The attractive power of the Costa Blanca and Alicante in particular is especially visible during the months when cycling teams prepare their pre-season. There are not a few cyclists from the top teams in the WorldTeam scene who ride like a fish in the water on the roads of Alicante, enjoying the best cycling routes in Alicante.
There are many reasons for this: good roads, climbs of all kinds, an ideal climate, sublime scenery... There are even many who, over the years, and now retired from the professional circuit, continue to go to the Costa Blanca to enjoy it without the same demands.
If you want to explore some of the roads that professional cyclists challenge, here are 10 cycling routes through the Alicante - Costa Blanca region not to be missed.
Ready to live the experience of cycling in Alicante?
Distance: 126.42 Km | Slope: 4440 m | Difficulty: Very Difficult
Our first recommendation of cycling routes in Alicante starts in Altea, undoubtedly one of the towns with the longest cycling tradition on the Alicante Costa Blanca.
We could have started with a route to warm up our legs, but we have opted for a long route which, despite having only two real demanding climbs, will test your ability to resist a good number of kilometers in a single day.
The two great attractions of this cycling route in Alicante are the ascents of Confrides and Coll de Rates respectively, two myths of the Valencian Community through which countless professional cyclists have passed, either to prepare for their pre-season or as part of a stage of the Vuelta a España.
Probably the most demanding section of the cycling route is between kilometers 20 and 40, from where we will progressively climb from 200 to 1,000 m until we reach the summit of Confrides, an ascent of just over 7 km and an average 4.5%.
From there we will begin a progressive and pleasant descent, crossing towns such as Binasau, Gorga, Quatretondeta or Castell de Castells, before facing the second steep climb of the day, Coll de Rates.
This climb is one of the Costa Blanca's favorites: neither too hard, nor too high, but very complete due to its curves, its well-maintained road and its progressive ascent. Once this stretch passes, the only thing left to do is to descend gradually, crossing Callosa d'Ensarrià before returning to Altea.
Recommendation: take advantage of the beach to soak your legs once you finish the cycling route, you will avoid serious stiffness the next day.
Distance: 56.69 | Slope: 1215 m | Difficulty: Intermediate
If you think we have gone too far with the first proposal, here is another cycling route in Alicante that also starts from Altea but is much more accessible.
56 km whose greatest challenge is facing the ascent to La Nucia, this charming town known as the balcony of the Mediterranean due to the views of the coast from its highest point.
The climb is quite demanding, but the road is in good condition and allows for pleasant cycling before reaching the summit.
Once we have passed this pass, the return will be a gradual and pleasant descent bordering the Embalse de Guadalest (reservoir), surrounded by mountain scenery in which we will feel very well protected at all times.
Distance: 145.52 Km | Slopel: 2690 m | Difficulty: Very Difficult
Our latest proposal of the best cycling routes in Alicante, starting and finishing in Altea, is this 145 km route with almost 2,700 m of positive slope.
We will start bordering the Costa Blanca until reaching Benidorm, from where we will gradually enter the interior of Alicante, crossing some well-known towns such as Xixona, Callosa d'en Sarrià, Benifallim or Confrides, as well as iconic spots such as the Castell de Guadalest.
The great challenge of this cycling route in Alicante, in addition to the number of kilometers that we will accumulate, is Puerto de La Carrasqueta, which we will come across shortly before reaching the middle of the route, and in which we will go up from 200 to 1000 m in an ascent that, despite not hiding large ramps, can get a bit bumpy due to its length, with around 15 km of progressive ascent.
Once past this summit, the only section that is somewhat demanding is the one to Confrides, with ramps that are slightly more demanding than La Carrasqueta but of smaller extension.
Distance: 195.6 Km | Slope: 7885 m | Difficulty: Very Difficult
We leave the town of Altea to approach another coastal town with a renowned name and great prestige: Benidorm. One of those towns open all year round to tourism, that countless visitors cross both to enjoy its beaches and to connect with some of the best cycling routes in Alicante Costa Blanca.
And we do it with a high altitude cycling route, probably the most difficult of all those we propose in this post.
If its 195 km route and a difference of almost 8,000 m are already frightening, its stage finish (and we say this with full knowledge of the facts, as this route was one of the stages of the Vuelta a España in 2016) ends with an agonizing high altitude finish, specifically that of Aitana, one of the toughest climbs in Alicante. In just 12 km we will climb from 200 to over 1,500 m, and that's having added no more and no less than 175 before starting the ascent.
The funny thing is that, even without the ascent to Alto de Aitana, this stage would already be very difficult, with constant ascents and descents to mountain passes such as Vall d'Ebo, Tollos or the Coll de Rates itself, all of them with average slopes above 5%.
In conclusion: if you dare to challenge this cycling route in Alicante you must be a very advanced level cyclist. Either that, or divide the route into two stages... or three.
