This is a beautiful, hilly loop that takes you inland towards the Sierra Bedar. The climb to the village of Bedar is never too steep and you can either climb all the way up to Lubrin or stop two thirds of the way in Bedar for refreshments.
You enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding landscape as you press on to the top of the ridge where you eventually start a thrilling the descent towards Antas.
There are plenty of places to have lunch or just refuel as you then head back to Los Gallardos and climb back up to the Pueblo de Mojácar before descending back to the beach.
Written by John Vicars
Route map and profile
Distance: 83 km
Elevation Gain: 1,390 m
Max Grade: 16 %
All metrics in this guide are approximate
The road from the top of the ridge, towards Antas was a real highlight for us. It's a fantastic descent with many spectacular and tight hairpin bends. After spending the first part of the day in climbing mode, it was terrific to be able to increase the pace and enjoy the twists and turns of this road which effectively starts a 40 km downhill run back to base.
1. Mojácar to Lubrin (0 to 30 km)
The ride starts in a slightly brutal fashion: you are faced almost immediately with a stiff climb of around 2 km as you ascend towards the town (or Pueblo) of Mojácar, that sits high up into the hills overlooking the beach.
Having reached the highest point of the road, you then descend past the village of Turre (on your left hand side) and then venture onto the A370 towards Los Gallardos. This road is busier than the previous one but in keeping with most Spanish roads there is a two metre strip at the side for cyclists.
On the outskirts of Los Gallardos there is a Repsol petrol station and a couple of cafés before you turn right into the village where you ride through the cobbled streets of this quaint little village before picking up the Ruta de Sierra Bedar.
This twisting climb, on perfect roads, is approximately 10 km in length at an average gradient of 5%. After six kilometres, and a flurry of hairpin bends, there is a welcome opportunity to stop for refreshments at Bar La Cortijo in the village of Bedar. After the village, the climb then continues upwards for another four km to the village of Lubrin where you turn right onto the ALP 813.
2. Lubin to El Real: 31-57 km
The climbing continues for a few more kilometres, but at a far lesser gradient.
You get to the top of the ridge and the gradient flattens out. There's a sharp right turn onto the AL 600 (signposted for Antas) and then a fantastic descent, full of twisting hairpins on perfect surfaces towards the village of El Real. This piece of road was what we call ‘typical Spain’, silky smooth tarmac, layered hairpin bends and devoid of any vehicular traffic, in other words an absolute joy to ride on.
3. El Real to Mojácar: 58-83 km
You continue through the pleasant village of Antas and then back to Los Gallardos. From here you retrace your steps, with the climb up to the Pueblo of Mojácar and a very swift descent back down to the beach.
We enjoyed a coffee and ‘una tostada con mermelada fresa y mantequilla’ (a toasted baguette with strawberry jam and butter) at Bar La Cortijo in the village of Bedar. A bit further on, we made a mental note for future reference, as we rode past of the Cafe Lopez at La Rambla Aljibe, which was open and serving other cyclists.
We had lunch at a good restaurant near El Real, called Cocina Angela. It was here that, by mistake, we inadvertently ordered far too much food as in our non-perfect Spanish we ordered a chicken salad and ended up with a huge (but very nice) salad followed by a surprise ‘segundo plato’ of chicken and chips! Fortunately we were towards the end of our ride!
It is important when cycling in this part of the world to take advantage of cafes and places to refuel as the terrain is very barren and you can often pedal away for an hour or more without seeing a car never mind a cafe!
Read our tips for cycling in Almeria before you set out.
Click here for our complete guide to planning a cycling trip to Almeria.
It was noticeable that, just 20 km or so inland, it was significantly warmer than it was on the coast. At one point in the ride our Wahoo GPS indicated that the temperature was 26 degrees Celsius - not bad for February!
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