Rugged, Gorgeous Island in the Mediterranean Sea
The phenomenal climate, culture, and roads made for bicycles make Mallorca a Cycling House favorite! Mallorca is the largest island in the Spanish Balearic Islands, in the Mediterranean Sea. The island is rich in European history because of its central location in the highly desirable Mediterranean sea. The island plays host to over 20 million visitors each year, making the Palma de Mallorca Airport one of the busiest airports in Spain. The majority of tourists do not make it further than the beaches of Palma, leaving much of the island uninhabited. Mallorca was a well-kept secret until Team Sky publicized it as their winter training destination for team camp. Although Mallorca has been discovered, it still has something for everyone; especially cyclists looking for a unique, authentic cycling experience.
The Cycling House has been running trips in Mallorca for the past 7 years and could not be more excited for our 8th! Our home base for the week is at the Petit Hotel Alaro, in the small village of Alaro, at the foot of the Serra De Tramuntana Mountains. The Hotel offers unique accommodations with mountain views, chef-prepared authentic foods, and a relaxing swimming pool. It’s a great place to wind down with a glass of Spanish red wine after a good day on the bike or stroll down to the city square. The village of Alaro is a quaint town with traditional charm, ancient architecture, and narrow cobbled streets. The proximity of the hotel to excellent cycling makes it easy to check out the quiet, country roads and mountain landscapes. The island has plenty to explore, and a week of cycling provides a fantastic taste of what Mallorca has to offer.
Off the bike, we have some great opportunities to indulge in the local Mallorca culture, cuisine, and of course – wines. Each morning begins with a casual breakfast, espresso, and some time to relax before the ride. Eating the traditional food of Mallorca and the Mediterranean cuisine is one of the best features of this camp, and our local Chef does a great job showcasing Mallorca & Meditteranean cuisine. Each afternoon we will be greeted with fantastic smells of these authentic foods as our local Chef prepares our lunches. In the evenings our local Chef will prepare the majority of our meals using locally sourced ingredients served family style at the bed and breakfast. We will dine out for a couple of lunches and dinners at our favorite local restaurants. One dinner will be at, Daica restaurant in Llubi, one of the most incredible restaurants on the island. Their food is, “A healthy and creative culinary vision which gets its nutrients from the traditional Mallorcan and Catalan recipes in harmony with technique and the intuition of experience and a deep respect for seasonal, local and quality products.” Everyone comes to Mallorca for the cycling, but the food is certainly another memorable part of the experience.
Cycling to the Cap De Formentor, a lighthouse that’s precariously perched on cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, on a newly paved out-and-back road is one of the trip’s riding highlights. It is hard not to mention Sa Calobra when talking about cycling in Mallorca. The ride descends from the Serra de Tramuntana Mountains, which traverse the entire island all the way down to the port de Sa Calobra. The ride is unique for a few reasons: the hairpin turns – including one that loops under itself (There are only 5 of these in all of Europe). Riders descend before climbing 2,000 plus feet on the out-and-back road. The climb out is considered a classic climb of Europe and is well known among professional cyclists and those seeking the most prestigious Strava KOMs. Each ride has its own unique features, but one thing remains the same: cafe stops with great espresso and pastries. On our rides, we like to get in some good miles, but also indulge in the local culture and spend some time at cafes and vistas. For those feeling extra hungry a pa amb oli might be in order, this is a traditional dish of bread, olive oil, and olives. The best rides in Mallorca include a significant amount of climbing, but don’t worry the breathtaking views are worth the effort! We balance out the bigger elevation days with the rolling terrain of the inner island, which has significantly less climbing. The Mallorca trip is a must for those looking for a Mediterranean cycling adventure!