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After receiving many queries about the (admittedly exceptional) Mallorca, they’ve put together a guide to some of the other top cycling holiday destinations…
Of course, we love Mallorca. It’s got some first-class riding (including the world famous Sa Calobra). But… that riding is limited and it can get very crowded. So, we have put together our hot list of off-season, warm weather alternatives to Mallorca for 2019, with quiet roads
Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands. The excellent climate means you can ride all year round. Pico del Teide, the dormant volcano at the heart of the island, is the main draw for cyclists: it is Spain’s highest peak and provides the longest continuous road climb in Europe.
You can either stay high on the mountain (and benefit from the altitude, as many pros do), or on one of the famous black sand beaches at sea level. Off the bike, Tenerife is a richly cultured and diverse island. January to Easter is a great time to visit with your bike.
Costa Dorada – The quiet roads here make Mallorca look like Piccadilly Circus in rush hour, on a day when there’s a Tube trike. The riding is great and similar in many ways to Mallorca, while the hotels better value for money.
This part of Spain, an hour or so south of Barcelona, is busy with bucket and spade tourism in summer, but avoid peak season and you will have the beautiful, hilly back roads through the Priorat and the Montsant practically to yourself. Popular for training camps with Giant Alpecin, Team Wiggins and Bahrain Merida, this area is a very well-kept secret.
Girona – something of a spiritual home for cyclists, partly because so many pros live in and around this stunning medieval city. From the city centre, you can ride out into the hills where the climbing is good, or along flat roads to the coast. The best time to visit is November to May.
Girona also has a vibrant non-cycling scene, good food and great cafes. Also consider lloret de Mar, close to Girona, on the coast, and with better value hotels.
The food, of course, is excellent and the roads wind through sixteenth-century villages and fields covered in olive trees, beneath medieval fortresses and across gorges.
The Italian Lakes
The Italian Lakes – Lake Garda, the gateway to the Italian Alps, is one of Italy’s most popular and stylish destinations.
The lake is hemmed in by mountains, so there is a wealth of climbing. Lake Como although geographically close offers different, shorter and steeper riding, such as the Muro di Sormano, with its 25% sections, and Il Ghisallo, made famous by the Giro di Lombardia.
Both lakes are ideal to visit March to June and offer amazing cuisine as well as riding