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I am planning some cycling in Spain, and while checking for routes along the coast, I have seen the Parc Natural de la Serra d'Irta, located halfway between Valencia and Tarragona.

enter image description here

From satellite images I see it has roads across it and the roads look paved, however when I try to plan an itinerary with Google Maps it makes me go around it, following the AP-7 which is roughly parallel to the E-15. My idea would be to cross it on paved/compact ground roads, not doing any mountain biking.

Irrespectively of what Google Maps or any other routing service say (which I know are not 100% reliable), is it freely accessible to cyclist or does it have any special regulation?

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  • I don't have those issues with Google Maps. I can plot a route through the park with both, car and bike.
    – 8192K
    Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 9:21
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    I would not rely too much on Google Maps' route planner if you are cycling. Data quality seem to differ from country to country, but I have not too rarely been routed along roads, where cycling is prohibited or along forest paths, where cycling with a packed touring bike is practically impossible. Open Street Map is also not particularly reliable. Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 9:33
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    @Tor-EinarJarnbjo, I don't rely solely on Google Map: for another leg of the trip it was sending me on passing the Pyrenees on a path across bushes which would have slowed down a goat. I use it for a first approximation of the route.
    – L.Dutch
    Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 11:17
  • From the official site, it looks as if access for motor vehicles along the coastal road is restricted. I can't find anything about bicycles. The map by the cartographic institute of Valencia has a lot of bicycle trails: visor.gva.es/visor Make sure to expand and check Infraestructures > Infraestructures viàries > Ciclo rutes on the right side of that page.
    – Berend
    Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 13:37

3 Answers 3

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I tried it on Komoot. Initially it routed around the park to the north, but I was able to drag the route to go through the park along the coast. However, it warns that some 12 km of the overall route through the park "may not be suitable." In my experience that can mean anything from a dirt path to cobblestones to even a short flight of stairs(!). If I switch from road cycling mode to mountain biking or gravel biking, these warnings go away.

So it looks like it can be done, and you might see nice scenery along the seaside, but since you're targeting road cycling, you should probably avoid it.

If you're not in a hurry, you could try it and turn back if it's too rough. It's not a very long route; the part running through the park itself is roughly 13 km long. The path going around the park to the northwest is roughly 1 km shorter.

Komoot map showing route through Parc Natural Del Desert De Les Palmes

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  • In a very crude way I have tried following the route from satellite images. It appears to be white road, not tar paved but just compact ground, which might be OK.
    – L.Dutch
    Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 17:29
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I have done the route through the park.

It is accessible to cyclists and there are no gates or controls on who enters, only signs warning that access to car is restricted.

The road is gravel/pebbles, doable if one has large tires.

enter image description here

With narrow tires like the one I had (plus a loaded bike) the path can be done but at low speed.

Considering that a thunderstorm was approaching I turned back to the paved road, but another cyclist I met confirmed that all the route is like the one I have seen.

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When I zoom in on the park on OpenStreetMap with the "Cycle Map" layer, it seems that the EuroVelo 8 (EV8) route is running through the park, right along the coast. Specifically it's this stage of the route.

I am not local to the area, nor have I been there, but it seems very likely that you can pass with your bicycle.

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