If you’re heading to Mallorca for a spring cycling trip, be sure to make Son Brull a beer or food stop on your way back from a ride. Set in the hillside not far from Port de Pollenca, Son Brull is a restored 18th century monastery which has been sensitively converted into a boutique hotel and spa. Cycling up the imposing driveway you find yourself outside a stone courtyard which leads through to the infinity pool and terrace. It is a fantastic spot to end the day in a rather beautiful setting.
Step off the tourist treadmill and into sleepy Alaro, a small town of narrow streets from where you can follow graded paths and running trails through pine woods and stunning valleys.Try lunch at the best lamb eating place in the Balearics in the foothills of the Serra de Tramuntana after a lovely walk or drive. The small family -run Petit Hotel is beautifully furnished and reasonably priced, offering authentic Mallorquin cuisine. It is located close to the shady plaza where you can enjoy delicious local ice cream or pastries from the bakery and where markets and fiestas will be held during August.
This lovely inland town in the north east of Mallorca is full of charm and atmosphere and lives up to its name with arty shops, pavement cafes and a beautiful fortified church at the top of the hill. Its theatre doubles as a cinema and meeting place, while the tree lined Placa del Conqueridor hosts the weekly market and annual festivals where freshly made bunyolas and chiritos can be eaten and cool pomada sipped (don't drive after it!). Cool courtyards hide behind the pavement cafes which line its pedestrianised main street. Not far away is the talayotic settlement of Ses Paisses, and slightly further, down a rough track, the beach of Cala Torta is one of the most unspoilt in the area.
In the north east of Majorca, about 8km from Cala Rajada and 60 km from Palma, near the Llevant mountains. A planned tram-train service will link Arta with the city of Manacor, where trains go to Palma.
Google map: bit.ly/MKJePx
Not everyone knows that you can hike in Mallorca nor that its government provides stunning refuge accommodation for hikers along a well signposted route, the GR 221 Dry Stone Route of the Tramuntana mountain range. The refuges are typical rural manor houses located in beautiful surroundings within small villages or in mountains, like Escorca's 'Tossals Verds' refuge. The Port de Soller refuge ‘La Muleta’ is particularly stunning located as it is in an old 1912 built radiotelegraphy station located on Cape Groson, next to a lighthouse and is quite the perfect spot to catch the sunset at the end of a long walk. All the refuges have been recently refurbished so the conditions are very good with staff providing a warm welcome to tired walkers.
It all leaves you with a certain image – different from the standard - of a Mallorca where you walk, the route is very beautiful and scenic, and at the end of the day, tired, you come to these beautifully located refuges that are not only refuges but a place that lets you ‘experience’ food, meet other walkers and drink great cheap coffee.
To give some background, the GR 221 Dry Stone Route is a 132 km eight stage hiking route of medium difficulty which can be walked in parts or combined with other sightseeing. The five refuges - Can Boi, Muleta, Tossals Verds, Son Amer and Pont Roma – are all located in the northern rocky part of Mallorca which both needs tourists economically and landscape-wise remains unspoilt by the brand of tourism Mallorca has long been associated with.
Price wise, the dorms are all uniformly priced at € 11 a night with optional dinner at € 8.50 which is brilliant value for three courses including a carafe of wine. The refuges can all be booked online at: www.conselldemallorca.net/mediambient/pedra
Final point, the doors close at 10pm with the lights going out at 11pm. So if hard walking and early sleeping is your idea of a good holiday, do check out the link I have put below.
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