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My Days in Mallorca

I had been regaled for a few years by teammates about Mallorca and epic riding somewhat like riding the hill country around Fredericksburg, TX, but magnified by . . . 10 . . . 100? Something extraordinary. So, I went to see for myself.

Words by guest Loren Hettinger.

What if a person could find a place where they could cycle around a Mediterranean island on pristine roads, usually shared by a multitude of cyclists and often by drivers who understand cycling or know that to share the road is really not rocket science? And what if these roads coursed through aleppo pine, juniper (enebro), carob trees, tamarisk, and wild olive forests and scrub with the occasional large, sword leaved agave? And then wound their way up and down daunting cols through sun-drenched idyllic villages on narrow streets?

Overlay all this with a luxurious hotel (the Monnaber Nou Eco near Campanet , Mallorca), featuring a pool of turquoise water, a jacuzzi, and breakfasts of cappuccino, assorted juices, fresh fruit, carpaccio, muesli, scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon, assorted pastries and bread, and of course fresh olives.

Would you go?

That question deserves the old craggy cowboy response of, “Does a bear poop in the woods?” Most cyclists I know would be on a plane as soon as they could pack enough jerseys and shorts to support six days of riding.

Trek Travel arranged the tour and before we even arrived had disc brake, carbon Domanes with Di2 shifting already set up to fit each of our road bike measurements. Paired with a Garmin loaded with maps of each day’s route we were ready to roll. Our group of thirty-three (initially) was quite diverse, being comprised of cyclists from California, Alabama, New York, Canada (Vancouver and Ottawa), Switzerland, and of course, our Colorado contingent. Many like ourselves from the Schwab Cycles Racing Team were ex or current racers, although the majority of riders were veterans of long-distance tours. We had four tour guides who alternated with three riding among the group and one driving a van for support, including setting up lunch along the route. All three guides riding among us seemed inordinately fast; maybe a result of youth, innate athletic ability, and riding these mountain roads four or five days each week. The guides exemplified the international character of the riders, being from England, Mexico⁠—by way of Bolivia and Florida⁠—Barcelona, and of all places, Durango, CO.

At the end of the week, we asked each other, “Which ride did you like best?” That’s like asking a person, which is your favorite grandkid? It’s impossible to choose.

The week’s rides were divided into “long” or “short” options, and included:
• Buger (bike orientation ride; 13 miles, 961 feet)
• Puig de Santa Magdelena (self-guided ride; ~23 miles, 1,650 feet)
• Coll de Soller/Puig Major (66 miles, 7,820 feet; 40 miles, 4,182 feet)
• Sa Calobra (61 miles, 7,100 feet; 50 miles, 6,529 feet)
• Deia (and Soller) (86 miles, 6,929 feet; 59 miles, 6,000 feet)
• Cap de Formentor (lighthouse) (66 miles, 6,262 feet; 53 miles, 4,424 feet)

In viewing the ride schedule and routes, I had contemplated that I might graduate to some of the long options toward the end of the week especially in thinking how awesome I’d feel with the “nearly pure” oxygen at sea level. However, after the Sa Calobra ride of switchback after switchback and 6,500 feet of climbing, the vision of myself and reality became more aligned toward survival. Yet, the Sa Calobra route cemented itself as one of my favorites.

The Deia route, however, also became a favorite. With three climbs and a descent into and through an idyllic village. The allure was enhanced by a quaint bicycle accessories shop and a helpful, smiling clerk who assisted us as we pulled jerseys over the ones we already wore just to see if the new ones with a kit coordinated color and map of Mallorca would add to our stature as lithe, svelte cyclists or conversely, and more likely, enhance our midline bulges.

Yet the Formentor ride, which culminated in a series of sharp switchbacks to a lighthouse on a point extending into the Mediterranean, proved to be possibly the most interesting of all. Our rest stop reverie, in the view of the white stone constructed lighthouse and blue water, was broken by a gathering cloudbank. Its gray, then dark blue (darker than the sapphire Mediterranean) and increasingly black overtones spurred us to throw down any remains of espresso, hustle to our bikes and work our way through all the cars in the parking lot to the start of the return climb. I knew we had left it too long, and that the storm was in a hurry to make landfall. My weather-predicting ability seemed on point (well, it was obvious); several large flashes and immediate claps of thunder vibrated the landscape. Then the hail started in earnest (another reason to wear a helmet), followed by stinging rain. I stopped with four others along the wall to belatedly pull-on rain jackets. As we continued to ride through the wet from above and the wheel splash from below, the rain abated, but the wind had no mercy. Despite the group being various states of drenched, we opted to tackle the final 20 miles of the day’s ride. Once we got back, a hot shower at the hotel and a beer on the veranda put the storm into perspective⁠—just another epic day on the bike.

