Soller is a small, tranquil town in the heart of the rugged Tramuntana Mountains of Mallorca, which received the status of Unesco World Heritage Site in 2011. Soller has been largely spared the great changes brought on by rising tourism in Mallorca (Majorca), so you will not find any big hotel castles here. Nevertheless, the valley of Soller offers its visitors a wealth of opportunities, especially nature lovers and of course cyclists who enjoy climbing.
It’s the sun that gives Soller its French connection and the name. The Port of Soller served as a trading post between the Island and the French coast where the bounty of the temperate climate of the Soller valley left for mainland France: oranges, lemons, olives, figs and almonds. On the return, exporters brought with them a bit of French culture via fashion, furniture and goods.
Starting from Sóller and heading south on the old road to Palma (Ma-11A) one heads up a relatively steady climb at first.
Then, at kilometer 3, the hairpin bends start. There are so many of them, that counting is difficult but there are more than there are on Alp d’Huez. The road twists and turns snake-like up the mountain, offering some truly spectacular views, north to the sea, and south over the island to Palma.
This is a Category 2 climb with an average gradient of 6% and a maximum of 13% and it goes on for 7,62km with a total ascent of 429m.
The two sides of the climb are notably different, the south being more open and gradual compared to the high sides and tighter switchbacks of the north side. Whichever side, the views are beautiful and the climbs a satisfying challenge.
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