Bicycle Day 2017: Why Majorca is the perfect destination

Varied orography, pleasant climate, amazing views and specialized hotel facilities. We visit Majorca on International Bicycle Day 2017.

The varied orography, extremely pleasant climate and amazing views make Majorca a favourite year-round spot for cyclists. Professional athletes training for the Tour de France, enthusiasts who enjoy riding in their free time or families in search of active alternatives for exploring the island will feel right at home. Majorca has something for everyone as well as a growing array of specialized hotel facilities that offer all the services cyclists may need, such as the Occidental Playa de Palma Hotel. We interviewed the hotel’s Guest Experience Manager, Orsy Szilagyi.

We speak with a cycling expert at the International Bicycle Day 2017

It’s a known fact that Majorca is becoming an increasingly popular destination for cycling. What does the island have to offer for riders?

Majorca has the best training conditions for professional cyclists as well as enthusiasts, including good roads that are continuously improved year after year. Although the great climate is also a key element, the growing number of excellent hospitality services also play a major role. As a result, bike tourism is gaining popularity among people interested in combining their holiday with exercise.

The rising number of cyclists has resulted in new speciality businesses: bars or restaurants with biking themes, specialised shops and hotels such as the Occidental Playa de Palma that, in addition to the well-equipped cycling centre, serves specific foods (breakfast alternatives that are rich in protein, special cereals, fresh fruit, etc.) for professional cyclists as well as enthusiasts who view it as a hobby. The rooms offer efficient rest for athletes, who also find the hypoxia chambers to be extremely useful.

Which part of Mallorca is best for cycling?

It’s no secret that Majorca is one of the best cycling destinations. There are a number of hidden routes with narrow roads throughout the island. After a few days of flat cycling, most riders are in the mood to climb the hills in the Tramuntana region. Calviá, located in the southwest part of the island, is the most popular. This gentle slope boasts impressive views and is perfect for enthusiasts as well as professionals.

And what is the best season ?

Two seasons are perfect for cycling in Majorca: spring, from late February to early May, when the weather conditions are favourable and there are enough sunshine hours for quality training; and autumn, from October to December, thanks to the moderate temperatures. In addition, professional athletes visit the island for their pre-season training between December and February in order to prepare for the summer season.

What types of routes are available on the island? MTB, road...?

A number of road cycling and mountain biking routes have emerged in the recent years. MTB alternatives are usually located in the Tramuntana, Paguera and Sa Coma regions. Most of the road cycling routes feature excellent roads and offer stunning views like the ones in the Tramuntana area.

What elements should a hotel have for cyclists?

In addition to a well-equipped and organised cycling centre that addresses customer needs, a hotel that caters to cyclists must offer accommodations and restaurant services that suit these types of athletes. An array of quality food is the key to customer satisfaction. The accommodations must also give professional athletes the option of setting up hypoxia chambers.

In addition, cyclists need areas in which to park their bikes, wash their gear, and assemble and repair their bicycles.

What teams visit Mallorca for their pre-season training?

A number of professional teams travel to the island year after year for pre-season preparations and events. The Occidental Playa de Palma hotel is renowned among professional cyclists and many stay with us as they prepare for the season, including national teams such as BDR (the German cycling federation), the Spanish Cycling Federation and the British Track Cycling Federation; road teams that include Lotto Soudal, Bora, Joker, Movistar, Rusvelo, Cerveló Bigla and Trek Sagafredo (men and women); cyclo-cross teams such as Telenet Fidea; and an array of triathletes.

Are there routes for all types of riders, not just professionals?

There are many types of guided tours for MTB and casual outings throughout the island. A popular touring alternative that is suitable for everyone is the 14 km waterfront route that connects Playa de Palma and the city of Palma.