Advice and suggestions re Mallorca cycling for friends
Many others have been there, but I tend to keep useful links available, so here is a slightly incoherent (nothing new there, I hear the wags at the back say, not entirely unjustifiably!) collection of links and information I have collected or found useful or which others might like to look at. It suggests looking at some of my many weeks in Mallorca on Strava for ride and route suggestions, but of course there are many others!
Mallorca sportives and events
I totally recommend the Mallorca 6Points weekend (a charity event benefitting the Asdica charity in Mallorca), having done it in May 2019. The 2019 Challenge this year was 425kms around Mallorca, visiting lighthouses at the North (Cap Formentor), West (Sant Elm), South (Cap de Salines), and East (Cala Ratjada) compass points, and the highest point (Puig Major) and the lowest point (any sandy beach, Caló d’en Pellicer at Santa Ponsa in our case, where we start and finish!) We met some of the Asdica Charity beneficiaries at the finish at the Caló d’en Pellicer beach in Santa Ponsa.
For more on 6Points Challenges, and booking opportunities, see https://6pointschallenges.com/
which describes both the upcoming October 2019 Ibiza event (also including Formentera, which you can see on my blog) and the May 2020 Mallorca event.
Should you wish to support me and the other riders on the Ibiza ride next weekend, please see:
Weʼre raising £1,500 to help children’s charities on Mallorca. 6Points Cycling Challenges has raised over £61,000 in 3 years. Our work continues. Please support us.
The Mallorca 312
The 312 is ever present annually; see Leslie and me there in 2018
The 312 used to be a closed road event right round the perimeter of Mallorca, but the southern part (near Palma) has now been removed (being too difficult to achieve closed roads in that busy part of Mallorca), and now the route, having started in Alcudia and followed the Ma10 over to Andratx, returns through central Mallorca to Sa Pobla, and then takes a loop down to Artá before returning back to Alcudia; it’s still 312 kms distance over closed roads. See more about the Mallorca 312 at
for the 2020 event in late April. I have done the 225kms version (including the more interesting, hilly parts in Western Mallorca!) and there is also a 1/2 version, the 167kms.
Bike rental and services
Mallorca Cycle Shuttle
https://mallorcacycleshuttle.co.uk do airport transfers, bike transfers (eg coach out , bike back, Port Pollensa – Andratx or San Telm), bike breakdown insurance and photography, all on their website. Gary Abel is the main person there; he has developed a great set of services.
As you will see, Mallorca Cycle Shuttle also run Mallorca Photos https://www.mallorcacyclingphotos.com, and importantly, Mallorca Bike Rescue https://mallorcacycleshuttle.co.uk/mallorca-bicycle-rescue-home.html which is a get-you-home service should bike or body fail you. I ALWAYS register with it.
Pro Cycle Hire https://www.procyclehire.com is probably the gold standard in bike hire, and they not only rent bikes, but are also a bike café, and lead social rides three mornings a week plus a schedule of longer rides, including “The Lap”, a round Mallorca tour like the 312 used to be but without closed roads. There are some great historic bikes on display there too, plus a good café. Owner is Bruce Griffiths. For all about Pro Cycle Hire rides see https://www.procyclehire.com/guided-tours/the-lap/
Pro Cycle Hire rent Colnagos as well as other brands, but if you want a Pinarello (e.g. a Dogma), try the Pinarello Store https://www.pinarelloexperience.com in Port Pollensa. The Pinarello store has a nearby clothing outlet, usually with a sale, so there are usually good deals available on jerseys, bibs etc.
See the link https://oqservicecourse.com/ for Ottilie Quince’s service shop next to the Pinarello Store, which is worth a visit; Ottilie does massage (you might well need it!) as well as bikes and advice. She is, by the way, an 11 times world cycling champion.
Around the corner, on the sea front, is Tolo’s restaurant, https://tolosrestaurant.com complete with Wiggins bike, another must visit. A restaurant I also happen to like that does wonderful pizzas is Casa Vila, not far away in the central square in Port Pollensa, https://casavilarestaurant.com/?lang=en
Loop rides from Port Pollensa, and in the west
Port Pollensa base
The obvious first ride is up to Cap Formentor and the lighthouse. It’s a double climb ride – Col de Sa Creueta comes first – with a handy cafe at the top of that first part, Mirador de la Creueta (Viewpoint).
