10 Reasons Why Malaga and Costa del Sol are Cycling Haven

Jesse in Málaga beach

Here are 10 reasons why this vibrant Spanish locale stands out as the ultimate destination for cycling enthusiasts. ¡Vamos!

Year-Round Cycling Weather

Malaga resides in the Costa del Sol (Coast of the Sun), and you can certainly see why once here. With over 300 days of sunshine annually, the climate in Malaga is perfect for cycling throughout the year. 

Malaga boasts an average temperature of 18°C (64°F) in winter and a comfortable 30°C (86°F) in summer, creating the perfect climate for cycling adventures no matter the season.

Mild winters, warm summers, and little rain ensure you can pedal anytime. It’s December and I can leave for a 5 hour ride with no arm or leg warmers…and still be sweating!

Varied Terrain

While the south of Spain is generally more dry compared to the green and rainy north, it still has a diverse landscape that should satisfy any taste. Explore the rugged beauty of the Montes De Malaga behind Malaga, with its challenging ascents or opt for the gentle undulations along the picturesque coastal roads that stretch east towards Nerja. Or perhaps a more rolling farmland westward towards the towns of Cartama and Alora. You can climb as much as you wish, or roll along. Also, this applies to Dirt and Road. Here is a photo of a mountain bike/gravel route in neighboring city Alhaurin de la torre.

My favorite climbs:

  1. Subida a Fuente de La Reina | Strava Ride Segment in Málaga, Andalucía, Spain
    1. ~16km, 900m gain
    2. Why I like it: From city directly, beautiful views, 900m up, not steep.
  2. Subida a Vendo Miel | Strava Ride Segment in Málaga, Andalucía, Spain
    1. ~8km, 381m gain
    2. Why I like it: about 10-15 mins from city and into nature, low traffic.
  3. https://www.strava.com/segments/20220294
    1. ~12km, 548m gain
    2. Why I like it: Challenging, Small villages, connect to network of climbs

Scenic Coastal Roads

Looking to spin casually down a beautiful coastline while visiting small Spanish towns? If yes, the N-340 offers a chance to cycle along the flattish coastal route that is referred to as the “Spanish Route 66”, for my American compatriots. It’s actually Spain’s longest road, ~1200km/745mi from North to South Spain, Barcelona to Cadiz, that Malaga sits right in the middle of. It’s a go-to way for me to easily spin, catch some sun and breathe in the Smells of the Sea. I actually just cycled this route more or less about a month ago at time of writing and perhaps will post a blog soon! Many take this way to connect to larger loops.

Cool Little Towns/Villages

Discover the magic of Andalusia’s delightful villages! Picture-perfect locales nestled in the southern autonomy of Malaga, Granada, Seville, Cordoba, and beyond boast those iconic “white building” towns and snug villages. My absolute joy comes from weaving through these interconnected gems, making pit stops for a steaming cup of coffee or savoring a scrumptious bocadillo. Being an American in this culturally vibrant region, these unique towns and their local vibes continually remind me of the richness that surrounds us. Chatting with locals over a coffee or a cheeky Coca-Cola while soaking in breathtaking views is the cherry on top of this adventure!

Cycling Events

There are numerous local amateur and competitive mtb events and road races. In December, a race locally called clasica del pavo that has a history where the winner used to be rewarded a live turkey!  It’s also cool to ride the roads that some of the world’s best cyclists come to train/compete on. The Vuelta a Andalucaia and the Vuelta a Espana will often come straight through the area. For example, earlier this year, I rode to Almogia, a neighboring town, to watch the Vuelta a Andalucia come through and tackle  a famous 20% climb section. You might not be as calm as Tadej Pogacar, a Tour de France champion, but you can still test yourself (photo below)!

Cultural Richness

Explore the historic center of Malaga, birthplace of Picasso! The regional history is fascinating and many museums and free events/tours are offered. The Picasso Museum and Carmen Thyssen Museum are popular for those that like to delve into something off the bike. Walking around teleports you back in time as you see buildings like the Alcazaba, an old fortification from the 11th century.

Gastronomic Delights

Indulge in Malaga’s famous espetos (grilled sardines), fresh from the sea, or replenish your energy with local favorites like gazpacho or ajo blanco after an invigorating ride. Malaga offers ALL cuisines, not only Spanish. I know somebody is already thinking of the coffee spots, so I will list below… But also, the center and surrounding areas offer many other, like various Asian and Italian! Wander the streets in center and stumble across a Spanish restaurant.

