I was skeptical about the idea of choosing Majorca as the goal of a spring cycling trip. Not that leaving the warm Mediterranean island on the day that planes from Modlin are delayed, could have been bad by frozen wings - I just thought that many other goals would be better. Because Majorca? Majorca is like Calpe. Majorca is the Gassami of cycling camps. This place is incredibly well-worn and so obvious that when someone tells about going there, the first answer is: "You too ?!". Deep down I would like to be a cycling nonconformist. A dozen years of corporate work means that at least when it comes to a hobby, I would prefer to do something, even a minimal original one. But in every place you can find something "alternative", right? How wrong I was on the first day.
…and other. Thick?!
Added to this is the transport cost. A freight taxi carrying us (6 people, 5 bikes in suitcases) about 40km from the airport is almost 100 euros. When it comes to renting a car, the Goldcar company dominates, one can say about it - it is the cheapest one. 80% of customers are satisfied, because they paid very little, the rest meet with all kinds of problems, resulting mainly from unclear cooperation between Goldcaru and intermediaries. We have booked Doblo (because there are at least 3 suitcases and 3 people) for 181 euros. We are not able to take it, we finish it with Ford Fiesta for 300 euros. HINT DAYS: Two people and two medium-sized suitcases fit into the Ford Fiesta. With a bit nielegalu, there are also 3 people and two Thule RoundTrip Traveler bags. Prices are much higher than in the Canaries, but as befits the Spaniards and their winding roads, full of tourists - do not come without full insurance. After our visit, the car would require a visit to the tinsmith.
For a house for 10 days, we pay about 4200 PLN (plus 200 in taxes and heating, because it's cold). 5 double rooms, two bathrooms, a well-equipped kitchen, a not too safe house for bikes, a swimming pool, a large patio and animals that dribble japa from 4 am. The windows overlook the historic church on the square, a stone's throw away .... Well, maybe a javelin.
It is as usual one "but". We live in a complete cache. One, small shop, one sensible pub, in the evenings you can at most look at chickens, or do the same 500-meter loop around the empty old town. But this is not a coincidence. The place where we live can be ridiculed by lokalsów and café riders, but this is the best place that I could find. In retrospect, I think that only the Inca south of ~ 5km would be better.
Our base lies at the foot of the mountains, and from the east (Palma) and west (Alcudia) coast is about 40 km. If you also have a small explorer living in you, and not a pedestrian-pub fellow, I can recommend this choice with a clear conscience. But what will I explain, look what ours looked like Heatmap (routes covered) after 9 days of stay (one of them is repeated twice, it is also no accident) - you will find it at the end of the entry.
If you follow Team Sky - you know that they choose Alcudia and the east coast as training routes on December clusters. If you want to be like them, here are some examples of how to run tracka, straight from Cycling Friendly: LINK.
Coffee in a cafe is usually 1-2 euros. Excellent baguette with ham from 2 to 8 euros depending on the place and popularity. Paella in the restaurant from 15 to 20 euros per person. In saving, he helps us a lot siestathat begins somehow around 13, when you buy anything, it's a miracle. And just then we are the hungry. For a baguette with Jamon However, you can always ask. Small shops have prohibitive prices if we plan to do dinner shopping in them, but Lidl and Aldiki they are saving the situation. There is also Decathlon, of course ;-)
If Gassy were an island. What we saw on the spot can not be described. None of the places I've visited so far in the world have been so crowded and probably never will be. The road to Góra Kalwaria on the first, sunny weekend after the harsh winter, are several categories below. Groups of several to several dozen cyclists are passing us every now and then.
To make this amazing phenomenon add color, most groups are quite ... specific. I've never seen so many clothes from Rapha and Assos at once. Everyone is here, from the training youth, retired Germans, to groups with a clearly tourist attitude, also those electrically assisted. I have never seen such a large gathering of girls on road bikes. I think that there were days when they constituted about 30% of the people who passed. This is also not the case. I'm in shock.
In the spring, Majorca feels like it is staying with cyclists. Residents are aware of this and are perfectly reconciled with it. Apart from the individual cases of crazy tourists, car traffic is almost like in Norway. Cars leave such a reserve of space that a tractor would fit between us. This is of minor importance, because in the interior of the island, apart from the most well-known and recommended in road guides, the traffic is very small. It's like moving between orchards in the vicinity of Tarczyn. On roads known for its leaflets, it is sometimes worse. If someone does not visit the island by bicycle, he does it by car, and roads are the main attraction here. Sometimes it is difficult, but the thought remains that the cyclist is the most important participant in the movement.
