NEW: Mallorca Serra de Tramuntana
Hike the spine of Mallorca, or Majorca as it's also known, along the glorious Serra de Tramuntana, the GR221. Without a doubt we were blown away when we walked this route for the first time. Imagine wild limestone mountains rising up above a jade green sea with pine trees sculpting the horizons, quintessential Majorcan villages with whitewashed houses and terracing, and gorgeous trails where you will hardly see a soul - that's the Serra de Tramuntana. Situated in the Western Mediterranean in Spain, the island has been a passing point for navigators since Antiquity giving the landscape a rich and varied history.
- Traverse the Northern Mallorcan coast & mountains
- 8 Days walking totalling 120kms
- Climb the highest trekking peak - Puig de Massenella
- Characterful and quaint Mallorcan coastal villages
- Stay overnight at the famous Monastery of Lluc
- Historic landscape and architecture
- Luggage transported for you
16th-20th May 2017 Mallorcan Short Break
Join us in May 2017 for a walking long weekend in Mallorca. Explore some of the 'GR221' highlights along the Serra de Tramuntana trail. Stay in characterful hotels villages, soak up the history and culture along this classic coastal trail. Download our trip dossier here or contact us for full details.
|Trip||Departure date||End date||Price||Status|
|MAL1 17||Sun 16 April 17||Mon 24 April 17||£1545||Places available | Make a Booking|
|MAL2 17||Sat 6 May 17||Mon 15 May 17||£1545||Places available | Make a Booking|
|MAL3 17||Sat 9 September 17||Mon 18 September 17||£1545||Places available | Make a Booking|
|MAL4 17||Sat 23 September 17||Mon 2 October 17||£1545||Places available | Make a Booking|
We always aim to complete the itinerary as outlined below, however, the following itinerary will be followed only when conditions and weather make it appropriate, both in terms of safety and enjoyment. Your guide will make a decision on your destination based on those conditions.
Day 1 Arrival to Port d'Andratx
Today you arrive in the Balearic Islands ready to start your journey. You will most likely choose to fly to Palma de Mallorca which is the capital city. The city is worth a visit in itself, and many will opt to arrive a day early to enjoy time exploring the shops and alleyways. On your arrival you need to travel to the west to the picturesque fishing village of Port d'Andratx where we will spend the first two nights. Please see arrival notes under 'Getting there'. Overnight Port d'Andratx.
Day 2 Port d'Andratx to Coll de Sa Gramola
This morning we begin with a stroll along the waterfront before the gentle climb through the villas to the high ground above the Port. Here we truly begin our walk as we enter the pine forests and take the mountain trail that will lead us eventually to Col de Sa Gramola. Today is a great introduction to the type of terrain we will find along the length of the Serra - dry rocky trails, hillsides studded with pines, and bushes, and views to a green sea. After reaching the Coll des Vent, we head northwards across the mountain side until we drop down to reach the lovely seaside village of Sant Elm where an ice cream stop is usually welcome! The village was the landing point of the Catalan expedition to conquest Mallorca in 1229. From here it's upwards to higher ground with fabulous views of the shapely island of Sa Dragonera National Park. Our day continues high above the sea until we reach our final pass at Coll de Sa Gramola where we will be picked up by taxi and taken back to Port d'Andratx for a second night. Distance: 18km / 6hrs moderate walking.
Day 3 Coll de Sa Gramola to Estellencs
Setting off from the Coll we have a short downhill before our climb of the day into what feels like wild unspoiled terrain. On the route we will pass remote farm houses and rocky pasture lands where the local people graze their flocks in the springtime. As with much of the Serra de Tramuntana there is a feeling that not too many hikers venture along today's trail, and it is unusual to meet other groups. The route is barely distinguishable with just the occasional rocky cairn to indicate that we are still following the GR221, and all the while the views stretch to the Mediterranean in the west, and to the mountains of the Serra to the north. Eventually, the path gains the ridgeline and we climb steadily to our high point of the day at 800m. It provides time to reflect on the local name for the GR221 - Ruta de pedra en sec, Dry Stone Route, because that pretty much sums it up! It owes its name to the local craft of constructing dry stone walls without the use of mortar, with the stones ordered according to a tried and tested technique. This method is used for houses, wells, underground springs, snow huts, paths, canals, tanks, and, of course, paths! We finish our day by traversing under the limestone peak of Moleta de S'Esclop, then dropping downwards to the village of Estellencs where we spend the night. The town is a typical heaping-up of houses between steep and narrow streets, really lovely. Distance: 15km / 5-6hrs difficult walking.
