While everybody seems to go for the beaches these days I love to get up early, take my bike and head towards the Tramuntana. Leave the city behind and climb up to the Coll de Sa Creu, the shortest way into the mountains. The scent of the pine trees mingles with the heat and the dust taking the direct path to the part of your brain that associates mediterranean summers and pure joy. Every now and then the road offers a spectacular view over the bay of Palma. One of my favorite routes takes me via Calvia further on to Es Capdellà – es Cap de s’allà, literally the end of the world.
From there I take the road back into the hills, towards Galilea. The narrow street seems to be winding up endlessly, but the vistas to your right are a sure reward. And then there’s the prospect of a break at the Bar Parroquial, a habitual stop on my western Tramuntana tour. The bar’s terrace adjoins the walls of the plain church and opens onto a plaça – with a stunning view across the southern tip of the island, all the way down to the ocean. From Galilea it’s only a quick ride downhill to Puigpunyent (with Café Can Blau another one of my stopover favorites) until I take a last climb up to Coll es Grau. For me, the following descent into the valley of Esporles belongs to the most beautiful stretches on the island.
If you were not sure so far why the Tramuntana was appointed world heritage in 2011, you will know now. Its nature is breathtaking any time of the year. Wild flowers are lining the steep narrow roads, yarrow, poppies and lilies, orange, lemon trees, palm and pine trees, vinyards, charming rural villages that go by their own pace. And you have it all to yourself. You can go for miles without meeting anyone, neither cars nor hikers, occasionally another cyclist maybe. If you run out of water or energy, don’t worry, you’ll pass a small bar or restaurant eventually.