Start: Murcia Finish: Murcia
Arrive in Murcia by public bus or private taxi and settle in at your hotel. Later, as the sun goes down, venture out on a stroll, revel in deliciously warm temperatures and take to a terrace for tapas.
Kick the week off with a 45-minute transfer to Bullas, try out your bike then hit the road. Or rather the ‘Via Verde’ rails-to-trails bike path! Stretch your legs part-way through on a wander in the hilltop village of Cehegín. Add an optional extra loop on quiet country roads pedalling past flower farms and vegetable fields on the River Argos.
Today’s adventure ends in Caravaca, one of the world’s five Holy Cities, along with Rome, Jerusalem, Santiago de Compostela and Santo Toribio de Liebana. The splendid local church, part of an impressive 1617 fortress, confers Eternal Forgiveness to pilgrims who journey here during a Holy Year.
Challenge: 39 km, 300 m ascent, 330 m descent
Roll along past irrigation channels and elm groves riding from one fountain to the next. Stumble upon Roman and Christian sanctuaries and inspect ancient settlements representing every era from Paleolithic, Argaric, Iberian and Roman eras to Medieval times. After a first tough ascent to Archivel, a way-marked route leads to tiny villages and farmed fields. Riding downhill to La Encarnación, your day finishes with a short section on an unsurfaced GR track. Back in Caravaca, pause at Plaza del Arco to admire the statues of “Moros y Cristianos”, Moors and Christians.
Challenge: 45 km, 450 m ascent, 450 m descent
Don’t let the route profile put you off. Today’s ride might look demanding, but you’ll take on both steep 150-metre ascents in the first half. After that you glide along on pleasant terrain, cycling mainly downhill with another section on the greenway. Moratalla makes for an excellent lunch stop where steep lanes wind to a 15th-century Christian fortress and 16th-century church. Pedalling onward you hit huge olive groves, endless orchards and farmed fields. Wherever a tiny bit of water wells up, the almond trees and vegetable gardens magically reappear, as do the rice fields near Calasparra.
Challenge: 44 km, 450 m ascent, 740 m descent
Take time to tour the main monuments in Calasparra or cycle an optional 13-km loop to the sanctuary honouring Our Lady of Hope. Ride next through a peaceful remote area to calming cool views over Alfonso XIII Reservoir. Rolling toward the Río Segura, you cut through a patchwork of almond and apricot orchards, a symphony in pink during the spring bloom. The final 6,5km wind alongside the river into lively Cieza.
Challenge: 45 km, 475 m ascent, 360 m descent
Waterways mark the route to Archena as you cycle the Segura, snaking alongside ancient irrigation channels. Get ready for a sudden change of scenery in exotic Ricote Valley, somehow reminiscent of Palestine with a jade-coloured river between dry slopes and exotic oases of orchards studded with palm trees. The 15th-century white-washed villages of Abarán, Blanca, Ójos and Ulea represent Murcia’s last Moorish stronghold and peaceful inland lanes circle back to Murcia.
Challenge: 28 or 57 km, 200 m ascent, 340 m descent
Book an extra day in Murcia to rest and relax, do some shopping or tour the gardens south of the city. Test your legs on the optional ascent to the ridgetop sanctuary at Fuensanta, home to Murcia’s patron saint. The 1694 Baroque church is a national monument complete with café serving tasty snacks with fab views.
Challenge: 18 km, 90 m ascent, 90 m descent
The hotels on this trip have been carefully selected for their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite. Some of the hotels we work with appear here. If a certain hotel is unable to confirm due to lack of availability, we will request a similar one and inform you about the alternative booked.
Extra nights: Extra nights can be booked at any of the accommodations along the way.
Comfortable rooms designed for true urbanites. City lovers will feel at right home with the hotel's avant-garde design and modern flair.
Each room is unique, so much so that you'll feel right at home. Details with our own personal stamp, to make your stay something special.
Just 800 metres from Calasparra's Church of the Holy Spirit and closer still to the Church of San Pedro, the hotel features a sauna and outdoor terrace.
Centrally-situated in the historic town of Cieza. New building with modern facilities combining classic style with a modern touch.
You can start on any day of the week, subject to availability, throughout the year. Please take into account that between 15/06 and 15/09 the temperatures go up considerably
Arrival in Murcia
From Alicante airport (ALC) to Murcia
By Bus: You can get a bus direct from Alicante airport to the city of Murcia. There are several departures a day. You can buy your ticket on the bus. Travel time is one hour. This service is run by ALSA. For further details, please go to ALSA online at www.alsa.es.
By Taxi: From the bus station in Murcia, it’s just a short taxi ride to your hotel.
From Murcia airport (MJV) to city of Murcia
For information on Murcia airport (MJV), please go to: www.aena.es/en/murcia-san-javier-airport/index.html
By Taxi: On arrival at Murcia airport, you get a taxi to your hotel in the city centre.
From Valencia airport (VLC) to Murcia
For information on Valencia airport (VLC), please go to: www.aena.es/en/valencia-airport/index.html
By Bus: You can get a bus from Valencia (or Valencia airport) to the city of Murcia. These services are run by ALSA. There are several departures a day from the city centre and at least 2 a day from the airport. A single ticket Valencia-Murcia is about 18,00€ and travel time is 3 to 5 hours, depending on the type of bus you take. For further details, please go to www.alsa.es
Departure from Murcia
See relevant information under arrival above
NOTE: Bike rental includes repair kit, lock, pump, front and back cycle bags and map carrier
Bergamont Horizon 6.0 Amsterdam 2017
Ecobike Elegance Plus