The Costa Tropical has given me the perfect escape from Ireland’s constant rain and cold temperatures. Sitting out in the sun, cycling in shorts and a short-sleeve jersey, and temperatures of 20 °C are all commonplace here, even in January and February. For cycling, I see Velez de Benaudalla as the perfect base. Here, we are surrounded with perfectly surfaced roads that branch out in various directions, offering cyclists a good mix of routes with many interesting stops along the way. One road we’d travel on a lot is the flat N-323 towards Salobrena and the coast. The steep walls of the canyon on either side are beautiful, and the flat road is a nice relaxed way to cycle out to the coast for a coffee. From here you can head through Motril and go up the climb to the La Gorgoracha tunnel and back into Velez, or else take the scenic coastal road by Calahonda and Castell de Ferro, both of which are great places to stop as well.
Another road we regularly travel, and one that I’d really recommend, is the climb up Los Guajares, via Guajar-Faraguit. The surface is nice, and the road itself is generally quiet; it’s possible to cycle the road for an hour and not meet a single car. Even if you do happen to meet a car you may find yourself, as I was, surprised at the huge respect local driver give towards cyclists. Drivers in the region always do their best to give cyclists notice and as much room as possible when overtaking.
“The view from the top of Los Guajares is stunning, with the snow-capped Sierra Nevada ahead of you, and the sea visible to your right, complete with almond blossoms filling up the valley in spring”
The view from the top of Los Guajares is stunning, with the snow-capped Sierra Nevada ahead of you, and the sea visible to your right, complete with almond blossoms filling up the valley in spring. For those seeking climbs that will test your legs and mind until the sweet reward of reaching the top, Costa Tropical is the place to ride with a variety of climbs certain to please any cycling enthusiast. The area is famous for its mountainous terrain and it´s a regular feature of the Vuelta Espana.