My name is Christopher and my partner's called Anne. We live in Stockport (near Manchester), England. We enjoy walking and decided that the resort of Port Pollensa, (Majorca north coast) was likely to offer a good base for a walking holiday. We booked for two weeks, an early Easter holiday for 2002 - the last week of March and the first week of April. The information provided below is to the best of my knowledge accurate, however changes are inevitable so please use this page for guidance only.
Although this page is built around the Port Pollensa area, I am certain that you will find some of the information useful elsewhere (ideas for low cost day trips) and remember that there is a good bus service so you can visit other resorts quite easily. I will try to include a little information about other resorts and you will find these listed at the bottom of the page. I don't have any personal experience of these resorts - additional information has been gathered from Majorcan holiday guides and relates more to the resort, eating out and evening entertainment than walking.
I have included a list of ideas for things to do in the resort and if you are not interested in buying guidebooks I have included a few simple walks that you might wish to try. If you don't usually walk do take a look through, as there are easily accessible routes included to guide you to some of the best viewpoints in the area! Please see the section about guided walking also.
Unfortunately Majorca has gained somewhat of a reputation over the years due to the vast number of clubs, bars and associated activities. We feel that Port Pollensa was the best choice of resort if you seek a quiet holiday with the option of good local walking, especially if you don't intend to hire a car. If you are looking for nightlife also, then you will not find much choice here. Palma, Majorca's capital, claims to offer the best nightlife (see below) although there are plenty of other smaller resorts that offer plenty of choice.
Soller is also a good base for plenty of local walking although we found it to be quite small and rather busy. The beach is man-made and as it is the only beach along the coast it can become very busy in the summer months (see Soller below).
Climate / Temperature
Take a look at weather the statistics at www.puertopollensa.com/Climate.html I can't give you much advice regarding the weather other than pass on our own experiences for the time of our visit. This web site is also quite useful for monitoring the weather and you can follow a link to a ten-day forecast, which seemed to be more reliable than our UK forecasts! For a quick look at what's happening on the island visit the Palma web-cam www.a-palma.es/eng/eng_cone_webcam.htm.
If you decide to visit in the winter months take some warm clothing and full waterproofs if you are planning to do some walking. If you don't intend walking I advise a good umbrella and at least a lightweight raincoat. You will find raincoats for sale in most of the local shops.
Our experiences at Easter 2002...
I do not intend to put you off winter visits to Majorca - this is an honest report of our experience and I include it only so that you can prepare for all eventualities...
This year (2002) Easter was quite early and so we expected the possibility of a little unsettled weather. Unfortunately we were not at all prepared for the bad weather we encountered. I can only advise you to leave your holiday a little later if you wish to secure better weather, although later on temperatures increase, the sea breeze tends to make the mountain walks quite tolerable.
This Easter was rather cold - plus wind chill, caused by the sea breeze (common on an island) that turned into a storm after three unsettled days. We had torrential rain and storms for two and a half days, half a day of sunshine, followed by three days of torrential rain again. We had only two full sunny days and the remainder cold with occasional and brief sun burst. We met people who were taking extended holidays (and had been doing so for many years) and they said that the weather had previously been quite fine. They explained that these were unusual conditions for this time of year. We also heard reports of very bad weather in Southern Spain and in Tenerife freak floods had caused some loss of lives.
Perhaps the world's climate is changing as a result of pollution damage. I don't think that we can rely on the previously stable weather conditions abroad, so be prepared.
Whatever you decide to do on holiday I expect you will be looking forward to plenty of good sunshine. Be careful to avoid dehydration (a potentially fatal condition that is often overlooked) by simply drinking plenty of water. If you are walking you should take one and a half to two litres of water with you for a day's hiking.
Remember also that alcohol seriously dehydrates the body and if you are to enjoy your holiday nights and days on the beach, drink plenty of water before you go to bed and then throughout the following day. This will allow your body to cope with the heat and effects of any alcohol on a daily basis. Milk or fruit juice is fine if you tire of drinking water.
Always carry and use a high protection factor sun cream...
You should use at least a 25 UVA at first and you are taking a serious risk if you drop below 15. Carry a hat or clothing to cover up and avoid becoming red.
In the UK we are not accustomed to sunshine and as a result we tend to have the "grab it while you can" approach. Not a good idea, we should all be aware of the real dangers associated with burning or "redness". Remember also that the sun's rays are much stronger abroad and can burn you even on a cloudy day. Red skin quickly peels or blisters, destroying your chance of "that perfect lasting tan". If you start burning later in the evening, take frequent cold showers to reduce the pain, then keep applying after-sun, which also has a cooling effect.
