It’s a pleasure to introduce you to our first travel report – Yay! In this first blog entry we would like to recount about our hiking trip to Mallorca last September. For us, it was the first real hiking trip apart from some day hikes in New Zealand, so it was new & adventurous! To be precise, we hiked a part of the Majorcan mountain range called the Serra de Tramuntana which is located in the West of the island. As we were (& still are) newbies in hiking, we decided for a four-day trip from Valdemossa to Pollença. This route only covers a small part of the whole Serra de Tramuntana since you can as well hike the whole mountain range, from Port d’Andratx/Sant Elm to Pollença. You can see the entire route in the picture of the map:
After we landed at the airport of Palma de Mallorca we spent the rest of the first day in Palma city where we as well booked a hostel for that night. Concerning the transfer from the airport to the city centre, which is about 10 kilometres further West, we recommend you to take a public bus instead of booking an airport shuttle since it is much cheaper (3€ instead of 8€).
Before we tell you more about the beautiful city of Palma which we fell in love with immediately, we would like to describe the hostel we stayed in. It is called Hostel Pura Vida & is located in the city centre, close to the Catedral de Santa María – so close that you have a wonderful view of the cathedral & the ocean from the little roof terrace of the hostel. This view over the rooftops of Palma is definitely a highlight! For one night in a dorm with six beds (including breakfast & wifi) we paid 35€ per person (booked via booking.com).
Unfortunately, we had to leave the hostel early the next morning so that we could not have breakfast in the hostel. As that day was our first hiking day we wanted to start as early as possible to make sure that we will definitely arrive at our first destination, Port de Sóller, before the sun goes down. We liked the hostel because it was very cozy: the Mediterranean charm invited us to relax & feel comfortable. Our dorm room contained three wooden bunk beds & everything (including the wash rooms) was well maintained & clean. For our next trip to Palma we would definitely choose this hostel again!
Palma de Mallorca is the awesome capital of the Spanish Mediterranean island Mallorca which combines many different things without being too urban or anonymous. We enjoyed the familiar atmosphere while hanging out in tapas bars (we can recommend 13%, delicious tapas there! (13 Prozent), strolling through the friendly city centre which offers shopping opportunities for every budget & having a refreshing sangria at one of the lively squares where you can observe the hustle & bustle of the tourists, as well as of the Majorcans. For us, this is the best way to get to know the Spanish way of living – take your time!
Of course you can also quench your thirst for knowledge about the historical & cultural aspects of Palma, for example in one of the numerous museums. A good spot to chill (without being obliged to spend money for a drink or tapas) is the square behind the cathedral where you can sit on the steps leading down to a small water basin & enjoy the sun :).
So now, let’s start hiking! As already mentioned, our first hiking day started very early, because we planned to hike two shorter tracks: 8,5 kilometres from Valdemossa to Deià & 9,3 kilometres from Deià to Port de Sóller where we wanted to stay in the Refugi Muleta. Refugis are simple accommodations especially set up for hikers. It’s recommended to book it in advance which you can do online. As you will be sleeping in dorms containing ten to sometimes 36 beds, you shouldn’t forget to take your ear plugs with you ;). But don’t worry: if you forget them or they won’t stay in your ears (my ears don’t seem to be suitable for ear plugs :D) you will nevertheless fall asleep immediately because you will be really exhausted from the hiking day…
Powered from a quick coffee & a delicious croissant – not actually a good & nutritious breakfast for hikers – we made our way to the main bus station (Estació Intermodal) of Palma where we took the bus to Valdemossa around 7:30 a.m. The drive to the historic old town of Valdemossa takes about half an hour.
Before we went to look for the start of the hiking track we strolled along the (still) silent streets of the picturesque village which was still sleeping – would have been interesting to see the small town & its locals waking up!
After having provided ourselves with some baguette & Spanish salami for the day we tried to find the starting point of the trail which was not as easy as expected. It was hard to see where exactly the entrance to the track was supposed to be because it wasn’t marked very clearly & our guide map wasn’t precise enough. Once we found the start of the track it didn’t really get easier: this part of the route from Valdemossa to Deià is not yet officially marked so that you really have to follow the instructions in the guide map, as well as always keep your eyes open for the so-called cairns. These little figures made out of several stones piled one on another at the left or right side of the trail indicate that you are on the right way.
During the first part of the serpentine trail we went uphill until we reached the first lookout, called Pla des Pouet. From here you can see the church of Valdemossa beneath you – such an amazing view!
Leaving the lookout behind us we followed the cairns through a forest area (where we had some problems to stay on the right track) & finally came to the mountain path Camí de S’Arxiduc where we took a lunch break.
We sat on rocks directly at the steep face, enjoying a breathtaking view of the ocean & the rocky coastline.
Right in front of us a mountain goat was balancing on the branches of a tree & was scared to jump off again which was really entertaining to observe… Marius thought of rescuing the helpless goat which was bleating so loudly but it finally overcame its fear & jumped on the ground.
This situation wasn’t supposed to be the last one where Marius wanted to get in touch with “wild” animals… 😀 So if you want to know how Marius found a new donkey-friend, read our following blog entry about the next episode of our hiking trip on Mallorca!