People have always been attracted to desert areas. Although Spain is not a particularly rainy country (except for on the Cantabrian coast), there are 4 areas where the aridity reaches higher levels:

1.- Monegros

This area seems to have been lifted straight out of the Eastern steppes. The landscape is singularly unique within Europe.

Within its immense expanse of more than 276,000 hectares, there are steppes, wooded areas, ravines, hills and salt-water and freshwater lakes.

It is home to countless species of flora and fauna and there is particularly rich and varied bird life.

2.- Jandía

At the far south of the already dry island of Fuerteventura, this nature reserve has a mountain range with peaks up to 800 m high, between the Jandía peninsula and the isthmus that connects it to the rest of the island.

It is one of the most unusual and valuable areas on the Canaries, with an imposing, almost untouched countryside.

Its arid nature and particular location have turned it into a refuge for various endangered species that are now protected.

3.- Tabernas

In the Almeria province, this area is famous throughout the world for having been used for decades as the backdrop for many Westerns.

It is a 28,000 hectare nature reserve which offers several varied geological points of interest, such as gullies, watercourses and ravines.

Due to its extreme weather, it is the only area officially classed as desert within Europe.

There are hiking routes across the most spectacular sections.

4.- Bardenas Reales

Like Monegros, this area is in the Ebro Valley. One of this Nature Reserve’s peculiarities is that its 42,000 hectares do not belong to any municipality.

Its sandstone layers are interwoven with soft clay and gypsum to create an impossible landscape that changes at dizzying speed.

As well as being the home to bandits, it has also hosted films, adverts and video clips. The magic of Bardenas magic touches everyone.

 

We are planning 2 excursions to these desert badlands for very soon. Everything is arranged by Posada La Pastora in honour of their 15th Anniversary:

Bardenas Reales on MTB

Bardenas Reales on foot

Are you in?

Domestic exoticism: The 4 driest areas in Spain

11 Feb 2015 Bardenas Reales, BTT Routes, Hiking, Hiking Routes

People have always been attracted to desert areas. Although Spain is not a particularly rainy country (except for on the Cantabrian coast), there are 4 areas where the aridity reaches higher levels:

1.- Monegros

This area seems to have been lifted straight out of the Eastern steppes. The landscape is singularly unique within Europe.

Within its immense expanse of more than 276,000 hectares, there are steppes, wooded areas, ravines, hills and salt-water and freshwater lakes.

It is home to countless species of flora and fauna and there is particularly rich and varied bird life.

2.- Jandía

At the far south of the already dry island of Fuerteventura, this nature reserve has a mountain range with peaks up to 800 m high, between the Jandía peninsula and the isthmus that connects it to the rest of the island.

It is one of the most unusual and valuable areas on the Canaries, with an imposing, almost untouched countryside.

Its arid nature and particular location have turned it into a refuge for various endangered species that are now protected.

3.- Tabernas

In the Almeria province, this area is famous throughout the world for having been used for decades as the backdrop for many Westerns.

It is a 28,000 hectare nature reserve which offers several varied geological points of interest, such as gullies, watercourses and ravines.

Due to its extreme weather, it is the only area officially classed as desert within Europe.

There are hiking routes across the most spectacular sections.

4.- Bardenas Reales

Like Monegros, this area is in the Ebro Valley. One of this Nature Reserve’s peculiarities is that its 42,000 hectares do not belong to any municipality.

Its sandstone layers are interwoven with soft clay and gypsum to create an impossible landscape that changes at dizzying speed.

As well as being the home to bandits, it has also hosted films, adverts and video clips. The magic of Bardenas magic touches everyone.

 

We are planning 2 excursions to these desert badlands for very soon. Everything is arranged by Posada La Pastora in honour of their 15th Anniversary:

Bardenas Reales on MTB

Bardenas Reales on foot

Are you in?

Volver

Interest in several-day MTB routes has shot up in Spain over the last years. At the same time, the options for this type of cycle route have also hugely increased.

From among all these options, we have chosen our 5 favourites:

1.- Espubike

A recently created route that covers the whole of the Sierra Espuña nature reserve in Murcia. This natural park is the most representative of the region.

Starting off from El Berro, the route is 146 km long, split into 4 sections, with a cumulative elevation gain of 4,300 m.

The route is completed with a passbook, which is stamped as you pass through each stage.

It can be done at any point of the year, except summer, due to the high temperatures.

A highlight are the groups of Atlas mouflon, which you can see easily along the route and the many sumps where historically ice was stored in the winter.

2.- Tracks de Mallorca

This route tours through the Sierra de Tramuntana, a mountainous area in the north east of the island that has recently been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The best times to go are undoubtedly spring and autumn. It is done as a self-guided route with GPS. There are a total of 220 km and a cumulative elevation gain of 5,100 m, with the intention that it be broken into 4 days but of course, this time can be increased or even decreased!

