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Home > Mallorca Lifestyle > Mick Dundee of Soller

Mick Dundee of Soller

I have worked with Adrian for many years.  He’s one of the first people I contact when I have a confirmation of a big biking event or need a guide that knows the hidden mallorca.

Adrian lived in Palma until he was 6 years old, the family then moved to Port de Soller where he enjoyed growing up.  Although he lived in Soller, he was schooled in Palma.  In those days, there was no tunnel and journey time was close to one hour.  At the University of Balearics, he started a degree in Telecommunication Engineering, before switching to a Sports Science degree at the University of Lleida (Catalunya).  Knowing Adrian as I do and his natural ability to analyse everything, his chosen subject at the University of Balearics is no surprise!  It was a natural progression that he followed his Sports Science degree with a Masters in Sports Performance in Madrid.  This enabled him to continue to discover the limits of the human body, whilst pushing his own training and that of others.

Adrian’s father is from Palma and his mother from Port de Soller.   His Mother’s grandparents travelled from France 120 years ago and built one of the first summer houses in the soller area.  In the following few years the entire family made the leap from the south of France and established their new home in the area.  Generations remained and his parents are still happily living on the waterfront in Port de Soller.

The Soller / French connection comes from the days of the French revolution (in 1789).  The migrants utilised their French links to build trade relations.  French farmers, wine growers, cloth workers and traders all came to Sóller.  From the Port of Sóller, they organised shipments of oranges to the southern French towns of Sète, Marseille, Montpellier and Cannes.

Sadly a plague of insects destroyed the big plantations the 1860’s.  Wealthy inhabitants turned destitute and a reverse refugee wave started.  Many Sollerics looked for work in France and others went much further afield.  Many of those emigrants later made the trip back to Sóller, returning with huge collections of Art Nouveau.

By the beginning of the 20th century the high vitamin C content and its health benefits were discovered.  Orange cultivation and export once again started to blossom, enriching those who had remained.  The orange sellers once again returned fully loaded from France.

Just like the century before, they carried French products: furniture, agricultural implements and carts, tools and kitchen utensils.  This ship freights from France or Barcelona to Sóller were easier to execute, than to transport the heavy and unwieldy goods over land.  The only land connection to Palma was a long winding track over the pass, the Coll de Sóller.  In 1912 the rail link to Palma was built and Soller finally began to trade with the rest of Mallorca.  The tram line that links Soller to Port de Soller was built in 1914 to help with the transportation of oranges for export.

Adrian offers a wide range of activities to people of all levels – his speciality is the Tramuntana Mountains and some of the routes in Serra de Llevant (in Mallorca there are 3 different Mountain ranges)… He started off working at Tramuntana Tours in Port de Soller, as a mountain bike guide, doing up to 7 tours per week.  He also covered the mechanic side of the business, with the occasional hiking tour.  Now that he has branched out on his own, he combines his local knowledge and experiences of running tours to great effect.  His tours are completely personalised and tailored to the client’s requirements.  They can be single guests on road bikes, groups of friends enjoying a hybrid bike tour of the vineyards or mates hitting the rockiest single tracks of the island.

In terms of road cycling, he also offers support van for the training camps, coaching tips during the rides – improving the skills, position & nutrition for the most advanced riders.  For newbies or less active people, he uses a variety of city bikes, electric bikes or hybrid bikes.  His guests enjoy a flattish route around the vineyards, sometimes finishing with a wine tasting and some tapas.  Adrian believes that guiding is not only about following the wheel, but also about experiencing the true Mallorca – how the locals live, their habits and views on life.

Besides the two wheels, his hiking knowledge is exceptional.  He hikes in the most scenic areas of the Serra de Tramuntana, the peaks and sections of the dry stone path of the GR-221.

Mr B spends most of his time outside.  Despite his in-depth knowledge of the island he still discovers new single tracks, narrow paved roads or routes to new hidden caves.  On his e-bike tours he squeezes in visits to traditional markets and local restaurants during.  He loves assisting in the interaction with the local people, teaching guests the Mallorquin words/phrases and talking about the history of the island.

Favourite Hikes

  • 3 peak loop (Sa Rateta, l’Ofre, Na Franquesa) Distance: 12km Ascent/Descent: 650m
  • Soller to Cala Tuent (Distance: 11 kms Ascent: 220m, & Descent 680m)
  • Volta dels Miradors de L’Archiduc (Distance: 9 kms Ascent: 650m & Descent 640m)

Favourite Mountain Bike Rides

  • Alaró – Tossals Verds (26km Easy-Medium level)
  • Port de Soller to Balitx Valley (25km Medium level)
  • Volta des General – Cami d’es Correu (28km Technical level)

Favourite Road Bike Climbs

  • Cala Tuent
  • Port de Valldemossa
  • Formentor Lighthouse

A Fish in a former life?

Adrian is also a lover of the sea – from open water swimming, apnea, spear-fishing, deep water solo dives and kayaking.

In 2019 he successfully completed a kayak challenge along the north coast of the island.   He kayaked with a friend all the way from Cala Sant Vicenç to Andratx in 2 days.  They covered a total distance of 90km, stoping in Sa Calobra to refill water and eat a sandwich, and in Port de Soller for dinner.  They slept in a bivouac at Alconasser (Bens d’Avall), before starting at sunrise to complete the 43kms to Port Andratx.

They considered themselves very fortunate – the weather was on their side….. a small swell & a little bit of assistance from the wind even was well received.  It was a bit of a last minute thing,  4 days preparation and training was not enough.  They under estimated the nutrition and were shocked by the number of jelly fish.  Remaining in the same position, hour after hour, they hugged the towering cliffs, navigated the coves and gazed at the never-ending horizon.  In terms of a challenge, it was more a psychological challenge than a physical challenge.  This year they hope to complete a 3 day Kayak challenge or even the channel to Menorca.

In addition to his hobbies, he likes to learn and study sports, science. and technology.  He has a certificate as a national triathlon coach and has completed many triathlons & duathlons both here and on the mainland.  The training he offers naturally covers all 3 disciplines of a triathlon.

Adrian also enjoys road & trail running – In Mallorca, most weekends, there is a race of some sorts, somewhere on the island and Adrian used to be a regular face on the start line. (www.elitechip.net is the website to enrol in local races).  Four years ago, when he was running regularly, he ran 33’50 for a 10k and 1h19′ for a ½ Marathon).  He regularly reminds me that finishing in a top 10 position on the island is not easy…. we have athletes from all over the world living here – World Champions and semi-professionals.

Be sure to contact Adrian if you want a true local guide – adrimtbike@gmail.com / IRONBIKE on Instagram