Updated: Jul 19, 2020
We'll keep this page updated as the situation changes in Spain and different regions, and as travel and quarantine guidelines are updated between the UK, EU and US.
As of July 2020
Flights have resumed from the UK and many other countries but not the US. At present the number of flights arriving into Alicante, Valencia and Palma airports are reduced, as are the number of departing flights. e.g. Bristol airport is currently running around 20 flights per day versus 200+ at their peak. BA Flights to Spain are not currently operating out of Gatwick but are available from Heathrow.
Flight cancellations and rescheduling are still occuring, but typically 14 days or more prior to departure. However, this is mostly to consolidate numbers so that planes are fuller and passengers are being offered alternative flights at similar times on the same or next day.
Mallorca 312 and Alberto Contador Gran Fondo - are still scheduled to take place. The 312 is currently organized for 10th October 2020 and resumes its usual April slot for 2021. Our view is that mass-start events are the most likely to be cancelled as the event date nears. We can't predict what will happen for 2021, but if you're signed up for 2020 be prepared to ride independently under your steam! You'll still be doing the same ride, but with less people and without a medal. If that's important to you, there's always the option to reschedule for next year. Unfortunately it's matter of watchful waiting. If you want to ride a 300 Km route with mountains, there are of course many other options too. Ask us and we'll send you a GPX file and suggestions.
Hotels It's a difficult time for the cycle tourism industry here in Spain and as such, most hotels are being flexible with customer bookings. Be reasonable, patient and polite and you will be offered alternative dates, vouchers or refunds by most good hotels. Check their updated booking conditions at the time of reservation.
Cycle Tour Operators
Most tour operators are being flexible too and will also offer alternative dates, vouchers or refunds based on your booking conditions. The same hotel guidance applies.
Restaurants & Cafes are currently open and practising social distance and hygiene measures in Valencia, Alicante and Mallorca. Masks
Take several with you and always have spares. It's worth adding one to your saddle bag too - whilst you won't need to wear one riding it pays to have one to hand for the all-important coffee stop.
Booking New Trips Good cycle tour operators (like us!) are currently offering flexible booking terms, with no or small deposits to secure a place. Balance payments that might normally be due 60 or 90 days before departure are now being requested much later. Anything 7-14 days before departure, subject to a confirmed flight is reasonable i.e. in line with airline cancellation and rescheduling policies. If you're unsure, check the policy and speak to them directly with regards to your requirements. Most will continue to offer flexibility with regards to refunds, alternative dates and vouchers.
Second waves and the future - 2021 and beyond
All the evidence suggests that a vaccine is not imminent and we will have to adjust to a "new normal" way of life. The virus will not be going anyway anytime soon and 2nd and 3rd waves, periodic local outbreaks and reimposition of stricter social distancing measures is likely to be commonplace across the world. This doesn't mean you should not consider holidays now and in the foreseeable future, but you may wish to consider your holiday arrangements.
Our recommendations / things to consider
Large hotels - present a higher risk with more people congregating in communal areas. Make sure there is sufficient space in cafes, restaurants and swimming pools
Large hotels - have more staff with a greater risk exposure. Consider smaller, but spacious hotels, hostels or Casa Rurals and hosted villas.
Hotel locations - if you usually stay in larger hotels in Alcudia, Pollenca, Albir, Benidorm, Palma, Xabia or Calpe, consider staying somewhere a little less populated. E.g. We've previously stayed in Deia, Valdemossa on Mallorca to avoid the crowds (it's also a better location to access the climbs of the south.) We don't recommend Calpe either, but you might want to consider Jalon, Alcoy, Ontinyent and Xativa
Renting a villa - a different type of offering, but one that's less likely to be closed due to issues with other staff or visitors. Ensure it has a good reputation and has been thoroughly cleaned upon your arrival. If there's a large group of you, we'd also recommend considering a daily cleaning service to minimise risk within the villa, to clean surfaces, provide hand sanitisers, towels, bedrooms, bottle cleaning, bathrooms and kitchen etc
Independent operators Room sizes - we know several independent cycle tour operators that provide a catered chalet type service, but some unfortunately only offer tiny bedrooms, with minimal or cramped communal space. Ask how big the bedrooms, bathrooms and dining rooms are in advance. You should be able to discuss flexible booking terms, services, locations and requirements. Again good hygiene practice should be the norm.
Booking direct Booking via the web on travel sites or hotel sites may complicate matters and you might be bound with less than ideal booking terms or processes. Again the answer is to contact the supplier directly, if this is possible, to discuss any concerns you have. It will be up to them to make confirm or accept changes to bookings made via a 3rd party agent
Contacting hotels and cycle tour operators Many large hotels use outsourced call centres to handle enquiries. If you have concerns or complaints with your booking or potential booking, it is unlikely this first contact can help. Worse, there may be an initial rejection of your request, based upon standard T&Cs that the call centre is still using. Again, the answer is contact the hotel or operator directly