Alfonso Ochoa Vega
When to come cycling in Mallorca
The age old question….. It’s a pretty personal choice – so instead of giving you a straight answer (sorry!) we’ll talk you through the seasons, the weather and the rhythm of the island so you can make up your own mind.
World over we are seeing the effects of climate change and Mallorca is no exception. Where we could once speak confidently of defined seasons and predictable weather patterns this is no longer the case. Our winters are a little colder & our summers are hotter, we’ve seen significant snow fall on the island, unprecedented rain, we’ve been sunbathing at Christmas & cold in August – so it’s all a little more unpredictable than it once was – but here’s what you can generally expect:
January – the daytime temperatures hover around 10° – usually warmer than the rest of Northern Europe, but the island is pretty sleepy.Many hotels are closed, port towns are largely deserted & inhabitants who run tourists based businesses are often travelling & taking a well earned break.That’s not to say you won’t see a pro team here; Vuelta a Mallorca – the 1st European Pro Race of the year takes place at the end of the month.And they can be lucky or unlucky with the weather – this year, the course was changed on one of the stages last minute due to snowfall at the top of Puig Major.You can take your chances & be lucky…. Be warned however, if you take a private villa – central heating is not standard in Mallorquin homes – which can make a mild day seem awfully cold!
February – it’s warming up, a few hotels and restaurants are slowly beginning to open for the season. There are not very many tourists around, so the island still feels very quiet, but peletons of pro teams can definitely be spotted. The white and pink almond blossoms bloom – creating a stunning treat for those venturing out - it’s an amazing sight! It’s normally still chilly, but cycling is always an option if you have the right clothes - layer up and you’ll be fine.
March - In March the landscape turns green and flowers bloom. Spring is in the air! The weather normally improves a bit, but it can still be chilly and unpredictable; snow is not impossible, rain is frequent, but showers tend not to last long. The weather forecast is more of a guess – and its better to look out the window than at an app when deciding what time to ride. You’ll want an extra layer with you for any big descents and the shaded mountain roads can be covered in moss. Life is slowly coming back to the island & by the end of the month almost all hotels are open again. It’s still quiet, but the steady stream of cyclists begins.
April & May – And just like that – the season is full gas! This is peak season for cyclists. There are plenty of tourists, mainly cyclist & hikers & few hopefuls trying for a beach holiday. Town squares fill with bikes and you’ll see cyclists everywhere. Temperatures are in the 20°c and there’s less chance of rain (though still keep that jacket with you as the weather can turn quickly) and the evenings can still be cool. There’s a good atmosphere and towns feel alive – over Easter you’ll likely bump into the spectacle of a Catholic Easter parade. Mallorca 312 – the biggest cycling event on the island, attracting over 8000 international cyclists is in April and a half Ironman is usually scheduled for early May. By May the sea is warming up and locals start weekending at the beach again. The island is alive, busy &bustling.
June - Warm to hot temperatures mean the height of cycling season is now over, but if you’re after a more ‘all round’ holiday & can cope with cycling in the heat this can be a great time to visit - ride in the morning and enjoy all the other things the island has to offer in the afternoons – water sports, deep water soloing, boat trips, vineyards, shady hikes, beach trips, wandering around villages or siesta & enjoy the long balmy evenings. We love the change in the scenery, the gold-coloured hay rolls, the later nights and slower pace of this time of year. With European schools still in session – it’s a great opportunity for those coming from the US or Canada to enjoy the good weather before the island gets overwhelmed with high summer tourists.
July & August: The Summer here can be very hot for cycling and we've had long heat waves over the last few summers with sustained daytime temps of 40°+ and no respite with overnight lows staying at above 30°. Locals ride very early and try to be back home before 10am or 11am at the latest – earning us a well deserved siesta in the heat of the day. At Mills & Honey, we don’t recommend coming to the island for cycling in these months where you can hardly find a free spot on the beach or a table for dinner. A lot of locals leave the island in search of a cooler and quieter place to spend the summer. If you like the sun and the beach, it could be great for a family and multi activity trip, but it’s not the best time for a cycling focused holiday. In the summer we’d far rather visit Sa Calobra by boat than on 2 wheels!
September - Mallorca normally cools down again in September, although temperatures can still be quite warm. The Med is at its warmest, so it’s a great time to swim, but it can also create some post-summer storms. The European school holidays are over and the local ones coming to an end, so the focus shifts back from family holidays to active holidays, so it’s peak time again for cycling & hiking. It's still grape harvest season and you can find your snacks hanging from the trees or bushes as you cycle along the country roads. Figs, almonds, berries, persimmons… Some real treats!
October - Still a great month for cycling, with similar characteristics to September. The possibility of cooler and less stable weather increases as the month goes on, but they’re normally not severe and the weather fronts pass relatively quickly; bad weather in the morning usually clears up by the afternoon, and more than likely you’ll still be in short arms & legs, but this is the month you start bringing a jacket ‘just in case’.
November & December - Mills & Honey don’t offer trips during the winter. We are resting, travelling & most importantly preparing for the following season. Once the clocks go back the days are shorter, many of our hotels, providers, and favourite restaurants are closed. Some of the coastal towns shut down completely. Winter weather is normally mild on the island, rarely below 5°c, and one can cycle all year round – but the accompanying attributes that make Mallorca so magical are harder to find.
As an answer of sorts - Mills & Honey run tours from late March through June & September through to early November. If you are choosing between those two – we love the ambience of autumn season best, but the truth is – Mallorca is paradise 365 days a year.