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.
Santuari de Lluc, Mallorca, 525 metres above sea level, reached by an exciting, twisting road, or by a walking route through the Tramuntana Mountains, is a surprisingly large former monastery, now a place of pilgrimage, with simple accommodation in former monk's cells, with bathrooms en suite, at modest rates(book in advance). It has space, calm, striking buildings and interiors, and a good museum, from prehistory to modern times. Restaurants, cafes and a shop cater for varying numbers of pilgrims and visitors -- an evening meal at a table nestling against one of the surrounding wooded hills, with the sounds of goat-bells, followed by a walk up the paved path to a Calvary with superb views of the Monastery and the surrounding mountains, is an excellent prelude to a restful night's sleep.
It is not until the last coach full of day trippers departs that you really appreciate the quiet beauty of this 18th century monastery. Situated in a valley 500 meters above sea level, surrounded by the impressive mountains of the Sierra de Tramuntana, it is a spectacular location for quiet reflection. Listening to the resident choir school, who sing morning and evening, is a beautiful experience for both believers and non-believers alike. The monastery is an ideal base to explore the mountains, by foot or mountain bike. There are numerous trails direct from the monastery: you could hike up the Puig de Massellana (1364m) or follow the old paved Pilgrims trail to Caimari. Outside the monastery there is an information office for the Tramuntana range with helpful English speaking staff.
With simple, functional accommodation and a range of local rustic fayre from no less than three restaurants, a cafe and a bakery it has something to suit all budgets (the cafe is best value). But beware - it will not suit party animals - you are expected to be silent after 11:00 pm!
Plaça dels Peregrins, 1, 07315 Escorca, Mallorca, Illes Balears
+34 971 87 15 25
Google map: bit.ly/KyR2ET
Bus Connections to Lluc: There are buses to and from Inca and Palma. In summer (May-October) there are also public buses from Port d`Soller, Alcudia, Can Picafort and Pollensa. There are also Tourist day trips from most towns, or you could plan as stay as part of a hike or bike across the Tramuntana range (which is what we did).
A very stylish hotel if you're willing to splash out. Think white box with glass walls inside the shell of an ancient farmhouse. Not cheap by any stretch of the imagination but you're in a glorious clifftop location with amazing grounds. There is a great pool and outdoor hot-tubs with views over the sea. The breakfast is amazing and the dinner tasty though not exactly value for money.
Carretera Artà-Canyamel Km 8
Finca Torre Canyamel
T. 0034 971 81 61 10
F. 0034 971 81 61 11
Building the enormous gothic Seo cathedral began in 1230 and has been going on, more or less, ever since.
Gaudí contributed some typically modernista interiors in the early 20th century but even that has been upstaged by the vast ceramic tableau of cracked mud, fish and skulls in St Peter’s chapel. The work of Mallorca’s foremost contemporary artist Miquel Barceló, it is loosely based on the miracle of the loaves and fishes and was officially opened in February this year.
A beautiful little town on a bay. By far the best place to stay is L'Esplendido hotel which faces the mouth of the bay with the two lighthouses on either side. The hotel is beautifully done up and with lots of interesting spaces so as not to feel too crowded, including two pools on the terraces at the back with the most spectacular view from the infinity pool.
Really experience the chill by taking the tiny tram to Sollier which winds through the village back gardens with the temptation to pick lemons from the trees very high.
Port de Sollier is in the north west of the island nestled on the other side of the amazing mountains. Best way is to drive there (30mins from Palma) and make sure to take the tunnel (small toll).
Palma is the most pleasant city anywhere. It is wonderful for walking, browsing and shopping.
The architecture is splendid, it abounds in cafes, restaurants, dancing, nightclubs etc. The beaches and yacht marinas are part of the city. It has an international airport and ferries to the other islands and mainland.
The coastline and scenery on the island are unparalleled in their beauty, the climate is perfect.
Spring and early summer is the best time to visit. To really admire the wonderful scenery and mountains, it is essential to have a car. The springtime flowers are almost beyond belief in their boundless colours and magnificence.
Palma is THE PLACE TO BE.
A lovely hotel in Deia, a small town nestled in the north western mountains of Mallorca (the Tremuntana range). The hotel is situated ideally, the breakfast terrace overlooks the pool and is surrounded by mountains which makes you feel like you're floating.
Deia is a beautiful place, although the presence of two five-star hotels means a lot of restaurants are pricey (although excellent). The tapas bar at the end of the road out of town is fabulous. A walk up the hill from town takes you to the cemetery where Robert Graves is buried. It's a beautiful place with spectacular views. If you need a pinch of reality, take a trip to Palma, for a day of shopping and city stuff, before taking the orange train (wooden narrow guage train, which used to transport oranges) across (and through, literally) the mountains over to Soller - a nearby port, which is quiet and friendly and a million miles from Magaluf, but just a 15 minute taxi drive back to Deia.
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