Many of the local roads are very narrow here, two cars have problems with getting lost. Especially if they are moved by people who are going there for the first time. Several times we observe dangerous situations, in which it turns out that a speeding cyclist encountering a car standing behind a narrow curve that just passes someone from the opposite direction changes the color of his pants to brown.
The quality of roads and their grid are just as caricatural as the number of cyclists. Many times I get the impression that they were built only to attract the desired punching of kilometers of cyclists. How else to explain perfectly equal streamers, winding for many kilometers just to get to a small church? All this makes up the thought that is born in each of our heads, regardless: Majorca is:
Puig Major - 14.2 km, 6%
They are Colobra - 9.5km, 7%
Coll de Soller - 9.8 km, 5%
Coll de Femenia - 8.6km, 6%
Coll de sa Batalla - 7.8km, 5%
Coll d'Honor - 6.2km, 6%
Talaia d'Albercutx - 5.5km, 6%
San Salvador - 5.1 km, 7%
Puig de Randa - 8.6km, 4%
Port de Valldemossa - 4.9km, 8%
Es Grau - 4km, 6%
Coll de Sa Gramola - 5.3km, 5%
Ermita de Betlem - 5.1km, 5%
Coll d'Orient - 5km, 5%
Galilee - 4.6km, 6%
Most of them can be approached by alternative roads (or go up from the other side) - on the list I tried to capture the most interesting, in my opinion, variant. Turning on the explorer cycling mode will allow you to find or build dozens of other similar hills.
We are a bit lacking here a typical, bicycle stab. Something that gets scored, counts, unhooks. Something that can then be printed on a T-shirt like "I got Stelvio". Exactly because Bormio has its own Stelvio, Gran Canaria has its own Pico de las Nieves, Tenerife Teide, Norway Trollstigen, Hawaii Mauna Kea volcano (one day I hope to link). Here is only Sa Calobra, which is hard to consider as prey and Puig Major (14.2km with an average slope of 6%), which can be said only that it is quite long, because even the views do not reward the driveway. However, this is not necessarily a defect, especially when combined with a road point.
There is probably no better place to spend your first, somewhat exotic holidays with the road than Majorca. There is also probably no better place to take your other half, so that you can start your adventure with the bike freely. There are no walls, no technically difficult sections, and most of the driveways are several kilometers with an average gradient from 3% to 7%. It will be difficult to discourage people permanently, because even if the mountains are tired, flat areas, or rather "flat" (this thousand elevations per 100km are almost always collected), occur in such quantities that you can ride them endlessly. What's more, for the first time in my history I found that flatter here is nicer than in the mountains. I could not have imagined such a situation before. It's such a small Tuscany: fields, towns, hills, orchards. Only in the wind hope - can reliably tire, if we hit his unlucky direction (or rather return) in the driveway.
This place is great and I say it with a lot of pain. It's hard for me to admit that something so mainstream and popular is so cool - objectively. If you, like me, represent a group of people who are disappointed when the knees do not go sideways after the holidays, and the orthopedist seeing them and listening to what we did, do not commit seppuku - you may feel unsatisfied, but if you belong to this group of "normal" - it will be a choice for you, which you will not regret for 100%. Majorca is a perfect place for a Mazovian cyclist who wants to introduce himself to the secrets of cycling groups, for beginners, for those with written out trainings and tourists who want to relax on an electrician. It is a pity that I do not feel a member of any of them. After over 1200km on the island, my legs are tired, but I do not feel any pain. It was different in the Canaries - there we were looking for new joints on Allegro after a week.
Majorca - where to go, what to drive up?
Before you, a subjective list of places that you should not miss during your stay. List of places, after visiting, which you will say: "I hate this guy, what he told me to do all this ... but I do not regret it".
Sa Calobra. You speak Majorca - you think, Sa Colobra. Enter anything about Mallorca in Googlach, Sa Calobra will probably pop first. Not only that, you are looking for a list of the most interesting roads in the world. Sa Calobra will probably be on it. No text about the island will be complete without this driveway, so let's put it behind us. Unfortunately, the more I think about it, the more I do not know what to write. She is with her a bit like the Atlantic Way, which I wrote about when I read about Norway. This is probably called the Paris Syndrome. My expectations are beyond reality.
Reality, which of course can not be accused of anything, because the road itself is sensational: so many corners, arranged in various directions and seemingly random, are not often seen. The oddity is already shown by the top, on which there is a 270 degree bend - yes, we make 3/4 of full turnover. Technically, this is a road to nowhere. At the bottom there are several cafes where prices reach deadly level (baguette with 7.70eur ham), even in those seemingly cycling. There is also a small, walking tunnel leading to the beach and a nice view of the cliffs. All the way back (because we have to go back the same way) is accompanied by the thought: why anyone built it. Why do I have mixed feelings in my head? Well, the main attraction here is the asphalt and the view of the winding road below. As befits one of the main tourist attractions of the island, there are plenty of cars and buses. If you plan to defeat Sa Calobra, excel in off-peak hours.
For us, the downhill is a bit of a chore - but the bike is definitely faster than the car. Especially one run by a tourist who slows down to view the views, and in the worst case, stops for a photo. It does not make sense to write down the road to Sa Calobra. Anyway, you'll run over it while you're on the island, and my skeptical attitude to it does not fit here. It's like I wrote that Stelvio is a bit overrated, and the rush of motorcyclists receives a lot of fun. Someone will come in a bit more "happy" time of the day and say that I am stupid ... although of course we all know that the southern part of Gavii eats Stelvio for breakfast.
Formentor. Ladies and gentlemen, we have it. Here is a group of bars. The only place we visited twice. We spent the whole day to repeat the visit in the same place. It was worth it. If I had to spend only one day with the bike on the island, I would go there. The Formentor peninsula is actually composed of three main elements and basically only on the first one is given a bit of cycling and car piston.
Stage one: vehicle from Port de Pollenca
Here a string of cyclists stretches, interspersed with slightly annoyed but reconciled with this sad fact of car tourists. They are riding along Puławska from Mordor at 17.30 on Tuesday. They are happy that they are heading to the beautiful place where the house is, but yet the frustration and abandoned hopes for any acceleration make the road difficult.
At the end, they will be strolling along the stone promenade that leads to the headland, from which there is a panorama of cliffs coming straight into the Mediterranean ... if, of course, they can park in a small parking lot occupied by cyclists waiting for their slower friends. The view is great and sad thoughts appear somewhere in the back of your head that this is just the beginning, and the best we have seen. Well, what could be better? Well, maybe (sea). Formentor was designed by the master of building tension. Views, for a relatively small amount, start from a strong 7/10, and then they are only better.
Stage two: bunkers are and is known as it is
Somewhat crazy we get to the top to the delight of the surrounding people. I do not know why they're funny - we're wearing helmets, not them. What appears at the top is exactly what I wanted to see during one of my hikes. Trips that I have planned, because Majorca is an island where "mountain" tourism is probably the same joy as cycling, but which never came to fruition. Because when you choose a bike and walk, I choose a bike for a while (which I often regret later).
It is a panorama, from which the view in each direction is not obscured by anything. We see peaks, sea, bays, islets, roads - everything that I would like to see by climbing shoes for 1,400 meters, but unfortunately a bit worse. Such a substitute, however, is enough for me. We spend some time there. I do not know how much, but over 100km it takes us almost all day. Non, Je ne regrette rien!
Stage three: the end
We start the exit towards the north-eastern edge of the island. The wind blows during both passes so that some riders ride with one leg stretched out. We pass the lady, which quite unfortunate the wind pushes into the ditch, but comes out of it with a smile. This is one of those slopes where you feel that the ideal asphalt will fall into the sea in a moment.
There are bays, a tunnel, streamers, a forest, beaches, rock formations, and paths with suicide stairs, on which centimeters divide you from unprotected, free flight down for several dozen meters. It is beautiful, and the lighthouse at the end, preceded by a few asphalt "pans", only completes the experience. It's a bit like the famous, impassable GC-200 on Gran Canaria, and like on it, you have to turn back at last, but it's even better - it's great. I would recommend. If only it was not the wind that turns back on the climbs, and tries to kill on the downhills ...