Mosquito's can be a nuisance here, so take some insect repellent with you. We found an excellent value Boots product, available in both spray and roll on. Take extra care in the evenings or when passing thorough shaded areas or woodland and especially near water. Don't leave your windows open in the evening and make use of nets if provided. Insects can carry a number of infections and the bites can be painful and unsightly so be prepared.
If you see a red flag flying on the beach it means there are dangerous currents so keep out of the sea.
If you need a doctor ask hotel reception or your holiday rep. In an emergency you can call an ambulance on 061.
All pharmacies display a green cross and outside normal hours you should find a notice on the door, giving the address of the nearest duty chemist. "Farmacia" is Spanish for chemist.
Majorca doesn't have a high crime rate but you should still take sensible precautions. Don't leave valuables on the beach or displayed in your car. Take care in crowded places such as markets - some "dubious characters" might try to distract you by offering a flower or sprig of herbs. If you do have something stolen be sure to notify the police (telephone 091) within 24 hours or else you won't be able to claim on your holiday insurance.
Pollensa Park Hotel
We were so impressed with our choice of hotel that it truly deserves a mention. Choosing a good hotel is not always a certainty so it helps if somebody recommends one. We always ask to read the guests feedback information when booking hotels and this received a good review.
Although this is the largest hotel in the resort (built mid 60's), the friendly atmosphere surprised us. The rooms are being modernised from the top down (eight floors). We were fortunate to have a new room - the décor and furnishings were excellent, typical Spanish furniture offering ample storage space, lemon coloured walls decorated with several attractive watercolour prints, depicting local scenery. There were plenty of lights plus some modern spot lighting - not the usual gloomy darkness due to the single 40-watt bulb!
The buffet style breakfast offered a full English breakfast, sausage, bacon, eggs, beans and tomatoes. Toast, cereals, fruit, yoghurt, bread rolls, croissants and sweet biscuits. Cooked meats and cheese selection. Tea, Coffee, milk and fruit juice selection.
Evening meal offered a good choice and something for everybody. Three kinds of meat plus two fish dishes. You will find a good choice of salad and vegetables, also cold meats and cheese. They also have a selection of rice and pasta dishes, which would suit vegetarians. You will find plenty of fresh fruit, a different sweet cake each day and the best ice cream you could ever ask for!
There seems to be plenty of entertainment provided throughout the day and evening. Probably suit the older guest more - dancing, easy listening music selection (various styles at different times so you can choose your favourite). Bingo, spacious bar, pool table, games-machines (in enclosed area), outdoor tennis courts, swimming pool, pool bar, children's pool and children's adventure play area.
Walking Guides and Maps
There are many guidebooks available and it would be unfair to claim that a particular guide is best. I purchased several and discovered that each offered something quite unique. Most assume that you will have your own transport and so consequently some of the destinations are quite widespread. Although you might think Majorca appears to be rather small, be aware that many of the twisting mountain roads vastly amplify distance and therefore travelling times. Here are a few of the guidebooks available:
"Landscapes of Mallorca", by Valerie Crespí-Green. Sunflower Books.
The latest is Edition 5 ISBN 1-85691-204-3.
This is particularly useful as the book includes a map for each route plus detailed instructions. There is also a good selection of car tours and picnic ideas making this book the essential guide for both walking and driving. You shouldn't need to purchase any other maps, as everything is included. There are plenty of walks in the Soller region plus a selection of some of the best walks to be found on the island. The book contains a lot of extremely useful information i.e. bus timetables, Palma street plan, hints and tips and plenty of good colour photographs throughout. Highly recommended.
Priced around £11.00 - if you purchase direct from Sunflower books ask for the latest update to be included. You can purchase additional updates, when available, for £1 each, until the next edition is released.
"Mallorca North" a warm island guide, by David and Ros Brawn. Discovery Walking guides.
Edition 2 with update Dec 2000 enclosed, ISBN 1-899554-42-4
This was my favourite because all the walks are based around Port Pollensa. The guide includes a detailed 25,000 scale Spanish military map covering all the walks at near "OS" quality. There are six walks that you can do from Port Pollensa, another six from Alcudia (frequent busses available, see below) and a five more by taxi from Alcudia to the Alcudia peninsula (up to four miles drive).
I found the instructions surprisingly accurate with just enough additional information to make the walking description a joy to read. Unfortunately, due to local changes, we discovered that a couple of routes had been closed. I still think this guide is excellent value at only £5.00.
If you purchase this guide (make sure you get the 2000-update slip) be aware of the following...
