Cycling in Mallorca

Discussion in 'Member's Travelogues' started by BeHealthyNow, 13 May 2015.

  1. BeHealthyNow

    BeHealthyNow Member

    If you love cycling you will love Mallorca. Mallorca is a cyclist’s paradise and this is due to several reasons, one of them being the weather – it has 300 days of sunshine a year! Another reason is the landscape which is really diverse – you will find rolling low hills, a pan-flat plain, and a mountain range. This kind of landscape makes Mallorca suitable for all types of cyclists, amateur and professional.

    I didn’t realise how popular Mallorca was for cycling until I got there. Lycra dressed cyclists are EVERYWHERE and cycling tourism is definitely a big thing in Mallorca. For this reason their roads are well maintained and cycle hire shops are not difficult to find.

    Me and my boyfriend hired bikes for 3 days and here are the highlights of all the cycling we did from our base in Puerto Pollenca.

    Cycling in Menorca Day 1
    Puerto Pollenca > Cap de Formentor > Puerto Pollenca

    We took bikes out for rental the day before and at breakfast we discussed plans for the day looking at the map with cycling routes which was given to us at the tourist information centre. We decided to go for the route which would allow us to see some nice beaches on the way and would take us to the end of a peninsula with the lighthouse, Cap de Formentor.
    Breakfast waiter curiously asked us where we were cycling to and after we mentioned Cap de Formentor he said in surprise: “Really??”. It’s strong, he said in broken English, meaning it’s difficult and steep, showing the incline with his hand. He didn’t believe we were capable of doing it and he tried to persuade us that this was a bad idea. He said it takes 45 minutes by car and by bike it would take much longer.

    I didn’t feel discouraged at all and I was totally up for the challenge. I knew my fitness levels weren’t that bad so why not? We told the waiter that we would give it a try and let him know the following day how we got on.

    After breakfast we prepared our bags, taking lots of water, sunscreen and fruits for energy with us. Off we went. From Puerto Pollenca we joined the road going towards Cap de Formentor and soon started our ascent, joining other cyclists going towards the same destination.

    I soon learnt, with satisfaction, that I wasn’t the slowest cyclist, but I also wasn’t the fastest (I cannot compete with the professional cyclists at the end of the day!). My boyfriend was lagging behind and I had to stop and wait for him several times. Too much cheese for breakfast I think but also his fitness wasn’t as good as mine, I believe. icon_biggrin.gif

    Viewpoint at ‘Mirador de Sa Creueta’

    Our first stop where we got off the bikes and walked was the viewpoint at ‘Mirador de Sa Creueta’ where we were able to see the ‘El Colomer’ rock protrude from the water. Up to this point we completed a 3.3km climb with an elevation of about 220m. This is one of the most difficult parts of the route and once we had a bit of rest we continued downhill, observing cyclists struggling uphill. What was going through my mind then was, ‘we have to come back this way and it’s not going to be easy…’

    The rest of the route towards the Cap de Formentor was hilly, sometimes going down, sometimes up. We also stopped at Formentor beach and walked to Cala Figuera, small and unspoiled beach with crystal clear waters.

    Formentor beach

    Cala Figuera

    The scenery and views were no doubt breathtaking which made the ride really enjoyable. The only downside of the route was the wind, at times being quite strong, forcing you to slow down so you don’t get blown off the road. Once we reached the lighthouse (after the last climb) we had a bit of rest with some food to give us energy for coming back.

    The final climb to the lighthouse

    Going back felt easier apart from the last climb which I overcame with ease. It was not as difficult as I thought it would be. I was so happy I managed to do it without any difficulties, although it wasn’t easy. I realised that that my leg muscles were quite strong, a result of all the spin classes, lunges and squats. I am sure this is also why my thighs are quite thick!
    For a detailed route breakdown see this link.

