Our last day in Mallorca was, of course, lazy. We woke up later and our only mission was to eat a good breakfast and walk around the monastery.
Lluc actually houses a school where pupils might stay at. They have a heavy musical component, and their students sing in a famous children’s choir called “Els Escolanets”.
Lluc has a beautiful basilica with a smaller chapel with a representation of all of Mallorca’s municipalities.
Here is a picture of each one of the municipalities we got to know on our hiking trip.
We also got to know the botanical garden.
I just really liked this work on an old greenhouse.
And then the time to say goodbye arrived, and we each headed to our homes 1729 km appart.
I am really happy we did this, these days were wonderful, with a lot of chatting. These 3 day getaways are good for the soul! We even considered making this a yearly tradition. Let’s see how that goes!
Since the GR221 in the previous day should have ended in Tossals Verts Refuge, the following stage should also start there. The implications of following GR221 would be repeating the ugly last 5km we did the previous day, so the decision was unanimous: we would not go back.
Instead, we would go to directly to Lluc monastery by bus/train/bus. If we did the GR221 path, Lluc would have been our final destination, but we have decided to make it our first. And it was a great decision! Joui found a good circular path (Lluc – Puig den Galileu – Massanella – Font de Sacenc – Font de la Coma Freda – Coll de sa Bataia – Lluc) with a similar number of kilometers with the advantage of making it without our backpacks!
It ended up being a continuity of the previous day’s landscape, as we saw Puig Major on our right.
In Lluc the trail started off under pine and oak trees. It was very fresh, very beautiful and with the stairs which were already familiar to us.
We had to climb up to 1200m, so I don’t know what was breathtaking, the sight or the ascent.
This hike was probably the most beautiful we have done. The way up is gorgeous and it coincides with GR221. Once we were close do Puig de Massanella we left the signalized trail and returned to Lluc by another descent, also very pretty. Since it was a less popular trail, we did not find a single soul until meeting GR222 arriving at Lluc.
By the end, my feet were really tired and I was really looking forward to getting to the monastery. The previous days took their toll and made me think how would it be to make a longer hike – like the french St. James way – with all the gear on your backpack. That must be really hard. (Edit: after writing this I remembered I did the portuguese St. James way in 6 days with a bigger backpack. I don’t remember this pain on my feet. They were also 10 years younger).
Lluc monastery is really pretty but a bit expensive. There are not a lot of alternatives for restaurantes or cafes, and those who exist take advantage of that.
Our 3-day hike had come to an end! But we still had a day to stroll around Lluc.
Day two arrived sunny and chilly. March truly is the best month for hiking in Serra Tramuntana. Although the mornings and evenings are a bit cold, the afternoons have the perfect temperature. We left our egyptian cabaret and headed for breakfast in the center which was getting ready for its weekly fair.
We knew this would be the hardest stage. Usually it goes between Sóller and the Tossals Verds refuge and that makes 20km. We did not know that yet, but we were about to walk 30km that day. Here is our strava evidence.
The first kilometers are fairly easy and lead us to Biniaraix. Another very pretty village in which we strolled in our morning freshness and joy. It was the last village we were to see before finishing the day’s hike.
We were silently a bit scared of the road ahead because of what we have read. We thought the trail would be rough all the way, but up until Cúber reservoir, it actually had these stairs! Of course it was hard because we didn’t stop climbing for 11km but this trail made it much easier.
GR 221 is also called Dry Stone Route, and we have seen so many people hiking, running trails, preparing to climb…
After a wonderful lunch in Cúber – where we believe we have seen two black vultures! – we continued our hike which was about to suffer a big change in landscape (and in terrain…buh-bye little stairs!).
The colors became greener, and although the previous part was beautiful, we both agree this after luch hike was the prettiest part of the day.
The ground became more irregular and everything that goes up…goes down, so after arriving at 800m we – she flew, I patted the rocks – went all the way down to 180m.
