Cycle Southern Spain - Murcia

Apricot blossom in Murcia
Murcia cycling
Catedral de Murcia
Caravaca Plaza del Arco
Barren landscape near Cieza
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On this cycling adventure in southern Spain we discover Murcia's whitewashed villages and Moorish towers, endless orchards, ancient irrigation channels and layers of history. Murcia enjoys mild winters, a semi-arid climate and averages more than 320 days of sun per year. Peaceful cycling - Ride on scenic and quiet backroads and cycle paths through varied landscapes White - washed villages - typical Spanish villages in the Ricote Valley with Moorish roots Tapas y Vino - Reward yourself with and refuel on delicious Spanish food and wine.

Highlights
  • Tapas y Vino - Reward yourself with and refuel on delicious Spanish food and wine.
  • White - washed villages - typical Spanish villages in the Ricote Valley with Moorish roots
  • Peaceful cycling - Ride on scenic and quiet backroads and cycle paths through varied landscapes
Why Book this Tour
Unlike many other operators, we include the hire of your bike in the overall cost of the holiday: you don't need to bring your own or pay extra to hire one locally. We also provide spare parts and take care of day to day bike maintenance. All you need bring is your own helmet.
Destinations
  • Spain
  • Europe
  • Santiago De Compostela
  • Santiago
Tour Types
  • Cycling
  • Cultural
  • Active
  • Adventure
  • Scenic
  • Small Group
  • 50 plus
  • Couples
  • Singles

Location: Iona

Our tour starts in Murcia, a bustling university town packed with culture. Murcia sits in a fertile plain surrounded by mountains. Sites include Murcia cathedral, the Bishop's Palace and Church of San Nicolas de Bari. The Leader plans to meet you in the hotel reception at 8pm for the welcome meeting followed by the chance to go out for dinner for those interested. There are no other included activities planned today, so you are free to arrive in Murcia at any time. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you will need to arrive into Region de Murcia International Airport (RMU) which is approximately 30 minutes away. If you prefer to fly into Alicante airport there is a regular bus service from the airport to Murcia bus station by Alsa (departs every 2 hours, journey takes 1 hour) (https://www.alicante-airport.net/bus.php). Should you miss the welcome meeting, your Leader will inform you of any essential information as soon as you catch up. If your flight arrives earlier in the day, there is an optional self-guided ride today to the Fuensanta Sanctuary. The hotel will be able to give instructions to make your way to the bike rental shop to meet the Leader, where you will be fitted with a bike for the week ahead, as well as route notes to follow for the ride today. Anybody that doesn't ride today will be given their bike tomorrow morning and will have time to make any necessary adjustments. Please note there is a charge for this optional ride and you pay the bike rental office directly. We recommend you start this at 3pm latest from November to February or 4pm in other months. Later this evening you can meet your fellow travellers properly at the briefing and first group dinner. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 18 kilometres (Total 100 metres ascent and descent)(optional).

Accommodation: Hotel

Location: Caravaca de la Cruz

We drive out from Murcia after breakfast on the only vehicle transfer of the holiday, other than getting to and from the airport. After 45 mins we reach the town of Bullas where we start our ride on the gently graded via verde del noroeste cycle path (a converted railway track). Those that didn't ride yesterday will be given and fitted with their bike this morning. The cycle path leads all the way to Caravaca but we leave it mid-section to ride on quiet country roads up to the hilltop town and interesting old quarter of Cehegin and along the river Argos. We return to the cycle path and on to Caravaca de la Cruz where we spend the next two nights. One of the world's five Holy Cities according to the Vatican (the others are Rome, Jerusalem, Santiago de Compostela and Santo Toribio in the Lebanon), Caravaca de la Cruz becomes busier with Catholic pilgrims during a Holy Year (every seven years). Pilgrims can obtain Eternal Forgiveness in the Holy Year by visiting the church. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 39 kilometres (300 metres total accumulated ascent and descent).

