After soaking up the sights and cultural delights of Madrid, what better way to discover the best of its surroundings than on a cycle tour that offers excellent hotels, outstanding cuisine and six hundred years of Spanish history.
Toledo! Segovia! Museums! Monasteries! The Sierras! How do you select a bicycle tour that allows you to see all the great sights of Madrid and its surrounding regions without sacrificing time in the saddle?
Easy. Our Madrid, Toledo and Segovia tour gets you out of the city to experience the beauty of Madrid’s surroundings by bike – the Monastery of El Paular, the Aqueduct of Segovia, the narrow and winding alleys of Toledo.
We connect the most famous sites with narrow country roads and forest paths to create a tour that combines the best of both worlds within an hour’s drive of the Spanish capital.
Day 1: Miraflores de la Sierra (Madrid)
Route: 24.1 km
Elevation: +387 m / -277 m
Accommodation: Hotel La Muñequilla
Guests of Bike Spain Tours are taken by van to Pedriza National Park where we fit the bikes and make the first test ride to Miraflores de la Sierra. On the route we will pass by the impressive 15th century castle of Manzanares el Real. Once we arrive at the hotel and have had a chance to unpack, we’ll have a welcome drink, and provide you with the road book and maps for the tour.
Day 2: Segovia
Route: 56.8 km
Elevation: +826 m / -1400 m
Accommodation: Hotel San Antonio el Real
After breakfast, we’ll drive to the top of the Morcuera Pass to ride down and through the beautiful Lozoya Valley and visit the El Paular monastery and ride along the edges of the Pinilla Reservoir. Then we’ll take the van over the Navafría Pass and ride along the northern flank of the Guadarrama Mountains, travelling through oak and pine forests on back country roads to the town of Pedraza, a perfectly preserved medieval town, complete with castle. We’ll have lunch in Pedraza and travel by van to Segovia, where we’ll stay the night in a historic hotel located in the city’s Plaza Mayor, after you´ll have a chance to visit Segovia’s cathedral and Alcázar.
Day 3: El Escorial
Route: 32.2 km
Elevation: +503 m / -324 m
Accommodation: Hotel Los Lanceros
Segovia’s ancient streets and medieval neighborhoods provide a great place to start today’s riding. We’ll pass along the ancient city walls, under the world-famous Roman aqueduct and go by some marvelously old monasteries as we travel around the city and head towards the town of San Ildefonso de la Granja, built by the first Bourbon monarchs of Spain, who were determined to re-create a little piece of Versailles in the dry plains of Spain. From there, we’ll drive to the town of El Escorial and visit the Monastery of San Lorenzo. Built between 1563 and 1584, the Monastery was the biggest building of the Renaissance period.
Day 4: Toledo
Route: 54.3 km
Elevation: +441 m / -1173 m
Accommodation: Hotel Pintor El Greco
The mountainside setting of El Escorial is a favorite location for cycle tourists and road bikers alike; once we’ve had the chance to explore the area surrounding the San Lorenzo Monastery, we’ll make our way by bike south along quiet, country roads passing through charming small towns and we’ll finish in the of wine region of Mentrida. From there we will transfer by van to the world-famous city of Toledo, which was the capital of the country in the 15th century and was once the most famous seat of learning in the peninsula. Every square inch of the hill rising from the banks of the Tagus River has been built upon, and the city is home to innumerable convents, churches, museums, synagogues and palaces. Take the afternoon to discover the narrow alleys and hillside staircases that have inspired everyone from artist El Greco to novelist Noah Gordon.
Day 5: Madrid
Route: 39.2 km
Elevation: +429 m / -387 m
Accommodation: Hotel Quatro Puerta del Sol
This morning we have a quick transfer by van from Toledo to the town of Aranjuez, where we will view the impressive grounds of the 18th-century Aranjuez Palace. Our bike ride will start just 6 km outside of Aranjuez in the settlement of the Real Cortijo de San Isidro. This area is notable because it was built as an experimental agricultural station in 1766 during the Enlightenment, which was inspired by King Carlos III, an enthusiastic physiocrat who was persuaded that the value of his kingdom lay more in its lands and people than in the gold and silver stored in its treasury. From here we bike to Chinchón, which has one of the prettiest town squares in the region and we continue the ride through the rolling countryside to lunch in Morata de Tajuña passing by wineries, olive grove and melon farms. After lunch it’s a quick van transfer back to Madrid for a stay in the city’s leafy, museum suburb.
Day 6: Madrid
Accommodation: Hotel Quatro Puerta del Sol
The final day of the tour gives you the chance to discover Madrid on your own, either on foot or by bike. There’s so much to do that it almost seems unfair to list all the possibilities, but favorites of past participants – and of most visitors to Madrid! – include the Big Three museums (the Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Reina Sofía), the beauty of the Retiro Park, or the wide open spaces of the Casa de Campo Park (perfect for those who’d like a spin on a mountain bike!) In the evening, you’re free to go on your own tapas crawl, take in a flamenco show or see something cultural at the Teatro Real or the Teatro Nacional (we’ll be happy to make the reservations for you).
Day 7: End of the trip
Time to say goodbye to the capital. We hope that the tour has given you the opportunity to discover the natural beauty and historic depth of Madrid and the surrounding region.