Mallorca: All you need to know about cycling on the Balearic Island

East off the mainland of Spain is Mallorca, one of the Balearic Islands, which has become a hotspot for cycling holidays

Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean to the east of Spain and is one of the most popular destinations for cyclists in Europe. Thousands make their way to the island every year in search of warm weather, smooth tarmac and winding roads. 

The Serra de Tramuntana mountain range forms the backbone of Mallorca, stretching for 90km from Andratx in the west to Cap de Formentor in the east. The mountains are home to a number of the island’s most famous climbs, including Sa Calobra and Puig Major, which will test the limits of any cyclist's legs. But the winding yet demanding roads that snake their way through the mountains and honey-hued villages provide spectacular views of the dazzling coastline at every turn – a reward for the difficult ascents. 

The island’s edge is lined with powder-white sandy beaches, blue waters, hidden coves and resort towns which are packed with plenty of cafés and restaurants for refuelling. The beaches on the coast also provide the perfect place for much-deserved relaxation after a hard day in the saddle. 

Whether you head to Mallorca for a weekend or a week, there are plenty of places to base yourself. A popular choice for cyclists is Port de Pollença in the east due to its array of cycling hotels, bike hire spots, access to the best routes, and location on the seafront. But if you want to relax away from the tourist hubs, there are plenty of charming villages to stay in. 

If you’re looking to explore the beautiful landscapes of Mallorca on two wheels, here Rouleur takes a look at how to get there, whether you should hire a bike or take your own, where to stay, and the bucket list climbs to conquer.

Mallorca's famous Formentor lighthouse at sunset

Mallorca's famous Formentor lighthouse at sunset (Image by Getty Images)

How to get to Mallorca 

Palma de Mallorca Airport is the only airport offering commercial flights on the island, making arranging flights to and from your departure location easy. From the UK, all major airlines, including British Airways, Ryanair, EasyJet, and TUI, fly to Mallorca regularly. Other international airlines such as Swiss Air, Vueling Airlines, and Iberia also fly direct. 

From the airport, you can get a direct bus to the centre of the island’s capital city, Palma. The airport also offers the option to hire a car or take a taxi to your destination. If you’re staying beyond the city and don’t want to drive, pre-booking a taxi or transfer online is the easiest option, allowing you to book your return pick-up and drop-off at the same time.

Hire or bring your own bike when travelling to Mallorca?

Mallorca is a hotspot for cyclists and the island has everything you need to enjoy your time on two wheels. With plenty of bicycle rental shops all over the island, it is easy to hire a bike, with every brand from Pinarello, Liv, Orbea, Mavic, Cannondale, Scott and more on offer for your choosing. However, hiring a bike for a period of time does come at a cost, especially for a top-of-the-range model. 

But there is nothing quite like riding your own bike, especially if you are wanting to tackle the up and down terrain of the Tramuntana mountains. Most airlines do allow you to bring your own bike for an additional fee, which will vary from airline to airline. It will need to be packed into a bike box and checked in to the hold when you arrive at the airport. 

Places to stay in Mallorca


Palma is Mallorca’s city centre and is only a short bus ride from the airport, so makes a great place to stay if you are only visiting for a short period of time. It is a city teeming with life on the shores of the glittering Mediterranean sea, so there's plenty of things to do beyond cycling. While basing yourself in the city may be busier than other parts of the island, it still allows you to explore the mountains and some of the island’s famous climbs. Brands such as Rapha, Pas Normal Studios, and Café du Cycliste also have clubhouses in the city centre, so you can pop in for a coffee or join a club ride whilst you are there. 

The Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma in Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca, Spain

The Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma in Palma de Mallorca, the island's capital city (Image by Getty Images)

Port de Pollença and Pollença 

The most popular place for cyclists to stay on the island of Mallorca is in Port de Pollença on the northeast coast. This seaside town is backed by the Tramuntana mountains and is overlooked by the Formentor Peninsula – blending the perfect combination of both mountains and sandy beaches. It’s a great base for lots of different routes around the island, including Cap de Formentor, Sa Calobra, Lluc Monastery, and more. The region’s promenade is also well equipped for hungry and thirsty cyclists with plenty of bars and restaurants lining the 1.5km-long stretch alongside the coast. After a long day in the saddle, you can roll along the promenade, fuel back up and head to the beach for a refreshing dip. 

