"I fell in love with cycling in Mallorca some time ago. But it wasn't just about the cycling, it was about the whole island - the food, the wine and the people."
Cycling and Mallorca are two loves of my life and we have tried to create the perfect holiday for friends & couples by combining a bit of sporting activity with some serious relaxation.
My first brush with Mallorca & Sa Calobra was in 2011 - I stayed in the north & trained with Team Sky. In September 2013, after our Ashes win, I came out again; this time with my father to ride Sa Calobra together. We had an incredible few days at Hotel Esplendido in Port de Soller.
We experienced the true culture of the island, had an amazing holiday and cycled the best routes on the island.
I was keen to put a holiday together that encapsulated all my experiences. I have teamed up with someone who lives on the island, to create a genuinely unique cycling holiday that has all my favourite routes on our doorstep.
There is some great cycling on this trip but this holiday is also designed for partners or friends who do not want to cycle. So whether you are a cycling nut like me or just want to come and chill out, then we have a great trip lined up for you.
We are not keen on dull, formal events you are forced to attend when you are on holiday. We have therefore structured the four days to allow you to do whatever you fancy in the afternoons and evenings. That said there is a chilled out launch dinner on the first night and celebratory late lunch on the final day.
I will be with you on the bike and around the hotel, so there will be plenty of time for us to chat and share a few stories.
The daily cycling is challenging, but finishes by 2pm allowing everyone to relax and make a real break of it.
This four-night break is the ultimate way to finish off the year.
Based in two stunning locations, you get to experience the delights of Palma and the picturesque Tramuntana Mountains.
The holiday kicks off on the Thursday with a launch party in a private art gallery in the heart of the old town of Palma de Mallorca. The following morning, we cycle along the coast to the stunning location of the natural harbour of Port de Soller. For the cyclists we have planned some stunning routes and for the non-cyclists we have included some fantastic walks.
After two days of cycling or hiking, we have pretty special final day. Sunday is the most challenging day on the road and includes a sportive new to the island this year - a 10km time trial up Matt’s favourite hill climb, Sa Calobra! Following the day’s riding, we sail out of the port and along the coast to a hidden restaurant over the sea for a celebratory lunch.
To keep the trip small and personal, we have limited the numbers to an estimated 45 people in total.
With a number of feature climbs, it’s safe to say the cycling is challenging. It is ideal for the intermediate and experienced rider - there will be two groups for differing paces.
With a number of climbs, the daily cycling is challenging, ideal for the fit intermediate and experienced cyclist.
Thurs 2nd Oct - 0km @ 0 vertical
No organised ride, but suggested routes provided for the early arrivals. It’s about chilling, bike preparing and seeing a bit of Palma and getting ready for the next day.
Fri 3rd Oct - 90km @ 1500m vertical - average gradients 5%
A spectacular ride along the rugged cliff top coastline of Western Mallorca. Missed by most visiting cyclists to Mallorca, this route takes in a number of different hidden treasures, such as the Coll de sa Creu, Calvia village, Andratx & Banyalbufar. You continue on through the better-known village of Deia, with its idyllic landscape, it is set into the steep cliffs overlooking the sea. Having ticked off Deia, you descend into what is the amphitheatre of Soller and then onto the Port.
Sat 4rd Oct - 75km @ 1450m vertical - average gradients 5-6%
Today you will generally be going up or down and will take on three category 3 climbs. On leaving the hotel, you will pass through Soller. With its impressive church dominating the centre of the town and the sea of citrus fruits spread like a table cloth over the surrounding area - it is a great way to kick off the day. The 61 hairpin bends of the Coll de Soller soon gets the heart rate pumping. The introduction of the tunnel in 1997 means that the old road over the top is a cyclists’ paradise. The hairpins continue down the southern side before the challenge of the Coll d’Honor - hidden amongst the back streets of Bunyola. Next up is the stunning surrounding of the Orient valley and its fast descent to Alaro. All that is then left is to ascend the Coll de Soller from the Palma side and the quick descent back to the natural harbour and your home - Hotel Esplendido.
Sun 5th Oct - 75km @ 2,100m vertical - average gradients 6-6.5%
Today is the big day, we leave early and cycle to the start of the first edition of the Calobra Fest - a time trial up Sa Calobra. With only 250 starters, this is a real treat. But before the TT there is plenty of riding to be done. At 854m is the Puig Major - this 14km climb is the longest and highest on the island. Starting from sea level in the port, the road rises all the way to the Monnaber tunnel. At the top there is a small car park where we will regroup before heading down past the lakes and onto perhaps the most feared climb on the island. Sa Calobra is 10km of tarmac draped on the side of a mountain. Its 26 harpin turns climb 668 meters at an average 7.1% gradient. One of the hairpins is so extreme it does a 360 turn and heads back over itself. Cyclists will depart at 30-second intervals and with our group being seeded, we will set off one after each other. Once at the top we will regroup, tackle the 5km climb to Puig Major from Gorg Blau, before the 14km descent into Soller.
Mon 6th Oct - Departure
The locations we have chosen for our entertaining are very special and tell you a story about the real Mallorca
The curtain raiser on Thursday is in a relaxed and unique location in the heart of the old town of Palma. Our launch party is set at Mallorca Landings, restored palicio and contemporary art gallery. Step inside and admire the surroundings created by Swedish artists and collectors Pernilla & Stefan Lungren. Feel at home, enjoy their collection and get to meet everyone, including Matt. You will be served local Mallorcan food with incredible taste and flavour and have the opportunity to taste a range of wonderful locally produced wines.
When arriving into Port de Soller on Friday and Saturday you will not be left hungry - you will be able to enjoy a tasty pasta meal to help you recover from your morning’s exertions.
