As I stand here in a bustling tapas bar in the old town of Granada, southern Spain, my head is working hard to process the adventure that’s just passed. Riding through the rich fabric of this tantalising country that revolves entirely around spending time with family and friends, sharing great food and a glass of wine at every opportunity… it’s an experience not to be missed. Over the past eight days we’ve circumnavigated the Sierra Nevada mountain range; eaten tapas in Granada town; had dinner with a local family in their hotel, washed down with wine grown on the hotel grounds; climbed to the highest town in Spain; pedalled through whitewashed mountain villages; slept in a luxury cave; and ridden some of the most sublime singletrack in Europe.
Our first day started with the perfect introduction to Spain, as we rolled out of town at around 9am in the shadows of the Sierra Nevada mountains, weaving our way through almond groves, until we turned uphill, and - BOOM! - the sun had breached the ridge to bathe us in the deep glow of morning sunlight. We climbed through the trees on singletrack, punctuated by the occasional short descent, for around two hours until we popped out above the tree line, where we all stopped and took in the view without saying a word to each other.
After a short lunch on the ridge, consisting of local sausage, bread, oranges, and chocolate, we set about tackling our first real descent of the tour. I could go on about this, but instead I'll let your eyes go to work on the pictures and video and allow your imagination to fill in the details…
That first unforgettable day set the tone for what was to come, and day after day of this adventure, Andalucía continued to deliver the wide-eyed and big grin moments that mountain biking gives you when you’re exploring new territory.
Riding is only half the story of any new destination and this mountain biking adventure is certainly no different. Along the way we enjoyed a healthy slice of cultural experiences, food journeys and encounters with friendly locals.
With such rich experiences to be savoured, we stretched out each day on the hills late into the evening sun. On the last night before returning to Granada we couldn’t pull ourselves off the hill before the very last sliver of light was left in the sky - which made for an interesting descent!
So after a great week of trails, cultural interactions, food, and vistas, it was time to head home to share so many stories of an unforgettable mountain biking adventure in southern Spain.
Hasta la próxima!