Accommodation: Hotel

Location: Caravaca de la Cruz

On today's ride we discover the nature, beauty and history of the area surrounding Caravaca. Cycling past irrigation channels and elm groves, the route takes us from fountain to fountain passing sites with the remains of Paleolithic, Iberian, Roman and Medieval settlements. The day starts with an ascent of 400 metres spread over 16.5 km to reach the Celtiberian village of Archivel. Then we pick up a waymarked route - 'Itinerario Ecoturístico Archivel-La Encarnación' - that leads us past tiny villages downhill to La Encarnación and eventually back to Caravaca. The final section of around 10 km is along an unsurfaced track that takes us to our hotel in Caravaca. This evening you can enjoy a stroll on the Plaza del Arco square along with the locals and there should be the option to take taxis out to a local restaurant that also brews their own beers. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 45 kilometres (450 metres total accumulated ascent and descent).

Accommodation: Hotel

Location: Calasparra

We leave Caravaca this morning after breakfast and cycle to Calasparra. As with yesterday, a lot of the ascent is tackled in the morning with two steep ascents of note (150m each), after which the route is mainly downhill to our hotel in Calasparra. We plan to arrive into Moratalla around lunchtime and allow some free time to explore its steep, narrow lanes and 15th-century Christian fortress featuring the 'Torre del Homenaje' (a reconstruction of a Moorish fortress) and 16th-century church of Santa María de la Asunción. On the next section of the ride after leaving Moratalla the countryside becomes more barren, with huge groves of olive trees, almond trees and farmed fields. Wherever you find a bit of water and a river nearby, the orchards and vegetable gardens reappear, as do the rice paddies as you near Calasparra. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 44 kilometres (450 metres total accumulated ascent and 740 metres descent).

Accommodation: Hotel

Location: Cieza

This morning we ride out to the 'Virgen de la Esperanza Sanctuary' (Our Lady of Hope), the patron saint of Calasparra whose 12th century shrine is a cave carved into the rock face over the banks of the Segura river. From here our cycle ride heads on to Cieza and along the way we will encounter very few villages, riding on peaceful country roads, with views to the surrounding hills and past the Alfonso XIII Reservoir. As we return to the Segura river the landscape turns into a patchwork of almond and apricot orchards, a symphony in shades of pink with springtime blossom. Known locally as La Floracion, the spring blossom is best in the countryside surrounding Cieza. The bloom usually runs from mid-Feb to late March. The final 6.5 km follows a quiet road along the river to reach the lively town of Cieza. It is possible to shorten the ride today by 13km if you do not visit the Esperanza Sanctuary. Those interested can cycle (uphill) out of Cieza to visit the Moorish archaeological site of Siyasa, returning the same way. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 46 kilometres (480 metres total accumulated ascent and 630 metres descent).

Accommodation: Hotel

Location: Murcia

The Segura River and ancient irrigation channels will mark our way from the pleasant town of Cieza to Archena. The scenery changes today as we ride in the Ricote Valley whose arid slopes contrast with the oasis-like orchards studded with palm trees fed by the river. We pass villages, such as Abaran, Blanca, Ojos and Ulea that were Murcia's last Moorish stronghold in the 15th century. From Archena we follow roads through some industrial areas and busy small towns before a peaceful final section of via verde cycle path for 12km along the banks of the Segura river back into Murcia. Around 10% of today's route is on unpaved surfaces. Tonight we can reflect on and celebrate the week with a final supper in Murcia. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 57 kilometres (200 metres total accumulated ascent and 340 metres descent).

Accommodation: Hotel

Location: Murcia

The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Murcia. There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you need to depart from Region de Murcia International Airport (RMU) which is approximately 30 minutes away.

