• Distance 36 km
  • Elevation gain 960m
  • Difficulty
  • Epic rating

Cap de Formentor cycling route: the best ride on Mallorca?

We think the Cap de Formentor lighthouse ride might indeed be Mallorca’s finest – especially now there are restrictions on cars and buses (see below).

Formentor Mallorca is not an easy ride. At 35km long, it includes nearly 1,000m of climbing – but it combines this with dreamy views, impressive engineering, and near perfect tarmac. Sa Calobra may be the most famous ride on Mallorca, and Andratx to Pollenca may be (one of) the most challenging, but we think the Mallorca lighthouse ride has the most unforgettable scenery of all.

No surprise then that the road to Cap Formentor lighthouse has become an icon of European cycling.

As if you needed any more persuasion, take a look at our video of the Cap Formentor climb…

 

 

All metrics in this article are approximate.

Cap Formentor cycling highlights

Why opt for cycling in Mallorca at Cap Formentor, rather than elsewhere? The first view of the lighthouse through the gap in the rocks is utterly exhilarating, as is the final descent to it. We also loved the stunning views down to Cala Figuera beach, before heading into the tunnel through the cliff.

Those out to enjoy this lighthouse cycling route rather than being on on a rigid training session might want to get off their bike at the Mirador de la Creueta viewing point. The panoramas are wonderful, though it gets even better for those prepared to totter in cleats down to the end of the viewing point (it’s around 130 steps each way…). There you get the best views of the towering rocks and islands poking out of the sea.

At Mirador de la Creueta, you also have the option to turn right and head up the cliff to the Pepperpot. More about that here!

The infamous tunnel on the way to Cap de Formentor: now complete with lights!
You round a corner and come to this stunning view of Formentor lighthouse
Enjoy the swooping descent before the final climb to the ligthouse

Route notes

1. Port de Pollença to the El Mirador de sa Creueta: 0-3.5km

The climb starts almost immediately, through hairpins and up 223 m to the viewpoint known as El Mirador de Sa Creueta.

Gradients are 7-8%, but the superb sweeping views over Port de Pollença should help take your mind off the grind.

2. El Mirador de Sa Creueta to the last kick up: 3.5-16km

This lighthouse ride in Mallorca involves a fast descent down the other side of Col de sa Creueta.

Turning left at the crossroads, you pass Formentor beach (see below), and the road climbs up through pine forest. These give way to rugged rocky grey terrain, and the road soon hits the coast. You’ll see signs to the tempting Cala Figuera cove, but stay on the road, and you’ll soon come to an impressive (/daunting!) 300m tunnel through the mountain. It’s now lit, but still remember to take your shades off before you head in!

From there it’s an undulating route, with some sharp kicks up, partly through trees, partly through barren, craggy outcrops. As the road nips back and forth across the peninsula, you get incredible views of the sea and coastline. Suddenly you’ll spot the lighthouse of Cap de Formentor yes through a gap in the rocks on your left and, shortly after, the end point suddenly emerges: a long series of hairpins lead the eye up to the lighthouse perched on the horizon.

cyclist on the cap de formentor cycling route, Mallorca, approaching the lighthouseThe view from Formentor lighthouse Mallorca. Not bad!
Formentor at sunrise; in a league of its own
Cyclist cycling the cap de formentor cycling route on Mallorca with lighthouse in distanceSpectacular views of the Formentor lighthouse

3. The last climb to the Formentor Lighthouse: 16-17.5km

A fast descent towards a tiny valley lets you catch your breath for the final, stinging ascent of the Cap de Formentor route, up stunning switchbacks to the lighthouse.

Built in 1863, the Cap Formentor lighthouse is an attractive, bright white building that sparkles in the sunshine. It’s a great place to rest and take in the majestic scenery you’ve just ridden.

4. The return to Port de Pollença

The reverse of what you’ve just ridden. There are two notable pain points. The rapid descent to the lighthouse now becomes a punchy ascent, rising 90m in less than a kilometre, with several 15% kicks, and the 3.4km climb back up to El Mirador de sa Creueta.

Café stops

The coffee bar at the lighthouse is a bit of an institution, though it wasn’t open at 7:30 am when we were there! When open, it’s a good motivator for the Cap de Formentor climb.