There are two trails that will get you to Tossals Verds refuge. One is harder than the other – that is what I read – and one goes by Pas de Lis, which is sort of a 20m steeper climb where you have to grab to an iron chain not to fall. The internet calls it a sort of Via Ferrata, but my buddy is an expert in vias ferratas and that is not one.
We knew we would get to Tossals Verds refuge but since it was full when we made reservations, we booked a room in Allaró, which is the closest village.
We just did not know exactly how to get to Allaró. In the refuge we were told taxis did not come nearby because the roads were pretty bad. We called the taxis and it was true. They asked us to walk to a water bottle factory (another hour and a half) and then called them again. We did, but there we did not have network coverage, so we walked, asked for a lift, walked, and finally we were able to call a taxi which came from Inca, another city. These 5 kilometers were the hardest, but our taxi driver was funny and made us laugh:
-So where did you come from?
-Sóller?!?! JODER, are your little heads NUTS?
Yep, it felt like it, but we have made it and felt like rock stars. In Allaró we had a really nice bath and searched for a nice dinner in the village, which is really small and sweet.
We ended up in El Trastero which had all sorts of tapas and deserts. We shared some, and the people there were so nice! Joui started noticing the fabrics in all the public spaces we went to. Indeed they were all similar, and a little googling told us that was ikat cloth with the traditional stamping of fire or tongues.
It was lovely to end the day in a sweet little plaza having had a great dinner!
While on the bus to meet Joui I sat thinking that we have lived knowing each other more than we lived without it. Having that on account, it is strange to think that we have never traveled before. Sure we’ve met on this and that city, but we have never made a journey, just the two of us.
We said no more, and we never really talked about it, but we knew it should have mountains and hiking involved. We ended up in Mallorca.
It is funny because whenever I read about Mallorca on the internet, people talk about it as a hidden gem that they discovered by chance – it was the cheapest flight destination from their closest airport. It was not different for us. Since we were flying from different countries, the destination had to be accessible to both, and Palma de Mallorca was.
What people don’t usually know – and I was one of them – is that Mallorca is absolutely beautiful and has a magnificent mountain range called Serra Tramuntana spotted with adorable villages and landscapes, or rocky climbs and green slopes.
We have decided we would hike the GR221 for three days. The route is very well signalized and we were equipped with all our gear, maps, and gpx files on our smartphones! Let’s get this party started.
So on the first day* we have met and got to the intermodal station to hop on a bus heading for Deià. It was 11 a.m. and we had yet to walk to Sóller. Joui had been up since 3 a.m so the walk should not be too hard.
When we arrived to Deià we started seeing that terracota colour which we were about to see in every village and city in Serra Tramuntana. These places are in the middle of the hills and one sees a brown spot among all the green of the Serra. Deià was beautiful and before hiking to Sóller we had a hearty soup and lunch at a very nice balcony.
*I arrived the day before late at night. This info might come handy as I felt stupid for a few hours: I grabbed a taxi at the airport to S’Arenal where I was to spend the night. I paid 16€ for those 8km and now I know that is their fee (I first though I was fooled). There are 5€ bus every 20 minutes which I now recommend.
Deià was 10km distant from Sóller. Here is our Strava record on that day.
These are the colors of this day’s journey: blue, green and terracota. Everytime we had a glimpse of the sea we stopped. After all, it was rather strange to be in Mallorca and not get our feet wet!
There were olive trees everywhere, and the landscape could well be in southern Italy.
We also spotted the most amazing villas, always so fresh and pretty.
We were arriving at Sóller when we started noticing all these lemons and oranges. Turns out the area is famous for its oranges. We hadn’t tried any, but we had the most delicious tomatoes in Sóller, so that sun does wonders for those fruits.
In Sóller we stayed in Can Moragues de Sóller, a beautiful hotel right in the city center. It was one of those villas we saw on the way, with an imposing hall and sweet (and chilly) bedrooms. We read it used to house an egyptian cabaret, and that trivia made it an even more interesting of a place.
We could not be in Sóller and not visit Port de Sóller, which is 6 km away from the city – you can take the 1,5€ bus or the 7€ tram. The weather became cold and grayish and Port de Sóller was not our favourite place.
