Recyclo Bike Shop Guide to Road Biking in Malaga
The team at Recyclo Bike Shop has been riding the local hills here in Málaga for many years and we thought we would share some of our favorite rides. Unless stated, all rides start from our shop in Pedregalejo.
Route 1. The Four Hills Ride
Distance: 84kms. Climbing: 2000m Time: 3.5 – 4.5 hours
Starting out from Pedregalejo we head East into neighbouring El Palo and after a couple of kilometers on the main road we head left at traffic lights (signed to Olías) and almost immediately start climbing. The first hill can roughly be divided into two sections, starting with a couple of sharp ramps and tight U-bends, the first section winds up through olive and almond groves, quickly leaving the urban sprawl behind, and offering stunning views out over the bay and towards Africa. Over our left shoulders we can see the twin peaks of San Anton and the Montes de Málaga National Park beyond.The gradients soften as we climb towards the pretty village of Olías, and the last kilometer is downhill into the village. Although this is a quiet route, the occasional waste disposal truck or school bus can cause a scary moment on the tight hairpins.
Leaving Olías we keep heading North and the climbing begins again in ernest. After another couple of kilometers we get to a pair of hairpins which are the precursor to “The Wall”; a relatively short but steep, (12 – 14%) straight section which will have you reaching for the lowest gear. Once over the wall things mellow out once more and we can again enjoy the views and varied flora and fauna on show. At the top there is a left turn signed to Málaga and Colmenar which is a useful shortcut if required (look out for the white farmhouse on the left). The high point of the ride is Santo Pitar which tops out over 1000m above sea level. Our route takes us around the South face of the mountain and down into the valley behind. With the first climb out of the way we now face a sharp descent with some tricky U-bends. Luckily the road surface has been recently re-laid so we can concentrate on the impressive rocky outcrops which are a feature of this area known as “La Arxarquía”. Hill two is a short one but with a very uneven road surface, it’s not the most comfortable. The climb ends in the Moorish hilltop fortified town of Comares; one of the best examples of the Andalsusian White Villages. The last stretch is a there and back lung-buster which tips you out in a tiny plaza with incredible views South over the Mediterreanean and East towards the colossal “Maroma” mountain and Sierra de Tejeda y Almijara. We tend to stop in the bar in the plaza for a refill of the water bottles and a coffee and pitufo (the local terminology for a bread roll). Once refreshed we head back down the way we came and then bear sharp left at the sign for Benamargosa. This section is mainly downhill and mercifully light on traffic. The road surface is not great in parts and there is an open drain right at the bottom which can easily swallow up a road bike wheel. At the T-junction we turn right and nip over two short climbs before arriving in the village of Benamargosa, where the third climb of the day begins. Once in the village we turn right at the first T-junction and head over a bridge (signed Cútar). This climb is the lightest of the four and we can enjoy fine views of Comares, perched way up on the cliff. We pass the first village, Cútar and keep heading up and over the brow of the hill and down again into El Borge. The fourth climb of the day is soon upon us and, a word of caution, we have left the toughest until last!
Heading out of El Borge we take a right fork signed to Almáchar, over a bridge and up towards a small roundabout which signals the start of the climb. It is worth stating that there is precious little shade and we wouldn’t recommend taking this one on in the warmer months. Right from the off the gradients are punishing and there is practically no respite until we top out after around 4.5kms. Time for a deep breath and then a flip onto the big chain ring for the swooping descent down to the coast once again. Keep an eye out for the “paseros” white rectangular constructions designed for drying the famous Moscatel raisins. We head past Moclinejo and finally drop down into Benagalbón where the road then levels out as we hug the motorway on our way back West. Going under the motorway we find ourselves in Rincon de la Victoria and the coast road which takes us back to the shop. We take a right turn at the T-junction in Rincon and follow the road up a short climb and into La Cala del Moral. Following the coast we join a short section of motorway (bikes are allowed) as we pass the giant cement works on the right. Straight after the cement works we take the first right turn and then wind round to the left towards the Marina at El Candado and eventually into El Palo. The main road through El Palo eventually leads us straight to Recyclo and a well deserved relax.