In early September we received an online enquiry via our Tailored Cycling Holidays page, which initially requesting bike hire, accommodation and self guide routes options.
We responded to the enquiry and provided some supporting links to information on package and tailored holidays that were available for them to review, and also offered to arrange a call to discuss in more detail.
After a few days having reviewed the information that we sent, we received a response with a request to discuss the possibility of putting together a 4 night tailored cycling holiday. We were also provided with a request to consider the routes, with the daily distance and elevation to be around 80-110km per day with around 1000m elevation, making an exception for the Collado Bermejo and Alto de Espuña climb!
A convenient time was agreed for the phone call, and prior to the call we sent details of our proposed package, to fit the brief to allow us to discuss in more detail the proposed possible options including the details regarding rooms, bike sizes, dietary requirements etc.. Whilst discussing the areas to be visited, we also made suggestions possible things to do/ attractions to visit to give the opportunity to research further prior to arrival.
The phone call was very productive for us both as we gain further incite into what our customers really want, as we shared our ideas shared and were able to gauge the vocal reaction, its fair to say at the end of our conversation there was a level of excitement and expectation growing for the planned trip.
After a successful call we requested the deposit and confirmed the arrangements with hotels, reserved the bikes and planned the routes in GPX format for sending via email with the holiday confirmation.
See below a summary of the Tailored Cycling Holiday ;-
- 2 x Cervélo R-Series bikes,
- 2 nights Sierra Espuña – HB,
- 2 nights Los Alcázares – B&B,
- Transfer from Sierra Espuña to Los Alcázares,
- 3 x GPX routes for each location,
- Suggested sightseeing opportunities in each area,
- Suggested restaurants.
At the start of the holiday on the 21st September, we met with our guests in the Sierra Espuña, where they would be staying for 2 nights at the 4 star, Jardines de la Santa Hotel.
The Jardines de La Santa is a 16th-century monastery located between Totana and Aledo, in the countryside of Murcia. The Santa Eulalia Monastery is made up of several typical Spanish buildings that formerly formed one of the largest convents in the region. These buildings have been carefully renovated to offer all the comforts of a modern hotel. For cyclists looking for challenging climbs the Sierra Espuña is the place to be and is a popular stage for the Vuelta a Espuña and features every year in the Vuelta de Murcia with stunning views and the opportunity for many routes into the national park and beyond.
With the above information in mind, the most important thing is bike setup, making sure each rider has the correct seat height and reach etc. making sure the bikes are ride ready for the morning. Next on our list is checking that the routes had been uploaded in preparation for self guiding and tackling the Collado Bermejo 1,200m climb in the regional park.
Once familiar with the cycling equipment and routes for the trip, we escorted our guests to the hotel reception to check in, and left them to settle in for the evening with the hotel bar, restaurant and a good nights sleep.
As this was a self-guide cycling holiday, from here we maintain communication via WhatsApp, to ensure everything is going to plan and offer support if needed during the holiday.
After the challenging terrain/ routes that we agreed in the Sierra Espuña, it was time for us to meet at the hotel to transfer to Los Alcázares. But before the short journey it was great to take the opportunity to enjoy the tranquility of the Jardines de la Santa gardens and talk about the trip so far. With this hotel and the location for cycling, the feedback was positive, with both cyclists pleased with the routes and vistas (without doubt some very happy cycling memories made here)
With a transfer time of 45mins, Los Alcázares and the Mar Menor provide a contrast in routes and elevation.
Arriving in Los Alcázares for 2 nights at the 4 star 525 Hotel on a bed and breakfast package. The hotel is well equipped with gym, leisure pool and bike storage, but in contrast to the previous hotel we are now in walking distance to the beach, bars and restaurants.
Los Alcázares is a fantastic location as a base for a cycling holidays or training camp. Set on the shores of the Mar Menor lagoon measuring some 170 square kilometres. The lagoon consists of warm salt waters, and was originally a bay that opened out to the Mediterranean. Now separated from the sea by a narrow bank of sand some 24 kilometres long known as La Manga Del Mar. A curious whim of nature that presents extensive beaches washed by the sea on both sides. And due to the excellent climate in the area this is an ideal spot for pursuing all kinds of sports throughout the year.
Again, our priority is to ensure the routes are uploaded for the next few days, before assisting our guests to the hotel reception, helping them to check in, and let them explore the local bars, and restaurants, before a good nights sleep.
From here again we maintain customer communication via WhatsApp, to ensure everything is going to plan and offer support if needed.
On completion of the final route, we asked that Brenda contacted us to arrange collection of the bikes, and as always this provides us with the last opportunity to get some feedback on the holiday.