North to South or South to North?

Where to start on the best cycle route in Mallorca?

Which is the better direction to ride, North to South (Andratx to Port Pollenca) or South to North (Port Pollenca to Sant Elm)?

​We have started to run a late afternoon scheduled return bike bus service from Sant Elm to Port Pollenca so we thought this would be the ideal time to examine the differences between riding this fantastic cycle route from a starting point in the South (Andratx) or in the North (Port Pollenca).

Let’s look at the Strava stats of the most direct routes first:
Andratx to Port Pollenca vanilla. 115km with 2,876m of climbing.
Port Pollenca to Andratx vanilla. 115km with 2,958m of climbing.

If you decide to add on any of the wonderful extras such as Sa Calobra, Port Valldemossa and Port des Canonge, as they are out and back routes, distance and climbing stats will be identical.

Effort
Overall the total amount of climbing is nearly identical, however the direction makes one way slightly more difficult.

Andratx to Port Pollenca
This direction you will ascend the longest and highest climb on the island, Puig Major from Soller. 14km with 828m of climbing at an average gradient of 6%.

Port Pollenca to Andratx
This direction you get to fly down the longest descent on the island, from the tunnel at the top of Puig Major down into Soller on fantastic new smoooooth tarmac.

Scenery
Port Pollenca to Andratx – You will be on the same side of the road as the coast so the scenery may be ever so slightly improved by this, although it is a very close run thing depending on your head for heights whilst you look down the cliffs to the sea 🙂

Departure Time
One way means getting transport earlier in the morning, and the other means leaving when you are ready.

Collection time
One way means having to meet a deadline for the return bike bus and the other means you arrive when you want.

Conclusion
Having done the routes in both direction numerous times I still do not have a real preference. I love the long downhill into Sóller, but I also love the long climb up Puig Major followed by the Col de Femenia descent into old town Pollenca. The added benefit of riding to Sant Elm is that you get a true coast to coast experience.

It is great to cycle out to a distant destination and then after some refreshments get taken home. It is also great to get taken to a distant destination and then to make your own way back in your own time. The bike bus must be booked beforehand though so we know how many seats to bring with us!

Try both directions and let us know what you think?

Mallorca Cycle Shuttle - 1000+ scheduled bike buses each year to the start of the bucket list routes; Mallorca Bicycle Rescue in case bike or body break down; 365/24/7 private airport transfers and now the Sa Calobra Express for PB attempts with fresh legs.