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A347 Alcolea(sh)

This is a shoulder point on the road that connects the Mediterranean coast in Adra with the Alpujarras (foothill villages of the Sierra Nevada). After this shoulder point, A347 continues directly over the only paved pass across the Sierra Nevada, the Puerto de la Ragua, (not counting the Puerto de Santillana, which crosses the eastern end of the range). This A347 shoulder summit point itself is of practically no interest. But the northern approach over AI6400 is, what makes this bike ride. This is one of those curvy roads that keeps cars away and it goes through a couple of interesting Alpujarra villages: Darrical and Lucainena.

01.(00.0km,030m)START-END EAST:Adra
02.(18.0km,270m)profile turns left towards Turon
03.(26.4km,390m)turnoff to Turon and reservoir on left
06.(40.0km,550m)route turns stays straitht, joining A348
07.(45.8km,780m)profile turns right onto wider A347
10.(72.8km,030m)START-END WEST:Puente del Rio, just west of Adra


From West.
This is the more interesting side to ride on this loop into the edge of the Alpujarras. But for a loaded tour it is also a lot more kms and climbing. On the lower part of the route the road snakes through bare hills between cellophaned plantations that are typical of this area,  passing finca estates on the river Adra. Many of these  were destroyed during a flood in the 60s, and today they make a curious mixture of ruins and luxury.

Instead of turning towards Berja - the town in the middle of all that cellophane, the route turns left onto A461 and crests at a solitary tree, picturesquely placed in between giant bare hills. On the other side a 100m descend goes to the reservoir: Embalse de Beninar. I am not treating this last point as a summit point, because there is no way to make this side at least 500ft high. From a junction at the south side of the reservoir both forks start to climb again, the other one to Turon, and this route continues north through the best part of the route: the old church of Darrical lies below the road in the opening of a rugged canyon.  Just a little later comes Lucainena, and this time the road goes right through it. From here on nothing separates the viewer from the Sierra Nevada except a lot of air. The route merges onto the busierA347, which is the logical thing for people to drive a car on, if they want to get up here. Turning right the profile quickly reaches a non descript summit point, with a far view onto the Sierra Nevada

From East. A fast descend leads to the edge of Berja. Along the way the newer road bed parallels an old version of the road, wich still has a bikable surface. But a mountain bike would be better. The old stone arch bridges and road house ruins are now a reminder of a quaint older time. Soon the cellophane of Berja comes into view, stretched out between gigantic landforms. There is an Aldi supermarket above Berja. My own route turned back towards the Rio Adra. But I continued the profile on A347 to maximize the elevation gain on this side, to the point where those two routes merge.

Dayride with this point as highest summit:


( < Carretera de Gualchos(sh) | Venta de Chaleco - Turon s(u) > )

A347 Alcolea(sh) , additional out and back: AI6300 6km north of Adra > A1175 north > Embalse de Beninar > Darrical > Lucainena >A347 south > A347 Alcolea(sh) <> partial out and back to Hirmes > Berja > back to starting point on AI6300, 6km north of Adra: 45.2miles with 5570ft of climbing in 4:23hrs (basecamp figures from Garmin etrex30 track: r5:16.5.27).

cLiCk on image , arrows , or thumbnails to advance slideshow