Driving the Most Exciting Roads of Mallorca
Mallorca, also known as Majorca, is a beautiful island located in the Mediterranean Sea and is the largest of the Balearic Islands Archipelago. Known for its stunning beaches, delicious cuisine, and vibrant nightlife, Mallorca is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world.
However, as with any destination, there are also certain things to be aware of, such as dangerous roads. In this post, we will explore some of the top things to do in Majorca, as well as highlight some of the more dangerous roads to avoid (or enjoy) while on the island.
The Road to Sa Calobra
The road toSa Calobra in Mallorca is a spectacular and winding route that takes you through the heart of the island's rugged mountain terrain. Starting from the charming village of Escorca, the road snakes its way down to the coast, offering breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea along the way. The road is narrow, winding, and steep, and it's considered one of the most beautiful roads in Spain and is often featured in films advertisements and magazine articles.
As you descend towards the coast, after the “nu de sa corbata” (the “knot of the tie” where the road makes a spectacular bend of 270 degrees, doubling back under itself) the landscape becomes more dramatic, with towering cliffs and rocky outcrops on one side, and the shimmering sea on the other. The road winds gently down to the village of Sa Calobra, a small fishing village nestled in a secluded bay and surrounded by dramatic mountains. You can park your car and walk down to the beach, where you can enjoy the crystal-clear waters and admire the natural beauty of the area.
Sa Calobra is a popular spot for tourists, especially for cyclists and motorcyclists, as the road is a challenging and rewarding experience for them. The road is also busy with cars during the peak season, in the summer. This road is not recommended for the inexperienced driver and it's always best to check the weather and road conditions before starting your journey. Also, in the summer months, prepare to face public buses and private excursion coaches that take people up and down the road.
Combine your drive to Sa Calobra with…
As you are taking the trouble to drive down this “snake road” to Sa Calobra, you might as well enjoy the area once you get there.
- Walk to the mouth of the Torrent de Pareis: The walk to the mouth of the gorge is just 15 minutes around the coastline and takes you through a rock corridor and shows you magnificent views. You can explore the area where the gorge ends or you can swim from one of the most beautiful coves of Mallorca, protected by huge cliffs on all sides.
- Visit Cala Tuent: Cala Tuent is the next cove along where there is a marvellous beach for swimming.
- Take the boat to Puerto de Soller: Do check the timetables before you set off, as the boats are not so frequent; but you could leave your car in Sa Calobra and take a 45-minute boat ride to Puerto de Soller and back again, with some free time for lunch or shopping in Puerto de Soller. If the boat times don’t match with your day, don’t worry: there are places for lunch in Sa Calobra itself too, though an even nicer option is a picnic on the beach.
The Road to Cap Formentor
The road to Cap Formentor in Mallorca is a scenic and winding route that takes you along the rugged northern coast of the island. Starting in the charming town of Pollença, you'll make your way towards the lighthouse of Formentor, passing through the resort of Puerto Pollença and then following the barren and rocky landscape leading to Formentor. The road is narrow and winding, so it's important to drive carefully and enjoy the views at a safe speed. This is a popular route with cyclists so be on the look-out and take care!
As you approach Cap Formentor, the road becomes more dramatic, with breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea on one side and rugged cliffs on the other. Along the way, you'll pass by several viewpoints where you can pull over and take in the stunning vistas. The Formentor Lighthouse, which sits at the tip of the peninsula, offers the best view of this northern part of the island and the sea. Once you reach the lighthouse, you can enjoy the panoramic views and take in the beauty of the Mediterranean Sea and the island. Sunrise and sunset are particularly extravagant from here.
This road is a must-do experience during your visit to Mallorca, but it's not recommended for the inexperienced driver. If you are planning on visiting in the summer, be sure to check with the local authorities first as, sometimes this road is closed in high season for conservation reasons – don’t set off before you know!
Combine your drive to Cap Formentor with…
- A visit to Formentor Beach: One of the most popular and beautiful beaches in Mallorca, and renowned for its crystal clear waters, fine sand and perfect snorkelling conditions.
- Stop at the Es Colomer Viewpoint: Take your time on your drive to Cap Formentor and make a stop at some of the viewpoints. Es Colomer is the most famous and the most stunning, as you can walk out to the edge of the cliffs and take amazing photos.
Coll de Soller
The road to Coll de Soller in Mallorca is a picturesque and challenging route that takes you through the heart of the island's beautiful Serra de Tramuntana Mountains. Starting from the charming town of Sóller, you'll make your way up the winding and steep road, passing through olive groves and lush green woods. It is said that there are 52 hairpin bends on this stretch of road, so be sure to take something for travel sickness before you set off! Most visitors to the area miss out the Coll de Soller because, nowadays they can just drive through the tunnel that goes through the mountain, saving a considerable amount of time. But if you are sightseeing, you have all the time in the world, and if you do like a scenic drive, then this is one not to be missed.
