The cycling in Mallorca is legendary – this island really gives itself up to the cyclist every spring and fall as roads become crowded with lycra clad road bike riders eating up the pavement. Fuelling your ride is no problem. The food on the road is amazing – the toughest part of fuelling your ride – choosing from the myriad choices of delicious eats!
You are seldom far from food when cycling in Mallorca. With the distances between towns rarely longer than 10-15 kms, there are plenty of choices. Fancy a lunch by the sea – no problem. With 550 kms of coastline, there are plenty of amazing Mediterranean views to tantalize you as you enjoy the culinary delights of the island.
Local flavours and produce will tantalize your taste buds as you dine in the relaxed atmosphere of the seaside. Pair your meal with some of the fine wines being produced on the island. Binissalem and the Pla i Llevant areas in the southeast are producing quality wines that are difficult to find off the island. Personally, I can’t go past the Sangria – always a crowd pleaser, pitchers of this fruity wine punch flowed freely with my group of friends.
With so many places to choose from, these are just some of my favourite coastal towns for lunch:
Port de Pollenca – a huge tourist area – the cafes can be really crowded and the prices a little higher, but the views over the Badia de Pollenca are stunning. Perfect place to stop for lunch after riding to the Cap de Formentor (one of my top 5 Mallorca rides).
Cala Ratjada – There are a number of great choices in Cala Ratjada, but I can’t go past O Sole Mio (photo above)- an Italian restaurant with food and views worthy of the ride! Their pizzas were a huge hit with our group, along with the aïoli, fresh bread and olives which seem to have become a staple for our lunch time frivolities. The serving sizes were generous and no challenge for our group as we devoured all that was put in front of us!
Porto Cristo and Porto Cristo Novo – another brilliant coastal lunch stop. Plenty of cafes to choose from. If a morning coffee stop is all that you are looking for, you won’t be alone as cyclists fill the tables with their morning coffee stop. Roll through town and check it out! Chances are, unless you are really early, there are already a number of cyclists enjoying the delicacies of the restaurants.
Porto Petro (photo above) – I have been cycling in Mallorca for years, and I am embarrassed to say I have passed through town so many times without stopping, always wanting to but coming through at the wrong time! This year, we planned our riding to stop here for lunch and we were rewarded with amazing food, a breeze coming off the water, and a waiter who kept us laughing and having a great time (as if we needed any help – the earlier photo of the pitcher of sangria – that was taken here – let’s just say, we had a couple pitchers between the group of 10!). Once again, such a relaxed atmosphere, you can see why there were smiles all around.
Cala d’Or - My favourite – Paparazzi – open since 2005 – may not have a coastal view, but with such amazing flavours, they can easily be forgiven. Paparazzi specializes in pizza and pasta with a Mediterranean influence and are big on flavour. I fell in love with their pizza on my first visit to Mallorca – well worth the visit, they say this is a location to eat and be seen. Their home made stone baked pizzas will not disappoint.
Port de Andratx (photo above) – Every now and then, even a cyclist needs a 3 hour lunch! Admittedly, this stop was on our rest day and we were feeling rather leisure as we rolled into Port de Andratx to find a seaside lunch. We found it at Restaurante Rocamar – seafood so fresh, we watched as the fishermen brought in the catch of the day, not once but twice during our meal. The Menu del dia – well worth it both in flavours and euros. Restaurante Rocamar is the furthest restaurant along the walkway and tended to be visited by locals rather than tourists. Not once over the 3 hours did we feel rushed by the waiters – a great way to pass the afternoon.
While the coast is stunning, there is so much more to Mallorca – inland lunches will not disappoint!
Ca´s Busso: Carretera Cabo Blanco, Km 24, Llucmajor (close to the road to Cala Pi) - Amazing tapas and meals, this restaurant is all Mallorcean. The stews, soups and suckling pig – enough to keep any foodie happy. I have spent many a euro eating at this country restaurant. While it is very close to a couple of the hotels that I have stayed at (in Cala Pi and in Llucmajor), we have planned our rides to make Ca’s Busso a lunch or Sangria stop! Thankfully, it is an easy ride home along the cami after lunch!
Soller – tucked away in amongst the mountains of the Serra de Tramuntana, Soller can be best described as a sunny bowl or Golden Valley. It is a picturesque little town, peaceful amongst the citrus groves. There is a plethora of choice as you roll in to town. In cycling season, it is a sea of colour as road bikes are piled on top of each other, as cyclists congregate for for lunch before making the climb out of town. Photo below – a quiet moment in Soller, the Serra de Tramuntana rising up in the distance. In the middle of the day, these cafes and town centre are packed to the rafters with cyclists and tourists.
Sineu – In my opinion, Bar Sabina in the centre of Sineu is not to be missed. Their traditional Pa amb Oli is one of the best on the island. Pa amb Oli is a traditional Mallorca snack – literally – bread with oil. Have it “con jamon y queso” – with iberian ham and cheese. You can also have a vegetarian version if so inclined. The bread, often rubbed with a little garlic and tomato, is delicious.
Tying for best Pa amb Oli would have to be after the climb to the Santuari on Puig de Randa (photo above). Another one of those must do climbs, the Santuari serves as a much deserved lunch or snack before you continue back down through the switchbacks. The climb to Randa is between Llucmajor and Algaida and easily accessible from most parts of the island. The climb to San Salvador, another classic ride, also provides fantastic lunches, stunning views and a fabulous climb. Good luck finding a table on a sunny day – this is another one of those very popular rides and the limited table area quickly fills with large groups of people. While you are there, take a moment to fill your water bottles from the fountain beside the Ermita – the water is refreshing after the climb to the top!
You never know what you will find. On one ride, we found ourselves in the industrial part of Campos in a rain storm. We dove into a local bar, clearly out of place is our bright cycling kit, and were greeted by a number of tradesmen blankly staring at us. Before long, dripping from the rain, we ordered a number of tapas and dug in. The sautéed mushrooms were insanely good. Have never been able to find that bar since – but I am sure it is still there, waiting for the next downpour!
Have you been cycling in Mallorca? What is your favourite place for lunch?
Favourite cycling routes: