Five of the best: Cycling Destinations
Looking for quiet mountain roads snaking across the countryside through unspoilt villages? If you’re after great weather and terrain with quiet roads, which are wide and well surfaced, and cycle-friendly, generous locals you might be in need of a cycling holiday.
There are cycling destinations with routes to suit all abilities and cycle hire firms can provide maps and itineraries, though if you prefer to be led then there are many companies offering bespoke cycling holidays and training camps. It is not only the chance of more varied terrain that attracts cyclists to take holidays, but also the stunning scenery.
Cycling holidays are great for training too, with some offering more chances to train at altitude and to experience roads raced upon by your favourite pro cyclists.
Our cycling holiday guides will introduce you to our favourite destinations, along with routes and what to expect, but here are our top five cycling holidays:
5. Alpujarra, Andalucia
Cycling in Alpujarra in Southern Andalucia is an excellent alternative to the tourist hotspots of Mallorca and the Costa Blanca. Being the southernmost tip of mainland Europe, less than 10 miles from Africa at some points, Andalucia is blessed with warm weather all year round as well as mountains reaching over 3000m in the Sierra Nevada.
4. Costa Durada, Spain
The proximity to the coast plus spectacular scenery explains why cycling in the Costa Daurada is becoming increasingly popular. Within 30km of leaving your base on the coast, you can be standing a the top of La Mussara, which at 980m is one of the iconic climbs in the region. There are plenty of opportunities to stop for a coffee or some tapas along the way, or even rest a while at one of the many bodegas in the area to taste some of the potent local reds!
3. The Savoie, France
It’s fair to say that the Savoie lives and breathes cycling! The area is visited virtually every year by the Tour de France and offers some of the most challenging cycling terrain to be found anywhere in Europe. For the amateur cyclist, the allure of cycling in Savoie is twofold: where better to discover one’s mental and physical capabilities and thresholds than on the very slopes where the likes of Coppi, Anquetil, Merckx and Hinault rode themselves into cycling lore!
2. The Basque Country, Spain
Cycling in the Basque Country offers an eclectic range of riding options, from long climbs with benign gradients to brutally hard inclines that will test your legs and your gearing. Steep valleys run towards the coastline and roads follow the many streams that snake their way towards the sea. The coastline is relatively flat and offers some respite from the mountains and hills. Depending on the location of one’s accommodation, one can stay in the Basque region for a week and never ride the same route twice – enticing options branch out in all directions.
1. Mallorca, Spain
Cycling in Mallorca is excellent, a region proud of its reputation as one of the most popular cycling destinations in Europe and cyclists are not only respected and tolerated by the locals, but well provided for in every department. There are numerous signposted cycle routes, bike lanes on the major roads and restaurants and cafés have bike racks ready to accommodate their lycra-clad clientele!
Mallorca is our favourite cycling holiday destination due to the cycling-friendly locals and wide variety of rides suited to all levels.