Hiking in Mallorca's Tramuntana Mountains
Trekking and tours along the Dry Stone Way - Mallorca's Tramuntana GR221
On your next trip to the island, if you are brave, take a walk in the mountains that line the eastern coastline and discover Mallorca's last frontier...
The Serra de Tramontana Mountains
UNESCO protected, the home of the Black Vulture and Mallorca's last frontier, the mighty Tramuntana Mountains should be taken seriously. In fact, every year countless tourists set off unprepared and get lost, stuck or injured and eventually rescued from these peaks. And they are peaks, many in the 900m range, about 10 over 1000 metres high, and some extremely remote. They come as a surprise. Not what you would expect in Mallorca - the holiday sunshine isle - because the Tramuntana is vast and though efforts have been made to mark the old smugglers routes and ancient paths, a lot of it is still wild.
Excursions and Trekking in the Serra de Tramuntana
The biggest and most memorable of all the possible excursions you can do in Mallorca is the full GR221. Also known as the Dry Stone Way, it takes in Mallorca's largest mountain range (there are two!) from Andratx in the southeast to Pollensa in the northwest, or vice versa. 164 kilometres of signposted routes, including variants, connect the villages in the mountains and the impenetrable eastern coastline to the rest of the island.
It is thanks to the Consell de Mallorca which created and rebuilt the mountain routes, marking the stages and working closely with local landlords, who own about 90% of the Tramuntana's 1000km2 of terrain, to allow right of passage to hikers, as well as enabling accommodation along the way.
This is a 3 to 6 day trek, cut up into stages and helpfully arranged between mountain refuges where you can sleep for the night.
The Tramuntana Refuges
I have not stayed in all of them, but I have visited most and slept in a few. They tend to be old lodges or restored country estates way up in the mountains, with large dorms packed full of bunkbeds. Some have a private bedroom or two, though mostly it's a communal affair. They also provide sheets and blankets, towels etc for a fee. Typically, you will arrive at night fall, have dinner and crash. Then a simple breakfast at the crack of dawn before setting off again on the next day's adventure.
Some of the refuges, like Tossals Verds, are only accessible on foot, though I suspect there is a track somewhere for supplies. As such, they are a welcome landing. Others are yet to be opened to the public. Prices vary but are nevertheless pretty low and all extras added on. They can provide you with water and a packed lunch for the day, meaning you can actually travel light between stops.
The Tramuntana GR221 Stages
- Stage 1: Port d'Andratx to Coma d'en Vidal
- Stage 2: Estellencs to Esporles
- Stage 3: Esporles to Can Boi
- Stage 4: Can Boi to Muleta
- Stage 5: Muleta to Tossals Verd
- Stage 6: Tossals Verd to Son Amer
- Stage 7: Son Amer to Pont Romà
- Stage 8: Pont Romà to Port de Pollença
Due to ongoing disputes with some of the landlords and the fact some of the refuges are still closed, we suggest you do a variation of stages 2-7:
Estellencs – Esporles - Deià – Puerto de Sòller – Tossals – Lluc – Pollença
This will take you through the most magical parts of Mallorca's Tramuntana mountains and let you stay on route in beautiful settings, high up near the peaks.
A Boutique Hotel in Pollensa - Your hiking holiday base camp
Every good hiking holiday requires a proper base camp. It's where you set off from on that first early morning and where you will come back to at the end. It needs to be comfortable at the very least, luxurious if possible, and well located, at the end of the route. So where better than a stylish boutique hotel in Pollensa old town, at the foot of the main square?
Ours is a stylish boutique 3 storey townhouse with a cafe/restaurant on the groundfloor, spilling out onto the pavement and plaza, large luxurious bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, some with a jacuzzi on the terrace, others with private balconies, and the grand suite on the rooftop with wonderful mountain views and a pool, open to all guests, where we serve drinks in the evening.