Here is a representative sample of the bike rides I have enjoyed in the Balearics during the last seven years. I’m looking forward to my first post-pandemic visit in October 2022 for the 6Points Ibiza and Formentera, which I last rode in the autumn of 2019, with some additional Mallorca riding before and after. Some of the following rides are on the agenda!
I have been cycling in Mallorca since 2015 when, at last, I bought a bike there; I had been going there since the mid-1980s, and had ridden and raced bikes since the early 1960s, but had never ridden in Mallorca before 2015.
Click on any map to see my corresponding Strava post for the ride, complete with all relevant photos.
A ride from Costa de la Calma, our “home” in Mallorca
There are plenty of really good rides in the western parts of Mallorca, skirting Palma, further east, but mainly using the roads near us between north-west and north-east of my base in Costa de la Calma, near Santa Ponsa. The weather is mainly very temperate in Spring and Autumn times of the year, you’ll see, but I have ridden there in the summer months too.
12th October 2015. Note the reasonable climbing east and west of Puigponent – Galilea on one side and Es Grau on the other.
I must remember to take a carrot or three with me next time!
9th May 2016, the full Sa Calobra tour with GGCC (Glasgow Green Cycle Club), including the Mallorca signature climb – 10kms, between 5% and 10%
We (the GGCC Club tour) were staying in Port Pollensa, which is very popular with both amateur and professional teams as a training base. Sky (precursor of Ineos) trained there every winter for years.
13th May 2016, the full Ma10 ride from Andratx to Port Pollensa – out by Mallorca Cycle Shuttle, bike back
This ride is sometimes called “The Big Daddy“, particularly by the Mallorca Cycle Shuttle service, whose coach I have used several times to travel between Port Pollensa and Andratx, where we started this bike ride, shown here, mainly along the Ma10 main road. The route passes through a tunnel at Puig Major, the highest road section in Mallorca at 900m or so.
23rd July 2016, another ride in my area of Mallorca, a warm one in July!
It’s https://www.strava.com/activities/650865258, an 80 kms loop in my end of Mallorca.
17th April 2017 with West Coast Velo, Formentor with a side hustle to Talaia d’Albercutx,
The mandatory “signature” ride to Cap Formentor, with an additional short climb up to the “pepperpot” Martello Tower, a side turning about half-way up to Cap Formentor. This was during the Mallorca trip with West Coast Velo, another cycling group based in Glasgow.
28th April 2018 – the Mallorca 312 (225kms) event with Leslie and 8,000 other riders!
My good friend and near neighbour (same street) Leslie Tennant and I did the 225kms version of the Mallorca 312 that year, with 8,000 other riders. Quite an experience riding with so many riders, like the RideLondon 100, but with better weather and smoother roads. The full 312 kms includes an additional loop down to Arta, seen on the right of the map; but for us, it was quite late by then, so we headed back to Playa de Muro, where the event started, for an 8pm finish or so.
Note again the 900m high point on that route profile, Puig Major, not far from Pollensa, on the Ma10 main road. All “downhill” from there!
29th April 2018
A local recovery bimble with Leslie for lunch in Port d’Andratx
30th April 2018, Sa Ruta Verda, Col de Sa Bataia and Sa Calobra with Leslie
A Mallorca cycling summary wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Sa Ruta Verda Coffee shop in Caimari, Lennart Bjolgerud’s wonderful bike café, on the way up to Col de Sa Bataia and then down to Sa Calobra (and up!) and back to Selva again.
That was an out-and-back ride over Col de Soller, having driven to Selva to get the right area, as we did for the Mallorca 312 above, and again for the Monasteries (next rides).
Here is the self-styled “coffee boy”, Lennart. He runs Sa Ruta Verda, having retired as Managing Director of Barclays Capital in London.
1st May 2018, the Monasteries, with Leslie:
Leslie at the Sant Salvador café, with the biggest bread, cheese and ham rolls in Mallorca! I had one too…
We also went up to Santuari Cura at Randa, during a rare damp spell.
You should be getting used to the typical Mallorcan weather by looking at the images. Actually, in 2018 there was a severe storm just as I arrived in early October, and floods at the eastern end of Mallorca, but I lost only a day or so of cycling. Someone, however, did lose their life in an overturned car in eastern Mallorca. I posted my October 2018 cycling trip previously in my blog, which started with the unusually poor weather, and TV images.
11th October 2018, the end of cabin fever – Bimont bike store, Puigponent and Bar Es Pont, Galilea (451m) and Tapas Bar La Placa, Es Capdella, Andratx, Port d’Andratx, Camp de Mar, Peguera and home.
The view south-west from the balcony at Cafe de la Plaça, Galilea
12th October 2018, a good 85kms loop route from Costa de la Calma (my base) to Banyalbufar and the Bellavista café, with photos on Strava:
Panorama from the Bellavista café, in Banyalbufar, on the north coast
13th October 2018, Gran Fondo, earning the jersey! 8000 feet of climbing isn’t bad for the day, I think I earned it, knocking off the last climb, Port Valdemossa, and adding Port Canonge for good measure, to complete the climbs on the jersey (shown below).
