Why is Santuari de Cura climbing cycling paradise?
Santuari de Cura is a climbing cycling mecca on Majorca. Be prepared to discover why of the pilgrimage.
Cycling through the center of Majorca, you will likely view a grand ball on a modest hill that seems to be watching you everywhere. From the summit to over 500m above sea level, it is the highest peak in Pla de Mallorca and the most frequented by cyclists who take up the challenge, as the philosopher and theist Ramon Llull did centuries ago.
Here are some of the success reasons of this ascent…although it would be best to discover it for yourself.
- Great panoramic views from Cura
- Cycling paradise breathing history on all sides
- An affordable climb
- Gastro stops
- Great location connecting many routes
- Nearby cycling accommodations to rest and relax
- Bonus: What is the ball on top?
Reaching the highest point of the Santuari de Cura, we will meet a range of panoramic views of the island around us. Despite its low altitude, the sanctuary is perched atop of the highest point in the region, with no further surrounding mountains, offering great views of the entire Bay of Palma on one side, and the Serra de Tramuntana to the north and south of the island. While there are many stunningly viewpoints in Majorca, few are as scenic and accessible as this one.
To understand the dimension of this sanctuary, it’s enough to say that there are documentary references to its existence at the beginning of the 13th century, although before that it had already become a space in which an ascetic and contemplative life was practiced, typical of the hermits in this mountain area. However, over the centuries, the sanctuary went through better and worse times, especially in the 19th century when the building deteriorated significantly.
It was not until the summer of 1913 when the Bishop of Mallorca ordered the reconstruction of the site, transforming the old building into the modern space that you will find when you climb the top of Puig de Randa (because once you will certainly do).
Taking into account its long history of keeping the essence of this Sanctuary alive, always respecting both the place by keeping it clean and the tranquility and simple life of the Franciscans who inhabit the place and who were then tasked to the Sanctuary and its environment.
As its profile shows, the altimetry of Cura from Randa (north ascent) has a route of 4.52 km and an average of around 5.2%, with which we will reach a positive drop of 328. It is not an ascent with great fears, where progression is characterized by being quite constant. There are hardly any slopes on which we feel suffocated and about half way we come to a section where the ascent is not very steep. If in Sa Calobra it is usual to find the most prepared cyclists, in the Santuari de Cura the profile of cyclists is much more heterogeneous due to the low level of difficulty. The climb is also generally protected by trees, which is very useful on days when the sun is a little brighter.
In addition to an average that should not deter us, the Santuari de Cura is one of those ascents that motivates you at every turn with the impression of meters long climbs at high speed, especially when in some corners we meet spectacular curves to the Bay of Palma.
It is also possible to climb the south face, along the Camí Vell de Gràcia, although the condition of the asphalt is much worse. Our advice is to make the ascent and descent on the same road.
The conquest of the Santuari de Cura has its reward in the shape of a restaurant with a large terrace to have breakfast, snack or lunch, depending on the time of arrival. In addition, in the village of Randa itself, just along the street at the start of the climb there are also a few other restaurants where we can taste typical dishes of the island, such as Arrós Brut.
Its geographical location, in the center of the island, although further south-east of Majorca, connects this ascent to an infinite number of routes around the island. We can find some examples such as the one from Alaró to Randa, from Randa to Lluc or one that is certainly hard: the route of the 4 hermitages. You can download the GPX of each of them in our routes section.
Given its privileged location, in the surroundings of the Santuari de Cura, we find a great number of accommodations for cyclists to prepare the ascent to several routes on the island.
Some of those who aren’t familiar with, might be surprised passing by, and many more won’t miss the chance to snap a photo with the ball in the background. This ball atop of Randa is nothing more than an aviation control radar to assist air traffic in the Balearic archipelago, as well as between the islands and the peninsula. In fact, the radar is so accurate it can identify cyclists on planes waiting to land on the island!!! Well, that last bit is a lie, but it would be nice, wouldn’t it?