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From Moorish Castles to Xàtiva

Tour: SVBX6
Hotel To Hotel Cycling Holiday
Linear Cycling Holiday

Rugged and time-ravaged, the sierras of the southern Valencia region offer super, scenic cycling with a rare helping of history heaped up on or hewn out of the landscape. Starting in Biar where the Moorish castle perches high on an outcrop, a cycle path along an old railway trackbed leads the way by the Serra Mariola nature reserve in the Vall d’Albaida to the mysterious underground ‘Covetes dels Moros’ and the monastery and bull-ring carved out of the rock-face at Bocairent. Keeping on track (alternative route options available) there’s a rural hotel stop where you can rest up by the pool or pedal off to nearby Fontanars dels Alforins with its fine wines and mansion houses, but this tour perhaps saves the best till last… the area around the Bellùs lake is as fruitful as it comes with market gardens galore and massively impressive vistas; then finally Xàtiva, home to noble ‘palaces’, tops everything off with a castle. Read More


Europe, Spain

Start Day


Board Basis

Bed & Breakfast

Prices from



6 Days, 5 Nights


Jan - Dec

Tour Grade

Grade 2 (Easy)

Read Overview
Home > Europe > From Moorish Castles to Xàtiva


From Biar’s Moorish castle to Xàtiva’s noble ‘palace’ mansions, this linear tour through the rugged natural landscapes of the Valencian Serras is a real classic. Route options on the first two days offer a choice of the gentlest cycling by the Serra de Mariola nature reserve along the old railway cycle path or pedalling up to higher ground to see the region from a different perspective.

Tour Code:
Hotel To Hotel Cycling Holiday, Linear Cycling Holiday
Europe, Spain
6 Days, 5 Nights
Board Basis:
Bed & Breakfast
Jan - Dec


Day 1 Arrive & explore

Arriving in Biar on the tip of the Alicante province, it’s hard to take in the scale of the mighty Arabian castle with its tall tower and massive ring of 12th century ramparts. It rises up some 650 metres above sea level over the maze of Biar’s narrow medieval streets – an impressive site to admire from the café terrace over a glass of robust local rioja perhaps. Take a wander under the archways, past the tiny ‘Ermitas’ (hermitages) and around the artisan shops selling traditional dolls and pottery, before selecting somewhere special for supper from the good number of local bars and restaurants.

Overnight in Biar.

Day 2 On track to Bocairent

Time to leave Biar’s Moorish fortress behind you and get on track for some fruitful cycling through the orchards and picturesque little villages on the approach to Banyeres de Mariola. The cycle path along the former railway line offers a short, straightforward route bordering the natural enclave known as the ‘Paraje Natural de la Serra de Mariola’ (Serra de Mariola Nature Reserve). Alternatively, head into the Serra to win higher ground and make the most of the beautiful views across the valley. Today’s final stretch leads to Bocairent, renowned for its caves and ancient ice pits where snow was stored for use throughout the year.

Overnight in Bocairent.

Miles: 14-29 Kms: 24-46

Day 3 Down the line for the Serra de Mariola Nature Reserve

With so much to see in Bocairent – the magnificent medieval district, the oldest bullring in Valencia province, the mysterious ‘Covetes dels Moros’ and more caves and beautiful buildings carved out of the rock – it’s good that your next overnight stop in the Ontinyent is only a short bike ride away along the trackbed cycle path and small roads including through a spectacular gorge. Alternatively, go ‘green’ along a route lined with fruit groves into La Vallete d’Agres to explore the little villages of Alfafara and Agres in the foothills of the impressive Serra de Mariola.

Overnight in Ontinyent

Miles: 10-19 Kms:15-30

Day 4 Vineyards and vistas – Circular tour to Fontanars del Alforins

Staying in a magnificent country setting like this, it’s tempting to have a day just absorbing the sunshine and the pleasant rural views by the side of the pool or taking time out to enjoy the spa. Your time here is your own, but only a short pedal away through vineyards, grain fields and olive groves lies the charming Valencian village of Fontanars del Alforins. A visit to the historic noblemen’s mansions, now converted into wine cellars, and local artisan producers will be sure to give you a real taste for the place. Finally, return to sample the impressive food on offer at your hotel in Ontinyent and for your next overnight.

Miles: 25 Kms: 40

Day 5 Simply gorgeous – en route to noble Xàtiva

For your final day’s cycling, the route picks its way through apricot and almond groves, a patchwork of persimmon plantations and time-honoured vineyards via historic Ontinyent and tiny hamlets to the shores of the Bellùs lake. Rugged and rural, the fascinating landscape here is marked by irrigation infrastructure such as ‘azuts’ (water division dams) and old watermills. The views are impressive and the fertile fields verdant, but just a few kilometres away, a great castle is calling… time to take a path bordering the Albaida river gorge past historic stone aqueducts and onto Xàtiva where the stamp of the famous Borgia family is in evidence in the mansion houses or ‘palaces’ of the old town and the imposing castle ramparts stretch out high above the rooftops.

Overnight Xàtiva.

Miles: 22 Kms: 35

Day 6 Depart after breakfast

Depart after breakfast, or take time to feast on the rich architectural offerings along Xàtiva’s Calle de Montcada and sip on a glass of something local on a café terrace in the Carrer Corretgeria and watch the Valencian world go by.

Extra nights can be booked to allow more time to explore Biar or Xàtiva at your leisure.

Dates & Prices

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For tour start days/dates, seasons and all prices, please click on the PRICES button above


En suite accommodation as described with buffet/continental breakfast (prices based on two adults sharing)

Hire of hybrid bicycle and ancillary equipment (one pannier, one mapholder per couple, odometer, lock & puncture repair equipment)

Luggage transfer between hotels

Local assistance on call (although puncture repair is excluded)

Information pack with detailed joining instructions and daily route overviews sent out approximately 2 weeks before departure so you can plan ahead and look forward to your cycling adventure

Detailed route notes and maps (1:50,000) with marked routes supplied on arrival

GPS tracks available free of charge on request

Please note that the price EXCLUDES

Costs of  getting to and from the tour area

Accommodation Options

Selected 4 star hotels in Biar and Xàtiva; 3 star hotels in Bocairent and Cullera and a 3 star guest house in Ontinyent.

We are pleased to discuss details on request

More Information

Useful websites, travel information and tips to help you plan your journey to and from the country and location of your holiday.


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