RIDE WITH US AND SEE SPAIN LIKE YOU NEVER THOUGHT BEFORE!

The Empty Spain expression has been used very often in the last couple of decades. Spain is a big country for European standards, the main issue is like as in many other countries, jobs and opportunities are concentrated in some regions. This leaves big gaps of land with not much commercial and industrial activity, making it hard for the remaining population to get jobs and opportunities.

Since the 1950s, when the country started to see a mass migration from the less favored areas to the regions that had more industry and investment, the exodus hasn’t stopped.

This situation now has mixed with a very low fertility rate in the country, creating the perfect storm and leaving vast areas with not many residents. Demographic density in some regions of Spain is alarmingly low, beyond repair according to the experts.

So why organize a cycling trip to the Empty Spain provinces, we at SFIDA Cycling, think that this part of the country has been overlooked for too long. And is time to ride and visit this region, and bring something to the communities that are keeping this incredible land alive.

Come with us and discover some of the most magnificent places Spain can show to the curious traveler than any SFIDA Cycling client is.

We can assure you that your surprise will be huge when you see amazing medieval cities, small towns with a lot of charm, incredible pristine landscapes, and enjoy riding on quiet roads. And of course, as always, we find the best accommodation possible, and it is excellent!

Food will be very important too, as the regions we will cover have a very varied and high-quality gastronomic offer.

Starting in the medieval town of Morella, we will make our way to Lerma crossing the provinces of Castellon, Teruel, Cuenca, Soria, and Guadalajara.

DISTANCE: 862km              daily average: 96km              

CLIMBING: 14,100m         daily average: 1,565m

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  • Duration:9 days
  • DATES : Sep 10 - Sep 19
    • HOTELS:3-4 Stars
    • MEALS:All meals included
    • ARRIVAL:Barcelona (BCN)
    • DEPARTURE:Madrid (MAD)
    • NON RIDER:20% discount
  • PRICE :

    4,150.00

DAY 1: Welcome to Spain!
Meet the SFIDA Cycling staff at Barcelona Airport (BCN) or at the designated hotel.

We will transfer from Barcelona airport to Morella, about 3 hours transfer.

When arriving by van to Morella, you will start to understand what’s on the road ahead on this trip.

Morella is an amazing walled medieval town in the Castellon province, its main attraction is the castle on the top of the mountain. After we check-in in our hotel and have lunch, we will build up our bikes and go for a short ride around Morella.

We will ride a loop anticlockwise from Morella, stopping by La Todolella and its singular castle. Note that most of our rides will have a good number of places of interest along the way!

Once back to our hotel, as we are centrally located, you can walk around this great town.

Day 1
42km / 800m
HOTEL: Hotel Rey don Jaime

 

DAY 2: Following the Camino del Cid.

We leave Morella following a bit of the Camino del Cid, a mythic Spanish historical character. His name was Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar and he was a warlord in medieval Spain around the 1200s.

Many of the places we will be riding through during our trip are thought to be part of his long history of battles and conquers.

Leaving Morella behind we head towards Cinctorres, then continue to Portal de Morella and La Iglesuela del Cid, in between, we will climb the Puerto de Cabrillas. Every town has something of interest, either an amazing church, or castle, or walls…or everything.

Mosqueruela will be the place for our lunch, a beautiful town just before the Puertos de Mosqueruelas and Linares.

Later on, we reach Valdelinares, which is the highest town in Spain, this is just before we reach the Puerto de Valdenilares, that at 1,828m is the highest point in our trip,

A descent on secondary roads will take us to Allepuz, in the Maestrazgo county.

Our accommodation tonight is one of our favorites in all the season!

Day 2
109km / 2,445m
CLIMBS:Puerto de la Cabrillas 1,329m  Puerto de Mosqueruela 1,514m  Puerto de Valdelinares 1,828m
HOTEL:  Hospederia Palacio de Allepuz

DAY 3: TERUEL EXISTE!

Leaving Allepuz behind, today we head towards Teruel, plenty to see along the way!

Very soon into our ride we will have our first stop at Alcala de la Selva and admire its medieval castle. Before Alcala de la Selva we will have summited the Puerto de Gudar, with an average of 1.2% from Allepuz…a bit embarrassing I know.

The next place of interest will be Mora de Rubielos, also with an imposing castle and a beautiful place for our café stop!

From Mora de Rubielos we head to Cedrillas via Alto de el Castellar. This is a very deserted area even for the standard of the region we are riding through. The remains of the castle at Cedrillas show us what was probably one of the biggest walled buildings in this part of Spain, very impressive.

Between Cedrillas and Teruel, we have the Puerto de Cabigordo, so we will arrive at Teruel after a nice descent.

