Sa Calobra Serpentine
A Scenic Marvel of Majorca
Sa Calobra Serpentine – updated 12 February 2023.
Nestled in the Tramuntana mountain range, in the northwest of the island, the Sa Calobra Serpentine road is one of the most spectacular and scenic driving routes in Majorca. The winding road was constructed in the 1930s and is renowned for its challenging turns and breathtaking vistas. It is a testament to human engineering and a must-visit attraction for visitors to the island. Just 13km long, the Sa Calobra Serpentine (MA-2141) is one of the most scenic drives in the world.
26 hairpin turns
The Sa Calobra Serpentine road is a marvel of road engineering, with a total of 26 hairpin turns leading down to the Sa Calobra cove. The road is just over 12 kilometres long and has an average gradient of 7.1%. The twists and turns of the road make for a thrilling drive and provide breath-taking views of the surrounding landscape.
At the top of the road, drivers are treated to stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea. As you descend down the serpentine road, the views become even more spectacular, with winding roads leading down to the picturesque Sa Calobra cove, a small pebble beach with turquoise waters.
The route is referred to as ‘The Snake’ by locals but ‘Spaghetti’ would be more apt and was built specifically to avoid tunnels resulting in a road that snakes through the landscape often with a gradient in excess of 7%, which is why it is very popular with cyclists and is mentioned in our ‘best cycling routes’ section.
With an 800m descent over 12km and the infamous 270-degree loop known as the ‘Knotted Tie’ and incredible mountain views of Mallorca’s highest mountain, Puig Major, the road to Sa Calobra is an adventure in its own right.
The Sa Calobra Serpentine was manually built in 1932 and was created by the engineer Antonio Paretti and is a masterpiece of twists and turns; however, it is one of the most dangerous roads in Spain with no marked central line and no guardrails and much too much traffic especially during the summer.
At times, the road is very narrow and impassable for 2 cars at the same time and on rainy days, the asphalt becomes extremely slippy. It should not be attempted by those who don’t know how to reverse.
Despite the road’s popularity, it is still relatively isolated and untouched. There are no service stations, shops, or restaurants along the way, so it’s important to make sure your vehicle is in good condition and that you have enough supplies for the journey.
The 25-minute route is an unforgettable and sensational experience but definitely not for anyone who is nervous of steep, winding descents. It has more than 50 curves with the majority of those being hairpins and the gradient can reach as high as 11.5%.
The Sa Calobra Serpentine road is a popular destination for cyclists and motorcyclists, and in recent years has been featured in the Vuelta a España, one of the most prestigious cycling races in the world.
Sa Calobra is a small village on the coast that is widely regarded as having the best unspoilt cove on the island. It also has a hidden beach and an incredible gorge – Es Torrent de Pareis. Tourists flock to this location in their hundreds all year around to admire the jaw-dropping scenery and to enjoy the incredible journey there with its twisting roads and spectacular views.
Overall, the Sa Calobra Serpentine road is a true wonder of Majorca, a testament to human ingenuity and a marvel of natural beauty. Whether you are an experienced driver, cyclist, or simply a lover of breathtaking landscapes, the serpentine road is a must-visit attraction that should not be missed. So, hop in your car, put on your seatbelt, and get ready to experience one of the most scenic drives of your life!