What is EuroVelo 8?
EuroVelo is a European cycling network, with 17 long-distance rides that cross and connect Europe to create routes totalling 90,000km spanning 42 countries. Spain has been included in 3 EuroVelo routes, providing cycling tourism inspiration that will take you to the heart of this fascinating country.
When you think about Spain, the first things that come to mind might be sunny beaches, good food, water sports and an outdoor lifestyle. Whilst these are at the forefront of our minds, modern Spanish culture is also infused with Roman, Punic and Moorish heritage, with many architectural treasures and places of interest to visit.
The Eurovelo 8 Mediterranean route runs from Cadiz in southern Spain to Cyprus, with a total distance of almost 7,500km, travelling through 10 different countries. This route will take you through many popular tourist destinations, with the additional benefit of introducing you to even more undiscovered cycling gems.
So, let’s look at the Murcia region, which remains one of the lesser-known Spanish cycling destinations along the EuroVelo 8 route, but this is seen by our “Institute of Tourism” as a great opportunity to promote and boost cycling tourism. Whether you are planning on bikepacking along the route, or maybe you would prefer our carbon road bike option, then Murcia Bike Hire and the EuroVelo 8 route have something for all cyclists.
Known as the “Vegetable Garden of Europe”, Murcia provides excellent opportunities to sample some of the region’s best cycling, culture, gastronomy, and stunning nature reserves. The Murcia EuroVelo route has a total distance of 217km with mixed terrain, and an elevation gain of 2000m, this route is seen as a great opportunity to showcase the Murcia region to the world of cycle tourism.
The route runs along the Mediterranean coast from Aguilas, through Puerto de Mazarrón, Cartagena, La Union, Los Alcázares, San Javier, to San Pedro Del Pinatar before heading inland to Murcia and onto the Valencian border at Beniel.
Murcia Bike Hire, EuroVelo 8 Cycling Package
The Murcia Bike Hire, EuroVelo 8 package begins in Águilas, with our planned route taking you along the coastline of a region in which its southern area is dominated by high elevations. Climbing mountains such as Cabo Cope, La Cuesta, or the Sierras Mineras de Cartagena/ Portmán, will include steep slopes that can be challenging for less experienced cyclists.
The rest of the route, around the Mar Menor becomes easier with less traffic to contend with as this is an enjoyable ride, although there are a few points where the traffic can be busier, especially in the summer months. To reduce exposure to the busier periods of traffic, we advise that you plan your trip between February and June or September to November.
Prepare for spectacular views that are well worth stopping briefly to enjoy and capture photos, creating long-lasting cycling memories. The route works its way through the region of Murcia providing the opportunity to explore castles, aqua ducts, roman amphitheatre, cathedrals and much more along the way.
How easy is it to find your way along the route?
The route has been signposted in both directions, so you can navigate your way easily and safely through the roads, cycle paths and coastal paths. But in addition to the signage, Murcia Bike Hire will provide you with an information pack including maps, GPX route and a sightseeing guide prior to arrival.
Águilas – Puerto de Mazarrón: 50km
We begin our journey from Águilas train station, ensuring you make the most of your cycling experience you will take in the view of El Hornillo, a landmark of the industrial past in Aguillas.
Departing from Águilas, you will travel parallel to the coast, towards the small fishing hamlet of Calabardina, with a fine sandy beach and crystal-clear waters before starting our first climb of the day at Cabo Cope. The bay of Calabardina can be a tourist hotspot, especially if you plan to cycle this route during the summer months.
Cabo Cope is one of the highlights of the route, with the spectacular scenic views of the abrupt landscapes between the Mediterranean and the mountains forming spectacular cliffs, coves and beaches, which is also a protected area for Birds.
After taking time to enjoy the summit views, we continue our journey in the “Puntas Calnegre Regional Park” along the coastal trails towards the erosions of Bolnuevo, and then onto our destination of Puerto de Mazarrón. As the next part of the route runs along dirt tracks close to the coastline, we have made an alternative route for our carbon road bike cyclists to ensure comfort and enjoyment… For the full article click here or get the print version
Stuart J Mitchell
Owner of Murcia Bike Hire; providing Cycling Holidays, Carbon Road Bike Hire, Guided Rides and Bike Sales in the Costa Calida and Costa Blanca regions of Spain.