As summer starts to fade we’re looking for ways to keep riding in a jersey and bib shorts. We’ve put together our top 5 destinations for riding this fall and spring – let us know if you agree or where you’ll be heading to extend your summer in the comments below.
1. Girona – Home of the Pro Peleton
Maybe we’re biased but we think that Girona provides an amazing base for year-round riding. Autumn and early spring are key times of year as Northern Europe is under a chill but Girona’s climate remains temperate with very little rain. September – November is the perfect time to extend late summer by taking a cycling trip to the Catalan city and explore the place that so many pros call home. No wonder, then, Girona is a perfect European autumn and spring cycling destination. Also for gravel riders is an authentic paradise, as its surroundings are full of stunning gravel rides waiting to be discovered.
The golden combination of city, coast and mountains in Girona means that you can explore a plethora of terrain in one single ride. In addition, unlike many tourist locations, it doesn’t completely shut up shop during winter as there are many locals and students living there. Take the perfect post-ride stroll through the old town to see the stunning Cathedral or visit one of the many excellent restaurants and cafes on offer. Access to Girona is also incredibly easy with the nearest airport a mere 12 km away and the next closest, in Barcelona, is an hour’s train ride away.
Where to stay: in the old town, Hotel Carlemany, Hotel Nord 1901
Top tour: try our Girona Classic Climbs tour for the perfect introduction to road cycling in Girona.
2. Mallorca – The Original Cycling Mecca
The original cycling mecca, Mallorca has long seen sun-seeking cyclists making a pilgrimage to the island. Like Girona, it’s a fantastic destination to enjoy all year around. In line with its Catalan counterpart Mallorca boasts a combination between coast and mountains meaning that the landscape is varied. Few riders will find the Mallorcan roads too challenging, there is a combination of flat and mountainous terrain alike meaning that riders of all abilities can enjoy what the largest of the Balearic islands has to offer.
One of the most popular rides on the island is to the Cap de Fortmentor lighthouse – the most northern point of the island, for nothing else if not a photo opportunity. An ascent of the sinewy climb of Sa Colabra, by far the most famous climb on the island and one of the most well-known in the world is also essential. Off the bike there is plenty to see and do including visiting the capital, Palma.
Learn more: Read our Guide to Cycling in Mallorca to plan your own trip.
Where to stay: Sóller, Pollença
Top Tour: Join our Mallorca Experience for a true insight into island life.
3. Andalucía – Stunning cycling, culture and history
The Southern regions of Spain are a long-held favourite location of leisure cyclists and World-Tour teams alike. It’s no surprise that so many fly south for winter; Andalucía enjoys more than 320 days of sunshine a year and only 40 days of rain on average.
The beautiful city of Granada is mostly known for the climb to Pico de Veleta, this is just one of the many other stunning roads within easy reach of the city. As with the rest of the South of Spain, the draw is not only the fantastic riding but also the laid-back lifestyle and delicious food and wine on offer, re-fuelling with some delicious tapas and a cerveza is a must.
Where to stay: Ronda, Antequera, Granada.
Top Tour: Travel back in time on this off-the-beaten track adventure & join our Classic Andalucia tour.
4. Tuscany – An Italian Classic
Tuscany is a region for cyclists who love breathtaking vistas, Italian food & wines and a mix of road and gravel riding.
Every March the pro’s race through the Tuscan countryside on the Strade Bianche spring classic. We join the party to take part in the Strade Biance Gran Fondo – a race that follows the route of the pro race starting & finishing in the history city of Siena.
The Strade Bianche Grand Fondo offers an undulating course, made more challenging by the sectors of white gravel roads. With the choice of an 87 km or 139 km route the course is accessible and completing the course is achievable for riders with a wide range of fitness – it just depends how fast!
Where to stay: Chianti, Siena.
Join the party: Ride with us on our Strade Bianche tour.
5. The Atlas Mountains, Morocco
Fly into Marrakech to start your off the beaten track cycling adventure.
Morocco Atlas Mountains Tour offers an authentic experience for guests open to discovering the unique blend of Arab, Berber & European cultures that shape the heart of Morocco. It’s best enjoyed in Spring & Autumn. High altitudes mean winter brings in snow that blocks the roads & in summer the temperatures soar.
Riding in places that you never thought you could, with the humbling hospitality from your guides and tasting the delicious Moroccan food of slow-cooked tagines, fresh juices & bottomless pots of tea. Morocco is so much more that the hectic Medina in Marrakesh & so different from the stereotypes.
Where to stay: Marrakesh, Telouet, Imlil.
Top Tour: Join our Morocco Atlas Mountains Tour and get off the beaten tourist track into rural Morocco.
Inspiring Autumn/Early Spring Cycling Spots
Inspired? Each of the 5 Autumn/Early Spring cycling spots above give you the ability to indulge in a cycling tour or training session with a warm and sunny climate to be enjoyable! For more information or to find out about how we can tailor a winter trip to your needs email us on [email protected] or contact us online!
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