Last month (end of September 2017) we spent a week of lovely holidays in Mallorca. If you google 'Mallorca' a lot of (at least for me) doom scenarios pop up: mega resorts, full beaches, tourist menus, etc. Now, for many people Mallorca is a dream destination to enjoy the sun, eat well, and repeat these actions day in, day out. We practically did the same, but differently.
Once you arrive in Palma Airport you can feel the pressure of people rushing to taxis, rental car company signs everywhere and a lot of people swirling around. We decided to spent one night in Palma before going to a bike shop called 'Nano Bicycles'. We reserved two e-bikes, with which we could cycle around 50km to 60km per day. E-bikes were in our case a good option since we travelled with 4 bike bags (yep, that's enough for one week!).
A different approach
Mallorca is not a 'cycling island' a such; a lot of people (tourists) bike on the island, but only for sport. But nevertheless locals know how to keep distance when they overtake you (more than in Brussels!). Most of the traffic in Mallorca is caused by rental cars. The owner of the agroturismo where we stayed said that during summer months (May-October), the amount of cars triples.
Our approach was different, usually far away from highways, surrounded by olive, almond and citrus trees. It's a parallel circuit that gives you so much joy, since you really feel that you are traveling. You see changing landscapes, you can pause and relax, smell, feel and above all you are outside performing sports!
People often think you are a hero when you bicycle. We often get reactions like 'Wow, did you cycle all the way here, we're so proud of you!'. That's because people lost their notion of time and space, because renting or using a car is so damn easy. Again, we also took a cab to the airport, but I think people should start applying 'the right mix' more and more - keeping in mind what you can do for yourself (doing sport, saving money, the joy of the experience), and others (health costs, costs for society to build roads) when you'd cycle more often.
Anyway, cycling in Mallorca was an eye-opener because we got to see so many beautiful places, in a fantastic way. If you wish to spend your holidays on two wheels in Mallorca (or another destination) here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
- Reserve a bicycle in advance, at a bike shop with good reviews
- Take some sport clothes or special pants, it could get hot outside (and inside!)
- Use two bike bags, from Ortlieb for example, per person. The size is allowed as carry-on luggage
- A smartphone holder
- A smartphone to calculate your itinerary, and an external battery
- Reusable water bottles
- A smile on your face :)