This summer, we spent some days on Mallorca. Knowing that this is a popular destination for cyclists, we wanted to see for our selves what the island has to offer. The plan was to spend a few days riding and a few days relaxing on the beach, a combination that is perfect for sun-loving, lazy cyclists like ourselves.
Studying routes was an important part of the vacation planning and the main reason why we ended up being based on the northern part of the island. We wanted to go to Cap Formentor and to visit the Lluc monastery, both which are easily accessed from the north. We also wanted to see Valldemossa and Sóller and the mountains surrounding these areas, so we guess we need to go back sometime...
Mostly by coincidence, we ended up in a hotel in Can Picafort. This city was not the most charming place we have visited, as it seems to be built solely for tourism. However, it ticked off all the important boxes, namely:
Easy and cheap place to travel
Close to the beach
Possibility to go on interesting rides
If you are considering a similar trip, we would recommend to get a hotel in Port de Pollença, which in our opinion is a much nicer and authentic city, which also have great bike shops.
As we wanted the trip to be as easy as possible, we decided to rent a bike and not bring our own. Upon arrival, we visited Huerzeler and got a very nice carbon bike to a reasonable prize. If we were travelling during peak bike season we would probably have booked in advance, but during summer it was no problem to rent a bike on the spot, for 3 days.
Day 1: Cap Formentor
The first day we went to see the lighthouse at Cap Formentor. This is one of the classics on the island, where you can get some epic photos and memories. The lighthouse is situated on a peninsula and is the most northern part of the island. It consists of narrow roads which have a scenic view from start till end.
The first part of the trip, from Can Picafort to Port de Pollença was incredebly flat and surprisingly bike friendly. Beforehand, we were not sure what to expect from the traffic here, but the roads are built for both cars and bikes, either with broad roads or with dedicated bike lanes. In general, it seems like drivers also are very mindful when passing.
After passing through Port de Pollença we began our first climb up a hill of approximately 200 meters. On the top you get a splendid view in both directions, both of the mediteranian ocean and of the northern coast of the island. There was also a kiosk here to refuel, if needed. The climb is followed by an equally long descent. After this point the road was closed for cars, allowing only bus and bike! This was really nice, because it basically meant that we were biking by ourselves, in peace, for most of the ride, only passed by an occasional bus. We are not sure if it is like this all year, but for us it was certainly a nice surprise. The rest of the route to the lighthouse was hilly, but spread over a greater distance, it did not feel too bad. We also passed through one tunnel, which was short and brightly light. The scenery on this part of the trip was amazing and we where in awe of the breathtaking landscape most of the time. When we arrived at the lighthouse, there were more people, of course, as well as a café.
Check out the route on Strava:
Day 2: Coll de sa Batilla and Lluc
The second day we climbed the mountains to see the monastery of Lluc. The monastry is located centrally in Serra de Tramuntana, a mountain range running along the western coast of Mallorca. The Tramuntana Range has even been awarded World Heritage Status by UNESCO and is another must see, when visiting Mallorca.
As the previous day, this day also started off rather flat and for the first 15 km. There were literally no elevation gain. During this first part, we rode through the nature reserve S'Albufera. Surrounded by high grass of some sort, we felt like Jack, from the fairytale Jack and the bean stalk, a quite magical experience.
After passing the cities of Sa Pobla, Buger and Campanet, we came to Caimari and this is where the fun started. From Caimari, we climbed Coll de sa Batilla, consisting of 391 m elevation gain spread over 7.89 km. It was strange and fascinating how quickly the landscape changed from flat farmland to rough mountains. After this climb we started the descent, but after a few km, we took left to get to Lluc. The monastery was beautiful, but packed with tourists, so we quickly got back on the roads. From Lluc we followed a long descent almost all the way to Pollença, during which the scenary changed from rough mountains to picturesque countryside. We also passed thorugh the city of Pollença, which was very authentic Mallorcan and cute. Afterwards we got onto a more busy road, taking us back to Can Picafort. Positively surprised, even the more trafficated roads feel safe on Mallorca and we had no uncomfortable experiences with cars.
Unfortunately, Strava did not record the last bit of the trip, but most of the route can be seen below:
Day 3: Petra
The third day we wanted to go for an easier ride and at Huerzeler we were advised to go to Petra, a cute village which is popluar among cyclists. Following their recommendations, we set sail.
This ride was also kind of fascinating, but in a different way than the previous days, where we had been riding to various beautiful landscape. For this ride it was due to the remoteness. After leaving the city of Can Picafort, there was almost nothing but flat farmland for 25 km. No stores, few houses, nothing. And very little traffic. This offered a rare sense of freedom, just us and the bike, which was also kind of nice for a change.
After about an hour of solitude, we reached Petra. And it was indeed as promised, another authentic, cute Mallorcan village.
After Petra, we passed through several smaller villages. The route was perfect for a shorter day, when the legs did not have as much juice..
To sum up - biking in Mallorca was a great experience, and we are not done exploring this island..