Where in the World Is Watopia? - SkyAboveUs - Outdoors
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Where in the World Is Watopia?

Liam Hallam is a Sports Science graduate and competitive cyclist who loves to travel to Europe in search of great riding.

Cycling in Watopia

Cycling through some of the Volcanic landscape of Watopia on Zwift

Cycling through some of the Volcanic landscape of Watopia on Zwift

Welcome to Zwift's Watopia

Zwift and other software platforms have started a revolution in indoor cycling training. By turning indoor cycling effectively into a game scenario Zwift has empowered many who would usually be uninspired sat in a cold garage in the middle of a dark winter night pedaling away. Alongside advances in smart bicycle trainers, new training platforms have transformed the industry whilst bringing technologies seen within gaming to the fore.

Zwift is effectively cycling as you would do on the roads, however within virtual worlds created to mimic real-world scenarios. One of those such worlds is Watopia.

Zwift is also available for a 7 day free trial at Zwift.com

Watopia is Not a Real-World Place

Sadly the Kingdom of Watopia doesn't exist. It's not real and there's nowhere on Earth that fits its geographical profile. Watopia is a fictional World created by the makers of Zwift to offer something for everyone.

So where are Naunonga and Teanu?

The location of Naunonga and Teanu. The Solomon Islands loosely used as inspiration for Watopia

The location of Naunonga and Teanu. The Solomon Islands loosely used as inspiration for Watopia

The Geography of Watopia

Watopia consists of two main islands alongside an active volcano. These are loosely based on the islands of Naunonga and Teanu within the Solomon Islands. The islands are within a set known as the Santa Cruz Islands

The mountainous routes such as the Epic KOM and Alpe Du Zwift are based on Naunonga. The smaller island of Teanu contains the flatter and hilly routes within Watopia. A set of underwater tunnels and bridges connect the islands.

Where in the Real World is Watopia?

Why Base Watopia on a Real Set of Islands?

Back when Zwift started up in 2015 there was no option for a virtual ride segment within Strava. This lead to the simple idea of setting Zwift somewhere where roads and subsequent segments didn't exist. Their initial set up featured Jarvis Island in the Pacific Ocean.

Zwift then quickly moved on to create Watopia within the Solomon Islands. Many of us who've ridden on Zwift have been asked about our holiday travels. Things are a lot simpler since it became possible for Zwift to virtually map a place as seen with training software now taking riders around the globe.

Best Routes on Zwift's Watopia as a Tourist

As a tourist you want to see as much as possible so here is a selection of 3 routes that will show you everything the world of Watopia has to offer.

  • Figure 8
  • Volcano circuit
  • Sand and Sequoias
  • Jungle Circuit
  • Mountain Route
  • Road to Sky (Available from Level 12 Status)
  • The Four Horsemen- For the mile muncher

Watopia's Best Tourist Routes

  • Figure 8

Taking you on a full tour of Teanu Island Watopia's "Figure 8" route takes in both the hilly and flat routes on the island. The terrain is flat to rolling with great views out to the islands and volcano.

It's a great route for a solid hour of training due to its 29.7-kilometer length and 254 meters of vertical ascent.

  • Volcano Circuit

One of the shortest circuits on Zwift. The Volcano circuit takes you out to ride around and through the active volcano. It features a 2.6-kilometer run into a 4-kilometer circuit with a lap-board showing every time you complete the circuit which has just 17 meters of climbing.

  • Sand and Sequoias

Taking you out to Zwift's own 'Wild West' The Sand and Sequoias route is part of the Titans Grove expansion. It takes in the Fuego Flats as well as the Sequoia Forest which features three hills, one with a KOM segment. The route is a 20.2-kilometer loop with 147m of altitude gain.

Sand and Sequoias

Out onto the Fuego Flats of Zwift

Out onto the Fuego Flats of Zwift

The Not So Lonely Planet Guide to Watopia

  • Jungle Circuit

Added in late 2017 as part of the Mayan Jungle expansion of Watopia. The Jungle Circuit, like the Volcano Circuit, is a 'lollipop' loop feeding you into the main loop. The main loop is almost 8 kilometers in length with 79 vertical meters of ascent mainly done in the first half of the loop with a downhill second portion.

The route is on dirt tracks and with the addition of mountain and gravel type bikes to a riders garage alternate levels of resistance are provided dependant on the choice of wheels.

  • Mountain Route

Watopia's Mountain Route is just 32 kilometers long but packs in a solid 677 meters of climbing taking you up the Epic KOM. The Epic KOM is like going from sea level to the top of the French Alps. Yes it's not realistic however it's a visual masterpiece as you climb up to the snowline and up the tough section to the radio tower before dropping back to sea level in an adrenaline-fueled charge.

  • Road to Sky (Available from Level 12 Status)

The latest addition to Watopia is the impressive Alpe Du Zwift. Road to Sky is the shortest way up the Alp which was modeled on Tour de France Favourite Alp D'Huez. The route takes on a massive 1045 meters of altitude gain across its 17.5-kilometer length.

Zwift's Four Horsemen Route

The Four Horsemen takes in the original Watopia Islands and Volcano with extension up the Alpe du Zwift

The Four Horsemen takes in the original Watopia Islands and Volcano with extension up the Alpe du Zwift

The Watopia Tour for Nutters

There have been some recent big rides registered on Zwift. From Willie Smidt clocking up 999km in a 37-hour ride to Geraint Thomas doing 3x 12 hour NHS Shifts in a row as fundraising towards to Coronavirus Pandemic.

There are of course some more mortal accomplishments on the Zwift platform and for those of us looking at doing a long ride indoors the Four Horsemen route is a more achievable epic ride.

The route warms Watopia Tourists up through the Volcano before ascending the Epic KOM and Over the Alpe Du Zwift before dropping back down and through the Mayan Jungle for a whole day excursion,

89.8 kilometers long with a meager 2108 meters of climbing to deaden the legs. Could you do it?

Comments

Liz Westwood from UK on April 22, 2020:

At a time when long bike rides are not advisable, I can see a real benefit of a virtual set up like Watopia.