October 6, 2018 7:00 pm
You love riding your bike and don’t want to be a fairweather cyclist but you’re staring down the barrel of a long cold winter and wondering if you could just skip off somewhere hot for a few weeks of uninterrupted training… Well, I’m forever here to enable you, my friend.
Europe is home to so many amazing locations, perfect for cyclists, you definitely don’t need to travel for days, or spend an absolute fortune, to find training nirvana. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll know that we normally head off to Italy once a year for two weeks of tri camp and whilst those two weeks will forever be a highlight of my year, I was lucky enough to also try out Mallorca for a few days last month to ‘Bike The Balearics’ with Thomas Cook Airlines and you guys, I was blown away! The cycling in Mallorca is just next level and if you haven’t been, I would highly recommend you add it onto your list of places to visit.
Here’s a peek at what we created…
Where actually is Mallorca?
It’s part of the Balearic islands situated in the beautiful Mediterranean, just in between Ibiza and Menorca.
How do you get there?
You’ll fly into the Islands capital, Palma (PMI). It’s about 2.5 hours from London and a little longer from Manchester.
Prepare for heat, heat and more heat! Depending on the time of year when you visit, cycling in Mallorca can feel like you’re cycling on the face of the sun, however, I should mention that we went during it’s hottest period, even the locals said it was hotter than usual. In my eyes, it makes it the perfect destination though… You get up early whilst it’s still cool enough to ride around the Island, then you relax by the ocean with a chilled drink or three and plenty of plates of fresh tapas. If you’re not as big of a fan of the heat then I would recommend heading out there in April, May or possibly June. July and August are likely to be el scorchio with an average temp of 25 degrees, though when we were there, it hit 35 degrees! Yeoww!!
Don’t forget to pack the factor 50!
Let’s start with the biggie and the one that I was most looking forward to, Sa Calobra.
Sa Calobra is famous for its 26 hairpins and breathtaking views. Don’t worry though, it’s just under 10km long and the average gradient is just 7% making it a totally achievable climb, even for less experienced riders.
Next up it’s Cala Deia.
This ride starts and ends in Port de Soller but it’s the midway point that really has the wow factor, Cala Deia. A small cove with crystal clear water and rock pools, perfect for that post-ride dip. There’s also a great little restaurant, Ca’s Patro March that looks out onto the ocean, book a table at golden hour to really make the most of the view. Back to the ride, the climb itself is a relatively short one, 26.3km in total and I would highly recommend stopping for ice cream in Deia.
See info here.
Cap de Formentor – Or, Lighthouse road, as it’s also known.
See info here.
Port de Pollenca to Lluc. Pollenca, a beautiful tranquil place, is situated at the foot of Serra de Tramuntana (a mountain range with UNESCO world heritage status, no less!), providing easy access to the climbs that Mallorca is famous for.
See info here.
Mallorca’s longest climb, Puig Major.
This climb will take you as high as you can get, via the road, in Mallorca. Situated on the Ma-10, the Monnaber tunnel signals tlimb the end of the climb, from either end. The most popular route up Puig Major is the 14km from Soller, making it Mallorca’s longest climb averaging an enjoyable 6% gradient. This climb is super popular and has made it onto many of Mallorca’s most famous races, Challenge Mallorca and the Mallorca 312 being just two.
See info here.
Woodlands to Mirador.
Mirador de la Creueta is a super famous spot in Mallorca, it’s located on the PM-221 road and is en route from Port de Pollenca to Cap de Formentor. Cycling through the serene woodlands provided a welcome break from the heat and it’s a fun route if, like me, you love pushing the watts and gaining a bit of speed!
See info here.
I opted to take my bike with me, purely because I always feel more comfortable and confident on a bike that I’m used to. That being said, I have hired bikes before and have gotten along great with them and Mallorca has no shortage of bikes to hire! If you don’t want the hassle of packing-unpacking-building-taking apart-packing etc etc then I would highly recommend hiring. Hiring a bike for a week is also great to do if you’re thinking of buying your own but don’t know where to start.
Aside from that, you’ll need all the usual cycling kit, sunglasses being very essential! Also, there are cafes and restaurants en route but don’t forget your own snacks and energy drinks.
The great thing about the Island being so geared towards cyclists is that if you forget something major, you will be able to either buy or hire what you need.
Canyon Base The Canyon AEROAD CF SLX is a dream to ride, I’d highly recommend it!
Pinarello Experience For all things, yep, you guessed it, Pinarello.
Danilo Hondo E-point – Here you can try Giant bikes (including the female-specific LIV bikes), as you can see from the pictures, I took my LIV ENVIE to Mallorca and loved every minute of it!
I would highly recommend making Port de Pollenca your base for it’s sleepy seaside town vibes. The Islands capital, Palma, is also so beautiful – If you have a love of architecture, you’ll definitely enjoy getting lost amongst the narrow streets of Palma old town, stopping at market stalls and tapas restaurants.
Overall, in case I hadn’t made it super obvious, I would recommend cycling Mallorca to anyone and everyone, I’d go back in a heartbeat!!
If you do visit the Island to get some miles in, just remember to look up and soak it all in! Mallorca is such a beautiful Island, you can leave the head-down training hard style for back at home on your turbo trainer. Also, try not to get too carried away on the descents as you will often encounter massive tourist buses on the winding narrow roads… as well as various herds of animals!
Have you ever been? Do you fancy going?
This post was written in collaboration with Thomas Cook Airlines, however, all thoughts and opinions are very much my own, as always.