Mark and I were fortunate enough to win the prize donated by Paul Simpson for the club dinner, spectacularcycling – http://www.spectacularvilla.eu/. The prize included 3 nights bed and breakfast at Paul’s villa in Beniarrés, 2 days bike hire, transfers to/from Alicante. We decided to extend the stay by an extra night and secure two additional days of bike hire given how the flights worked…and we were so glad we did. We had such an enjoyable and outstanding experience that we will definitely be going back for a full week next time as there are still plenty more routes to explore.
The cycling was excellent at c240 miles over the 4 days with c7,000 m of ascent. The road surfaces were outstanding for 90% of the routes, traffic minimal (on our two 70 mile days we saw fewer than a dozen vehicles on each day), and weather perfect ( ranging between 20 and 30 plus degrees). Paul provided full guiding on the first, get used to your bike, day and last, pack up and leave, day and partial guiding on the longer days with detailed route explanations for us to have a go at some additional climbs. The roads were well marked and easy to navigate. He also has his own Strava route data which can be shared for those wanting to self guide and do longer rides.
Day 3 we summited two 1000m summits (Port Benafallim and Port Tudons). Climbs generally averaged c6 % varying between 2% and 12% and on a couple of occasions we saw some short sections at 16% to 20%. There are less hilly route options available as well with some cracking descents.
The scenery was superb and equal to anything we have seen elsewhere.
Paul hired brand new 11 speed Scott Addicts disc ultegra with 28mill tyres. These were more than up to the job and were comfortable to ride. Bike hire costs 30 Euro per day.
Paul has spent the last two years renovating a villa on the outskirts (c1.5m) of Beniarrés overlooking a lake.
The villa is lovely with spectacular views and pool. The top floor of the villa can sleep 6 comprising: large master double with en-suite, two twins with shared bath/shower room and toilet plus an additional separate toilet, well appointed kitchen, living room, Wi-fi, outside covered seating area, BBQ facilities by the pool.
Downstairs there is a separate two twin bed apartment with kitchenette and shower/toilet facilities, almost complete.
Paul also has a separate apartment downstairs.
There is a secure lock up where bikes can be stored and plenty of bike tools, track pump, bike stand etc
The drive up to the villa and grounds around the villa are still work in progress and next on Paul’s renovation plan and do not detract from the experience.
It was a really relaxing environment at the villa and Paul was an excellent host and guide with outstanding local knowledge.
You can get EasyJet flights from either Manchester or Liverpool direct to Alicante. We found the timing and prices from Liverpool worked best for us.
Beniarrés is an hours drive from Alicante on quiet roads
The village is quite small (c1,000 people) with a couple of bars which open at lunch time until 3pm for food ( we had a late lunch on the last day, 3 tasty courses for 9 euro) but which are only open in the evenings in the peak summer months. There is a small supermarket with basics (dry goods, chilled meats, pizza, cheese etc but no fruit or veg). The nearest decent supermarket is in Murco which is about 8km away.
Paul provided plenty of bottles of water, beer and wine at a very reasonable cost. With advance notice he will cater eg cook paella (very tasty!)and do a BBQ. Alternatively Paul will also ferry you to the major supermarket if you want to self cater and have chosen not to hire a car for your stay.
It’s worth checking the historic weather data to determine which months you would want to visit from a temperature and rainfall perspective but our experience this month was perfect.
For anyone interested Paul can be contacted on
+34 693 800 950