Barcelona to Gibraltar in August.

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Barcelona to Gibraltar in August.

Postby Polite » 20 Mar 2016, 8:42pm

Hi all,

I am planning my summer tour and have the opportunity to visit an old friend who lives in Gibraltar.

Rather than just flying there, I am considering flying to Barcelona, a city I have never visited, and then cycling down the coast to Gibraltar.

My usual destination is France in summer, I am very secure that I would be able to camp by just turning up in France but this year due to a bad back I may not do that much camping but instead pay for the luxury of a bed most nights.

My questions/advice sought;

- Will it be advisable to cycle along this coastal route in summer, not sure what traffic's attitude to cyclists are, or better to go inland?
- Has anyone credit card toured in Spain, in high summer, and found it easy to get somewhere to stay for the night?
- Has anyone done this or a similar route and, if so, any must see places along the way?

Many thanks.

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Re: Barcelona to Gibraltar in August.

Postby FarOeuf » 20 Mar 2016, 9:38pm

My advice would be take a train to Valencia and start from there, or head inland. There's not too many coastal roads between Barcelona and Valencia, just dual carriageway/motorway. You might be able to string together some Via Verdes (cycle routes). Even the coast from Valencia is of questionable cycling enjoyment, as a lot of the roads are converted into fast roads for the tourists.

Inland (generally on the Spanish east coast) is much nicer, though pretty hilly. You could also take the 'silver route' down the middle-ish of Spain. Lots of history/scenery, and if you're feeling flush try a night or two in a parador.

I last cycled Barcelona down the coast to Motril a few months ago, and every cyclist I met didn't enjoy it because of traffic.


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Re: Barcelona to Gibraltar in August.

Postby nirakaro » 20 Mar 2016, 11:03pm

The same is true between Malaga and Gibraltar – it’s like riding on a motorway, except there’s no hard shoulder.

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Re: Barcelona to Gibraltar in August.

Postby MrFree » 20 Mar 2016, 11:07pm

I'm cycling from Barcelona to Gibraltar, starting next month. I'll probably take a couple of weeks or more to do it. But it's a mystery for me as well at the moment. Here's my blog... maybe you can keep an eye on what happens, and I'll let you know about the traffic :D

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Re: Barcelona to Gibraltar in August.

Postby MrsHJ » 21 Mar 2016, 7:06am

I'd think about timing of your rides (eg set off early morning, finish by lunchtime) as its going to be blinking hot and Bonaparte didn't plant trees along the Spanish roads.

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Re: Barcelona to Gibraltar in August.

Postby Norman H » 21 Mar 2016, 7:59am

You might try searching on Wiciloc. It's quite good for Spanish routes.

I used to live in Spain and I can confirm what others have said about the coast roads. I would be looking at an inland route, maybe via Grenada.

August is just about the worst time to be contemplating such a ride. Definitely good advice to avoid the middle of the day. You will need plenty of water and you will probably need to supplement lost electrolytes. High5 Zero are quite good but a pinch of salt in your bidon is probably just as good.

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Re: Barcelona to Gibraltar in August.

Postby whoof » 21 Mar 2016, 12:46pm

A few years ago I rode from the French border to Barcelona on the coast road. The closer we got to Barcelona the worse the traffic. In the end we got the train the last 30 or so miles. If you can find a route inland I would use it.

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Re: Barcelona to Gibraltar in August.

Postby MarkF » 21 Mar 2016, 9:55pm

I agree about the coastal roads, avoid. I don't agree about the heat though, all my Spanish tours have been in summer and I've never had a problem, I really enjoy it, water is available everywhere and I find that the heat only becomes a problem when I stop cycling.

You should always be able to find a room in Spain although you may have to ask, I often stay above bars that don't even advertise rooms but hostals, bars and roadhouses are everywhere.

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Re: Barcelona to Gibraltar in August.

Postby bikes4two » 22 Mar 2016, 9:52pm

> Barcelona to Gib must be 1000Km or so. Have you considered taking the ferry to Santander or Bilbao and cycling down to Gib (about the same distance)?
> Two of us did this a couple of years back (GPX files available) in early September (still very hot so some days we started in the dark, took shelter in the afternoon and pedalled on early evening if needed)
> Alternatively fly to Lisbon or Porto then cycle to Gib
Without my stoker, every trip would only be half a journey

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Re: Barcelona to Gibraltar in August.

Postby brumster » 23 Mar 2016, 8:54pm

If you fancy a bit of rough stuff riding? :

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Re: Barcelona to Gibraltar in August.

Postby robing » 25 Mar 2016, 6:54pm

I did this last year and then cycled up to San Sebastián. The coast was fine down to Andalucia but then I headed inland via Tabernas, then the Alpujarras and Alhama, Ronda which was spectacular and then gib. Details on my blog.