    Route statistics

    Distance 43.080 km Total Ascent 1826 m
    Lowest Point 2 m (at 1.41 km) Highest Point 233 m (at 18.18 km)
    Uphill 16.74 km(38.9%) Downhill 16.59 km (38.5%)
    Flat 9.75 km(22.6%) Max. Height Gain 231 m
    Cycling in Menorca Day 2
    Puerto Pollenca > Alcudia > Petra > Sa Pobla > Pollenca > Puerto Pollenca

    After lots of climbing on our first day of cycling we decided to take it ‘easy’ the following day and chose a flatter route, away from the mountains. Our first stop from Puerto Pollenca was Alcudia, old town, where we stopped and walked on the town’s medieval walls. Alcudia is an interesting old town with narrow streets where you will also find the bullfight ring. We stopped for a freshly squeezed orange juice before continuing to Port d’Alcudia, a resort with the longest beach in Mallorca.

    Alcudia old town

    Lovely sandy beach in Port d’Alcudia

    After Port d’Alcudia we followed the coastal road passing Albufera natural park and in Can Picafort we turned inland towards Petra where we stopped for a bit of rest and a drink. Petra is a sleepy village in which Junipero Serra (one of the greatest Mallorcans of all times) grew up in the 18th century and for me was an interesting place to visit as it has the same name as me.
    From Petra we returned to Puerto Pollenca via Muro and Pollenca. This was the longest route we did in Mallorca, totalling to almost 80km. Interestingly, it didn’t feel that long and definitely wasn’t difficult apart from some hilly areas. I really enjoyed riding through different towns and experiencing different landscapes.
    For a detailed route breakdown see this link.

    Route statistics

    Distance 78.930 km Total Ascent 751 m
    Lowest Point -2 m (at 2.46 km) Highest Point 108 m (at 38.94 km)
    Uphill 19.26 km(24.4%) Downhill 18.27 km (23.1%)
    Flat 41.40 km(52.5%) Max. Height Gain 110 m
    Cycling in Mallorca Day 3
    Puerto Pollenca > Cala Sant Vicenc > Pollenca > Vinyes Mortitx > Puerto Pollenca
    climb from Pollenca

    On day 3 we cycled from Puerto Pollenca straight to Cala Sant Vicenc, where four small coves huddle together beneath the limestone ridge of Cavall Bernat. Here we walked around, admiring small pretty beaches and lovely surroundings. We then continued cycling to Pollenca where we went sightseeing.

    First stop in Pollenca was the so-called Roman bridge which has been heavily restored and little of the original remains. We then visited “El Calvari”, a mountain with 365 steps which lead to a little church at the top with a view of the town. We actually walked those 365 steps from the square below and on coming down it was when my knees started to complain. It seems that all the activities were a little bit too much for my knees, my left knee actually, which was giving me some sharp pains. This is a common issue for me and the physiotherapist told me just to continue doing my ‘rehab’ exercises and it will eventually get better. (I really hope this improves as otherwise I cannot do much hiking!)


    After lunch in Pollenca we continued towards Serra de Tramuntana, the mountains, and soon we started the ascent. As we weren’t left with enough time to do much more cycling for the day we decided to do the climb to the top and then descend. It was good, long climb which I coped with very well and didn’t experience muscle fatigue like my boyfriend did. If we had more time I would want to follow this route which would have led us to Lluc.
    For a detailed route breakdown see this link.

    The view from the highest point we climbed to from Pollenca

    Route statistics

    Distance 42.360 km Total Ascent 714 m
    Lowest Point 1 m (at 0.12 km) Highest Point 387 m (at 26.19 km)
    Uphill 12.63 km(29.8%) Downhill 12.48 km (29.5%)
    Flat 17.25 km(40.7%) Max. Height Gain 386 m

    At the end I was so happy with everything we did and achieved. I was really pleased that my knees were able to cope with all the cycling so well and that they let me do so much. This was a real test after last year’s injury in my right knee (damaged cartilage) and I now know what I am capable of and where my limits are.

    I really loved cycling in Mallorca and would return to conquer the other routes and see more of the island.

    This post was originally published on Be Healthy Now blog.
  2. Thats an excellent write up, thanks for posting it.

