R. Stanford. W. Sussex February 2018.
To get to the start of one of the best cycle routes in Majorca we, 7 keen cyclists, took the Mallorca Cycle Shuttle to Valldemossa, and after around 70 minutes of travel with our bikes safe between mattresses in the custom trailer we were ready to set off on the return ride.
A left turn onto the smooooth ma-10 and just over 9km later we were at the start of the excellent Port Des Canonge climb. Sweeping hairpins for 5km took us down to the sea. After a cheeky coffee at one of the 2 open cafés we set off up the climb. Very quiet, excellent surface and good scenery with about a 6% average to gain 300 or so metres. Well worth the small detour.
Back to the ma-10, retracing our steps to Valldemossa to get to the start of the Port Valldemossa climb which had been billed as a mini Sa Calobra. Flat for the first section, then things got very interesting. Breathtaking corners on a narrow road with an OK surface that made us more cautious and limited our descending speed. No traffic at all on the 5km descent, the only signs of other human life were a few lady climbers who seemed to be having a great time ascending one of the sheer cliff faces.
We stopped again for coffee, this time with some excellent cake at the sole restaurant in the Port of Valldemossa which proved to be a very nice place. Friendly staff, great cake and very reasonable prices. I shall be returning here for a meal having watched the catch of the day being delivered by boat.
Up the climb, 5km @7% with a 350m gain in altitude. The average surface is not an issue at all going up and the scenery is brilliant. Mini Sa Calobra indeed, easier to ride, very quiet, very scenic - this climb is already on next years itinerary. Loved it.
Back on the ma-10 we covered the undulating road through the trees and occasional coastal view to the quaint town of Deiá; onwards through Sóller and up the longest cycle climb in Majorca to the top of Puig Major where we were pleasantly surprised to find a brand new surface and both tunnels now with lights.
Down past the fairly full Cúber and Gorge Blau reservoirs (which I believe supply Palma with water) and then left at the Roman aqueduct for the short ascent to the top of the Col dels Reis (the sign must have just been cleaned as there were no stickers at all on it!).
This descent to Port Sa Calobra and the climb out never gets old - such a thrill to zoom around the 270 degree necktie corner and fly down towards the port. As we arrived at a fairly busy time, rather than join a queue behind a couple of coaches we pulled over to wait for a few minutes whilst the road cleared. Then we went past the photographer from Mallorca Cycling Photos who we saw later got some excellent action shots of us (chests puffed and and bellies mostly in).
Choosing not to stop at Port Sa Calobra we went straight back up the climb, reason enough for me to come to Mallorca. Hard but manageable. Three of us managed PB’s to further improve the groups mood!
We elected to push on to the newish cycling café Sa Ruta Verda on the outskirts of Caimari for a change which is touted as the only juice bar in the Tramuntana range rather than stop for refreshments at the aqueduct or the Repsol Garage / café at the top of the Col de Sa Batatia.
Glad we did as Sa Ruta Verda is a brilliant stop. Coffee, juice, seeded bagels, good range of cakes (some vegan), t-shirts, caps, spares. This place rocks and Lennart, a reformed banker (but now all round good guy - making up for previous misdemeanors maybe! ) who with his brilliant juice bar is a great addition to the cycling community in Mallorca.
Back through the lanes via Campanet and then a couple of much needed recovery beverages and more good food at Tolo’s.
A fantastic day.
Mallorca Cycle Shuttle - excellent.
Port des Canonge - excellent.
Port Valldemossa - excellent.
Puig Major - long!
Sa Ruta Verda - excellent.
Tolo’s - even under new ownership - excellent.
Whether you are coming to cycle in Mallorca or to cycle in Majorca, these 7 tips will help you get the best out of your time here.
1. You should not sleep late.
Why miss out on the even quieter roads and mirror calm conditions? During the peak seasons it is still possible to have the roads to yourself if you are out and about before 9 in the morning.
2. You should not miss riding the best cycle route in Mallorca.
The coastal and forest route from Andratx back to Port Pollenca is a joy. If this was the only cycle route you had to ride for the rest of your life, it would still be a pleasure. Enough scenery, climbing and excellent little cafés to keep you busy whether you choose the 115km or 162km return ride.
3. You should not treat the road surfaces as you do in your home country.
Here, the surfaces are wonderfully smooth, but have a higher granite content to help deal with the hot weather which sometimes makes the roads slippery even if there is no moisture about. Take a little extra care when cycling in Mallorca and you will be able to appreciate how brilliant the roads are without getting a too close look at how good they are.
4. You should not miss riding out to Cap Formentor.
Regularly ranked in the top 20 routes in the world, this very scenic and slightly hilly ride out to the lighthouse on the most northern point of Mallorca is excellent. Use it as a first day or a last day ride, as a leg loosener or as a reason to come up from where you are staying in the South. Any reason will do..
5. You should not forget to buy bike rescue.
Sh*t happens, usually at the least opportune time. When bike or body break down, Mallorca Bicycle Rescue save you time and frustration by getting you speedily back to where you are staying or to the nearest bike shop, your choice.
6. You should not miss riding Sa Calobra.
This climb is a must do for any road cyclist and whether you take the Sa Calobra Express there to conquer the Cat 1 mountain with fresh legs or you choose to ride there and back it is reason enough to come cycling in Mallorca in the first place, This world class climb will stay in your memory for years, whether that recollection will be for the scenery or for the achievement probably depends on your fitness.
7. You should not forget to wear sunscreen.
Chances are very high that you are going to spend a lot of time outdoors whilst you are here. The amazing routes, surfaces and climbs make sure of that. With an average of 308 sunny days a year beating down onto your skin, it deserves to be protected. 30% of visiting cyclists have some sort of heat stroke during their trip out here, so it is worth taking care to limit your downtime.
We also provide private airport transfers in Majorca to get your visit off to the best possible start, see here for an instant quote.
Andratx to Port Pollenca via the Orient Valley
Can Topa 66km
Pollenca Golf club 127km
Port Pollenca 142km
Andratx to Port Pollenca - vanilla 115km route
OJ shack 80km
Port Pollenca 115km
The Big Daddy Challenge
Port des Canonge 35km
Port Valldemossa 54km
OJ shack 102km
Port Sa Calobra 115km
OJ shack 127km
Port Pollenca 162km