The hermitages and pilgrimage churches were built from the 13th century, after the Christian conquest by King Jaume I. Spread over beautiful enclaves on the entire island you can enjoy impressive panoramic views. Some offer accommodation to the visitor. The rooms are the old monks’ cells, which have been remodelled and renovated and are perfectly equipped to be accessible all year round, and many have a picnic area and a restaurant to enjoy the traditional cuisine. Ascending and descending you feel the peace and tranquility that these mystical routes offers. In the last couple of editions of the Islander, I have mentioned the routes to Santuario de Lluc in Escorca, the Santuario de Sant Salvador in Felanitx, the Santuario del Puig de María in Pollensa and the Santuario de Cura in Algaida. Here are a few more and a couple of extra non hermitage, less well known climbs.
Ermita Bonany – Petra
Ermita de Bonany is a hill top hermitage nestled in the forest close to Petra in eastern part of Mallorca. The name “Bonany” means good year. It is said that the people of Petra hiked up the hill in 1609 to pray to the Virgin for rain for their crops. Their prayers were heard and it was a “good year”. The views from the top, covering almost the entire plain, are superb. You can stay here in simple rooms, but unlike other monasteries it has no restaurant or bar – just a chapel, a shop selling religious trinkets and a drinks machine. Don’t let the average gradient fool you, this is a tough little climb. The last 2km are steep and your legs will be burning by the time you reach the hermitage. The views are well worth the climb.
Distance: 3.7km, Average gradient: 4.9%, Steepest gradient: 13%
Ermita de Betlem – Arta
The Ermita de Betlem was founded in 1805 by the monks of Saint Honoratus and sits in the wilds of Llevant Natural Park.
To reach the climb to hermitage, you need to follow the Ma-3333 out of Arta, located in the north east of Mallorca. It is a narrow winding road leading to the monastery at the top. The scenery is quite different compared to the typical climbs in Mallorca.
Once you are through Arta, the climb first part of the climb is relatively gentle and undulating through some farmland. The gradient only really increases towards the latter part of the climb, with a number of hairpins and excellent scenery. The end of the actual climb is followed by a flat section and a small descent with a few hairpin leading to the Ermita de Betlem. Your reward on a clear day is the Bay of Alcudia, along with the island of Menorca. If you want to avoid the crowds then this little gem of a climb will suit you fine.
Distance: 5.13km, Average gradient: 4.5%, Steepest gradient: 18%
Gràcia de Bonany – Llucmajor
Gràcia is sanctuary with exceptional views built under the shade of a large boulder. Located between the towns of Algaida and Llucmajor, with an elevation of 550 metres above sea level, this climb is effectively the back route up to Cura from Llucmajor… The first 2km take you to Gràcia de Bonany and connect the road connects with the last 3.5 kilometres of Cura. Sections of climb are the steepest stretches of the Pla de Mallorca. There are 2 kilometres with gradients over 10% and some especially difficult parts with over 16%.
Distance: 5.5 km, Average gradient: 6%, Steepest gradient: 16%
Ermita de Santa Magdalena – Inca
A couple of kilometres east of Inca, in the middle of Mallorca, is an unbelievably cute little climb known as Puig de Santa Magdalena. Cyclists tend to refer to the climbs as Puig de… so would relate to this climb as Puig Sta. Magdalena…. Whatever you call the climb to the hermitage, is one of my favourites and a beauty during the winter months. The climb takes you up to a monastery at the top, the Ermita Santa Magdalena, which has 13th Century origins. It is traditional in Mallorca to walk up to this chapel on Angel Sunday, the week after Easter Sunday. Think of this ride as half of a Puig de Randa: this climb is much shorter, but they are similar as they both have good café/restaurant in a great setting at the top. The restaurant serves traditional Majorcan dishes with a modern touch…. As you would expect from such a location the views are spectacular.
After about 2km the route flattens to a grassed area before you round the bend for the final climb to the top.
Distance: 2.8km, Average gradient: 6%, Steepest gradient: 20%
Talaia d’Albercutx, is an old strategic lookout and bastion dating back from the early Middle Ages. This ancient watchtower offers some unique and breathtaking views overlooking the bay of Puerto de Pollenca and the valley of Pollenca old town. You ride out of Port de Pollensa towards Cap de Formentor. Once you have climbed up the Coll De Sa Creueta to the car park, you then turn right and head up to Talaia d’Albercutx. The road quality is poor, so care needs to be taken on the descent, but on a clear day the views are well worth the risk.
Distance: 2.3km, Average gradient: 6%, Steepest gradient: 18%
Puig de Sant Miquel – Montuiri
Puig de Sant Miquel: in the town of Montuïri, it is less than one kilometre long and has an average gradient of 6%. Definitely worth trying to find it for a bit of an unnecessary sprint with your buddies.
Distance: 1 km, Average gradient: 6%, Steepest gradient: 12%
By Dan Marsh – Owner & Founder
+34 616 529 111