Many say that Sobremunt is Mallorca's hardest climb.
For comparative purposes, Sa Calobra is 680m over 12 km, whilst Sobremunt is 580m over 7.2 km. So on average Sobremunt is at least 2% steeper than Sa Calobra - but it isn’t as long.
Does this classify Sobremunt as the hardest?
We'll leave you to decide.
What is without doubt, is that we lost a few friends (for a few hours) by taking them up Sobremunt. However, interestingly enough, by dinner, they were all chirping about how epic it was. That probably says it all about this climb!
Route map and profile
Distance: 7 km
Elevation Gain: 580 m
Max Grade: 18 %
Avg. Grade: 8 %
All metrics in this guide are approximate
Written by John Maskell
There's certainly a sense of achievement in conquering Sobremunt: if you are staying on the west side of Mallorca and want a really hard challenge, then Sobremunt is probably for you. Just go knowing the road surface will be bad!
The views are nice from the top - but you only get them right at the summit.
Sobremunt is best tackled from the Palma end of Mallorca as it starts about 10 km north-north-west of Palma on the MA-1041 -just west of Establiments, south of Esporles and east of Puigpunyent.
1. sobremunt gradients
The first two kilometres of the climb are very gentle, on decent road surfaces.
At around 2-3 km into the climb, the road starts to steepen, from 5% towards 15-20%...that's when the swearing starts.
Gradients then stay steep, at around 15% until the 5.5km marker where you get a brief respite on a slight downhill.
Around 6km in the gradient steepens again, towards 12%, and stays like that virtually to the top!
2. Sobremunt road surface
The road surface is fine until around 4 km into the ride - but then the quality rapidly deteriorates to a patchwork of makeshift repairs and potholes as in the photo above. As you'll appreciate, utmost care is needed on the descent.
Around the 5.5 km mark into the climb, you come across a gateway on the right, that looks like an access road across a field. If you want to go to the top, you need to go through the gate, turn right and then left up into the woods. The road has now turned into a mix of occasional asphalt and more than occasional dirt track which does lead to the odd house. Who lives up here? And why?!
There aren't many signposts but, if in doubt of the direction, just keep climbing.
The terrain is so rough that out of a group of about 20 of us, I was the only one stupid enough to go the last 1.5 km. And my Garmin mount broke! Traction can also be a real problem on the poor surface.
As the Sobremunt climb gets more famous, the powers that be in Palma may decide to tarmac it nicely. But until then, if you want to ride to the top of Sobremunt, you better like cycle cross.
3. Sobremunt Views
Perhaps another thing to notice is the lack of views: unlike Sa Calobra, this climb is predominantly in woodland so the views are very limited except from the top of the climb itself. If you make it that far, the views are good!
There are no cafés or restaurants on this climb.
We did this climb on a trip to Mallorca where we stayed just east of Palma in Can Pastilla. However, we can't recommend the hotel we stayed in so aren't mentioning it here!
In better news, we've got some ideas for where we would like to stay next time - check out our accommodation suggestions in our ultimate guide to Mallorca for cyclists and our best towns for cyclists article may also be of interest.
Read our tips for cycling in Mallorca before you set out.
The combination of road surface and gradients mean you need to take utmost care on this climb and descent.
Ideally you'd also have 25 or 28mm tyres on your bike with slightly lower than usual pressure: think cobbles re road quality.
If you don't fancy descending the way you came, we understand it's possible to descend to Esporles, through the Es Verger vineyard, but we haven't done that.
If you'd prefer to do a climb that's a little more forgiving, take a look at pretty much any of our other climb and rides guides (they're all listed in this guide)!
Found this guide useful?
- We'd love to hear from you - do comment below!
If you're interested in other cycling climbs and routes in Mallorca, we've got loads of other guides. Check out the "related rides" section above or head over to our ultimate guide to cycling Mallorca which lists all our route guides as well as information on bike hire and when to go.
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(AKA the Santuari de Cura Mallorca climb)