Included
  • All Domestic Transportation (including internal flights)
  • Meals – Breakfast Only
  • Accommodation
  • Fully Guided

Not Included
  • Country Entry Visas
    -
  • Tipping and Gratuities
    -
5* Cycle Southern Spain - Murcia
I can’t wait to book my next trip
Added By:
Date: 16-Feb-2020

5* Cycle Southern Spain - Murcia
A great experience.od value at the price I paid.
Added By:
Date: 31-Jan-2018

5* Cycle Southern Spain - Murcia
Yes. This area appears ideal for a winter cycling break and would like to do another next year. Alex does a trip to Granada I believe. We also had a brilliant group and all seemed keen to return.
Added By:
Date: 16-Feb-2020

5* Cycle Southern Spain - Murcia
One of the best cycling trips I've been on. Perfect time of year to escape the bleak english weather and only a 2.5 hour flight away. Great weather, great food. If you don't love Spain by the end there is something wrong with you!
Added By:
Date: 16-Feb-2020

5* Cycle Southern Spain - Murcia
Highly satisfied
Added By:
Date: 23-May-2019

5* Cycle Southern Spain - Murcia
It was a brand new trip and we were the first group. Alex, the tour leader, did very well for his first Explore trip. It was very well organised and a lot thought given to the logistics. Perfect holiday for a week's trip in January within 2 hours flight time - sunny weather and reasonably warm. Very pleasant scenery and quiet roads for cycling.
Added By:
Date: 02-Mar-2018

5* Cycle Southern Spain - Murcia
I had a fantastic holiday that went smoothly from end to end. Nothing negative to say, all positives.
Added By:
Date: 30-Sep-2019

4* Cycle Southern Spain - Murcia
I will do other trips with you but check the competition as well. Loads of the people who were in the group have done several trips with you which for me is the best recommodation
Added By:
Date: 02-Jan-2018

5* Cycle Southern Spain - Murcia
Have been on many Explore cycling trips and it always amazes me how well the actual route has been put together (except the Russian one!)
Added By:
Date: 17-Apr-2018

5* Cycle Southern Spain - Murcia
I enjoyed the trip thoroughly. Great mix of cycling and seeing the local environment.
Added By:
Date: 13-May-2019

5* Cycle Southern Spain - Murcia
A great holiday. Thank you!
Added By:
Date: 22-Oct-2019

4* Cycle Southern Spain - Murcia
A very enjoyable trip, well managed,od range of locations, scenery, restaurants and optional activities. Alex the guide made all the difference, ensuring our enjoyment and safety
Added By:
Date: 19-Feb-2020

You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.

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13-Feb-2022
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25-Sep-2022
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16-Oct-2022
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06-Nov-2022
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Touring with Explore

Explore have been creating award-winning adventures for over 35 years and are experts when it comes to unique travel experiences.

Their small group adventure holidays have been running since 1981 and today, Explore are one of the most trusted travel companies in the UK with over 600 trips to more than 130 countries. At Explore, they are passionate about travel and have developed a wide range of unique activities and experiences which gives their customers an unforgettable adventure with a team of award-winning Explore leaders .

With Explore, you'll get to see your destination from a whole new perspective that takes you away from the typical well-trodden tourist track. You'll have the chance to meet, dine and stay with local people, rest in authentic accommodation with other like-minded explorers and travel to must-see destinations with a unique Explore twist.

From family trips to holidays for solo travellers; cycling tours to wildlife safaris; trekking on mountains or exploring miles of scenic coastline; self-guided holidays or small group trips; there is something for every kind of traveller with Explore. They will provide their expert knowledge, exciting itineraries and outstanding service as part of their sustainable travel experiences which take you under the skin of the country you're visiting for the adventure of a lifetime.

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tour details

This tour is operated by Explore!

6 nights from pp exc.flights; per Night
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Start:Murcia
Finish:Murcia
Group size:4 - 16
Suitable for: Adult
Accommodation:Standard
Physical rating:Moderate
Meals:Breakfast: 6
Diets:Vegetarians, Vegans
Tour operated in: English
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