Two wheels as a form of escape
Your two wheels are welcome on our ferries. If you are planning a cruise along the port, you can disembark straight from your bike. If you prefer a longer route away from the coastline, take your car out of the garage with your bike inside.
Escapes for legs of all shapes and sizes.
Balearic Islands...relaxation on wheels
If only we had proof that they existed before 7 centuries ago, we would assume that humans were created
to enjoy life by bicycle. In the 14th Century, the king granted land to anyone who could keep a horse and weapons ready to defend the island. The main challenge was maintaining a path that united all of these lands. That is how they say the
Camí de Cavalls was created; it is a
200 kilometer path that surrounds Menorca. A large part of that route today includes the
Camí de ferro, an ATB (all-terrain bicycle) route to which four days are worth dedicating. It is mostly level, though it is quite rocky, and it reveals the
best-kept secret on the island: coves that are inaccessible by motor vehicle. The urban part of the route is for relaxation, with the
Smoix Restaurant open at practically all hours
in the Citadel; and desert provided by the
Ambrosia Ice Cream Parlor in Mahón, which is also in a pedestrian area so that you can park easily and sit and enjoy that irresistible bench. Or ask about
El café del Nord, a classic site along the route where you can exchange advice and memories with other bike-lovers.
The biggest island of the archipelago,
Mallorca, has a green route through the olive orchards—the predominant landscape—that combines equal parts of nutrition for the soul and for the stomach:
Puente Romano and camaiot in Pollença,caves and dirty rice in Campanet. And if you are there for the
Festival d'estiu in Pollença (it happens nearly all summer), you will complete the most unique experience ever.
In Ibiza, it can be fun to go out an party on a bike, but the small size and manageable hills of the island might make you scream for a greater challenge. The most common route is known as
Es camp vell and has a varied trajectory, as you will detect
the smell of salt when you drift close to the coast; the
interior route through
valle de Sant Mateu is the nearly always green; as well as many vineyards. From lighthouse to lighthouse—because I can.
And what can we say about
The film 'Sex and Lucia' showed that you can take a natural circuit to visit priceless landscapes without practically having to ride on asphalt. From
Sant Ferran head towards
Sa Mola, where a monolith is an echo from a setting in Jules Verne's novel 'Hector Servadac' . Along the way, there is a stop in
El Pilar, one of the few villas that can claim Bob Dylan as one of its occupants. Relax: you can park your bike at the door of the
Blue Bar. Be careful: if you nurse your beer for too long, the tide may rise and you'll have to carry your bike on your back.
Canary Islands and mountain biking
Due to its geomorphology, the center of
Gran CanariaIsland is perfect for downhill practice: they say that the best mountain biking is on a mountain that is so steep that it would be impossible to pedal up it. The fact that you can also cross
32 natural protected areas, 8 nature reserves and see 100 species of native plants, means that it truly is the best. They say that Gran Canaria Island has the same importance for botanists as the Galapagos Islands have for zoologists, which means that repeating an adventure in spring and winter are two totally different experiences. While this may be true, in both cases you'll be greeted with
20 degree weather, perfect for an ice cold Tropical beer. But you have to be ready for a near total absence of flat areas and there are rocks throughout the entire route. That is how volcanic islands are.
The richest area for bikers on
Tenerife is known as
Las Raíces, on the
Monte de La Esperanza. It seems that the name was given by the bar Las Raíces, whose
tapas are the start and whose draught beers are the finish to many bike rides, including yours. It is worth riding along the highway to the
Los Caídos monument, and enter where the tree groves open. Once inside, step back onto stable ground and catch your breath as you get lost once again among the overwhelming views. By the way, there is nothing set in stone about beer drinking, but they prefer Dorada Especial in these parts.
And they don't call
La Palma "the emerald island" by coincidence. Vegetation dominated by the Grand Canary Laurel presides over the routes on all sides of the area surrounding the
caldera de Taburiente. Each lunge forward brings you closer to the
papas arrugás topped with
green mojo, and don't miss perhaps the best
cherne or vieja that you will ever try
in the Breña Alta Restaurants. At this point, you'll want to put your feet up and you can make your way to bed in the
Parador. La Palma is an island with a protected sky and at night, visibility is significantly reduced. However, you will be amazed when you look at the stars from your botanical garden and then you will understand why protecting the sky is a good idea.
You must be a bit brave in order to tackle the eastern-most islands. The
Fuerteventura wind is ideal for surfing, but exhausting for the cyclist when it blows in your face, and is always dangerous on the road.
3. Málaga, city route
If it has been years since you last set foot in the capital of the Costa del Sol, you'll be surprised by the green and red tones interspersed along its paths. Where there once was an excessively wide sidewalk, now there is half of a sidewalk and a bike lane more than 20 kilometers in length. You can now pedal along a constructed flat path that connects the
the castle with the rejuvenated Pier 1, or the
El Palo beaches to the
Manquita Cathedral. The Bikesmart rental system will make it so that many bike tourists will join you along the way. You'll surely pass by
Strachan Street, and don't miss the
las tostas del Gorki, which today has become a prospering restaurant. Now you can also park at the nostalgic scene of the timeless
El Pimpi tavern, which is a cool new seafood restaurant that faces the pedestrian area of the
Roman Theater, or combine
mens sana in corpore sano (Latin for "a sound mind in a healthy body") and check out a temporary exhibit in the CAC.
El Palmeral de las Sorpresas is the new must-see, and is best to experience by bike. The karst landscape of
El Torcal also is accessible on two wheels; while the
muffins (molletes) from Antequera are delicious with anything, and just might be the push you need.
From Almería to the Sierra Nevada
Sea to Sky Route With a name like that, don't even try to resist. We begin a long weekend by gathering strength beside the Mediterranean with a plate of
ajopollo, and we'll finish by taking a selfie with the Mulhacén mountain peak in the background. Along the way: la
Sierra de Gádor, el valle del Andarax and the tortuous
Alpujarra path through the Sierra Nevada. Once we reach our destination, apréski evolves into a new nice-weather art called aprésbiking. A gondola takes us to the peak of Veleta mountain, enjoy the terrace at La Bodega... And yes, the famous night clubs and restaurants of winter are also open in spring-summer.
Beach fun in Cádiz
There is a seaside bike tourism route that is lined with a nice wooden railing and has accesses to the beach every 100 meters on south coast of the province. It connects
Sancti Petri to Conil and the surrounding areas. With the sea so close, you never know when you'll get the urge to go for a dip. For food supplies, enjoy the
sea urchins and anemones from the Fisherman's Association of Sacti Petri. It is the blend of a local bar with a classic mountain-town feel. Their
cazón en adobo is one of the few that lives up to its name.
Barcelona is big enough to have a bike route without even leaving the confines of the dazzling city and it is small enough so that you can go back and sleep in your hotel if you opt for heading for the surrounding areas. Pay no attention to the funiculars ascending Monjuïc Olympic grounds—only cowards take that. You will have a similar
360º panorama of Barcelona from the
Miramar Balcony. In order to avoid the crowds, go to
Maresme. If you are an expert bike tourist, you'll go there and back on two wheels. If you prefer a slower pace, you can return calmly on the Cercanías train. Either way, form your own opinion about the
Fórum district when you leave and test out the sand of
Premià de Mar when you arrive. Yes, sand—not the sticky dirt that you usually find on the beaches of capital cities.
The Tourist Office offers efficient rental services so you can be unfaithful to your beloved bike. The
Gothic district as well as
Gran Vía allow you to pass on bike, but it is best during the work week. Many tourists don't understand the bike lanes.
If you want a leg-burning climb, go up to
Tibidabo. When you get there, you might not have the desire to try out the attractions, but your family can spend time there as you ride up, and they'll be there to congratulate you on your record time. In order to descend, choose to go down off the beaten path
via Vallvidrera and cross the sierra until reaching
Molins de Rei. Avoid an empty stomach by stopping at the farmhouses that are scattered throughout the area. You don't want to get weak along the way.
Valencia on wheels
Valencia has been a
bike-friendly city ever since the
Turia riverbed stopped flowing into the Mediterranean and was converted into a tree-lined passage that ends at the
City of Arts and Sciences. And its climate is even more bike-friendly. The route starts in the Turia Garden and ends at the Malvarrosa beach promenade entering through the port. It only abandons the old river channel to pass through the
La Xerea district, drawn by the influence of the
ché cathedral. Start with a full breakfast of
cocas (sweet or salty pancakes) and finish up with a delicious rice dish in the centuries-old
La Pepica. By the way, the city recently approved the motto "The sidewalk is for pedestrians". Consider yourself warned.
8. From Ceuta to Melilla in just one week
Crossing the border on bicycle can be tricky, so it is best to pedal around within the limits of the walls, unless you're going for a moderately long stay. Go from a synagogue to a Hindu sanctuary through the
Ceuta Temple Route; or from the
Caves of the Conventico to the modern architecture in Melilla. If you're in shape and have time, the pronounced climbs and descents along the
Ceuta-Melilla Bike Route are manageable in 4-5 days, with required stops at the fresh fish stands in
Martil, the refreshing views from
Casa Paca in Alhucemas and the
Saturday Market in Oued Laou. The Spanish past of neighboring Tetuan is still present today and Spanish is a common language heard in the streets. The route is exactly what you're picturing: magnificent beaches that are practically vacant alongside little fishing villages where there is a little bit of everything.
9. Northern Morocco Tour
Tangier, a blend of Europe and Africa, invites you to discover it on bicycle on its new seafront promenade. Try the
fried fish when you take a break from pedaling. The heat, the roads through the open fields and the friendliness of the locals make this bike route through Morocco one to tell the grandchildren about. Westerners must be careful when riding on the shoulder—they are not as wide as European shoulders—before enjoying the most mouthwatering aspect for adventurous bike tourists:
the Rif Mountains. The hilly paths challenge riders and at times force you continue on foot. However, a
tagine in the
Uta el-Hamman Square in
Chaouen or the views of the blue dwarf houses from the
Ras el Ma Fountain, in addition to many other sites make the trip worth your while.
Every lunge forward brings you through rural areas, roads and cities. Your bicycle also deserves a vacation, and only on-board a boat can you take it along with you under control. A worthy escape from the yellow jersey.
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