Cycling in Mallorca should be an amazing experience. However, there are some things it’s important to know about to ensure you have the best possible time.

Below you’ll find our top Mallorca cycling tips for anyone considering a trip to this cyclist’s paradise.

For route suggestions, downloads and everything else you might want to know about road cycling in Mallorca, read our comprehensive ultimate guide to cycling Mallorca!

Preparation for cycling in Mallorca

  1. Choose the right gearing. You’ll probably be doing a lot of climbing while you’re cycling in Mallorca. Most riders will prefer a compact 50-34 chainset with a 11-28t cassette. A cassette with a 30 or 32 tooth sprocket would provide even more assistance on steep roads.
  2. Get some training in before your trip. If you want to take on Mallorca’s most famous climbs, like Sa Calobra, Puig Major, and Col de Sóller, you need to be ready to climb gradients at 6-8%. Try and get some solid training in before your trip to make it more fun.
  3. Bring spares and know how to use them: Essentials include spare tubes, tyre levers, and a pump or CO2 canisters, plus a puncture repair kit and versatile multi-tool. You may even want to bring a toolkit for larger repairs. Check our packing list here for more info.
  4. Fuelling. Eat before you start climbing and keep a gel or high-energy snack in your back pocket. It can be worth bringing a supply of your favourite bars/gels with you to avoid the possibility of locally bought energy foods disagreeing with you. Don’t leave eating until you’re starving: eat now for later.
  5. Check your bike. If you’re taking your bike, have it serviced before heading to Mallorca to reduce the risk of mechanical issues ruining your holiday. If you’re renting a bike, take a look at our questions to ask before hiring a bike.

Routes

  1. Sóller tunnel. Don’t try to ride your bike through the Col de Sóller tunnel under the mountain: bikes are banned!
  2. Take care on the descents.  In particular:
  • Beware the potentially problematic combination of hot brakes and tight hairpins;
  • On many of our routes there is not a lot of traffic, but don’t assume there will be none, especially when you’re descending hairpins at speed…;
  • The craggy mountains are beautiful but can deposit debris on the road. Watch out for small rock falls that mean there are obstacles in the road – we saw a few.
  1. Bike path etiquette. If there is a marked centre line on a cycle path, it’s two way. If there isn’t, assume it is one way. Also be aware of all the non-cyclists on the cycle route: skaters, runners, wind-surfers coming up from the beach…
  2. Plan your routes before you visit. Our ultimate guide to cycling Mallorca contains loads of route ideas. We give you route profiles, descriptions, and videos, so you know what you’re letting yourself in for. You can even use our free GPX downloads.
  3. Familiarise yourself with the route before you ride it. Take a look at the maps and route profiles, so you know what to expect and can be confident. It’s never a good idea to be solely dependent on the Garmin, in case it stops working! Consider how long each climb should take, where you plan to refuel and any shortcuts or important parts of the route.
  4. Use lights. The tunnels on the way to Cap Formentor and on Puig Major aren’t lit and are very dark. Make sure you have lights back and front to make you visible and help you see… They will also come in handy if you end up starting a ride very early or taking longer than expected and riding home in the dark!
  5. Animals. Watch out for random livestock in the road: we saw sheep, goats, and chickens. They can cause adrenaline racing moments, and not in a good way.

Best times to cycle

  1. Start early: In the summer, Mallorca gets very hot, and it’s advisable not to cycle during the hottest time of the day. Start and finish your ride early.
  2. Opening times: Remember that cafés don’t tend to open before 9 am and that some may be closed in the off-season for the main tourist industry (i.e. November – February).

Weather

  1. Pack for all weather. Temperatures in the mountains tend to be around 5-7 degrees cooler than at sea level. Mountain weather can also change very quickly. We recommend you pack accordingly and take enough cold weather gear in case you hit a cold snap or get caught by a rainstorm in the mountains. For more information, check our packing list which has a checklist you can use.
  2. Sunstroke is a real risk. Wear suntan lotion and drink lots of water to avoid sunstroke/heatstroke, which can hit you even in the cooler months. Be aware of the symptoms.
  3. Cramp. This is a common problem when it’s hot. We always take electrolyte tablets for our water bottle; we find they help stave off cramp.
  4. Slippery roads in the rain. If it rains, take extra care and allow for greater stopping distances. Roads in Mallorca contain more granite, so they don’t melt in summer. This means they are more slippery than you’ll be used to if you’re from a cooler country.

Other Mallorca tips

  1. If possible, ride with a friend. This is always a good idea as if something goes wrong, there are people there to help you out. (Haven’t got any friends?! How about joining a group?) Before setting off, it’s also sensible to tell someone where you will be going and when you think you will be back.
  2. Take cash. Many cafés in rural areas won’t accept cards. Always take your phone in case you need assistance (but remember you won’t always have reception).
  3. Know the law and stick to it:
  • Cyclists must respect the traffic rules and regulations that apply to other vehicles; understand the Spanish highway code before you set out.
  • You must wear reflective clothing which can be seen from at least 150 metres away and a helmet outside the city. 
  • Don’t ride more than two abreast. If you ride two abreast, keep as far to the right as possible.
  • It’s single file only in areas where visibility is poor, or you’re holding up traffic.
  • Cycling is prohibited on motorways.

Your thoughts

Been cycling in Mallorca and got some additional tips? Please comment below!​

 

Clare Dewey

Clare Dewey is a road cyclist with a passion for travel. She set up epicroadrides.com to help make it easy for road cyclists to explore new places by bike.

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2 Responses to “21 invaluable tips for cycling in Mallorca”

  1. The new lights in the Formentor tunnel are such a great improvement. My first visit I had neglected to bring a light and was quite terrified screaming downhill through the tunnel in the dark.

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