    The next time you go you will have to try Sa Collabra. It is a Real test of climbing and decending.

    I have been several times. The last time we hired 2 shopping bikes in Palma and rode 60kms. I think they had 3 gears but it was fun. I rode Formentor with my Koga World Traveller, which has 30 gears :0). I also thought the ride back was faster and easier.


    BlueDog and LeetleGreyCells like this.
  3. OP

    BeHealthyNow Member

    I am glad you liked it Steve! I haven't heard of Sa Collabra before but I am always up for the challenge and when I go back to Mallorca I will keep this in mind. So good to see you did the same ride to Cap de Formentor! I am planning to do more cycling this spring/summer so there will be more write ups like that on my blog in the future. What I really want to do this summer is conquer Vrsic Pass in Slovenia (this is where I come from). Have you heard of it before? It supposed to be quite a challenge..
    Last edited by a moderator: 14 May 2015
    LeetleGreyCells likes this.
  4. Good wee write up. I go to Mallorca twice a year for cycling and its my idea of cycling heaven. Next time you go try the ride up through Alaro and Orient before descending to Bunyola. Very scenic and not too steep a climb
    BeHealthyNow likes this.
  5. OP

    BeHealthyNow Member

    Thanks for your suggestion! I will keep this in mind for next time! May I ask what time of the year do you go to Mallorca? I think beginning of May is a good time to go as the weather is not too hot (although still quite warm). I am thinking that beginning of October should also be fine?
  6. Spring is a good time as is from September onwards. I would think it could get very hot in the summer.

    Here is a clip of Sa Collabra in Mallorca. When you pass through the archway it is downhill all the way to the sea. But then its a long way back up the same way as it is a dead end road.


    I have not heard of the Vrsic Pass. I have been to Italy and Croatia but never to Slovenia. I keep intending to take my motorbike to Slovenia. But when it comes to cycling I also like riding in flat countries and not just mountains. I just enjoy cycling :0)

    Last edited: 18 May 2015
    LeetleGreyCells and BeHealthyNow like this.
  7. Dmcd33

    Dmcd33 Well-Known Member

    Sounds great!

    I'm going in June for a week.
  8. iamRayRay

    iamRayRay Quads of Steel

    Great post, trying to get my wife into cycling as much as I am.

    Heading to Austria in June for walking / cycling for 2 or 3 days. Let me see if I can get some pics whilst out there.
  9. I usually go end or March/beginning of April and then again in October. I've also been in February when the weather can be a bit more unpredictable but still better than the UK
  10. OP

    BeHealthyNow Member

    Thanks for sharing the video! Wow, what a twisty road, would love to cycle there! Road to Vrsic Pass is also twisty like that, maybe not in as good condition. I would love to film it when I go there in July. What do you use for filming your rides?
    If you ever go to Slovenia you will find it's very hilly/mountainous but in the East you will find some flat areas which are easier to cycle.
  11. OP

    BeHealthyNow Member

    Have fun!
  12. OP

    BeHealthyNow Member

    Glad you liked the post! Ha, I am trying to get my boyfriend to do more cycling with me! Austria is quite mountainous isn't it? Be kind to your wife, don't take her for too difficult ride.. :smile: Enjoy your break!
  13. iamRayRay

    iamRayRay Quads of Steel

    Went for a 60 mile cycle on the weekend with a colleague. I can tell you she definitely won't be doing that many miles in a day!

    Indeed, Austria I think we will mostly be cycling around the lake we are staying next to which will be flat! Thanks :smile:
  14. TissoT

    TissoT Über Member

    This a Great post up Behealthynow and good to see you enjoyed pureto pollenca and its surrunding areas
    we vist mallorca twice a year and could nt think of any better to place to vist and train
    we have just booked for october :-)
    Last edited: 5 Jun 2015
  15. Zojam

    Zojam Active Member

    A very good review. I'm going there in August to check it out for the first time with a view to going out of season the following year. Had a place in Menorca for 10 years but this will be my first visit to Majorca.
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