From that intermediate café, there is an optional little climb on a side road up to a “pepper pot” structure (a bit like a Martello tower) called the Telaia Albercutx, http://www.pollensa.com/en/places/to-visit/albercutx-fortress/. It’s quite a gravelly road up there so take care, but very much worth the views. No café for once, but it’s only 3kms or so, and back again. There are quite a few of these towers – “torres” – dotted around the Mallorca perimeter – read about them at https://www.seemallorca.com/castles/coastal-watch-towers-mallorca-island-664463.
Then you can take on the descent on the other side of Col de sa Creueta, towards Formentor beach and hotel (on a short side turning), and then the second part of the climb to the Cap Formentor lighthouse (where there is also a large cafe and great views). It’s one of the climbs (Sa Calobra being another) where Mallorca Photos https://www.mallorcacyclingphotos.com have photographers until early afternoon (best to ride early up there to avoid traffic). They have them on Sa Calobra too, and the same applies there – go early, or go in traffic. See Fränk Schleck on Sa Calobra here or below
Sa Ruta Verda
You MUST visit Sa Ruta Verda Bike Café in Caimari and say hello to owner Lennart for me. You can make a good round trip – quite hilly – via Campanet/Selva/Caimari/Sa Bataia/Lluc/Sa Calobra/col de Femenia and back to Port Pollensa. Places not to miss on that loop are Col de Sa Bataia (the Repsol service station at the top which has a bike cafe too, and does great ensaïmadas), and the Sa Ruta Verda café itself, of course, https://www.facebook.com/Sa-Ruta-Verda-907542862673060/ in the north end of Caimari which definitely reopens for the autumn season on September 1st (wear your GGCC top if you have one, which Lennart recognises!). The three Monasteries further to the south are good little climbs, and again you can make a day tour of them (see https://www.cyclinglocations.com/mallorca-climbs/ for all the main climbs) of which Santuari de Cura in Randa and San Salvador near Felanitx are the longer ones, the other being Petra which is nearer to Pollensa.
I’d also thoroughly recommend climbs at “my” end of the island (we have an apartment in Costa de la Calma) nearer to Andratx – eg the Es Capdella – Galilea – Es Grau loop. A fuller loop description might be Andratx/San Telm/Estellencs/Banyalbufar/Esporles/Es Grau/PuigPonent/Galilea/Es Capdella/Calvia/Santa Ponsa/Peguera/Camp de Mar/Andratx, or Andratx/San Telm/Estellencs/Banyalbufar/Esporles/Es Grau/PuigPonent/Galilea/Es Capdella/Coll de n’Esteve/Andratx, either of which take you over the main climbs in the west of the island that are on the Mallorca 312 route, and provide much of he climbing on that sportive (apart from Puig Major, mentioned below).
There are far too many to mention them all, but my own favourite might be up at Plaća Galilea; coffee, ice cream and cake on the balcony at the little café with a great view. Maybe a good way to see it, and to see others on my coffee and cake tour of western Mallorca is at this blog post from October 2018 (Galilea is at about 6 minutes in, near the end). Also on that video are the Es Grau restaurant – also with a terrace over the sea – at the Mirador Ricardo Roca on the Ma10 a little to the west of Estellencs. See it on Google maps at JFW2+8M Estellencs, Spain.
In Calvia is a proper bike café run bay an old cycling professional and his son, Meson Ca’n Torrat, with lots of bike and bikeway items and tables at the front, inside and at the back. See it on my blog post here. See it on Google maps at HG84+87 Calvià, Spain.
In Banyalbufar is the excellent Restaurante Bellavista, on the north coast on the Ma10, also with terrace overlooking the sea. They do great salads as well as many other specialties, potentially served with local wine from the terraced vineyards you see as you approach Banyalbufar. It’s also on that video, and also see it at Google maps here or on their own Facebook page.
One of my correspondents discovered a café new to me in s’Aroccó, between Sant Elm and Andratx, C’an Viguet. They seem to do great ensaïmadas and croissants in a perfect size for dipping! See it on Google maps here.
Es Brollador is a very good restaurant in Esporles, serving very good helpings of spaghetti and lots more. That much needed sustenance can be seen in one of my videos about Sobremunt, here, with some other landmarks too. See Es Brollador on Google maps here.
Between the east and the west
The Orient Valley
From Port Soller, a loop through Col de Soller, Bunyola, Col d’Honor and Orient itself in the Orient valley make a great (long and hilly) ride – Port Pollensa/Col de Feminia/Col de sa Bataia/Puig Major/Soller/Col de Soller/Col d’Honor/Coll d’Orient/Alaro/Lloseta/Selva/Campanet/Alcudia/Port Pollensa or some variation of that.
