Imagine blue skies, blue seas and climbs so perfect you’ll have to pinch yourself for fear you might just be dreaming it. Now, what if we told you, you could experience this all, in January?We would probably call you a liar and walk off.
But, actually you don’t even have to travel too far to immerse yourself into some beautiful European winter cycling. So we’ve decided to bring you our top places to visit by bike in Europe, all year round, to hopefully inspire you to venture out and discover new roads! Our first and most popular pick has to be Mallorca.
Mallorca is one of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, primarily known for it’s sandy beaches and glistening blue sea, it is also renowned for it’s popularity amongst the cyclist community, by both amateur and pro, with teams such as Team Sky and BMC using it as a regular winter training ground. Mallorca has something to offer everyone, with it’s smooth, quiet roads, climbs to push even the best of climbers, peaceful flat roads for rides to take in the breath-taking views and all the bike rental and repairs shops you could wish for along the way!
So when should you book we hear you ask? Well, there’s no ‘right’ time to visit Mallorca. You’ll find plenty of cyclists whatever time of the year you decide to visit, as it’s usually possible to ride on some part of the island 365 days of the year with good weather. However, while the roads are usually cycling friendly, the winter months can be slightly chilly and wet, with the mountains seeing some snow for a few days a year.
That said, pro teams tend to visit in December and January for their season training camps, amateur training camps will start in February and run until November with peak season being April for spring training. So unfortunately, you’ll never have an excuse not to visit! So what do you do when you land on the sunny roads of Mallorca? Find the best climbs around! No trip to Mallorca would be without visiting the famous Sa Calobra
Sa Calobra may well be the most respected (or in some cases feared) climb of all and is on many cyclists wish list. Sa Calobra is 10km of tarmac along the side of a spectacular mountain. Made up of 26 hairpins, it’s a climb of 668m with a 7.1% average gradient. But what adds to this challenge is that to get to this climb, you first have to reach the Col de Cal at 682m altitude.
This is accessed by an ascent of the Puig Major, Coll de sa Batalla or Coll de Femenia and following the MA-10 to the Sa Calobra junction – which is certainly a challenge in itself! But the descent back down is what brings real thrill and also terror to many cyclists. The hairpins and sheer drops on the side of the road are quite the nail biter, but be sure to get out as early as possible to attempt this climb, as tour buses drive frequently along this road after 1pm.
Alternatively, there’s the option to take the ferry which operates between, Port de Soller and Sa Calobra village which luckily allows bikes, so even if you can’t manage the climb or the descent, you’ll still be able to experience this remarkable climb in person.
So, if you’re looking for an adventure this season, be sure to keep Mallorca at the top of your list, you wont be disappointed! Calling all adventurers! – Have you visited somewhere by bike that just took your breath away? We want to hear from you, so we can pass on the secrets to having the greatest adventures by bike!