Spain is a great place to get active and heaven for mountain bikers. With thousands of kilometres of trails to suit all tastes and abilities, Spain is a superb place for off road biking enthusiasts for numerous reasons.
It has all the right ingredients for a great day in the mountains under pedal power – the key ingredients being terrain and climate.
Spain is Europe’s second most mountainous country, with only Switzerland more mountainous! So there are plenty of mountains! Its low population density, when compared to other European countries, also ensures there is plenty of space and it’s very rare you are cycling anywhere which could be considered remotely crowded! The few Spanish you will come across while out mountain biking will generally nod or wish you well, mountain biking is not seen as antisocial in any way!
Spain’s size and southern European climate means there is always somewhere with superb weather for mountain biking. In the hot summer months stick to Northern Spain and the mountain resorts like Sierra Nevada, the Pyrenees and the Picos de Europa. In the winter months come to southern Spain, or the islands of Mallorca, Tenerife, etc. In Spring and Autumn you can take you pick! No matter when you want to head for the hills there will be somewhere in Spain where you can enjoy superb mountain biking in a great climate.
Improving Spanish Mountain Biking Accessibility
The Spanish Tourist industry is working hard to cast off the ‘Sun, Sea and Sangria’, image of the country. Its great food, rich culture and great outdoors are all now being pushed heavily. The culture, scenery and food are all a great bonus when you are off the bike!
All across Spain huge investments have been made in marking out trails and paths, making access ever easier.
And don’t think you need to be a ‘downhill mountain bike racing king’ to enjoy all of this. The Via Verdes, Green Routes are a great example of places which are family mountain bike friendly. Flat-ish old railway lines across Spain, now converted into great cycle and hiking routes, which allow you to get out into the country on two wheels irrespective of your fitness and bravery levels!
The Via Verde near Ronda is a great example, a 36km trail passing a Europe’s largest Griffon Vulture nesting colony, crossing numerous viaducts and passing through many tunnels, some around 1km in length! Great family fun!
So get the bike out, or take a look here for the many activity operators offering great mountain biking in Spain!
Hit the trail!
Image courtesy of Sierra Cycling