The highlight is the stunning contrast between sea and mountain.

3.- Transandalus

The main feature of this route is that it was created from the information voluntarily shared by various Andalusian cyclists. At a distance of 2,000 km, it offers us a circular route crossing through the 8 Andalusian provinces.

The route is designed to be more cycle tour friendly, in the sense that there are no technical sections and it can be completed without too many problems carrying your own panniers, which on other routes can, quite frankly, get a bit complicated.

It’s also easy to find the tracks on wikiloc (separated into provinces) and of course, you can separate each section into a separate outing.

It stands out because of the large number of nature reserves that it passes through and as long as you avoid the hottest part of the summer, it can be done at any time of the year.

4.- Pedales de Lava

This MTB tour circles this incomparable Canary Island. It belongs to the group of routes called Pedales del Mundo.

The unrivalled Canary Island climate means that it can be done at any time of the year, although cyclists should be aware of the wind forecast, which can really affect the ride.

In total it is 247 km and 3,500 m cumulative elevation gain, designed to be achieved in 4 stages.

There is an incredible feeling of exploring other-worldly landscapes and looking across to Isla Graciosa, which is a jewel across the small sliver of sea.

5.- MTB Cruzada Medieval

Lastly, we must mention the apple of our eye, the MTB Cruzada Medieval that traverses a lesser-known part of the Aragonese Pre-Pyrenees.

This is a route  covering 217 km and with a cumulative elevation gain of 5,600 m, designed for experienced cyclists, as it alternates forest routes with more technical sections and some tarmac sections along deserted highways.

You can complete it at any time between March and November, always remembering to take care during the harsher summer days.

Nowhere else will you experience such overwhelming solitude. You will pass through incomparable medieval villages such as Uncastillo and Sos del Rey Católico as well as abandoned hamlets like Peña.

 

These are our own favourites. What route would you add to this list?

The 5 best staged MTB routes in Spain

11 Feb 2015 BTT Routes, Cycling Routes, News, Prepirineo, Roadbike

Interest in several-day MTB routes has shot up in Spain over the last years. At the same time, the options for this type of cycle route have also hugely increased.

From among all these options, we have chosen our 5 favourites:

1.- Espubike

A recently created route that covers the whole of the Sierra Espuña nature reserve in Murcia. This natural park is the most representative of the region.

Starting off from El Berro, the route is 146 km long, split into 4 sections, with a cumulative elevation gain of 4,300 m.

The route is completed with a passbook, which is stamped as you pass through each stage.

It can be done at any point of the year, except summer, due to the high temperatures.

A highlight are the groups of Atlas mouflon, which you can see easily along the route and the many sumps where historically ice was stored in the winter.

2.- Tracks de Mallorca

This route tours through the Sierra de Tramuntana, a mountainous area in the north east of the island that has recently been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The best times to go are undoubtedly spring and autumn. It is done as a self-guided route with GPS. There are a total of 220 km and a cumulative elevation gain of 5,100 m, with the intention that it be broken into 4 days but of course, this time can be increased or even decreased!

The highlight is the stunning contrast between sea and mountain.

3.- Transandalus

The main feature of this route is that it was created from the information voluntarily shared by various Andalusian cyclists. At a distance of 2,000 km, it offers us a circular route crossing through the 8 Andalusian provinces.

The route is designed to be more cycle tour friendly, in the sense that there are no technical sections and it can be completed without too many problems carrying your own panniers, which on other routes can, quite frankly, get a bit complicated.

It’s also easy to find the tracks on wikiloc (separated into provinces) and of course, you can separate each section into a separate outing.

It stands out because of the large number of nature reserves that it passes through and as long as you avoid the hottest part of the summer, it can be done at any time of the year.

4.- Pedales de Lava

This MTB tour circles this incomparable Canary Island. It belongs to the group of routes called Pedales del Mundo.

The unrivalled Canary Island climate means that it can be done at any time of the year, although cyclists should be aware of the wind forecast, which can really affect the ride.

In total it is 247 km and 3,500 m cumulative elevation gain, designed to be achieved in 4 stages.

There is an incredible feeling of exploring other-worldly landscapes and looking across to Isla Graciosa, which is a jewel across the small sliver of sea.

5.- MTB Cruzada Medieval

Lastly, we must mention the apple of our eye, the MTB Cruzada Medieval that traverses a lesser-known part of the Aragonese Pre-Pyrenees.

This is a route  covering 217 km and with a cumulative elevation gain of 5,600 m, designed for experienced cyclists, as it alternates forest routes with more technical sections and some tarmac sections along deserted highways.

You can complete it at any time between March and November, always remembering to take care during the harsher summer days.

Nowhere else will you experience such overwhelming solitude. You will pass through incomparable medieval villages such as Uncastillo and Sos del Rey Católico as well as abandoned hamlets like Peña.

 

These are our own favourites. What route would you add to this list?

Volver