Port de Pollenca – Alcudia – Can Picafort – Santa Margalida –
Llubi – Muro – Sa Pobla – Alcudia – Port de Pollenca
||Leave Port de Pollenca along the sea
from towards Alcudia. There is a cycle path all of the way alongside the
road. A gentle rise takes you to the old town of Alcudia – worth a visit
to the old streets and fort. As you pass the old gate, take the right
turn at the traffic lights and follow the hill down to a series of
roundabouts. Keep following signs for Can Picafort on cycle friendly
shoulders, all the way through the growing resort of Port d’Alcudia.
Past the resort, the road is straight and flat,
through pinewoods. Before Can Picafort, turn right and left at 2
roundabouts, signed for Santa Margalida. The road climbs and falls for 5
miles to the hilltop town. Leave the sightseeing for another day, and
instead go straight on at the roundabout to Llubi.
A smaller road, and the real interior of Mallorca
opens up before you. Ride through fields of hay bales, poppies and olive
trees and descend on a twisting fast road to the small village of Llubi.
This is a good place to join the locals sitting in the pavement cafes
around the square, and take a rest stop.
The bay of
Port de Pollenca
Retrace your steps some 100 yards and take the left turn to Muro/Sa
Pobla. A lovely descent follows a quiet road, and then wind left and right
through the village of Muro, following signs for Sa Pobla. A little climb out of
the village brings fabulous views across the plain to the range of the
Tramontana mountains beyond.
At Sa Pobla, you can visit the town, or make a right turn to
follow the road back to the coast at Alcudia. It is not difficult to retrace
your step through Alcudia to the seafront cycle path back to Port de Pollenca.
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Port de Pollenca – Campanet – Binibona – Col de Batalla – Lluc –
Pollenca - San Vicenc - Port de Pollenca
This is a great ride if you have that extra bit of
fitness or experience, and you want to test that granny gear in some
mountains. These are the Tramontana Mountains, rising across the
northern end of the island to a height of around 700 meters.
Take the main road out of Port de Pollenca to the old
town of Pollenca, some 4 miles away. Before the town, turn left at the
roundabout and follow a fast road towards Palma. Be careful on this
road, as there are no cycling shoulders, and the traffic can be heavy
(by Mallorcan standards), heading for the motorway to the capital. After
4 miles, watch for the right turn onto a way-marked cycle route to
This is a great network of cycle routes, on extremely
scenic roads, which are well marked with hand crafted wooden posts.
Care has been
taken to signpost the cycle routes
Pass through Campanet, and the tiny hamlet of Binibona and
emerge at the junction with the MA-2130 road in a town called Cairmari, which
has several options to sit at pavement cafes, and while the morning away with a
coffee. This is certainly what most of the weathered locals seem to do, but you
have a mountain to climb, so don’t leave it too late or the sun will be
Turn right on the main road and head upwards towards Lluc and
the Col de Sa Batalla. The 8 mile climb twists and turns up several hairpins,
before levelling out for a mile of flat road with the most amazing views right
down the valley to the sea. Then a last series of hairpins to the junction of
the road to Lluc one way, and Soller the other.
There is a welcome cafe/garage at this junction.
Take a right turn, and descend and climb alternately for 5
miles. Then enjoy the stunning descent to Pollenca. Add a short detour to Cala
San Vincenc, before returning to Port de Pollenca.
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Port de Pollenca – Campanet – Binibona – Mancor de la Vall –
Inca – Llubi – Santa Margalida – Can Picafort – Alcudia – Port de Pollenca
Follow the directions for Route 2, until the coffee stop
at Cairmari. This time, take a left on the main road MA-2130, and first
right back onto the cycle route to Mancor de la Vall. In the village,
take a right and left, following the road down to Inca, one of the main
towns on the island. Follow signs to the centre for plenty of shops and
Leave Inca, following signs to Palma. At the main road
MA-13A, turn left, and follow the service road until you reach a
roundabout, with a right turn signed for Llubi. It is the MA-3440 – and
a gentle descent across the plain to the town.
