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End of January - Calpe, Girona or Mallorca...?

rubberbulletrubberbullet Posts: 35
edited January 2017 in Road general
I'm lucky enough to unexpectedly have a few days off at the end of Jan/start of Feb (probably Sat-Weds), AND the wife has signed off on my going away riding for a few days subject to it being cheap (not defined, but I'm sure we can all imagine her and my idea of cheap being different).

I'm a decent standard road racing cyclist and would propose the days to be a "mangle myself as much as possible" block rather than a bimble around sights and coffee stops. I'm confident riding solo if needs be, speak a bit of Spanish, and have a Garmin with maps. As such, big organised group rides with a variety of experience/speeds/wishes aren't hugely compelling unless it's with the same objective. Will have my own bike. Am therefore somewhat struggling to work out why I should pay the premium for an organiser (Stuart Hall, TraininSpain, etc etc - not that I don't admire and respect them for what they do, just not for me, this one time)

So... does anyone have any recommendations of somewhere low cost, warm, logistically easy, and preferably all-inclusive that is open at that time of year? Moon on a stick? I'm very familiar with Mallorca so that's a plus, but hear a lot of good things about Calpe and Girona.

Tips most appreciated! Thanks!
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  • Been to Girona and would recommend it. In spite of lots of pro's living there it is still relatively unused by most so it's a good place if you just want to go off and ride around the countryside and not see many other people. Plenty of routes to take and climbs for all abilities and once you get out of the city centre you won't need to worry about coffee stops as there aren't really any cafes to distract you! The only slight downside is that you have to ride some pretty busy roads (think borderline motorways) to get out to some of the main climbs.

    The city itself is a really good place to stay, plenty of stuff to do and places to eat whilst not on the bike and its also an easy place to travel to, bus from the airport to the centre takes about 30mins.

  • I'm a decent standard road racing cyclist and would propose the days to be a "mangle myself as much as possible" block rather than a bimble around sights and coffee stops.

    Jesus wept
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles

  • I'm a decent standard road racing cyclist and would propose the days to be a "mangle myself as much as possible" block rather than a bimble around sights and coffee stops.

    Jesus wept

    Thanks for the reply but I don't get it. Would you prefer another turn of phrase? Would you prefer that I didn't want to spend some days training hard?
  • I've done Girona briefly - very nice, but Mallorca is excellent in the winter because it's so geared up to cyclists.

    The North, (Pollensa, etc.) is obviously very popular, but it's pretty dead out of season, so I'd go South where it's more lively, the riding is just as good, and Palma is available to you. Shorter transfers too.

    Hotels are cheap now and there's loads of stuff on Air B&B (even though it's not legal anymore).
  • letap73letap73 Posts: 1,608
    The Calpe-Benidorm road is supposed to be pretty hairy for cyclists and you might have to go on this road to get to some of the interesting climbing. I would probably recommend staying in Altea or Albir - even better would be inland. The weather in Calpe/Altea/Albir is likely to be better than Girona at that time of the year.
  • navrig2navrig2 Posts: 1,606
    I'd have a look at the weather stats for Girona. Looks a bit chilly to merit going to Spain. I'd head to Mallorca or Calpe for more warmth and associated better riding experience.

    http://www.yr.no/place/Spain/Catalonia/ ... stics.html
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    Canaries.

    All the ones you mentioned can be censored . I have had horizontal rain/snow on Mallorca at the time you mention. But also lovely sunshine.
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • flasherflasher Posts: 1,709
    I'd be looking further south to the Canaries.
  • stueysstueys Posts: 1,332
    Regularly go to mallorca, went to girona last year, never been to Calpe so can't comment there. Girona is lovely, nice roads and the weather is good. Mallorca trumps it though, very cycling centric, roads and routes are better than Girona (IMHO).
  • AK_jnrAK_jnr Posts: 717
    Had a month in Mallorca last January. Rained once for an hour. Think I got lucky though. Ha.
  • protoproto Posts: 1,482
    My view is if you want a cycling holiday, then Majorca. If you want serious training then Denia/Calpe.

