This summer, cyclists in the UK have been lucky enough to enjoy endless hours of sunshine and plenty of memorable rides. But we all know that the hot weather won’t stick around for much longer. As the nights draw in and the days become shorter, thoughts inevitably begin to turn towards shoe covers, leg warmers, gilets and thermal headbands! But wait! There’s no need to let the cold weather get you down. You can still enjoy some warm weather cycling and plenty of sun. You just need to travel a bit further. Here’s the low down on our top 3 places to travel this winter…
1. Girona – a Winter Cycling Hotspot
The explosion in popularity of cycling trips to this Spanish town has been well documented, with many looking to tackle the great cycling on offer. And with many of the pro peloton now calling it home, us amateur cyclists can not only enjoy the routes that professionals tackle each day but also ride alongside (well ok, be overtaken by) some famous names. A bit of city cycling is needed to take you out towards the cycle routes however the countryside guarantees a good mix of flat terrain and challenging hills with the Rocacorba climb being particularly testing.
Top Tip: Girona is less frequently visited than Mallorca so if it’s quiet roads you’re after along with great food and culture, this should be high on your list of places to go cycling. The old town is a quaint place to stay and you can to ride through cobbled streets whilst taking in the city’s rich architecture of cathedrals and fortresses. The bustling social scene in the old town can be loud at night, which can be a positive or a negative, depending on the type of trip you want!
Climate: October and November are the best months to travel to Girona if you want to catch the sun. December and January temperatures can drop down to 8 degrees so if it’s warm weather you’re after, these months are probably best to be avoided.
Getting there: Travel to Girona is pretty straight-forward with return flights from London airports to Barcelona costing from £40* during November. Flights take about 2 hours and with a 90 minute transfer time needed to take you from Barcelona to Girona.
2. Winter Cycling in Mallorca
Mallorca is a popular destination amongst many cyclists of all standards with pro teams such as Team Sky regularly being spotted her. Many cite it as cyclists paradise where you can benefit from a
wide variety of terrain from smooth coastal roads to high mountains which makes it a great place to cycle whatever your level. Not only this, but the sensationally beautiful views are not to be missed, even during the winter. Cap de Formentor which is the highest Northern point on the Balearic Islands is an iconic road which you need to ride at least once if you’re heading to Mallorca.
Top Tip: Be careful where you choose to stay. Mallorca may be a prime spot for winter cycling but it is also a hub for nightlife all year round. Of course, it depends what you’re looking for, but if you’d prefer at least some early nights, there are plenty of quieter hotels, spas and private rentals to stay in to avoid the hustle and bustle.
Climate: Slightly milder temperatures of between 14-18°C are experienced in Mallorca, however, this makes for an ideal climate for sporting activities, which is why so many cyclists flock here in the winter. Snow and rain are rare and temperatures can still reach 21°C so there’s always the possibility to catch a winter tan.
Getting there: Direct return flights during November and December are still relatively cheap with prices starting at £41* from London airports to Palma. There are two spots favoured by cyclists in Mallorca; Alcudia and Puerto Pollensa with transfer time under one hour to both locations.
3. Tenerife – Cycling with the Pros
Tenerife boasts the longest continuous climb in Europe at 2200m and for those wanting to take in breath-taking views at high altitude along with hills and steady climbs, Tenerife should be the destination of choice. For those who really want to take their cycling to new heights, staying at the Hotel Parador is a popular choice with cyclists who also want to enjoy the peaceful surroundings while homing in on practising altitude training. Flatland is limited so may not be the best choice for those who are not used to climbs or steep terrain.
Top Tip: If cycling in Tenerife sounds up your street, Teide mountain should be explored. This volcano offers unparalleled views of the island and you’re bound to make a friend or two along the way.
Climate: November through to January see temperatures between 14-20°C. There is a possibility you could see some rain, however, the chances are slim.
Getting there: Return flights are slightly more expensive to Tenerife from £99* and take longer at about 4 hours 30 minutes. However, if you want to take on the climbs that the likes of Froome, Thomas, Sagan et al love so much, the flight is definitely worth it.
Share your cycling stories!
Do you agree with our top three winter cycling destinations? We want to find out from you the cycling hotspots that you travel to during the winter months. Share your stories and images on our Facebook and Twitter channels.
Planning a cycling trip? Don’t forget insurance
Pedalcover offers a range of cycling holiday travel insurance policies with levels of cover to suit everyone, including single and multi-trip annual policies. Talk to us today about your trip, call 0800 121 4424.
*All prices stated true as of September 2018