The road to Formentor lighthouse is one of the best-known Mallorcan cycling routes there is.
But why just settle on the Formentor out and back?!
Our Bay of Pollensa cycling route takes the classic Cap de Formentor cycling route and turns it into what may just be the best cycling route on Mallorca. It includes:
Pollensa Bay/Alcúdia Bay cycle path
Ermita de la Victoria
Of all the fantastic Mallorca cycle routes from Puerto Pollensa, this one really is unmissable.
Check it out!
All metrics in this article are approximate.
The views as you cycle over the spit of rock, approaching Formentor lighthouse are out of this world – it’s hard to decide whether these or the panorama from the Pepperpot are more jaw-dropping!
We also love the views back across Pollensa Bay/Alcúdia Bay from the road that skirts the bay at La Victoria.
Bay of Pollensa: route notes
1. Puerto Pollensa to Puerto Pollensa (via Cap de Formentor and Talaia d’Albercutx (AKA the Pepperpot))
We’ve got a guide dedicated to the classic Mallorca cycling route that is the road to Formentor. Check it out here.
What’s less talked about – and easily missed – is the turn up to Talaia d’Albercutx, otherwise known as the Pepperpot. The turning is slightly hidden; it’s in the car park of the Coll de Sa Creueta. If you’re coming from the lighthouse, it’s on your left.
Hairpins snake up the side of the cliff on gradients that average about 6% (max gradient 9%). Then you round a corner and views over Pollensa bay open up to your righthand side. You cross a mini-bridge and it’s hard not to be bowled over by the scale of the scenery – the views over the Tramuntana mountains, bay of Pollensa and out to Cap Formentor are truly mind-boggling. We’re told that on a clear day you can see out to Menorca and the Spanish mainland – as you’ll see from the photos, we weren’t blessed with good weather so can’t confirm that – but can say that even on a rainy day, it was stunning.
You’ll come to a small pull in area where cars can park. Head past the barrier and continue up the path, past abandoned, graffiti-covered concrete buildings, around another hairpin and up to the top. It’s worth walking into the (smelly) building at the top for the views. You’ll probably see hikers walking up to the Pepperpot watchtower itself – we even saw someone climbing up it!
Take great care on the descent – the road is narrow, there are some treacherous drop-offs and the surface is riddled with potholes.
We found the poor road surface also made the climb feel harder. However, we’d not have missed this 2.5km climb for the world.
2. Puerto Pollensa to Ermita de la Victoria
You wind your way through Puerto Pollensa (perhaps stopping for a coffee if it’s that kind of ride?!) and out of town along the Puerto Pollensa cycle path that hugs the bay. It’s a relatively busy section, as you’re on a main road along the coast, but you’re right by the water’s edge and it’s a pleasure to tap along the easy flat gradients.
There’ll probably be traffic as you ride past the mighty stone walls of Alcúdia’s town centre, but soon you’re out the other side and on lightly residential roads that pass through Bonaire with its attractive marina.
You pass through stone pillars and are onto the La Victoria peninsula, leaving the urban areas behind you.
Bar S’illot (and apparently a nudist beach!) is on your left as you start climbing. Halfway up you come to a junction. We suggest turning right to get the climb done in one go.
The road up to Ermita de la Victoria is narrow, steep (16% in places according to ridewithgps!) and wooded but with under a kilometre from the junction to the car park at the top, at least it’s not too long.
At the top, you can get something to drink and/or eat in the restaurant. There should be fantastic views from the restaurant terrace too (if you can be bothered to walk up!).
3. Ermita de la Victoria to Puerto Pollensa
Take care descending back down to the La Victoria coast road.
At the junction, turn right to continue the ride out towards the military base. You can’t get very far though – there’s a big sign making it clear that it’s here you should turn around and head back.
Enjoy the undulating road back, with views through the trees across the bay to Puerto de Pollensa and Cap de Formentor. You pass back through the stone pillars and into the residential areas of Bonaire, as you retrace the cycle route back to Puerto de Pollensa.
What a ride!
We attempted this ride in inclement (an understatement) conditions at the start of November. We had hoped to check out the spectacularly positioned Bar S’illot but (as you can see from the photo below) it was very much closed! On a warmer day however, we think this would make a great place to stop and relax, especially as nearly all the climbing will be done by this stage of the ride.
As it was, we were very relieved (as we were hungry and the rain was hammering down!) to find the Cocodrilo restaurant on Bonaire marina open for lunch. It being lunchtime in off-season, we weren’t allowed to sit in the main restaurant overlooking the sea and the area we were in was more functional than pleasant, but the paella was delicious!
This route isn’t short on refreshment options: there’s the famous (but expensive) café at the lighthouse and plenty of options in both Puerto Pollensa and Alcúdia.
Staying in Puerto Pollensa, cycling routes are plentiful but if you get accommodation anywhere on Pollensa Bay/Alcúdia Bay, you’ll be well positioned for this ride.
We’ve written a where to stay guide for cyclists on Mallorca – this has got lots more information on the different towns.
Our ultimate guide to Mallorca has details of where we stayed when we visited.
Read our tips for cycling in Mallorca before you set out.
Goats, sheep and traffic abound. Take care. To minimise the likelihood of traffic, go first thing in the morning while everyone else is still at the breakfast buffet.
We found the road surface up to the Pepperpot was in poor condition. Extra care and attention is needed, especially on the descent.
Little rockfalls and road debris are part of cycling in mountains (even in Mallorca!). You need to expect them and know how to avoid them.
We’ve read Talaia d’Albercutx is a fantastic place to watch sunrise and, particularly when there’s a full moon, sunset. Have you done this? Let us know in the comments below!
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