circular cycling route Montes de Malaga

One of the most scenic cycling routes in the mountains of Malaga is:

Malaga – El Palo – Olias – Puerto de la Bolina – Puerto del León – Fuente de la Reina – Malaga. That is, if your definition of scenic entails blood, sweat and tears.

Cycling the Mountains of Malaga

Yes, this fifty kilometer cycle route will pose a challenge for even the most hardened cyclists. If you are inclined to cycle this trail be warned, en route you will have to conquer two mountain passes and a ‘wall’ with a 17% incline.

No wonder that the Vuelta and the Tour of Andalusia include these Andalusian mountain roads in their cycling tours whenever they can. And yes, you guessed right, this is not for me. I like to cycle in and around Malaga, but strictly on flat land; cycling upwards on a steep slope is simply too much for me and downhill I am shit scared. But hey, my son has a different opinion about danger and what involves too much exercise. In two hours he plows up the mountain to 940 meters, while I take charge of the passenger seat of his support vehicle.

Of course, we will keep the one and a half meter distance between us and his bicycle as motorists in Spain are obliged by law to keep a minimum distance between their vehicle and cyclists.

A circular cycling route in the Montes de Malaga

During weekdays these mountains roads around Malaga tend to be fairly quiet, but in the weekend it seems that all the coastal population is on her way up, including feisty young women on heavily loaded tracking bikes. For those that don’t cycle, that is a heavy bike, packed with luggage. I’m truly impressed.

A scenic drive in Malaga

These mountain passes are not only popular among cyclists, bikers and motorists also enjoy driving here because this route is truly spectacular: on the first part to the Puerto de la Bolina you have fantastic mountain views and from the Puerto del León there are sweeping views overlooking the infinite blue of the Mediterranean.

The route is on the map below, the text continues below.

the wall near Olias
chapel Olias

Montes de Málaga

The Montes (mountains) de Malaga are a protected natural area, where at the moment almond trees blossom. Oaks, olive trees and pines ensure beautiful greenery throughout the year.

En route is Olías, one of those typical ‘pueblos blancos‘, the white mountain villages so characteristic of the Axarquia region. At the entrance of the village a beautiful chapel keeps watch over all those infidels passing through.

The Wall – El Muro

Ascending out of Olías to the Puerto de la Bolina, after a couple of kilometers ‘the wall’ starts, a nasty piece of climbing that has been given its name because it has a 17% incline. Even my car grumbles in protest on this mountain pass. Apparently, according to my partner, in opposite direction this is ideal to race down with 80 kilometers per hour. I repeat, just in case you have not read this properly, over eighty kilometers per hour. That is by bike, not by car.

For me this is too much information, there are things one would rather not know about their son’s or husband’s activities and this is certainly one of those.

cycling in the Mountains of Malaga
Venta Galwey Malaga
circular route Malaga - Olias

Practical information

Rest places along the route

Anyway, uphill is ‘fortunately’ a lot slower. Occasionally you dip down, so the hard-won altitude is lost in no time. But after the wall soon enough you will reach Venta Galwey. This wonderful traditional restaurant specializes in game, a perfect place to rest, because after this, the route goes mainly downhill through the Puerta de León, the mountain pass between Malaga and Colmenar.

Next is the Fuente de la Reina, the ‘Queen’s Fountain’, traditionally a resting place for travelers because of the supply of fresh mountain water.

On the last part of the mountain range, entering Malaga, you will find Trepaollas, a restaurant with a beautiful view over the Mediterranean and a nice menu.

Rent a bike

Malaga Bike Rental has a selection of race bikes, mountain bikes and electric mountain bikes to clients visiting the Malaga region of Andalusia.  They deliver bikes direct to our clients holiday accommodation. are the leading Bike Rental Specialists in Malaga. They rent Giant Carbon Race Bikes to individuals and to large groups of up to 30 cyclists. They organise bikes to be waiting for you upon your arrival to your holiday accommodation in Malaga, already set-up to your correct measurements based on your own bike. This means your cycling holiday can start the moment you arrive in Andalucia!

To organise your bike rental in Malaga visit their website here:

Bike Hire Malaga

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