Location: Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Author: Felix English
Mallorca has been my training destination of choice for the past 6 years and my home for the last 4. Initially, access to an Olympic velodrome and an amazing variety of training roads were the biggest attraction, but then island life soon took hold and I haven’t thought about leaving since. Mallorca has something to offer everyone, with its popular tourist hotspots on the coast, the sprawling mountain ranges for cycling fanatics who enjoy some challenging riding and its, perhaps infamous, party atmosphere.
Alongside the endless cycling options on the island, the general way of life, the food, the people and the beaches are more than enough to make you want to rip up that return ticket home. Where I live, in Palma, there are a fantastic selection of restaurants and cafes. These almost certainly have something for everyone, but personally I’d recommend trying the local Mallorquin cuisine, as, in my opinion, it is extremely hard to beat!
Palma also boasts an incredibly diverse population with 20% of its residents being foreign - this not only adds to the aforementioned multitude of different food options, but also makes the city much easier to navigate for non-native Spanish speakers.
No matter where you choose to stay on the island there’ll be plenty to do and see. The island is just 100km across (East to West) and 50km (North to South), so everywhere is accessible with a long ride.
My favourite routes always take me to the coast, but they are more often than not some of the more challenging rides. I think the most scenic roads are on the West coast of the island going through the towns of Deià and Banyalbufar. If you’re starting from Palma, you can get most of the tougher terrain out of the way in the first half of the ride-- which is always a win in my book!
If you’re looking for a flatter ride, then you’re best sticking to the centre of the island and exploring the small scenic villages. You can aim for towns like; Sineu, Llucmajor and Manacor, and by doing so you won’t go too far off track and get caught out by any surprise climbs!
You may need to chase him around the island but he’s well worth it! Cafe Social is a pop-up coffee shop that visits a different town each day of the week. It follows the famous Mallorquin local markets and was once featured in Forbes Magazine. Probably the best coffee on the island and well worth planning your route around.
One for the flat riders! As mentioned above, Sineu is one to aim for if you’re looking for a ride out of Palma without clocking up too much elevation. Right on the outskirts of the small town is a cycling cafe called Sa-Mola 13. It offers great coffee, delicious small bites and a lovely outside seating area that is the perfect sun trap for those chillier winter stops.
If you’ve decided to take the day off the bike and enjoy the sights of Palma, there are endless options for food and drink. Below is a list of my top 5;
Lalina (homemade Mediterranean wraps with super fresh ingredients)
The Workshop Cafe (brilliant breakfasts and bike hire all in one place!)
Arabay (great coffee in central Palma)
Elefante & Co (Fresh food and amazing fruit bowls with a 100% plastic free philosophy)