The Mallorquí tour Day 3: Pollença- Sóller 53km

Day 3 of the Mallorca tour was without a doubt my favourite in terms of views and experiences. The drawback was how tough the roads were, as this was the first proper mountain stage. There are however, some notable points on the way where you could stop for a well-earned refreshment, though I would still take an energy pack for this one. The weather was exactly the same as the previous 2 days, but slightly fresher near the Puig Mayor.

I set off at 8am which was the earliest possible time for the hostel to open the shed for my bike, and continued along the sleepy caminos until 3km later when you reconnect with the Ma-10 and for the first few kilometres, it’s relatively easy-going and shaded in the forest. but it’s not long until the hairpin bends turn the road into quite a challenge, and quite steep at times. The Coll de Femenia is the first milestone of the day, and road has been kind with the views, and it’s not long until the breakfast point.

The road takes you into a valley to the small village of Lluc, which has a visitor centre and is a nice place to stopover. turn off at the Ma-2140 to reach it comfortably, and take advantage of the facilities there. The ensaïmadas were like gold for me at that point, as I wasn’t running on much. Again, like previous days, I took my time, took advantage of the air conditioning before setting off once again. It’s well worth visiting the monastery there, but remember, there is a lot of work to do still.

From Lluc, it’s a steady climb to Escorca, which literally has just a bar, and was actually closed when I passed it, but the road from that point starts turning rather spectacular when you reach the Mirador de S’Entreforc. Now we’re on the Ma-10, and even though there were some clouds when I was there, the views were spectacular, and there is a small kiosk that sells souvenirs and refreshments on the other side of the road. Definitely worth stopping for, and there was a brief respite from the climbing afterwards when you set off.

There’s then an aqueduct and a junction that also had another rest stop, the last of the mountain road. From here, you can see Puig Mayor, the highest mountain on the island for the first time. the turn off would take you down an iconic road to La Calobra and Cala Truent, which contains the Nus de la Corbata, a road the literally tunnels under itself in a loop. I did not head that way though as they are dead ends, but next time I’ll stop by. The Ma-10 loops round and tunnels through to the Gorg Blau where you are immediately greeted by a lake, and impressive views that the road follows to the right.

Once you can no longer see the lake, the final push through to the highest point of the road starts, and it was the hardest part, mainly because of the heat. A reminder that this was the final journey with my old bike before upgrading, and a lighter mid-range road bike would be easier. My saving grace was that for the most part I could shelter under trees for most of the climbs, and you are greeted by the embalse de Cúber on the hairpin bends which was pretty awesome as well as being surrounded by 1000m+ peaks. There is one viewpoint which is the last view of the lake, before the road briefly flattens out and shows you the best view of the Puig Mayor.

The home straight for the day’s climb takes you to just under 900m altitude, and I realised this was a military zone, so a lot of areas were cordoned off, including Puig Mayor. A tunnel signified that the climb was ending, and was immediately greeted by possibly the best viewpoint of the trip, which showed Sóller and the sea. Fornalutx, a Pueblo Más Bonito de España was also in view, and the next village to visit. The freshest midday breeze of the whole trip took the edge off how cooked I was and the descent was extremely satisfactory.

After a well-deserved drink in the Mirador de Ses Barques, )which I recommend stopping off at if you get the chance) I approached Fornalutx and turned off the Ma-10 to the Ma-2020, and had to enjoy the village. It is not a bike friendly place due to all the stairs around the older part of town, but it’s a spectacular place, especially if you wonder around the Plaça d’Espanya, in particular, the stairs above it, you can really enjoy the old town with cobbled streets and stone houses typical of the Tramuntana region, and check out the occasional views of the mountains that surround you on 3 sides. It is also the first place of the day that has an actual supermarket as well as all the other essentials a passer-by may need. I spent a good amount of time there, and made the most of it, and I suggest you do too.

Leaving Fornalutx via the Ma-2021 to Sóller is the easiest way out, and pretty effortless as well, but I decided to turn off the main road again and visit the small village of Biniaraix, which is signposted to a single track road, the Camí de Cas Patró Lau just 2km away. A much quieter village, I was impressed by this place, and there are also quite a few stairways and cobbled streets with again more views of the valley, particularly in the Sóller direction. The Plaça de la Concepció, is the access point to the church and the old part of town, which you don’t need much time for. This place also had a bar on the picturesque main street leading down, but you need to stick to the tarmac road to avoid any stairs and reconnect to the Camí de Biniaraix.

it’s just 2km to Sóller from Biniaraix, almost all downhill as well for added bonus, and you reconnect with the Ma-2021 when entering the town. I stayed in Hostel Sóller just a few minutes walk from the centre, and enjoyed a cool siesta before deciding to venture out in the early evening. One thing that definitely gives you an impression, is the old tram that takes you to Port de Sóller, which of course I had to give it a go and enjoy both towns, alternatively if you didn’t fancy that option, you could always take a local bus, but either way, I was left right at the beach, and enjoyed an impressive sunset as well as all the scenery. I would definitely add this experience to anyone visiting the Tramuntana region of Mallorca, and I would say it was my favourite overnight stay.

And that wraps up Day 3 of 4 of the Mallorquí tour. A relatively short day compared to the others, but very demanding with the climbs. I highly recommend leaving as early as you possibly can, so you spend a lot of time enjoying the villages that are towards the end of the journey. Treat yourself, enjoy the views and charge your batteries for the final day, which connects you back to Palma, 40km.

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