Specialty Coffees: Mia Coffee, Next Level Specialty, Santa Coffee SoHo

Food: Classic Spanish El Pimpi, Spanish FusionPez Wanda, Mix: Recyclo Bike Cafe

Proximity to Nature Reserves

Pedal through the Montes de Málaga Natural Park‘s 40 kilometers of trails, revealing stunning vistas of olive groves, pine forests, and wildlife. Also nearby is popular attraction, El Caminito del Rey, once touted as the world’s most dangerous road! Now is a hike-only but great way to see the area and popular tourist destination.

Cycling Tours and Guides & Cycling-Friendly Culture

Companies like Eat Sleep Cycle offer guided experiences, bike rentals, and custom tours to take cyclists on tailored routes through the region’s best cycling spots. There are a number of groups also that meet on the paseo maritimo and head down the N-340 to make loops into the mountains nearby.  

Tip: Eshmun Clinic has a ride leaving from Limonar around 9am most Saturdays!

Experience the warmth of locals as they cheer on cyclists during events or share tips on hidden gems and the best cycling routes over a cup of café con leche. Also, the growing number of shop rides is something that I notice, which is great for inclusivity and something social. Also lot’s of services as well like pro bike fits, physios, massage, etc for cyclists.

My favorites include: Bike fit: fit4cyclist. Sport Physio: Eshmun Clinic Shop: Eat Sleep Cycle

Pro Tip: Join Eat Sleep Cycles IG page for weekly updates on their shop social ride every Sunday 9am.

Easy Accessibility

Another thing that I love is Malaga’s ease of travel around city. From Malaga’s international airport, (AGP), flights connect to major European cities and even direct flights to New York (Jersey) in the summer with United! This allows cyclists to bring their bikes and gear hassle-free. A small but clean and nice metro can transport you to city center and around. Bus systems can take you (only packaged bike) to Granada, down the coast, marbella, Nerja, etc. MAny local buses are cheap and very easy to navigate Malaga.

Once you are there, you can:

  1. Train just outside airport doors to the city center (Train to Maria Zambrano/City Center and about 5 euros). Bike OK, but could be crowded
  2. Bus, 4 euros, A1, takes right to city center, Alameda Principal. Will get a strange look but you can take a bike box if there’s room in the middle of the bus! Definitely the cheapest option and if not bust a great fast way.
  3. Uber, depending on time/business, 15-40 EUR. Remember a UBER XL/Van if lot’s of luggage.
  4. Taxi, very easy and quickest way to get to the city center area. Loads of vans too for big bike bags. Beware they have a minimum anywhere in Malaga of around 25 Euros, even if only going a few miles.

Bonus Thought

I’ve been to other bike hotspots like Mallorca, Girona, some riding down near Calpe, etc. While they each are quite special and no doubt tons of great rides/cimbs, none quite can match Malaga’s overall destination package. When it comes to a destination and place to live/explore off the bike, Malaga becomes much more enticing. The food is awesome, the people very welcoming, and the weather is the best year-round. English is easily spoken around the city center and since Malaga is Spain’s sixth largest city, resources, shops and such is much more at your fingertips than small town destinations. Also, the ease of getting around is awesome and you can use many modes to navigate. With a car or bus you can also tackle climbs, trails, and small villages for extra touristy fun. Bottom line: Malaga is gorgeous, fun, and you can cycle and live well while here. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Thank you and feel free to follow me on IG, @theother_jayz for more videos, photos, and routes in Malaga and surrounding areas. Any questions, please let me know, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Written by Jesse Zarate

I am a Californian living in the beautiful Malaga, Spain! Having the option to go to Europe for work a few years back, I decided to move from California and my list was quite concise on what I needed: sun, a vibrant culture, and of course, without question- amazing cycling.

Not owning enough jackets for the north of Europe, I decided to focus my eyes on the South, and after some recommendations, I stumbled into a little city by the name of…Malaga! The sun-kissed region of Malaga and Costa del Sol isn’t just a haven for beach lovers; it’s a cyclist’s dream come true.

Related Tours

Custom Custom Custom Custom


from €1.499

Custom hotels
Self guided
Custom kms
Custom m
Related tours