Walk 6 - Eye of the Needle, due to local government this route has been permanently closed. It is still under review and locals expect that it will open again, possibly later 2002 but ask at the tourist information office before you make any plans.
Walk 5a - By Siller to Cala Sant Vicenc, we could not find the path to the left after Coll de Siller. We tried the route in reverse from Cala Sant Vicenc and found that the owners had fenced off the path by the large house and it is NOT worth trying to walk this way.
On your outgoing route after climbing to the Coll, I would advise you to follow the main track ahead (ignore a good road off to the left) to the unusually isolated roundabout. Here you can walk steeply uphill (another track on the left is a dead end) a very short distance to a worthy viewpoint. Return to the roundabout and follow the road left downhill (ignoring a road on the right about five minutes later). The road winds down to Cala Sant Vicenc. Return the same way.
(Ed. Note: This guide is out of print, and is replaced by a new one. For details see http://www.islandwalking.com/literature.html#discovery)
"Mallorca Mountains" a warm island guide, by David and Ros Brawn. Discovery Walking guides.
1998 ISBN 1-899554-40-8
This would be most suitable for a holiday based in Soller or the port. Contains nineteen walks in the area. I didn't use this guide but I expect it will be as useful as the "North" guide and ideal for this destination.
Please note that although the Discovery guides I purchased used 25,000 - scale mapping, I believe that it is their intention to change to the smaller scale 40,000 topographical maps. I personally find the higher scale far more useful. If you prefer this scale you might have to shop around for older copies.
(Ed. Note: This guide is out of print, and is replaced by a new one. For details see http://www.islandwalking.com/literature.html#discovery)
"Walking in Mallorca", by June Parker. Cicerone Press.
Third edition reprint 1999. (I was informed that sadly June is no longer with us so this is the last).
This is a delightful pocket sized book and deserves a place on any serious mountain walker's bookshelf. There is plenty of additional information provided... geology, scenery, climate, natural history, summit's over 1000m and general walking hints and tips. All hand illustrated maps throughout.
The book is divided into four areas...
- Pollensa and the north, walks 1 to 25
- The central Mountains, walks 26 to 58
- Andratx and the south, walks 59 to 72
- Outlying area, walks 73 to 77
This guide would suit the more serious mountain walker and you would require a car to get about.
Price around £15.00 - check availability, also www.cicerone.co.uk reduced price (£4.00) offers!
Spanish military maps are available in both 50,000 and 22,000 scale fully covering Majorca. For GPS users you will find the UTM scale (Zone 31) provided, most useful for waypoint / route planning. Cost is about £5.00 per map. (See below - maps by mail for full listings).
I found a superb local map "Mallorca, Puerto de Pollensa, Ca'n Picafort, Alcudia" by Cofiba and priced 3.60 Euro's (under £3). This map provides town plans for three resorts, A-Z style street listings, hotels, petrol stations, bus stops and places of interest - 36 colour pictures. ISBN 84-7920-070-7
(We purchased ours from the Spar shop next to the Pollensa Park Hotel in Port Pollensa).
I think there is a map for Palma also.
Mallorca North & Mountains Tour & Trail Map - 40,000 - scale topographical map by Discovery Walking Guides ISBN 1-899554-88-2 price £5.00.
This is a superb double-sided map with coverage of the mountain regions Northwest of Inca between Valldemosa at the western extreme and up to Port Alcudia to the eastern extreme. It doesn't quite reach as far as Palma but if you intend to travel in this region it is probably the most detailed map you will find. The large-scale driving maps, which cover the entire island, are usually around 75 to 150,000 scales and are readily available in most shops in Majorca.
Offer pack available from Discovery guides price £16.99 - includes... above map plus three guide books, North, Mountains and West.
(Ed. Note: This map is out of print, and is replaced by a new one. For details see http://www.islandwalking.com/literature.html#discovery)
If you are interested in any of the east-coast resorts or an excellent overview map of the island then you might find this site interesting and you can download various scale maps of some of the east coast resorts / regions from them also...
www.solmagazine.com/mallorca/MAPAS.htm or for the front page www.solmagazine.com/indexnou.html
General contact information - www.mallorcaonline.com/info/transpou.htm
Car Hire - We did not hire a car on the island so I can't offer much practical advice. Our tour operator recommended a company called Avis, which I can only assume to have proven reputable as they have an arrangement with them.
Some smaller local companies could be cheaper so do shop around for the deal that suits you.
You will need to show your driving licence, remember to keep it with you if your out in the car, along with the hire documents and your passport.
Check the vehicle carefully for damage before you accept it.
