Tales of the AlhambraIf you’re the type of person who sets yourself on “self-destruct” when you only have a few days to ride in an area, then recovering from a bike ride becomes an essential part of the plan. Even if you live in Granada, you may need something extra besides a post-ride beer, tapa, and nap to recharge and rally for tomorrow’s ride (and the one after that…). This post is a work in progress, which we’ll add to as we find new ways to recover from a bike ride.

Read Tales of the Alhambra by Washington Irving. To start a Granada getaway early, I always recommend reading this book because many of the references that Irving makes to geography, structures, and features still stand to this day. Only his descriptions are set against some of the most popular folktales that prop up the Alhambra’s enduring mystique. Better yet, find a pool or a fireplace to sit by, kick back and time-travel back a few centuries for a spellbinding visit to Granada.

Alhambra with filterRest day visit to the Alhambra. Totally worth it, just don’t wait to buy tickets because this is the most-visited monument in Spain and tickets to the main attraction Nasrid Palace tend to sell out frequently so spontaneity will get you nothing here. If however, for some unexpected reason, tickets are sold out on your desired date, there’s a Plan B. The Granada Card will grant you access to the Alhambra plus nine other sites, and includes transportation by city bus. Visiting the Alhambra has the added bonus of killing the proverbial two birds with one stone if you can’t make it over to Morocco this trip, since the Alhambra’s architecture draws parallels with the palaces of Fez and Marrakech. (I’d discourage hopping the Strait of Gibraltar for a day in Tangiers — you could do better to go deeper for a less-touristy experience). Plan your visit to the Alhambra. How to purchase The Granada Card.

YO10 from outsideYO10 (yo diez) sport & spa club, Camino de Ronda, 97. There’s little else that tops off a cold-weather ride like a trip to the spa at YO10. In addition to a shallow, asymmetrical pool with self-operated jets where you can blast your tired muscles with geyser-like force, there’s both a steam room and sauna where you can thaw out and maybe work up a sweat for a second time that day. Since we moved quite a distance from the center of Granada, unfortunately this is something we do less these days but we still do have some advice. A best practice if you should go on a Saturday is to go a bit on the early side, like between 2 and 6 p.m. This way you’ll avoid crowds, especially the Grupon-ers, who like to elaborately act out PDA’s in the spa area. Swim cap and flip-flops are mandatory in both the pool and spa. Hicham’s American Sport Training Center is located inside of YO10. 12€/day for unlimited access. FMI, visit: http://www.yodiez.com/

Massage at the Hotel Maciá Real de la Alhambra, for a modest price (60€ when I went there in July), you can get a one-hour, full-body massage and then continue relaxing with a drink by the pool or at the hotel bar. The hotel seems pretty-bike friendly, having hosted a few product launches by BH and Fox this year. Add to that local staff members who also ride and the welcome was pretty warm when I went there.

This isn’t the end, we’ll keep adding to this post until we run out of recovery ideas. Other ideas we had include: paragliding, a visit to the so-called “Arab baths,” and sampling one of the other spa programs around Granada.

Of course if you found a method for recovery that you like, drop us a line and tell us about it.