What is it that makes Spain an ideal destination for cyclists? After all, there must be a reason why many of the top professional teams choose to spend their off-season training on this part of the Iberian Peninsula. From Tinkoff-Saxo and Trek to Sky and Garmin-Barracuda, there is a long list of teams who base themselves in various parts of Spain during the winter to avail of the best possible conditions for training.
For starters the weather is a big factor. In certain parts of Spain, like Mallorca and Tenerife, the average daily temperature from January to March can reach highs of up to 17 degrees celsius with bright, sunny conditions making it ideal for biking. And in the north eastern part of Spain, in Catalonia along the Costa Brava, they enjoy a typically Mediterranean climate with many hours of sunshine where it tends to be mild in winter and warm in summer.
For regular road bikers, there is nothing more enjoyable than riding on smooth roads with little traffic where you can simply take in the scenery and let your legs do the work. Luckily this is possible to find in many parts of Spain, which offers a great choice of different cycling locations throughout the country. Mallorca, Tenerife, Andalusia, Catalonia, Asturias and Alicante all boast excellent roads with little traffic.
The scenery in Spain is also quite hard to top. On a bright, sunny day with perfectly paved smooth roads, imagine cycling past endless olive groves and fruit trees with a spectacular mountainous backdrop. This is exactly what you can expect in Andalusia where they produce the majority of Spain’s olive oil and where you can find some of the most scenic and satisfying mountain climbs with breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea. Add to that the impressive whitewashed hilltop villages and you’ve got a pure visual cycling paradise!
And, of course, let’s not forget about the food and hospitality in Spain, where its reputation for producing creative and innovative gourmet food keeps going from strength to strength. From world renowned Michelin-starred restaurants in Catalonia and the Basque Country to traditional, family-run taverns in Castilla y Leon and Andalusia, the diverse and delicious range of fresh food you can experience in Spain is unlike anywhere else.
Pair the outstanding Spanish food with world-class wines from La Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Priorat, to name but a few, and all you need to do next is relax in a superior quality, historic hotel such as the Spanish Paradors that are located all over the country. This surely is the ideal welcome for any cyclist after crossing the finish line of a satisfying day in the saddle. Yes, maybe paradise does exist after all.