You will be expected to pay a deposit against insurance and a full tank of petrol when you sign the agreement - be sure to get a refund for any petrol remaining when you return the car.
For hire car collection and directions from Palma airport to Port Pollensa follow link...
Notes on driving in Majorca...
Take extra care when driving on winding mountain roads as they don't all have crash barriers and it is easy to be distracted by the view! You must wear seat-belts at all times and be aware that the local police strictly enforce the law - check the speed limit and don't drink alcohol and drive, it's illegal in Spain also. The police can impose on the spot fines.
If you have an accident make sure you take all the relevant details i.e. registration number / numbers, address and Insurance details and advise your hire company as quickly as possible. If anyone is injured or you require assistance then call the police on 091.
Mopeds / Motorcycles
Not recommended, even experienced cyclists are exposed to greater risks when abroad. Remember that however good a driver you might be, you can't be certain about other road users. Without the protection of car bodywork, you are already at a disadvantage.
Bus Service - Important Information for excellent value day trips
We found our holiday rep, locals and even the tourist information office to be poorly informed regarding the busses available in this resort. (Holiday reps prefer you to pay for their trips and so obviously they are unlikely to offer information that would allow you to make the same trip by yourself at a fraction of the cost!)
To be fair on the tourist office, as many visitors choose to stay by the pool or take the odd day trip via their tour operator, then perhaps understandably, nobody seems to know very much about travelling anyway. This is unfortunate, as there are many interesting places you can visit and the busses are very cheap...
There are three bus companies operating in the area...
Autocares Public Bus (Timetable / Service "Linea 2").
This service runs between Can Picafort - Alcudia - Port Pollensa and return. Ask your hotel reception (or tourist office) for a timetable. The bus stops are numbered and the bus can stop at up to 36 listed stops. These buses are quite frequent, usually at least one an hour with some extras in the afternoons, slightly less at weekends. Remember to look for the clearly marked bus stops along the main sea front road. The turnaround point and bus stop is at the central roundabout (used for all busses) in Port Pollensa - you wait on the seaward side of the road. Most buses have the destination marked on the front but always ask the driver to check!
You can download a current timetable from www.autocaresmallorca.com also note that this company operates a "Linea 1" service which runs between Alcudia and Palma (an optional way to reach Palma but see below also).
Autocares Villalonga Bus
Runs a regular service between Pollensa and Port Pollensa.
Also available is a bus Port Pollensa - Pollensa - Palma.
Also available is a bus Pollensa - Cala San Vicente and return (you must get to Pollensa first).
Most reliable bus stop is the central roundabout but it also stops by the side of the Pollensa Park Hotel - be sure to wave it down as they might drive past. Always ask the driver to confirm the destination and ask for the stop if you're not sure.
Aumasa Bus - (East Coast) Manacor / Porto Cristo and Caves of Drach / S'Illot and Sa Coma
This is a less frequent service but offers the opportunity to visit some of Majorca's most interesting resorts and landmarks. They are very cheap and you shouldn't miss the chance to visit the resorts on the East Coast. Look for the Aumasa bus stop timetable information alongside some of the other bus stops. (You will find them along the main sea front road...near the main roundabout (seaward side of road), near Pollensa Park Hotel and also opposite the Llenaire Restaurant, both stops inland side of the road, bus heads off towards Alcudia).
Check the current timetables but there is only one bus each way in winter. It leaves the port at 0915. This also stops at Alcudia and Can Picafort and could serve as an earlier bus to these resorts if you prefer.
(Aumasa contact information Telephone (local) 971-55-07-30 or fax 971-55-21-81).
The local taxi rank can be found near to the main roundabout in the centre of the resort, on the sea front road very close to the bus stops.
We found the taxi's to be fairly expensive compared to some countries we have visited. They are still cheaper than home and therefore useful for the more local destinations. They seem to have a fixed tariff and you can ask any driver to show you a comprehensive price list, which includes many popular destinations. A trip to Palma for example, would cost you 53 Euro's - about £35 each way. As a rough guide I would say that you would pay around 23 Euro's (£14) for journeys around eight / ten miles one way.
Tourist Information Office
Walk away from the main roundabout in Port Pollensa along the main seafront roadside towards Alcudia. You will soon see the large tourist information sign on your right (third road on your right after the roundabout) Turn right here, walking away from the sea and the office is soon reached on your left.
Be sure to collect a free local town street plan. You will find a selection of leaflets and booklets about the resort and the many things on offer - ask for the English versions. You will also find current bus and ferry timetables. (See transport section above for specific requirements).
Ask about boat trips to the Cap Formentor from the port (these were not running in winter).
