Across the capital many of us have gotten through the winter months and honoured those healthy New Year’s resolutions by taking part in one of the many spinning classes London has to offer. They are a great way to get in shape, they’re good for socialising… and they often have good tunes! The thing is though these summer hits and Balearic beats now have many of us yearning for a holiday in the sun. Here are a few ways to enjoy Spain’s beautiful Mediterranean islands, while still pedalling…
Spain’s Balearic Islands are among the most popular summer holiday destinations in Europe, drawing in tourists from all over the continent and beyond. Each one of the main islands – Majorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera – also make ideal locations for cycling breaks.
Majorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands and has many cycling options available. A specialist blog – www.mallorcacycling.co.uk – is regularly updated with route suggestions for the island. These are also helpfully labelled as “easy”, “medium”, “hard” and “epic” routes. An example of an easy route is “Around the orange groves” – a flat 40km loop from the town of Llucmajor through the citrus groves and small fincas. Meanwhile an example of a route at the other end of the scale is the “East Tramuntana Epic Ride”. Setting off from the popular beach resort of Alcudia, the route is 168km in length and features 4,000m of climbing – including an ascent of Puig Major, Majorca’s highest peak.
Of the three Balearic Islands that receive tourism in the form of mass market charter flights, Menorca is regarded as the quieter, more laid back one. But it is not all about lying back on sun loungers and the island has plenty in the way of active pursuits, including cycling. There is in fact a Cycling Association of Menorca, which organises a series of local and international events and competitions each year – most notably the Tour of the Lighthouses Race, the Menorca 300 challenge and the three-day Volta Internacional a Menorca tour.
The over-riding image of Ibiza is often that of the party capital, with its many renowned nightclubs and bars. Like its neighbours though, Ibiza has plenty to offer the cyclist and taking one of its multiple routes will show you both a lifestyle beyond clubbing and scenery beyond the neon lights. Among the mountain bike routes promoted by the island’s tourist board are: Port des Torrent – with highlights including the peaceful bay of Cala Bassa and the Torre de’n Rovira 18th century guard tower; Sa Serra Grossa – a more challenging 33.30km that includes ascents of sa Capelleta d’en Serra and Serra de sa Murta.
Last but not least is the smaller, airport-less, Formentera – which can be reached by boat from Ibiza. The Balearic Islands tourist board website boldly states that “Formentera is the island of the bicycle”, and this claim can be justified by the evident investment that has been made in accommodating the mode of transport. There is a network of cycle lanes on the island’s main roads, while green tracks have been placed to allow cycling tourists access to Formentera’s principal scenic areas and an old network of country lanes is now dotted with cyclist-friendly sign posting. Formentera too has a variety of suggested cycle routes available.
So there you have it. With so many cycling options available you can put spin classes London style on hold for a week or two and take a guilt free trip to the Med.