Arid and empty, that is the image of the interior of Spain
Which idiot is going to ride on a motorbike in the high summer season in Spain, the interior is arid and dry and on the coast it is not a real pleasure with all those tourists, nothing could be further from the truth and even the nickname that Andalusia is the garden of Europe has to be explained.
Of course it is very hot in the interior of Spain during the summer season, temperatures over 40 degrees are more than normal and Spaniards are leaving the big cities such as Madrid, Seville and Cordoba to relax on the coasts that Spain has to offer. So high summer is not really a good plan to drive around inland on a motorbike. On the other hand, for all the other months like Spring, Autumn and even Winter the most bikers have been able to find this region as a paradise for motorcyclists. Large empty nature reserves with often new asphalted steering roads through them. There is plenty to choose from and where nature is in full bloom in the spring and in the autumn with its re-colours will surprise you. Don’t expect wild streams of water in the rivers and that the ground will be green everywhere, but the plants that thrive in our climate will do everything in their power to display the most beautiful side of this nature.
Andalusia garden of Europe
During the occupation or domination of the Moors in southern Europe, we were taught that this was a major threat to our continent, at least that is what our history taught us. Here in Andalusia, I have learned that history always has two sides, and when you look back over the 800 years that the Arabs visited us, you will find out what wealth that brought to ancient Europe. In the years between 800 and 1400 we still walked in rags on the streets and our development was not high standard, the south of Spain had already turned into a fairy tale with 1000 and 1 nights. Beautiful cities with large palaces decorated with fountains and lots of marble which can still be enjoyed today.
But there was much more, the former rulers like the Romans and especially the Arabs were masters in finding water in any way, you will find many settlements where water was also available. Also and especially the La Alhambra in Granada is an example of this. With the Sierra Nevada in the back as a defensive wall, the mountain was mainly used to supply water to the lower La Alhambra. In its heyday, this place had more than 30 natural springs which constantly supplied the population with the purest water. A hot spring was even found, which was used to supply the Arab baths with hot water. If you visit the La Alhambra today, you will see fountains and water running down street gutters everywhere to cool down during the hot days that are also present in Grananda.
Apart from the fact that the cities were very developed with their beautiful architecture and water extraction, it was the Arabs who gave agriculture a tremendous boost and built it up in the south of Spain. Many plants, but especially exotic fruits, have been imported and exported by this very population group that wanted to create a new paradise on earth here. So you drive around here and enjoy all the plants, palms, olive, fruit and citrus trees know that it was not the original plant fauna in Spain but was imported in the time when the Arabs were in charge. Not for nothing did all mosques have a “Plaza de Naranja”.
Variety in nature
Apart from the fact that the development in Andalusia was so dynamic, Andalusia is an area with a very varied landscape, from long beaches to high mountains with wet and dry areas as natural phenomena that make motorcycling so varied. You can be so amazed in one day at the variety of nature and how many times we have received feedback from our customers that they have experienced it is impossible to count on one hand.
Around Malaga we have some routes that are appreciated as “most favourite” precisely because of the variety in what you drive through, the tour Ronda for example winds its way up through the Sierrra de Nievas (the Snow Mountains) to Ronda, behind Ronda is again the Sierra de Grazalema with the village of the same name which has been chosen as the most beautiful village of Spain. The descent from Grazelema to Zahara de la Sierra is one to be framed where you keep a view on the enormous blue stum lake of Agondonales and so on. Three nature reserves in a row and each with a totally different nature and experience.
The El Chorro route is one of those that should have all the attention, it is a route of less than 200km but the impressions you get are numerous, the reservoirs of Ardales, Montes de Malaga and last but not least the El Torcal a unique karstic rock formation that took 150 million years to become what it is today. The routes through the mountains of Malaga called Montes de Malaga are also worth mentioning as you will experience more authentic Spain than the busy tourist resorts along the coast. And it’s not that often that you only drive 20 km into the country and you enter another world. “But don’t tell any more, it would be a pity that these quiet natural areas are immediately flooded by the masses of tourists”
So Andalusia is not dried-out and empty but varied, exciting and above all full of surprises.