Randa. The south of the island is relatively flat. Some meters fly vertically, there are small hills, but I would describe it as a shape around Łódź. This is the case in most of the south, with a few, for me, inexplicable exceptions. Well, most of the time spent on overcoming flat, but very charming roads, somewhere in the distance you can see two or three hills. It's completely useless like the Kosciuszko Mound in Krakow, but definitely bigger. The first of them is Randa. Somewhere, in the middle of nothing, after leaving the main road there is a restaurant with dozens of cyclists in it. This means only one thing - we are at the next mandatory point. A few serpentines, we are on 545m.npm, we are on 545m.npm. At the top again, the riders again, this time all set in a row and shoot photos next to the hotel with a beautiful name: Santuari de Cura. There is a reason for this - smooth terrains around the mound are perfectly visible. However, we are beginning to wonder if it makes sense to be guided by the second of mounds, which will be the same. It is not, and bypassing it, it would be a big mistake.
San Salvador. It is probably one of the TOP3 places we've ridden. The mountain is even bigger, there are many more corners, and the preview of the route on the WAHOO map could also be a preview of the legendary alpine vehicle. To the person who came up with the idea that at this summit, where there is only a cross, a large Jizus and some building, one should somehow put on asphalt, one should be applauded. The view here is even better than with Randy, and the number of turns per meter exceeds the limits of decency.
The capital of Majorca could not be missing in the ranking. We need about 3 hours of walking to confirm that sightseeing is not an attraction for us. I wrote about it quite recently, during a visit to Barcelona (link). Palma is a nice city, has a harbor, narrow streets, beaches, a lot of expensive shops and a little cheaper, a lot of bike rentals, pubs ... and people.
As you can guess, tourists are here without a dime. I would like to write something more about the city, but as the handicapped tourists of the X generation (I think), we like the shop with funny t-shirts and the weekend market where we buy "fresh chips" and pizza from the oven - 3 euros for each of them. There are also infinite length booths that can be found there, for example, among dozens of types of olives.
In Palma, I look for two hills, from which the potential view of the city may be quite good. The first is the "castle" of Castell de Bellver, where buses arrive with German pensioners, the other is Mirador de Na Burguesa, which I see with a miracle and I get on it while going "on the azimuth". This is probably one of the heaviest driveways, because the surface leaves much to be desired, and the inclination makes it probably the first time during my stay on the island I appreciate my 36/28. The view from above and the awareness that there is no cyclist nearby compensates for these moments of fatigue.
As for the city itself, it's OK, but it's definitely better to visit virtually any of the other towns. I can say that I have never seen such an accumulation of nice buildings anywhere in Mallorca. Many towns here look like extinct in the daytime, with some pubs taken over by riders or older men playing cards. Each of them has its own church, main square and very narrow paths, but nobody moves.
Being in Palma, a self-respecting cyclist should visit two other places (except of course Decathlon;))
Rapha as a phenomenon and a kind of design determinant I always try to visit. It is a place where it is modest and nice. We did not visit her much earlier in Berlin (link), and in winter in San Francisco (link). We do not have any meaningful promotions, so we only go out with a cap with the word Mallorca. The place itself is quite large, and in the middle there is a glass table, closing the three-dimensional topographic map of the north of the island
(that part of the mountains).
For lonely people, organized road rides are organized from this place, so if you are in the city alone, this is a good starting point.
What distinguishes it from many other cool cycling seats is an impressive congregation of bicycle posters. As for me, they could easily hang on a closed exhibition costing 3.50eur (I thought about the price for a moment). A great piece of history and a show of the Polish poster school. It's better than the mobile exhibition of the Tour de Pologne for a million, for criticizing it, I got a little unpleasantness from the organizer (link). Definitely worth seeing - if I had any of them, I would hang in the main place of the flat, framed in a frame. There is, of course, also a reflection on the mirador, a pub and a rock on which you can enter and admire the view.
The driveway to Art from the eastern side (the Ma-12 road) is a bit like the drive from Harrachov to Polana Jakuszycka - long, wide and never ends. Choose another one. That day it blows in our face, I'm afraid that we will be on it forever. A route begins with Arty, which we found somewhat accidentally. The driveway to Ermita de Betlem, which begins behind a great looking local pub full of rich Germans. It's a bit strange because the prices are reasonable and the plates full of food for which I could kill that day. However, we quickly leave the place when after 10 minutes the waiter still does not show up - maybe because of our not very fitting style.