The Orient valley, between the south end of the Col de Soller climb/descent and Selva, is a very pretty ride, with a great ice cream and crêpe shop at Alaro called La Isla del Gelato (in Google maps) https://www.facebook.com/laisladelgelato/. If you happen to ride via Campanet either way to or from Caimari and Selva, take care; one or two of the only potholes in Mallorca are there although they are resurfacing this year, although I believe they might all be cleared up now.
In Selva (only 2kms from Caimari) there is a bike shop called the Bike Station that also rents bikes http://www.dandanellbikerental.com in the main cathedral square (also with cafés) that sells the jersey with many of the main Mallorca climbs on it!
The Ma10 across the Tramuntana – Big Daddy
As well as the recently added airport transfers, Mallorca Cycle Shuttle runs their great bike transport service, so that you can take their coach out from Port Pollensa, right across the island to the west (or to the south, or just to Sa Calobra) and ride back on the Ma10 “Big Daddy” route.
The Shuttle does have a hot summer fallow period in August and it has opens again for the Autumn. They take you, for example, from a number of hotels in the Port Pollensa area to Andratx, and also San Telm if you want to ride back coast to coast. It’s a “must do” ride, with options to descend and ascend at Port Canonge https://mallorcacycleshuttle.co.uk/port-des-canonge-climb.html, Port Valdemossa and Sa Calobra, which makes it a very long ride; so don’t book dinner in Pollensa too early (speaking from experience)!
Be sure to book the Shuttle for the day you want, as it does get full nearer the time. They have some other destination drop-offs now, at least on on the south of the island (see Monasteries below).
Along that Big Daddy Ma10 route are Estellencs, Banyalbufar, Valdemossa, Deia and Soller and Port de Soller, on the coast. It also includes the highest climb on Mallorca, Puig Major, 13kms at an average 6%, with a lit (but dark) tunnel at the top. That is the main climb on the Mallorca 312 which ISN’T in the west of the island.
Check out my Strava rides
I wouldn’t recommend rides I haven’t done(!) so amongst the following weeks of Strava rides you will see all the ones I have mentioned and many more! See my Strava rides for 8-13th May 2016 and 16th-21st April 2017 for lots of good routes in the east, based on Port Pollensa, or 15-24th July 2016, 15th-23rd August and 9-12th October 2015 for the western end of the island.
Later rides are between April 26th and May 1st 2018, October 11th – October 16th 2018 and my October 2019 rides between 3rd and 8th October 2019, including the might Sobremunt – the hardest climb in Mallorca – on October 3rd and reported in this blog.
Also my weeks 25th April – 1st May 2018 for the Mallorca 312 (one end of the island, Alcudia to to the other, Andratx via the Ma10, and back through the central part) and other rides during 8-16th October 2018 for general western Mallorca riding, and 14th-21st May 2019 for the 6Points right around Mallorca, visiting the 4 compass points lighthouses, the highest (Puig Major) and the lowest (any beach, Santa Ponsa in our case). See https://www.facebook.com/6PointsChallenges and https://6pointschallenges.com for more about that 440kms ride with 7000m climbing, or the Ibiza version below.
I’ll be riding on 1st-8th October 2019 in Mallorca and in particular 5/6th October in Ibiza/ Formentera https://6pointschallenges.com/6points-ibiza-2019/. Here’s the official taster video from the May 2019 edition of the 6Points Mallorca:
More useful bike ride links
Here’s a video taster of many of the climbs (& descents) in Mallorca. It’s about 30 minutes, and includes several I have mentioned. here they are with the timings in the video:
Sa Calobra descent 00:50 Sa Calobra ascent 02:58 Coll de sa Batalla descent 05:07 Coll de sa Batalla ascent 07:09 Road to Cap de Formentor 09:21 Puig Major ascent 14:20 Coll de Femenia ascent 17:54 Coll de Femenia descent 18:56 Coll de Soller south ascent 20:03 Coll de Soller south descent 21:00 Coll de Soller north descent 22:55 Coll de Soller north ascent 25:11 Coll d’Honor ascent 26:39 Puig de Santa Magdalena ascent 29:51 Puig de Santa Magdalena descent 30:45
Plus the toughest of them all, Sobremunt, Es Verger I hope to be trying in October 2019 https://mallorcacycleshuttle.co.uk/the-hardest-cycle-climb-in-mallorca.html
Plus the toughest of them all, Sobremunt (Es Verger), I hope to be trying in October 2019 (I did!) https://mallorcacycleshuttle.co.uk/the-hardest-cycle-climb-in-mallorca.html. My ride is on my blog post here. Other coverage is on the following links…