We asked some riders to share their tips and recommendations to face Badlands. Here the answers…


  1. Highlight: Veleta Pass… how epic that mountain.
  2. Water/food: I had capacity for 4.5L and was glad to have it. Filling up when ever an opportunity arises is key. I only drink when I’m thirsty but definitely found myself pretty thirsty on this route.
  3. Sleeping: Don’t 😂. I’m not really well qualified to answer this. I had every intention to sleep but never felt the need. By my making there were plenty on soft flat surfaces to lye on if the need arose.
  4. Tyres size: I used 38’s and think this was about right. Wouldn’t want to go smaller.
  5. Essentials: An open mind without to many plans. The route will dictate your pace and humble your ambitions. Look after yourself and keep moving forward. The rest will take care of itself.


  1. Highlight: Sierra de los Filabres (finally cool and almost exclusively premium gravel).
  2. Water/food: Bring plenty of food and drink. I had up to 5l of water on my bike and in my hydration vest. Whenever I bought something to eat, I bought it for the next meal as well. I also had iodine tablets with me with which I could purify any water in an emergency. When it was very hot I couldn’t eat solid food and got my calories from gels and drinks.
  3. Sleeping: If you don’t sleep on the peaks, a bivy and silk liner will do. I also had a sleeping mat with me. That was pretty much perfect.
  4. Tyres size: 40C with profile.
  5. Essentials: Sunscreen, electrolytes, salt tablets, chamois cream, wet wipes, liquid carbohydrates (gels, carbohydrate drinks), a device for taking photos 😉


  1. Highlight: The Veleta Pass.
  2. Water/food: If you find a place to get water, refill your bottles even though they are half full. If you can go with an hydration vest of at least 2L, plus some more bottles up to 5L, even better. The more water you have, the better.
  3. Sleeping: It can get cold at night so if you plan to bivy I would recommend to bring a sleeping bag, even if it is a spring one. With just the bivvy bag you get up with all your clothes wet from humidity.
  4. Tyres size: I wouldn’t go for anything smaller than 2.0. I rode a hardtail with 2.2 and it was fine for me. But everyone here is different, and with the right tyre pressure you can go with something smaller which will make you faster on the bits of tarmac.
  5. Essentials: Lipstick, sunscreen and electrolytes tabs.


  1. Highlight: Tabernas Desert.
  2. Water/food: Make sure to be able to carry > 3l of water. Refill whenever possible.
  3. Sleeping: Don’t sleep 😊 If you do, do it in the shade during the day. It will save you some time from riding in the heat.
  4. Tyres size: 40-45c.
  5. Essentials: Lube for the chain. Electrolytes & minerals for your water.


  1. Highlight: Not easy to name one because the whole track is full with impressive nature. One for sure is Gorafe Desert and the other one that cames first to my mind was the climb up the Veleta.
  2. Water/food: You should be able to carry at least 6l of water and refill it when possible.
  3. Sleeping: Sleeping is easy there plenty of awesome spots and the temperatures are chill.
  4. Tyres size: 50mm up.
  5. Essentials: Enough replacement tubes and patches …a lot of them.


  1. Highlight: The variety of landscapes and terrains. Tabernas Desert, the singletracks and the sunset. The Sierra de Alhamilla amazing.
  2. Water/food: Refill water and food whenever possible, above all in the Gorafe Desert. Bear in mind to leave the route if necessary. It was really helpful also to bring my hydration vest.
  3. Sleeping: The circumstances will make you to improvise, but you can sleep in many places. Also, the hospitality of the local people is amazing. A bivvy bag and a air mattress mandatory 😉
  4. Tyres size: I am happy with my decision, 44C.
  5. Essentials: Sunscreen, break pads and Chamois cream.


  1. Highlight: Entering and exciting Gorafe looking at the incredible surrounding panorama, the middle section of Tabernas with the amazing rollercoaster of trails. Cabo de Gata coast and the Salinas. The Sierra de Gádor and its amazing gravel climb.
  2. Water/food: There are enough water spots and resupply points on the track.. .but never think you can skip one of them and find something right after!
  3. Sleeping: The area can be very hot during the day but also quite fresh during the night, mostly if you are in altitude. During the first part of the track you will probably need to bivvy, try to find a good shelter. The second part of the track offers more facilities so you’ll have more choices.
  4. Tyres size: Between 40mm and 45mm don’t go thinner than 40mm!
  5. Essentials: Chain lube, sunscreen, electrolytes, enough water.


