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Duration
8 Days
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    Duration - 8 Days
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Suitable Bike
Mountain Bike
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    Suitable Bike - Mountain Bike
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Fitness Grade
3
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    Fitness Grade - 3
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Skills Grade
C
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    Skills Grade - C
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Navigation
Fully Guided
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    Navigation - Fully Guided

Spain – Marina Alta Summits & Singletrack Full Itinerary 


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The Mountain Biking - Introduction 
This whole region was once populated by the Moors, a nation of great traders who cut many twisting trails through the rugged limestone mountains. The remains of these ancient narrow rocky tracks are perfect for off-road bikers and often give access to the most remote mountains, forests and hidden villages. Our expert guides have built up an incredible wealth of knowledge in the 15 years they have been resident and are able to plan the best routes for the group, or to allow the group to split to meet different ability levels. They make riders aware of any tricky ride sections as they approach giving sound advice on how to tackle them for full enjoyment. They aim to take you deep into the Valencian Mountains and guide you through some of the best Mountain biking trails that this beautiful region of Spain can offer.
 
Two Guides 
 
This holiday is a two-guide tour. Choosing a mountain biking tour with two guides (Where necessary) has a huge range of benefits, including:
  • Flexible ride choices, with more challenging options on the same day, if needed. (great for groups/couples of differing abilities)
  • Greater knowledge, thanks to the blend of experiences and skills that two guides can bring to the trip
  • Smoother service, as everything flows more easily, from loading bikes, to bike set up, to everyday tour management
  • Qualification of the Highest Standards (MBLA Leaders) - Our Spanish guiding team are some of the most experienced, qualified and highly professional mountain bikers you could ever ride with. Trained in the UK to the highest standards through the Mountain Bike Leaders Awards scheme.
 
Usual daily distances: 33km
Days of cycling: 6
Tour staff: 2 Mountain bike guides (If required)
 
Terrain:  There is a great deal of singletrack riding, sometimes on narrow, rocky trails which cling to the sides of the mountains. In places there are options to avoid the most technical riding, but a good level of skill and confidence is required throughout the tour.
 
If you want to find out more about the mountain biking, the guiding or anything else about Spain – please just give us a call. Our office team is always ready to help with enquiries.
 
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Contact us to find out more or reserve your space:
Email: admin@cycleactive.com
Call: + 44 (0)1768 840400

 

 Day 1 Saturday – Arrival
   
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You fly from your departure airport into Alicante airport where you should arrive anytime before 2pm local time for the scheduled 1 hour 45 minute transfer up to the mountains (alternative transfers can be arranged at additional cost). On arrival at our guest house we soon get the bikes built up in good time before dinner. If you’re renting a bike, our guides will get it fitted up for you to test out. After dinner your hosts/guides will brief you on what’s to come during your week with us and answer any questions that you may have.
 
Cycling: 0km
Meals Included: Dinner

 

 Day 2 Sunday - Explore the Marina Alta
   
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From our base in the village of Castell de Castells we ride straight from the door and into superb biking terrain. Breathtaking scenery is in abundance as we ease into a week of great riding picking up ancient cattle paths and narrow donkey trails through a steeply terraced landscape, fruit groves, shady copses and Moorish castles. No gates or stiles to encounter – just miles of uninterrupted trails that we explore with expert guides. Our first ride allows a brief visit to Los Arcos famous natural rock arches en-route to the“Gecko” trail which brings an early taste of Mozarabic single track riding typical of the region. Lunch follows at a suitable spot before we race through a postcard almond valley overlooked by the imposing Los Arcos. After a final rough climb we traverse high on the mountainside before twisting down the “Weasel” a fast flowing single track run that links us back into the village.
 
