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The beginning of March sees the start of the first part of the Mallorca cycling season which runs until it becomes too hot to ride. Serious cyclists regard the roads and terrain from Valldemossa through Deià to Sóller and Fornalutx and beyond as some the finest for cycling in the world. Over the years, an ecosystem of guides, specialist shops and tour providers has grown up to support the discerning cyclists who choose our area.

With challenging routes set against a backdrop of – literally – breathtaking views, friendly cafés to stop at and a welcoming attitude from the locals, it’s not surprising that more than 200,000 cyclo-tourists visit Mallorca to cycle.

The bulk of cyclo-tourists base themselves in Playa de Palma, Alcudia bay, Paguera, Cala Millor and Cala Ratjada. Some ride the coast road from Andratx to Pollença and the ever-popular category two Coll de se Batalla but most don’t venture off the beaten track.

This leaves the Tramuntana mountains relatively open territory for discerning cyclists.

The route to Cap Formentor, one of the island’s most popular.

 

Reynes Cycling serving West Coast cyclists

Since 2014, Deià’s Reynes family has offered cyclists in our area a unique concept. This combines high-quality bike rentals, professional guides for cycling routes or tours, somewhere to relax after riding, excellent coffee and delicious cakes from the family bakery. There’s also the opportunity to connect with other cyclists.

Today, Reynes Cycling has two shops, one in Deià, the other in Port de Sóller. The Port de Sóller shop and café is located on Playa d’en Repic, the road that runs alongside the beach.

Former professional cyclist Marc Reynes is the driving force behind his family’s mini cycling empire.

Mecca for Mallorca cyclists, Reynes Cycling in Port de Sóller.
Reynes Cycling cafe in Port de Sóller – relaxing after an early morning ride.

A family passion for cycling

Marc became hooked on cycling watching races with his older brother when he was just five years old. Growing up in Mallorca was a huge advantage for the budding professional.

‘Living in Mallorca is ideal for a cyclist,’ Marc said. ‘It truly is a cyclist’s paradise. We can cycle all year round, there are all kinds of routes and the weather’s fantastic. What else could you ask for?’

If you’re serious about cycling, Marc added, ‘you can easily meet pro-cyclists and even pro-teams training on the island such as the Ineos Grenadiers, which is a great way to make contacts.’

Marc and his brother turned professional but decided to stop and help run the family bakery. For Marc, working in the bakery wasn’t enough. When the opportunity to open a cycling shop in Deià came up, he leapt at it.

Since then, the family business has grown to the point where it has 50 road bikes and 20 ebikes. Reynes Cycling offers guided tours and helps beginners find their way into cycling.

The majesty and drama of cycling in Mallorca (Sa Calobra)

 

The Mallorca cycling experience

Marc’s favourite ride starts in Deià. He pedals down the coast to Andratx along the spectacular coast road and back via the tiny, quiet village of Galilea perched high above the sea.

‘The scenery is beautiful, and the roads are very quiet,’ Marc said. ‘Even though there’s a lot of traffic in certain areas at certain times of the year, the drivers are super-respectful and everyone comments on it.’

For serious cyclists or those wishing to challenge themselves, the island’s beauty is a bonus but it’s only one attraction.

Mallorca is easy to get to from anywhere in the world and, as Marc explained, ‘the routes we have here are the same as or similar to those of the professional races. We miss some of the longer climbs but there are some tough routes here.’

There are also plenty of races for cyclists to take part in, apart from the Mallorca 312 and January’s Mallorca Cycling Challenge. The January Cycling Challenge is only open to pro-cycling teams, although some local cycling teams are invited, and is regarded as the first real test of cyclists’s race fitness after the preseason.

And they’re off! Cycling in Mallorca 312 (Mallorca 312)

 

Guided cycling tours of Mallorca

Marc and his team offer personalised cycling experiences for individuals, groups and B2B clients. In recent years, curated cycling tours have become a major part of cyclo-tourism on Mallorca.

Alfonso Ochoa of Mills and Honey cycling tours works with Marc Reynes when the demand for his own tours is too high for him to service with just his own team. ‘Marc is awesome to work with,’ Alfonso told me.

The cycling experiences offered by Mills and Honey are all about taking people safely out of their comfort zone. ‘A lot of my clients go on self-guided trips,’ Alfonso said. ‘We send them their routes on a digital format, and they navigate on their phone. They ride on their own, but they know if they get into trouble they can call us.’

