The Mallorquí Tour Day 2: Cala Ratjada- Pollença 65km

Day 2 of the tour was by far an easier day, but was still oppressive because of the heat, so I decided to really take it easy, and enjoy some of the towns that were on the way. On a road bike, this would take about 3 hours to do without stopping. But I would take your time to enjoy the coast as much as possible as it is a pretty amazing place.

But first, there was an early morning start with checking Cala Ratjada itself, which was a lot quieter than it was the night before. A few picturesque views from the marina, and the chance to reach the easternmost point of the island , the Far de Capdepera was taken advantage of. I also had the unusual luxury of having a buffet breakfast at the hotel, which gave me all the energy I needed before setting off. Cala Ratjada was also a bit strange in a way that almost nowhere was open until 8am, which meant I couldn’t take advantage of the cooler temperature.

Capdepera, the town that I passed at the end of first day, was the first stop on this leg. The hardest climb of the entire day is also this short 3km stretch. Getting to the top of the old town is more than worth it however, as you can get great views of the surrounding area, and make your way to the castle without any major issue. It is worth checking out, and you are rewarded with a downhill stretch on the other side. The Ma15 will take you northwest on a relatively easy stretch of road towards Artà, with a gradual climb over 7km.

Artà was my next stop, and I honestly wish I had researched this place more, as it exceeded my expectations by quite a bit. The Santuari de San Salvador, clearly visible from the Carrer de la Ciutat, which is the most iconic street, definitely took me by surprise. The archealogical site of Seis Paises is also worth a look, but I didn’t get the chance to really appreciate that place.

The longest stretch of road where there are few services before the next town, is when you leave Artà on the Ma-12 towards Can Picafort, on the coast once again. There are also some climbs which slowed me down a little, but the lack of shade was most prominent. The first climb gives you some impressive views of the Bay and Alcudia in the distance. A Petrol station is pretty much the halfway point, and the road itself is pleasant, so just enjoy it and look forward to getting briefly in touch with the sea again.

Can Picafort is very much a resort kind of town, where a lot of foreign tourists prevail, but passing along the Platja de Muro was still pretty impressive. If you have time, a short trek to the Necropolis de Son Real is a good way to escape the tourists, but you would need to leave your bike somewhere secure unless it’s good off road. It’s well worth recharging your batteries here, though for the time being, you wouldn’t be far from any services when returning to the main road. I reconnected with the Ma-12, and this is the worst road of the day, with quite a lot of traffic, little to see, and some parts at the time of writing were not in great condition. It’s also not that clear when it would be ideal to turn off at Alcudia, as there are 2 centres to it, the port, and the historic centre.

The port itself had one of the most peculiar beaches on the whole island, with a really shallow part that stretched hundreds of metres, and was really calm. It was also the place where I spent my time recovering from the heat in one of the air conditioned bars just off the beach (Ramon’s Bar), and eventually made my way to the historic centre of Alcudia, which is nearly 2km from the port. Recently inaugurated into the association of Pueblos Más Bonitos de España, This was one of the major highlights of the day.

And you understand why pretty quickly as soon as you reach the historic centre, with several gateways and an impressive medieval wall going around it. I decided to dedicate most of my afternoon there, as I only had 15km to go for this day. The heat by this point was oppressive, and given that time was on my side, a siesta in one of the squares was on the cards. I also rather unfortunately suffered a puncture where I discovered one of the most helpful, and one of the rudest people of the whole trip. Both came from two different bike shops, where the former was extremely rude, Niu wave bicicletes refused to help me take my wheel off, as my tools weren’t working, stating they were closed, and pretty much slammed the door on me. The rent a bike shop on Avinguda Princep d’Espanya however, was a completely different story, and by 5pm I was up and running again. I took the Ma-2220 out of town towards Port de Pollença.

What an amazing coastal road this was. The road has completely uninterrupted views of the Badía d’Pollença all the way to the town, which is about 6km long. It also had occasionally impressive views of the mountains that was the impending stage for tomorrow, as well as the Reserva Nacional d’Albufereta. I would say this was my favourite road outside the Tramuntana Mountains for this trip, and the sea breeze really helped progress up to the penultimate town.

Port de Pollença would be more remembered for the sea views rather than what the town actually had to offer with sights. Nevertheless the Plaça de Miguel Capllonch with the Parroquía de Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles is worth a little detour. If you feel adventurous, the 15km detour to the Far de Formentor is highly recommendable, though on this occasion, I didn’t have enough time to go there.

Time to leave Port de Pollença and reach the inland village of Pollença itself, another Pueblo Más Bonita de España, and 2nd one of this trip. The road to get there is the Ma-2200, and is a slow climb to that point, the calm before the storm which would happen the following day. The mountains are by this point on the verge of surrounding you as the straight line then detours into Pollença. I stayed in the Refugi de Pont Roma which was nearer the mountain road, but took full advantage of visiting the town centre, which went from quiet to rather busy very quickly. The stairs leading up to the Sanctuari el Clavari were in my opinion a killer after cycling, but worth it for the views, as well as some really nice cobbled streets around the Plaça Mayor. I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t spend more time there before it started getting dark, but the evening was a pleasant one, and you can find some authentic Mallorquí dishes such as the Berenjenas rellenas de carne, trampó u trempó, and Pudín de Ensaimada.

That wraps up day 2 of this trip, one that was more relaxed than the first day, and one of avoiding crashing in the heat. It left plenty of time to enjoy the vast majority of the sights on offer, and had I not been as cooked as I was, I would have gone further, and on a normal day it’s easy to do. Pollença was the best place to crash for the night, as it was the cheaper and closer town to the mountain stage, and I recommend this as a crucial overnight stop before tackling the mountains. The destination for following day: Sóller.

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