    Daughter has rented a two bed apartment in Denia for January. Cost ~£400. Weather has been fabulous so far, 16/18 degrees, bright blue skies, perfect. Managed 400 miles in her first 6 days of riding.

    Denia is a pleasant town. Flat rides if you want them, and plenty of the lumpy stuff ten miles inland. Roads in superb condition and mostly deserted. Weather supposedly more reliable than Majorca, warmer than Girona.
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    My view is if you want a cycling holiday, then Majorca. If you want serious training then Denia/Calpe.

    Eh?

    Mallorca has everything you could possibly want for training, probably more so than anywhere else, why is it worse than Calpe?
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • I'd do Girona if it was April/May onwards. Otherwise have you considered Gran Canaria, Tenerife or Lanzarote? The weather alone would push me to those options over the others. Going on holiday and having to wear arm and leg warmers isn't my idea of a holiday, training or not!
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,855
    OP don't worry about every ones opinion just read through and pick out the ones that make sense to you.

    My point of view I've lived in Mallorca and riden a fair amount and love the island, it really has everything accept the really long steep high long mountain style climbs but IMO is great for training and general hard work amateur beasting.

    I've not been to calpe for cycling but my son lives not far away and says it's very good as do many of my friends I think the key there is its cheap. The thing with Mallorca is its cheap but it's an island so flights and especially car hire can be disproportionate.

    I've flown for £30 return and 100 euros for a weeks half board in march and may but also paid £300 for a flight and thousands for hotels in peak, car hire has always been bonkers.

    Mainland Spain car hire and flights outside of school holidays are extremely reasonable.

    If budget is your main driver then in Jan it'll be down to car hire, if you want on your doorstep riding I'd say Mallorca, for something more adventurous try the mainland.
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • bigjimbigjim Posts: 780
    I've always found car hire to be pretty cheap out of season in Mallorca. Last time out in February we paid £25 for ten days hire from Goldcar. Bought the extra Ins over here for £10. Good deal between two of us and easy to load two bikes in the car.
  • bigjim wrote:
    I've always found car hire to be pretty cheap out of season in Mallorca. Last time out in February we paid £25 for ten days hire from Goldcar. Bought the extra Ins over here for £10. Good deal between two of us and easy to load two bikes in the car.

    Just hired a Caddy size car for 50E for 5 days in April, so not too bad either. As long as you don't go for an unusual car, or in peak season, it's usually pretty good.
  • Given that many of the pro teams train in either Mallorca or Calpe they are most likely ideal training areas. I've spent a bit of time with the bike in both PdP Mallorca and Denia and they are great for IMO. weather in Denia in Dec/Jan is great and it's only going to get warmer.

    I'd imagine Girona would be ideal too although for me I'd perhaps go a little later in the year...

    Anyway u look at it it's going to be better than UK.

    Car hire is cheap as chips too if u shop around.
  • Been to the called area a few times and can highly recommend it. Good mix of flat and hilly routes and a good chance to do some pro spotting! If your looking for guided rides/accommodation/masseuse id highly recommend Citrus Cycling
  • Forecast for next Wednesday is;

    Denia = 9 / 4'

    Palma = 9 / 4' ( 7 / 2 Tuesday)

    So not exactly steamy.....could be snow on the Puig Major....April's a much nicer time to go!
  • Calpe or Denia. Much better roads than Majorca, climate is better too. Less wallys on bikes is also a bonus.

    There's a reason that only 2 world tour teams go to Majorca and the rest go to the Benidorm / Calpe area.
  • Calpe or Denia. Much better roads than Majorca, climate is better too. Less wallys on bikes is also a bonus.

    There's a reason that only 2 world tour teams go to Majorca and the rest go to the Benidorm / Calpe area.

    These Mallorquin roads aren't too shabby....!

    DSCN53701.jpg
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  • That's right. They aren't, but I don't think anyone was claiming that they are.

    Just that the roads around the Calpe / Denia area are better for training at the time ion year that the OP was enquiring about.
  • bigjimbigjim Posts: 780
    Calpe or Denia. Much better roads than Majorca, climate is better too. Less wallys on bikes is also a bonus.