Cycling: 32km
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea & cake, Dinner

 

 Day 3 Monday - Al Azrac’s Kingdom
   
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A short transfer takes us to today’s ride start – a sleepy village amid steep rocky crags (you can start earlier and ride across if you prefer). This is the kingdom of Al-Azrac, the once feared Moorish King.  We crack off on a gnarly single track hunter trail which wakes the legs for a superb day in the saddle. The” Knife” and “Afan España” carve sweet single track paths for us through pine and oak. We lunch at Francisco’s friendly popular bar which for those looking for an easy afternoon offers a peaceful oasis to relax with the odd beer & tapas. We head off on a real afternoon adventure. Challenging climbs, fast descents and ancient rocky single track are all encountered under the watchful eye of “Cyclops”- a giant naturally formed mountain eye. Ice houses & spooky cave house offer interesting pauses along the way before we cruise “La Rata” single track, and the ”Salamander”, a long cliff hugging  descent with views to an imposing Moorish castle and the blue Mediterranean beyond. This amazing finale to the day eventually brings us to an endearing cave bar offering deserved refreshments whilst the bikes are guide loaded before the transfer back to base.
 
Cycling: 29km
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea & cake, Dinner

 

 Day 4 Tuesday - Marina Alta’s deep delights
   
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We ride out direct from base to further explore the Marina Alta’s superb MTB terrain. A series of steady undulating climbs through Olive and Almond terraces taking us high into the mountains. A narrow drover descent then thrills and eventually delivers us to a shady mountain Refugio for lunch. The morning climbs have set up an afternoon of more top riding – 90% downhill! With lunch settled, a rough trail takes us to the mountain’s end and amazing views to the Med. and Ibiza. We then guide you through “Cabra Pass”, a criss - cross of un-marked goat trails giving an incredible single track journey across the mountains for you and your guides who formed the path some years ago. A fast, exhilarating rough forest descent and boar run then takes us to the head of “Snake Pass” a classic single track hunter trail. The “Snake’s” series of tight switchback challenges and sweeping forest finish brings us back into the village for welcoming tea and cake on the guest house roof terrace.
 
Cycling: 24km
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea & cake, Dinner

 

 Day 5 Wednesday - Relaxation, Ride and more
   
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Wednesday and the one free day for our staff and a day of choices for you. If you are not used to riding multiple day rides then we recommend that you take a day off from the bike to rest and recover so you can really enjoy the second half of the week. However, if you’d like to do some unguided riding we can give you some good ideas for places to go with some great challenging single track.
 

If you’d like a change of pace we also have details of some great local walks.

We often arrange for a minibus transfer to and from the coastal resort of Denia allowing access to some great coastal walks, beaches, Castle, museums, cafes and restaurants for you to enjoy at your leisure.

There are many other options that our guides are happy to discuss and arrange for you. 

 
Cycling: 0-30km
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

 

 Day 6 Thursday - “El Torre”
   
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Today we venture further afield to access more top Spanish single track opened up by us in 2011. A short transfer through vineyards drops us high in the mountains where we set off for a full day on amazing trails. A warm up loop sets us up for our morning climb to an old Moorish fort commanding impressive panoramic views. The “Bull Run”, a flowing single track then delivers us down to “Smiler’s” bar for a relaxed refreshment break in stunning scenery. A long, narrow, rocky mountain traverse then takes us on to a favourite lunch spot amongst twisted vines.  A short post lunch climb brings us to “Pavo Pass”- another exciting trail which carves its way down into the valley below and on to Kiko’s bar and our re-positioned support vehicle. Anyone tiring and wanting an early finish can spend a little more time at Kiko’s before boarding the bus which moves on to the full ride end. Those riding on will be thrilled on one of the “Los Lobos" hunter trails, our ultimate single track run of the day. A short distance later we meet our repositioned vehicle where the trailer is guide loaded whilst you enjoy cool refreshments from the bus. Then it’s back to base for a shower and chill out before dinner.
 
Cycling: 23km
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea & cake, Dinner

 

 Day 7 Friday - Head for the Med
   
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Today we enjoy a classic Marina Alta ride – a breathtaking journey that cuts through the high mountains and down to the shores of the Mediterranean. We head out from base after breakfast, spinning through the village before cutting off on a favourite donkey trail. From here it’s a rollercoaster journey towards the sea, still involving some climbs, but enjoying a succession of stunning descents and El Zorro, an unforgettable Mozarabic trail section. The views are to die for.

