Winter Sun in the Saddle
Longing for some winter sun and thinking about a cycling holiday? You’ve come to the right place. If the idea of basking in the sun and enjoying spectacular scenery as you pedal over a variety of terrain appeals to you, then keep reading. We’ve cherry-picked some of the best winter sun cycling holidays Europe has to offer. From exploring the stunning Algarve coasts, to marvelling at the majestic volcanos of Lanzarote, there really is something for everyone.
When looking at cycling holidays in Portugal, you really are spoilt for choice. Home of the Ecovia do Litoral, a purpose-built cycling path which runs along the entire length of Algarve coast, Portugal offers a wealth of interesting cycling routes. While cycling in the Algarve is pleasant year-round, there are a few destinations which lend themselves better to winter sun cycling holidays.
If you’re looking for gentle cycling across flat terrain, in warm temperatures, the Eastern Algarve is most likely the best fit. Taking in wildlife sanctuaries, picturesque beaches, and both traditional and new Algarve, the east coast route is a fabulous option.
The Western Algarve not only boasts a scenic coastal route, beautiful beaches, and a quieter feel than the more developed areas, it also enjoys a long warm-weather season. Eight hours of sunshine a day, with temperatures in the mid-teens, make the Western Algarve a superb off-season choice.
If you can’t decide between East and West, take a look at our Algarve Coast to Coast cycling holiday package. Make the most of the Ecovia with this largely traffic-free route. Take advantage of a warm year-round climate as you ride through nature-protected areas, and magnificent coastal views.
If you’re a confident rider and you fancy taking in Portugal’s delightful capital, we recommend the Lisbon to the Algarve route. A winning mix of beaches with fine white sand at the Troia Peninsula, limestone cliffs at Cape Cabo Espichel and the wonderful Serra da National Park, this route is a fantastic way to explore Portugal.
New for 2018, Freewheel Holidays presents our Madeira Flowers and Coast cycling tour package. Renowned as a walkers’ paradise, the beautiful island of Madeira is also excellent for cyclists. Like the sound of panoramic roads and year-round summer temperatures? Look no further. See everything this captivating island has to offer by bike, and don’t worry about struggling in the mountains, our transfers will help you out. Culture vultures can also marvel at the majestic Quintas and impressive fortresses.
Cycling holidays in Italy are popular throughout the year, but if you’re looking for winter sun cycling tours in Italy, it’s got to be Sardinia. Mild winters with averages of 11°C December to February, are undoubtedly part of Sardinia’s appeal. Then there’s the outstanding natural beauty, golden beaches, and rich archaeological history, with more than 7000 prehistoric sites dating before 1000 BC. James Bond fans may also recognise Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda as the location for the famous scene in The Spy Who Loved Me, where Roger Moore drives a Lotus Esprit out of the sea. In honour of this spectacular island, we have three cycling holiday packages for you to choose from.
Designed with young families and occasional cyclists in mind, Freewheel Holidays offers a gentle 8-day tour of Southern Sardinia with shorter distances, and breakfast provided every morning. The climate is warm and sunny, all year round, and you have plenty of time to enjoy the sandy beaches and stunning scenery.
For those who can’t quite swing an 8-day excursion, the Sardinia Short Break packs in a trip to the renowned Costa del Sud, a spectacular area, whose miles of glorious coastline and incredible beaches echo the Caribbean. You’ll be cycling on country roads, so some experience is advisable, and you’ll finish up in a picturesque town called Pula, close to the archaeological remains of Nora.
If you’re up for a challenge, you can tackle the 11-day Sardinia Classic. Covering a range of terrain but starting with the most difficult and easing off as the days pass, this coastline route is well worth the effort. Those who take it on will be rewarded with spectacular scenery on all sides. From the dazzling white sandy beaches, to the lush green Mediterranean countryside, and the islands of San Pietro and Sant’Antioco, this Italian cycle tour is a real feast for the eyes.
The largest of the Balearic Islands, Majorca has long been a popular tourist destination, with some 6 million visitors a year. Fun fact: the beach of Es Trenc loses an estimated 25 tonnes of sand a year due to getting attached to tourists, and their clothes and belongings! Interestingly, approximately 35,000 of those tourists are cyclists. If you are considering a cycling holiday in Spain during the winter months, we urge you to consider Majorca. We even provide three Majorca cycling holidays for you to choose from!
Spend eight days gently cycling through charming rural areas, picture-perfect towns and villages and staying in lovely family-run boutique hotels with swimming pools – ideal for winter sun in the saddle. This is one of our most-relaxing routes, ideal for those who want to explore Majorca.
Those who are up for some slightly more challenging cycling routes, may prefer to travel the Loop of Majorca. With this package, you’ll still get the warm weather and the chocolate-box villages, but you’ll also take in the vibrant city of Palma, the Dragon Caves of Porto Cristo and the glorious Tramuntana mountains. There will be some moderate climbs, followed by pleasant descents, the majority of which take place on rural roads and cycle paths. Romantics will love the pretty pinky white salt lakes in Sant Jordi, and the scenic fishing villages.
Alternatively, you could plumb for a hillier route, which still doesn’t incorporate any steep hills. Get to know Majorca’s unspoilt countryside with the Majorca Finca to Finca package, including a stay in two charming traditional 4-star hotels, and a ride through orange plantations and olive groves.
Last, but by no means least, it’s Lanzarote! Lanzarote may not be the first location that springs to mind when looking for a cycling holiday, but there is much to recommend this Spanish sun-trap to keen cyclists. Cycling holidays in Lanzarote are, in many ways, a match made in heaven. The Lanzarote landscape boasts dramatic volcanos, and striking coastal views, which are enjoyed from a flat or undulating terrain with only moderate traffic. As one of the Canary Islands, Lanzarote offers year-round sunshine, with very little rainfall and stunning sandy beaches, making it ideal for a winter sun cycling destination. If you’ve got the kids in tow, you can entertain them at the Rancho Texas Park, the Playa Blanca Waterpark, or take them to San Bartolome Go Karting. If we’ve whet your appetite, and you can’t wait to get on your bike and head for some winter sun, contact our sales team to find out more about cycling holidays in Europe with Freewheel Holidays.