In recent years, Mallorca has become known as a cycling mecca for amateurs and pros alike. It’s no surprise that thousands of cyclists venture here every year to enjoy the silky smooth roads and stunning scenery. Founder of cycling tour company Mellow Jersey, Emma Dyson, explains more.
Our training camps in Mallorca are one of the highlights of our calendar and we love showing guests the magic of cycling in this Balearic paradise. It was difficult to narrow down, but we’ve managed to pick our top five rides which we feel should be part of any cycling itinerary in Mallorca.
This out-and-back route from Puerto Pollenca is simply breathtaking. The road climbs out of the port before reaching a stunning lookout over the bay, where you can catch your breath before continuing on down a few hairpins, through a tree-covered road out to the coast. The route then snakes round the edge of the cliffs before reaching the famous lighthouse at the end. There’s a café here where you can enjoy the view and prepare for your return – being out and back, it’s virtually impossible to get lost! We recommend tackling this ride in the early morning before the masses get out on the roads – our favourite time is around 7am (before breakfast) as you can really make the most of all this route has to offer.
We simply couldn’t write about cycling in Mallorca without featuring Sa Calobra! It appears regularly on lists of Europe’s top climbs and is on every cyclist’s bucket list when they come to the island. All our guests want to do it, and rightly so…it’s the most challenging climb on the island and a unique attraction in itself. The full 360 loop at the top is enough to keep any cyclist on their toes and as you snake down the 11km descent you wonder how you are ever going to have the oomph to get out again! Once you reach the bottom the pretty town of Sa Calobra and the sparkling sea view awaits, and there are cafes available for you to grab a refreshment before starting your climb out again. It’s a tough one, but worth the effort!
Watch out for the buses – it’s really not nice meeting these on the hairpins. There’s a one-way system for them in place (so they only go down in the late morning, then it gets reversed for early afternoon) and we recommend you aim to get here for around midday to avoid playing constant chicken with them.
Andratx to Pollenca
Another one of Mallorca’s highlights, this route that runs from the south west to the north east of the island over the Tramuntana mountain range. The views you get along this route are simply spectacular as you pass via Valdemossa, Deia (where some of the Night Manager was filmed), Soller and over Puig Major (the island’s highest and longest climb) before starting your descent down into Pollenca, via the famous Lluc descent (one of our favourites as the long sweeping bends make for fast and easy descending). There are shuttle services to take you to the start of this route from the north of the island, so you don’t have to cycle all the way there and back.
Moving slightly away from the obvious favourites, we recommend that all cyclists take a visit to Petra. The typical Mallorcan square with a fountain, next to the church makes you feel that you’re getting some culture as well as enjoying some of the best cycling you’re likely to experience! The square is buzzing with cyclists during the season, and the coffee and cake here is to die for. Enjoy your stop, soak up the atmosphere and take a visit to the discount cycling kit store. For some more rural Mallorcan cycling, make sure you head over to the Cami de sa Vall on the MA3321; you have the option to enjoy the winding descent on the smooth tarmac or plan a route where you climb up.
Col de Sa Batalla
Arguably the most beautiful climb on the island, this 8km climb winds up from the town of Selva around the hillside and through the shady trees. Its peaceful, and a nice one to do alone as the gradient isn’t steep. The views are simply stunning and it can typically provide you with a bit of respite from the afternoon sunshine. As with all good rides in Mallorca, there’s a café at the top so you can refuel before heading back down to Pollenca on the Lluc descent… or onwards to Sa Calobra or Puig Major.
If Mallorca is still on your cycling bucket list, Mellow Jersey offer sportive packages and training camps in Mallorca, as well as many other iconic cycling destinations.