Then it is a case of reversing the directions from Route
1, following Santa Margalida and Can Picafort, back to the cycle way
into Alcudia and on to Port de Pollenca.
hamlet of Binibona
One of the great things about cycling inland Mallorca, is that
the network of roads is so extensive, that no little town or village is more
than about 5 miles from the next one, and it is easy to adapt a ride as you go
along – lengthening or shortening it as you wish, depending on how you feel.
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S’Esgleieta – Valldemossa – Deia – Soller – Col de Soller –
Palma – s’Esgleieta
This is the only ride that doesn’t start in Pollenca. I
had to hire a car to get across the island to the area around the
capital city of Palma. It is worth doing this as you get a chance to
visit the capital and see the hill towns of Valldemossa and Deia, as
well as climb the Col de Soller.
It would be easy enough to catch a bus to Palma, and
begin the ride from there. It is a loop, so can be started and finished
I chose a tiny village on the main road from Palma to
Valldemossa, the Ma1110, for no other reason that it had a sheltered churchyard
The first of the day’s climbs begins at once on the MA-1110 to
Valldemossa. This is a surprising climb – it had me reaching for my lower gears
fairly quickly. It is deceptively steep. After 5 miles, wind around the top of
the town, along a tree-lined boulevard, and take the right turn down to the
coast. The road to Deia is one of the prettiest I have ridden. Glimpse the misty
Mediterranean on one side of the cliffs and marvel at the peaks of the
Tramontana range on the other.
Deia itself is picturesque and old world, topped by its ancient
church, sitting on its hill and extending to the valley below with its system of
open irrigation channels that date back to Moorish times. Deià has been a haven
for artists, musicians and writers since the early 20th century, many of them
making their permanent homes in and around the Village, including the famous
home of the poet Robert Graves, which it is possible to visit.
A further 5 miles of rising and falling road brings you
to the town of Soller, and the foot of the famous Col of the same name.
The town seems to be completely surrounding by high jagged peaks and
bulky mountains, and at first there appears to be no way out. But once
the road leaves the town, the opening to the Col appears, and 8 miles of
tortuous hairpin climbing lie ahead.
Take the main road, MA-11 for a mile out of Soller to
the mouth of the new road tunnel, built through the mountain. Ignore
this road, which thankfully carries 99% of the motor traffic, and swing
right, selecting a low gear, to begin the hairpins.
Scale the top (there are no refreshments here), and
admire the views all the way down to the plain and the capital city.
Begin the descent of the famous side of the Col de Soller. It may not be
Alpe d’Huez, but it does boast more hairpins (24 in all). It is a
comfortable descent, and not too steep, which gives you time to enjoy
In the Placa
Take a fast road all the way to Palma, either the MA-11, or the
MA-2031 through Bunyola, and head for the central Rambla shopping area. The
Castle and cathedral on the waterfront are a must to visit. They are the classic
views of the city. Lunch in one of the many bars in the Placa Mayor, before
heading back up the MA-1110 to S’Esgleieta.
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Port de Pollenca – Cap de Formentor – Port de Pollenca
It’s only a short day’s ride, but the views along the
Cap make it a "must-do". The ride takes you to the northern most point
of the island. There is only the one road out of the Port in this
direction. It is well-signposted from all parts of the town to Formentor.
Climb for 4 miles in a low gear, until you reach the car
park, and a chance for a breather. There is a tempting track on your
right, leading steeply up to the high point of the Cap, marked by an old
tower. Take a deep breath and go for it. The steep climb will bring you
out in a sweat, but the views from the top are enough reward. Down in
the bay, the exclusive Formentor Hotel, with its own private beach, can
be seen in the forest.
Freewheel back to the car park, and turn right to
continue to the Cap. The road is not in the best condition, and this is
a real tourist hot spot, so the traffic can be heavy. I bounced along
the rutted surface with my racing tyres. Something a bit wider and more
robust would be better suited.
