Top Winter Cycling Destinations Where You Should See Some Sun!

It’s that time of year again, and if you cannot bear the thought of layering up for your next ride, let alone heading out into the frosty temperatures outdoors, now is the perfect time to start searching for your annual winter getaway where long rides in sunnier climes come as standard.

While only the bravest of cyclists head to the Mediterranean at this time of the year you could be blessed with a week of sunshine in the Balearics, and you might even be treated to toasty temperatures in the Canary Islands, but the truth is, if you want to escape winter, you need to head further south, down below the equator, where spring has sprung and temperatures are starting to rise.

best winter cycling destintations

World’s Best Winter Cycling Destinations

So what are the best destinations for a winter cycling holiday? Here are a few suggestions that will have you packing your Scicon this weekend:

Cycling Holidays New Zealand

New Zealand is one of the best cycling destinations in the world, but due to its remote location, it is often overlooked by European cyclists. While it’s a long way to go to cycle in the sunshine, the cycling routes are here are simply spectacular, with the Alps 2 Ocean Road, the Rimutaka Cycle Trail, and the Old Ghost Road to name a few. While many of the trails here are aimed at mountain bikers, there are plenty of options for roadies, and with sunshine all-but-guaranteed during our winter months, NZ is the perfect destination for a sunny cycling break.

Cycling Holidays Chile Patagonia

The Patagonia cycling season 2019/2020 is officially underway, and if your idea of the perfect cycling holiday includes riding through deep valleys, along glacial lakes, and up snow-capped volcanoes, this is the destination for you! Temperatures average between 20-25 degrees at this time of year, ideal for long days in the saddle, and the scenery gets better day by day.

Cycling Holidays South Africa

When it comes to value for money, South Africa is the ultimate winter cycling destination. There are accommodations to suit every budget, the roads are better here than many parts of Europe (yes Italy, we mean you!), and there are spectacular routes to suit all abilities. You can cycle the Cape Winelands, cycle the Garden Route from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, or even take a cycling safari! South Africa has it all, and if you visit in March, you’ll be able to participate in the iconic Cape Town Cycle Tour, the world’s largest timed cycling sportive.

So head south this winter and treat yourself to some sunshine on a cycling holiday of a lifetime. It certainly beats spinning classes!

Taiwan KOM Cycle Challenge 2019: There’s Still Time to Enter!

Listed as one of the World’s Top 10 Hardest Road Cycling Races, the Taiwan KOM Challenge is a one-day, 105km cycling event that will take you to the Taroko National Park on the east coast of Taiwan. Organised by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau and the Taiwan Cycling Federation, this spectacular sportive starts at sea level and winds its way through the Taroko Gorge to Taiwan’s highest passable mountain road – the Wuling Pass, and on to the summit at 3,275 metres above sea level.

Cycling Federation Taiwan

Image rights: Taiwan Cycling Federation

The Taiwan KOM Challenge has an average gradient of 7%, which over 105km doesn’t sound too bad… Until you read that the average gradient on the last 8km is 17% to 27%! It goes up, and up, and then up again, and so it’s certainly not for the fainthearted, but if you are looking for an end-of-season cycling challenge, this could be the tour for you!

The Taiwan KOM Challenge 2019 is due to take place on Friday, 25th October, and so there is still plenty of time to organise your trip to Taiwan for the event. Flights are very reasonable from the UK and mainland Europe, with return tickets from London to Taipei costing as little as £365 per person, and from Frankfurt to Taipei for just £390 roundtrip.

Packages for the Taiwan KOM Cycling Challenge, including 7 night’s accommodation with half-board, all transfers, a sightseeing tour of Taipei, two pre-race training rides, an optional post-race ride, and guaranteed entry into the Taiwan KOM Challenge with welcome party, lunch, souvenir t-shirt, backpack, water bottle, farewell dinner, and much more, costs just £1250.00, and so it really is a bargain trip for anyone who wants to go cycling in Asia.

If you love the idea of participating in the Taiwan KOM Cycle Challenge, but your travel partner is not so keen, they can take advantage of the KOM Spectator Tour Package. On race day, they will be transported to the top of the pass, where they will be able to watch the entire race, and to make them feel part of the gang, they will also get a KOM Shirt, a Race Handbook, Lunch, and access to the Farewell Dinner.

This really is one of the toughest sportives in the world, but don’t take my word for it. Here’s some quotes from previous participants:

“The Taiwan KOM Challenge is one of the most unforgiving and brutal hill climb events in the world, situated in the most impossibly beautiful and stunning picture-postcard location imaginable. Sharpen up those hill climbing legs — this needs to be on your bucket list.” – Andy Van Bergen, Cycling Tips

“The Taiwan KOM is a bucket-list item. It was for me, now checked off, and it should be for you. A riding trip here is more rewarding than an outing to Alpe d’Huez, and certainly more difficult. It’s more adventurous than anything in the Dolomites, more rugged than the Pyrenees. I implore you: Make a week of it.” Caley Fretz, VeloNews

2016 Winner Emma Pooley described the Taiwan KOM Challenge as, “ the hardest day she has ever had on a bicycle”.

If that doesn’t want to make you do it in October 2019, we don’t know what will!