Cycling in Mallorca at this time of year
As a resident of the island, your cycling habits change with the seasons – you cycle different routes, with different people, at different times of day, for different lengths of time.
From April to June you mix up your riding, but as a general rule you ride into the Tramuntana Mountain Range. The distances are not as far as the in winter, but the vertical gain is significantly higher. Loops that include Sa Calobra, Puig Major & the coastal route to Andratx are a regular feature. You fellow riders are a mix of friends who are visiting as well as your mates that live here.
In the summer (July-August), you generally to head out early morning. There’s not much to mull over in terms of gubbins & the faff levels are fairy low! It is very simple – shirt, bib shorts, socks, helmet, sunnies & shoes. You are prepped the night before and you venture out just after sunrise. More often than not, you tend to ride on your own & closer to home. Depending on where you live, you head into the hills (for more shorter power based training). You seek the shaded climbs such as the Coll d’Honor, Port De Valldemossa & Canonge and try to be back home before the mercury hits 30 degrees. The other option, which I love, is a more leisurely / flatter spin, catching up with friends that are over for the summer and taking in some great coffee stops, maybe a brewery &/or a winery!
From the mid October through to the end of March, with reduced work demands, you catch up with mates that live here and explore the island a bit more. You tend to meet in a more central location such as Santa Maria and head out of the flat in larger groups. The rides tend to be longer distances 100-150km and include one exposed climb. I have listed the climbs that we would look to include in one of our rides at this time of year….
Coll de sa Batalla
While Sa Calobra can seem like the obvious choice for the number one climb on Mallorca, Coll de sa Batalla is a cracker. With the climb broken up onto different sections, the 7.8km stretch of road starts in the town of Caimari.
Distance: 7.8km, Average gradient: five per cent, Steepest gradient: eight per cent
Coll de Femenia
The Coll de Femenia is the major climb you’ll take on if you’re trying to get to Lluc and head out towards the Puig Major, Sa Calobra and lakes from Pollença.
Distance: 7.5km, Average gradient: 5%, Steepest gradient: 8%
Coll d’Honor is different from many climbs on the island in that the gradients it can hit are a touch steeper. This is another one that should be tackled in a certain direction during the winter (from the village of Bunyola). Be careful on the descent towards Orient – the road is getting a bit sketchy.
Distance: 4.7km, Average gradient: 6%, Steepest gradient: 9%
If you want to reach a monastery at the summit of a climb, then the climb to the San Salvador sanctuary is a must. Starting just outside the town of Felanitx, the PMV-4011 road is the one you’re after, dead-ending at the top of the hill.
Distance: 4.7km, Average gradient: 7%, Steepest gradient: 15%
Puig de Randa (from Randa)
Another monastery climb to the Santuari de Cura and one to cross off your list. There are in fact two approaches, with both meeting just shy of halfway up, but I’ve picked out the approach that heads through Randa simply because the KOM is held by Fabian Cancellara.
Distance: 4.6km, Average gradient: 5%, Steepest gradient: 7%
Coll de Sóller (from Soller)
The Coll de Sóller is a mountain pass, so has two ascents to tackle, both of which are incredibly picturesque, and reminiscent of the switchbacked climbs you’ll find in the Alps. In the winter months, due to the slippery nature of the shaded road into Soller, we only climb from the Soller side towards Palma.
Northern (Soller) – Distance: 7.3km, Average gradient: 6 %, Steepest gradient: 7%
Cap de Formentor
Starting from Port de Pollenca, a simple out and back 45km, the road to the lighthouse at Cap Formentor on the far north eastern tip of Mallorca, bucks, weaves, climbs, descends and climbs again, making for one of the most unique and unmissable rides in the world. Best of all, as the road dead ends at the lighthouse, you have no choice but to turn back around and tackle the reverse of your route. On a clear, calm day, between October & March this is one of the best rides on the island – no cars, very few cyclists, just a few goats!
Coll de sa Creueta
Rising from the sea in Port de Pollenca and affording stunning sea views which gets better the higher you get. It is over before you know it and a right turn takes you away from the views of Port de Pollenca and into the rugged landscape towards the lighthouse. On your return, you naturally have to climb back through the trees to the top of Sa Creruta – an equally stunning climb, but very different scenery.
Distance: 3.7km, Average Gradient: 5%, Steepest gradient: 8%
Others to consider when the temperature is not too cold & there is no snow in the mountains!
Sa Calobra is the most famous climb in Mallorca and features in most peoples list of top ten climbs in the world. In order to ride up, first you must descend it!
Distance: 9.6km, Average gradient: 7%, Steepest gradient: 20%
From Soller, it’s the highest climb in Mallorca, gaining 787m over 13.6km, it’s one of the main ways you can access the mountain lakes.
Distance: 14.2km, Average gradient: 6%, Steepest gradient: 9%
Dan Marsh – Owner & Founder
(+34) 616 529 111
@ses_rotes OR www.sesrotes.com