depart home for Spain. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.

Day 2
Arrive in Seville / Begin your Trip Extension

Upon arrival at the Sao Pablo Airport in Seville, meet your driver who will be holding a VBT sign outside the customs area in your arrival terminal. You will transfer by private car or van (about 20 minutes) to your Seville hotel.

The rest of the day is free for you to settle in, explore the city, and begin your Spanish adventure. Choose a local restaurant for dinner on your own.

Please note: Due to Iberia Airline’s limited flight service to Seville on Saturdays, some guests may fly from Madrid to the town of Jerez and then transfer by vehicle to our Seville hotel. This will avoid long layovers in Madrid’s airport and allow you more time in Seville. Air travel from Madrid on all other days of the week will be direct to Seville. Please refer to your air itinerary to determine which location will be your final destination.

For guests flying into Jerez: Upon arrival at the Jerez Airport, meet your driver holding a VBT sign outside the customs area in your arrival terminal. Then, transfer by private car or van (about 60 minutes) to your Seville hotel.

Accommodation: Las Casas de la Judería, Barrio Santa Cruz, Seville

You will never run out of things to do in Seville. After enjoying a buffet breakfast at the hotel, spend the rest of the day on your own, exploring the capital of Andalusia. You will see a unique blend of Roman, Arab, and Christian art and culture as you tour the city. The very heart of the old town—the Barrio de Santa Cruz, with its cobblestone streets and small squares surrounded by white houses—exudes a distinctly Moorish flair. This delightful maze is dominated by the massive Cathedral of Seville, famed for its iconic La Giralda bell tower, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Another of the barrio’s attractions is the Alcazar of Seville, the city’s old Moorish Palace, which was developed over the centuries into a unique building with vaulted rooms, patios, and a beautiful garden decorated with fountains and high palms. Other sights not to be missed during your stay include the beautiful Plaza de España, the Torre del Oro, and La Maestranza, one of Spain’s biggest plazas de toros, bull-fighting rings, an enduring though controversial symbol of Spanish tradition. At night, be sure to indulge in tapas, a meal of bite-sized local delicacies.

Your splendid Seville hotel, Las Casas de la Judería, is located a few steps from the walls of the Alcazar. It consists of beautifully restored, private homes from the 17th and 18th centuries with charming patios, gardens, and fountains. It’s a perfect place from which to launch your exploration of this beautiful and lively city.

VBT provides you with City Information that includes recommendations on what to see and do in Seville during your stay.

Accommodation: Las Casas de la Judería, Barrio Santa Cruz, Seville
Included Meals: Breakfast

Continue your independent exploration of Seville. This afternoon, your local guide will meet you at the Casas de la Judería and assist with your transfer to Palma del Rio. The transfer departure time will be given to you upon your arrival in Seville. Enjoy the remainder of the day and evening at leisure, exploring the small town of Palma del Rio.

Your hotel in Palma del Rio is Monasterio de San Francisco. This former Franciscan monastery was built in 1492 on the orders of VII Señor de Palma. About 20 years ago, it was turned into a charming hotel that preserves the simplicity and tranquility of a monastery. The arrival of Europeans in America is part of the building’s history, since the Franciscan monks based here founded American missions, took their language and customs to the New World, planted the famous orange groves in California, and opened the Mission de Palma del Rio in San Diego. Columbus spent time here before setting out for his journey, as the monastery was a strategic and powerful center of learning and culture. The cities of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego owe their names to this region’s monasteries and holy places. Today, guests can drink orange juice (in season) from the garden’s 65 orange trees, some of which are five centuries old.

VBT provides you with VBT City Information that includes recommendations on what to see and do in Palma del Rio during your stay.

VBT Air Package guests arrive throughout the day.

Accommodation: Monasterio de San Francisco, Palma del Rio
Included Meals: Breakfast

Airplane

Air Package Only

2021

2021 Post-Trip Extension - Barcelona

3 Nights From $745 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $395

  • 3 nights at the Olivia Plaza Hotel
  • Daily breakfast
  • City Information
  • Flight to Barcelona
  • Airport transfers
  • Marvel at the architectural genius of Antonio Gaudi
  • You’re on vacation so don’t think about the calories as you visit the city’s delicious pastry shops
  • Meander down Ramblas Boulevard, admiring the wares available for purchase
  • Take a walk (and maybe a dip) in the Mediterranean Sea

After breakfast* this morning, you will transfer to the airport for your departing flight.** Please ensure that you are ready in the hotel reception area at the designated time.

*Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the front desk to verify when breakfast is served.

**VBT recommends that you check your transfer time in your Transfer Reminder. VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. Transfer times are about 30 minutes to the Granada airport or 90 minutes to the Malaga airport. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport is at your own expense.

Upon arrival at the Barcelona airport, claim your luggage and clear customs. A VBT representative holding a VBT sign will meet you outside the customs area in your arrival terminal. (At this time, you should verify the time of your transfer at the end of your trip from your Barcelona hotel to the airport.) You will transfer by private car (about 40 minutes) to your hotel, located on the central Plaza Catalunya. VBT provides you with City Information that includes recommendations on what to see and do in Barcelona during your stay. Your hotel room may not be available until 3:00 p.m., but you may store your luggage at the reception desk.

Discover Barcelona at your leisure after your bike tour through Spain, as you spend three nights in one of the most beautiful and vibrant Mediterranean capitals. Well known for its history, cuisine, and contemporary architecture, Barcelona is a fascinating blend of modern and ancient delights. The romantic Roman ruins and the Old Town Ciutat Vella are perfect for long strolls along their narrow, winding, pedestrian streets, past old markets, theaters, and sinfully delicious pastry shops. Marvel at the creative genius of Antonio Gaudí who designed many of the Modernist building façades, and the famous Sagrada Familia Cathedral, as well as the playful Parc Guell with its colored tree mosaics. Seven Gaudí properties are UNESCO World Heritage sites, honoring his exceptional contribution to architecture.

Other Gaudi buildings worth visiting include Casa Battlo, La Pedrera, and Casa Marti, close to the famous Boqueria covered market. Explore the medieval Barri Gotic neighborhood with its Jewish Quarter, home to the Cathedral of Barcelona. Many sites are within walking distance of your centrally located Barcelona hotel on Plaza Catalunya. Be sure to enjoy delicious paella at the Barceloneta old port or a stroll down the lively Ramblas Boulevard. On a leisurely walk to the sea for a dip in the Mediterranean, you might experience the vibrant colors of the scented flower market or stop at Pasteleria Escriba to taste its delicious crema catalana.

Accommodation: Olivia Plaza Hotel, Barcelona
Included Meals: Breakfast

Continue your independent exploration of Barcelona.

Accommodation: Olivia Plaza Hotel, Barcelona
Included Meals: Breakfast

Continue your independent exploration of Barcelona.

Accommodation: Olivia Plaza Hotel, Barcelona
Included Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast* this morning, you will transfer to the Barcelona airport (about 40 minutes, depending on traffic) for your departing flight.** Please be ready in the hotel reception area at the designated time.

*Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the front desk to verify the times that breakfast is served.

**VBT recommends that you check your transfer time in your Transfer Reminder. VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport is at your own expense.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Reviews

Guest Reviews 237 out of 248 (96%) of reviewers recommend this tour

4.8 out of 5 stars.

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