9 Reasons your next cycling destination should be Costa Tropical (Spain)

Europe has plenty of fantastic cycling destinations to offer, Mallorca, Teneriffe or Tuscany to name a few. But there is another one out there which is still not very known and a gem for cyclists who are looking for a new cycling destination.

Costa Tropical is a small region located in Andalucia, Southern Spain. And it is a special one – particularly for cyclists. Here are 9 reasons why Costa Tropical is a cycling paradise:

  1. With 300 days of sunshine, chances are very high that you will be riding in nice weather. Currently, mid-April, we have 23 degrees every day. Even in the mornings 8:30am/9am it is so warm that arm warmers are not required.
  2. Respectful car drivers. Having lived in a country with constant conflicts between cyclists and car drivers, it has become very important to me to move to a country that respects cyclists on the road. Spanish car drivers give plenty of space and wait patiently before passing cyclists. You can find exceptions anywhere but in general I feel very safe on Spanish roads.
  3. Quiet roads. I am currently living on the coast but just heading 10km inland and the roads are mine. Since Costa Tropical is 90km East of Malaga and has not had the infrastructure for easy access until recently, it has been sheltered from the tourism boom.
  4. Terrain. At the edge of the Sierra Nevada you have access to a seriously good mountain range. And even before the Sierra Nevada, you can climb up a mountain with 1200m elevation gain straight from the coast.
  5. Agricultural zone. Costa Tropical is covered with agricultural zones. You can see all the greenhouses from the mountains. That means you know exactly where you get your fruits and veggies from – thanks to the unique microclimate at Costa Tropical.
  6. Costa Tropical is very Spanish. The people are friendly, warm and welcoming. The food and the mentality untouched by tourism. In fact, only a few people speak another language so my learning curve has been steep. Still, the Spaniards love helping so there has never been an issue to communicate.
  7. You can get around Spain on a very small budget, especially food is cheap. Since Costa Tropical has not had the same influx of tourism as in other regions, the prices are very low.
  8. Tranquilo: Stress is the last thing you will experience at Costa Tropical. The people are relaxed. There is always time to chat with someone on the street.
  9. Everyone seems to know each other. Everyone talks to each other and greets each other. There is sometimes a lot of honking but that is to say hi to someone they recognized on the street. Within a short amount of time, the cashier says hi, the policeman waves at you and the neighbor tells her stories although she knows that you dont understand anything. Everyone is friendly and genuinely interested in the life of others. There is a true sense of community here.

I hope you got intrigued about a cycling vacation at Costa Tropical. Book your trip here via Booking.com.

In the next post, you will find helpful tips how to make the cycling holidays happen.

In the mean time, if you like the post, please share it via social media.

Thank you for reading!


Booking.com


From Australia to Spain – The only language you need is Cycling

I love travelling, moving to new places, discovering different cultures.

My friends who know me are not surprised when I tell them about an upcoming move around the world. My family gave up noting down my current living address. That’s me. I love the adventures, the new experiences. Boredom is definitely not on my agenda.

Beginning of this year, I decided to move to Europe after having spent two years in Australia. I say Europe, because I wasn’t sure where to move to. But then I had to start somewhere. I looked at a map, talked to a few friends and decided my first stop would be Andalusia, Southern Spain.

Awesome weather. Amazing cycling terrain and friendly people. That sounded like a great promise!

A month later, I landed in Malaga with only my bike bag (Turkish Airlines wanted to charge me 1000$ for my suitcase so I left it in Australia) hired a car and hoped for the best driving on the other side of the road after a 30 hours flight.

I don’t speak Spanish. I don’t know anyone and I have never been to this region.

Yep, it would be an adventure.

I was welcomed with a cake by my new cycling group!

Through a friends’ connection, I got to Motril, a small town 90km East of Malaga – away from any tourists and international industries. It was a very, very Spanish place. English would not get me anywhere.

I learned about a group ride that starts every day at 9am from the church in town. The next day, I showed up and met the group. No one spoke English. Everyone smiled at me and had a very Spanish conversation. I smiled back. I had absolutely no idea what was talked about.

