Away from the Crowds logoAway from the Crowds

Active, self-guided cycling and walking holidays in unexplored Spain

Sustainable tourism watermarkSiguenza from viewpoint

Cycling holidaysLandscapes of Castile

Come to the very heart of central Spain and immerse yourself in Castilian culture, folklore and tradition. Travelling from Segovia to Guadalajara, this self-guided cycling tour is all about the raw nature and medieval history of this little-known region of central Spain.

From 656 € per person

Difficulty level gauge

Difficulty:Moderate+

Details ...

Duration:7 nights, 8 days

Dates:April to 31st October

Start:Any day of the week

Location on map of Spain

Longer distances and hilly terrain, with perhaps four ascents per day.

Cycling surface:Tarmac: 87%. Dirt road: 13%.

Average daily distance / climb:26 miles (42 km) / 1946 ft (594 m).

Description

Experience a soulful journey through raw, untamed nature in unexplored Spain. Cycle through bountiful nature reserves, cross hills and streams in the "Land of Castles" on your way to timeless towns.

  • Tranquil cycling undisturbed by cars, along small country roads. A cyclist's dream! Finish off each day relaxing at a different quality rural guest house.
  • Travel across the landscape from slate villages, across fertile lands of red earth, to vivid limestone canyons with their imposing sheer faces and nesting birds of prey.
  • Visit the enchanting town of Ayllon, with its splendid main square, large stone colonnades and noble houses.
  • Explore the emblematic towns and landmarks of the region such as Riaza, Jadraque, Sigüenza and the castle of El Cid.
  • Marvel at the bewitching 'Tejera Negra', the remote black slate villages of Guadalajara.
  • Enjoy the colourful contrast of the 'Pueblos Rojos', the red villages hewn from the striking blood-red clay of this valley.
  • Admire the natural beauty of this untouched area of wilderness with elusive otters, wild-boar, deer and even ephemeral wolves!
  • Taste the traditional cuisine with varied local delicacies to delight the taste buds!
  • Cycle through the tranquil 'Río Dulce' natural park, as its crystal waters accompany you through this striking limestone canyon.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival to Ayllon

A chance to explore the medieval town centre full of noble mansions from the 15th-17th centuries, its palace and elegant main square. Every corner is a photo opportunity!

Day 2: Ayllon to Riofrío de Riaza

Distance: 33 miles (53 km). Climb: 3091 ft (942 m).

Today you'll receive your bicycle and begin your spectacular first route cycling amongst a vast oak woodland, discovering the curious red stone villages typical of this area. Visit the medieval town of Riaza, with its fabulous main square which is surrounded by colonnades and topped with balconies. The imposing Gothic church and Renaissance tower are stand-outs as well.

Day 3: Riofrio de Riaza to Campillo de Ranas

Distance: 24 miles (39 km). Climb: 2530 ft (771 m).

Today's cycle leads you over the Quesera mountain pass and rewards you with amazing views. From there, the landscape changes to open wooded valleys and black slate villages with their striking architecture. The small quiet roads descend into the remote "Tejera Negra Valley" where the stars shine bright at night. You will be captivated by these bewitching villages!

Day 4: Campillo de Ranas to Cogolludo

Distance: 22 miles (36 km). Climb: 1657 ft (505 m).

Cycle along winding country roads, past interesting towns such as Tamajón and Muriel, with a chance to swim in the Beleña reservoir. Today's route takes you through the more fertile valleys of Guadalajara to historic Cogolludo with its palace and inviting restaurants with airy terraces.

Day 5: Cogolludo to Jadraque

Distance: 24 miles (39 km). Climb: 1942 ft (592 m).

The red earth, aromatic plants, open landscapes, olive and almond groves characterise this section of the journey. Cycle through traditional shepherding country to finish off in the town of Jadraque, home of El Cid's castle, which dominates the landscape.

Day 6: Jadraque to Sigüenza

Distance: 27 miles (43 km). Climb: 1178 ft (359 m).

Cycle through a canyon following the course of the "Rio Dulce" (or Sweet River in English). Take time for an exhilirating dip in its crystal clear waters! Then, you will cross through a protected natural park where large birds of prey thrive and see several beautiful and peaceful villages on the banks of the river on your way to the final highlight : the spectacular town of Sigüenza.

Day 7: Round trip Sigüenza

Distance: 24 miles (38 km). Climb: 1280 ft (390 m).

The virtues of the historic city of Sigüenza are almost endless, a real baptism in history! Explore it's 5th century castle, 12th century cathedral, diocese museum, medieval necropolis and many churches and historic buildings, as well as doing a circular cycle tour exploring the surrounding landscape.

Day 8: Departure

Return to Madrid for extra nights or to fly back home. Alternatively, why not extend your stay in the beautiful city of Sigüenza?

Travel

Frequent questions:

Which airport should I fly to?
Madrid International Airport.
How do I get to the Starting Point?
By bus from Madrid to Ayllón (2 hrs). Another option is private transfer (faster, 1h:20m)
How do I get back to Madrid Airport?
By train from Siguenza to Madrid. 1hr and 45 minutes.

