I have spent the past few days in the Sierra de Mariola in the province of Alicante. As well as operating from the city of Valencia, we have an operating base in the village of Banyeres de Mariola, which despite its wonderful rural location, is only 45 minutes drive from Alicante airport.
We had previously helped our clients Nicki and Mark to design a bespoke holiday in which they wanted to combine some walking with a couple of visits to the coast, and 3 days of mountain biking in Alicante. As they wanted self-catering accommodation, we recommended the apartments in the beautifully restored Valencian farmhouse Alqueria del Pilar which are within easy walking distance of the village of Banyeres de Mariola.
The Sierra de Mariola offers some superb cross country mountain biking. The whole area is relatively high, and it´s mountain peaks rise to 1,400 metres above sea level. I had a few specific routes in mind that would give Nicki and Mark a good insight into the area and would also visit one of the summits.
Our first task was to make all the necessary adjustments to the bikes to ensure maximum comfort and safety. Once done, we headed for the trails. We were fortunate to enjoy good weather, with a slight breeze but with plenty of sunshine and clear skies. We enjoyed some great routes, took on some big climbs, some great descents, and tackled some short tricky sections of trail.
Our longest day took us to the summit of one of the regions highest peaks, at almost 1,300 metres, where we had lunch in the early Spring sunshine and enjoyed the far reaching views. We were treated to an extra special moment when a pair of vultures glided through the valley beneath us.
It was a pleasure to help Nicki and Mark design their holiday, and to provide the guided mountain biking which I hope will provide many happy memories.
Written by David Warrington.
Mountain Bike & Instructor at Mountain Biking Valencia.