I think we are all aware that Menorca is much quieter and less commercialised than it’s more vibrant, vocal and gregarious cousin. The reputation of Magaluf and Palma Nova is legendary for all the wrong reasons, but I wanted to experience the real Majorca.
It’s common knowledge amongst the cycling fraternity that the Island is popular with the pro cycling teams who enthusiastically use the beautiful surroundings as their base for winter training. I was here to see what attracts them in their conveyor belt of minibuses. Even though my immersion was going to brief, I wanted to experience as much as possible of the real Majorcan culture and lifestyle. I was hoping for new and exciting things to discover.
Again, the gang, especially Sarah and her friend Chrissie, will never learn. They had booked a hotel which conveniently offered bike rental and I planned to follow a mirror of the previous year’s two wheeled schedule. Siesta time equalled bike time and I couldn’t wait. I had finally received my shiny, waterproof Mapa Cicloturista from the postman and I was now ready to explore. I had devised a clever plan to allow my eyes to completely bypass the gradients in the hope they would not materialise, a figment of the cartographer’s imagination!
Our base was in S’Arenal which is located a short distance south along the coast from Palma cycling Mallorca. I had read that the resort can be written as El Arenal or just Arenal and is frequently confused with a similar sounding resort on the neighbouring island of Menorca. However, this mistake would only be made once as the Arenal on Majorca is the German equivalent of Magaluf attracting the 18-30’s and, in complete contrast, the one in Menorca is a relatively quiet, unspoilt beach resort, popular with families. Had we made an error with our choice of destination? only time would tell. I was intrigued by the fact that over half the Island’s population live in the Capital, Palma.