If you are planning any walks near potentially restricted areas (most guidebooks will advise you of problem areas) remember to check accessibility whilst you are in the tourist office!
Here are the local email contacts should you require any information in advance to plan your holiday...
Port Pollensa email@example.com
Cala Sant Vicenc firstname.lastname@example.org
Palma email@example.com (They were extremely helpful).
Weekly Market Days
Monday - Monacor (Aumasa bus service available - check current times)
Tuesday - Alcudia, Arta, Can Picafort (PM)
Wednesday - Port Pollensa
Thursday - Inca
Friday - Alaro
Saturday - Palma, Soller, Cala Rajada
Sunday - Alcudia, Pollensa, Porto Cristo, Valldemossa, Santa Maria
Take a good look around at all the shops. You can find everything you need to make up a picnic lunch. If you are self-catering then you won't have any problem shopping for your holiday.
Your tour operator will almost certainly offer a choice of trips but remember that you can do most of these trips yourself, for a fraction of the cost. Typical destinations would include...
The East Coast tour and the Caves of Drach.
Some tour operator's visit the town, Manacor, then take you on to the Caves of Drach (near Port Cristo). The dragon caves have one of the largest underground lakes in the world. Being the most spectacular, they can also be very crowded. The aquarium with local species, is a popular family attraction. You can catch an Aumasa bus from Port Pollensa, which stops right outside the caves - costs about £8 return on the bus. Caves usually open 0900 - 1700 but do check the current times!
Port Soller from Palma by scenic railway and the Orange Express Tram
This includes a spectacular train journey from Palma to Soller. From Soller you take Majorca's only tram, aptly called "the orange express". The tram passes through orange and lemon groves as you travel towards the port. You might notice a French influence in the area, before the railway was built it was easier to export the local citrus fruits to the south of France than to Palma!
This is perhaps the most useful of day trips to book through your tour operator, as all the connections will be pre-booked, guaranteeing your place on a very popular route.
Other ideas, making your own way...
Boat trip to Formentor from Port Pollensa harbour (see above, things to do in Port Pollensa).
Pollensa By bus from Port Pollensa.
Cala Sant Vicenc By bus from Pollensa.
Ca'n Picafort By bus from Port Pollensa.
Palma Take a bus to Palma from Port Pollensa.
Alcudia by bus from Port Pollensa (see above, Port Pollensa and also Alcudia).
Port Cristo and Caves of Drach By Aumasa bus from Port Pollensa (see tour info above).
Sa Coma and S'Illot By Aumasa bus from Port Pollensa (see Sa Coma below).
Tour Operators Welcome Meeting
If you are invited to a welcome meeting do take advantage of this, you pay for this service so make good use of it by asking questions. We found little information about walking and local transport but obviously most tour operators would prefer you to book with them for day trips. You can do most things very easily on your own with the flexibility to choose the best day. I hope this report gives you plenty of ideas. Your holiday representative can give you the most up to date information but don't forget that your hotel reception will usually provide you with information and advice.
Guided Walking in Majorca
We were fortunate to meet Richard Strutt, a very experienced guide with considerable previous experience working for a large tour operator. Richard provides superb guided walking with a unique personal touch. He has a wonderful sense of humour and everybody seems to be at ease with his style and relaxed pace. I have heard excellent reports from guests regarding Rick's guided walks, people who return each year and rely on him for the opportunity to travel to and discover areas that would otherwise be unreachable. Rick has become so popular with regular visitors that he is taking some bookings twelve-months in advance for the more remote destinations! Walks are graded and you can gain sensible advice about ability if you ask.
The best way to discover what's on offer would be to visit Rick's web site, which is currently under construction (should be available from mid 2002). You will soon be able to pre-book walks via the net. I have included below some examples and lists from Rick's 2002 programme.
Visit Mallorcan Walking Tours at www.mallorcanwalkingtours.puertopollensa.com
Or you can always contact Rick via email at firstname.lastname@example.org should you require any further information.
In the Port Pollensa resort, Rick visits the Pollensa Park Hotel every Tuesday evening at 9 p.m. where you can enjoy a slide show presentation and chat. Bookings can also be made at the Bon Dia Café (opposite Pollensa Park Hotel Tuesday's 09.30 - 10.00) or the Bar Casinet (next to Daina Hotel, Sunday's 10.00 - 10.30, except the seventeenth as he's on a walk) His booking agent is "Viajes Siller" located near the main central roundabout.
NOTE - No guided walking available in July / August due to high temperatures.
4 Examples from Rick's walk descriptions followed by an example of a typical programme...
"Ses Barques - Tuent".
