Crossing the Tramuntana Range on Majorca

Last week I have been travelling to Majorca again, this time together with my wife, to do a more advanced hike than I did last year there: the crossing of the Serra De Tramuntana from the Southwest to the Norteast, from Andratx to Pollenca in 6 days.

My Wife Alex and I arrived early on Majorca on Sunday, May 22nd since our flight had been leaving Frankfurt quiet early in the morning at 05:50 am.

Kathedrale in Palma De Mallorca
"Kathedrale in Palma De Mallorca"

We met our mountain guide at the airport – Jaume Torte – whom I hiked with last year already. He organized our transfer to our first hotel in Esselencs, where we would stay for the first 4 nights, a nice little hotel in a nice little Spanish mountain village with a great view out to the ocean at the North coast of Majorca. Since we have had plenty of time we basically just handed over our luggage to him and took the bus to Palma De Mallorca to use the day to visit the main city of the island.

We wandered through the old town, visited the huge cathedral on a hill with excellent view over the Bay of Palma and spend a relaxing day in cafes and in the narrow streets of the town. In the afternoon we took another bus out to Escellencs where we met our group and had our first dinner all together.

Our group consisted of 11 hikers. The oldest was a small 76-year-old lady who was in an amazingly good shape. She skipped a few parts of the hike, but I really would call myself lucky when being in that good shape at that age.

Abstieg vom S’Esclop
"Abstieg vom S’Esclop"

On the first hiking day a bus brought us to Andratx, a little town near by the Southwest cape of the island, from where we started the trip. We climped on top of a mountain called S’Esclop (928 m) and then descended back to the coast and to our hotel in Esscelencs. The hike had started 09:00 am in the morning and it took us until 05:45 pm to reach the end of the first stage of the crossing. We started to get a feeling what “Advanced” means in the description for this tour and Jaume promised that the next two days would be even longer.

On day 2 we left Esscelenc at 08:30 am in the morning and hiked to Esporles which we reached late in the afternoon. Already exhausted we realized we would have to cross another two mountains to get to Valldemossa, the end of stage 2. We got there at 06:00 pm, after having to climb a total of 950 m. Since it also has been quiet hot, a bit too hot for this part of the year, we also had to carry and consume a lot of water. The bus ride back to Escellencs took more than an hour, thus there was not much time left to quickly jump into the pool before dinner. Boy, you won’t believe how good the first bear tastes after a hike like that !

Die Gassen von Valdemossa
"Die Gassen von Valdemossa"

The next day we drove back to Valldemossa, which to me has been the most beautiful of all the villages we visited during that week. We have had some time to explore the narrow streets and old buildings and to buy some food, before hike 3 started with another climb to another mountain. The view from there over the North coast of Majorca was absolutely breathtaking. We found a nice resting place on the top of a stone wall above the little village of Deià and enjoyed water and food from our back packs and the brilliant view into the valley and out to the ocean. After the descend to Deià we walked to the lovely small bay there with crystal clear water and even we started again running out of time we spend there 30 minutes to jump into the refreshing waters of the Mediterranean Sea. The hike was not finished yet, our target for this day had been Sóller. For an hour or so we followed the coast line, before we climbed another 250 m to a mountain path leading to the valley of Sóller, which we reached at 07:00 pm. After another long bus ride back to Escellencs there was no time anymore for the pool, just for a shower before enjoying again the good cooking of the hotel and lots of drinks to re-fill all the liquid we had lost during the day.

Blick von Biniaraix nach Sóller
"Blick von Biniaraix nach Sóller"

On the next day we checked out from the hotel. A bus took us to Sóller where we started hike # 4 and would pick us up later at the Cúber Lake, the fresh water reservoir of Majorca. After spending half an hour on the main square of Sóller we started our hike out of the hot valley towards the top of L’Ofre ( 1093 m ). It was hot again, but luckily on this trail we found plenty of water springs near by our path. From the summit we had again a great view and saw the Puig Major, the highest mountain of Majorca, the Cúber Lake and the Massanella (1365 m), our mountain for the next day. After getting back to the valley we had to do another 1-hour-walk or so around the lake to reach the road, where the bus was waiting for us. It took us to the monastery of Lluc where we would stay for the next three days in spartan but clean and quiet rooms, with a great restaurant providing lots of cheap drinks and lots of excellent food from Majorca. It didn’t take long until we felt very comfortable with this elementary and peaceful place.

On day 5 the bus took us back to that lake, we crossed the Massanella, the 2nd highest mountain of Majorca, and descended back to the monastery.

Pollenca, wir kommen, früher oder später !
"Pollenca, wir kommen, früher oder später !"

The last hike during day # 6 was again a mountain crossing and a very long hike. It took us to the Puig Tomir ( 1104 m ) from where we could see the three capes of Majorca in the East, and then a partially steep path through lots of vegetation and rocks has been one of our many challenges during that week to finally reach Pollenca and thus the end of our crossing.

Part of my tour description sounds like this has been a quiet strenuous endeavor – and actually it was, but the challenge is part of the fun. My way of spending a vacation is not to relax at the beach, but to do some from of exercising for the body, which usually is parked in a chair in front of a computer most of the time. I want to explore new places and the best way to get there is on my own feet. And believe it or not, even our days have been packed with long hikes it has been relaxing for me, especially for my mind and soul. I believe I did not spend a single minute thinking about work, career or anything related.

We have been a great group, we have had a lot of great moments and laughs, views and new experiences. After three days of work I could right away start another hike like this. And as a matter of fact, my wife and I are planning a 3-day-hike on the Rheinsteig for the upcoming long weekend.

More photos from that tour are here in my “Mallorca 2011” flickr set.

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