Motorcycling Mallorca

Imagine spending nearly a week on a Mediterranean Island filled with beautiful beaches, mountains and motorcycles… Sound perfect? It kind of was.

When Nathaniel and I started planning our wedding  we quickly decided on a small destination wedding in Europe and booked a villa but the question of the Honeymoon we were tacking on to it lingered for months.

Once I threw out the idea of Mallorca it only took Nathaniel a few days to find Albion Motorcycles and plans were officially in motion. Albion specializes in taking people on tours of Mallorca on classic motorcycles from that 60’s and 70’s. The Albion stable is kept in beautiful condition but there are also a number of bike outfits that will rent you modern bikes as well (Motto Guzzi, Harley Davidson, Triumph Etc.). I don’t propose every biker couple do their honeymoon on Mallorca but you should keep it in mind for you next vacation.

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Nathaniel riding his 300cc Vespa up a mountain pass. The island packs beach, mountain and country scenery into a neat little package. (Photo: Alex Washburn)

PALMA DE MALLORCA

Mallorca is a modest sized island with 300 miles of coastline but Palma De Mallorca Airport is one of the busiest airports in Spain hosting over 26 Million passengers in 2016 alone. What this means for you is that flights from Spain, Germany and the UK happen frequently and tend to be very very cheap.

Palma is Mallorca’s largest city and where you will find most of the companies renting motorcycles so it’s not a bad place to start your adventure.  I highly recommend reserving bikes in advance even if you are visiting in the low season. You don’t want to waste a vacation on top of a motorcycle you didn’t really want! Get the dream bike!

The city its self deserves a few days of exploring as it has beautiful churches, a wonderful old city center and lots of good shopping. However, that is not what this blog is about.

ALBION

We spent one day touring the Island on the vintage bikes from Albion and it was fantastic. I started the day on a 1974 Moto Guzzi while Nathaniel took a 1970 BMW. We swapped bikes after lunch and I really loved the BMW while Nathaniel preferred the Guzzi. (Our guide Marcus spent most of the day on a 1962 Triumph.)

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Left to right: 1962 Triumph Bonneville, 1970 BMW, 1974 Moto Guzzi. (Photo: Alex Washburn)

 

Firing up the Guzzi the first time was like nothing I had ever experienced. The motion of the bike when it is idling felt like sitting on top of a paint mixer and once in motion the faster you go on the bike the better it feels. It’s an amazing to take a nearly 45-year-old bike up to 60 mph and realize she’d really prefer to be going 70.

To be perfectly honest, I didn’t feel very confidant on the bikes around corners so I slowed way down to be safe but someone who is more accustomed to a sports bike would probably feel great in the crouched position the Motto Guzzi forces you to ride in.

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Marcus shows Nathaniel landmarks of the Island from Santuari De Cura. (Photo: Alex Washburn)

THE SCOOTERS

The day before Albion we had rented a few Vespas from Mallorca Vintage Motors and had a lot of fun though we were only able to get 125cc scooters. It was a dream come true for me as I’ve always wanted a Vespa but never ridden one before. Nathaniel told me I had a giant smile on my face the whole day. Pure joy: cruising around a Mediterranean Island on a vespa is about as carefree as you can get on two wheels.

The day after Albion we upgraded to a pair of 300cc Vespas and the bigger engines were a much-needed improvement from the first scooter day. Vespas in general made exploring the Island very easy and stress free. The seat compartments on the Vespas were perfect for storing water bottles, sunscreen and our camera and the lighter less precious vehicles made going places we probably shouldn’t less stressful.

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The village of Fornalutx is a short but beautiful ride from Palma, between the two is less than an hour and a half of riding. (Photo: Alex Washburn)

I’d be embarrassed to drop a modern Vespa but I wouldn’t be heartbroken about it.

Mallorca Vintage Motors was a really well-run friendly company and I’d recommend them if you want to explore the Island on a Vespa. They also have Harley Davidson, Motto Guzzi and Ducati Scramblers on offer.

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Cruising through the town of Esporles. (Photo: Nathaniel Chaney)

OVERALL

How you want to spend your day riding around the Island will really affect which two-wheeled vehicle is best for you. Since we were coming straight from our wedding we didn’t have any of our normal safety gear, which was a shame and kept us away from a big bike rental.

If we were to go back to the island I would probably take all of my normal riding gear to rent a larger modern bike for several days but also do another day tour with Albion.

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Playa Blanca about 30 minutes from Palma. (Photo: Alex Washburn)

WHERE WE STAYED

Fleming Hostel : Our 5 nights in a private room cost less than 500 usd. The hostel has several kitchens on the premises, nice common areas and it is all kept very clean. Our room though very comfortable did not have air conditioning but in late September the ceiling fan was more than enough.

WHERE WE ATE:

Asador Bolixe : The steakhouse was well priced for what we received and everything we had was delicious.

Cal Dimoni : This is a pretty traditional restaurant well located outside of Palma and it made for a great lunch spot when we were out on the Vintage Bikes. It is worth a trip our of the city to eat here if you have a car or bike at your disposal and are going to be touring around.

La Casa Gallega : In my opinion this place was over-hyped. However, this place unlike many restaurants in Palma can accommodate huge groups. There were many tables of 10+ people on a Wednesday so if I was in Palma again I might go back. We ate in the dining room so the small bites by the front bar might hold up.

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