Mallorca’s most scenic driving routes
Featuring cinematic landscapes and fascinating stop-offs, these are the road trips worth adding to your holiday itinerary. Wending their way through rugged mountains and along dramatic coastlines, these driving routes may not be for the faint-hearted, but he (or she) who dares, will definitely win!
1. CARRETERA DE SA CALOBRA
Off the Pollença-Sóller road, this is one of the most scenic routes in the world. Top Gear dubbed it the work of an artist. Or a madman. Certainly the hairpin bends and vertical drops metres from the driver’s seat give it a certain edge…
Rich rewards: Aside from switchbacks and stunning mountain views, you’ll find Sa Calobra beach at the end of it, with restaurants, and a second hidden beach at the mouth of the dramatic Torrent de Pareis Gorge – just follow the footpath through the mountain.
Road tips: Get on the road early or late in the day to avoid meeting the coaches.
2. ANDRATX TO SÓLLER
With the Tramuntana Mountains, blue seas and unforgettable views alongside, this winding road is a journey back in time through Mallorca’s most picturesque villages.
Rich rewards: Follow in the footsteps of the poet Robert Graves with a stop-off in beautiful Deià; discover Chopin’s atmospheric Valldemossa and visit the Real Cartuja Monastery, which houses a collection of the composer’s pianos. And then there’s Sóller, in a valley of orange groves. Its art nouveau mansions, galleries and pavement cafés are reason enough to get out of the car.
Road tips: Set aside a day – you’ll need time to enjoy the many distractions en route.
3. THR FORMENTOR PENINSULA
This rollercoaster of a road gives Sa Calobra a run for its money. Built by the same engineer, the views have proved equally televisual. Your holy grail is the impressive lighthouse 384m above sea level at the end, 20 kilometres from Puerto Pollença.
Rich rewards: A tunnel through a mountain, pine forests, steep ascents and 400 metres cliffs are just a few of the highpoints. You’ll also pass the Blue Flag Formentor beach – and the lighthouse has a bar, should your passengers need a drink.
Road tips: Although the general condition of the road is good, look out for cyclists and hikers.
4. THE OLD POLLENÇA-SÓLLER ROAD
The narrow Ma-10 is a slower meander than the inland route, but the mountain views are stunning, plus there’s the added advantage of the impressive Lluc Monastery along the way – and the hair-raising detour down to Sa Calobra.
Rich rewards: There are plenty of viewing points for admiring the spectacular scenery and if you’ve got little ones who need to run around, the monastery offers welcome respite from the heat, with a fascinating museum, botanical gardens and children’s play areas.
Road tips: Note where the viewing points are before you set off, as the small parking areas are easy to miss.
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