Do we need a new Mallorca?

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Greeners
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Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2024 10:13 am

by Greeners

In light of the current anti-tourism issues on the island. Does anyone feel put-off from booking a trip or thinking of somewhere else or new to travel to?
I was last there back in March before any anti-tourism demeonstrations kicked off. It seemed busy with cyclists then, yet the island summer season hadn't even began. I am about to take a trip to Provence/Ventoux. I'm really excited for that one, not been to that area of France yet. Here's hoping it impresses as a place to go, perhaps frequently.

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CarlosFerreiro
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Location: Shetland, Scotland

by CarlosFerreiro

I've not been following things in any kind of detail, but I'd seen quotes that the protests weren't about tourism in general, but more about the effects on housing supply for locals from airbnb and second homes?

CampagYOLO
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by CampagYOLO

CarlosFerreiro wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2024 12:55 pm
I've not been following things in any kind of detail, but I'd seen quotes that the protests weren't about tourism in general, but more about the effects on housing supply for locals from airbnb and second homes?
If that's the case then these types of protest are taking place in many places, not just Mallorca. You can understand the local peoples grievances as well.
Last edited by CampagYOLO on Mon Jun 24, 2024 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Lina
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by Lina

I'd imagine most of the locals are fine with bike tourists. It's the loud, drunk, obnoxious, littering type of tourists that people have an issue with. Another issue with tourism in the age of everything as a service is locals being priced out of their homes due to AirBnB and other similar platforms causing skyrocketing housing costs because the profits from the short term rental market are astronomical when compared to the old housing prices in these places. The housing cost problem is something that can only be solved by local lawmakers by restricting short term rentals on areas that are not zoned for that. The first problem is something that doesn't really have a solution other than getting completely rid of tourism but the overlap between the problem crowd and bike tourism crowd is extremely small.

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Nohands83
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Location: Leeds, UK

by Nohands83

There tends to be a herd mentality with tourism - cyclists included, which contributes hugely to this issue, Instagram and associated wanderlust doesn't help either. Yes, Mallorca is great, but there are some amazing other places to ride your bike in Europe - Provence being one of them btw.

I'm not that familiar with the specifics of the grievances but I don't think it's fair to say it's only loud drunk tourists locals take issue with, polite and well-behaved ones still use Airbnbs etc. I include myself in the latter category as I do think we probably have to acknowledge we're part of the issue as well, and make an effort to either use hotels when you do visit certain places or go somewhere else and ride your bike somewhere new.

CampagYOLO
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by CampagYOLO

Nohands83 wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2024 4:40 pm
I'm not that familiar with the specifics of the grievances but I don't think it's fair to say it's only loud drunk tourists locals take issue with, polite and well-behaved ones still use Airbnbs etc. I include myself in the latter category as I do think we probably have to acknowledge we're part of the issue as well, and make an effort to either use hotels when you do visit certain places or go somewhere else and ride your bike somewhere new.
From what I understand, most of the loud, obnoxious tourists in Mallorca are centrered on Magaluf which is not a part of the island you'd be cycling in.

Areas such as Soller and Pollenca are very chilled in my experience.

mashiehood
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by mashiehood

I've been twice to Mallorca and have no desire to go back. There is much better riding in the Alps and Italy which are more accesible and explorable!

eins4eins
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by eins4eins

mashiehood wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2024 11:14 am
I've been twice to Mallorca and have no desire to go back. There is much better riding in the Alps and Italy which are more accesible and explorable!
Me and many other cyclists visit mallorca to escape central european winter and early spring. Alps are not an option during that time.

Lina
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by Lina

mashiehood wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2024 11:14 am
I've been twice to Mallorca and have no desire to go back. There is much better riding in the Alps and Italy which are more accesible and explorable!
But that's not really what makes Mallorca such a popular destination for cyclists. It doesn't have the best climbs. It doesn't have the best roads. It doesn't have the best anything in terms of only cycling. But what makes it great is that it works as a destination for people who are traveling with other people that are not necessarily cyclists. It's a beach destination that also has great weather during the fall and spring. Good luck convincing your friends or family who aren't cyclists to go to the Alps when they want a beach vacation. Also while the climbs aren't as long and as big I'll much rather ride in Mallorca in March or late September than in the Alps.

Yes it's not the only such destination. Canary Islands have much of the same but the time to go there is during the winter. And just like Mallorca it doesn't have the best riding, but it has good riding while also having good other options for vacations. And yes, there are other places like that in Europe. But what's common with them is that none of them have easy access to the "best" climbs and roads in Europe if your only criteria for destination was cycling with no other factors.

RoadDonk82
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by RoadDonk82

But that's not really what makes Mallorca such a popular destination for cyclists. It doesn't have the best climbs. It doesn't have the best roads. It doesn't have the best anything in terms of only cycling. But what makes it great is that it works as a destination for people who are traveling with other people that are not necessarily cyclists.
I agrew with this and your other point - especially the weather. The cycling season in high mountains is opening about right now (Passo Stelvio opened like a week ago) and is going to last to early October (if we are lucky).
Meanwhile Canary Islands are rideable most of the year and winter is perfect there (I've spend 4 months on Tenerife from December to March in the past and it was amazing). On Mallorca the season is shorter but still much longer than in the mountains.