Day 4 Estellencs to Esporles
Today is a gentle stage with panoramic views, and the time to enjoy an old royal route that joined the towns of Estellencs and our destination at Esporles. Much of today is on paved and terraced bridle paths, and passes stately homes of the nobility, such as Son Serralta, Es Rafal and Es Collet, and the other families who were and still are part of the history and economy of the area. Leaving the village of Estellencs via a steep descent we take the trail towards Banyalbufar, working our way past the historic 'grand' houses of the past. An old stone opening leads us into the holm-oak wood and a well defined bridlepath. Holm-oaks, with their evergreen leaves, are to be found all over the Serra and provide welcome shade on hot summer days. We follow the line of the coast north eastwards until we arrive at a pass offering splendid views of the Planicia valley, while in the background the peaks of the Serra - Punta de Soller, Sa Foradada, and Puig Major the highest peak in Mallorca. Arriving at the beautiful terraced village of Banyalbufar is a highlight of today with its ancient houses and views to the sea. Easy to see why you would want to settle there! Leaving the village we climb east towards our destination at Esporles, enjoying the last of the 'Cami des Correu' the name given to the royal way which dates back to 1401. Distance: 15km / 5.5hrs moderate walking.
Day 5 Esporles to Deià
Leaving the ancient village of Esporles we climb steadily this morning until La Mola de Son Pacs which gives a surprising diversity of habitats: limestone hills, deep watercourses, woods, rocky outcrops and fissures. In the past the woodland provided raw materials for road building, coal mining, lime working, as well as land and supplies for the shepherds, hunters, and lumberjacks. It's a true walk in the past with a sense of prehistoric and Islamic times. Today is a slightly longer day. After our climb we are rewarded with views out to the sea and a cliff top resting point to reflect on our efforts! We continue through woodland, first keeping our height and then starting to descend. We have constant reminders of the land-use of previous generations. At the end of our descent we find the gorgeous village of Valldemossa where a coffee/ice-cream stop is a must! This is the village of composer, Frederic Chopin and Aurore Dupin. Aurore, a French novelist who wrote under the pseudonym George Sand, had a much publicized affair with Chopin. Valldemossa is without doubt a rather romantic village! From here we have another climb up and over the mountain to our destination at Deià, yet another 'gem' of a village. Distance: 20km / 6-7hrs difficult walking.
Day 6 Deià to Port de Sóller
Deià with typical steep narrow streets, and ancient houses, and we are certainly in no rush to leave this morning as we have a short day of walking to our destination at Port de Sóller. Deià has been and still is a refuge for painters, writers and musicians, among them author Robert Graves who penned 'I,Claudius'. He spent much of his life in Deià and his mortal remains lie in the village cemetery. The cove at Deià is stunning with jade green/blue waters, and if you are an early riser a pre-breakfast stroll to the sea is to be recommended! Our walk today has views of the Llucalcari coastline, and the village of Deia itself which seems trapped in time warp surrounded by palms and wild flower meadows. We aim to arrive at Port de Sóller by early afternoon giving plenty of time to explore the Port, take a boat ride, or simply lie on the sandy beach and soak up the sun. Distance: 13km / 4hrs easy walking.
Day 7 Port de Sóller to Tossals Verds
An easy start to a long day with a ride on the only operative tram in Mallorca, a true relic from the past! After a short journey we arrive in the town of Sóller where we disembark and begin our hike. Its a lovely start to the day strolling the ancient streets and wandering through the adjoining villages, before we begin our climb through a spectacular rocky gorge. Much of the path is paved and feels ancient, passing as it does by the raised waterways and irrigation channels that for centuries have fed the pastures, and communities. We follow the Barranc de Biniaraix, an old stone path made up of 2,000 stone steps, which leads us deep into the valley of Ofre, overlooked by the rock formation of the same name. Arriving at the Coll de L'Ofre we are rewarded with views to the green waters of the Cuber Reservoir below us, and views of the islands highest peak Puig Major. After reaching our second pass of the day the Coll des Coloms we drop onto the south side of the Serra until we reach the ravine of the Torrent d'Almadra, where we climb a spectacular rocky ledge to ascend the Pas llis - a good handrail is in place which makes it easy! Contouring round the mountain we arrive at the very lovely Rifugio Tossals Verds, a traditional stone mountain refuge set amid orchards. A fantastic place to spend the night. Distance: 24km / 6-7hrs difficult walking.