However, I would like to go back there ... Especially, that there is still a place whose existence can not be explained sensibly again. Winding and not very steep uphill, full of goat suicide, for which it starts, definitely a very winding descent. It's a great reunion, because a lot of it can be seen from above, which does not happen often - trees do their thing. This place is skipped by cyclists, we meet a dozen or so kilometers in a few kilometers ;-) The road stops and you have to come back the same, but definitely worth it. To make it more interesting, the exit ends with a 100 meter straight line, which flows straight into the open door of the church, and then into ... a crib with Jesus. If your brakes can not be dealt with, chances are you park in it. The exit, although short, is probably in TOP5 of the island.
What is most unusual is that both parts are connected by a several-kilometer long section connected ... by a tram. Squeezing through narrow, hilly streets, it resembles a bit of San Francisco (or Lisbon).
More precisely, the western part of the Serra de Tramuntana mountains. There are a lot of roads along the Palapa, and as befits north - all mountainous. The mountain roads are good, but within the island they do not differ much from each other. There are a lot of cyclists, good asphalt, good views. Perfect for a quick training jump from the city. Two of them, however, deserve a special mention - especially that it is possible to cover them with one loop from the city. This is the northern road along the coast and the driveway to Es Grau. This driveway would be called a stump, but in the text so many examples of roads have been so crazy that it becomes boring. This is another of them, on which the number of headlands fills with a headache, and defeating them, the man has the impression that he fell into an endless loop of approaching or sliding down.
The second one is along the northern coast of the MA-10, but in this case it is specifically about the fragment between Estellencs and Banyalbufar. Located at an altitude of about 300 meters above sea level and winding along the slopes of the mountains, it provides an unforgettable impression. The coast is somewhat reminiscent of the intersection of this in the Azores with the Canary Islands. It is impressive, and appearing from time to time additions, like a lookout tower, tunnel or serpentine, make it good, it gets even better. The problem here are only cars, which tourists move in accordance with the recommendations of their guides. I would still consider the movement to be ridiculously small, but in the context of this island, even a small movement is a considerable movement. Man quickly gets used to good.
With luck, after exploring the small towns, we can encounter real gems. Just like in the town of Galileo, when after reflection from the main road you get to the walls coming up to 20%. This is probably the only moment in which I had to give up and leave the bike on the island. The slippery surface on a humid morning proved unpredictable in my grip.
A bit of luck is needed to find exceptional places, not necessarily in a circle, but simply those on which you can sit on a bar. Probably none of them will be empty, but for example at the lighthouse at the George Sand estate in the vicinity of Son Ferrandell I meet only two people, currently consuming a sandwich and enjoying the 200-degree, exposed panorama of the sea. I decide not to disturb them - finding a place where you can sit alone for a moment borders here with a miracle ... especially with such a great view. Maybe if I was a mountain walker, things would look different. Looking at the number of routes available here and how the photo spheres look on Google Street View, sometimes I even consider leaving the bike at home. Thought, fortunately passes quickly.
Is Mallorca OK?
Majorca is the opposite of the Azores, which we wrote about last year. It was a place where 10% of cyclists would return with the feeling that they had seen one of the best places in the world, 90% would complain that it was completely non-competitive. Here is the opposite - Majorca is an island for almost everyone. There is everything for cycling: flat, hills, big uphill. For this perfect road infrastructure, which is vain to look anywhere else and the feeling that everything here is created for cyclists. On the one hand, it is very nice and allows you to relax without rest, on the other hand - a bit like an all-inclusive holiday instead of being personally designed. If you want to get new places, drive where there are no other cyclists, find the silence and look for your inner "I" - this is not the place. However, if you want to go on vacation, have fun, you've come to the right place. Both for the millet who is doing the training and for the amateur who starts his adventure with the road, Majorca is the right choice. I dare to say that 96% of you will not regret this decision.
I'm disappointed. I hoped that this mainstream and obvious place would be overrated and I would not like it at all. It is not. Perhaps I liked the view less than in Tenerife or Gran Canaria, but where else can you hack hundreds or even thousands of kilometers without repeating the same fragments?
I doubt I would ever come back, but it left me a nice feeling that despite riding quite a lot, I missed many places. With heartache, I grant Majorca a large okay. I do it against myself and my convictions. It's just cool on it ... It's good that even though the wind is blowing and is complaining about it. And this shadow of chance, for a bit worse weather, because end-ends, however, these are not Kanary ...