But once we started riding, the language barrier became smaller and smaller. The way of cycling is the same anywhere I have ridden in the world. Tactics, attacks and heavy breathing are pretty clear ways to communicate. We spoke cycling now.

I loved it. Since that day, I showed up every day at 9am at the church in town. I slowly got to meet the entire group (All men). We did easy, hard and epic rides. I learned the strengths and weaknesses of every rider. I could guess from the intonation of the voices what was said. I was learning cycling vocabulary and surprised the group when I could answer a question.

Once, I heard a word over and over. I became too curious and asked them what it meant.

Bingo! It was one of the rougher cursing words.

The remainder of that ride, the group made sure I would learn all other cursing words as well.

Training with the group.

By solely watching the group, I learned so much about the Spanish culture, the interactions and the mentality. I got to ride to places that only the locals knew. I learned things about the area I would never otherwise have guessed.

Cycling with the locals is a great way to immerse oneself into country’s culture. I would strongly recommend to try it out! It gives you an immense sense of adventure and cultural experience!

 


Cycling in Andalusia – you really got it all!

I love riding in beautiful places. Well, who doesnt?

My dream cycling destination is always sunny, hilly, preferably mountains, decent road surface and friendly car drivers. And Andalusia got it all.

Although it is nice to take in those views alone, I prefer sharing those experiences. That is why I collaborate with Sierra Sports and Tours to put on Gran Fondo Camps in top cycling locations in Andalusia.

Today was the first day of our Ronda training camp. 20 degrees and sunny. Amazing terrain. Spectacular….but wait, why am I writing this….the pictures and videos tell the story.

From the car to the way to Ronda:

Setenil de las Botegas:

Views, views, views:

There is definitely no lack of climbing. On today’s ride we had only short climbs but many of them. It seemed, there was no flat section of this ride.

And the view from the famous bridge in Ronda:



Our next training camp is in June in Granada. Check it out here.

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How much you will pay for a vacation in Andalusia, Spain

Have you planned your next vacation yet? For a cyclist and basically for anyone who is looking for beautiful scenery, consistent 300 days of sunshine and a warm-hearted Spanish culture, Andalusia might be the next place to visit.

And even better, Andalusia, especially now…January and February, is a perfect time to visit for a great vacation that does not destroy any New Years resolution’s saving plans.

Daily life is very cheap. Here is an example of costs you can expect for staying in Salobrena (a beautiful, historical town in Andalusia):

Accommodation

Especially in the off-season, you pay 20-25 Euro/ night for a decent hotel room with your own bathroom. In Sevilla, I even stayed in a 4 star hotel for 28 Euro. I just moved into a place (a small townhouse in a very historical part of the town Salobrena) for 300 Euro/ month.

Not bad for an entire furnished house!

(I have two extra bedrooms I am renting out until end of February. For more information, please contact me via the form.)

Food

Here are some pictures of typical food from the supermarket:

Dining out

Here is a breakfast menu:

A coffee costs somewhere between 1,00 – 1,20 Euro. The price for the typical tostadas (Toasted sandwiches with topping of your choice) range between 1,90-4,00 Euros. When you order a drink, you get tapas with it, an appetizer of your choice that is included with the drink. The Spanish love to eat. So there is no shortage of supermarkets, pubs, cafes and a reason to eat again.

Just as a caution, the opening hours are a bit different. From about 14:00 – 17:30, you wont find anything open. And dinner starts at 19:00 21:00, and that is considered very early.

Phone

If you have an unlocked SIM card, you can get a cheap data and phone pre-paid plan for 10-30 Euro/ month. I am using Lycamobile currently. Just walk into a phone store and ask for a pre-paid SIM card.

Car rental

Because Andalusia is big and there is so much to discover, I rented a small car for 43 days. I pay 4 Euro/per day without insurance. I must say though, after seeing the rather intimate contact between cars, I was glad I got the insurance on top of it. The company, I booked the car through, is: RECORD RENT. You can pick up the car right in the Malaga airport, no transfer to another parking area required.

Do you have a specific question? Just send me an email via the contact form or comment below.

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Want to see more? Follow my Euro RADventure on Instagram , YouTube and Strava for pictures, videos and routes.