Serra de Tramuntana Route
A fantastic 4-day tour of the Mallorcan mountains where you can enjoy the sea, mountains and magnificent villages.
|Place: Mallorca (Balearic Islands)|
|Elevation: + 5,100m / -5,100m|
|Maximum Altitude: 1,200m - Minimum Altitude: 53m|
|Type of Terrain: 65% Trail - 20% Track - 15% Asphalt|
Where is it and what does this route offer?
This route is completely located in the Serra de Tramuntana on the island of Mallorca. The route selected to cover it allows you to discover the traditional landscapes and constructions of Pedra in Sèc (Dry Stone) of the area that in fact gives its name to the GR. In addition to being able to visit the Mallorcan mountains, this path also allows you to visit villages, historical vestiges and enjoy local architecture, cuisine and crafts.
The route chosen by us is currently declared a UNESCO world heritage in the category of cultural landscape and runs almost entirely on the GR-221 but in the opposite direction and with some variation to make the route more interesting. As we put in the previous section of Data, the route drawn is 115km, being 100km of the GR-221 of the main itinerary and 15km of one of its variants. Our proposal is for the light runner / hiker to do it in 4 stages / days.
Day 1: Pollença - Lluc: 30km / 1,517m D + / 800m D-
Day 2: Lluc - Valldemossa: 36km / 1,687m D + / 1,643m D-
Day 3: Valldemossa - Estellencs: 32km / 1,262m / 1,659m D-
Day 4: Estellencs - Andratx: 15km / 638m D + / 978m D-
Fonts de Mina (Fuentes de Mina): it is a semi-detached gallery, excavated to reach the water table and exit to the water due to the effect of gravity. They are covered by a stone construction by way of enclosure so as not to allow access to animals or dirt. They are used to obtain water for human and animal use. They are usually located on plains and near streams.
Lime kilns: The abundance of limestone in the Serra de Tramuntana turned the production of lime into a thriving economic activity, since lime was used in construction, medicine, hygiene, thermal insulation or disinfection of tanks. They are usually constructions located inside a large circular hole, covered by a thick wall of dry stone.
Casas de neu (artificial snowfield): it is a well dug in the earth with retaining walls that has openings for the introduction of snow and later the extraction of ice and whose purpose is to keep it so that it can be used later, when, otherwise , the snow would already be melted. In different parts of Spain it is known as a fridge, snow pit or snow pit.
How many days do we need?
We made the route in 4 days, divided into days of about 30km the first three days and 15km the last. Logically you can slow down or accelerate the pace but in these types of routes the most advisable, to enjoy the scenery and the charm of the places, are 40 or 45km per day, provided that the necessary preparation and hours of light are available.
Where do we start the route?
Although the GR-221 in almost all places is presented as an exit point in Sant Elm or in its variant from Andratx - both towns in the south of the island - we decided to start from Pollença, in the north of the island, for two Reasons fundamentally: the first, when starting in the north, it ends very close to Palma, so it facilitates the return to the airport and a visit to the Balearic capital. And the second reason is that from Pollença the route starts smoothly to gradually introduce us into more rugged and mountainous terrain.
To get to Pollença from Palma de Mallorca, we must go to the Bus and Train Station where buses leave every 30min throughout the day until 9.30 pm and it takes approximately one hour to arrive. For the return from Andratx there are buses to Palma with a more restrictive schedule but the best option is to call a taxi that for about 20 euros will leave us in Palmanova where there are many cheaper accommodations and countless buses for our return to Palma.
It is best to avoid the summer agglomeration of Mallorca and the severe winter cold, so autumn and spring are the best moments. Perhaps, the best moment of the whole year is autumn because there are much fewer people than in spring and the weather is still very pleasant, with almost guaranteed possibility of running or moving in short sleeves.
Possibilities of accommodation and style?
Throughout the route there is a network of Balearic Government Shelters, almost all offer accommodation and food but there is one that does not have food service. You can check all the updated information at: https://caminsdepedra.conselldemallorca.cat/es/refugios
Another option is to use as a hotel as accommodation, there are many of them throughout the tour, they are not the cheapest but there is a lot of offer.
The last and most adventurous option is to spend the night by bivouac or camping. If you choose this option you should know that it is at the expense and risk of each person who practices it, because as you well know there are very clear restrictions in this regard throughout Spain. If even so - or even if you decide to do it, there are many good and advisable places where you don't bother and don't bother. It should be remembered that if you choose this option, you must always be exquisite in cleaning the place, do not make fire and never mount the tent / bivouac before sunset and pick it up at dawn.
Services during the route?
During the route we made the beginning and end of the day coincide with some town where we stock up on food and drink. The route passes every day through several villages where you can buy good food and drink, both in bars or restaurants and in small shops or supermarkets.
It is advisable to try, if you can, the variety of dishes and typical Balearic products such as: the sobrasada, the ensaimadas, the almond cat or the tumbet. All of them very tasty and excellent.
How do we orientate ourselves on the route?
Virtually the entire route (year by year they are improving it) is marked with wooden poles that indicate direction, places and estimated time. Especially the GR-221 is indicated, although once we leave it to go to Andratx, we also have very good signaling. However, for this type of routes it is always highly recommended to carry a device with the route track and maps of the area. In case of bad weather or mishap, having maps to leave the mountain to inhabited places or roads can be vital.
For this route or similar crossings it is advisable to bring the appropriate material for the type of activity and environment where it will be developed. So our material must always be technical, lightweight and quality. Technical, because good features and proper design will keep us dry, warm and comfortable in the face of any adversity. Light, because overloading back and legs with an unnecessary extra weight, we will take a toll on the future of days without any need. Quality, because it will extend over time every euro invested in our material and provide greater comfort with all its details.
As a recommended material for this activity we would need a lightweight waterproof jacket so that in the event of rain, cold or wind, we have our protection guaranteed, today for less 150gr we have excellent waterproof jackets. A light and compact backpack will avoid annoying backaches and make our days more comfortable and lighter. Long-distance shoes will offer us protection and the necessary rest for our feet.
If we choose the option of bivouac, it will be essential a tent or waterproof and ultralight bivouac cover, as well as a light and warm bag. We can also include a compact stove for breakfast and dinner.
Maps and Tracks
The spanish Editorial Alpina Publishing House has all the necessary maps, in our case the maps of: Tramuntana Sud, Central and North would be essential.
We also leave you the tracks made of the entire route so you can download it, there are 4 different tracks, one per day: