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Mallorca Cycling Tour-One Week Mallorca by Bike. Trip Report

Mallorca Cycling Tour - One Week Mallorca by Bike. Trip Report with Images.

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Deutsche Version: Mallorca Radtour - Eine Woche Mallorca per Rad.

One Week Mallorca by Bike

Beginning

The idea for touring Mallorca on bike developed last year when I realized that Mallorca does not only mean "Beach and Ballermann" but nature, culture and activities like walking and biking as well. When in February this year I tried to book a guided cycling tour for the week right after Easter via the internet I found the homepage of "Mallorquin-Bikes" and their offer not only for tours but also Stevens bicycles for hire. When I rang Anke Pfaff she told me that unfortunately in the requested week no other people had asked for a cycling tour and therefore there wouldn't be one. But I didn't want to give up the Mallorca idea yet and booked a flight. At that time I was still thinking of some place to stay and daily tours, organized and without risk. During the following weeks it became more and more clear, though, that I would prefer spontaneousness, and so on 26 April 2005 I left Berlin with backpack, cycling bags and flight ticket.

Arrival - Palma de Mallorca

There was no problem going from the airport to Palma, and after some questions I found the bus station at Placa d-Espanya. The bus for Cala d'Or (where I was going to hire the bicycle) had just left, so until 1:00 p.m. there were 3 hours to fill in. Neither at the bus station nor at the train station was a possibility to leave the luggage and I felt rather handicapped. So I decided to hire a bicycle for the time in Palma as well and managed to do so at Placa Grande. Thus being able to move around in Palma easily turned out to be of great advantage. I could not only visit the city center but also ride along bits of the beach cycling route which goes on for many kilometers.


Mallorca
Image Date: 2005-04-11 | Photo ID: 2005070110

On the bus to Cala d'Or

At 1:00 p.m. the regular bus, which was occupied mainly by natives, took us comfortably to Cala d'Or. First positive impressions of Mallorca intensified my looking forward to a lovely holiday.

Mallorquin Bikes

In the shop of Anke and Johannes Pfaff there was a very warm welcome with lots of information for tours and a wonderful Stevens touring bike waiting.

Cala d'Or

In the village I bought the Mallorca compass map 230, which became my favourite during the next days. In it each cycle path and track in the field is marked and even without being very good in finding directions you usually will reach the point you want to using it. The beach of Cala d'Or was wonderful and tempting to go for a swim.


The beach of Cala d'Or.
Image Date: 2005-04-11 | Photo ID: 2005070111

Felanitx

On my first day I wanted to go to Felanitx which is about 30 km from Cala d'Or. Actually, the destination was the Abbey of Sant Salvador where I wanted to spend the night. I looked up my new map how to get to Felanitx. Mainly, the given route was correct. It was uphill all the time. On my way I met a Spanish lady who lived there and she told me that this path could only be managed walking but never on bike. All the way back? I did not want to give up that fast! And on a path you can walk you can always push your bicycle - if the worst comes to the worst. So I went on - partly cycling, partly pushing the bike. The beautiful landscape made up for all my difficulties.


On the way to Felanitx.
Image Date: 2005-04-11 | Photo ID: 2005070112

After about one hour I came to a tarred road which went uphill on the left hand side and downhill on the right hand side. I decided for downhill and enjoyed this ride which took me first to the main road Portocolom-Porreres and in the end back to Felanitx. From here I knew where to go and the way to the Abbey of Sant Salvador was signposted.

The Abbey of Sant Salvador

At the main road between Felanitx and Portocolom there is a smaller road on the right hand side leading to the Abbey of Sant Salvador. After the road had been relatively plane for 1 km a signpost gave the distance with 5,5 km. Someone had changed it into 5,7. How picky, I thought. But after having managed the ascending bit I realized that here even 0,2 km made a difference. Quite breathless I reached the top at last. I almost didn't take notice of the Abbey and the beautiful view.
Fortunately, I could have a room for the night, a nice little cell. As I didn't understand the instructions for the hot water boiler right away, I had my shower with cold water; there was no towel to dry with. And there were no covers either, so I had to sleep in my clothes but I was happy and slept wonderfully.

Next morning

Next morning, waiting for the friendly lady I had met the other day, I could at last enjoy the beautiful view.


The view from the Abbey Sant Salvador.
Image Date: 2005-04-12 | Photo ID: 2005070113

As the lady didn't turn up at all I put the money on my bed and off I went.

Going downhill has to be practised like other things. So at the first steep bit I prefered walking and pushing the bike for a while. Thus having walked downhill for about 2 km I thought that this couldn't be it! So I plucked up courage and started going downhill on bike, faster and faster. And, of course, the more spacious the curves became and the more straight the road the more I enjoyed it until I reached a speed of 49 km/h.

