Blog

Island people

Book now
See all news

Blog

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!

Blog

Spring in Midwinter
21/01/2022
Spring in Midwinter
During the month of January in Mallorca a small meteorological miracle takes place known as the January calm, or “las calmas de enero” in Spanish, a brief, euphoric spring in the heart of winter. At this time of the year the sea level is lower and the calm days are a result of high atmospheric pressure. The daytime temperatures increase and the sea level drops between 20 and 40cm. We are blessed with sunny, still days accompanied by calm seas that are like a millpond. This coincides with a spectacle that links natural beauty and human intervention as the first fruit tree of the year comes into flower. As the first cereal shoots start to emerge, the almond trees begin to blossom and are covered in elaborate rich brocades, with delicate, vaporous flowers that will become sweet fruit in summer.    Mallorca is covered in a blanket of pink and white tones during this period that offers us a glimpse of spring. As in Japan or the Jerte Valley with the flowering of the cherry blossom, seeing the almond blossom in bloom is a magnificent sight that instils in us a sense of new beginnings. Discover more about our island by staying at Inturotel where you’ll be able to witness small miracles of nature just like this.     Vincent Van Gogh, one of the world’s great artistic geniuses, had a special relationship with trees in blossom and for him they represented an awakening, new life and hope. He demonstrated his fascination for them in his work Amandelbloesem (Almond Blossom), painted in honour of the birth of his nephew.   Like Vincent (who suffered from a bipolar disorder all his life, experiencing periods of severe depression that forced him into isolation), on a global level we are all going through a difficult period, of social isolation, introspection and in some cases unwanted solitude. More than ever, we need to have hope and faith that the situation will soon improve and that once again we will be able to enjoy our social events and trips to the sun and sea of Cala d’Or in Mallorca.   Seeing the almond blossom fills us with optimism and a desire to make plans for the warmer weather, such as enjoying the countryside, the mountains and the beach in a celebration of the senses that represents leaving this long winter behind us and holding out hope for a better future.     The almond tree, the tree of lovers The almond tree is the tree of lovers and its blossom symbolises love, death and resurrection. There is a Mallorcan saying that goes: “Flor d’ametller, amor vertader” (almond flower, true love). Below we explain the reason behind this saying. Almond trees typically grow in warm climates and studies show that they possibly originated in Central Asia and North Africa from where they were introduced to Greece and Rome. Mythology explains their origin through the beautiful yet sad tale of Phyllis and Acamas. Phyllis, a princess of Thrace, was in love with Acamas, a handsome young soldier who was sent to fight in the Trojan War. At the end of the war the soldiers returned home. Every day Phyllis went to the port to await her beloved’s ship, but the days passed and he did not return. On the ninth day, convinced he would never return, the princess died of sorrow. The goddess Athena, grieved by what had taken place, turned Phyllis into an almond tree. The next day Acamas returned, having been delayed because of damage to the ship in which he was travelling.   On discovering what had happened, the heartbroken Acamas embraced the tree and Phyllis responded to his embrace and his pain by adorning her branches with beautiful white flowers. Since then, the almond blossom has symbolised how love overcomes all, even death, or that the flowers are a comfort for those we love. Almond blossom means eternal life.       A typical Mallorcan landscape Come and wander along the rural tracks near our hotels on foot or by bike, without rushing and taking everything in. You’ll discover that almond trees are not usually grown on their own, but rather in Mallorca they are planted with carob trees and to a lesser extent fig trees, with them alternating along the symmetrical rows of the fields.   Looking up you’ll be enchanted by the pink and white blossom of the almond trees and looking down the earth is like a green carpet flecked with the cheery yellow stains of the Bermuda buttercup (Oxalis pes-caprae). If you’re really quiet and go for a walk very early or late on in the day you might spot a hare, partridge or rabbit scampering by.   The branches of the almond tree provide home for birds such as the black redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros), the Sardinian warbler (Sylvia melanocephala) and flocks of goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis) that eat the small insects and parasites that invade the trees. Running and hopping over the fields of green carpet you’ll see quick and nimble white wagtails (Motacilla alba). You might get to hear the fleeting flight (like the buzzing of an insect) of the song thrush (Turdus philomelos). And high up in the intense blue sky you might spot the majestic flight of a red kite (Milvus milvus), a sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) and flocks of crows.     A pleasant activity that many locals participate in is making bouquets from some of the most beautiful branches to bring the promise of spring into the house. You can create a small “ikebana” (living flower), the Japanese art of flower arranging. To do so you need to select a single branch or various branches of a species that is in season, in this case the almond tree. When choosing your branch or branches, it is important to consider the vase or container that you are going to use, as the shape and distribution of the flowers and buds must be in harmony with the container and the space in which it is positioned (preferably in the entrance hall to greet visitors with this natural world in miniature). Provided you only take a small branch you won’t harm the tree or the farmer. Every flower that is picked represents one less fruit in the summer.      Did you know that the almond flower is edible? It has a bittersweet taste that means the flower is highly prized in oriental cuisine as it can be used for both sweet and savoury dishes. It is used in soups, infusions (very good for the digestion) and desserts. In Mallorca, however, it is the fruit, the almond, that is the star and an essential ingredient in delicious sweet and savoury recipes.   Recommended routes for contemplating this paradise. The municipal district of Felanitx, just a few metres from the Inturotel hotels, has one of the best-preserved rural landscapes on the island. You will find beautiful walks through areas of special natural interest right on the doorstep of your room.     The walk to Cala Mitjana and Cala Sanau is dotted with farmland where almond and carob trees grow and native breeds of sheep graze. If you continue walking you can follow the coast to Cala Estreta and you’ll go past the old ‘marés’ sandstone quarries along the cliffs. If you’re travelling by bike, we recommend going from Cala Sanau along the Cala Ferrera road towards S’Horta. Before you reach the village take a little track that leads to Portocolom via Cala Brafi. It is a wonderful route. And for the most daring we recommend an energising dip in the calm transparent waters of any of these coves. Even though the water is still cold, taking a swim at this time of year has been shown to have many health benefits.   The Can Marines path takes you to the little village of S’Horta passing by fields of almond and carob trees, flocks of sheep with the sound of the birds in the air. From there you can continue to the “Els Horts” area and walk through orchards with the Santueri Castle watching over you in the distance.   Another lovely walk starts in Es Carritxó and takes us via Binifarda to the Santueri Castle with spectacular views over Mallorca’s southeast coast. You can see Portocolom, Portopetro, Cala d’Or and with the help of binoculars even your hotel. You can also enjoy beautiful views of the Sant Salvador monastery.     We highly recommend visiting our district during the flowering of the almond blossom so that you can experience it in person. Our Inturotel Esmeralda Villas Freestyle are the perfect option for enjoying it all at your own pace even before our hotels open their doors for the season.     All of us at the Inturotel team look forward to your visit and hope you have a wonderful holiday.    
Exclusive advantages
TOP