The Cap de
Formentor – there is a road down there somewhere..
At the bottom of the first long descent (enjoy it, but remember
you have to come back this way!) take a left turn, and follow the wooded road,
climbing steadily through parkland. The road rises and falls, and twists and
turns for 8 miles to the lighthouse and café that mark the end of the headland.
The prevailing wind is against you so the ride seems to be harder than it is.
Take real care near to the café. There are tame "wild" goats
that think nothing of wandering out into the traffic, and could make a mess of
your spokes. At the café, enjoy a drink and the views, before retracing your
steps back to Port de Pollenca.
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Port de Pollenca – Col de Sa Batalla – Selva – Inca – Sencelles
– Sineu – Santa Margalida – Alcudia – Port de Pollenca
I came across this route in a Cycling Weekly
magazine article, ridden as a training ride by the ex-professional
rider, Sean Kelly. I guess Mr Kelly zipped round the course in double
quick time, but for a keen amateur, it makes a good day’s riding. There
are plenty of flatter parts, but the key to the ride is the climb of the
Col de Sa Batalla.
Although the route could be done either way round, on a
hot day, it is worth doing the climb first, rather than towards the end
of the ride, so take the road to the old town of Pollenca, and at the
roundabout before the town, carry straight on, past the town and up
towards the mountains. Remember that great descent from Lluc, on Route
2? Well, you are about to climb back up it!
This is a lovely climb, which begins in earnest about 4
miles out of Pollenca. It then rises with some force for 8 miles,
opening up into real mountain terrain. The traffic is invariably very
light. So if you have a triple chainset, now is the time to slot it into
the little ring and sit back and enjoy the scenery.
The road emerges at the junction with the MA-10 to Soller. Take
a left turn and descend through Caimari and Selva to Inca. Take care on this
descent! It can get very busy with coaches bringing tourists up to the nearby
monastery at Lluc, and the narrow hairpins mean that those coaches are often on
the wrong side of the road. Be ready on your brake levers.
At Inca, follow signs for Sencelles, across the motorway and on
to the straight and deserted roads of the plains. A mile after Sencelles, join
the main road to Sineu. In a headwind (I had one), this long straight road is
hard work. There is no shelter, as you toil up the slight incline. The reward
can be found in the form of the biggest custard tart in the world at the old
pastelleria shop in the main square in Sineu. Actually, I ate two, but don’t
The route then follows the directions in Route 3, through Santa
Margalida, and Alcudia, back to Port de Pollenca.
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Port de Pollenca – Alcudia – Can Picafort – Colonia St Pere, and
This is Sunday afternoon ride. A flat, "out and back"
ride, on roads mostly with good shoulders or other cycling provision,
and a turnaround in an idyllic coastal village, well off the beaten
Follow the route through Alcudia as per Route 1, but
instead of turning right to Santa Margalida, continue on the same road
straight through Can Picafort towards Arta. Any traffic thins out after
Can Picafort, and the road broadly follows the coast line on the MA-12.
Sweeping downhill, it crosses the optimistically named "Torrent de na
Borges" - more of a trickle in June, and then climbs slowly for a few
Take the right turn marked for Colonia St Pere and weave
your way down to the tiny village. It’s low-rise and low-key; a perfect
place to sit for an hour at a promenade café, and contemplate the return
trip by the same route.
afternoon scene in the bay of Alcudia
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The Fall and Rise of Sa Calobra
Now here’s a thing. The 5-mile descent to Sa Calobra on
the northern coast of the island is simply the most spectacular road I
have ever cycled. And I have cycled a few. This is a mega-ride. A "get
up with the dawn" ride. And even then, you will be lucky to avoid the
mid-afternoon heat on the return trip.
(The descent, by the way, is on a purpose-built, steep,
hairpin-covered road to nowhere. Once down in the hamlet of Sa Calobra,
there is only one way out. Right back up the road again. So, be sure of
your capability to climb back up before you begin the descent!)
