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Málaga is a great starting point for road bike tours. In the mountains of Málaga elevation gain can easy be done in great countryside. The climbs have partly alpine dimensions.

Until about 20 years ago, I spent my vacations regularly in Málaga. At the end of November I looked at what has happened since then. The city has changed a lot. Bicycle and Malaga was a contradiction. Today Málaga has bike paths, a bike rental system and lots of cyclists. I read that in Spain are still too many cycling accidents. My experience is different.

The first tour: Over the tie knot to Puerto del León

The first tour started with a climb in alpine dimensions: 900 meters of elevation on 15,5 kilometers starting from almost cero to 900 meters height to the “Puerto de León”. The average gradient is 5.6 percent. Like the famous climb up to Cols dels Reis near Sa Calobra in Mallorca, this road has even two “tie knots”: The road leads in an arc over itself. Unfortunately, they are not visible. The way back went through La Cala del Moral along the sea back to Málaga.

The second tour: Reservoir Casasola and heavy climbs

The second tour started moderately on wavy terrain. In the valley of Rio Campanillas it passed the reservoir Casasola. From the quiet valley, a small road with a steep climb up to 18 percent leads back to the main road. 1.2 kilometers and a rise of 150 meters result in an average slope of 12.5 percent! After a short recovery a second heavy slope followed. My Garmin peaked at 23 percent. I had to bite pretty well. Then it went only downhill and in the valley flat back to Malaga.

The third tour: Casabermeja and Colmenar

On the third tour I went to Casabermeja and Colmenar. This time I cycled in sight of the highway a little further west and only with moderate climbs uphill. Casabermeja was fascinating. It was built on a steep slope. The wide country road from Casabermeja to Colmenar was less pleasant to cycle with lots of traffic and headwinds. From Colmenar at about 720 meters altitude, the road led past cork oaks on moderate climbs back to Puerto del León. Then it went downhill back to Málaga.

It’s beed great holidays in Málaga even very late in the year. I did not expect Málaga to be a great starting point for beautiful road bike rides.