Off-road opportunities abound
Cycling in Majorca is a beautiful way to keep fit and enjoy nature. In the cooler months, the mountainous roads and pure air attract world champion cyclists as well as other top sportsmen and women.
One of the best places to base yourself is Read’s Hotel between Santa Maria and Alaro, set amongst Olive and Almond groves, with views of the nearby mountain range. While many of the top country house hotels on the island are closed in the winter months, Reads is one of the few to open all year round.
The island is at its best in the uncrowded off-season, and biking is safer with less traffic about. The hotel also offers boat hire and hot air ballooning.
It has a spa, two pools, two restaurants, and yet is a personal, intimate, family-owned boutique hotel. The week I visited, racing driver Jensen Button was staying together with his entourage of trainers and managers. Mountain biking is Button’s preferred form of exercise — his way of keeping trim between Formula One races.
Also while I was there, two former Tour de France competitors were staying and practising. They brought their own bikes, but the hotel has a stock of over twenty, ranging from Mountain bikes and hybrids (included in the room price) and road bikes (20 Euros extra).
As well as the stunning coastal roads there are hundreds of miles of mountain trails to choose from, so the best option would be a hybrid unless you are travelling very long distances. The mountain trails in the Tramuntana region are also unbelievably gorgeous and well-maintained as a key part of the tourist industry.
Back at Reads after a day exploring, the suites are well-appointed. Service is impeccable. The indoor pool area is spacious and there are rooms with big views for hanging out and reading, as well as an Hammam style series of saunas of different temperatures, and a well-equipped gym.
The hotel is also on the edge of the Binisallem area – center of Majorca’s resurgent wine industry. A few miles from Alaro is Castell Miquel, the Bodega which provides the house wine for Reads Hotel. We will run a story about them shortly.
Back at Read’s Hotel I recovered from my exertions with a medicinal massage. Try the hot stones for the best experience – when booking, ask for Romy, the Spa Manager . She is world-class.
Reads Hotel & Vespasian Spa
C./ Vieja Santa María – Alaró s/n
07320 Santa Maria del Camí
Balearic Islands /Mallorca
Tel: + 34 971 14 02 61 / 62 /63
Fax: + 34 971 14 07 62
email: [email protected]
Children under 12 are not encouraged.
See also: www.mallorca-cycling.com/