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Nature and culture in Mallorca: 5 unforgettable hikes

25/03/2021

Nature and culture in Mallorca: 5 unforgettable hikes

 

Mallorca is a natural, historical and cultural treasure trove. Today we present 5 hikes for when you plan your next trip to Mallorca with Inturotel. Being in touch with nature makes life more beautiful, and of course it makes us happier… We recommend you look for routes and maps on an app such as Wikiloc. Off we go!

 

 

Santuario de Sant Salvador

 

This 15th-century sanctuary, located 500 metres above sea level, affords spectacular panoramic views of Mallorca. The origins of the Sanctuary of Sant Salvador go as far back as 1348, and today it consists of an 18th-century church, a small chapel from 1910 and a monument to Christ the King, dating from 1934.

 

This hike runs along a quiet, pleasant path, suitable for the whole family. Along the way you will encounter a 19th-century Via Crucis, with different stations representing experiences lived out by Jesus on the day of his crucifixtion. You will also come across “el macolí del gegant” (or “the giant’s pebble”). According to legend, one day a “pebble” fell from the shoe of a giant who terrorised the local people. Even today, there is still a custom among inhabitants of Felanitx of throwing a stone at this boulder, which is about 10 metres from the trail, and making a wish.

 

The ascent takes 1 hour. The Sanctuary of Sant Salvador is located in the municipality of Felanitx, just 20 kms from the beautiful Cala d’Or, where you will be able to stay at one of our Inturotel hotels next to the sea.

 

 

The forest of Lluc and its monastery

 

The Sanctuary of Lluc is Mallorca’s most important place of pilgrimage, and indeed one of the best-known in Europe. It lies in one of the island’s most beautiful natural enclaves, hidden amidst the woods and mountains of the Serra de Tramuntana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is hardly surprising, then, that the name Lluc derives from the Latin place name Lucus, meaning “sacred forest”.

The first we hear of the establishment of a chapel in Lluc is from the year 1268. Inside the present-day monastery, one can pray to “La Moreneta”, Mallorca’s most popular Virgin who, legend has it, was found by a shepherd boy.

If you love plants, don’t miss a visit to the Botanic Garden here, with over 200 varieties of plants from the Balearic Islands, some of which are endemic and endangered, and only found in the Puig Major area.

And don’t forget to indulge in a restorative hot chocolate accompanied by an ensaïmada or a tasty coca de patata before bidding this natural and spiritual refuge farewell!

 

 

Camí des Correu

 

A trail with medieval roots connecting the lovely villages of Esporles and Banyalbufar, the Camí des Correu runs along classic paths of the Serra de Tramuntana, surrounded by holm-oak woods and marvellous views of the coast and the Mediterranean.

It dates back to the year 1401, and until the 19th century was the only road communicating the village with the rest of the island. It forms part of the walking route known as Pedra en sec (dry stone walling), an ancestral technique by which stones are set on one another without using cement, making terracing that allowed crops to be grown on the sides of mountains, walls to delimit properties and fields, and paving for paths and roads.

 

 

 

The starting point for this hike is at the church of Esporles. It takes approximately two and a half hours, and once again is a walk that is suitable for families, as it is easy and well signposted.

 

 

Puig des Teix via Camí de S’Arxiduc

 

Valldemossa is one of the most beautiful villages on Mallorca. Located in the heart of the Serra de Tramuntana, one of the peaks that overlook it is Puig des Teix, with its extensive holm-oak woodland. One great attraction of walking up Puig des Teix is to discover the “Camí de S’Arxiduc”, a path constructed on the ridge in the 19th century at the behest of Archduke Ludwig Salvator, a member of the Austrian imperial family and one of the most relevant figures of recent centuries on the island. From 1867 to 1915 the Archduke spent long spells of time at his properties between Valldemossa and Deià.

 

 

On one of his numerous research trips around the Mediterranean, the Archduke mapped the south-eastern coast, where the Inturotel hotels are located, stopping at Cala LLonga and exploring the coves in the area, and leaving a written testimony of this visit:

 

“Farther along we see the natural arch called Es Pontàs, the antechamber to Cala Mitjana cove. A sea cave, the domain of wild pigeons, stands out in the reddish cliff, along with a watchtower up high and a headland with flat summit followed by Cala Ferrera. To the left is Caló de Ses Dones, whose sandy beach is populated by pine trees, and, at the back, we see Castell de Santueri and Sant Salvador”.

 

 

Barranc de Biniaraix

 

A two-hour walk amongst ancient stone terraces, with memorable views of Mallorca. The gully of Barranc de Biniaraix, located near the delightful village of Sóller, was declared an asset of cultural interest in the monument category in 1994, due to its impressive scenic, environmental, historical and cultural value.

 

Since time immemorial, the gully path was the main route of communication for the valley of Sóller and Fornalutx with those of L’Ofre, Cúber, Orient or the Lluc monastery.