7.5 Miles / C+
I've always said that if you were going to televise a route to impress upon people, the qualities that Mallorcan walking has, I'd use this one - pure colour.
Our transport takes us to the Mirador ses Barques(viewpoint /over on the west coast) to commence one of the best linear walks there is !
From here we travel through centuries old olive terracing to reach our picnic spot, the 16th century farmhouse at the bottom of the Balitx valley. After lunch we climb out of the valley, to meet the welcoming breeze for the coastal section of the day. We break half way along this bay at a place we know as "Pudding Rock" for our afternoon stop - then its off to Tuent Bay for a beer a swim or both (drinks not inc.)
Then when you're sitting comfortably your driver will take you back to resort via the impressive Sa Calobra road.
If you walk anyway you should find this walk right up your street!
Total climb approx. 330 Metres.
8.5 Miles / B
High in the central area of the Tramuntana, in the vicinity of the islands two reservoirs we find the Tossals group of peaks. Birds of prey command the sky, and the scenery is magnificent.
Our transport takes up to the Cuber reservoir, by the side of the islands biggest mountain "Puig Mayor".
We start out toward the main dam point, then the next bit's interesting - we follow the water pipe through a series of short tunnels (which a two-metre guy can stand up in by the way). If you've always wondered why did I pack that small torch in my case - here's a reason. (Although we do have so many lights to hand out).
The canyon scenery is dramatic, and our morning break spot, one of the best. We arrive after the tunnels, in a densely green valley that leads up to the mountain shelter "Tossals Verds". Here we picnic, before pushing on towards the beacon that the distant Massanella Mountain seems to be. We take our afternoon break, by the side of the canaleta de Massanella (an old water channelling system built into the mountainside.
We then pass through some woodland before emerging in front of "Puig Mayor" once more. We follow a modern equivalent to the old channelling as far as our transport from this point.
Great mountain walking, pretty stony under foot (Need to be slightly adventurous for the tunnels)
Total climb approx. 470 Metres.
10 Miles B+
I've been walking the hills of the Tramuntana for more than a decade and this walk is still one of the best adverts Mallorca has for visiting walkers!
We travel down the island to the very attractive village of Valldemossa, which is probably best known for being the place where Chopin and his interesting partner, the French authoress George Sand spent a winter some 160 plus years ago.
Until recently not as much is said about The Archduke Ludwig Salvator from Austria, but he left the greatest mark on the area!
He arrived on his parent's ship and fell madly in love with the island. Over the many years he spent on the island he learnt the local language fluently and created work for the people of that part of the Tramuntana. His greatest legacy that we can fully appreciate today, was a pathway constructed so that he could ride a mule and gaze down from a great height, above the scenery he loved and the properties he owned.
Our route starts with a climb of some 800 mtrs. Along the Cairats Valley, up a Jeep track through a Holm Oak woodland (This is a blessing if its hot). We arrive at a snow workers refuge and its deep pit for the snow close by. This is where the Archdukes path really starts and the view back down the valley is breathtaking to say the least. Not very long from now we come to an open plateau area with a turn off towards the summit of "Teix" with the ascent being optional and its here where we have picnic part one. Afterwards back on the pathway with its many ups and downs, the coastal scenery offers incredible vistas, as seen by the Archduke all those years ago. We have a loo stop somewhere along the top and then a bit further on, on a lofty perch, part two of picnic. The terrain under foot throughout is stony and boots are a necessity, as is taking sufficient water for the route. After marvelling at the views we descend on a gradual rocky path to the village once more- and time allowing, refreshment in the pub! Cracking day!
All walkers should have stamina and experience of mountain walking. Climb Total 830 Metres.
"Can Massia Route".
6 Miles / C+
inc. Tapas - Wine / Farm Tour.
The dominant hill backdrop to Alcudia - Hidden shrines, and the chance to visit one of those houses you'd always wanted too?
Our hired transport will pick you up from your respective accom. The bus journey will take us to the nearby resort of Alcudia, to start the walk. We commence this excursion, travelling along a pretty horse track in the direction of the secluded Caves of Son San Marti, which house an ancient shrine. After this we begin to climb the hill that lies at the back of Alcudia, Easily identifiable by the antenna on top.
This is on a wide track through an impressive pinewood (We intend to picnic on top). After descending the hill we find ourselves once again on a horse trail, which takes us through to the Son Fe valley. At this point it is probably advisable to have taken some long pants, as the path becomes a little overgrown, in parts. The reward is well worth it though, as you approach the farmstead of Can Massia (The namesake of the walk). This forms an interesting stop on our route - giving you the chance to view an amazing a very within the grounds. We also provide refreshment, in the shape of Coca Dulces or equivalent, plus a drink. We continue by leaving the farm at the bottom of the garden. Then take a comfortable stroll down a lane to the walks finish, by the side of Mallorca's largest lake - The scene of an old quarry.