Ready for Mallorca Ride Camp?

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2018 Hotel of the Year Award

It’s the culmination of our year spent traveling the world, staying everywhere from the heart of the Patagonian Rainforest to a chef-inspired epicurean escape in Sonoma. So, which one was our favorite?

This 18th-century castle hotel is nestled in the countryside, underneath a panorama of the Tramuntana mountain range. It offers a luxurious, relaxing retreat from the rigors of the day. Enjoy the saltwater pool and its sweeping views of the valley below, the private orchard with 200-year-old olive trees, and the signature spa with special Mallorcan treatments. These are accommodations that truly defy the ordinary.

“Castell Son Claret is the pinnacle of idyllic location, sumptuous accommodation, and extraordinary food – the perfect conditions to luxuriate and relax after a day of spectacular riding. From the two-star Michelin meal to the unrivaled spa you’ll be sure to find your bliss at Castell Son Claret. We love it, and we want you to love it too.”
Jenny Dahm, Trip Design Manager

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Visit Spain’s Alluring Island Paradise

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Stronger, Faster, Better: Mallorca Ride Camp

Meet Jim. A Trek Travel ride camper who wasn’t sure, “how many Ride Camps I have left in my old bod.” Though the climbs of Mallorca felt discouraging at the time, it was when he returned home that he experienced a pleasant surprise…

“I wanted to give you some feedback from an older cyclist after he spent 11 days at your ride camp. In Mallorca, I always feel like my condition is hopeless, that I am so far over-the-hill that I must be deluding myself thinking I’ll ride strongly again. The climbs get longer and slower each year and I keep wondering how many more ride camps I have in my old bod. Don’t misinterpret, I enjoyed every minute of it, but when the only people I’m passing on the climbs are a few stray cyclists I just had to wonder what exactly I was accomplishing.

Then I came home. With getting caught up with life at home post-travel, it was a week before I could ride again. I set off with my usual group and BINGO!: I was so far off the front that I started to get embarrassed (it is a group ride, after all). Beth referred to me as in my Turbo mode. The difference in my strength and speed was so palpable that others asked me, “What did you DO in Mallorca?” On one stretch, with a tail wind, I led the charge up a long, gentle slope at -get this- topping out at 33mph! Everybody else said they hung on for dear life, and I was exultant.

I suddenly feel I have the perfect base fitness to hone in on speed work before the National Senior Games Time Trials in early June.

This sudden change in fitness was all because of TT’s Ride Camp, which you so wonderfully and cheerfully manage and conduct. I’m sitting here today on a rainy morning in PA thinking that it doesn’t matter how slowly I climb Orient, Soller, Puig, or even Sa Calobra. It truly is all good.

Thank you for everything. You truly are the best! I’m already planning to see you next year.”

Jim, a guest on Trek Travel's Mallorca Ride Camp


Train like the pros in Mallorca.

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Taking on the Canary Islands

“I guess you could call it a midlife crisis. I’d flown across the Atlantic Ocean for a weeklong cycling trip on this Spanish archipelago off the coast of Morocco.”

Lori Rackl | May 4, 2016

The crisis part came as I watched a Trek Travel guide hoist my Domane road bike onto the roof rack of the support van, and I sheepishly crawled into the passenger seat while the other cyclists on the trip pedaled up the hill and out of sight.

Read More in the Chicago Tribune»

Trish hits the mountains of Mallorca

“17 switchbacks. That was how my Trek Travel guide described the climb up Col de Soller on the third day of my Trek Travel Ride Camp in Mallorca, Spain last month. And that was just the warm up.

That day my Garmin told me I put in 5 and 1/2 hours of ride time and climbed over 8,500 feet. My route took me up and over Col de Soller, then up and over the highest peak in Mallorca, the Puig Major, and then out and back to Sa Calobra, a gorgeous port town on the western side of the island accessible by a single winding road. Sa Calobra – the Cobra – descends 2,000 feet over the course of six miles. Reminiscent of ribbon candy or coils of spaghetti, that descent is at once both thrilling and terrifying as I hit the brakes sharply into the hairpin turns, then accelerated to get back up to speed, again and again and again…but more on that later.