Teruel was one of the first cities voicing the situation some other towns in Empty Spain face, besides losing population, the services for the remaining population continue to diminish.

TERUEL EXISTE, this expression was coined in late 1999 and now is a citizen movement, plural, and independent. The main aim is to demand equal and fair treatment to Teruel province.

Besides all these social issues, Teruel is an amazing place to visit, some of its buildings are part of the UNESCO Mudejar architecture, buildings built in the 1200s after the Reconquista.

We should have to visit Teruel in the later afternoon before dinner, a perfect time to walk around the old town, admire the many beautiful buildings and enjoy a drink or two… with Jamon of course!

Day 3
95km / 1,575m
CLIMBS:Puerto de Gudar 1,522m  Puerto de San Rafael 1,560m  Alto de Castellar 1,395m Puerto de Cabigordo 1,602m
HOTEL: Parador de Teruel

DAY 4: A short ride on a stunning road…and Albarracin!

It is always hard to decide on how long or short our daily rides must be. Sometimes we try to make sure we get from A to B, so we can have the right accommodation, meaning maybe a long day.

But today we decided on a short ride between Teruel and Albarracin, we consider that these two places deserve a bit more time than usual. But besides being short, this is a stunning ride!

We will enjoy a leisure start of the day, with a great breakfast at our accommodation at the Parador de Teruel.

Then, we will get on our bikes and ride to Albarracin through the protected pine forest landscape of Rodeno. This is a very beautiful road, including the Puerto de Dornaque 1,350m. A great way to arrive in Albarracin.

Albarracin is often voted as the most beautiful small town in Spain! Come and check for yourself!

We will have time in the afternoon to enjoy this magic place with no rush.

Day 4
38km / 700m
CLIMB: Puerto de Donarque 1,350m
HOTEL: Hotel Albarracin

DAY 5: Cuenca, nothing else to say!

From Albarracin we head to Cuenca today. Incredibly we will ride on quiet roads all the way to Cuenca.

We start following the Guadalaviar river, this is a very scenic section, with high rock formations on one side and the small river and forest on the other.

At around km 43 we will summit the Puerto del Cubillo, a very scenic climb. Followed by a series of small and lonely settlements that are part of the Serrania de Cuenca mountain range.

To note that today we barely will ride through four of five small towns before Cuenca, with no bars or restaurants at sight at all! Picnic day for sure.

Following the Jucar river, we will arrive to the historic walled city Cuenca, another amazing place and part of the Spain long UNESCO heritage list.

Build by the Moors as a defensive place, later was taken back by the Spanish Kingdom. Now, its hanging houses or Spain’s first Gothic cathedral will make our visit to this city unique and singular.

From our amazing accommodation at the Parador, we will walk across a spectacular bridge and visit Cuenca in the late afternoon.

Day 5
108km / 1,820m
CLIMB: Puerto del Cubillo 1,618m
HOTEL: Parador de Cuenca

DAY 6: Cuenca to Molina de Aragon…nothing is flat!

Today is our longest day, linking Cuenca to Molina de Aragon, always riding in the North direction.

After leaving Cuenca, we will ride through the Serrania de Cuenca again, this is a very quiet corner of a quiet province…ideal for riding our bikes. From Las Majadas to Poyatos we will ride through a very narrow and scenic gorge road, the road is good most of the way but sometimes it is a bit rough, it is a miracle that there’s a road there anyway.

Most of the ride will be continuous up and down different nameless climbs, keeping it in between 1,000m to 1,500m high all the way to Molina de Aragon. This is a tough day on the saddle!

Our final destination, Molina de Aragon, will welcome us with amazing views over its castle, built in the 1200s. Still has a good number of towers standing and the walls are in incredibly good condition.

In the old town center, we can see the old Jewish quartier and the Saint Francis Monastery. This is an amazing place to end today’s ride!

Day 6
136km / 2,670m
CLIMBS: A good number of climbs without a name!
HOTEL: Palacio de los Molina

DAY 7: Molina de Aragon to our Castle in Siguenza!

Just 12km into today’s ride and we will find the first place of interest, the Castle of Santiuste, an example of a medieval castle with its defensive towers but also build with an inner living area.

This is another day with mostly undulating terrain that will take us to Medinaceli, one of the most intriguing places we will visit during our trip.

Medinaceli, apparently in the middle of nowhere, has one of the few remaining Roman Archs standing in Spain. Along with the Castle and a very beautiful main square, this is a must-visit place in the province of Soria. The location was very strategic, on a hilltop and close to main trade routes that are still used today, a couple of modern highways and the fast train can be seen from the distance.

