Engel & Völkers Licence Partner Pollensa > Blog > Sa Calobra: Mallorca’s iconic mountain road

Sa Calobra: Mallorca’s iconic mountain road

Cycle tourism is booming in Mallorca. It’s estimated that this year will register a 44 per cent increase of cycle tourists to the island, pushing numbers close to 300,000. Some 200 hotels have adapted to cater for cyclists providing workshops, gyms, nutritionists and rental facilities. Two of the three leading destinations fall within Mallorca North—Puerto Alcudia and Playa de Muro. The two resorts are popular among those looking to buy frontline apartments and villas with easy access to the fine-sand beaches. But for cyclists, it’s the variety of tracks from coastal roads and country lanes through to the more testing mountain routes that travel up and over the Unesco-protected Sierra de Tramuntana that make the terrain so attractive.

Considered something of an engineering masterpiece, the road to Sa Calobra was designed by the half-Italian, half-Mallorcan civil engineer Antonio Parietti Coll. Completed in 1932, the serpentine route leads down the mountain to the small fishing village of Sa Calobra with spellbinding views along the way. The road was built to attract tourists to the area; Parietti’s achievement was to make the road as much of a draw as its destination.

For cycling enthusiasts, it’s the hairpins and, specifically, a 270-degree hairpin turn that are truly breathtaking. Technically called a “spiral bridge”, it is a solution to a high drop in the rock that makes a standard hairpin impossible; there are fewer than five of them in Europe, and most are motorway junctions. The Sa Calobra ride is 9.4km in length and climbs 668m in height with a maximum gradient of 12% and an average of 7.1%—in other words an exhilarating (if thigh-burning) ride.

It’s a testing circuit and one of the reasons why north Mallorca is the location for Team Sky’s annual pre-season test. Sir Bradley Wiggins, according to cycling lore, holds the unofficial record for Sa Calobra having set a time of around 22min30secs during the winter before is 2012 Tour de France victory. For amateur cyclists, times are closer to the one-hour mark.

Those that aren’t interested in cycling should nevertheless drive down this spectacular road and pay a visit to Sa Calobra. At the bottom is the tiny seaside village of the same name. Following a 1km footpath will take you to one of the prettiest, most secluded beaches in the north of the island, Torrent de Pareis.

Finally, don’t miss the open-air choral concert held on the first Sunday in July. First organised in 1964 by the Mallorcan painter Josep Coll Bardolet, the sound is enhanced by the unique acoustics of the rock faces and over the years they have covered a spectrum of music from classical to gospel and jazz.

Our real estate agents can provide you with any advice on all real estates offered by Engel & Völkers in Mallorca North. Get in touch and contact us via email: pollensa@engelvoelkers.com or telephone +34 971 53 20 50, or visit one of our real estate shops located in Puerto Alcudia, Puerto Pollensa, Pollensa.

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