The Mallorca climbs jersey
Here’s the jersey I was earning…Port Canonge isn’t on there, but it should be. It’s available to buy at the Bike Garage in Selva. https://yellow.place/en/the-bike-garage-selva-spain. My friend Leslie earned it before I did – he only needed two visits to get it before I did (i.e. earn the jersey by doing all the climbs on it); I had been cycling there for years – what a slouch!
Anyway, they are all done now, including up both sides for the ones that can be climbed from more than one direction (like Puig Major and Coll de Sollér, for example), unlike those such as Port Canonge and Port Valdemossa, which are, of course, one-sided, being up from the coast.
As I said in my Strava post for Port Valdemossa, you tend to get cramps in the hands with the braking downhill – the descents are almost harder than doing the climbs!
14th October 2018
Another regular loop of mine includes Sant Elm, at the extreme western end of the island, opposite the islet of Dragonera, and then Andratx, Port d’Andratx, Es Capdella and Calvia, where we find the bike shop/café Meson Ca’n Torrat. It is owned by an old racer, whose old bike is above the entrance, and his son, and sell their own kit. Only about a 50kms loop and a worthwhile local ride.
I rode this loop with Philip Crawford, and we had pretty good weather again.
With Philip at the Mesón Ca´n Torrat bike shop and café/restaurant in Calvia.
6Points MALLORCA (One of the six “Points” is free, the lowest, at any beach!)
Day 1, 17th May 2019, to Sant Elm, for the westerly Point, and then the Ma10 to the highest “Point”, Puig Major, with our overnight at Port Pollensa. About 100 miles.
Day 2, 18th May 2019
Up to Cap Formentor, the northerly Point, and then south, via another lighthouse, at the Capdepera lighthouse, near Cala Rajada, the easterly Point, then down to Cala Millor for the overnight stop. Just over 100kms.
Day 3, 19th May 2019
Back to Santa Ponsa, via the southerly Point at another lighthouse, Far des Cap de ses Salines. Another 100 miles, to complete the 6Points Mallorca Challenge.
Sobremunt and 6Points Ibiza & Formentera, October 2019
Climbing Sobremunt, the hardest climb in Mallorca, was somewhat stiff preparation for the 6Points Ibiza trip the day after! I had previously announced the intention in my blog, so I was committed!
Sobremunt, from my October 3rd 2019 ride, not the highest, but steep, and fairly long. Both GCN and Mallorca Cycle Shuttle rate this climb as “The Hardest Climb in Mallorca”. See https://brianrsutton.com/2019/10/19/sobremunt-the-hardest-climb-in-mallorca/ for more.
I met Niels and Volker up there, so we took pictures of each other in celebration.
6Points Ibiza / Formentera, 4/5/6th October 2019
A very short ride from the Ibiza ferry terminal to the hotel we were using at that time, on 4th October 2019.
6Points Formentera 5th October 2019 – my Strava with pics
6Points Ibiza 6th October 2019 – my Strava with pics
Those three days made up the riding (apart from home to Palma for the ferry and back) for the 3-day weekend we had on those two smaller Balearic islands. The next day…
…back to Mallorca!
How could I not include another ride up to Galilea, maybe my favourite local destination: the Tapas Bar La Placa! Also via the Ca’n Torrat, with quail and rice pudding! They are on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/cafesaplacadegalilea/?hl=en.
7th October 2019, the day after our Ibiza/Formentera trip that year, riding again with Philip Crawford, another of our 6Points committee members, a close friend of Bryan Visser, the https://6pointschallenges.com/2022-ibiza-and-formentera-registration/ organiser, we rode up to Galilea.
Tapas Bar La Plaça is a great little café with a balcony, with a good view from high up in Galilea.
All the links for my Balearics 6Points ride videos
6Points Mallorca May 2019 Day 1
6Points Mallorca May 2019, Day 2
6Points Mallorca May 2019, Day 3
The Points of 6Points Challenges – or – why I love 6Points cycling
6Points Ibiza Oct 6th 2019 – full version
6Points Ibiza Oct 6th 2019 – short version
6Points Formentera, Oct 5th 2019 – full version
6Points Formentera, Oct 5th 2019 – short version
6Points Ibiza and Formentera October 2019
The next 6Points Challenges
I started by mentioning the upcoming 6Points Ibiza and Formentera on October 7/8/9th, an event I know well from doing it in October 2019, which I am really looking forward to as a first post-pandemic bike excursion.
I’ll close by mentioning next year’s 6Points Mallorca on May 19th/20th/21st 2023, which I did in May 2019. A little larger event (up to 75 riders, with support) but still with the Cycling Club look and feel.
I will be going again, and I hope this long list of Mallorca and other Balearics cycling opportunities will persuade you to come too!