Mallorca also spelled Majorca, is known as a paradise for cyclists who year after year descend on the island in their thousands. They’re attracted by the country’s unique cycling challenges and breathtaking views. The roads are smooth, winding, and diverse featuring mountain climbs, country lanes, and undulating roads that are a pleasure to ride.
The climate is excellent for cycling outside of the summer months with temperatures hovering around 24° C. It is no wonder that pro-peloton teams train on the Spanish Balearic island in the early winter months. The most famous cyclists of recent times, Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome have used Mallorca to prepare for significant events such as the Tour de France and the Olympics.
If you have a love of cycling, then you should try and get out to Mallorca and ride. It is an experience that keeps many cyclists coming back as often as they can. Although some of the riding challenges are difficult, one of the wonderful things about Mallorca is that it offers routes that are achievable no matter your current cycling level.
Once you have decided to ride in Mallorca, the following challenges should keep you busy and enthralled.
The Tramuntana Mountain Range – A gem of Mallorca Cycling
The UNESCO protected Tramuntana Mountain Range spans the island’s north-west coast and features good Mallorca cycling routes. It’s connected by a series of roads that traverse the mountains, and from here you can head off to challenge your cycling skills either ascending or descending, up and down the mountains.
Many great Mallorca cycling routes run off the Ma-10, and this is a good starting point to plan a route. Scenery includes pine forests, orange, and olive orchards and every so often you come across a surprise town or village you did not expect.
Any ride into the Tramuntana Mountains is going to be one to remember, but you can make it more memorable if you feature the following rides into your route.
Puig Major is the highest reachable point on the island. The best side to climb begins from the port of Soller featuring average gradients of 5.89% but it hits 7.1% in some places. The Soller route features 14.5 kilometers of ride and takes you up through the mountains. The terrain around you changes as you ride from rock to pine forest, and views of the valleys below are there to be savored.
Once you are at the top take in the view and savor your achievement. You are now 871m above sea level and have experienced an elevation gain of 854m.
Once you have ridden Puig Major consider taking on the hairpins of Sa Calobra!
Sa Calobra has become increasingly famous in cycling circles thanks to famous cyclists training themselves for significant events. The climb features 21 hairpin bends with gradients that reach 8% plus although the average for the climb is 6.5%.
Sa Calobra is a stunning cycling experience not only because of the hairpin bends. It is like a mountain in reverse as you start at the top. To reach the start of the climb you cycle your way down the hairpin bends that twist out from the rock and are afforded spectacular views. Once you reach the bottom, you spin around and ride back up to the top, cycling the glorious hairpins that make Sa Calobra such a fantastic challenge.
You can also start by catching the Port Soller to Sa Calobra ferry, but where is the fun in that!
As you ride up Sa Calobra the views from the hairpins are stunning. You see the Mediterranean Sea, beaches, and mountains from all different angles and the higher you go, the more you can see. The road network is a fantastic feat of engineering as the road is carved out of the mountain. Sometimes there are sharp drops at the side, and this widens your field of view and perspective of Mallorca further.
Hairpin bends always offer a unique challenge and cycling experience. Sa Calobra’s offering is one of the best in the world.
Coll de Sa Batalla
As many of Mallorca’s most famous climbs are in the north of the country it is a good idea to base yourself in towns such as Alcudia. This is only a few kilometers away from the Tramuntana Mountain Range and is an excellent place to plan rides out to the country’s northern points.
The Coll de Sa Batalla is a gentle but enjoyable climb that connects the north of the country to the start of the Tramuntana Mountain Range, serving as a good warm up before you take on the harder challenges.
This 7.8 kilometers of ride features an average gradient of just over 5% but some gradients do reach 7% at the start of the climb. The road itself is a series of hairpins that open out to afford you truly magnificent views the higher you go.
Many combine Batalla with other challenges and rides such as Sa Calobra, Coll de Femenia, and Coll d’Orient.
Coll d’Orient is a gentle climb and one that features an average gradient of 4.86% although at one point it reaches 8%. The road is quiet outside of the summer months and the views afforded are greener and more floral than much of the Tramuntana Mountain Range.
Just after the climb is the beautiful village of Orient which is tucked away on the side of the mountain. This makes for a great lunch spot before moving on to your next cycling challenge.
Cap Formentor Lighthouse
For a change of pace, why not head out to the extreme north of the island and ride to the ‘meeting points of the wind’, the lighthouse at Cap Formentor. Take the PM-221 road and keep going. Along the way, you will be afforded spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea as you weave your way around bends that snake along the coast.
Once you reach the lighthouse, the views out across the Mediterranean Sea are stunning, and you will be afforded views of two sides of the peninsula. You will marvel in awe as the coastlines stretch out before you.
Cap Formentor is a famous ride for Mallorca cyclists to do. So don’t be surprised when you arrive at the lighthouse and see what looks like a major peloton of cyclists enjoying the views.
Mallorca cycling is considered to be the best in the world. Many cyclists improve their skills using cycling training camp providers such as SportActive where you can improve your skills and receive pro coaching advice, and a chance to ride with the Irish cycling Legend Sean Kelly. Ensure you experience it as soon as you can.