From avid cyclists to international pros, Mallorca welcomes tens of thousands of riders a year, particularly during the milder spring and autumn when tourism is less pronounced and the weather is bliss.
And why do they come to Mallorca?
The answer is multifold and varies between groups, but all will agreed that the weather and the multitude of fantastic cycling routes are the main draw.
It is often said the island of Mallorca seems purpose built for cycling.
And though birders, hikers or sunbathers may feel differently, it does amass a surprising quantity of amazing routes or varying difficulties within its limited geography.
There are spectacular rides to take on in the Serra de Tramuntana Mountains, more leisurely climbs in the Llevant Mountains, rolling plains in the centre of the island and 550 km of coastline, most of which is bike-worthy with views that will quite literally take your breath away.
Here are 10 of the many cycle routes to try in Mallorca, some in the north, near Port Pollensa and Alcudia, the most popular cycle destinations, some around the south and a good few in the mountains.
Locals call the Cap de Formentor the meeting point of the four winds, and it does have a magical quality. Mallorca's northermost point, and lighthouse with cafe is a favourite with cyclists of all levels. More a series of short ascents than a long climb, the ride to Cape Formentor is challenging but the breathtaking sea views will keep your mind off the pain.
Elevation Gain : 1,000 m, Length : 35 Km
This is the most exhilirating of Mallorca's cycling routes and follows the MA10 right across the entire length of the Serra de Tramuntana Mountains from Port Pollensa in the north east to Port Andratx in the south west. Via Pollensa old town, Coll de Femenia, Lluc Monastery, the aqueduct, Cuber and Gorg Blau reservoirs, and then 14km ascent to Soller, Deia, Banyalbufar and Estellencs. For a variation on this route with the top climbs included, check out the Epic Tramuntana route below.
Elevation Gain : 2,958m, Length :115 Km
Bus out to Andratx and ride the Tramuntana MA10 back towards Port Pollensa. The climb up Puig Mayor is the longest and hardest on the route: 14 km long, with 6.2% average gradient, and 828m of elevation.
Elevation Gain : 2,425m, Length :115 Km
Possibly the most challenging and satifying ride on the island, this route takes in Sa Calobra, a 27 hairpin descent to a beach in the heart of the Tramuntana Mountains before you have to ride back up. Bus out and ride Sa Calobra 12 km descent-ascent fresh first, before heading back via Puig Mayor, Mallorca's highest mountain, Soller, Lluc Monastery and Pollensa old town, to end the route back in Port Pollensa.
Elevation Gain : 1,200 m, Length : 60 km
This route is a 2 climb wonder and a shame to miss out on if you want hill climbs, descents and great views. Head out of the lovely mountain village of Valldemossa on the MA10 towards Andratx to loop round at Port de Canonge before heading back towards Deia, Soller, Puig Mayor, lluc, Pollensa old town and back to base in Port Pollensa.
Elevation Gain : 3,000 m, Length : 112 Km
This route is similar to the 3 monasteries route below, but returns via Algaida and Sineu and instead of taking on all 3 monastery climbs, it climbs San Salvador and Puig de Randa, before heading back to Llubi, Sa Pobla and home to Port Pollensa.
Elevation Gain : 1,800 m, Length : 125 Km
This is the mother of all cycling challenges on the island and a ride you will remember. It follows the entite Tramuntana Mountain range along the MA10 plus takes in the 3 major climbs on route; Port de Valldemossa, Port des Canonge and Sa Calobra, just to make it extra difficult.
Elevation Gain : 4,300 m, Length : 162 Km
The 3 monasteries are San Salvador, Puig de Randa and Ermita de Betlem, and 3 excellent climbs, set a short distance apart with sweeping bird's eye views over the surrounding countryside. The route begins with San Salvador, then on to Felanitx, Son Mesquida, Porreres, up Puig Randa, Petra and Artá. Then up Ermita de Belen, back to Artá, and finally head up the coast to Alcudia and to base camp in Port Pollensa.
Elevation Gain : 2,800m, Length : 182Km
This is a little and beautifully scenic descent between Banyalbufar and Port de Valldemosa to be added to one of your routes at will. The average 7% gradient becomes a 15% for a spell and the many, many hairpin bends make this a tough climb, but memorable if only for the fantastic sea views.
Altitude : 320 m, Elevation Gain : 316 m, Length : 4,6 Km, Average Gradient : 7%
This is, after Sa Calobra, Mallorca's top climb, and with 14 km ascent, it is a long climb from Soller, at sea level to over 800 m at the top. The Puig Mayor mountain is actually 1,445 m high and the island's highest, but is a military base and off-bounds.
Altitude : 850 m, Elevation Gain : 4830 m, Length :13,9 Km, Gradient : 6,2 %