Distance: 88 Km | Slope: 3350 m | Difficulty: Difficult
If the previous cycling route has scared you a little, we have another proposal starting and arriving in Benidorm that will surely convince you.
Its main difficulty lies in the ascent to Tudons, an 11 km ascent with an average 5.3% that is one of the busiest in the area. If you have never climbed it, we highly recommend it for its completeness, with a particularly attractive stretch full of hairpin bends and where you will reach over 1,000 m.
The advantage of this cycling route is that you will find the demanding point at the perfect moment, when you have warmed up your legs enough but you are completely fresh to face it.
Once you pass Tudons, you will start a progressive descent, interspersing a new ascent before reaching Confrides. Once this extra difficulty has been overcome, we will cross Callosa d'en Sarrià and La Nucia before returning to our starting point.
Distance: 82 Km | Slope: 1665 m | Difficulty: Very Difficult
Leaving Benidorm to another of those coastal municipalities that cyclists in the area have loved so much: Calpe. And we do so by proposing a route with EL PUERTO. And we say that in capital letters because you will find few road cycling climbs like the vertiginous Cumbre del Sol in the Valencian Community.
Double-digit ramps and slopes where the best thing is not to look back if you don't want to get stuck. It is 4 kilometers of heart attack, with an average of around 10% and where we will climb from 50 to 400 m in less than the blink of an eye.
There is also the possibility of skipping this section of the cycling route, as the ascent to the Cumbre del Sol involves a slight deviation from the circular route.
However, if you don't do it, you will regret missing out on the high altitude views you get in the area, another of those spectacular natural balconies overlooking the sea that Alicante's peculiar orography has.
Distance: 104 Km | Slope: 2279 m | Difficulty: Very Difficult
Our second proposal of cycling in Alicante, starting in Calpe, has the great attraction of crossing Vall de Laguar, made up of several villages and wrapped in a bucolic mountain scenery. It is especially attractive during the cherry blossom season, where the landscape is stained with stunning white. It has an irregular orography into which we will not delve deeply, or at least not on a road bike.
On this cycling route in Alicante we will cover more than 100 km and accumulate around 2,200 m slope, a level that is sufficiently demanding but in which we can enjoy a very complete route that alternates sections of prominent climbs and descents with other more constant ones.
Distance: 85 Km | Slope: 1818 m | Difficulty: Very Difficult
Our last municipality on the Costa Blanca in Alicante is none other than El Campello, another of those charming little towns where you can enjoy a multitude of cycling routes in the area. It is the closest of all those mentioned so far to the city of Alicante.
On this first route of 85 km and 1818 m positive slope, the main attraction is the ascent through Relleu, a progressive but pleasant climb along meadows and whose asphalt is in fairly good condition.
It has the great attraction of crossing Cuevas del Canelobre, one of the great tourist attractions in the area. These caves are located at 700 m on the northern slope of the Cabeçó d'Or mountain range, in whose cavities we can find a space of more than 80,000 m2 which can be accessed through a 45-m tunnel. Obviously you can't get into it with your bicycle, but you can do it by walking through them and it is worth a visit if you have a bit of time.
Distance: 123 Km | Slope: 1671 m | Difficulty: Very Difficult
If we have already mentioned the Cumbre del Sol as one of the most demanding climbs in Alicante, we can also place the Xorret del Catí at the same level, an inferno of less than 4 km on a single-lane road with an average 11.5% slope. A colossus to enjoy leaving Campello in the direction of Boqueres.
The mentioned mountain pass is located around kilometer 40, with the legs already sufficiently prepared, especially considering that before this ascent we will have progressively climbed the A-7 Perimetral.
The beginning of the aforementioned Xorret inferno occurs when we detour from the perimeter to the Petrer-Castalla Highway. The difference between the route that goes through the Cumbre del Sol and this one is that in this case there is no possibility of avoiding this climb.
As consolation, we can assure you that after those 4 kilometers of nightmare, the rest of the way we will only have to descend progressively and think about how well we have fought to keep our composure during the ascent.
Distance: 123 Km | Slope: 1755 m | Difficulty: Very Difficult
We finish our top cycling routes in Alicante by mentioning the Paraje Natural del Maigmó, a place that houses a mountainous formation, the Sierra del Maigmó, whose maximum height is 1296 m. Its lush pine and oak forest, with the Embalse de Tibi (reservoir) at its feet, makes this area a very special natural attraction.
In this cycling route of 123 Km, we will accumulate up to 1755 m positive slope, whose main difficulty will be the passage (on the opposite side) through the Xorret de Catí, which fortunately in this case has a somewhat more progressive and not so steep ascent.
Do you have your shoes and your bike ready to face any of the cycling route challenges we suggested? It's time to get out and ride!
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