I think Costa del Sol is an underappreciated region, especially parts to the East of Malaga. While it doesn't have big mountains it's easy to get around 2000m elevation for every 100km ridden. There are a lot of routes to choose from and then there is Alpujarras region as well which is almost devoid of traffic and have many amazing mountain routes. The beaches are quite nice as well (for example in Torre del Mar or Rincon de la Victoria). I think it beats Tenerife in beach-loving family department.

It's also pretty cheap (in comparison to Mallorca) as a lot of Spaniards have their vacation homes/apartments there which are empty during the winter. If you look around you might get pretty good deals on those.

Lina
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by Lina

RoadDonk82 wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2024 1:00 pm
But that's not really what makes Mallorca such a popular destination for cyclists. It doesn't have the best climbs. It doesn't have the best roads. It doesn't have the best anything in terms of only cycling. But what makes it great is that it works as a destination for people who are traveling with other people that are not necessarily cyclists.
I agrew with this and your other point - especially the weather. The cycling season in high mountains is opening about right now (Passo Stelvio opened like a week ago) and is going to last to early October (if we are lucky).
Meanwhile Canary Islands are rideable most of the year and winter is perfect there (I've spend 4 months on Tenerife from December to March in the past and it was amazing). On Mallorca the season is shorter but still much longer than in the mountains.

I think Costa del Sol is an underappreciated region, especially parts to the East of Malaga. While it doesn't have big mountains it's easy to get around 2000m elevation for every 100km ridden. There are a lot of routes to choose from and then there is Alpujarras region as well which is almost devoid of traffic and have many amazing mountain routes. The beaches are quite nice as well (for example in Torre del Mar or Rincon de la Victoria). I think it beats Tenerife in beach-loving family department.

It's also pretty cheap (in comparison to Mallorca) as a lot of Spaniards have their vacation homes/apartments there which are empty during the winter. If you look around you might get pretty good deals on those.
I completely agree with you that Mallorca and Canary Islands are by no means the only places in Europe that offer these things. And was thinking about including Costa del Sol into that list myself. What is common to all these places is that they are places where you can ride in good weather and get some climbing outside of the usual riding season. And they all have stuff to enjoy for those that are not cyclists.

Requiem84
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Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:07 pm

by Requiem84

I spent 2 weeks on Mallorca in April this year. To be honest it does not rank very high on my cycling-destination list:

- Wayyyyy too many cyclists. Really, it's incredible how busy it is with cyclists. Personally I prefer - every now and then - to feel kind of alone when cycling, rather than constantly being surrounded by tens of cyclists.
- Routes on the north west are quite nice, lots of climbs to do, but you find yourself basically riding the same climbs / rounds more or less. Was located close to Pollenca and either went up the Femenia and then back via the old road to Pollenca, or the other way around. Perhaps I missed some riding towards the east/south, but that didn't seem that interesting to me?
- The island is very touristy. Basically feels like you are on a tourist island, where it happens you can cycle too. Manyyyy tourists!

There are better places to cycle in April with more variety and better vibes...

eins4eins
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by eins4eins

Choose a different month next time and do longer rides. April is cycling high season and the number of standard tourists in rental cars is also increasing day by day.
You can go to mallorca year round and between december and february the island is super quiet and relaxed. You can ride hours trough the tramuntana without being passed by a single car, only seeing a hand full of other cyclists. The MA10 coast road between Sollér and Andratx - one of the most beatiful roads in the world - is completely empty that time of the year.

Due to it being a island and not a very big one, route choices are offcourse limited and if you stay at one place, you'll end up doing some roads daily. But on the other hand, this means you can base yourself anywhere still being able to explore every corner. Even when staying in palma, you can ride to the light house on the other side of the island within a 200k loop.

RoadDonk82
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Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2023 2:43 pm

by RoadDonk82

You can go to mallorca year round and between december and february the island is super quiet and relaxed. You can ride hours trough the tramuntana without being passed by a single car, only seeing a hand full of other cyclists. The MA10 coast road between Sollér and Andratx - one of the most beatiful roads in the world - is completely empty that time of the year.
We stayed this winter on Costa del Sol but were watching Mallorca weather forecast regularly thinking to go there for a while as well.
It didn't sem very inviting in Jan/Feb or even in March - often strong winds and quite cold. I found that weather forecasts often overeastime wind on the ground or real-feel temperature. Is it comfortable to ride there in the winter?

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nickf
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by nickf

I just went this past April. What an absolute shit show. The number of cyclists on that island was overwhelming and not the greatest or relaxing riding experience. I was with a smaller group of friends and my brother went also, so that aspect was great. Don't get me wrong we all had a great time, things got a little quieter middle of the week and once we got out of the towns. But every town square was overrun by cyclist and the Repsol gas station at the top of a couple of the popular climbs was a mad house.

If I ever go back it will have to be during low season.

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