• Team Escapar

Planning cycling trips in 2021

"I've been to Denia and Calpe and done all of the climbs"

Everyone loves a list! We often get route planning questions from potential customers and staying guests, asking for recommendations or how to get to a certain climb that they may have already done. Usually, where riders have visited the region before, this means Coll de Rates, Port de Tudons, Vall de Gallinera, Vall d'Ebo and Cumbres de Sol; especially when they've previously stayed in either Calpe or Denia. Initially, they're often a little surprised when we suggest that they could spend the entire week or two of their stay, riding routes and climbs that they've never done before and that aside from being different, many of them are better too.

Generally, in the Valencia region the further you head inland, the prettier and more spectacular it becomes. For example, the landscape near Ayora, Enguera, Dos Aguas and Confrentes (not to be confused with Confrides) is stunning but doesn't make a great choice for a cycling base as it lacks in hotels, services and amenities and it's better to visit for the day. In southern Alicante, the terrain is more arid and barren, like a scene from a Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western movie.

With more National Parks, more mountains, more 1000m summits, stunning valleys, far less traffic, historic castles, the best gravel and MTB riding and routes in the region, multiple high-end bike shops and bike hire, the best inland gastronomy and restaurants, the finest wineries, a thriving craft beer scene and the driest weather are just some of the reasons we chose Ontinyent in the Tuscany Valencia as our base. We don't think you'll find a better spot for your next trip. And of course, you can still ride the climbs you may already know.

We've covered some of our favourite routes in previous blog posts and we featured in a Cycling Weekly guide a couple of years ago:

No matter where you are staying, our guide to many of the best climbs and how far they are from Denia, Calpe, Ontinyent and Jalon should be super useful when it comes to planning. Today we've compiled lists for some of our best climbs, best descents and hardest climbs of the region, as well as the best inland places to stay. See our website for more information on each or get in touch to find out more.

Ontinyent Bell Tower, tallest in Valencia region
Ontinyent Bell Tower

Best Climbs 1) Font Roja - from Alcoy

2) Port Bosquet de Mogente - from Mogent to Ontinyent 3) Port del Moro - starting in Fontanars 4) Port Portixol - starting in Ontinyent

5) Revolcat from Benillup to Alcoy 6) Port de Serra Mariola - from Alcoy to Bocairent 7) Puerto Benifallim - Benilloba to Benifallim 8) Torre Talada - from Font de la Figuera to Navalon 9) Port Paller - from Ontinyent into Serra Grossa, perfect for FTP tests! 10) Puerto del Peregrin - from Enguera to Ayora casa sanz luxury accommodation
Casa Sanz

Best descents

1) Sierra de Enguera - massive 30 km plus descent towards Enguera 2) Port Fontanars - Fontanars to Ontinyent on CV660 3) Port del Moro - descend south to Beneixama 4) Port Bocairent - descend from Bocairent into Ontinyent 5) Port Portixol - descent into Ontinyent 6) Puerto Canalis - descent to Onil 7) Port Bosquet de Mogente - descent to Moixent 8) Port Agres - Agres to Muro A'lcoy 9) Port Paller - Serra Grossa mountains to Aielo de Malferit 10) Port de Carresqueta - to Xixona

Mountains near near Ontinyent
Mountains above Ontinyent

Harder Climbs Ten harder road climbs that you may not know 1) Alt del Campello - starting in Vallada and heading towards Ontinyent 2) Ermita Sant Esteve - starting in Ontinyent 3) Xorret de Cati - starting in Castalla 4) Reconco de Biar - starting in Beneixama 5) Guixop - starting in Tibi 6) Cumbres de Valencia - starting in Moxent to Navalon 7) Las Canteras - from Cocentaina into Serra Mariola

8) Collado de la Zapata - from Cocentaina into Serra Mariola 9) La Bastida de less Alcuses - from Fontanars to a 4th BC City 10) Torre Talada - from Font de Figuera to Navalon

Serra Mariola near
Lush green valleys

Best inland places to stay We don't recommend staying at too high an altitude in winter, as mornings can be frosty and roads slippy. We don't recommend staying on the coast, especially in summer where it is too humid, too hot and too many tourists driving badly in cars 1) Vall d'Albaida - especially the larger town of Ontinyent and smaller bases such as Bocairent and Fontanars. 2) Alcoy and Font Roja- too high for Jan - March. 3) Xativa - not in the summer, with low altitude and high heat doesn't enjoy the cooler mornings over locations. 4) Xalon valley, Parcent and Orba etc - much better than Calpe, moderate selection of bars and some restaurants 5) Pego - not in the summer, it is sticky! 6) Gandia town - not in the summer, full pf Madristas in their holiday homes 7) Planes, Agres, Beniarres and other small villages - often only one or two cafes and limited shopping, so better for those renting villas and cooking

8) Biar and Banyeres de Mariola- best in late Spring and early Autumn 9) Xixona - close to Alicante, but more limited easy riding options 10) Ondara and nearby villages - better access to the mountains than Denia and Calpe, but often ghost towns outside of tourism season

Benicadell mountain near ontinyent
Stunning mountains

Serra Agullent Serra Ontinyent near
Cova Alta