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Andalucia Spain review, with trail videos

thomasmorristhomasmorris Posts: 373
edited March 2013 in Holidays
Two mates and I went to Orgiva in Andalucia in the Southern Sierra Nevada at the start of March. I thought I'd write a review for anyone else who is thinking about making a similar trip. I previously biked in Garda, Itlay, and all over the UK on natural trails plus trail centers like Llandegla and Afan. I do most of my riding in the South Downs and Surrey Hills.

Flights / travel
We flew into Malaga from Gatwick with Easyjet. Flights were less than £100 return, bikes costs £57 return. We packed most our cloths into our bike bags as padding and shared one luggage bag between us. Malaga to Sierra Nevada (Orgiva) took about 1:45. I think Granada may be slightly closer, especially to other more northerly village but less flights are availible.

Guide
We went with http://www.bikingandalucia.com . David was our guide and also runs the accommodation. He's down to earth and a funny bloke; a pleasure to ride with. He's been out in the region for over 10 years and as expected has exceptional knowledge of the various trails and link up options. He was always quick to let us know when technical sections were approaching and let us go first down the singletrack after explaining any turnings. The weather was a bit mixed but the routes he picked seemed to make the most of the conditions.

Trails
As it was winter we stayed below 1000m and predominatly around Orgiva. I know in the summer David takes trips up over 2000m with some pretty longs decents! The single track we saw was among the best I've ridden, certainly on a par with stuff I've ridden in Scotland (Tour of Ben Nevis etc) and Garda. Non-of it is trail center like, and you have to be aware that what may be a fairly mundane track has the potential to turn super technical around any corner.

Awesome 6 k descent: http://youtu.be/s7CDclgOSC4
Decent through town (Orgiva): http://youtu.be/UP6fV-MM_dk
Rock garden: http://youtu.be/1INcSxnutDs
Orgiva Switchbacks: http://youtu.be/m2Ivdokg_ws

Accommodation / village
The accommodation with biking andalucia was basic but is all you need. David brought breakfast and lunch supplies each day and kept the fridge stocked up. There are two cottages on the site with a large garden. Unless you book out a full cottage you might sharing. It's nothing flashy, but certainly comfortable and is a steal at the very low at price of £290, for 7 days, including bed, breakfast and lunch and guiding.

The town isn't touristy and rural Spain is certainly struggling in recession/depression. If you're expecting cute alpine villages then you're in the wrong place. However, everyone we met was very welcoming and the place certainly had it's own charm. There are loads of bars in the town (almost 50 I believe), drinks are really cheap and all come with tapas. In some places it almost feels like you've robbed them having 6 beers, 6 plates of tapas all for less than 10 euro!

Weather
By all accounts we were pretty unlucky with our weather yet only lost one day to rain. If we were honest and MTFU we could of ridden, but fancied as rest as it came 5 days in to holiday. Most days the temperature was 15-20 degrees making ridding in shorts and t-shirt comfortable. Take a pack down raincoat though, it's likely you won't use it, but it's nice to have an extra layer to put on high up if it drizzles.

Conclusion: trails excellent with much more still to explore. Accommodation all that is needed and super cheap. Guide friendly, down to earth with excellent local knowledge. Town rustic, but authentic rural Spain with great tapas, bars and people. Fantastic holiday.
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