When I dreamed up this vacation last fall, I had a few simple requirements. I wanted to ride a bike outside in February. I didn’t want to spend a ridiculous amount of money. And I wanted it to be in a stunningly beautiful place. Oh, and I didn’t want to have to worry about flying my bike or riding a hybrid. Easy, right?

Trek Travel’s Mallorca Ride Camp fit the bill to a tee. This enchanting island jewel off the coast of Spain isn’t just for beach goers; it’s a choice destination for cyclists everywhere, including many pros. There, I got a rider’s-eye view of the Tramuntana mountains, fertile valleys, and tranquil turquoise waters on picturesque, pothole-free roads.

I’ve flown my bike across the country and I’ve rented bikes before on vacation. I’ve even resorted to trying to get in some training time on a heavy, ride-share bike now available in most big cities. It’s always kind of nerve racking (and expensive!) to hand over your bike to the airlines – fingers crossed it will get there in one piece. And somehow rented bikes never really feel the same to me. Call me spoiled.

What sets Trek Travel vacations apart is the quality of the bikes you ride. I had the option to ride a Domane 5.9 (included) or upgrade to an Emonda SLR, either one equipped with Shimano electronic Di2 shifting. Because Mallorca is a climber’s paradise, I opted for the Emonda upgrade. When I arrived, my guide had already set up my bike using my fit coordinates, which included swapping the stem out to a smaller length. After installing my own pedals and saddle, I hopped on for quick ride around the hotel parking lot. It fit like a glove.

But what really made the trip head and shoulders above other cycling vacations I’ve taken was our guides. It was a pleasure to show up each morning and have my bike ready, water bottles filled and Garmin maps loaded. Our guides’ knowledge of the country, language ability and most of all the pure joy and sense of adventure they brought to each ride – whether they were driving the support van or riding along with us – was awesome.

On the last day, as I was cycling along the coast from one ridiculously picturesque mountainside town to the next, I saw a large peloton approaching. Fast. A pack of thirty or forty men went streaming by in a flourish of colors, followed by their team car — Leopard. I gave them a friendly wave and a nod, communicating that feeling of joy of being out on your bike in one simple gesture. Yeah, I wasn’t going anywhere nearly as fast. But during my week with Trek Travel, I truly felt like a pro. And frankly, it’s something I could get used to.”

– Trish Dugan, Syracuse Bicycles
Syracuse Bicycles goes to Mallorca, Spain with Trek TravelSyracuse Bicycles goes to Mallorca, Spain with Trek Travel

In Focus: “Schleck Travel”

We are excited to announce that Andy Schleck will be joining us on a handful of cycling vacations in 2015. Join us in welcoming Andy to the Trek Travel team!

We already introduce you to the Trek Factory Racing team through our race trips. We already give you the chance to ride with Jens Voigt in places like Solvang. Now, we’re adding Andy Schleck to our pro roster. He’s signed up to join us on our Etape du Tour trip in July and Mallorca Ride Camp in May. If you’ve ever wanted to be on a first-name basis with one of history’s finest riders, here’s your chance.

Choose to join a few thousand other crazy cyclists at the Etape du Tour and ride your way through a Tour de France mountain stage. Or visit the enchanting island of Mallorca to test your legs in Andy’s old training grounds. There is simply no other way to ride with this former champion. And no excuse to pass this opportunity by.

We call it ‘Schleck Travel’. Are you ready?

Andy Schleck partnering with Trek Travel

Top 10 tips for taking a bike tour

Our friends at Global Cycling Network have put together this great video on their top 10 cycling travel tips. They joined us on our Mallorca ride camp this spring and over the course of 7 days got some great tips, beautiful weather, and the type of riding Mallorca is known for.

“Whether you’re arranging your own trip, or joining up with a guided tour, we’ve got 10 tips that will help you to get the most out of your cycling tour.” –GCN

The Birth of the Ride Camp


A few years ago I was heading out for a ride and ran into my neighbor.  He asked if Trek Travel had trips in Mallorca (we did not at that time) and went on to rave about his own trip to Mallorca that he did earlier that spring with his local cycling team. They rode for 6 days to build their early season base miles in what sounded like ideal terrain and a climate that was significantly better than Madison, Wisconsin!  He suggested Trek Travel do a trip there and after his glowing review of the area I was convinced.

