Escaping the rat race and heading to an idyllic destination to get some quality miles in on the bike is the dream for many cyclists and finding the next, undiscovered, road or climb can make a good cycling holiday great. Known for its party lifestyle, Ibiza to many conjures up images of wild nights out and raves. Given this reputation, you could be forgiven for thinking this is the last place you’d want to ride a bike. Escape the tourist spots, put some distance between yourself and the clubs and Ibiza offers a lot for cyclists, both on and off road.
Located off the east coast of Spain and 150 kilometres from Valencia, the island may be dwarfed by Majorca but what it lacks in size it definitely makes up for in picturesque roads and trails.
The highest point of Ibiza sits at 475 metres above sea level, so those looking for mountains should probably look elsewhere. The rolling roads and quiet lanes are quintessentially Mediterranean, lined with olive trees and scrub. Luscious and green, the south of the island offers fast, smooth roads, with the north being a hillier affair with rougher, smaller roads and quiet vistas.
Its size means you are never too far from the sea and a port or town. Overlooking the coast, towns such as Port de Sant Miguel are the perfect spots for a quick cafe con leche. Still relatively undiscovered by road cyclists and with a population of just 132,000, it’s no surprise that you often have the road to yourself.
With climbs around 1 to 5 kilometres in length, this is the ideal location for an early season training camp or weekend escape, although pack a wide ratio cassette - as some of these ascents are rather steep affairs! A temperate climate makes cycling here an attractive proposition, with the temperature in March averaging 17 degrees celsius, rising to 26 degrees in August. For those looking to escape the rain of northern Europe, Ibiza’s low precipitation, just 45 days a year, is a welcome prospect.
For those looking to get off the tarmac and onto the rough stuff, Ibiza’s vast array of trails allows you explore the island without the need to spend too much time on road.
Its dry climate means the trails and single track are often fast and dusty, ideal for a hardtail mountain bike. For those looking for a challenge, the short, steep climbs dotted around the island are sure to test even the strongest legs. Rocky, technical descents make for an exhilarating ride and breathtaking views aplenty; there is no better way to discover the Balearic Island.
Where to stay
The capital, Ibiza Town, is also home to Ibiza’s airport and is located on the south of the island. The seaside town offers a selection of beaches, fantastic restaurants and of course, being Ibiza, bars and clubs should you feel the need to let your hair down. The perfect base, there are hotels and villas to suit all budgets, and with more and more hotels now offering secure bike parking, you can ride out assured of easy and quick access to the rolling country roads.
Although a sleepy town out of season, fast forward a couple of months and Ibiza Town springs into life with party goers, tourists and a vibrant nightlife.
Just 16 kilometres from the airport and located on the west coast of the island, Sant Antoni de Portmany is the second largest town on the island and is ideally situated for those looking to explore the climbs on the north of the island.
A town known for its clubbing scene, out of season accommodation in Sant Antoni de Portmany is plentiful and affordable. Just a 2 hour flight from the UK and with most major airlines offering flights to the island, Ibiza is the perfect destination for a long weekend, when you want a change from your home roads and trails or just want to top up your tan.