Majorca: Sierras and Monasteries

Majorca: Sierras and Monasteries information and booking

from
$1260
  • Duration
    8 days
    Days
  • Group size
    1-10
    Persons
  • Difficulty
    moderate
Check prices & availability

Schedule Details

Summary
  • 7 nights hotels

Highlights

  • Serendipitous Walking on Majorca
  • High Mountains, Olive Grove Valleys & Sea Cliff Strolls
  • Walk the Camino de Archduke High Above the Mediterranean

Tour description provided by World Expeditions

With peaks up to 1370m/4500ft, the Sierra de Tramontana is a rugged limestone mountain range, which runs parallel to the NW coast of the island, forming one of the most spectacular coastlines of the Mediterranean. Mountain tops are bare, but lower slopes are thickly forested with holm oak and Aleppo pine. In the settled valleys there are ancient terraces of olive, orange and almond groves. A protected length of coastline includes an important bird sanctuary and you may see the rare European Black Vulture near Puig Roig. The villages of the mountains, such as Valldemossa, Soller, Deia, Biniaraix and Fornalutx are particularly attractive, with their mellow stonewalls and flower-bedecked balconies. Our carefully compiled route descriptions take you to the peaks of El Teix (1063m), along the 19th century "Archduke's trail" above Valldemossa, and the fine viewpoint of Massanella peak (1351m) near Lluc monastery. We follow the restored Pilgrims’ Way, which ascends a rugged barranco (gorge) from Biniaraix to Mirador d'Ofre. Also on our itinerary is the spectacular coastal footpath between Cuala Tuent and Mirador de ses Barques. Based at Soller for two nights you may choose to follow delightful footpaths to Deia, or take the vintage tram down to Puerto Soller for a boat trip to the beach of Sa Calobra (below the lofty cliffs which are the habitat of a wide range of seabirds including Eleonora's Falcon) or travel the vintage narrow-gauge railway to Palma and back. Our tour is based on three centres, the Santuari (monastery) of Lluc, the cathedral town of Soller and Valldemossa, famous for its Carthusian monastery and for its associations with Chopin and the Austrian Archduke Ludwig.

What's included

  • 7 breakfasts, 5 dinners
  • 3 nights accommodation in a monastery in lluc, 4 nights in small hotels on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • Transfer from lluc to cuala tuent
  • Luggage transfer
  • Information pack including route notes & maps
  • Emergency hotline

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Santuari de Lluc
Fly to Palma and transfer by bus/train/taxi via Inca to Santuari de Lluc Accommodation: Your first 3 nights are spent in well-furnished rooms (not at all cell-like!) with en-suite facilities in the 17th Century monastery of Lluc. Clean sheets are provided but the monastic custom is that you make up your own beds. You also switch on the hot water immersion heater yourself. Rooms look either inwards over a peaceful courtyard or outwards to the surrounding thickly forested mountains. The Monastery clock is silent after 10pm. Meals are taken at an adjacent restaurant. The cuisine will be distinctively Mallorcan although with international overtones. There is choral singing in the monastery church at 19:30 on most evenings, which guests can attend.
Day 2 Circular walk around Puig Roig
If this is a Sunday, a 14km/9mile/5-6hrs walk around the magnificent peak of Puig Roig. This is a longish day but not too strenuous and the way is clearly marked. It offers fine views of the rugged coastline and of the island’s highest peak, Puig Mayor. Note: The landowner opens this route to the public only on Sundays. Accommodation: Overnight at the 17th Century monastery of Lluc. Meals are taken at an adjacent restaurant.
Day 3 Ascent of Massanella peak
Weather permitting, the ascent of Massanella peak (1351m), the second highest peak and one of the finest viewpoints on the island, can be readily accomplished in about 6 hours on foot from Lluc. The lower slopes are thickly forested with holm oak, while above the Font de s'Avenc spring (views) there is open heathland and bare rock up to the summit. Steep in places. Accommodation: Overnight at the 17th Century monastery of Lluc. Meals are taken at an adjacent restaurant.
Day 4 Lluc to Soller
In the morning you and your baggage are transferred by taxi (included in tour price) from Lluc to the small coastal inlet of Cuala Tuent. While your luggage is taken on to Soller by taxi, you follow the magnificently scenic coastal footpath to Sa Costera and beyond, where it turns inland through olive groves to Mirador de ses Barques. From here there is an afternoon bus to Soller. The walk of about 8 miles/13km. 4 - 5 hours walking. Note the cathedral designed by Antonio Gaudi in the main square of Soller. Accommodation: Two nights are in a clean and friendly hotel of 2 star standard in the workaday but attractive mountain town of Soller. All rooms have en-suite shower and WC. The restaurant offers good traditional Mallorcan dishes.
Day 5 Pilgrims Trail
14 miles/ 22 km / 5 hours. A full day's walk, following a section of the old 16th century Pilgrims Trail which originally went all the way to Lluc monastery. Starting from Soller we walk to the small village of Biniaraix, from where the Pilgrims' Trail climbs steadily to the Mirador del Ofre and Es Cornadors (1009m), a magnificent viewpoint. From here we have a panoramic view over the great natural amphitheatre of mountains, which makes up the valley of Soller. Looking up and down the range we can identify the various peaks of the range. As the direct return footpath from Mirador del Ofre down to Soller has now been closed by the landowners it is regrettably necessary to retrace our steps down the Pilgrims' Way, but it is still a great walk. Accommodation: Overnight at the 2 star hotel in Soller. The restaurant offers good traditional Mallorcan dishes.
Day 6 Valldemossa
Today there are a number of options you may choose before your transfer by bus in the afternoon to Valldemossa (your baggage is transferred separately). You can take a boat trip along the coast from Puerto Soller to the fine, if busy, beach of Sa Calobra, take a scenic train ride on the narrow gauge railway from Soller to Palma and back, visit the fossil museum and botanic gardens at Soller, or walk to the beautiful village of Deia which was for many years the home of the poet Robert Graves. You can then catch the bus on to Valldemossa from Puerto Soller, Soller or Deia. Accommodation: Your evenings are spent in a 3 star hotel in the flower-bedecked hill village of Valldemossa. It is a superb renovation of an old house and has a spacious terrace with good views over the village and surrounding hills. Close by is the former monastery (now a museum) where Chopin and his mistress George Sand stayed.
Day 7 Valldemossa
15 miles / 24 km / 6 hours. The tour ends with one of Mallorca's most celebrated walks incorporating both splendid views and historical interest. Much of the path was constructed in the 19th century for the Archduke Ludwig of Austria who owned an estate at Valldemossa. We start off on a path, which zigzags up a wooded gully to reach a high plateau. From the Archduke's favourite viewpoint we have a fantastic coastal view. Continuing on along the cliff-top path and across the plateau we have the option to climb to the summit of El Teix (1063m). Having rested, we return to Valldemossa down the pretty Cairats valley. Accommodation: in the 3 star hotel in the flower-bedecked hill village of Valldemossa.
Day 8 End of tour
The tour ends after breakfast on the morning of day 8. You travel back to Palma by bus, or by taxi, if you have a morning flight. An evening flight out will allow a day's sightseeing/shopping in Palma. Palma cathedral is rated one of the finest of Spain.