If you head inland, 7.6km away from the coast is Pollença, an ancient town characterised by its narrow streets and impressive main square where you can enjoy a coffee in one of the cafés. As it's only a short distance from the beachside resort town, Pollença is also an excellent location for any cyclists who want access to all the island's best routes. 


Just along the coast from Port de Pollença is the town of Port d’Alcúdia, another resort hotspot for cyclists. Just outside of the port town is Alcúdia, which is a five to 10-minute drive from the coast. With plenty of cafés, bars and restaurants again, it is a great place to base yourself if you want to explore the island, but still enjoy being able to relax. With it also being a popular destination for cyclists and non-cyclists, the town is full of hotels that cater to different needs and budgets. The town also hosts the start and finish of the Mallorca 312 gran fondo each year.


To the northwest of Mallorca lies the town of Sóller. This charming town is cradled by the mountains and is celebrated for its citrus groves, giving it the nickname ‘Golden Valley’. It is a very vibrant town, but is away from bustling tourist hubs, inviting visitors to unwind and immerse themselves in the Mediterranean way of life. Port de Sóller is 5km away and is another one of Mallorca’s coastline promenades. If you choose to stay in Sóller or Port de Sóller, you’ll be near Coll de Sóller – one of the island’s most famous climbs with spectacular views over the Mediterranean. 

Views of the countryside at Coll de Soller in the north of Mallorca on a sunny day

A switchback in the road up to Coll de Sóller (Image by Getty Images)

Other areas to stay

The picturesque mountain village of Deià is the perfect place to stay if you are wanting a slice of luxury. The town’s golden-coloured houses have become a hideaway for millionaires and celebrities who come to this island in search of some sunshine and privacy. However, it is no surprise it has become an A-list location as the town is completely unspoiled, surrounded only by the untamed Serra de Tramuntana mountain range and is completely secluded from busy roads. 

Valldemossa is another town located in the Tramuntana mountains, a short drive from Palma city centre. The mediaeval town is the highest in Mallorca and if you cycle down to Port Valldemossa, you’ll face a 5km effort uphill with an average gradient of 7% on your return. Further west along the coast from Valldemossa is the town of Andratx on the southwest coast, which is a rural, sleepy Mallorcan town and perfect if you are looking for a peaceful hub in which to base yourself after a day climbing some of the island’s steepest ascents.

Mallorca climbs to conquer: 

Sa Calobra 

  • Sa Calobra - Coll dels Reis 
  • 10.2km 
  • 6.9% average gradient
  • 11.8% maximum gradient 
  • 703 metres climbed 

Puig Major

  • L’Horta - Tunel de la Serra de Son Torrella 
  • 14.6km 
  • 5.9% average gradient
  • 8.8% maximum gradient
  • 860 metres climbed 

Coll de Sóller

  • Sóller - Coll de Sóller 
  • 7.5km 
  • 5.7% average gradient
  • 12.3% maximum gradient
  • 430 metres climbed

Coll de sa Batalla 

  • Caimari - Coll de sa Batalla 
  • 7.9km
  • 4.9% average gradient 
  • 8.5% maximum gradient
  • 391 metres climbed 

Formentor lighthouse 

  • Port de Pollença - Formentor lighthouse 
  • 17.7km 
  • 0.8% average gradient
  • 13% maximum gradient
  • 590 metres climbed 
Cyclist on narrow road beneath towering rock formations above Sa Calobra, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain, Europe

A cyclist climbing Mallorca's famous Sa Calobra (Image by Getty Images)

Cycling sportives in Mallorca

Mallorca 312

Each year, Mallorca hosts the famous Mallorca 312 gran fondo – a demanding course which sees participants take on either 312km, 225km or 167km around the north of the island. The sportive is both physically and mentally challenging not just because of the epic distance, but also the sheer amount of climbing involved, taking in many of the island’s iconic Puig Major climb. All three routes start and end in Playa de Muro near Port d’Alcúdia.

*Cover image by Getty Images

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