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RADMonika: My top 5 riding destinations in Mallorca

Monika (aka RAD Monika) is based in Mallorca and is a full time adventure cyclist, speaker and writer. One of her cycling #RADventures this year will be riding the entire 3300km Vuelta a Espana route this year to inspire others, especially women, to ride bikes.

After living and cycling in many countries around the world Monika (@RADMonika) wanted her next home to be a true cycling mecca. Cities like Portland, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Girona were all briefly considered but it was the Spanish island of Majorca that Monika made her new home. With its 300+ days of sunshine per year, its steep mountainous roads, golden sandy beaches, and vibrating cycling culture, it's no surprise that Monika was attracted. After all it's a popular training destination for professional cyclists, especially in the off-season. Away from the main tourist resorts in the south the island has hundreds of miles of quiet lanes and back country to explore. So if you want to rub shoulders with the pro's and see some stunning sites along the way here are Monika's top 5 rides around the largest of the Balearic islands:

1. Sa Calobra

Sa Calobra is the most stunning climb on the island. The constructor of this route must have been Italian because when you look from the top it looks like a major Spaghetti bowl. Before you climb up Sa Calobra you actually have to descend it first to the coast. Before you are heading down the 9.5km climb, check your legs are ready for the climb because there is no other way out than the way you go down. Also, check the storage on your camera or phone because you will be taking a lot of photos!

On a long descent like Sa Calobra I find my disc brakes really add to the experience.

2. M10, the coastal road from Banyalbufar to Andratx

This stretch of road was my introduction to Mallorca’s amazing scenery. It’s a coast road but far from flat. There are many little climbs that take small but consistent bites of your energy. But you won’t be thinking about your legs because your entire attention is focused on what’s on your right - amazing views the whole way!

3. Soller

If the architect of Sa Calobra was Italian then the architect of Soller must have been bursting with ideas. He put everything into a tiny space which creates a very cozy atmosphere. The city is full of small little roads and corners. I am not sure how bigger cars than my Citroen C1 would fit through it. The adventure starts when you enter the town. Find a café, grab a coffee and soak in the atmosphere. Depending which direction you come from and where you are going, Soller is perfectly placed for climbing because no matter which direction it first goes up – either via Deia along the coast road (See Point 2), via the 5km 5% Col de Soller or the 14km 6% Puig Major. You’ll need another coffee after that! 

Source: https://www.abc-mallorca.com/soller/

That can happen too. Stop to pat a donkey.

4. Arta

This cute little town in the Northeast of Mallorca is already stunning before entering as you can see the castle from the distance. If you’ve chosen to stay on the western part of Mallorca, Arta is a great mid-ride coffee stop during for a long ride. If you head then down towards Port Christo and even further south towards Santanyi and then turn inland, this ride can go well over 200km. Although the ride itself has no challenging climbs, make sure to check the wind direction beforehand because the way back could feel otherwise like riding up Alpe d’Huez a few times.

Source: https://www.novipropertymallorca.com/estateagency-artaproperty.asp

5. And here is the secret spot for your coffee break

This spot, aka bakery, has no name; at least I don’t know it. It is hidden from the main roads and if you don’t know about it and don’t get lost in the town, you will never come across it. This is the location:

I was told that it has the best cremadillo of the island. In case you don’t know what cremadillo is then this is another good reason to visit this place to find out.  Yummy!

Every town has its own charm.

Mallorca is truly a cycling paradise. There is plenty to discover. If you are looking for some adventure, then I would just suggest to turn off the main road. The island is covered with small roads that have little traffic. If you are looking for any suggestion, don’t hesitate to reach out. Hasta luego!

Read more about Monika on her website here www.radmonika.com or find out about her Vuleta project here: www.thevueltaride.com

 

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