Most people would be able to manage this excursion
Total climb approx. 300 Metres.
The bay is a large crescent shape, which extends Southeast almost to Alcudia, which is about four miles away. The Pollensa Municipality (which includes the townships of both Port Pollensa and Cala Sant Vicenc) claims to be one of the most delightful in Majorca, with a combination of countryside, mountains and sea. Pollensa was one of the first tourist resorts on the island and soon became the preferred destination of painters and artists. The area is full of contrasts - steep Limestone Mountains with deep valleys falling into secret secluded bays. www.puertopollensa.com/index.html
Things to do...
You can enjoy a pleasant stroll along the pine lined, (pedestrian) seafront promenade, covering a considerable distance in either direction from the central roundabout.
If you're up early enough in the morning, why not take a stroll onto the promenade to see the spectacular sunrise.
There are many gift shops along the main promenade road and also the inland road, which runs parallel to it. There are many handicraft shops and you will find some superb leather goods - especially shoes for the ladies, all reasonably priced and of good quality.
You can hire cycles or "family bikes" which seat up to six. Majorca seems extremely popular with sports cyclists and I suspect that many visit the mountain roads for competition training.
The main beach is clean and large enough to avoid becoming too crowded. It's ideal for sailing, windsurfing and water-skiing - you can hire equipment or take lessons on the beach. There are several companies offering sports, boat hire, diving, horse riding etc. I have listed several links to some of the local sports sites at the bottom of this page.
Take a boat trip from the harbour or drive through the mountains to Cap De Formentor beach where the sand appears powdery white against a turquoise blue sea. The area is renowned as the home of the rich and famous - it is regularly visited by celebrities. (For boat trips - local tel. no. 971 86 4014).
I believe that it is sometimes possible to get a bus to the Cap De Formentor. Unfortunately there seem to be frequent changes and so it would be worth asking in the tourist office for up to date services.
Walks from Port Pollensa
Walk or Drive to a spectacular viewpoint... (Two and a half miles, allow 2.5 Hrs / each way, slightly less for downhill return.) This is not suitable for children due to some exposed sections and road walking.
It is possible to walk to a spectacular viewpoint below the tower at Talala D' Albercutx (381m). If you look towards the Formentor peninsula you can see the tower on a clear day. Unfortunately this involves walking along the Formentor road as it winds up to the Coll De La Creueta (225m). Here you will find a large car parking area and it is often quite busy as people stop for photographs.
Simply follow the promenade towards Formentor (sea on your right) as far as possible. When you reach the Military boundary you have to turn left. Continue to meet the Formentor road and turn right onto it and follow it past an initial left and then right turn before beginning a long gradual ascent along the roadside. Take extra care as there is no cycle track and you are quite exposed on some bends. We found the local drivers to be most considerate but do take care to walk where drivers can see you, especially on the hairpin bends!
When you reach the car park follow the path to your left, which runs out along the ridge - keep well away from the edge as the Spanish don't seem to worry much about safety barriers, although if you follow the steps you should be quite safe. If you wish to continue on to the tower, it will take another hour - plus add another three miles to your journey. The road opposite the car park leads up to the tower. You will be able to see the Playa Formentor and Hotel plus the small island called Illa de Formentor. The view back towards Port Pollensa and La Fortalesa (near the lighthouse) is interesting and worthwhile.
You can catch a bus to Alcudia (or walk, see below), see the Roman walls and wander around the old cobbled streets of this historic town. You will find plenty of shops, restaurants and bars (Find more information about Alcudia below).
Walk to Alcudia... (Four and a half miles each way (1 hour 30) with option to use bus for return)
A note on safety first - walk facing the oncoming traffic, take special care on bends. There is a wide cycle track, but beware of large groups of cyclists - those that are riding further back in a group can't always see you!
If you intend to use the bus for return, remember to check the current bus times! Simply follow the main seafront road out of Port Pollensa (sea on your left) and after about twenty-minutes you pass the Llenaire Restaurant on your right. Continue ahead on the wide roadside cycle track - you can't go wrong just follow the road. Just before you meet the first roundabout (4 miles or 1 hour 15) you will see a bus stop and telephone box on the left side of the road (this is where you need to catch the bus back) and you pass some car dealers. Walk on the pavement turning left at the roundabout. Continue ahead to the next roundabout where the old Roman walls suddenly come into view. Carefully cross the road here and enter the old town between the towers. You are free to discover Alcudia! Your choice for the return journey - remember to pick up some water before you leave Alcudia.