  1. Highlight: Cabo de Gata with the sun rising. The amount of diversity in the whole route is fascinating.
  2. Water/food: For food: ice creams during the day and one big and complete spanish meal a day. For water: drink as much as you can when stopped in a village. I went with 3 liters and it was enough, but don’t go with less.
  3. Sleeping: Just bivy is more than enough for a 4 hours sleep (if you don’t sleep over 2.000m).
  4. Tyres size: If you are fighting for the top 3, go for 700×47. If not, as wide and bombproof as your bike allows (700×2.1 or 650x 2.3 with super low pressures). If you have a hard tail, consider using it. Being comfortable in long distances = less stops = faster.
  5. Essentials: Lot of batteries or dynamo, powerful front light and obviously tubeless. Ah and..a proper playlist available offline 🙂


  1. Highlight: So many to choose from and even starting in Granada was a massive highlight. The sheer varied nature of the route is so appealing but if I have to pick it would be the Gorafe Desert as it was so wild and different.
  2. Water/food: Refill water at every opportunity and pack a filter for emergency. Find food options that work for you in extremely hot conditions which can differ from regular temperatures. Eat real food as much as possible.
  3. Sleeping: This was a new experience for me and once was remote by a river and the other two were in small towns. It seemed that the first couple of days riders were able to gather in certain locations which is likely ideal. A beathable bivy was sufficient but packing a puffy jacket is prudent and even if you don’t wear it makes a nice pillow.
  4. Tyres size: 42.
  5. Essentials: A 2nd pair of Bib Shorts.


  1. Highlight: I can’t say it any other way, but Gorafe was amazing. Super unique and worth a trip again anytime. But the exit from Granada itself is also cool.
  2. Water/food: Important planning is the key here. I set myself a stop for every 30-40 kilometre mark. Here you always have to fill up a lot because there are also sections where there is simply no refreshment.
  3. Sleeping: Tips about sleeping on route: I had a gold foil emergency blanket with me. It was enough.
  4. Tyres size: 35mm
  5. Essentials: The answer to the question why you are doing this. Then it will be easier for you to keep going in bad moments instead of giving up.


  1. Highlight: Tabernas Desert – absolutely stunning. Cabo de Gata and Veleta also very cool.
  2. Water/food: Water – towns will typical have water fountains. Don’t ride past them thinking “oh, I’ll fill up at the next town!”. Always get water when you spot it! I ignored that and had a few issues with water because I’m an idiot. But I’m an idiot that’s been dehydrated many times in Oz so I don’t panic. Also, if you using an “under the downtube” bottle cage – definitely consider adding a Voile strap – I lost a bottle when it bounced out heading into Tabernas. Food is less of an issue – the usual rules apply – always carry something but it’s less important than water. Just remember to get calories in when you can and make sure to stock up before long stretches without resupply. Don’t count on Google Maps opening hours being accurate!
  3. Sleeping: I bivvied once and used hotels for the other two nights. I didn’t quite make it to where I wanted to on the first night and then slept in an exposed area which was dumb as it was chilly (there’s always a better bivvy spot just after you stop!). It did keep me moving but I do like hotels (don’t forget passport for hotel ID!).
  4. Tyres size: I ran 700×50 and didn’t have any issues. If I rode again I might consider using an MTB with something like 2.3″ tyres but it’s not strictly necessary. Lower gears on the MTB might’ve helped in some of the places I ended up walking. I think there was one descent that was a bit sketchy but that’s probably my dodgy bike handling skills more than tyre choice (my excuse is I was on 38cm road bars) 🙂
  5. Essentials: A smile and a little Spanish language goes a long way! 🙂


  1. Highlight: The Observatory in Sierra de los Filabres after about 200km was an amazing point! I reached it about 1am on the first night and was greeted with amazing clear views (even in the darkness of night) and a wild fox too! We shared a Clif bar and I continued aha.
  2. Water/food: Everyone is different and also everyone travels at a different speed so will reach more or less than others in a certain time. The one tip I would give is if you do see somewhere and even have the slightest thought of stopping then you definitely should. You never know what lies ahead and it might be your last opportunity for a while!
  3. Sleeping: Luckily for this region and the time of year you are pretty much garenteed decent weather. So this makes sleeping something that you shouldn’t have to worry about to much. Try and stop before a town or close to that way the next morning you will have somewhere to stop for breakfast after a little while of riding. You want to start the day off right.
  4. Tyres size: Personally I would fit the maximum size your bike can take every time. You won’t regret it.
  5. Essentials: A spare computer or power bank! A lot of things can go wrong but whatever happens you need to know where to go.


  1. Highlight: Sunset in Gorafe Desert.
  2. Water/food: Minimum 2,5-3 litters water capacity. Food enough to survive 24h.
  3. Sleeping: Sleeping bag with 10ºC comfort temperature.
  4. Tyres size: Not less than 40C in mountain bike. I will say 44 in gravel bike.
  5. Essentials: Invisible friend to talk with during many lonely hours.