As you climb higher and higher, the views become more and more breathtaking, with panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains and the clear blue Mediterranean Sea in the distance. Along the way, you'll pass by several lookout points where you can pull over and take in the views. The Coll de Soller is a mountain pass that connects Sóller and the Port de Sóller, a beautiful coastal town. Once you reach the Coll de Soller, you can enjoy the panoramic views and take in the natural beauty of the area.
This road is a popular spot for tourists, so be careful during the drive, as there are many inexperienced drivers around.
Combine your drive to the Coll de Soller with…
- Visit the Soller Botanical Garden: Just outside the town you will find the botanical gardens of Soller, which are well worth a visit to discover some extraordinary flora and to learn about the typical plants of the Meditarranean area.
- Be sure to try the orange juice: Soller is famous for its oranges, so make sure you try a glass of Soller orange juice while you are there in the area.
- Discover the town’s architecture: You might not expect such eclectic architecture in a simple mountain town like Soller, but once you start to read about the history of the place you will understand why the baroque church exists and why there are so many modernist façades blended with the Medieval buildings.
A Hidden Gem: Coll del Honor
Coll d'Honor, also known as the Coll del Honor, is a winding mountain road located in the Tramuntana Mountain range. This road is considered one of the most dangerous roads in Mallorca, due to its narrow lanes, tight bends, and steep inclines. The road is not recommended for inexperienced drivers or those who are prone to car sickness. It's better to drive it on a sunny day, as the road may be closed during bad weather conditions.
It's a challenging road but also a very rewarding experience. If you choose to drive on Coll d'Honor, be sure to take it slow and be extra cautious. Keep in mind that it may be a good idea to take a break and enjoy the views, as the road can be quite demanding. Be extra careful and on the lookout for cyclists in the road, who often travel in groups and sometimes struggle up the steep hills. Unlike the road to Sa Calobra and the road to Cap Formentor, one thing that you won’t have to worry about on the Coll d’Honor are buses and coaches – no, the road is far too narrow and windy for buses and coaches to even be able to use it.
Combine your drive through the Coll d’Honor with…
The drive through the Coll d’Honor takes you close to three very typical and beautiful towns that are well worth a visit:
- Alaro: This is a pretty town with a beautiful church, a great town square and narrow cobbled streets, as well as eclectic architecture. But Alaro’s main attraction is its castle, just outside town and nestled in the Tramuntana Mountains. You can park at the Es Verger Restaurant and hike for approximately one hour to the top of the hill to Alaro Castle, from where the immense views are breathtaking.
- Orient: The Coll d’Honor begins at Orient so it is easy to make a stop here for a visit. This small town is the image of Mallorca: stone houses with a backdrop of endless Mallorcan countryside, complete with fields of olive trees and orange and lemon orchards. It won’t take long to visit the town, and some highlights are: the Sant Jordi parish church, built in the 18th century on a former 13th century chapel; the unique public laundries that have been conserved; and in the outskirts of Orient, the houses of Son Terrassa and Cals Reis.
- Bunyola: The town of Bunyola is bigger than the other two mentioned, but none-the-less charming. With its narrow lanes, stone houses and sprawling countryside and mountain terrain, it is a favourite with cyclists and walkers visiting the island. The Gardens of Alfabia on the outskirts of Bunyola are well worth a visit.
Puig Major: The Road to the Highest Point in Mallorca
The road to Puig Major in Mallorca is a winding and scenic route that takes you through the heart of the island's beautiful mountain range. Starting in the charming town of Sóller, you'll make your way up the mountain, passing by small villages and lush green forests. As you climb higher and higher, the views become more and more breathtaking, with panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains and the Mediterranean Sea with its patchwork of blue tones.
The road itself is well-maintained and offers plenty of opportunities to pull over and take in the sights. The Puig Major is the highest peak on the island, where there are stunning views.
You can only drive a short way on the Puig Major without a prearranged permission from the Air Force, as the top of the mountain is off limits to the general public, as it is a military zone. This road is in better condition than other mountain roads in Mallorca, due to its upkeep as a military zone. At the top of the mountain is a military radar system that was built by the American armed forces in 1958 as part of an agreement with the Spanish authorities. The very top is still an active military area and is completely off limits to unauthorized visitors.
Combine your drive to the Puig Major with…
- A hike in the Serra de Tramuntana: You can’t hike in the military zone of the Puig Major, but you can enjoy other hikes in the mountain range, some very challenging, where you can still enjoy spectacular Mediterranean views. The Barranc de Biniaraix hike is a popular and very rewarding excursion, starting at the village of Biniaraix and following dry stone paths into the Valley of Soller.
- Visit the Gorg blau or the Cuber Dam: The lakes of Gorg Blau and Cuber are the two large reservoirs in the Serra de Tramuntana Mountains and are both in the vicinity of the Puig Major, so parking up and following one of the hiking routes in the area would be a great opportunity to see this spectacular terrain in Mallorca, with incredible views of the reservoirs where you can snap unforgettable photos.
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