If it’s already starting to get chilly where you are, it’s time to think about escaping the cold at some point this winter to get in some quality training. Many companies offer winter cycling tours or training camps in warmer European regions. Here is a list of six popular winter cycling destinations in Europe, and the tour companies that can get you there. Keep in mind – these places are not flat! Be prepared for lots of happy climbing.
Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands. Many pro teams make Tenerife their winter training home. There is very little flat terrain, perfect for all you mountain goats. The Mount Teide volcano rises to 3,718 meters, and the summit of this massive climb reaches 2,100 meters. Bring your climbing legs.
With warm temperatures and endless sunshine year round, this rugged island is an excellent escape from the cold. Gran Canaria is the winter training home of several pro teams. With lots of quiet roads, high altitude and long climbs that rival those of the Alps, it’s the perfect winter training spot.
Everyone goes to Mallorca! With more varied terrain, it’s ideal if you don’t want to spend your entire training camp climbing. You can of course climb to your heart’s content, but there are also flatter coastal roads and plains further inland. The weather is more variable than Gran Canaria and Tenerife, you can still see rain and even snow in the higher mountains.
Home to many pros year round, not just in winter, Girona is one of Europe’s more popular cycling hubs. Definitely not as warm as the island locations however. You can still feel a bit of real winter here. The terrain has everything from the mountains to the sea. In addition to amazing cycling culture, Girona has a growing and popular cafe scene with many trendy and delicious coffee stops.
Nice and Côte d’Azur
There is a common theme in this post – all of these great winter cycling destinations are home to the pros. Nice is no exception. Nice is super easy to get to, the airport is basically right in the town center. Just outside of the city you can climb several famous cols, many of which feature in Paris-Nice.
Good road quality, little traffic, and a variety of terrain, Andalusia is again home to many pro teams in winter. Andalusia has several climbs over 2000 meters. This area of Spain is deserty and boasts over 300 days of sunshine per year.