Useful links:

Hotels

A selection of hand-picked, family-run hotels in an authentic rural environment in the heart of Castile.

Hotel in Ayllon

Night 1: Ayllon

Hotel Ayllón is a beautiful boutique hotel with bright rustic styling and provides a very comfortable experience. It is perfectly located on the main square and the hotel itself is built on a carefully restored historic building.

Its rooms fuse rustic charm with modern sensibilities and its kitchen provides good local cuisine.

Hotel Riaza

Night 2: Riofrio de Riaza

El Mirador del Hayedo is a small family-run rural guesthouse ideally located on the foothills of the Guadarrama Mountains in a splendid natural environment.

They deserve mention for their good restaurant which serves traditional local food and the personal touch they give.

Hotel in Campillo

Night 3: Campillo de Ranas

La Era de la Tía Donata is another family-run hotel in a secluded village in the striking Tejera Negra region. Built entirely out of slate in the traditional style of the area, it provides comfortable accomodation and surprises all its guests with beautifully presented and elaborate dishes.

Hotel in Cogolludo

Night 4: Cogolludo

Hospedería Ballestero right next to the main square and the Medinaceli Palace, making it perfectly situated. Its rooms are warmly decorated with modern bathrooms and it has a well-known restaurant, popular with Spanish clientele.

Jadraque hotel

Night 5: Jadraque

Jadraque's Hotel Castillo is a simple, roadside hotel with a very popular restaurant in a typical Spanish town where you can get a real taste of the day-to-day lives of people in the region. It provides a good stop over on your way to Sigüenza.

Bedroom in Siguenza hotel

Nights 6 and 7: Sigüenza

Your final nights are at La Casona de Lucía : an excellent boutique hotel to finish off your trip. It offers quality service and is beautifully decorated with tastefully restored furniture, and maintains all the historic features of the original building.

This is a family-run hotel which goes back two generations and is a fantastic base from which to explore Sigüenza!

Our Bikes

Touring bikesElectric bikes

Designed to withstand heavy loads and provide high safety and comfort even after long hours of riding in the saddle, these adventure bikes will serve you well both on and off-road.

The downside to all these extra features and equipment is weight, but on a long distance tour, reliability, comfort and safety, win the day.

Gentleman's push bikeLady's push bike

Characteristics:
  • Time tested components to stay maintenance free during the tour.
  • Broad range of gears.
  • Stable carriers for luggage transport.
  • Permanently mounted lights with a hub dynamo.
  • Comfortable sitting position and straight, adjustable handlebars.
  • Other comfort features include bike stand, mudguards and bottle holder.
  • High bar and low bar models and sizes xs to XL.
Equipment provided:
  • Odometer
  • Rear pannier
  • Map carrier
  • Helmet
  • Water bottle
  • Lock
  • Pump
  • Puncture repair kit
  • Multitool set

Touring bikesElectric bikes

Not every type of electric bike is suitable to use in a cycling tour. Most e-bikes are actually designed for city cycling rather than long distances routes.

Experience allows us to choose e-bikes with the most suitable features for touring: reliability, simple operation, long battery life and short charge time.

Electric bike

Characteristics:
  • Time tested components to stay maintenance free during the tour.
  • Broad range of gears.
  • Stable carriers for luggage transport.
  • Permanently mounted lights with a hub dynamo.
  • Comfortable sitting position and straight, adjustable handlebars.
  • Other comfort features include bike stand, mudguards and bottle holder.
  • High bar and low bar models and sizes xs to XL.
Equipment provided:
  • Odometer
  • Rear pannier
  • Map carrier
  • Helmet
  • Water bottle
  • Lock
  • Pump
  • Puncture repair kit
  • Multitool set

Prices

Basic price:

Per person in double room656 €

This includes:

  • 7 nights' accommodation. 7 breakfasts.
  • Luggage transfers between hotels.
  • Detailed maps with your trail clearly marked.
  • Itinerary description, full of recommendations for things to do and places to visit, advice and suggestions and information about your accommodation, etc.
  • Emergency support.
  • Activity insurance.

Supplements:

Single room supplementHelp button137 €

For those travelling with others, but wanting a room to themselves each night.

Solo traveller supplementHelp button271 €

For those travelling by themselves. Do not choose the "Single room supplement" as well in this case.

Extras:

Half board (dinners)120 €

Bicycle hire90 €

E-bike hire180 €

GPS rental (one per group)30 €

Transfers:

Taxi Madrid to Ayllón (1-4 persons)Info button140 €

Price is per taxi, not per person. 1hr 30 mins.

Taxi Siguenza to Madrid (1-4 persons)Info button140 €

Price is per taxi, not per person. 1hr 20 mins.

Other options:(Prices on request)

Upgrade to Parador Castle hotel in Sigüenza 

Extra night(s) in Siguënza 

Extra night(s) in Madrid 

If interested, please contact us with your plans, requirements and queries,

or simply use the "Get a quote" section, which we would recommend.

