We leave Murcia early, and take the highway to Lorca (around 60 km), and head towards Vélez Rubio, where we will stop to drink a coffee. The municipality of Vélez-Rubio is the capital of Los Vélez district, forming part of the Sierra María-Los Vélez Natural Park. It has been declared an Official Place of Cultural Interest, due to its historical heritage and is a very popular destination.
THE ROAD FROM PREHISTORY TO TODAY
If you, at some point, want to learn more about the history of Vélez-Rubio, you should visit the Miguel Guirao Archaeological Museum, where you will see many remains found in the surrounding area and others from prehistoric times, as well as from the Roman and Arab eras. The roman road of Vía Augusta passes through here, the road which brings Cartagena and Cádiz together. About 3 km north of the town, are the UNESCO World Heritage listed pre-historic caves and paintings, called Cueva de Los Letreros, and La Cueva del Gabar, to the north of Vélez Blanco.
From Vélez-Rubio, we will continue to Olula del Río, the only town in the world where the pavements and street signs are made from marble. This characteristic of the town has secured Olula Del Río the status as one of the most important marble producers in Spain. Many remains of previous settlers have been found in this town, dating back to Neolithic times.
RIDING INTO THE BADLANDS
From Olula del Río, we ride along the A-349 to Tabernas, also known as "The Badlands”. Desierto de Tavernas is the only European desert, and therefore is one of the famous landmarks of Spain. It was a ‘hotspot’ of Hollywood cinema for two decades, and throughout the 60’s and 70’s was the location for many Sergio Leone movies.
This unique, beautiful and enigmatic landscape has provided the backdrops for legendary films such as 'A Fistful of Dollars', 'For a Few Dollars More', 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly' and 'Indiana Jones and the last Crusade’. Hundreds of famous actors have left their footprints here, such as Clint Eastwood, Brigitte Bardot, Anthony Quinn, Claudia Cardinale, Alain Delon, Sean Connery, Harrison Ford, Raquel Welch and Orson Wells.
TIME FOR THE SPANISH STELVIO
From Desierto de Tabernas, we ride to Velefique, to enjoy the famous Almerían route, the “Spanish Stelvio”. Traversed by the AL-3102 road, the Alto de Velefique is a high mountain pass, located in Sierra de Los Filabres, in the province of Almería. The ascent along this great road covers a distance of 11km, until we reach an elevation of 1,820m above the sea level, where we can enjoy spectacular views of the road itself.
We’ll take a stop to have lunch, where we can try a typical dish or ‘Plato Alpujarreño’ with various types of Spanish sausages, fried eggs, and cuts of pork, and potatoes with peppers.
After lunch, we’ll ride through the mountain town of Bacarés, and take the A-334 to the picturesque town of Huércal Overa, a merging of two medieval settlements, Huercal and Overa. This market town has many interesting buildings and monuments dating back to the middle ages, such as the Nuestra Seňora de la Asunción church, built in 1505, La Asunción de la Virgen built in 1748, and the Chapel of Jesús Nazareno, from 1749.
Depending on the time we have left, and the physical condition of riders, we will either return to Murcia by motorway, or along the smaller roads, following the Almerian and Murcian coastline, to give you a few more curves in the roadway, before we get back to Murcia, where we can relax and take in all the great impressions that these great days of motorbike riding have given us.
BMW MOTORCYCLES FOR RENTAL:
EUR 110 PER DAY
EUR 100 PER DAY