Few things reflect the times we live in as much as moving around on a bicycle: an activity that satisfies our longing for outdoor spaces and, at the same time, supports a more sustainable way of living and the growing desire to be healthier. And although many have already integrated it into their daily lives, others channel their desire to cycle on weekends and during their holiday breaks. In either case, thanks to its great variety of landscapes and exceptional climate, the Costa del Sol is a year-round paradise for lovers of two wheels (the best time of year is between September and May). Below we present our star routes to get you rolling in 2020 and 2021.

Cycling Estepona

Estepona is a hidden gem of the Costa del Sol and one of the most attractive locations in southern Spain thanks to its spectacular beach line, its privileged wilderness landscapes and an environment that has managed to preserve its small town flavour, its customs, its traditions and its great tranquility. Here bike lovers can alternate between beautiful parks, paths, mountains or roads, as there are routes for all tastes.

Cycle trails

If your thing is to ride in the middle of nature, the best mountain bike routes are in the Sierra Bermeja Natural Park: 1,236 hectares with spectacular rock formations and forests that vary according to altitude: oaks in the lower part, pines in the middle and Spanish firs on the summit. And always to the sound of rippling rivers and streams nearby.

Among the great challenges of the area is the Pico de Los Reales, at an altitude of 1,450 metres with panoramic views over the coast and, on very clear days, the Rock of Gibraltar, and which presents the cyclist with a slope of 7.03% on average over 19km with the final reward of its mountain refuge.

Or the Los Pedregales Park in the first foothills of the mountain range, 150 metres above sea level, which includes the charming destination of a small chapel.

But the undisputed star is the Peñas Blancas, one of the best ascents on the Costa del Sol and an entire race track that featured in a final stage of the 2013 Vuelta Ciclista a España. With a total of 19.4km and 1,290 metres of elevation gain, if the climb gets too hard, you can stop to rest at its beautiful lookout points, with endless panoramic views over the coast.

Another option is to go road cycling and visit the beautiful village of Casares, two hours away and with a moderate difficulty level, take a route to Puerto Banús through ruins that are now an archaeological paradise, or opt for the circular route that leads to the stunning village of Benahavis, four hours away by bike.

Cycling Benahavis

Benahavis will surprise both road cyclists and expert cycling climbers, as it is the perfect gateway to its beautiful hills as well as its fascinating neighbouring villages.

Mountain biking enthusiasts can head to the reservoir, where countless routes for all levels begin. Simply turn at the exit of the village towards the Grand Hotel, follow the perimeter of its sporting grounds and take the path that ascends to the large body of water. From there, the steep slopes will allow you to rise above the Benahavis mountains.

Those who prefer to travel by road can travel 35km to Istán, a gorgeous village with washed white walls whose path runs alongside Puerto Banús, the beach of San Pedro and some beautiful mountainous stretches.

And the most determined cyclists can dedicate a whole day to Ronda on a journey that takes between 8 and 10 hours – round trip – through mountains including the peak of Puerto El Madroño (1,065m).

Cycling Marbella

The city of Marbella begs to be cycled, starting with its fabulous – and long – stretch of promenade, and passing through its beautiful parks or the old town, with its whitewashed buildings and charming spots such as the Plaza de Salvador Dalí, the Church of Santa María de la Encarnación or the fishing village.

The Golden Mile is another delightful destination to discover on wheels, crossing the old Roman villa, with beautiful views over the bay, and stopping at the Mosque of Marbella, the first to have been built in Spain.

Among the most popular mountain trails is the rise to the Refugio El Juanar, which crosses the Ojen mountain range, home to a large Mediterranean forest of oaks, cork oaks, holm oaks and fig trees. Its 34km route takes two hours to complete, and you can see mountain goats and golden eagles.

Another fantastic escape leads to La Mairena, one of the most exclusive areas of Marbella and where many celebrities have taken up residence. With a length of 47 kilometres and medium difficulty level, Ojen’s beautiful vegetation will sweeten the effort while your body burns calories.

Finally, we recommend the journey to the Cueva Santa (Holy Cave), which is about 50 kilometres long and ends in a rocky corner full of religious prints. This track includes countless climbs and descents, and among its attractions are the Fisherman’s Way, the Fuente Santa, the Puente del Tejar, the Puerto de Ojén and the Camino de Istán along the way.

Liora: pure cycling on the Costa del Sol

Designed with the maximum well-being of the inhabitant in mind, the biophilic architecture building, Liora, the first feat in Spain of the design genius Pininfarina, is without a doubt the best starting point for exploring the Costa del Sol by bicycle.

Built by Spanish developer Excem Real Estate on the beachfront in Estepona, it consists of 37 exclusive residential units, and its team of concierges will organize the best routes for you in the area, and they can also arrange to get you the bike that is perfect for your needs and most efficient for each terrain.