Our final destination today is Siguenza, another historic town that is an amazing place to visit. The fortress-like cathedral, some interesting buildings, and museums make this place well worth an overnight stay.

And of course, if you add that our accommodation is at the Parador de Siguenza, an impressive medieval castle! gosh, how we look after our clients!

Day 7
116km / 1,620m
CLIMBS: Undulating all day.
HOTEL:  Parador de Siguenza

DAY 8: Siguenza to Burgo de Osma.

The first place of interest today is Atienza, with its castle and Romanic churches, it is a good place for our morning café stop.

Today’s route follows partially segments of the Ruta de la Lana, one of the many El Camino de Santiago ways. There are different routes to make it to Santiago, this one comes from the Mediterranean and joins the most popular northern route in Burgos.

Ermita San Baudelio declared a National Monument in 1917.

Our next stop is in Berlanga de Duero, not the most direct to Burgo de Osma, but definitely worth the detour. A mix of castles, monasteries, old towns, walls, and palaces, makes this town one of the jewels in the region.

Burgo de Osma is our final destination today. The cathedral and walls around the city make this place a great place to visit, but add the luxurious thermal hotel we are staying in…can’t get much better!

Day 8
98km / 1,025m
CLIMBS: Not much flat.
HOTEL: Castilla Terman Burgo de Osma

DAY 9: Burgo de Osma to Lerma, epic last stage.

This is the last day, but with plenty of interesting places to visit!

Not too long into our ride, we arrive at Ucero with its scenic castle followed by the Canyon del Rio Lobos, an amazing natural wonder.

At café time we should arrive at San Leonardo de Yague. This town has the remains of what was an imposing castle, unfortunately, during the last couple of centuries, its stones have been used to build parts of the houses in town.

Leaving San Leonardo de Yague, we cross the Canyon once again and head to Santo Domingo de Silos, but before we will ride through the narrow Desfiladero the Yecla, spectacular.

Santo Domingo de Silos is a Benedictine monastery, this is the only monastery in Spain where the monks do their prayers in the Gregorian language. The architecture of this monastery is Romanic with very distinct characteristics that make it a unique building.

Finally, we make it to Lerma, with a good number of interesting places to see, including the Ducal Palace, where the Parador de Lerma is located. Yes, you will sleep inside a Ducal Palace reconverted in a luxury hotel tonight!

Way to end another epic SFIDA Cycling trip.

Day 9
119km / 1,385m
CLIMBS: Short and punchy climbs to end this trip.
HOTEL: Parador de Lerma

DAY 10: Adios! .

After breakfast transfer by van to Madrid Airport (MAD). Expect to get there by 13:00, so plan your flights accordingly.

MORE INFORMATION

PRICES:

TWIN room:  4,150 Euros pp
SINGLE Supplement:  850 Euros
Rental bike:  550 Euros

PAYMENT TERMS:
600 Euros when making the booking. Balance to be paid 90 days before the trip starts.

INCLUDED:
9 nights accommodation between 3 – 4 Stars

ALL MEALS INCLUDED.
9 breakfasts.

9 lunches, picnic-style on longer days. 
9 dinners, including wine.

NOT INCLUDED:
International flights.

Travel insurance.
Hotel extras: mini-bar, spa, massage.
Tips for the staff.

SUPPORT:
We will have ride leaders and at least one mechanic on our trip.

Our staff/client ratio is 1:4 staff.
Our passenger vans come fully equipped with all necessary to give the best support during the rides.
We carry gels, energy bars, powder mix, water, fruit, riding food, tools, pumps, spare tubes and tyres to make sure our first-class support helps you through the trip.
Professional first aid kit.

CANCELLATION POLICY:

Adapting to our current COVID-19 pandemic, and incoordination, with most of the hotel’s terms and conditions, we are adjusting our cancellation policy accordingly as follows:

If there’s a travel ban from your country to travel to the country you are doing a trip with us, you will receive a full refund on any payments you have made to SFIDA Cycling.

For any other reasons not related to COVID-19, the following will apply:

61 days before the trip starts – the return of your deposit.
60 days before the trip starts – the return of the full amount of the trip less 300 Euros cancellation fee, plus any amount that we can’t recover from Hotels and other costs that we have already incurred in the trip preparation.
Less than 30 days before the trip starts – no amount will be refunded. We will, however, try to credit as much as possible towards a future trip. This depends on the amount that we can get back from the hotels and other costs that we have already incurred in the trip preparation.

We understand that it is difficult to commit too much in advance given the situation we are all living in.

For this reason, we won’t be holding any spots until the full deposit has been paid.

Hotels are now more strict with how many rooms they are willing to have on hold for groups, so until deposit payments are made we won’t be able to confirm your spot.

 

 

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