Travel advice & practical information for travelogue:
'Bicyle trip around Andalusia'
150 East 58th Street
New York NY 10155 -U.S.A.
20 Draycott Place
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Tel: 020 7589 8989
Fax: 020 7581 7888
165 Boulevard Malesherbes
PARIS CEDEX 17
Tel.: +33 (0) 1 44 29 40 00
Fax: + 33 (0) 1 40 54 04 74
www.andalucia.org is the official Andalusia site, in 4 languages.
Best time to travel
In July and August the temperature can easily reach 40 degrees Centigrade. You don't want to bicycle in these circumstances. And even if you're not bicycling, it's too hot to explore. April, May and early June on the other hand are good, the temperature is pleasant. Keep in mind that in May there still could be the occasional shower. The countryside is green and the road sides are in full bloom. Fall is nice in terms of temperature, but nature will be exhausted by that time and therefor dry and yellow.
Outside the tourist centers even the staff of the "Turismo" offices only speaks Spanish. So bring a phrase book.
In large parts of Andalusia the siesta is sacred and therefor awarded ample time. Generally speaking, stores are closed between 2 and 5 PM. On the other hand: they're open in the evening. They often open late in the morning though, so get your provisions the night before, if you want to hit the road early.
The Spanish have their main meal during the siesta. Late in the evening, after 10 PM, they have another meal, though not as elaborate as the first one. Outside the centers of tourism you'll get a surprised look if you want to have dinner around six or seven PM.
Creativity in cooking is reserved mostly for the "tapas" that are served in bars, not the meals. Still you can have wonderful meals. Find out about local dishes.
The star system in Spain tends to be somewhat random and is not necessarily connected to price. Note that hotels are always much more expensive than hostals, even though these are often of the same quality as hotels.
Bicycling in Andalusia is rather hard: harder than in mountainous areas in Greece or Slovenia. Mountain gears (f.e. 42x28) will often be insufficient if you bicycle with luggage.
The quality of the roads is variable, from so-so to very good: it often changes within 300 feet. Also: pay attention, because sometimes half of the road has collapsed. The Spanish also are in the nasty habit of not only drinking booze in their cars, but also throwing the empty bottles out of the windows. If you keep to the right as far as possible, you risk a puncture.
Many travel guides tell you that there are hardly any bike repair shops in Spain. We found this to be much better than we expected. Even in small villages we often found bike repair shops. Probably because of the success of Pedro Delgado and Miguel Indurain many Spanish have taken up bike racing. One regularly encounters Spanish bike racers, who always greet you very friendly.
Plan your trip to Spain online
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