Top 3 places to ride in the winter sunshine.

Where can ride for a sunny winter getaway ?

The temperatures are gently dropping and the mornings are getting that bit fresher. Armwarmers and a wind jacket are probably your go-to items for a ride, and soon it’ll be your gloves and legs. 

If riding in the cold isn’t really your thing, you’ll love this months article - our top 3 places for winter riding.

Happy reading! 📖

Andalusia - viva l'España !

Reasons to ride here:

🛤 Well connected by train and plane from Seville.

🗺 Near France

☀️ Perfect temperatures (15-24°C)

👀 A rich culture to discover.

Gravel, sangria, tapas, sun… what more do you need?! Head to the Andalusian mountains for wild and unspoilt landscapes across 4 Natural Parks :

  • Sierra Morena

  • Sierra Nevada

  • Sierra Norte

  • The Doñena National Park.

If you fancy exploring Spain's largest (and most well known) region then the Sierra Nevada is for you, though keep your eye on the weather as the peaks are nearly 3500m high! The area is easily accessible from Grenada and the landscapes are stunning, we’re sure you won’t be disappointed.

But if you’d rather something a little more off the beaten track, the Sierra Morena is the place to go. Far from the mass tourism and coastal resorts of the south yet close to Seville, it’s ideal for a healthy dose of winter vitamin D. An oasis in the middle of the Andalusian desert, the Sierra Morena is surprisingly green with enormous eucalyptus forests and, most importantly, dream gravel trails as far as the eye can see!

Riding here under the winter sun is the ultimate getaway, with trails and paths connecting pueblos blancos (small whitewashed villages typical of the region) with farmsteads, meaning kms and kms of riding just for us! 

👉If you want to find out more about the area you can read our full article HERE, or jump straight to check out our upcoming trips to the Sierra Morena and Andalusia.

The Canaries - far flung and exotic

Reasons to ride here:

🇪🇺 Still in Europe (just!)

🏜 varied geography and landscape

☀️ Ideal riding temperatures (18-26°C)

💰 Very reasonably priced

Do you prefer the mountains or the seaside? Desert or lush valley? Volcano or the ocean? In the Canaries you’ll find all of the above, so you won’t be forced to choose just one!

From Lanzarote to Tenerife, via Fuerteventura or Gran Canaria, each island has it’s own feel and the landscape is always changing. Lanzarote, the northernmost island, is volcanic, Fuerteventura has its desertlike plains, on Gran Canaria you’ll find lush green valleys and on Tenerife the largest island with the highest peak, Teide, at a whopping 3700m!

The islands have an almost equatorial climate yet are still part of Europe, with temperatures typically between 18 and 26°C during the depths of winter. You’ll find numerous professional cyclists out on the roads of Tenerife too, all making the most of the ideal winter riding conditions.

You’ll find papas arrugas with mojo sauce to try, which taste even better after a great ride in the sun finished with a dip in the Atlantic Ocean.

A word of warning, the weather can change quickly and being islands there’s almost always some wind. So if you’re planning to head inland into the hills pack some warm layers if you want to make the most of the roads that climb up to 2000m on Gran Canaria and 3500m on Tenerife!

And on French soil - it’s nice in Nice!

Reasons to ride here:

🇫🇷 on French soil

☀️ Warm winter temperatures (10-20°C)

🌊 Soak up views of the Med

✨ Plenty to explore just inland 

Yep in France we are pretty lucky to have such a variety of regions that we can find some winter sunshine down on the south coast. So if a winter top up of vitamin D is more your thing than the mud, cobbles and darkness of north, head to the Promenade des Anglais with its beach, palm trees and views across the Med as far as the eye can see. You’ll find plenty to keep you busy as it’s easy to get off the beaten track, just a stones throw inland from all the usual tourist haunts.

Right from the edge of town you’ll find trails that start to wind their way up the hillsides, giving you ever changing views of the Med. From Mont Chauve to the Col d’Eze via the Grande Corniche Park, a hidden gem above the Baie des Anges and the glitz of Monaco, riding by the sea in winter is pure joy. And the icing on the cake is to finish your ride with a coffee (and cake perhaps!) at Café du Cycliste by the Port of Nice, followed by a Pissaladière or a classic Salade Niçoise.

Overall the Côte d’Azur has beautiful landscapes to explore including the Estérel mountains and Col de Vence, with plenty of picture postcard villages tucked away like St Paul de Vence, Sainte Agnès, Peillon and St Martin de Vésubie.

👉 We have gravel trips from Nice all through the winter, check them out HERE.

Our top tips for winter riding.

If it’s going to be too tricky to get away on bike trip this winter, here’s some advice for riding outside and keeping the kms up despite the cold.

  • Ride in a group : it’s much easier to motivate yourself.

  • Kit yourself out : you’ll need to protect your extremities (head, hands and feet) and wear three layers on your body, not forgetting your good waterproof jacket if it’s raining! 👉🏻 Find out more here.

  • Don’t forget your lights: the days are short and the daylight is less bright, so it’s time to invest in good lights to be seen as well as to see at any time of day.

  • Bike maintenance is key: your bike will need washing and servicing more often with rain, mud, salt etc especially if you are riding gravel! Choose some winter tyres too for more grip.


Our TOP 3 French gravel destinations for summer!

Are you passionate about cycling and eager to discover off-the-beaten-path destinations? Look no further! We offer you three exceptional French destinations, perfect for gravel riding. GravelUp will take you to explore France's hidden gems, accompanied by enthusiastic local guides.

Gravel destinations
5 days riding around Mt Ventoux

An exploration in the heart of Provence, on a gravel bike, to discover Mont Ventoux from every angle. Did you think the Giant of Provence was only accessible by road? Dive into our 100% gravel adventure story!

Ventoux gravel road