Written by Esther Sanz, regular contributor on the Spotahome Spanish blog

This is a Cinderella story of how an unheard of practice in just several years became a model for other European cities, despite the handicap of several months of the year with close to 40 degree Celsius temperatures.

Biking in Seville was unheard of until quite recently. The 1992 World Expo came too early. That major urban renovation did not take biking as a serious option for transport in the city. Only a decade later, when cycling urban planners came to power did the extraordinary biking revolution happen. Sure, cycling lanes had been drawn into major renovations before to get plans approved. Somehow, they usually got erased as soon as work got under way. But not in 2010, when a major urban circuit of separate, dedicated bike lanes of 142 km connecting the entire city grid was approved and (this time, finally) built.


For as soon as the first green bike lanes were established, latent cycling demand flocked to them. And even though they are narrow, have too many curves and pedestrians are likely to invade them, they now make up to 6% of total trips. This level of cycling uptake is tops in Spain and a model for developers elsewhere.

Granted, Seville is quite flat, traffic is slow, but the heat is a reality most of the year.

On hind sight, those imperfect bike lanes keep cyclists slower and more upright than in other places. Probably making the cycling experience that much more enjoyable at the expense of speed.

During most of the year, Seville has fantastic weather. Its flat layout and rental possibilities allow visitors to consider biking as the best way to get to know the city. And for those who stay, to make it their primary mode of transport.

Here is the full plan 142 km of segregated bike lanes across the city.


Three basic routes

Old Town:

Flat, easy 7 km route. This will probably take you a couple of hours as you'll have to stop often to take pictures. From the emblematic Torre del Oro -where gold (but mostly silver) laden galleons from America stopped for customs- to the Parque Maria Luisa and its Plaza de España (of Star Wars Episode II and Lawrence of Arabia, among other major films, fame), Real Alcazar (medieval Arab fortress where recent episodes of Game of Thrones were shot), the Cathedral (largest footprint Gothic cathedral in the world) and the Giralda belltower (Arab masterpiece built without steps so messengers on horses can quickly gallop up and down its ramps) and the nearby Maestranza bullring (built in 1761).

Guadalquivir River:

Flat, around 8 km. Should take little more than an hour. Start at the Torre del Oro, cycle along the river bank to the Isla de la Cartuja (built for the 1992 World Fair). If it's early morning you will likely run across fishermen, rowers and joggers. Cross the Barqueta and Alameda bridges to get back to town center.


Guadalquivir River to Camas:

Flat, 32km (around 2 hours riding time for round trip).
Starting from Torre del Oro, first cross the river at Puente San Telmo, then the other branch of the Guadalquivir river at the Puente de Hierro towards San Juan de Aznalfanache. From there, follow the bike lane along the river bank South to Coria del Rio. There, while we recover in one of the many bars and restaurants we can admire the riverside monument to samurai/ambassador Hasekura Tsunenaga who arrived in Seville leading a mission in the 17th century. Some of the Asian entourage stayed behind. Today there are over 600 citizens from Coria whose last names are "Japón".(Their original names seemed too difficult to pronounce, so they were all uniquely transcribed as Japón, Japan).

Bike rentals:

SEVici: municipal bike rentals
Rentbike Sevilla (also do bike tours)


Final thought: Unless you have to, avoid biking during the day in the Summer. But if you do, make sure to carry extra water supplies.