The day starts with the climb of the Col de Sa Batalla,
as in Route 6. At the junction with the MA-10, this time take the right
turn on the road to Soller. The next 5 miles will see the scenery become
more remote, barren and dramatic. Soon you will come to the right turn
to Sa Calobra. Climb steadily on the bare mountainside for 2 miles,
emerge through a rocky gap at the col, and then stop.
The 5-mile descent to Sa Calobra lies before you, a maze
of impossible twisting road, a silver tangle of thread, wrapping itself
in knots as it plummets down to the sea. Take a deep breath, release the
brake levers, and go!
Calobra road falls down the mountainside behind me
This road is a cyclist’s dream, smooth and carefully made, with
hairpins broad enough to sweep down without losing speed. My head became dizzy
with the never-ending swoosh of air past my ears. All too suddenly the road
levels out to reveal the village, a few shops and tourist cafes, and a small
The climb back up is of course, hard and slow. I did it in a
gear of 30 inches, but could have used lower. By 11 am the tourist coaches are
arriving and you will receive applause and appreciative comments from those on
the coaches, to encourage you on the way.
The return to Port de Pollenca is the same way as you came up,
with a good downhill finish off the Col de Sa Batalla. If you are fit and an
experienced cyclist, I urge you to try this ride – it is simply spectacular.
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Port de Pollenca – Alcudia – Santa Margalida – Petra – Sineu –
Sencelles – Inca – Selva – Col de Sa Batalla – Lluc – Port de Pollenca
Broadly, this is Route 6 in reverse, but with a section added,
that takes in a loop from Santa Margalida to Petra and then up to Sineu, to
continue towards the climb of the Col de Sa Batalla
At 71 miles in length, it does test the legs and lungs,
especially with the climb coming towards the end of the ride. For the only part
of the route that is new, take a left at the junction of Santa Margalida and
follow the MA-3340 into Petra. This is actually the main road to Manacor, which
is a main town on the island, and therefore the traffic is quite heavy for a few
In Petra, head for the church. There is a lovely courtyard bar
in the square nearby, with homemade cakes for the coffee stop. Then it is best
to ask directions through the town, as the signed route to Sineu is not the one
you want. Instead, aim for the quieter back route, following signs first for
Saint Joan, and then taking a right turn to Sineu on the MA-3300.
Pass a huge quarry on the way into Sineu. It is very dusty, but
I suppose that all that lovely Mallorcan stone has to come from somewhere...
From Sineu, it is back on familiar ground, following the instructions for Route
6 in reverse.
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Port de Pollenca – Campanet –Selva – Lloseta – Binnisalem –
Santa Maria del Cami – Bunyola – Col de Soller – Soller – Lluc – Port de
Save the best, and the hardest, till last. With two weeks of sun
and cycling in your legs, this 83-mile epic provides a fitting finale to a
Mallorcan cycling venture. It encompasses all the main cols in the Tramontana
mountains, as well as some lovely roads skirting the plains.
Follow directions as for Route 3, on the cycleway, as far as
Campanet. Follow the cycleway signs direct to Selva and straight on to Lloseta.
Then work your way down towards the main road through Mallorca, the MA13A
through Binnisalem. This road goes all the way to Palma, but the motorway
alongside now takes most of the traffic.
At Santa Maria del Cami, leave the main road, and turn
right, signposted for Bunyola. In the town, stop for food and drink to
sustain you on the forthcoming climbs of the Col de Soller (all those 24
hairpins and a fast fast descent), and the 9-mile slog up to the Serra
de Torella. At 1078 meters, this is definitely the highest point of the
rides on the island.
From here, the road descends to the turn for Sa Calobra.
Ignore this turn on this occasion, and carry on climbing and descending
past the Col de Sa Batalla and Lluc, returning to Port de Pollenca on
the now familiar downhill run back to the sea.
And that is that. A final ice crème at the Helado
garrido, pack up your bike for the journey home, and vow to return
again next year for the ultimate cycling holiday.
end to a perfect ride
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