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Why is the north of the island of Majorca the trendiest destination for a sports holiday?

Its landscapes, wonderful beaches, charming harbours, the Mediterranean sea, its peaceful winds, quiet atmosphere and kind people, high quality healthcare, great connections with the rest of the island... Not to mention, the hotels specially designed for practicing any kind of sport. These factors make northern Majorca one of the best places for international tourism, but especially for outdoor sports lovers.

According to the official published figures, Sports tourism is one of the best consolidated in Majorca, as well as in many touristic destinations in Spain (only national tourism). More than 2,3 million Spanish travellers travel just to practice sports on their holidays. The number of international travellers coming to Spain for this reason is even higher: more than 9 millions a year. Most of them stay at golf hotels in Chiclana, golf hotels in Isla Canela and top hotels in northern Majorca. More than half are men and tourism expenditure in Spain exceed 10 million euros.

In the Balearic Islands, more than 2 millions of visitors come to the islands to practice sports. This figure keeps growing continuously. Cycle tourism is also growing in Majorca and particularly on the north coast of Majorca. Hiking is also really popular in Menorca and Ibiza is one of the favourite destinations for sailing lovers, as well as Palma de Mallorca, hosting world-famous regattas such as King’s Cup or Princess Sofia Trophy sponsored by IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts. Majorca stands out on golf tourism and cycling, even attracting international teams on their seasonal trainings in the island.

If we look at the growing trend of these sports segments in Majorca, we can see that the pioneer was golf tourism, including 5-star hotels surrounded by exclusive golf courses of 18 holes all over the island, designed by some of the most world prestigious golf figures: Son Vida and Son Antem (near the capital, Palma), Calvia coast (Golf Bendinat, near Grand Hotel Portals Nous, one of the most exclusive hotels in Europe inaugurated this season; Golf Santa Ponsa…). On the north of the island, there are some of the most popular golf courses such as Golf Puntiro, in Sineu; Pula Golf and Golf Son Servera, both in Cala Ratjada; Golf Alcanada in Alcudia; and Golf Pollensa.

Many 4-star hotels are now committed to sports due to cycle tourism popularity. Many hotels in Alcudia and Can Picafort, such as the hotels in Son Baulo by Ferrer Hotels, are committed to offering facilities and services to meet athletes needs: bicycle repair shops, specialized shop, cyclist menus, special rooms… A good example are the hotels in Playa de Muro managed by IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts. Garden Hotels has its own athlete travel packages: Garden Experience and Protur Hotels offer special deals and services for athletes.

Most of these hotel chains have decided to join forces with private local businesses or international companies specialized in cycle tourism, thus benefiting the island’s complementary offer, making it grow thanks to the hotels nearby. Step by step, as the variety of sports travellers practice increases, hotels offering athlete services increase too. New hotel concepts have emerged such as spa hotels, which apart from sport areas include wellness and athlete special care.

Average stay
Taking a closer look at the sports traveller profile and his behaviour in Majorca, we can see that the average stay is often not as high as family travellers in summer (usually between 2 and 3 weeks) but similar to getaway, short break and constituency week visitors: about 9 days. Daily expenditure is more than 100 euros and keeps growing, as there are more and more customized products and services that meet their needs.

The travel planning changes. Travelling with kids is very time consuming and it is really difficult to combine both children and intense sports day or island tours. However, many group travels are organized, leading to high occupancy at certain times of the year like spring or early autumn, previously offering low-occupancy. Seasonality remains a major concern.

Sports promotes deseasonalization, thus institutions and public administrations in Majorca (and Spain) are committed to the cause, creating cycle tourism and hiking tours, diving, surfing, sailing, kite surfing areasparticularly in northern Majorca.  

Key Points
Alcudia, Pollensa, Playa de Muro, Can Picafort, Son Serra and Formentor Cape surroundings are some of the best sports tourism areas in northern Majorca. Their natural beauty makes them different from any other Mediterranean destination. They offer high quality services for travellers and they are perfectly connected with the capital, main harbours in the island and the airport (within 50 minutes by car).

The official Tourism website of the Balearic Islands points out that the quality of the environment is one of the best advantages of practicing several sports. Cycle tourism is really popular and all those who practice this sport stand out that Majorca has an excellent network of roads for bicycles and other vehicles. 675 of the 1275 kms of roads in Majorca, are secondary and town roads, where you can ride freely. In addition, according to the regional government,  20% of these roads are mountain trails: Serra de Tramuntana, which is not just a unique place in the world declared a protected World Heritage Site, but the perfect place for cyclists and mountaineers.

Risks remain but the administrative commitment is high in this sense, as well as the awareness among residents and visitors, so the number of accidents is low compared to the number of cyclists visiting the island every year.

Some of the best routes are the Green olive tree tour (across some towns like Selva, Caimari, Mancor de la Vall…), Port de Pollensa to Campos tour (one of the longest as it crosses the island from the north to the south), the tour of Inca, Sencelles, Algaida, Llucmajor…

Recommendations concerning cycle tourism tours in Majorca:

  • Wear reflective clothes to increase the visibility of the bike and the cyclist, especially in the dark.
  • Wearing a helmet is mandatory in all intercity roads in the island.
  • Children’s seat can only be occupied by children under the age of 7 and must be perfectly standardised.
  • Group riding is not allowed in Majorca roads: just pace line riding or in two parallel pace lines. In dangerous areas, just pace line riding is allowed.
  • Riding on sidewalks, highways and motorways is not allowed.
  • Drinks and food are essential in non-stops long journeys.
  • Sun protection is essential and avoid early afternoon hours, as in Majorca temperatures are really high in summer during those hours.