When you think of a cycling holiday in Spain, you quickly think of cycling in Mallorca. Everyone knows someone who has cycled there once or has already been there. The pleasant climate, the good roads and the excellent cycling culture ensures that Mallorca is enormously popular for cyclists. In addition, it is also nice to travel, with two hours of flight you are in the cycling mecca of Europe.
Cycling on Mallorca
There is no reason not to go on a cycling holiday to Mallorca. It is by far the best location for a training camp of a week. First of all the climate is of course great. That means that you can also enjoy fantastic cycling in winter and spring, often even with short sleeves! In addition, there is an enormous diversity of roads. You can go climbing in the mountains in the north. You can enjoy beautiful country roads in the middle of the island, but you can also cycle along the coast with some wind. And the highlight for many cycling holidays in Mallorca is riding the famous Cap Formentor.
Ideal location for a cycling holiday on Mallorca
I have now been to Mallorca a number of times on a cycling holiday and I have found the ideal area to stay. The ideal base for a cycling holiday on Mallorca is the Bay of Alcudia. On this bay is a beautiful, elongated beach with a huge selection of hotels. There are also more than enough options to rent a bicycle in this area. And of course it is an ideal place to ride different cycle routes!
But the area also offers plenty of options off the bike. Because it is a tourist area there are a lot of restaurants within walking distance and buses go to and from the nice villages in the area, such as the old city of Alcudia. With a rental car you discover the entire island and you can drive to beautiful, undiscovered beaches.
On the map you see the location circled in red. In addition, you can see that six places have been circled. These are highlighted because they are interesting to visit or to include in your cycling routes.
1. Coffe in Llubi
On the first day of your cycling holiday it is good to take it easy. Try to acclimatize on the island, get used to the temperature and of course check if your bike has arrived properly or if you have rented the right bike. A coffe ride to Llubi is then ideal. You can cycle through small country lanes towards the village of Muro on a hill. From there you go via quiet back roads to Llubi. On the square near the church is the s’accustic café where you can have a coffee break and enjoy Spanish delicacies. On the way back you enter Sa Pobla again towards the bay of Alcudia.
2. Climbing Col de sa Batalla
The village of Selva is the gateway to one of the finest climbs in Mallorca: The ‘Col de Sa Batalla’. This climb is 8 kilometers long and rises 5% on average. You start in the village of Selva at an altitude of 178 meters and you rise to an altitude of 559 meters. If you do not cycle in the middle of the day, it is possible to ride in the shade of the trees, so that you can ride somewhat in the shade while climbing. The ascent percentages are very nice, this climb is ideal for testing the legs. When you reach the top you can take a turn to the monastery of Lluc, which is hidden in the mountains, but you cannot miss it because of the many signs. On the way back you take a long rolling descent on the main road towards Pollenca, from there you ride back through the back roads to the bay of Alcudia. You come back with more than 70 kilometers and almost 1000 meters of elevation in your legs!
3. Visiting Soller en riding up Sa Calobra
Soller is a beautiful city to visit with your rental car or by bus. In addition to the big city, there is also a port town (Port de Soller) that you can visit. These two towns are connected with an age-old tram. If you want to do something as a tourist, this is a nice thing to do. Anyway, you are in Soller and you have to go back to the bay of Alcudia. You do this of course by bike. Ideally (as I have) you have a perfect partner who drives the rental car back to the hotel, while you get on a bike to climb two fantastic mountains: the Puig Major and the Sa Calobra.
The Puig Major is the highest mountain in Mallorca and the climb starts as soon as you cycle out of Soller. The 15 kilometer long climb has an average gradient of 6%, but that does not tell the whole story. Although the ascent percentage never (far) exceeds 10%, this is still a nasty climb for cycling. The length of 15 kilometers in particular seems to never end. You only see the summit when you are almost there, which makes it a psychologically uncomfortable climb to ride. You know you’re at the top when you’re at the tunnel.
After the tunnel you descend a few kilometers to go to the most beautiful and impressive climb of Mallorca: The Sa Calobra, officially called Col des Reis. Before you reach the impressive descent you first have to climb another three kilometers, so be prepared for that. The descent to the small bay of Sa Calobra is a roller coaster, a dream for cyclists. You will find all kinds of curves, from steep hairpin bends to straight sections where you can make a lot of speed.
At the bottom of the descent you may be tempted to take a cup of coffee and cake in the village of Sa Calobra to recharge for the climb.
The climb has no surprises anymore, you just went down yourself. With a length of 9.5 kilometers and a gradient of 7%, this mountain is at least as fearable as the Puig Major. After that effort, the kilometer-long stretches of 9-10% are extremely annoying. After you have endured all the steep parts you finally arrive at the world famous bend in the shape of a knot. You know you’re almost at the top!.
From the top of the Col des Reis it is actually a very long descent, but make no mistake; you really have to climb a kilometer here and there until you get home. You ride down the Ma-10 and eventually you will come back via Pollenca towards the bay of Alcudia. With 92 kilometers and almost 2,500 meters of altitude you have earned your dinner!
5. Cala St. Vincenc
After a rather heavy day yesterday, it’s time for a quiet recovery ride. You can cycle towards Cala St. Vincenc by bike. You reach this coastal town again via some quiet roads and you finally descend towards the port of Cala St. Vincenc. The clear blue water smiles at you and it is time to drink a big cup of coffee. At your easiest pace you ride back to your hotel where you can relax by the pool and order a well-earned beer. Or you can take your rental car to the hidden bay of Cala Varquez, for example, to enjoy the beach and the tranquility.
6. Cap Formentor
During my first cycling holiday in Mallorca I didn’t find the time to ride Cap Formentor and I regret it a lot. This is truly one of the most beautiful roads to ride on the island. The asphalt is good, the views are beautiful and it is challenging enough for every cyclist to do. If you want to ride this route to have a good time, I advise you to go early in the morning. From about 10 o’clock it is full of tourists who go to the beautiful beaches, viewpoints and the lighthouse. The buses and cars make it very busy in some places. If you don’t go early in the morning, make sure you are relaxed and take your time. Stop for a photo, look around and enjoy the views is my advice.
The route itself is approximately 18 kilometers to get to the lighthouse and 18 kilometers back. It goes on and off continuously, so don’t think you can ride a steady pace. The first climb is immediatly the toughest and longest of the entire route, in 3.5 kilometers you climb more than 220 meters. This climb takes you to a lookout point where you can see the characteristic ‘El Colomer’ rock sticking out of the water. If you don’t feel likeit, if you don’t have the energy or the strength to ride all the way to the lighthouse, it is certainly worth it to ride to this point.
The greatest enjoyment of this ride takes place as soon as the lighthouse comes into view. It emerges from nowhere and after a short descent and a small, nasty climb you can rest at a restaurant in the lighthouse. On the way back you will ride on the same roads, but the views are again phenomenal and you will undoubtedly stop for a photo every now and then, so that you will not get too tired back to your hotel and enjoy the sun for the rest of the day !
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