   

 

The estimated time needed to walk this route is about two hours, but it all depends on your pace and the stops you make along the way. Ideally this beautiful hike should be completed unhurriedly, as you relax and enjoy the scenery and nature.

 

Have a great trip and magical experiences!

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Cabrera: a day in paradise
31/05/2021
Cabrera: a day in paradise
A mere ten kilometres from Cap de Ses Salines, and very close to our Inturotel hotels on Mallorca, lies the Cabrera archipelago, a genuine unspoilt paradise in the midst of the Mediterranean that has been a Maritime-Terrestrial National Park since 1991, because of the wealth of flora and fauna it contains. How would you like to visit it with us? When you visit Cabrera, keep your camera at the ready at all times, because it is highly likely that you will catch a glimpse of dolphins, turtles, cormorants, ospreys and Iberian wall lizards (podarcis lilfordi, the characteristic lizard of the Balearic Islands).   Fauna: Did you know that the waters of Cabrera are home to the greatest diversity of fish in the entire Mediterranean? In total more than 200 species, as well as molluscs, crustaceans, sea birds, reptiles, mammals... An outstanding feature of Cabrera’s fauna is the large colonies of seabirds: Scopoli’s shearwater (Calonectris diomedea), the European storm-petrel (Hydrobates pelagicus), Audouin’s gull (Larus audouinii)… The seabed around Cabrera is rich in both vertebrates and invertebrates, like colourful nudibranchs. Groupers are typical, as are octopi and Mediterranean morays (Muraena helena)...       But in addition, these waters are a sanctuary for larger animals, such as common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba), short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis), long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melaena), sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) and loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta).       The noble pen shell (Pinna nobilis), one of the largest bivalves in the Mediterranean (up to 2 metres), can live for up to 50 years, and is an endemic species whose main habitat is the Posidonia oceanica meadows. A high rate of mortality has been recorded in noble pen shell populations since 2016, due to a parasitic disease that has brought them to the brink of extinction. Thanks to thousands of calls reporting sightings, we have at least five survivors on the islands. Three of them have been moved to the Cabrera National Park and are protected by cages to prevent the usual predators of Pinna nobilis, like the octopus or the gilthead bream, from eating them. Will they survive? We certainly hope so.   Flora: More than 500 species of vascular plants, 22 species of moss, 21 of lichens and 162 of seaweed co-exist in Cabrera! Some of the more striking species are Balearic Island buckthorn (Rhamnus ludivici-salvatoris) or the Balearic peony (Paeonia cambessedessi).     The island of Cabrera has been uninhabited since it was declared a National Park in 1991, except for the rotating shifts of the staff who manage the park. Previously, it was inhabited by several Mallorcan families who made a living from fishing and farming. Today the island is a sublime destination for engaging in activities in nature’s heart, such as snorkelling, diving (a permit must be obtained in advance), hiking (always on the marked paths), birdwatching… or simply breathing and relaxing in an atmosphere from a bygone age.     Several boat companies in the nearby Colònia de Sant Jordi will take you to Cabrera, on a pleasant sea voyage lasting one hour. A trip to Cabrera implies staying on the island for the whole day, and as well as enjoying the island’s idyllic beaches or discovering its fertile sea bed, there are many more things to do there!   You can visit the highest point of the island, where the 16th-century castle stands, built to protect the island from the Berber pirates who came from North Africa with the aim of putting in at Cabrera and using it as a base from which to attack Mallorca. It has been destroyed and reconstructed on several occasions throughout history. The worst destruction took place in 1550, when the Turks attacked. Don’t miss the chance to view the island’s beaches and scenery from the top of this imposing vantage point!   Cabrera also offers visitors a botanic garden, an ethnographic and historical museum and a small bar in the port (which looks like something out of a novel – a refreshing drink in the shade of its grapevine is an absolute must). As for beaches, there are several to choose from, ranging from the sandy to the very fine stone variety, and even some located at the foot of the spectacular cliffs. But without a shadow of a doubt, the highlight is Sa Cova Blava (the “Blue Cave”), formed by calcareous rock. When the evening sun falls on the water in the cave, it gives rise to a spectacle of light that lends a magical blue tone to the sea. A “zen” experience that you will take away with you as a lifelong memory.     If you aren’t up for the boat trip but still want to find out more about Cabrera and the seabed around it, one great alternative is to visit the Cabrera Interpretation Centre-Aquarium in Sa Colònia de Sant Jordi, which is just 40 minutes away from your Inturotel hotel in Cala d’Or.   When you reach your Inturotel hotel on Mallorca, the reception staff will be delighted to supply you with all the information you need to enjoy your unforgettable trip to Cabrera to the full. Happy adventuring!   Some sites of interest: www.balearsnatura.com caib espais protegits www.mma.es/parques        
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