Why Is Mallorca the Cycling Mecca for European Cyclists?
Ask a group of road cyclists if they have ever been cycling abroad and at least one of them will mention that they have been cycling in Mallorca. For the last 20 years or so it has been the go-to destination for road cyclists seeking to leave the dark, cold and wet conditions back home and to get the cycling shorts out and hit some breathtaking climbs. Bar the weather, and the scenery and the lung-busting climbs and the low-cost short flight, as if that was not enough, why is Mallorca one of the best cycling holiday destinations for so many of Europe's cyclists? With cycling holidays becoming more and more popular we decided to delve into this.
No two ways about it Mallorca has a bucket list of climbs that cyclists wish to tackle, Sa Calobra, Coll de Femenia, Coll de Soller and Cap de Formentor to name a few. The climbs make it one of the road cycling destinations of choice for Brits looking to stretch their legs on some tough climbing routes whilst enjoying the sun, beaches, hospitality and the smooth roads that Mallorca is famous for as a holiday destination.
With pro road cyclist teams such as Team Ineos, Team GB, One Pro Cycling and Canyon all have based on the island and use it as a training base. Chris Froome is said to have used the island to practice for his Tour de France wins using it for altitude training, and lots of other pro teams visiting the island for training camps.
The climbs are a lot tougher than most would give credit for, average gradients are not what most Brits are used to, and combine this with the humidity and heat, and some can get caught out. Tackle the climbs, the hairpin bends and the heat and you will be rewarded with some stunning scenery along the way, with more than a few places to stop and take on fuel and the view.
Top 5 climbs to tackle if you are planning a cycling holiday in Mallorca:
Sa Colobra - average gradient of 7%, 668m elevation gain (2191ft) and 9.4 km (5.8 miles)
Puig Major - an average gradient of 6%, 818m elevation gain (2683ft) and 13.7 km (8.5 miles)
Coll de sa Batalla - average gradient of 6%, 381m elevation gain (1250ft) and 7.8 km (4.8 miles)
Coll de Soller - average gradient 6%, 491m elevation gain (1610), and 7.3km (4.5 miles)
Cap de Formentor- average gradient 4%, 140m elevation gain (459), and 3.5km (2.1 miles)
The north of the island is where most cyclists tend to book their cycling holiday for, Port de Pollença and Alcúdia south along the coastal road towards Playa de Muro, as this offers the best base to ride from for access to the Serra de Tramuntana mountains and the famous Cap de Formentor cycling route of course. The hotels in this region are famous for their cycling friendly accommodation, with most allowing your bikes into the room or providing secure storage that is accessible throughout the day.
You will find no shortage of hotels offering luxury for your stay either, with the hotels and guest houses all geared around providing facilities fit for cycling such as turbo trainers for warming up and down, and jacuzzis for recouping those muscles. Combine this with sea views, plenty of cycling-related shops and lots of good places to eat and drink, and it is not hard to see why it is popular.
Mallorca 312 is a world-famous sportive that is a 312km lap of the island itself taking in climbs such as Sa Calobra, Coll den Bleda, Col Ferrandell, Coll de sa Gramola and a few more besides! It attracts around 4,500 cyclists every year take on the challenge with a large portion of these coming from the UK!
Tipped as one of the worlds most scenic and some might say growling sportives offering a combination of distance at 194 miles, and taking in some of the most impressive climbs on offer totalling over 5,000m or 16,404ft it is not for the faint-hearted, yet attracts thousands of amateur cyclists every single year wishing to test their metal, well carbon in most cases!
Don't want to take your own bike on the flight? There is no shortage of cycle hire providers all over Mallorca. Despite there being what feels like one on every street, it is still advisable to book in advance more so if looking for the best kind of road bikes that you will want to tackle the climbs offered on the mountain range and the climb count you will be taking on.
Why a Cycling Holiday in Mallorca?
So if all of those reasons were not enough to attract every Brit looking for their next cycling holiday we don't know what would be! So if you are looking for your next cycling holiday and want to take in some stunning sights, tackle some amazing climbs and possibly cycle to the highest point you might have done before, why not give the place a try! With smoother roads, a better climate suited to riders who like a bit of sun and a lot of kudos for tackling the amazing climbs, isn't it time you booked your next cycling holiday to the cycling mecca of Europe?
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