On the 25th of August, the Vuelta a España, or the Tour of Spain, begins in Málaga. This is the last big race of the year, and will see the peloton working its way through Spain for three weeks. In this year’s Vuelta, riders will cruise through several beautiful villages. But, riders in the peloton probably won’t have time to notice all of the beauty they pass—and that’s a shame, because these five locations below are really outstanding.
Let’s start this overview with the beautiful Mijas, where the third stage of the race begins on Monday the 27th of August. It’s located on the Costa del Sol in the south of Spain, which is a major tourist attraction. The small village is known for its beautiful white houses, and touristy donkey taxis that will take you anywhere around the town. You should also visit the many quaint churches, and the breathtaking view of the sea from the top of the village.
The day after, we will witness an first exciting uphill finish: on Tuesday the 28th of August, the stage ends near the town of Alfacar. This stage will be setting the tone for the general classification. Alfacar is a tiny picturesque village, which is very unique as it was founded in the 8th century AD. Although hardly anyone still lives there, it’s a beautiful place to visit.
Two days after leaving Mijas, the Vuelta will start from Granada on Wednesday the 29th of August. Granada is mainly known for the Alhambra. This enormous palace offers a mixture of Moorish and Catholic culture and you will experience a beautiful historic combination, including some fantastic gardens. Granada is also a very cozy city and definitely worthwhile visiting.
The first three locations we picked are located in the south of Spain. Not much of this year’s race occurs in the east of the country but there are many stages that cross through the north. The seventeenth stage starts in Getxo, which is located on the water and is the third largest city in the province of Biscay. It has several old churches that are worth a visit and has the Vizcaya Bridge, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From this bridge you can catch a gondola every few minutes where there is room for cars, cyclists and pedestrians.
Madrid is the capital of Spain and cannot be missed. The Vuelta ends here on Sunday the 16th of September. The city itself is a real metropolis. There are several art museums, wonderful parks to walk in, relax or picnic for the day, and there is a fantastic nightlife with tons of restaurants, music, dancing and things to do late at night. Madrid is one of those cities that you have to visit and experience at least once in your life.