The mild climate of Mallorca makes it an ideal cycling destination throughout the year. Professional and amateur teams descend on the island in December for their provisional training camps and as they move on as the race calendar kicks in, the cycle tourists begin to arrive en masse. Spring is a busy time, though the number of cyclists on the roads diminishes towards the latter part of April, The temperature in the Summer, even in the high mountains, is ferociously hot, though sea breezes will help to keep the heat at bay, but early morning rides are advisable.
The whole island is served by Palma de Mallorca Airport and flights from the UK and mainland Europe are cheap and plentiful throughout most of the calendar year, but do rise considerably during the school holidays. Flight time (from London) is approximately 2 hours 20 minutes.
Taxis from the airport to Puerto Pollensa or Alcúdia take about 50 minutes and cost around 75 euros. Taxis to the north-western edge of the mountains will cost a little less. Palma based taxi service, Majorca Transfers, has English speaking staff and offer a minibus & trailer service for cycling groups which can take up to 19 seats and 14 bikes. For bigger parties they can even provide a 53 seater coach and a lorry for up to 50 bike boxes! (www.majorca-transfer.com) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mallorca offers a wealth of accommodation to suit all budgets, from boutique hotels to rural fincas, B&Bs to spas, family run hotels to large chains. Due to the boom in cycle tourism in recent years, many hotels offer secure lock-ups for bikes, but if they are not specifically advertising this service, then check their policy on storing bikes.
As the majority of cyclists tend to stay in and around the mountains in the north, there are many attractive choices available in the smaller tourist centres on their fringes or in the towns and villages that nestle in between the peaks. Fortunately, the brash, hedonistic resorts of Magaluf and Palma Nova are too far away to be an option!
In Puerto Pollensa apartments and hotels line the seafront, the most exclusive located along the Pine Walk that runs north from the marina, but if you want a little more solitude then there are countless villas available for rent in the surrounding countryside, especially inland around Pollensa Town. Puerto Pollensa is a popular summer resort, but in the spring and late summer it is a far quieter place. In the winter the town shuts down almost completely to tourists, so it is worth noting that many of the hotels and restaurants will not be open for business between November and March, which is why the likes of Team Sky base themselves down the coast in Alcúdia for their winter training camps.
If you need to accommodate a large party, there is a scattering of larger hotels in Pollensa Bay, a couple in neighbouring Cala Sant Vicenç and many more in Alcúdia. Many cycle clubs travel to the island in spring and the larger hotels offer an excellent option, not only on budget, but catering for large groups wanting to ride and socialise together, with the added benefit of secure storage and all-you-can-eat buffets!
The village of Fornalutx in the mountains is a popular base for both cyclists and walkers. Photo courtesy of Gene Krasko
On the western edge of the mountains, Deià is an idyllic little base, a quintessential Mallorcan village overlooking blue bays and set amongst olive groves and orchards of lemon and orange. It's not cheap - the village has attracted a wealthy crowd - but if you want to base yourself in the western spine of the Tramuntana mountains then the likes of Valldemossa, Esporles and Port de Soller are also worth exploring.
Next: Bike Hire and Routes
Main image: Clouds and jetreams over the northern coast of Mallorca. Courtesy of Betino Miclea
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