Biking the Balearics Diary – Day 1

Driving up through the mountains to one of Majorca’s most celebrated cycling routes, it’s easy to see why this famous Balearic island is one of the most visited in Spain.  A cycling haven boasting World and Olympic class cyclists every year, Majorca is on the hit list of every visitor looking for adventure, big roads and even bigger pay offs on two wheels.

The balearic island is a hit with pro riders looking for a place to train head of the iconic and gruelling Tour de France with previous Tour de France winners such as Geraint Thomas, Chris Froome and Olympic champaion Bradley Wiggins (2012) describing it as a cycling Mecca – not to mention Team Sky, who use it every year to train for major cycling events… I spotted a few ‘Team Sky’ kits on our way up to Cap de Formentor.

 

We started our trip up at Cap de Formentor, with its winding roads, steep drop offs and truly spectacular scenery.  Picture perfect, Cap Formentor often graces the cover of many travel brochures, used to entice travelers, families and couples to the islands shores. Cap de Formentor or ‘lighthouse road’ is a tough endurance ride with truly breathtaking scenery, that will make all the sweat worth it.

For the first time this Summer (2018) the road leading up to Cap de Formentor is closed off in peak season for just cyclists and buses ferrying tourists to the top, which makes an even more enjoyable ride – free of the heavy traffic you’d expect for such an iconic view of Majorca’s stunning landscapes. Source: https://accesmallorca.com/mallorca-news/access-cap-formentor-lighthouse/

We visited in early August, so it was particularly hot, if you did decide to visit during this time wear plenty of sun block and stay hydrated – there are plenty of beautiful stops on the way to catch your breath.  April, May or late September are also fantastic months to visit this gorgeous island.

Cap de Formentor

Lighthouse road

A cyclists dream! our five girls loved this famous route up too the lighthouse, it was here we got some of our most impressive views and sweeping action shots.  The best way to film the girls cycling was to use our drone camera, we got special permission to use it and park at the lighthouse for an extended period of time.  It’s at the lighthouse that we met one of the friendliest mountain goats ever (the only mountain goat I have ever met).

Our cyclists

 

Our drone making friends

 

The road to the tunnel

Filming took us to a tunnel, cut through the rock, its only 400m long, but its not lit at all so a rear light would be recommended here along with removing those sunglasses.  Several buses ferry tourists up to the lighthouse, they wait at the tunnel so they have enough room to pass each other- be aware of this.  Our cyclists really enjoyed the cool darkness of the tunnel after the heat of sun started to gather some momentum as we reached midday.

 

On this part of the route we also got a spectacular view of Cala Figuera beach.  This stoney beach with crystal clear waters is a great place to go for snorkelling. However, the 10 minute walk that it takes to get there, down rocky paths, is a challenge for most people – so wear suitable footwear and be prepared, its worth the trek!

 

Cala Figuera, Formentor

Forest of Formentor

We got some beautiful footage cycling through Formentor forest, a great change from the winding roads and steep descents and accents of lighthouse road, the forest is flat and fast.  The roads were very quite at midday, with just two buses and very limited cars we pretty much had the road to ourselves which meant we were able to get some fantastic drone shots of our cyclists as they sprinted down the deserted road.

 

Formentor Beach

After some spectacular cycling in the morning, there’s no better place I could think of to go for a rest and something to eat than Formentor beach.  It truly is one of the most impressive beaches in Majorca, due to its Caribbean look, crescent of white sand and shallow turquoise waters.

We went for a paddle in the sea to escape the midday sun and it felt glorious, where else could you enjoy a challenging ride and then 10 minutes later find yourself on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world enjoying yummy Spanish food?

Don’t feel like cycling? It takes about 20 minutes to drive there from Puerto Pollensa, along the Formentor peninsula (Cap de Formentor) road.

 

The Mirador

The Mirador

A truly jaw dropping moment was experiencing the dramatic scenery of the Mirador.  Our cylists favourite route of the day, and our favourite place to film – the drone camera was in it’s element getting some incredible shots of the island from above.  It’s also a great place to stop, have a drink and just take in the natural beauty of this incredible island.

Travel

The cyclists and myself flew to Palma, which is operated by Thomas Cook Airlines – the cyclists travelled with their own bikes, which needs to be pre booked via the Thomas Cook Airlines website – however bike rental is plentiful in Majorca.

We rented a van to take us and the bikes all over the island due to a busy filming day – depending on you’re cycling ability this could be a sensible option.

 

Accommodation

We stayed at the 4 star Melia Palma Bay Hotel in Palma, just a 10 min walk from the historic walled city of Palma.

 

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