Think warm weather training camps are the preserve of the pros? Think again.
Mallorca is now a home away from home for pros and amateurs alike. Back in August, Thomas Cook Airlines invited me and fellow fitness bloggers Hayley Warnes, Sophie Radcliffe, Linda M, Juliane Schumacher to bike the Balearics as part of a film shoot for a video for their blog (which you can check out here). Here’s our rundown as well as some tips on how to plan your own cycling holiday in Mallorca.
Mallorca, is one of the Balearic Islands, just off the east coast of Spain. We arrived with a number of misconceptions about the island (I was anticipating an island full of stereotypical Brits abroad) but we were soon won over by the sun, the breath-taking coastlines, the dramatic mountain landscapes, the smooth but hairpin riddled roads and the Mediterranean food. It’s not difficult to see why it attracts so many riders.
How to get there?
It’s only a short flight from London to Palma de Mallorca Airport. We travelled with Thomas Cook Airlines who fly from London Gatwick. You can check out other flight options here.
Bike box or hire?
I took my own bike with me (my trusty Trek Madone). It costs £45 each way to transport it with Thomas Cook Airlines and rather than buying a bike box I hired one from my local bike shop for £5 a day.
If you don’t want the hassle of dismantling and assembling your bike there is also the option to hire. I’d definitely do this next time round to save spending the last night of your holiday masquerading as a bike mechanic. Bike hire costs vary – starting from around £17 a day for a carbon road bike.
When should you go?
The best time of year to go to get some training miles in is February to April. We went in the height of summer – I wouldn’t recommend it. Despite being basted in factor 50 it was too hot for all day riding. I’m definitely going to head back in the spring when it’s a bit cooler.
Where to stay?
We stayed at the Melia Palma Marina, a seafront hotel within walking distance of the cathedral and Palma city centre. The rooms, the views and the rooftop pool were all beautiful but the bike lock-up wasn’t up to scratch so we opted to smuggle out bikes into our rooms. I’d definitely check the set-up before arriving – lots of the hotels on the island are cyclist friendly and have secure storage areas.
Where to ride?
The team at Thomas Cook Airlines scouted a route for us. We didn’t get to cycle the whole way but we got a nice taster of the roads and some of the climbs. Here are some of my highlights.
Cap de Formentor
We started at Cap de Formentor, a road which leads up to the lighthouse. The dramatic coastline, the smooth but windy climbs and the postcard perfect views made it the perfect introduction to riding in Mallorca.
A slightly harder climb up to the Mirador de Mal Pas but well worth the grind for the views. Be prepared to battle through some tourists at the lookout points but it’s definitely worth it.
We descended on the resident sunbathers and perched at Port Pollensa for late lunch, a cool down paddle and a mandatory ice cream.
Port de Soller
We stopped at Port de Soller, a little horseshoe shaped harbour surrounded by the mountains, for lunch at a restaurant on the promenade and another cool down dip.
Sa Colobra Viaduct
Sa Colobra is Mallorca’s most famous climb with it’s 26 hairpin bends. We only got to ride a small segment of it because we had a tight shooting schedule but I’ll definitely be back to take it on!
Our final stop, Cala Deia is a beautiful small shingle beach on the west of Mallorca. After celebrating the end of a full on two days of shooting with a few beers on the beach we header to Ca’s Patro March, a nearby seafood restaurant made famous by it’s 5 minutes of fame in hit TV show ‘The Night Manager’.
Want to know more about what we got up to? Check out full details of the route over on the Thomas Cook Airlines blog.
This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Thomas Cook Airlines. As always, all opinions are our own and we only work with brands we believe in.