In 2009 we added a Classic Climbs of Mallorca and a Luxury Mallorca trip to the roster. Similar to my neighbor, the guests give glowing reviews.  The more I thought about the conversation I had with my neighbor the more I realized that we needed a trip that focused even more on the riding. A trip that, like my neighbor mentioned, focused on building base miles, and one that was also at a price point that was affordable for even young teams. I knew Mallorca was known as Europe’s biking destination but did not realize how many people go there to train.  It is a cyclist’s paradise!  You can go during the winter, have great weather and awesome riding in a beautiful place.  I looked at a bunch of companies that offer a wide variety of trips and thought we can do this better.  A lot of the companies offer trips at a low price but don’t include the use of a bike and have a lot of additional costs once you are on the trip. Most importantly, they don’t have the customer service for which TT is known. Mallorca was an obvious choice in Europe.

I know a lot of people in the U.S. who would love to go on a trip like this but heading across the pond is not an option.  We need to have a place like this in the U.S.!  Solvang jumped to the top of the list.  This is the place American pros like to go in early spring to get in some miles and big climbs. The riding is spectacular and the weather is perfect for training from late winter into late spring.  Even the Amgen Tour of California has held the Individual Time Trial in Solvang 3 times and is featuring Solvang again in 2011.  Solvang was the winner.

I am really excited about our new Ride Camps, they give a big group of cyclists exactly what they are looking for—great riding in an awesome place without the hassles of planning on your own.  I think the best two things about our trips are the free use of a Trek 5.2 Madone and the fact that like all of our trips, Trek Travel takes care of all of the details so all you have to do is ride!




One of the sweet roads in Mallorca!


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What is the Difference?

Ultimate Luxury:

Savor some of the most spectacular, 5-star properties in the world. Exuding luxury and elegance, these one-of-a-kind accommodations offer the chance to rejuvenate at award-winning spas, dine at Michelin-starred restaurants, and more.


Enjoy luxurious accommodations handpicked for a refined experience. From signature spa treatments to delicious local cuisine, you’ll be more than provided for; you’ll be pampered.


These handpicked hotels provide relaxation and fun in a casual and comfortable environment. Delicious cuisine and great service mix perfectly for a memorable stay.


On select cycling vacations, you’ll stay at a mix of Explorer and Luxury hotels. Rest assured, no matter which hotel level you’re at, our trip designers carefully select every accommodation.

Activity Level

Level 1:

Road: 1-3 hours of riding. Up to 25 mi (40 km). Up to 1,000 ft (300 m).

Gravel: 1-3 hours of riding. Up to 20 mi (35 km). Up to 1,000 ft (300 m).

Hiking: 1-3 hours of hiking. Up to 5 mi (8 km). Up to 1,000 ft (300 m).

Level 2:

Road: 2-4 hours of riding. 20-35 mi (35-60 km). Up to 2,500 ft (750 m).

Gravel: 2-4 hours of riding. 15-30 mi (25-45 km). Up to 2,000 ft (300 m).

Hiking: 2-4 hours of hiking. 4-8 mi (6-12 km). Up to 1,500 ft (450 m).

Level 3:

Road: 3-5 hours of riding. 25-55 mi (40-85 km). Up to 4,500 ft (1,500 m).

Gravel: 3-5 hours of riding. 20-40 mi (35-60 km). Up to 3,000 ft (900 m).

Hiking: 3-5 hours of hiking. 6-10 mi (9-16 km). Up to 2,000 ft (600 m).

Level 4:

Road: 4+ hours of riding. 40-70 mi (60-110 km). Up to 8,000 ft (2,400 m).

Gravel: 4+ hours of riding. 30-50 mi (45-80 km). Up to 4,000 ft (1,200 m).

Hiking: 4+ hours of hiking. 7-15 mi (11-24 km). Up to 4,000 ft (1,200 m).

What are your trip styles?

Classic - Reserve:

Savor the finer things as you relax in luxurious 5-star accommodations and wine, dine, and ride in some of the most unforgettable destinations around the world.

Classic - Signature:

Explore beautiful destinations by bike, enjoy extra inclusions, savor delicious local cuisine, and enjoy the perfect mix of accommodations.

Classic - Discover:

Enjoy a casual cycling vacation with fantastic routes and comfortable accommodations.

Ride Camp:

Train like the pros in some of their favorite riding destinations.

Pro Race:

See the pros in action at the biggest cycling events of the year.

Cross Country:

Tackle an epic adventure that takes you point-to-point across mountains, countryside, and more.


Enjoy a bike tour on your schedule with just your chosen travel companions.

Single Occupancy

Sometimes it’s more convenient and comfortable to have your own room while on vacation. We understand and that’s why we offer a Single Occupancy option. The additional price guarantees a private room all to yourself