 
The climate zones and ecosystems change around us as we lose altitude through “Eagle Ridge Pass”. From the steep mountain terraces massed with almond and olive trees we roll into sweet smelling citrus groves with oranges, lemons and tangerines in abundance. The Nispero fruit orchards for which the area is famous then follow. A favourite village bar stop en-route serves up a real tasty last day treat before we move on past the Algar Falls nestled in amongst ancient Carob and Olive trees. A final climb sets up a wonderful mixed descent of rough forest trail and single track through the Nispero orchards and on to Altea our coastal destination for a late lunch on the beach.

 
Altea’s clear waters provide a great opportunity to swim. We often enjoy a game of beach volleyball or venture into the fascinating old town for a stroll. Cafes and bars are in abundance. After your fill of food, drink, sun and surf the minibus takes us back to base for our last night together.
 
• Cycling: 31km
• Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea & cake

 

 Day 8 Saturday - Heading home  
 
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We get the final bike packing done and ready for the journey home. Depending on flight departure times you may just squeeze in a quick local unguided ride, but otherwise you can enjoy a lazy start before the journey to Alicante and then home.
 
Cycling: 0km
Meals Included: Breakfast
 
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FURTHER TRAVEL INFORMATION
    

Choosing the Right Holiday
At CycleActive we carefully grade our trips to a required level of fitness and, for a required level of mountain biking skill. We also offer personal advice to anyone who needs it, by email or on the phone, thus ensure that you find a holiday suitable for your abilities and desires.

Fitness grade 3. Good fitness from regular exercise sessions and time spent actively involved in cycling. Can ride full days in any terrain at a steady pace.

Skill grade C. Can ride over most normal terrain including steep, rough, narrow tracks with tree roots and other small obstacles forming part of the normal ride. Confident on all man-made singletrack trails and will be able to ride most small drops/step-downs or other technical trail features.

Geography and Climate
This tour is based in the Marina Alta Mountains, which are on the Mediterranean coast of Spain. The mountains are little known and as a whole are very untouristed. The villages are still quite traditional, with good local bars, shops and cafes in the village where we stay. This region enjoys a good climate almost all year as the region is location on the east coast of Spain it guarantees sunny, warm weather for most of the year. Our Pension in Castell de Castells We stay in the "Pension Castells", a 200 year old renovated guest house in the heart of the village. With comfortable twin or double bedded en-suite rooms, superb meals each night (with a good supply
of local wine, straight from the barrel!) and its roof top terrace overlooking the village streets and mountains beyond, this is the perfect place to be based.
  
Cycling Support
While cycling in Spain you need to be able to carry your own basic provisions and tools, as the vehicle cannot follow us during the rides. Our leaders carry a good toolkit and will help to fix most bike problems, and if the problem is too serious we are usually not far from assistance or a road. Our vehicles will be permanently based at the Pension, should anyone need to be collected from a distant valley due to a medical or technical problem. Note that while we do have a well-equipped workshop, we cannot guarantee to be equipped for all repairs and there are no bikeshops nearby, so you must ensure that your bike is in good working order before coming on the tour.
  
Cycle Hire
If you want to use your own bike it is usually easy to find flights which are suitable and we will send you our guideline packing instructions. If you prefer to rent one for the trip we offer excellent bikes from DMR, Trek and Kona. Please call us to discuss bike hire so that we can find what's best for you.
  
Flights and Transfers
We can book your flight through an ATOL bonded agent and you will have a separate contract for your flight with them. Alternatively you can book your own flights through Easyjet, BMI, Monarch or Thomson who cover most regional UK airports. With a transfer time of around 2 hours from airport to guesthouse we can only make one journey on arrival day and departure day. This is usually time to fit in with flights arriving mid to late afternoon and departing at a similar time. If you wish to arrive early you may be able to take a taxi to a beachside bar or just relax at the café in Alicante airport. If you need to arrive late please let us know so we can organise a taxi for you at an additional cost. On departure day you will need to reserve an extra transfer with us if you intend to fly home earlier than the afternoon transfer allows – please check availability and prices before booking your flights.
  
Passports and Visas
For entry into Spain, UK citizens need a full passport, but a visa is not required.
   
Clothing and Equipment
On booking, a detailed list of useful and essential items will be sent to you. You must bring your own cycle helmet that must be worn for all cycle rides.