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Off-road mountain biking with the kids in tow, hiking along precarious clifftops and white-water rafting exhilarated readers who this week share the best of the southern Spanish region.
Winning tip: Cycling the Sierra Nevada to the sea
If you like local hospitality, sunny, dusty trails and insane amounts of fun, we recommend this week of fast-flowing single track. Our physically challenging trip took us to the very best of Andalucía, including through remote villages and epic mountain scenery. We stayed in authentic Andalucían accommodation, including luxury caves.
A week from £1,340pp (two sharing, flights extra), mountainbikeworldwide.com
Nikki and Carl Beckett
Rafting on the Genil river
If you fancy a rush, a rafting adventure awaits on the Genil. For beginners and families with children aged six and up, there is a quiet course close to Málaga at Cuevas Bajas. The stretch of white water between Benamejí and Palenciana is for the more experienced. From €50pp with paddleinspain.com
Tyrolean traverse at El Torcal
Easily reached from Jerez airport, the not-too-touristy resort of Chiclana has activities like windsurfing, horseriding, sailing, kitesurfing and diving. The fearless can try the Tyrolean traverse ropeway at El Torcal. After all that, watch the sunset with a beer on La Borrosa beach.
Climbing guide from €50pp, rockclimbingcompany.co.uk
Family activities in Sierra Nevada
La Taha de Pitres is a series of pretty villages linked by a well-marked footpath high in the Sierra Nevada. The area offers family activities based on hiking, fruit collecting and swimming in lakes. Get up to Granada then take a short bus ride and you’ll be breathing fresh air and (in the autumn) picking wild figs and almonds for dinner.
Self-guided trips at walkalpujarra.com
A walk on the wild side
East of Almería, Mónsul is perhaps best-known because its beach was seen in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The coastal path to Vela Blanca is closed to all but foot traffic, and provides astounding views as you clamber along the track with jagged rocks, coral reefs and abundant wildlife.
Caminito del Rey, Málaga
The renovated Caminito del Rey in the province of Málaga is sometimes dubbed “the world’s most dangerous path”. The 3km walkway clings to the Garganta del Chorro ravine, and traces the route of the original decayed catwalk from which several walkers fell to their deaths. The new metre-wide, wood-panelled walkway features several spectacular glass floor sections and a hanging bridge over the gorge.
Spaghetti western landscapes
El Jardín de los Sueños is a great base for walking in Almería, with amazing breakfasts, rooms in renovated barns and an outdoor pool. The landscape is varied, from bizarre rock formations to black-pebble beaches.
Four nights from £325pp, inntravel.co.uk
MORE CYCLING IDEAS
Sierra Nevada mountain biking
I visited Pure Mountains in Bérchules in mid-May as a solo traveller and had a memorable weekend riding great trails. The location is superb, we rode as a group from the farmhouse each day and soon got to know everyone. Jenny and Tim were excellent hosts and quickly gauged the group to ensure we rode within our limits on the most enjoyable trails.
White Villages bike tour
From Ronda, try the Andalucían Cycling Experience tour, with farmhouse/hotel accommodation and a support van. It’s a fairly challenging trip of 127 miles, but doable by a reasonably fit retired couple. You’ll go through olive and cork plantations, mostly on quiet roads with stunning scenery.
Seven nights from €825pp B&B, bike hire €80, andaluciancyclingexperience.comrogerbryce
Singletrack with young kids
We all say “nothing’s going to change just because we’re having a child” – but most of us know it isn’t true. The question is really how much can you do with a baby in tow? We – one experienced biker, one less experienced (and pregnant) and one 18-month-old with a bicycle trailer – had a great holiday arranged by Sierra Cycling, in Fuengirola. Top-quality riding for those who wanted it, including some dramatic river crossings, and lovely less-technical off-road with great views, as far as Africa on one day. I can honestly say this is the first holiday in 18 months I’ve really felt revitalised by.