Day 8 Tossals Verds to Monastery of Lluc
The way now crosses the heart of the Serra de Tramuntana: the limestone mountain range with its sculpted ridge lines, views to the sea, and the fascinating 'snow huts' built into the mountain. Today we have the big peaks - the Puig Major, which is the highest mountain in Mallorca, but is not accessible due to a military installation on its summit, and the one we will be aiming to climb Puig de Massenella the highest trekking peak. Leaving the Rifugio we have a steady climb towards our high pass along ancient trails, and past natural fountains, through the oak woods until we break off the trail and head for our summit. The route to the peak of Puig de Massanella is rocky and rugged and requires some easy scrambling. If you wish to 'sit out' the climb you can enjoy time at the pass, though we would urge you do the mountain as the views from the summit at 1365m are truly spectacular. It's back down to the Coll de n'Argento and then we begin our route to the Monastery of Lluc where we will spend the night. On route there are up to twelve examples of the traditional 'snow huts', Les Cases de Neu, where the snow was collected during the winter and then stored for many months. In Mallorca the first reference to obtaining ice from snow was recorded in 1564! We overnight at the famous Monastery of Lluc. Distance: 15km / 5hrs difficult walking.
Day 9 Monastery of Lluc to Pollença
The Monastery of Lluc has long been considered the spiritual heart of Mallorca and it is here you can learn about the history and culture of an island people. The Monastery, dating to the 13th century, is unique in the Serra de Tramuntana and was recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Today's trail is a gentler walk than previous days, and begins by climbing through the oak woods, to the Son Amer Refuge another fine example of the stonework of the local craftsmen, and which has connections dating back to the Templar Knights. On our way through the forest we see further fine examples of stonework in particular the 17th century raised irrigation canal of the S'Ermita spring. A reminder of the importance of the ability to channel water to the fields and the livestock. We finish our GR221 of the Serra de Tramuntana by walking along the river valley to the ancient town of Pollença. The town is situation between two small hills: the Calvari with its 365 steps that takes you to the oratory that crowns it, and Mount Maria at 325m. The town is very lively and is a great place to spend our final overnight. Distance: 18km / 5hrs easy walking.
Day 10 Departure
This morning we take a private transfer to Palma airport, which is included in your trip fee. We will aim to arrive at the airport for 1000hrs. Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your flight departure times. If all guests are due to fly out later in the day then we can consider a later transfer to the airport. Otherwise you are welcome to take the local bus service at a time which suits you. You may choose to spend another night in Palma, or extend your trip to a few days on the beach!
The services of a fully qualified International Mountain Leader, all accommodation on a half board basis during the trip. Eight nights in cosy and characterful local hotels, these are 2/3* and with en suite facilities. One night in the world famous Monastery of Lluc, again very comfortable and modern facilities, and one night in a traditional Majorcan Rifugio at Tossals Verds in dormitory style accommodation. It may be that private bedrooms are available in the Rifugio. This will incur a supplement and requires early booking, please ask us if you are interested in this option. Your transfer back to Palma airport from Pollenca at the end of your trip.
Lunches, and any beverages, alcoholic drinks.
This trip requires a minimum of 4 clients to run. We take a maximum of 10 clients.
Accommodation will be in twin rooms in characterful 2/3* family run hotels. A single room may be available for a supplement. Please contact us with regard to this. There will be one night in a beautiful Rifugio at Tossals Verds where accommodation will be in mixed gender dormitory style rooms, this is quite normal in the mountains and is all part of the experience.
In mountainous terrain the weather can vary considerably. Temperatures can reach over 30°c in the height of the summer (July/August), but can be as low as 5°c on the passes. It is often sunny with good clear days, but it can rain and snow (even in July or August) so you should be prepared for any eventuality. The average temperatures range from 15-25°c in the valleys and 5-15°c on the passes.
If choosing to travel by air you can fly to Palma de Mallorca, often known simply as Palma, from a range of airports across Europe. Flights are usually frequent from the major cities of Europe. Palma is in Spain! If you are planning to drive you can take a ferry from mainland Spain. Once you have arrived at Palma you will travel to our meeting point in the lovely Port d'Andratx. There are regular buses to Port d'Andratx - you will take a bus/taxi from the airport to the main bus station in Palma and from there it is approximately 1.15hrs to Port d'Andratx. Buses are regular throughout the day and timetables can be found here. They run approximately every hour and sometimes every half hour.