Cycling in Mallorca

Towards Cap de Formentor
Towards Cap de Formentor

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

Cap De Formentor route profile

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. 😀

Viewpoint at ‘Mirador de Sa Creueta’
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
Formentor beach
Cala Figuera
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
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

Route profile from Puerto Pollenca to Petra

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
Alcudia old town
Lovely sandy beach in Port d'Alcudia
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
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!)

Pollenca
Pollenca

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
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.

Have you been to Mallorca before and did you do any activities while on holiday?

2 Comments

  1. Well done! The photos look amazing, what beautiful scenery to cycle through. I don’t do much cycling but, funnily enough, me & my husband were saying we should try and do a bit more

  2. Thanks Helen! Mallorca is indeed beautiful with amazing sceneries when cycling. Do you have any cycling routes in your area? In the UK I prefer to cycle on designated routes for cyclists as there is lots of traffic otherwise. In the past I cycled in Stratford Upon Avon area (cycling trail for families not far from the centre where you will find bike hire as well), Peak District and Cotswolds. In the Peak District you will find quite few traffic-free trails which is what I like. You should definitely try and do more cycling, I find it fun!

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