If you need a break before the lighthouse, the coffee at the Cap Formentor beach café is meant to be good. This has a terrace, offering views around the bay of Pollença.

For other ideas, check out our post on Mallorca’s best cafés. And, if you’re travelling out of season, bear in mind that the refreshment stops mentioned here might be closed.

When taking on the Formentor lighthouse cycling route, you may also wish to consider stops at:

  • Formentor beach, which is gorgeous: a forest backdrop, mountain views, crystal clear turquoise water and a decent (if narrow) stretch of fine white sand.  It could make a good spot for any non-cyclists in your party to hang out, but do note there is a charge for parking. There are several restaurants on the beach, in addition to a well-known hotel.
  • Cala Figuera beach: it is lovely, but pretty inaccessible as it involves scrambling down to get to it. Not the easiest in cleats and with a bike in tow…

Accommodation

As a base for our Formentor bike ride, we stayed at the four-star Hotel Illa d’Or in Port de Pollença. We think it’s the best place to stay in Mallorca for cycling Cap de Formentor. It’s located on the Pine Walk, at the Cap de Formentor side of the town; you couldn’t get much closer to the start of the Cap de Formentor loop. The hotel is quietly bike friendly, with a good bike room, work-station, and track pumps. The hotel also serves great food.

For more of our accommodation suggestions, check out our ultimate guide to Mallorca for cyclists.

Alternatively, our best towns for cyclists article should help you narrow things down to the best town for you.

Nearing the top of the Talaia d'Albercutx climb by bike MallorcaCycling up to the Pepperpot on Cap de Formentor
Outside of the hotel Illa d'Or, Mallorca, in the sunshineHotel Illa d’Or in Port de Pollenca
Cracking views over Pollenca bay from the pepperpotCycling Cap de Formentor = stunning!

Tips

Read our tips for cycling Mallorca before you set out.

 

8 golden nuggets of information to know before you go

  1. Precipices! There are lots of steep drop-offs if you stray from the road when cycling the Cap Formentor.
  2. Check the weather report before setting out. The roads can be treacherous in the wet, and there can be very strong winds, particularly on the final descent to the lighthouse. Take a jacket, whatever the weather.
  3. Remember to remove your sunglasses for the tunnel.
  4. Take enough water with you in case the cafés are closed…
  5. Beware little rock falls – and the dopey local goat population!
  6. The tarmac was notably new and smooth when we visited – except for the last couple of hundred metres through the pillars up to the lighthouse. This section was very rutted.
  7. Set out early (think sunrise). Even out of high season, the fact that this is among the most popular Mallorca cycle routes means that the area suffers from traffic jams on the narrow mountain roads. From 2018, however, most vehicles were banned between Formentor beach and the lighthouse between 10am and 7pm during July and August. More details can be found here. It’s a good start, but 10am is relatively late on in the heat of summer. We would recommend starting earlier than that anyway.
  8. In season, you should spot photographers in position to take your photo and provide your Cap Formentor bike photos. You can buy these from their website on your return to base. They tend to be located overlooking the lighthouse.

Mallorca cycling routes incorporating this climb

Here are some suggestions to add onto your lighthouse Mallorca cycling route:

Add on the 2.5km road to Talaia d’Albercutx viewpoint by taking the turning opposite the Mirador de sa Creueta/Colomer. Just watch out for the potholes here! We include a full description in our Bay of Pollenca route guide, here (and you can see two photos of us on it above – the ones with Stolen Goat yellow and blue jersey!).

After having cycled Formentor, continue around the Bay of Pollença, through Alcudia, along the coast to Bonaire, up to the La Victoria monastery and then back along the coast to Port de Pollença. Here’s our full guide to this awesome loop.

If you’re based in Port de Pollenca, you could add Cap Formentor onto our Sa Batalla loop.

 Found this guide useful?

  • We’d love to hear from you – comment below!
  • Don’t miss our other ride guides on Mallorca: see the related rides section below and also the climbs and routes section of our ultimate guide to cycling Mallorca!

 

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Clare Dewey

Clare Dewey is a cyclist with a passion for travel. She set up epicroadrides.com in 2018 to help make it easy for cyclists to explore the world by bike. Today her mission is still inspiring cyclists to discover new places on two wheels – and doing what she can to make sure they have the best possible time while they’re there. Clare has visited 50+ destinations around the world, many of them by bike.

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