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For undemanding cycle routes that take in the Coasta del Sol‘s most beautiful coastal scenery, Malaga is a superb starting point. Heading east out of the centre takes you past the city’s historic bullring and along the Paseo de Sancha, flanking Malaga’s most popular beach, the Playa Malagueta. This lovely promenade is flat and well-maintained, so you can expend all your effort looking out over the perfect blue waters towards Africa, or inland at the verdant, hilly landscape that surrounds Malaga. A round trip of about 30 kilometres (coming back the same way) takes you out to the Rincón de la Victoria suburb of Malaga via the charming fishing village of La Cala de Moral where, on the way back, you can stop for some of the best seafood on the Costa del Sol.
Another chilled ride starting from Malaga´s stunning port explores the coastal paths that lie to the west of the city. A longer ride of about 60km (including the return trip) takes you out to the former fishing village of Torremolinos – now one of the busiest tourist destinations on the Costa del Sol – and the beautiful whitewashed little towns of Benalmedena and Fuengirola. The perfect time to do either this coastal ride or the one that heads east out of Malaga (see above) is spring or autumn. This is not only because the summer temperatures on the Costa del Sol make anything but swimming, sunbathing and hanging around in chiringuitos a chore. Out of season, when just the locals are about, you can see Torremolinos, Benalmedena and Fuengirola as they once were, before the rest of the world found out how beautiful they are.
Malaga province is famous for its coastline, but it’s also worth exploring inland. Some of the region’s most dramatic mountain biking is to be enjoyed in and around the El Torcal Natural Park, close to the enchanting town of Antequera. El Torcal´s Jurassic-era limestone is around 150 million years old and its karst landscape makes for one of the most unusual and fascinating sights in all of Spain. Owing to the mountainous terrain in this region, the cycling is more demanding than it is on the coast, but it repays the extra effort. A route of about 18km takes you from Antequera along a winding (but well maintained) road with spectacular views of El Torcal, to the unspoilt, whitewashed town of Villanueva de la Concepción. From here, on a clear day, you can see all the way to the coast.
Ronda is one of Malaga province’s star-attractions. Perched either side of a deep gorge, its two halves are connected by a stunning eighteenth century stone bridge that is one of Andalusia’s greatest architectural marvels. It is also a superbly-positioned base from which to explore the many cycle paths in the surrounding Serrania de Ronda. Heading north from Ronda, via dusty countryside tracks, you are led into a cluster of some of Andalucia´s most attractive white villages (La Indiana is particularly charming), whilst to the west the Grazelma Natural Park offers mountain biking paths of varying levels of difficulty. Due to the rugged, hilly landscape this can be demanding cycling but, as in El Torcal, the natural beauty by which surrounds you, worth a little pain.