Cycling in Valencia - Province of Alicante

Mediterranean Sea from the Vall d'ebo climb, Alicante, Spain

Alicante is the southernmost of the Valencian Community's three provinces

It is bordered by the provinces of Albacete to the west, Murcia to the southwest and Valencia to the north, with the Costa Blanca coastline facing the Mediterranean Sea on the east. 

The province is named after its capital, the city of Alicante, home to a little under 350,000 inhabitants. A very popular holiday destination and with a highly-developed tourism sector, the province also has the largest ratio of foreign residents among all the Spanish provinces.


View of Mediterranean Sea from Vall d'ebo climb, Alicante, Spain
View of Mediterranean Sea from Vall d'ebo climb, Alicante

Whilst mainly flat to the south, the rest of the province is famously mountainous, especially in the north and west, with numerous peaks in the 1200m - 1600m range.

Paved passes include Coll de Rates, Puerto de Tudons, Puerto de la Carrasqueta, Vall d'Ebo, Xorret de Catí and Sierra de Bernia, which will be familiar to cycling fans from around the world due both to their use as training grounds and to their inclusion on professional bike races, such as la Vuelta a España, la Volta a la Comunidad Valenciana and Setmana Ciclista Valenciana - Vuelta Comunidad Valenciana Féminas.

An experienced tourism sector distributed along the coast and throughout the province makes visiting the cycling-friendly roads easy, and especially so in the off-season.

Two cyclists on railtrail in Alicante, Spain
Cyclists on the Serpis Greenway in Alicante
Pacopac / CC BY-SA

Away from the coast, the inland regions offer ample opportunity for touring and off-road cycling, including the Serpis, Alcoy, Ibi, Maigmó and Xixarra Greenways, as well as the Sierra de Mariola and Font Roja Natural Parks.

Most of the province has very long, very hot and very dry summers and cool winters, with very little rain in the south and along the coast. When it does rain, however, usually in the spring and the autumn, it is often in the form of downpours and can be especially intense in the mountains.

Snow can be expected in the province's higher and inland regions during the early months of the year.

Cyclists climbing Vall d'ebo, Alicante, Spain
Professional cyclists training on the Vall d'ebo climb, Alicante

The combination of these factors - excellent weather, an abundance of holiday accommodation during the off-season and the presence of seemingly endless mountains - has helped to turn the province of Alicante, and especially its coastal resorts, into an extremely popular training destination for road cyclists from all over the world.

How to get to Alicante

The province of Alicante is served by Alicante-Elche Airport, located about 10 kilometres southwest of the provincial capital. Dedicated to handling intense tourist traffic during the summer, the airport provides flights to a wide range of European destinations.

The extensive RENFE (Spanish National Railway Network) rail system connects the city with the rest of Spain. Alicante also forms part of the country's high-speed AVE rail network.

Pop Valley seen from Coll de Rates, Alicante, Spain
Vall de Pop seen from Coll de Rates, Alicante

The city has excellent road communications, with the A31 toll-free motorway (known as Autovía de Alicante) connecting Alicante with the Spanish capital, Madrid and the A7 toll-free motorway (known as Autovía del Mediterraneo) crossing the Valencian Community, connecting Alicante with the provincial capital of Valencia, Castellón, Barcelona and France to the north, and with the capital of the neighbouring province, Murcia and with Andalucía further to the south. 

The port of Denia, in the north of the province, is connected to the Balearic islands of Ibiza and Mallorca by ferry.