Majorca has become the spiritual home of cycling. Pro peloton teams such as Team INEOS, Astana and Canyon-SRAM use the island to train in December and January, preparing for the classics and the big tours.
The pro teams take advantage of Majorca’s natural cycling-friendly climate and challenging cycling terrain to get their athletes in shape for the coming season.
Olympians such as Sir Bradley Wiggins trained here before his 2012 Olympic triumphs. Every training session he would ride up and down the hairpins of Sa Calobra.
His victories not only made him and Majorca famous, but it made Sa Calobra famous. Now every professional and amateur cyclist takes on the climb.
The Tramuntana Mountain Range is a big draw for cyclists of all levels. Thousands of cyclists descend on the Balaeric island every year to ride it and the other gems Majorca has.
Gradients rarely exceed the 8% mark, but the undulating roads, the scenery of the Mediterranean Sea and the olive and orange orchards that flank the slopes of the mountains, make for a perfect cycling holiday or training camp.
Majorca realised long ago what a boom to the local economy cycling has become. Training camps and holiday tour operators flourish here, and so do bike shops of every kind.
Many cyclists love testing out their new bikes in Majorca. Where once this island was known for heady nightclubs, it is now known as being a cycling paradise.
Hitting the Road
When you come to Majorca, you may want to do a few warm-up rides before undertaking a major route.
If you are from a country such as the UK that drives on the left rather than the right, it can take a bit of getting used to as your mind works out that turning left is the same as turning right and vice versa.
Thankfully, with a few exceptions street signs are intuitive, and so it shouldn’t take you long to acclimatise to the Majorca road network.
Once you have your new road bike you may want to consider riding with a cycling training camp provider. They can improve your cycling and take you to the best places to ride in Majorca.
When you are ready, here are a few gems to ride.
Puig Major is the highest reachable point in Majorca and is part of the Tramuntana Mountain Range. To reach the top, you cycle 13.9 kilometres and make your way up the mountain roads. Most routes in the mountains run off the MA-10 and much of your time spent here will involve riding this road.
Gradients hit 6.2% and the higher you go, the better the views become. Valleys fall away as you ascend, and eventually you reach the top and overlook the ocean.
In fact, you can say the views are breathtaking, and this would not be an exaggeration. You’ll have plenty of great shots for your Instagram feed.
When you reach the top, you will be 850m above sea level.
The hairpin bends that come at you thick and fast are the main draw for this amazing climb. It is also where pro cyclists come and prove their mettle. Intriguingly, to start the climb, you cycle down it first to the village of Sa Calobra.
There is no connecting road, and the only other way to begin the climb is to catch the ferry, but where is the fun in that?
The climb is 9.4 kilometres from start to finish. It features an average gradient of 7%. What makes this climb so astonishing is the 26 hairpin bends that you ascend.
The views here are extraordinary, and one can’t help but marvel at the feat of engineering that went into building this road.
If you’re feeling brave, you can start your Sa Calobra adventure from the top of Puig Major.
Cap Formentor Lighthouse
For a change of pace, why not take the ride out to Cap Formentor. Situated at Majorca’s most northern point, you ride to the end of the Tramuntana Mountain Range.
The 20-kilometre ride along the peninsula offers fabulous views as you often have ocean on one side and mountains on the other.
When you reach the lighthouse, you can see both sides of the Majorca peninsula. This and the sense of achievement is worth the effort alone.
This is a highly popular destination, and you will be amazed at the crowd of cyclists that will you meet here.
Above all, riding these gems will give you a greater love and appreciation of cycling, and you will have a profound sense of achievement.
The cycling in Majorca is second to none and is the perfect place to test your new bike.