For Alfonso, another serious cyclist who turned his passion into a way of life, the road from Sóller to Andratx via Deià and Valldemossa is ‘one of the best in the world’. His clients, 80% of whom come from the US and Canada, often say of the ride up to the Cap Formentor lighthouse from Pollenca that it’s the ‘best ride of my life’.

Leaving Deià for a gentle cycle ride.

 

Mallorca cycling trends

Worldwide, Alfonso pointed out, ‘Cycling went through an enormous boost during COVID. A lot of people took up the sport during the pandemic. Cycling shops responded to the surge in the volume of sales by overstocking. Now cycling companies are closing down. But here in Mallorca, cycling is booming.’

Inevitably, the Mallorcan tourist authority is looking at ways to maximise cyclo-tourism to the island. The Mallorca Daily Bulletin reported the Council of Mallorca’s tourism councillor, Andreu Serra as saying that ‘The strategic object is to consolidate what we have and expand market share’.

One of the first fruits of this is an agreement with media colossus Eurosport to raise the status of the Mallorca 312 race which takes place at the end of April within the international cycle racing calendar. Another government initiative will be to attract more female cycling tourism to the island.

Climbing through the pines.

 

Super cool cycling

Now that the profile of cycling in Mallorca is being raised even higher, it’s perhaps inevitable that cyclists are searching for something different. The Kill the Hill race was launched in May 2024. It runs 55 kilometres from the Hotel Viva Blue in Muro at Playa de Muro in the far north-east of the island to as high as it’s possible to cycle up the Puig Major, Mallorca’s highest peak.

Alfonso Ochoa told me that ‘Kill the Hill is a small but super cool event. Numbers are limited to a maximum of 300 cyclists. The military road to the top of Puig Major is opened up so it’s the one day you can ride to the top of Mallorca.’

 

Non-competitive brevet cycling in Mallorca

Brevet cycling, where roads aren’t closed to traffic and registration is much cheaper than it is for standard races, is a growing phenomenon in Mallorca.

When it’s applied to cycle tourism, a brevet – meaning ‘license’ or ‘patent’ in French – certifies that a cyclist has completed a particular route. It includes a route card that’s stamped when a cyclist passes mandatary points for completing the route.

You can find details of Mallorca’s brevet routes here.

 

Para-cycling in Mallorca: a broader vision of the sport

The Mallorca Para-cycling Tour, which this year takes place between 18 and 20 October is by no means as well known as the Mallorca 312 but it’s every bit as important.

Mallorcan wheelchair athlete Mix Manresa came up with the idea for the tour, which first took place in 2014. Since then, it has attracted some of the best handbikers in the world. Today, there are seven different categories, including bicycles, tandems and tricycles.

In 2023, a total of 30 cyclists of 13 different nationalities took part in the tour.

Although it’s sponsored by Toyota, race director Elsa Artigas, whose partner Martin Berchesi is a paracyclist, told me ‘The race organisers are all volunteers and the vast majority pay for their own flights to the island so they can come and help us.’

Elsa said, ‘Most of all, we are athlete driven. The great paralympic cyclists who have taken part in The Mallorca Para-cycling Tour such as Rafal Wilk, Mitch Valize, Heinz Frei, Ricardo Ten, Loïc Vernaud and Florian Jouanny demonstrate a broader vision of sport in action.’

The Mallorca Para-cycling Tour is, Elsa said, always happy to help para-cyclists organise pre-season training sessions. As a result of taking part in the race, the Swiss and Netherlands teams have started training in Mallorca.

Watching a video of the 2023 tour, I’m reminded of the sheer pleasure of cycling for any cyclist of any ability.

Para-cycling extends the borders of the sport in Mallorca.

 

88 and still cycling

A friend of mine who lives in Deià and will celebrate his 88th birthday this year cycles every day except if it’s raining or too windy to ride. He rides out from Deià along the road towards Sóller for 12 to 14 kilometres. This takes him around 40 minutes.

‘My almost daily cycle ride is certainly one of the highlights of my day,’ my friend says. ‘It’s just challenging enough for me. I’m out in nature and the views of the mountains and out to sea are a tonic. After my ride, I know I’ve done my body and spirit the power of good. It’s time to head for one of the village cafés for coffee and good conversation.’