Port Pollensa: Mallorca’s Epic Base for Cycling

Written by Bethany McAtee on 13th December, 2019

Where is Port Pollensa?

Located on the bay below Mallorca’s northernmost tip, Port Pollensa is hugged by turquoise sea, picturesque countryside and Tramuntana mountains. Because Mallorca is a small island, you’ll be in Port Pollensa within an hour of leaving Palma airport. For reference, Port Pollensa is on the North coast, and Palma, the capital city, is on the South. 

Port Pollensa is also only a quick 20 minute spin away from Pollensa, the old town nestled between jagged peaks. Here you’ll find typical cobbled streets, quaint sandstone buildings and a history spanning to medieval times. Importantly, Mallorca is renowned for being a cycling paradise, especially for climbing. Sa Calobra is one of the most iconic climbs in Europe, and guess what? It’s just around the corner from Port Pollensa… 

view of the port pollensa bay in mallorca with blue sea and tramuntana mountains

Routes 

Sa Calobra Climb

The route to Sa Colabra is without a doubt, one of the best cycle routes you can tackle. From the pristine tarmac to the winding switchbacks overlooking incredible scenery, Sa Calobra is made of every road cyclist’s dream. Originally built to ferry tourists to the small Port de Sa Calobra, the climb is now peppered with cyclists in vibrant jerseys. Now and again, some of those cyclists belong to Team Ineos, as the pros often train in Mallorca.

What goes down must go up is certainly the case with this climb. You first climb 685m to the top of Sa Calobra (no, you’re not finished yet!), then downhill to the coast. The actual Sa Colabra climb begins here, and takes you 9.5km at a hardy 7% average gradient back to the Sa Calobra peak. Make sure to set off early if you’d like to climb Sa Calobra when it’s less crowded! 

the winding roads of sa calobra climb on the North mallorca tramuntana mountains popular with cyclists

Cap Formentor Lighthouse

Jutting out into the Mediterranean Sea sits the iconic Cap de Formentor Lighthouse, a magnet for all keen cyclists. Crystal water crashes against rock on one side and the grit of limestone peaks rises over the road on the other. As atmosphere’s go, the ride to Cap de Formentor is truly dramatic and mesmerising. If that’s not enough, look out for the rugged mountain goats tiptoeing across craggy cliffs!

The route is only 20km from Port Pollensa, which is why it has become so attractive to cyclists and motorists alike. However, it is now banned for cars to drive up to the lighthouse. The road is left clear for cyclists, walkers and the occasional tourist coach, allowing you to pedal up in peace.

a road cyclist on the road to cap formentor lighthouse on mallorca's northern tip

Cycle to Alcudia

We all agree Port Pollensa is beautiful, yet what if we told you there is another town just as pretty? Head east along the coastal road and after 9km you’ll find Alcudia, doused in charm and history. Acting as a Roman settlement in 123 BC, the ancient town was subsequently conquered by Vandals, Byzantines, Arabs and Christians. Discover medieval houses, cosy cafes and boutiques, encompassed by a 14th century wall. For those with time, consider taking a walk atop the wall for views over the sea, mountains and building below.

An epic route starting in Alcudia takes you to the stunning Ermita (hermitage) viewpoint. The ride here is fairly steep, so don’t be fooled by the fact it is only 12km there and back! Away from the hustle and bustle of tourists, the Ermita de la Victoria offers unspoiled and idyllic scenery. In addition to being able to see Cap de Formentor from a new perspective, there is also paella nearby. Restaurante Mirador de la Victoria is definitely one of our top stops for lunch.

the medieval wall in alcudia in mallorca with road cyclists in front

Ride the Flatlands

In contrast to the gorgeous coast, and the tempting Tramuntana mountains, the Mallorcan flatlands offer a picturesque solitude. Cycle into orange and almond grove paradise and explore the authentic heart of Mallorca. Along the way you’ll stumble across villages and towns such as Campanet, Inca and Sa Pobla. Occasionally these towns will have quaint markets open to buy fresh produce and handicrafts that we couldn’t recommend visiting more!

One of our most popular loop rides from Port Pollensa circles for 82km with 700m of ascent, yet is rolling, rather than mountainous. The maximum height for a climb is only 200m, meaning the route is ideal for winding down the legs after a day in the mountains. After setting off from Port Pollensa, you can cycle via Alcudia towards Llubi and Inca on quiet country roads. On your way home make sure to grab a coffee in Caimari at cycling themed cafe, ‘Sa Ruta Verda’.

a typical mallorca windmill in the flatlands

Coll de Soller Climb

We’re back in the Tramuntana mountains again, and this time, let us introduce you to Coll de Soller. Jam packed with switchbacks and breathtaking views, along with little traffic, the climb has won the hearts of many cyclists. If you’re a thrill seeker, Soller is right up your street, with a gnarly 20km winding descent into Soller port. The port itself is more secluded than Port Pollensa, as the only way in is by weaving through the mountains. Once there, admire the view out to sea, with colourful anchored boats lolling peacefully and treat yourself to a seafood dinner.

To conquer Coll de Soller from Port Pollensa, you’ll be looking at a 147km ride with nearly 3000m of climbing. We recommend tackling Soller from the North side, after refueling in Port Soller, as you’ll need the energy for your ride home. It’s also more challenging, and we love a good sufferfest! Although the gradient is a pretty steady 5.7%, there is another 6.4km climb at a similar gradient afterwards.

the switchback road of coll de soller in the tramuntana mountains, mallorca

Experience cycling in the legendary Mallorca by contacting our cycling specialists today. We have handcrafted GPX routes with descriptions and tips if you’d like to cycle self-guided. Alternatively, you can join our guided rides and training camps.