Following your successful participation in Calobra Fest or a relaxing morning by the pool, it will be a quick change before we hop onto the water. We leave Port de Soller by boat on Sunday at about 1:30pm and sail about 45mins westwards along the coast, past the town of Deià and pull into the cove next to Sa Foradada, an amazing rock formation. There, clinging to the edge of the tall cliffs, sits the restaurant Sa Foradada, that Emilio Fernández, 72, opened more than four decades ago and now runs with his daughter Lidia. Their instruments are simple, a grill and some cast-iron pans, but their saffron-infused brews are anything but, incorporating squid, cuttlefish, mussels, prawns, clams, crab legs and sea bream, all plucked from the water below. The restaurant, featured in Yotam Ottolenghi’s Mediterranean Island Feasts last year, is the perfect way to sign off this unique holiday.
Thursday night we are staying in the 5 star Gran Meliá in Palma and Friday-Sunday nights we are at the boutique hotel of Hotel Esplendido in Port de Soller
Gran Meliá Victoria is a 5 star hotel is an ideal location in central Palma, with views of the marina & cathedral. With a feel of traditional luxury and style, guests can unwind on one of the terraces or by the outdoor swimming pool over looking the Paseo Maritimo. Its recent collaboration with cocktail bar Dry Martini from Barcelona sparks an additional twist to their cocktail bar
Originally built in 1954, the hotel was refurbished by Swedish owners Mikael & Johanna Landstrom in 2006. It is situated on the waters edge of the natural harbour of Port de Soller in the Tramuntana mountains. As the sister to Hotel Portixol it transmits elegance, simplicity and a sense of freedom. The recently installed spa creates a tranquil environment with an indoor pool, gym, steam & sauna rooms. Free wifi, a library & music room and lounge areas allows you to truly enjoy a few days away. The boutique hotel boasts 70 bedrooms rooms, a restaurant area, conference room and bistro it is only 30 minutes from the airport.
Thursday 2 October 2014 and departing Monday 6 October 2014.
Flights to Palma de Mallorca
Transfers from the airport to our hotel in Palma take 15 minutes - we can book you a car
Please arrive by 3pm on Thursday 2 October
The following meals are included.
Thursday – Dinner launch event Mallorca Landings
Friday – Breakfast and pasta lunch
Saturday – Breakfast and pasta lunch
Sunday – Breakfast and celebratory lunch at Sa Foradada
Minimum temperature: 16ºC
Maximum temperature: 23ºC
Hours of sunshine per day: 6-7
Number of rainy days: 7
Depending on the number of cyclists, we expect to cycle in two groups of 15
Each group will be led by two ride captains. Although the riding will be predominantly in hills the speed of the two groups will be based on:
There will be 1 support vehicle carrying medical supplies, water, fruit, mechanical spares.
To keep the trip small and personal, we have limited the numbers to a estimated 45 people in total
You can bring your own bike or hire a bike through us.
If you bring your own bike there will be mechanics on hand to help put your bike together and fine-tune any teething problems. Your bike should have had a service prior to the event & you are using all weather tyres. Please try to ensure that you are using new tyres and tubes, as this greatly reduces the chance of puncture. We have a number of spares; however, any spares that are specific to your chosen model must be brought with you: be prepared for the unexpected!
If you hire a bike through us, you will need to inform us of the size of bike that you require, and you must bring your own pedals - to avoid disappointment, please book early.
Everyone will also need to bring a helmet. Please note that you will not be able to participate in the event without a helmet.
Failure to provide adequate cover will result in the participant not being able to take part in the ride.
Each cyclist must take out their own travel insurance. This should cover the cost of medical treatments, evacuation, loss of earnings / cost of care in the event of illness or injury during the holiday. It should also cover loss or damage to property (including your bicycle / hired bicycle), third party liability and your cancellation of the holiday. Dog Tag are one of the UK based companies who specialises in sports such as cycling www.dogtag.co.uk
Please can you bring a copy of your travel insurance and if you have one a EC1H (european health card). Hospitals will not attend to you until they see either of these documents (or a credit card!). If you do not have a EC1H card, then bring your National Insurance number then we can get a temporary cover in the event of an injury. To apply for a card, allow at least 5 working days and apply on line www.nhs.uk/nhsengland/healthcareabroad. We take a copy of your insurance documents or your EC1H card before you get on the bike.
For the packaged holidays & private guiding in Mallorca, we require you to pay a deposit of 200€ (non refundable) per person, with the balance paid in full no later than 60 days before the departure date of the holiday.
If you fail to pay in full 60 days prior to departure, we reserve the right to cancel your booking and your deposit will not be refunded. Should you or any member of your party be forced to cancel your booking, we must receive notice via email from the person making the original booking. The cancellation will take effect from the date that such notice is received at our offices. The following cancellation charges will apply (expressed as a percentage of the total holiday price).
60-15 days before departure 50% refunded and less than 14 days before departure no refund.
We will endeavour to ensure that none of the elements of your holiday arrangements are altered. However, there may be occasions when we cannot follow our advertised itineraries, or schedules. Our itineraries are put forward as a statement of intention only, not as representations or undertakings that they will be carried out. If any additional expenses are incurred as a result of delays, accidents or disruptions of planned itineraries beyond our control, e.g. strikes, natural disasters, fire, technical problems of transport, airport closures, cancellation or changes of schedule by scheduled airlines, or similar events out of our control, any such expenses are to be borne by the guests.
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* This price refers to a couple with a non-cycling or a cycling partner
** Price per person, based on two people sharing
Reduced rate is based on a 10% discount, is available to confirmed booking made before 31st July 2014, subject to room availability
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