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April 8, 2009
It’s getting to be the time of year when many fortunate cyclists are planning their dream vacation to Europe. If you’re one of the lucky ones and you still haven’t decided on a destination, I have a recommendation for you. If the thought of winding coastal roads, massive mountain climbs, villages carved into mountain sides, medieval cities and beaches gets your heart pumping, you should consider to Mallorca, Spain. It’s part of the Ballaeric islands in the Mediterranean and is the big brother of the popular party island Ibiza. It’s sometimes called Majorca, so keep that in mind when you’re doing your Google research. Mallorca’s main city, at which you arrive by plane, is called Palma. You can also get to Palma by boat from Barcelona or Valencia.
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You won’t be the first one to discover that Mallorca is a cyclists paradise, but it’s not overly well advertised in North America or Australia. In the early spring the weather is gorgeous while the rest of Europe is still thawing. Hotel and food are inexpensive and the cycling is top shelf. There’s good reason why many of the pros go to Mallorca for early season training camps. If you’re staying in Palma, you can ride east or southeast for as far as you want on the flat roads seeing windmills, Spanish villas, churches and beaches along the way. If you head north or northwest you’ll wind up on some of the most unbelievable mountain climbs you’ll ever experience. There’s a saying in Mallorca, “all roads lead to Palma”. Once I figured this out I wasn’t too worried about getting lost in the maze of roads as I always ended up back in Palma. You can’t go wrong. Here is a site with a few good cycling routes that I can vouch for if you’re looking for suggestions.
After being blown away with an epic day of cycling, you can swim at the beach, have a heaping dish of Paella while sitting at one of the waterfront restaurants and then roam the narrow streets of Palma, exploring an amazing city that’s hundreds of years old.
There are thousand of places you can go in Europe for a cycling holiday and I can only speak from experience. However, I can promise you that Mallorca will satisfy every last bit of your cycling cravings – until next year anyway. I can’t tell you everything there is to know about cycling in Mallorca here, but pictures are worth a thousand words. Hopefully this plants the seed.
What are your recommendations for a cycling dream vacation?