Cycling in Valencia - The Valencian Community

The Valencian community, its three provinces (Castellon de la Plana, Valencia, and Alicante), in Spain.
The Valencian community, its three provinces (Castellon de la Plana, Valencia, and Alicante), in Spain. Published under CC BY: www.researchgate.net.

Mountains, coastline, history and culture in one of Europe's most popular cycling destinations


A combination of excellent weather, a firmly-established tourism sector, first-class transport infrastructure and quiet roads have helped the region to build a strong reputation among the cycling community

Cycling in Valencia - Cyclists on La Safor Via Verde


The Valencian Community is 4th most-populated of Spain's 17 autonomous regions. It is located along the country's eastern coast and is composed of three provinces: Castellón to the north, Valencia and Alicante to the south.

The region runs north to south along some 500 kilometres of Mediterranean coastline, bordering with the regions of Catalonia to the north, Aragon and Castilla–La Mancha to the west, and Murcia to the south. It is quite large in size, covering some 23,255 km2 (8,979 sq mi), and with around 5 million inhabitants it accounts for around 10% of the total Spanish population.

Cyclist climbing Vall d'ebo, Costa Blanca, Alicante, Spain
Cyclist climbing Vall d'ebo on the Costa Blanca, Alicante

Outside of Spain, Valencia is perhaps best known for its coastal resorts, concetrated above all on the Costa Blanca in the province of Alicante, and for the city of Valencia, the provincial and regional capital and the 3rd largest city in Spain.

Cyclists crossing Pont de l'Exposició, by Santiago Calatrava, in Valencia, Spain
Cyclists crossing Pont de l'Exposició, by Santiago Calatrava, in Valencia, Spain

Alicante has long been associated with amateur and professional road cycling, attracting cyclists from all corners of the globe through a combination of excellent range of transport facilities, a very cycling-friendly climate, kilometre after kilometre of well-paved, low-traffic roads crossing "perfect" cycling country, and a local economy well-versed in receiving foreign visitors.

Cyclists in Villafamés, Castellón, Spain
Cycle touring near the village of Villafamés, Castellón

The provinces of Valencia and Castellón also offer a multitude of opportunities for cycling in all its forms, from easy rides along the flat coastline and gentle-paced visits to World Heritage sites, to rural cycle-touring through the region's rich cultural heritage, climbing in its numerous mountain ranges, greenways, cycle paths, gravel roads and urban cycling.

Bicycle on the banks of the River Xúquer, Valencia, Spain
Bicycle on the banks of the River Xúquer, Valencia

The region's cities are constantly investing in their cycling infrastructure, with urban and intra-urban cycling networks, municipal bike schemes and bicycle parking facilities in constant expansion. Simultaneously, the local greenways are also being extended and, with the future completion of the EuroVelo 8 long-distance cycle route, it will soon be possible to cross the region from north to south along dedicated cycling infrastructure.

Culture

During its recorded history, Valencia has been ruled by Iberians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths and Arabs, among others, each leaving their own, distinctive mark in the local cultural, whether in the form of the regional gastronomy, art, architecture, language, agriculture, technology or traditions, with modern-day Valencia taking its initial form in the 13th century following the reconquista led by James 1 of Aragon.

Church of San Pedro, Albalat de la Ribera, Valencia, Spain
Façade of 17th-century church of San Pedro, Albalat de la Ribera, Valencia

Nothwithstanding Spain's condition as a modern, developed and industrialised country, the influences of these different cultures are evident in almost every aspect of Spanish life and represent some of the most attractive aspects of local life.

Climate

The Valencian Community as a whole enjoys a mostly benign climate that is generally good for cycling all year round. There are certain precautions that are wise to bear in mind when cycling during the summer, above all in relation to the hottest parts of the day, and the winters can at times can be surprisingly cold for first-time visitors, above all in mountainous areas, and especially in the northern province of Castellón. When relevant, we try to include information about weather conditions in our articles in onyour.bike.

Cyclist climbing mountain under the sun
Cyclist climbing el Puerto de Campello, Vallada, Valencia

Transport

Whether travelling from abroad or from other areas within Spain, the Valencian Community is served by first-class transport infrastructures, the result of extensive investment over recent decades.

Cyclists in the city of Valencia, Spain
Cyclists in the city of Valencia

The region has two international airports: Alicante - Elche Airport, which is mainly tourist-oriented, and Valencia Airport, which places greater focus on business traffic. A new terminal at Alicante - Elche Airport was opened in March 2011, doubling capacity to 20m passengers per annum.

The extensive RENFE (Spanish National Railway Network) rail system connects the region's main cities with the rest of Spain, with the cities of Valencia and Alicante being directly connected to the Spanish - and by extension European - high-speed rail network.

Cyclists participating in the Dones Bicibles Gran Fondo, Sierra de Mariola, Alicante
Cyclists participating in the Dones Bicibles Gran Fondo, Sierra de Mariola, Alicante

The region also has excellent road communications, with the A3 toll-free motorway (known as Autovía del Este) connecting the city of Valencia with the Spanish capital, Madrid, the A-31 toll-free motorway connecting the provincial capital of Alicante with Madrid, and the A7 toll-free motorway (known as Autovía del Mediterraneo) running north to south through the three provincial capitals (the AP7 toll-road variant of the A7 also connects the cities of Castellón, Valencia and Alicante and runs along the coast).