I’m trying to get away for 4 nights in late October for a spot of cycling; somewhere in Europe, good flights from London, varied terrain, and not super cold!
I’ll be a solo traveler, but would like to join a group ride, preferably guided.
Have you got any ideas of where to go? This will be my last hooray before baby arrives in Jan!!
Mallorca is the perfect temperature at this time of year and flights from London are plentiful. Lots of smaller mountains (compared to Alps/Pyrenees) in the North, or flat stuff in the middle/coast.
Or maybe Girona? I’ve not been myself but I know a few who’ve been and they have nothing but good things to say about the place.
Mallorca, No question. stay in Pollenca, Alcudia or Playa de Muro (all close together)
Day 1 - Lighthouse ride
Day 2 - Lluc monestary ride
Day 3 - Sa Calobra
Day 4 - whatever you feel like.
I would agree with Mallorca but also enjoyed some riding near Nice recently, you can fly direct with BA from Heathrow on nice short flight then €1.35 ticket on the tram to the city centre.
I found Mallorca easier as the climbs can be substantial but not too long, but the Col de la Madone near Nice… It just killed me. Relentless 950m climb from spitting distance to the sea to the summit.
For Nice I found these two sites really helpful:
Good luck with the baby, that’ll shake things up, we have a nine week old boy at home! There’s some good wisdom on this thread re that particular life change
Gran Canaria and Tenerife are perfect. They’re not “Europe” but they’re in the EU (well, if you get back before 31 Oct), 4 hours flight from Gatwick, beautiful temperatures, great climbs, polite drivers, mostly smooth roads, etc. I’m heading over there at the beginning of the the month.
Check out Free Motion who do guided group rides on both islands (and very good bike hire if you’re not taking your bike over).
I’m a regular traveller to both islands so feel free to drop me a message if you have questions.
As one of the unofficial Portuguese representatives (albeit American born), I’ll have to give a plug for Portugal as an underrated cycling destination. If you look up the Serra da Estrela granfondo, for example (https://www.granfondopremium.com/serra-da-estrela) which I did last year, there’s some beautiful scenery and lots of climbing. There are some other granfondo’s I found in other parts of the country with routes available to download, someday would love to go and ride those routes. My parents’ home there is a 1hr bike ride away from a mountain summit, I would get myself in great shape if I just did repeated 40min mountain intervals!
Big fan of Mallorca but I’d also recommend Altea. I stay here Hotel Cap Negret
Loads of really nice roads and towns to explore and a fair selection of climbs. Coll de Rates is one most people head to first. It’s also worth finding a section called Hell Road via Strava. I’ve never ridden anything else quite like it.
Thanks all. I’m probably settling in on Mallorca now.
Do you have any specific recommendations for tour groups to go with?..
I have family in Denia so I ride out to Castelle de Castelles (Vuelta went up there this year) every time I go over. There are some stunning climbs over there.
I don’t have any advice to contribute to the original question, but wanted to also chime in here since I too will be going to Europe in October. I don’t want to hijack the thread, but I’m heading to Prague in a couple weeks. Will be there and in close proximity for a few weeks for work/pleasure. Would really love to get some riding in there but haven’t had much luck finding a good bike situation online. Unfortunately I won’t be able to take my own bike, so I’m hoping to be able to find an affordable rental. Does anyone have any advice on where to get a good long term rental around Prague. Maybe for 1-2 weeks at a time or so. Also any recommended routes? The bike rentals that I can see online cost more than the housing so I don’t think that is going to be an option for me. If I can’t find a bike, I’d at least like to find a trainer or smart bike setup where I can do TR workouts. Does any one have any tips on this? I hope to be able to explore out a bit while there to some other cities, but don’t know if I’ll have time to do rides. I’d hate to have to take three weeks off training and lose all the fitness I’ve gained. Worst case scenario I’ll go running, which I could use a little anyway for CX season, but I really don’t care for running very much and would prefer to bike.
I spent a couple of weeks cycling in the Algarve and it was outstanding. Know a couple others who have cycled in Portugal and also loved it. Seems to be underrated as a cycling destination, at least in comparison to the usual island destinations or grand tour countries.
I rented from these folks when I was there about four years ago: https://www.bikoadventures.com/. They can also help you with tour suggestions.
Wonderful people, very helpful.
There is also wonderful riding in the Prague area. You get 30km out of town and it’s like you’ve turned back the clock 40 years. I would recommend riding out to and around Karlstejn Castle, as well as routes to the south of the city. Quiet roads, beautiful scenery.
I’m just about to press the button on Mallorca for 5 days. Can. Not. Wait!
Thanks for the tips. I hope I can find something and check that out. It sounds like a great ride.
Thanks to this thread I just booked 7 days in Mallorca in March. First time I’ll be flying with my bike and I’m already nervous haha!
You didn’t fancy Yorkshire then?
I am running a business of cycling training camps in Mallorca : the Sa Calobra Cycling Club. We are full for the next few months (availability not before January now) but feel free to send me a direct message if you need advices
PS : You made the right decision. Mallorca is cycling paradise!! Routes are breathtaking, weather much better than anywhere else in Europe, hiring a bike is cheap and easy (with super good bikes most of the time)… That’s why all pros train here ! I came here for one week of vacation two years ago… and never left!
Like what most people advise you. One of the Canary Islands. Weather should be good (expect a lot of wind though) and the roads are smooth and well maintained.
Have been to Gran Canaria. Nice weather in February but… 4 hours flight from Paris, crazy wind along the beach (impossible to relax at the pool after the ride) and (very) boring roads ! Never ever again !