    There's a reason that only 2 world tour teams go to Majorca and the rest go to the Benidorm / Calpe area.
    Which teams are those? I was passed and nearly taken out by the Sky team in February year before last, near Arenal. Plus flew back with the Olympic disabled cycling team.
  • bigjim wrote:
    Calpe or Denia. Much better roads than Majorca, climate is better too. Less wallys on bikes is also a bonus.

    There's a reason that only 2 world tour teams go to Majorca and the rest go to the Benidorm / Calpe area.
    Which teams are those? I was passed and nearly taken out by the Sky team in February year before last, near Arenal. Plus flew back with the Olympic disabled cycling team.

    I know someone in the Argon / Bora team; they were there recently, the Irish national team are usually installed around Alaro somewhere and Sky make use of Palma's velodrome.

    No doubt some teams prefer being out of the public eye elsewhere, away from all the 'wallies on bikes'. :(

    There is excellent cycling to be had all over Spain, just depends what you're looking for.
  • AK_jnrAK_jnr Posts: 717
    Lotto Soudal have just had a camp too. Probably more but I cant be bothered to look.
  • protoproto Posts: 1,482
    okgo wrote:
    My view is if you want a cycling holiday, then Majorca. If you want serious training then Denia/Calpe.

    Eh?

    Mallorca has everything you could possibly want for training, probably more so than anywhere else, why is it worse than Calpe?

    Because in Majorca:
    The roads are busier
    The weather is colder, wetter, weather less predictable
    Fewer, long circular climbing routes.

    It is, however, prettier, greener with nicer sea side towns, better beaches. Ideal for a cycling holiday.

    Don't just take my word for it. http://highfive.co.uk/where-the-pro-teams-train/
  • proto wrote:
    Because in Majorca:
    The roads are busier

    Hardly. Out of tourist season (i.e. Jan to April and Oct to Dec) the roads are very quiet, especially if you know where to go. You do see lots of cyclists but I see that as plus, not a minus.
    proto wrote:
    The weather is colder, wetter, weather less predictable

    Denia is not far from Ibiza which is not far from Majorca, I'd say the weather's pretty similar. (And both cold next week).
    proto wrote:
    Fewer, long circular climbing routes.
    Quite easy to build many more rides like this; https://www.strava.com/activities/716708667
    proto wrote:
    It is, however, prettier, greener with nicer sea side towns, better beaches. Ideal for a cycling holiday.
    True. I've found many Eastern Spain resorts quite uninspiring and some are downright ugly.
    proto wrote:
    Don't just take my word for it. http://highfive.co.uk/where-the-pro-teams-train/
    Well that's some kind of advertisement feature for a tour company, so not unexpected.

    There are loads of great places to ride in Spain, I quite like higher up, Costa Brava, and it's unlikely you'd be disappointed going to any of these places. For the safest weather bet, go as far South as possible at this time of year.

    But the idea that you can't train as well in Majorca, is well, a bit silly really....
  • 4kicks4kicks Posts: 549
    proto wrote:
    Don't just take my word for it. http://highfive.co.uk/where-the-pro-teams-train/
    Well that's some kind of advertisement feature for a tour company, so not unexpected.
    Pot, meet Mr Kettle.
    Fitter....healthier....more productive.....
  • 4kicks wrote:
    proto wrote:
    Don't just take my word for it. http://highfive.co.uk/where-the-pro-teams-train/
    Well that's some kind of advertisement feature for a tour company, so not unexpected.
    Pot, meet Mr Kettle.

    He pointed to a supposedly 'reference' link that extolled the virtues of the Calpe area. But it's an advertisement feature for a tour company, so perhaps unlikely to highlight any negatives. Wikipedia it isn't.

    Likewise, if I was to point someone to our website, I'm sure they'd expect us to be singing the praises of Majorca. My opinion is my opinion. It isn't fact.

    FWIW I also highly rate; Brittany, Bagneres de Luchon area, Costa Brava, Corsica, Samoens / Morzine, Provence (Gordes/Lacoste), Geneva area (Col de la Faucille, Saleve) etc. etc.
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