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Saddle up in luxury

Posted in SPORTS & ACTIVITIES By Maggie O' Sullivan

We’ve been oiling our chains and pumping up our tyres in anticipation of a very special cycling weekend in Provence this September, organised by the equally special Hotel Crillon le Brave.

Hotel Crillon le Brave, ProvenceDay one starts gently enough with a tour of the local vineyards and olive groves by bike, followed by a picnic and a massage back at the hotel, above. But on day two, cyclists tackle the 22km-ascent of Mont Vetoux, one of the most grueling climbs in the Tour de France. Hmm. I think we might need to up our training. The three-night Mont Ventoux Cycling Weekend takes place from 28 September-1 October 2017; from €1,650/£1,478 half-board for two sharing, including guided bike ride, spa treatments, excursions and floral arrangement class. The hotel can provide carbon bikes for an extra charge.Pool, Gran Hotel Son Net, MallorcaMallorca is one of the best places to start as it’s the number one destination for cycling holidays in the Med – wherever there’s a hill, there’s a cyclist slogging up it or freewheeling down it. For luxury cyclists the hotel has to be the Gran Hotel Son Net, about 20 minutes’ drive from Palma. The Son Net takes cycling very seriously and even offers training programmes with ex-professional cyclist Toni Colom – though if that sounds a bit hardcore, you can do your own thing and take one of several routes that start from right outside the hotel. Villa d'Este, Lake ComoWe also rather fancy cycling round Lake Como and where better to stay than the magnificent Villa d’Este in Cernobbio? You can get all the way round the lake and the terrain is mostly flat, with just a few undulating sections (the trick is to go clockwise so you’re on the lake side of the road) though we’ll probably just potter through the nearby towns and villages. Bike hire can be organised through the concierge. Beach Club, Amanzoe, GreeceFinding our cycling legs would also be a good excuse to spend a couple of days at Amanzoe, our favourite hotel in the Peloponnese. On the coast below the hotel there’s a gorgeous private beach and beach club and while the usual way to reach it is by shuttle bus – which takes about 10 minutes – you can also borrow a bike and cycle down (the hotel will bring your bike up again if you can't face the uphill climb at the end of the day).Cycle Safari, Amare Marbella Beach HotelFor something a little more organised, the Amàre Marbella Beach Hotel has recently launched a 16km Cycling Safari. The route takes guests on a coastal journey, allowing for regular stops along the way. Guests are encouraged to brake at Marbella’s famous sculpture of a waterskiing Venus and post a selfie. #AmareBike I'm still not sure if we’ll be ready to tackle Mont Ventoux – but we’ll have fun trying.

BY MAGGIE O'SULLIVAN

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