Get a quote

Calculator

Basic price:

Per person in double room
656 €plusminus

Supplements:

Single room supplement
137 €plusminus
Solo traveller supplement
271 €plusminus

Extras:

Half board (dinners)
120 €plusminus
Bicycle hire
90 €plusminus
E-bike hire
180 €plusminus
GPS rental (one per group)
30 €plusminus

Transfers:

Taxi Madrid to Ayllón (1-4 persons)
140 €plusminus
Taxi Siguenza to Madrid (1-4 persons)
140 €plusminus
 
Total: *

Continue

Required fields are marked *

Other prices on request
 Upgrade to Parador Castle hotel in Sigüenza
 Extra night(s) in Siguënza
 Extra night(s) in Madrid

Please use "Notes" below to specify when. Thanks!

Holiday dates
Notes - Doubts - Questions - Special requirements
Contact details
Customer Service
Privacy
View:   🡥 Friendly     🡥 Legal
On we go
 ← captcha

Reviews

The itinerary was excellent

We enjoyed our holiday greatly. The itinerary was excellent, bicycles were great and we managed our 4 rear wheel punctures easily with the 4 spare inner tubes you supplied.

This is the third cycling holiday we have done with you and can strongly recommend all three.

We are likely to do more in the future and would love to see new itineraries.

James Langtry, UK.

Do it!

This tour was the best part of my 6 weeks in Spain.

The directions were excellent, the lodgings were fine, no problems with luggage pickup, and my questions were promptly answered by return email.

The bike was terrific, good on pavement but also fine on dirt roads and a path that was muddy. Even though it was early July the temperatures were fine for biking.

The route is quite varied, both the scenery and geology, with many small villages and castles along the way.

Do it!

Dave Brackett, UK.

This is a brilliant trip.

This is a brilliant trip. It promises the real Spain … and that's what you get. We met only one English man between Riaza and Siguenza and only a handful of English-speakers.

The route is well thought out and interesting, and the roads are smooth and empty. This trip's got lots of variety: road, tracks, flat, undulating, hills, wonderful scenery, birds galore and roadsides lined with flowers and herbs, lots of history and lovely architecture.

Even the weather provided plenty of variety, from hot and sunny to freezing rain and windy. Each day's instructions and maps were clear. The hotels and guest-houses were comfortable and people were kind and helpful.

We were there mid-May and the whole trip takes place between 850 metres and 1750 metres above sea level. There were times when it was decidedly hot and times when it was decidedly chilly. So best to be prepared for all weathers as it's quite cool in the mornings.

Day 5 we got caught in driving rain up on a plateau and we were pleased we had our arm and leg warmers. But we still froze and when our brains and bodies finally thawed out at the hotel we realised we would have been much better off with our full gloves plus hats under our helmets. And we’re used to riding in temperatures that hover around 0 in winter.

The Orbea hire bikes were comfortable hybrids and ideal for the job, there were a few tricky moments on the slick tyres on Day 6 where it was a bit muddy, but overall the best option.

We took our own SPD pedals and saddles although I was happy enough perched on the stock offering.

Good quality Bontrager helmets were supplied, we wouldn't have packed our own if we'd known this, worth checking before you depart. One less bulky item to pack.

Overall this was a fantastic trip, the scenery amazing and the distances nicely suited to leisurely days with plenty of stops to enjoy things on the way.

If you are looking for head down riding this possibly isn't for you, although you could easily tack on some extra distance each day.

Jean McArthur. USA.

Lots of hospitality, great nature, fine exercise.

Thank you for the trip. We enjoyed all parts of it, have nothing to complain about. Lots of hospitality, great nature, fine exercise.

We took some days in Madrid afterwards. It did live up to our expectations, and we are used to cycling outdoors from Norway! Great trip!!

We had some problems with the chain on one of our bikes – one screw, the one that fastens the small wheel at the rear that sits at the gear arm – suddenly fell off with several parts. However, we had luck that this happened as we went uphill, and we managed to find all the 5 small parts and eventually fix it. But if it had happened downhill, we couldn't have made it. We went over the screws on all the bikes, but it would be a good idea to go over the bikes with this in mind.

We'll be looking at other trips in your program for next year!

yours, Folke Gravklev, Oslo, Norway.

Thanks Folke. It was lucky you were going slowly when you had mechanical problems and managed to resolve it yourselves. But had you called us, we would have come over to help!

Jaime, AFTC.

a fantastic cycling holiday

We had a fantastic cycling holiday and thank you again for the organisation and help with the bike problems.

We hope to come back and do another trip with you some other time.

Jane Naismith. UK.

Thanks Jane. We look forward to hosting you again soon.

Jaime, AFTC.

CO₂ footprint offsetting

This holiday produces a carbon footprint of 0,425 tonnes of CO₂. This includes taxis, luggage transfers and accommodation for every traveller.

We will compensate the CO₂ footprint for each booking through tropical reforestation projects in collaboration with the CeroCO₂ platform.

Additionally, you can also offset your own flight emissions by visiting myclimate. See the link below.

Committed to Sustainable Tourism logo