Market day in Sineu

My this day's tour first led from Felanitx towards Villafranca. Here I followed a quiet country lane going through a fertile plain.


Near Villafranca.
Image Date: 2005-04-12 | Photo ID: 2005070114

It was market day in Villafranca (Wednesday), nothing much exciting but a good opportunity to buy some fruit, cheese and water. During the next days I would be eating mainly Mallorquin oranges. It's unbelievable how delicious they are. From Villafranca I went via Sant Juan to Sineu where on Wednesdays there is a well-known and big market. It takes place around the church and in the little lanes of the city center which looks very picturesque but is as well meant for tourists.


Market day in Sineu.
Image Date: 2005-04-12 | Photo ID: 2005070115

Going inland

From Sineu I went across country to Montuiri (a nice small place), then to Algaida and from there to Randa.

In Randa as well as in Porreres and in Montuiri there are abbeys where - as it is said - you can have a room for the night. But there was either rebuilding going on or they did not let rooms or it was nobody there at all. So at last, when dawn was coming, I had to look for a hotel. I found it about 1 km off Montuiri and it was very luxurious. I had to pay 55 EUR for a more than spacious double room, looking from my point of view. It had two bathrooms and a sitting room. Presumably, the price had been a special offer already, for during the season it would be even more expensive, I think. Well, I couldn't have slept better in that suite, of course, especially as I was quite finished that night.

Back to Felanitx

Getting ready in Montuiri I realized that my identity card was missing. The only explanation I could think of was that I had handed it over when taking the room in the Abbey Sant Salvador. As I had been in a quite poor condition that night, I really couldn't remember, so there was no choice, I had to go back. I didn't mind the distance, but had quite a horror thinking of the climbing. In the end I solved the problem by leaving the bicycle half way up and walking the other part. Luckily, the identity card was really there.

From Felanitx to the east coast

My touring guide recommended two hotels in Colonia de Sant Pere which should be good value. From Felanitx the route went through Manacor, which is the city second in size of Mallorca (but there isn't much to be seen). Just the huge church is impressing. From Manacor a small road with almost no traffic led to Colonies de Sant Pere. At first I liked the landscape around there but after a while it became a bit monotonous: nature reserve on the left hand side, nature reserve on the right hand side, the road completely straight and just some slight slopes. Only later there were mountains towards east which I hadn't expected at all. When I had almost reached Colonies de Sant Pere I passed the Ferrutx, looked upon as the so called homemountain.


Ferrutx.
Image Date: 2005-04-13 | Photo ID: 2005070116

In Colonies de Sant Pere I was told that the Hotel Rocamar was just being rebuilt and the other one, Hotel Solimar, was very expensive (66 EUR for a single room). A German lady, whom I had asked about the hotels, became really busy and helpful and told me of a room at one of her friends. I couldn't be sure until 9 p.m., though, when this friend would be back from Palma where she had gone with her motorscooter for the day. When I arrrived just after 9 p.m. she turned out to be very nice. Until 1 a.m. we were having red wine and chips telling us the stories of our lifes.


East coast, Colonies de Sant Pere.
Image Date: 2005-04-13 | Photo ID: 2005070117

To Cap d'Alcudia

My next destination was the Peninsula where the Abbey Victoria is situated. The only way to get there was using the main road along the coast. But as it was early in the morning and out of season there was only little traffic and cycling was no problem. There was some uphill and downhill to cope with, but not too demanding. The first place I visited was Can Picafort. Out of season not really a "Must". Soon after Can Picafort I reached s'Albuferia, the largest and most important biotope of the Baleares. This detour was really worthwhile. Besides beautiful waterfronts and unusual vegetation the twitter of birds impressed as much as the variety of effects to all senses. Some of the paths could even be "discovered" on bike.


Biotope s'Albuferia.
Image Date: 2005-04-14 | Photo ID: 2005070118

Then I went past Port d'Alcudia (a large holiday resort) to Alcudia. The guide book had mentioned Alcudia as worth looking at, for me it was the most beautiful place of Mallorca with its city gate


Alcudia: City gate.
Image Date: 2005-04-14 | Photo ID: 2005070119

church


Church.
Image Date: 2005-04-14 | Photo ID: 2005070120

tiny streets and pretty village centre.
Right by the central square there was a hostel which I discovered only by chance. Having had the previous days' experiences, I booked a room immediately and then started discovering the Peninsula. The beaches there are rather rocky, so who's looking for a sandy beach should go to Port d'Alcudia instead. But there are the most beautiful views


View from the rocky beach, Alcudia.
Image Date: 2005-04-14 | Photo ID: 2005070121

and the vegetation is mediterranean.


