Best Winter Cycling Destination? It’s got to be Málaga & the Costa de Sol!

Use 2020 to discover what local Spanish cyclists have always known, that Southern Spain`s favourite city Málaga is the best place to bike and live in the colder months.

Cyclists if the thoughts of dark winter nights are already depressing you, remember southern Spain`s Málaga, has some superb cycling, just out of the city centre and is easy to get to.

Being loved by the Phoenicians, Romans, and Moors, Málaga is still beloved by modern day travellers and is easily accessed by International flights from Montreal to Manchester and fast train connections from Madrid (only 3 hours away!).  Once you are here you won´t be disappointed either.  The National Meteorological Agency states that the Costa del Sol is the sunniest in Spain with a 320 days of sun, and Málaga itself gets 2,901 hours of sunshine!  That surely is enough to get some good riding in.

Culture Vultures will enjoy Málaga!
A short warm up ride from the City centre is not a chore and the coastal road sees packs of road cyclists out at all times of the day and especially on weekends when the sea front is a virtual highway of outdoors lovers.  Through the new Muelle Uno, the marina has seen a wonderful resurgence in the last few years and cruise ships, tall ships and cruisers all share space in this enviable mooring.  Alive with cafés, restaurants, galleries and shops and even the Pompidou Art Gallery has an excellent spot, it is only a short and pleasant walk through Malagueta (the traditional neighbourhood here) to the historical centre via a very pleasant paseo of shady palms and plants.  This is all set to the chorus of emerald parakeets which nest in the trees above.  From this centre, visit the superb Picasso Museum or excellent Carmen Thyssen Gallery Museum with its very pretty Andalucian oil painting and modern works.

Slow down to see more on your bike!

For those on more slower forms of bikes, such as hybrid or Eike riders, the slow and lazy cycle down the shared pedestrian paved walk, beach side is also enjoyable and the desire to stop for a coffee or a Menu del día at a local fish grill Chiringuito is always a temptation.  A great place is just to the west of the city centre, so past the neighbourhoods of Malagueta, then El LImonar (one of the nicest residential areas in Malaga with many period mansion homes and tropical plants), then on to Pedrogalejo.  A former area of mainly fishers, this neighbourhood is being gentrified but still offers some of the best seafood lunches on the Costa del Sol, the fish fried right in front of you on a spit on the beach. It gets crowded by locals, so get there early to nab a table. This makes for a wonderful relaxed bike trip there and back to the centre of Málaga, cycle paths the entire way.

Have a little bit more energy to spend?

Cycling Country Riding La Vuelta Time Trial in Málaga 2018
Needless to say, even the Pro races love this area with the Costa del Sol featured in several Grand Departs and stages of La Vuelta a España in the past as well. To even drive this point home, the famous Ruta del Sol or Vuelta a Andalucia, the first Pro race of the season, always takes place down here in February. This year in 2020, the Grand Depart is in Alhaurin de la Torre (only 5 minutes outside Malaga centre).  See told you, great prospects for Road cycling here.
Cycling Country
Riding La Vuelta Time Trial in Málaga 2018

How blessed are you when you can go out and climb several Classic climbs of La Vuelta in the morning and then go swimming in the afternoon and maybe take in a concert or a club. This is really living the dream and we must say, We love it!

Classic Vuelta Climb Minutes away from Downtown


Only 2 minutes cycle from the Moorish Alcázar Fortress is the start of one of Spain’s famous climbs, the Puerto del Leon, a real favourite with La Vuelta and locals.  Whilst a little steep at the beginning with gradients of about 6%, it is a steady climb with the middle being about 5%, to crawl up steeper near the end (7%+), however, very pleasant as you are in the National Parque of the Montes de Malaga and so it is mainly in the pine forest. The fountain, the Fuente de la Reina (Queen’s fountain) is the meet point for cyclists and has been a get together place for anyone travelling that way for hundreds of years!  Nowadays, there is also a café to get a strong quick cortado coffee and keep going!  There is always a good café restaurant Venta Galwey at the top to have a nice bocadillo sandwich and keep on going to Colmenar or back down.

It is a tasty little climb of 920m ascent in 16.3km, starting seaside of course at 0m. The descent is lush, a wonderfully curving road with amazing views of Málaga, Benalmádena & Fuengirola.  On a good day, maybe Africa!

Have a celebratory Drink on the Beach



It can also be climbed via Olías, which was featured in the Vuelta a España 2015, and is a tougher climb with one part, the “wall” at about 15%.  However, it is really scenic and very quiet and being a little bit out of Málaga, it features clear views of the Mediterranean and amazing rocky coastal landscape. One to check off the bucket list and you might even enjoy this climb!

Good news is; both can be climbed any day of the year!  And of course, make a nice loop ride of 47km as well.

So much cycling to do from this city, you won’t have time to fit in going to the beaches, of which there are many 15 minutes walk from the city centre.  Malagueta being one of the closest and an easy way to lure those family or friends to come with you with the promise of some R and R, beach side after the biking.

Still wanting more?


Contact us about our tours out of Malaga such as our Famous Vuelta Climbs, the South guided tour or our Self guided Bike To the Med, or Med Training (Moderate & Challenging options), we will find so many routes for you, you really will want to become a permanent fixture here in this wonderful Spanish city!


*Join us for the Ruta del Sol Bike Tour this February 2020 and enjoy this Grand Depart in Málaga

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