Cycling was one of the reasons why I fell in love with Mallorca. And it has remained so until today. Whether in spring or autumn, from the saddle you always experience the island differently. You can go for extended rides, here. But even more exciting are the mountain tours. The effort of the ascent is rewarded with fantastic views and great descents. There are different routes from Palma into the Tramuntana. And I know a few cycling aficionados here who share my passion for the sporting challenge. I asked five of them for their top tips. Here they are, their favorite cycling tours from Palma:
Cycling in the Tramuntana is always special. Because of the countless ups and downs in the protected World Heritage Site. But even more so because of the unique cultural landscape and the beautiful villages you pass. Jonay suggested one of the tours that perfectly combines all three. From Palma to Santa Maria del Camí, further on to Alaró and the high plateau of Orient, and via Coll d’Honor and Bunyola back home. Actually, I prefer to do the trip the other way round because the street from Orient to Alaró is such a great downhill ride. Passing the two fabulous signature mountains that open up onto the plains like a giant gate.
From above the road looks like a giant snake. Its long gray body winding in large loops through the mountains all the way down to the sea. Not even 100 years old and considered a masterpiece of road construction the 10 km descent to Sa Calobra is one of the most exciting cycling experiences on Mallorca. And for Greg definitely one of the most fun rides. With a dozen of fancy hairpin bends, the famous Nudo de la Corbata, a 270-degree tie knot curve, narrow passes and breathtaking views over the wide valley and the sea. Mind you, it’s a dead end street, so you have to climb all the way back up. Unless you skip that part and take the Blue Boat to Port de Sóller, they also carry your bicycle.
The coastal classic from Port Andratx to Alcudia is supposed to be one of the most beautiful road bike tours in Europe. About 150 km of spectacular coastal scenery with breathtaking views, between wild mountain vegetation and deep blue sea. Bernabe’s favorite stretch is the one between Esporles and Valldemossa, leading all the way to Coll d’en Claret. From up there beautiful Esporles looks like a toy village nestled between the mountain slopes. A most scenic ride brings you further to Valldemossa. Back to Palma it’s all downhill, a fantastic descent with a cool breeze in your face.
Oliver doesn’t do such long rides anymore as he can’t find the time. So short rides suit him much better. And since he loves climbing, the way via the Coll de Sa Creu is his favorite escape from Palma. Heading towards Calvià you leave the city behind in no time. And while the views of the bay of Palma are getting more impressive after each turn your lungs fill with clear, pine scented air. Once on the Coll, a marvelous descent lies ahead of you. Through ancient cultural landscape with meadows and dry stone walls, past almond, olive and orange orchards. The perfect training route, indeed. Or with a coffee break on the peaceful village square of Calvià, a nice outing on the weekend.
For Sebastian, too, Coll Creu is the fastest and most beautiful way from Palma into the Tramuntana. The narrow hairpin bends on the ascent are a welcome challenge. From the pass one of his favorite tours leads him further into the mountains, past picturesque Puigpunyent to the serpentine road up to Coll des Grau. Followed by one of the most scenic valleys on the island. Instead of racing down all the way to La Granja I usually slow down a bit here to get a glimpse of the beautiful surroundings. Don’t worry, on the way home via Esporles to Palma there’s still a chance to let the wheels run free.