/ Cycle Tour from Santander to Marrakesh
I'm currently planning a route with a friend to cycle from Santander (Northern Spain) to Marrakesh (Morocco) and am asking for any information that people have.
We both cycle regularly, last year cycling from London to Berlin and back in 13 days, we have also had some fantastic experiences on Spanish oads and hope to find a fairly direct route. We aim to do around 80-100 mile days with weight as well, all we need now is advice from people that have been there done that got the t-shirt.
Some parts I'm having trouble with researching are:
-The route, avoiding hilly areas (especially in Spain)
-Whether roads to Marakesh will be good enough for a light hybrid bike
-sites to see en route
-places to stay in Morocco
-anything else you can think of.
Any help would be reallly!!! appreciated!
are you planning to cross into Moroccos at Algeciras? When it comes to hills you basically have no choice as soon as you get out of Santander - the only way is up - but once you're over the lip you then drop onto the big plateau across central spain which is more or less flat until you get to the sistema central which runs from portugal to east of madrid. After that I think it depends a bit on the route you take. but I think if you went well west of madrid and down to algeciras you'd skirt round some of the mountainous parts of andalucia.
We came over a pass that comes out at Cabezon de la Sal, about 40k West of Santander.
It's A beautiful pass but I wouldn't want to do it the other way - you'll climb to 1200m then drop to 850m and climb up to 1200m again then drop to 800m. From there there's a gentler climb to about 1100m and after that you drop onto the meseta which rolls between 800 and 900 metras till you get to the sistema central.
i've just looked at the map and, further east there are a series of other opitions, two are main roads and then aother is a nice road through vega de pas but also involves a lot of climbing.
But assuming you've got onto the meseta... in my previous post i think i was wrong. However far west of madrid you go, you'll hit hills. The centre of Spain has a spine of mountains running east-west from portugal to east of madrid. if you're dead set on avoiding it, i think your best bet would actually to go east of madrid via soria. But honestly that seems like a long way round - I think you'd have a nicer ride if you went west and over the hills. The Sierra de Gredos (west of madrid) is basically 2 high passes then you're back on La Mancha.
Then south of that i'm afraid i can't help. I haven't cycled south of madrid.
I hope you have a good trip, anyway. it sounds like a cracking plan!
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