Natural parks, mountain ranges and rice fields.
The EUROVELO 8 cycling route is a wonderful tour through the inviting region of the Comunidad Valenciana. You will start in Elche, the city of palm trees, where you can admire the largest palm grove in Europe, containing about 200.000 palm trees. Throughout the tour you will follow Eurovelo 8, a cycle path that is part of the European cycle network. This Mediterranean route is 7.600 kilometres long, it links Cadiz in Spain to Limassol in Cyprus, passing successively through 12 countries.
During this tour you will go from the arid nature of Elche to the parks, mountain ranges and rice fields of Albufera. Your travel companion will be the orange, given the huge expanse of orange groves in the area. You will cycle in areas where peace and pure air reign, with full respect for nature and the surrounding fauna. In the evening, you will enjoy urban centres full of life and history.
Highlights are Alicante with its golden beaches, the Ducal City of Gandìa and the splendid metropolitan city of Valencia. There will be no shortage of opportunities to satisfy your palate during this tour, as gastronomy in the Valencian Community offers traditional recipes, elaborated with natural, local ingredients such as oils, vegetables, spices, fruit, meat or fresh fish. Its dishes make part of what is known as the Mediterranean diet, while the region’s long wine tradition offers a rich range of wines to accompany the most exquisite recipes of Valencian cuisine.
The daily program of the 8-day tour
Arrival and accommodation in the hotel. Today you will have plenty of time to visit this wonderful city. As you visit the historic centre of Elche, you will be fascinated by the Arab character it has retained over the years, thanks to the wide avenues that run through it. Don’t forget to visit the Palmeral de Elche recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. The park contains hundreds of thousands of palm trees, cultivated in its interior since the age of the Carthaginians and irrigated by a network of canals. Most of the palms are over 20 metres and over 100 years old.
Overnight stay and breakfast in Elche
After breakfast, saddle up to say goodbye to Elche. Today you will cycle through an arid landscape, where you were hardly ridden before. Palm trees and orchards will accompany you all the way until you reach the city of Alicante. In Alicante there is the Santa Barbara Castle, which is the largest medieval fortress in Spain. Not to be missed is a walk to the Explanada de Espana, where a mosaic of 6 million marble tiles decorates the city’s promenade. Here, especially in summer, it is crowded with street performers, musicians, actors and artisans’ stalls.
Overnight stay and breakfast in Alicante
Distance: 40 km / 24,8 mi
A relatively challenging stage awaits you today, as you leave the coastal area and enter the Iberian hinterland. You will follow the Maigmò Greenway, travelling through an astonishing landscape full of contrasts, from the Agost depression to the Maigmò Mountains, with impressive watercourses and gullies heavily eroded by time. The Greenway is also famous for its viaducts such as the Forn de Vidre (140m) and the Palomaret (200m). Awaiting you is Castalla with its medieval old town and tasty little restaurants.
Overnight stay and breakfast in Castalla
Distance: 50 km / 31 mi
After an excellent breakfast, back in the saddle for a leisurely ride. Today nature will once again take centre stage, as we will cycle along the Parque Natural Font Roja.
The park’s fauna is characterized by the presence of mammals such as the wild boar, genet, wild cat and badger. Birds such as the griffon vulture, golden eagle and vulture are also present in the area. The park will take you to Alcoy, a town renowned for its Art Noveau museums, but also for its archaeological sites with cave paintings.
Overnight stay and breakfast in Alcoy
Distance: 35 km / 21,7 mi
Today you will return to the sea again. Exactly in Gandìa after a pleasant ride along the Serpis River through valleys through which an old railway used to pass. Take a rest on the beach and relax in the warm seawater. From Gandìa comes the dish Fideuà, a reinterpretation of Paella Valenciana, where instead of rice, a short spaghetti called Fideos is used. You can, of course, enjoy it in one of the many cosy restaurants located in the historic centre on Gandìa.
Overnight stay and breakfast in Gandìa
Distance: 55 km / 34 mi
After breakfast, a ride through the wetlands of the rice fields of the Albufera National Park awaits you. A ride through a landscape of marshes and rice paddies, which changes completely according to the growing cycle: green in summer, blue in winter when the water floods the fields. And in the area separating it from the sea, you will find a special ecosystem of natural dunes and Devesa pine forests. Awaiting you will be Cullera, famous for its crystal-clear sea and golden beaches.
Overnight stay and breakfast in Cullera
Distance: 35 km / 21,7mi
Today on your last ride of the tour, you will follow a stretch along more rice fields and the best beaches south of Valencia. Welcoming you to Valencia will be the City of Arts and Sciences, your first contact with the city. It is a futuristic architectural complex of bizarrely shaped modern buildings dedicated to science and art. A city within a city, beautiful to see as a whole both by day and night, which becomes exciting when you enter inside the buildings and discover the wonders of the world we live in. A final evening in the sparkling old town will be waiting for you, where in every alley you will find cafés and restaurants to satisfy your taste buds.
Overnight stay and breakfast in Valencia
Distance: 60 km / 37,2 mi
After breakfast ends your tour along the Eurovelo 8 in Spain
Impressions from the Eurovelo 8
Medium. Some stages, although of considerable distance, do not have any particular altitude difference, with the exception of day 3, which has an altitude difference of around +800m. Good cycling experience and good physical condition are required, and the tour is not recommended for children under 12 years of age. Children over 12 years of age are however required to have good cycling experience. Most of the route will be on dirt tracks and cycle paths, in some sections you will cycle on quiet roads with less traffic.
Daily distances between 35km/21,7mi and 60km/37mi
Total km: 275km/170,8mi
Daily from February until end of November.
2 or more people.
START / FINISH:
Elche / Valencia