Exploring Mallorca: 2020

I went for a 5-day solo exploration of Mallorca and its iconic climbs & scenery, and here is my account of the trip.

Leaving the UK

I drive most of the way down towards Stansted Airport, leaving my car at a JustPark spot in Saffron Walden. From there I cycled on my ageing Giant road bike to the airport, and left it at the bike shelter, locked up and under a cover. I carried most of the stuff in a pannier bag, to keep the rucksack weight down.


I flew into Palma at 5pm local time, and legged it over to the bike hire shop (Sunshine bikes) before they closed at 6pm. The chap there got me set up nice and quickly, and I was soon out the door on the carbon Giant road bike and heading up the coast to my hotel in Porto Pi.

Sa Colabra and the NW coast

After a huge hotel breakfast I rode through the minor hills to Sa Colabra, then headed west, via Puig Major, to Andratx, before the painfully slow last drag over more foot-hills back to the hotel. I encountered a pro road race on the way, and was quite keenly looking out for any discarded musettes with food in them - but it wasn't to be. Didn't recognise any of the riders either.

Sa Colabra - and then some

Ride on 2020-02-01 07:34:41, at

Gear: Sunshine Bikes Mallorca (Giant Carbon)

207km in 8:49:01

Average speed23.4 kmh
Max speed70.9 kmh
Average heart rate135 bpm
Average power164 Watts
Elevation gain4368 metres

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Touring the south

To give myself a chance to recover from the previous day's climbing efforts, I decided to opt for a mostly flat exploration of the south part of the island. I came quite close to the eastern and southern coasts, and in hindsight it would have been nice to actually dip a toe in the sea on all three sides of the southern flat-lands. Also, some of the roads I went on were rather wide, straight and exposed, making them a bit monotonous. Couldn't fault the surface quality though!

Rest day - down to Sa Rapita to dip my feet in the sea 馃憤

Ride on 2020-02-02 07:34:53, at

Gear: Giant SCR 1.0

201km in 7:33:18

Average speed26.7 kmh
Max speed52.2 kmh
Average heart rate121 bpm
Average power120 Watts
Elevation gain1314 metres

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To the far east

Monday's ride hit a few iconic climbs: Soller, Puig Major and Formentor. Soller was super-easy from the south side, and Puig Major was a fair bit harder (tougher gradients and a higher summit). Formentor, right over in the east of the island and beyond Pollenca, was a stunning ride - and went up and down enough to make it a juicy rollercoaster ride. On the way home I went inland on little rural roads, making it a pleasant afternoon back to Palma. Hitting Palma at 5pm wasn't fun though, as there was a flood of car traffic entering the city.

S贸ller, Puig Major, Formentor. Nice day out!

Ride on 2020-02-03 06:53:42, at

Gear: Sunshine Bikes Mallorca (Giant Carbon)

202km in 8:01:32

Average speed25.2 kmh
Max speed61.6 kmh
Average heart rate130 bpm
Average power140 Watts
Elevation gain3009 metres

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Back to the north-west coastline

Another hilly day, and this time taking on a few smaller colls first before a bit of Claret and Soller. I finished it up flying visits to Alaro, Inca and Sineu. A good day, if a bit slow, and I was tiring towards the end as a brisk north wind sapped my energy. Great to bump into old Iceni Velo member Nick Oerks, as he was giving a guided tour of the north coast to a recent converted cyclist.

Andratx and S贸ller, and bumped into Nick again!

Ride on 2020-02-04 06:48:11, at

Gear: Sunshine Bikes Mallorca (Giant Carbon)

202km in 8:28:26

Average speed23.8 kmh
Max speed59.0 kmh
Average heart rate122 bpm
Average power133 Watts
Elevation gain3192 metres

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A couple of hours in the foothills

With a 17:30 flight I had plenty of time to prepare for my journey back home, but with Sunshine Bikes closing at 1pm (for a siesta) I didn't have much time for a morning ride. It was really nice to head out of the hotel at the usual time and only ride for a few hours - and still long enough to crest a couple of colls (Coll des Grau and Puigpunyent). The higher peaks were shrouded in cloud this morning, a reminder that this sunny island can deliver inclement weather at times.

Few foothills before dropping the bike off

Ride on 2020-02-05 06:53:32, at

Gear: Sunshine Bikes Mallorca (Giant Carbon)

78km in 3:14:27

Average speed24.0 kmh
Max speed56.9 kmh
Average heart rate123 bpm
Average power126 Watts
Elevation gain950 metres

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Heading home

Having checked out of the hotel I rode to the airport and dropped off my bag at left luggage. Considerably lighter, I dropped the bike off in Can Pastilla and enjoyed a sunny beach walk and lunch stop before sauntering back to the airport in plenty of time for the return flight. Once airborne I was also lucky to have a great view of Palma and the mountains.


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About the author

My name is John Swindells and I'm a keen recreational cyclist with a preference for long one-day rides. I've also previously dabbled in time trialling and cyclo-cross. See more of what I get up to on Strava!

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