Circuit of the Aitana Mountains (Vuelta de Aitana)
Abdet - Guadalest - La Nucia - Finestrat - Sella - Puerto Tudons - Alcoleja - Puerto Confrides - Abdet. 77kms. 1600 - Metres of Ascent
This ride takes in the amazing road over Puerto Tudons - a route often taken by the Tour of Spain. Follow the wheels of some of cycling's greats. This route can be cycled in either direction - it is a great challenge either way. We describe it here in a clockwise direction.
Leave Abdet and cycle out towards the CV-70 and take a left turn toward Guadalest. On cooler days it is worth taking a windproof for the long descent ahead. You can either stay on the main CV-70 or take the alternative detour through Benifato if you are not calling in at Guadalest. (head into Benifato and straight out he other side to rejoing the CV-70 just past Guadalest).
Guadalest , the 'Eagle's Nest', enjoys one of the most spectacular locations of any village in Spain, set high up on a pinnacle and carved out of a mountain top in the midst of truly stunning scenery. It has a population of only 200 but is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Spain. It is well worth a look around if you have the time (or energy!).
You now have a swift few km's ahead of you down the big hill to La Nucia, after a few smaller roundabouts turn right at the first roundabout that has a water feature, and follow through several more roundabouts for 5kms until it is possible to turn right towards Finestrat (on this less scenic part of the ride there is a cycle path to one side of the road which may be worth utilising as the traffic can be quite fast). The road climbs gradually to a col between the Puig Campana and the Sierra Cortina and you now get great views of the Puig Campana, the areas most distinctive peak. Head on through Finestrat (good cafe stops possible here) and then towards Sella, which sits in a dramatic location and signifies the start of the long climb to Puerto Tudons. This is a good point for a cafe/bar stop and there are several along the main street that have great views from the balconies.
The twisting road now climbs all the way to the route's high point, the Puerto Tudons at over 1000 Metres. This is a truly great section of climbing as the road twists and turns, always at a gentle, but steady gradient. In the spring you are likely to see quite of a lot of cycling groups on this road, including top amateur and professional teams. You may well recognise some famous Vuelta de España names painted on this section of road. Once over the top you will soon be absorbed in another exhilarating descent , this time all the way down to the village of Alcoleja, an old stone built mill town and one of the highest in the area. All that remains is to rejoin the CV-70 and climb over the Puerto Confrides and then descend 5km's back to Abdet. You are on the final section now - in Spring the scent of the almond trees is something you will remember. In the summer months you could finish your ride by cooling of in one of the local open air pools.
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