Asphodel (Asphodelus aestivus).
Image Date: 2005-04-14 | Photo ID: 2005070122

From Alcudia to Lluc

Actually I had meant to spend a second night in Alcudia which would have saved me to look for a room, but I gave up this idea in the morning. Staying on, I would have been fixed to the northeast for the day and thus Lluc and perhaps at least a short contact with Tramuntana would not have been possible. So I had to do without the Peninsula Formentor and Cap de Formentor. Well, it's nice to leave something for a second visit. So next morning I went to Pollenca, the oldest town of Mallorca, taking a rural lane first and later a road with little traffic. In Pollenca again there was a Roman double bridge.


Pollenca: Roman Double Bridge.
Image Date: 2005-04-15 | Photo ID: 2005070123

On quiet roads I went from Polenca to Campanet to visit a stalactite cave which is not only worth seeing because of its bizarre and impressing formations but also because its colours give a typical Mallorquin impression.


Stalactite cave in Campanet.
Image Date: 2005-04-15 | Photo ID: 2005070124

The next place I wanted to go was the Abbey Lucia giving the chance of staying the night. Following the cycling route I passed some small places like Moscari, Binibona, Selva, Lloset, Mancor. Finally there was the ascent to the abbey and having reached the top I had to cope with another putdown. Whether they do not let rooms at all or only occasionally or only during the season, I don’t know. Anyway, it meant going downhill again to Caimari and then to start the next ascent to the Abbey of Lluc. 10 km were signposted. When I thought of my experiences in San Salvador I would probably have to manage about twice as much and at least one hour nonstop uphill. It turned out slightly better, though, for after 8 km already (!) the road went downhill. When I reached the abbey I just managed to walk to the R E C E P T I O N. This luxurious room where a receptionist in an uniform was sitting at a desk with a PC could keep up with the Adlon. I had never expected anything like it in an abbey. Yet I was happy to get a friendly welcome and a room for the night without any problems.


The Abbey of Lluc.
Image Date: 2005-04-15 | Photo ID: 2005070125

When after a hot shower I could move my legs again I started to walk through the abbey surroundings and was much impressed by the adjoining Botanical Gardens where natural and artificial elements add to a perfect environment. Well worth seeing!


Botanical Gardens.
Image Date: 2005-04-15 | Photo ID: 2005070126

From Lluc to Campos

In the morning when I was ready to leave, Lluc was more or less hidden in mist which didn't make my going downhill easier. Fortunately the mist vanished after 2 km. And I was lucky with the traffic. That early in the morning I had the road all for myself, so I was courageous enough to go down quite fast. My final destination was Llucmajor being best suitable for returning the bicycle. On sundays there is market in Santa Maria, so I tried to go past that place as well and went via Selva, Biniamar, Lloseta, Binissalem to Santa Maria. The market was really very impressing. There is a huge central square where everything you can think of is offered. To pass with bicycle and cycling bags was almost impossible, for nearly all tourists and natives of Mallorca seemed to have come together. There were more people at the market than I had met during the last 5 days. As far as I am concerned it was all a bit too large, too busy, too crowded, but some people do like it that way.
When I had finished my shopping of oranges, bananas, apples and water I went on to Sencelles. Here I found a typical Spanish coffeehouse where only natives were sitting - except me. They were drinking coffee or playing cards, and even women were having a glass of wine and talking. And there was a culinary highlight as well waiting for me: A very tasty fish Tapas, extremely delicious! A glass red wine to go with it and an espresso to finish the meal made up for a lot of meals of medium quality which I had had during that week.
At last I went on towards Llucmajor where I arrived as early as 3 p.m., so I made a mobile call and arranged to meet at Campos instead which gave me time to make a ride once again to the coast. For a last dip into the sea I went to Cap Blanc, but unfortunately it happened to be a restricted military area, so I had to go back. Then I decided for s'Estanyol/sa Rapita. By now I had to be very quick, for I didn't want to be late in Campos. And as I didn't want to use the main road there was again the risk to come to a path ending somewhere else than I thought. But eventually all went well and right after 7 p.m. I reached Campos where the people of "Mallorquin-Bikes" were waiting for me. With todays 127 km this was the longest bit of my tour and the tachometer just passed the 500 km mark.
From Campos I went to Palma Airport and there took a bus to Palma. The Tourist Information Centre at the station was still open and supplied with several possibilities for staying the night. I went off and easily found a small hostel.
There was no problem either to reach the airport in the morning. As it happened, I met a gentleman who was working in the office of aerlingus (an Irish airline). When I had told him that I had been on a cycling tour he at once gave me a lot of tips and informations for Ireland.

So next time Ireland??? Why not?


April 2005

Nicole Haupt - Berlin

Deutsche Version: Mallorca Radtour - Eine Woche Mallorca per Rad.

31.07.2005 17:46 | geändert von Gabi: 18.04.2010 15:25


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