But Sóller was so nice. It had little streets full of traditional shops. The streets were busy up until late and we just walked about after a good bath. After shopping for the next day’s lunch we roamed Sóller for a place to eat. Mallorca is still Mallorca, and it is full of tourists like us, and we wanted to escape the tourist hub in the town centre. We did, oh, wonderfully we did! We ended up in Bar Molino which has a daily menu with a meat or fish dish – among other things.
It had pimentos padrón as starter and they were perfect, perfect! The perfect ending to our first day.
Disclaimer: Our pictures are all mixed up, some are mine some are Joui’s. Her pictures are better 🙂
De vez em quando vou parar a sítios que não lembra a ninguém, como Vale da Porca. Quando estou nesses sítios, só penso que sorte eu tenho por poder lá estar, por ouvir e observar estas romarias sem luzes fluorescentes. Com cães, com roscas, com o cromo da aldeia.
Sempre gostei, sempre fiz por ir lá parar, mas agora cada vez menos, e quando acontece por acaso leva-se um refresco de Portugal. Que é lindo, é rico, e é como mais nenhum.
Em 2009 fui pela primeira vez a Pitões das Júnias, equipada com uma Minolta emprestada pela Joui. Lembro-me de estar muito frio, era dezembro. As pedras estavam escorregadias, e eu escorreguei muito. Chegados a S. João da Fraga, aquela capelinha branca que se vê lá de baixo, tirei esta fotografia, que ainda é hoje uma das minhas favoritas.
Quase 10 anos depois, lá voltamos. Desta vez com o L. e o meu irmão, que se lembrava de ter gostado muito da aldeia quando lá foi, também com os escuteiros, há quase 20 anos atrás.
A luz estava esta. Não vale a pena escrever muito mais. Partimos do café do Rato, no centro da aldeia, sempre em frente rumo à capela de S. João da Fraga. O caminho é linear e não é marcado, mas tendo a capelinha à vista, vamo-nos orientando.
A minha avaliação: 9/10.
Como é bem sabido por cá, nós identificamo-nos muito com Espanha, por isso não é de admirar que seja um destino frequente nas nossas escapadelas. Este ano, por diversos motivos, as férias “fora” foram encurtadas a 3 dias nas Astúrias. O objetivo era conhecer as praias da costa das Astúrias – que são imensas e lindas! – e depois ir aos Picos da Europa. Este último plano teve de ser adiado, e será realizado em breve, esperamos!
Antes de mais, recomendo a aplicação AsturPlaya, que tem todas as praias da região, respetivos serviços e acessos (alguém conhece alguma equivalente para as praias de Portugal?).
Pernoitamos em S. Pedro de Benquerencia no dia mais quente do ano. Em Portugal estavam 41º e lá 22º. Descobrimos o ponto perfeito para estar no Verão!
Ainda em Lugo descansámos um bocado nesta praia de grande areal, com muita gente – e apesar disso, muito serena.
Esta era a paisagem que tínhamos ao nosso lado na primeira corrida das férias. Pois, até que motiva, não é?
No dia seguinte, fomos andando e parando em algumas praias. Não dava para parar em todas, mas toda a costa está pontilhada com praias urbanas, praias de grandes areais, praias ventosas, praias protegidas.
Esta praia fica mesmo em frente de um albergue de peregrinos. Deve ser fantástico fazer o caminho de Santiago ao lado deste mar. Ou então a rota Cantábrica que, segundo vimos, acompanha toda esta costa com bons caminhos.
Mal chegamos a terra Asturiana, Lluarca, fomos provar as iguarias locais.
Depois, pelo caminho: ISTO! Cudillero é, a única palavra que me ocorre, “cute”. É uma aldeia pequenina de pescadores, muito colorida, que recebe o mar em anfiteatro. É também conhecida como Villa Pixueta, e os seus habitantes falam inclusive o dialeto Pixueto.
Antes de pararmos por dois dias em Gijón, passamos nesta bela Praia com muito pouca gente e uma paisagem lindíssima.
Estamos muito perto de sítios incríveis!