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.
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
During weekdays these mountains roads around Malaga tend to be fairly quiet, but in the weekend it seems that all of 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
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.
ITV station El Palo
Autokeuringsstation bij El Palo en start van de klim.
Olias, een typisch wit bergdorpje (pueblo blanco) in Andalusië.
Puerto de la Bolina
Puerto de la Bolina is op 771 meter hoogte.
Een wildrestaurant aan het eind van de Puerto de la Bolina, de bergpas tussen Olias en Malaga.
Puerto del León
De Puerto del León is een bergpas op 900 meter hoogte op de A-7000 van Malaga naar Colmenar.
Fuente de la Reina
De Fuenta de la Reina, de fontein van de koningin, ligt op 925 meter, op 15 kilometer afstand van Malaga en is van oudsher een rustplaats voor reizigers.
Restaurante Trepaolla ligt net buiten de stad. Hier kun je lekken eten, met uitzicht over de stad en de Middellandse Zee. Vooral de gegrilde inktvis is een aanrader.
Om meer te lezen over Malaga, klik hier.
Montes de Málaga
The Montes (mountains) de Malaga are a protected natural area, where at the moment the 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 pieceof 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.
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.
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