(If you followed the town walls round to the right instead of entering here, you would turn left again following the walls around the outside of the town and there is another bus stop here).
Walk to Pollensa (can include Orchid Hill)... (Five and a half miles each way, (two hours) option of bus / taxi for return if required, mostly via country lanes so not suitable for young children)
Start anywhere along the main sea-front road between the main roundabout and the Llenaire Restaurant. If you start walking from the roundabout with the sea on your left, it will take about twenty minutes to reach the restaurant but from Pollensa Park Hotel it is about ten minutes walk.
Turn right at Llenaire Restaurant and follow the long straight road soon leaving behind the apartments and tree lined pavements (you will see a road-sign for a micro-light airfield). The countryside begins to open out and you continue for about three-quarters of a mile, eventually crossing the river (Torrent De Sant Jordi) just before the road takes a sharp right turn. You will notice a high wire mesh fence here (and new road -side crash barriers), which you follow right with the road.
Continue ahead, following the same road for about half a mile (ten minutes) until you reach crossroads. Take extra care not to walk on past this - look for the sign for "Cami De Ca'n Totxe" and "El Crever", left at the crossroads. (There are usually a couple of large green "wheel-able" refuge bins parked at the junction). After a relatively short distance the road swings sharp left. Almost immediately after it straightens out take the first right (there is a low stone wall on your right initially). This pleasant narrow lane winds several gentle bends before reaching the comparatively busy PM 220-2 road where you turn right. (Remember this point if you intend to return). Continue (carefully) ahead soon passing bend and a white "1 kilometre" marker (under a quarter of a mile). Look on your right for the entrance to "Area Recreative Puig De Santuari".
(Here you have an option to climb to the beautiful summit of Santuari (Orchid Hill). If you wish to do so simply turn into the entrance and follow the well sign-posted path now on your right (just before the entrance to dog kennels) passing the picnic area. This is an easy ascent of only 141m and you will be surprised at how quickly you reach the summit. The views are excellent and the flat top offers plenty of choice to sit for a picnic lunch. See also Walk to Puig De Santuari (Orchid Hill) under Pollensa, below).
Continue ahead (passing the entrance to the recreation / picnic area) staying with the main road until eventually you meet a junction (garden refuse area on right) where you cross the busy PM 220 and pass between concrete blocks (road now closed to traffic). Continue ahead crossing another road into the street "Av. Argentina" and walk ahead towards the "Placa Munnares" (Small Square).
You are in Pollensa now and have a choice of two routes leading to the main - street and church. It is very easy to find your way in Pollensa - the town plans imply a large area, in reality the streets are very close together...
You can turn left into street "Cristina" and cross "Janquer" into "Reina M" where you will find the taxi's (across and ahead the bus station). Then turn right onto the main central street "Crta Alcudia" (green cross symbol of Chemist) and walk up to the church and "Placa Major" (main square and market). Pass to the left of the Church and walk along-side it until you reach the 365 steps ascending to the "El Calvario" - the famous 13th Century hermitage and church. Or...
You can pass "Cristina" and turn left at the small square, walk ahead and cross into "Pius XI" and turn right into the main central street "Crta Alcudia".
You can return the same way or take a bus or taxi back to Port Pollensa.
Walk to Boquer Valley... (Two and a half hours, three and three quarter miles) Very easy walking with magnificent views throughout. Recommended for birdwatchers. Take your camera!
From the main central roundabout (sea front road) follow the promenade (sea on your right) until you reach the Restaurant / Bar "Los Pescadores" where you turn left onto "Av. Bocchoris". Cross the road and walk along the pathway between the trees ahead, which leads to Boquer Farm. Leaving the pedestrian walkway behind cross ahead and follow a wide stony track (sign-posted Boquer) which zigzags gently uphill to the large gates of the farmhouse. Pass quietly through the gates (by permission of the owner, gates must be closed) and ahead through the courtyard and metal gate at the opposite end.
Follow the now narrower stony track as it continues to wind upwards passing between massive boulders, which mark the entrance to the wild countryside of Boquer Valley. Simply follow the well - defined path - you cannot go wrong.
Eventually you will meet a series of paths and a wonderful viewpoint, an ideal location for a picnic. You might wish to continue ahead and descend to the stony shore. There is no set route, simply choose your own way down, as there are many paths, which eventually reach the sea.
Return the same way - if you reached the beach then follow any path to ascend to the mouth of the valley or "dip" between the craggy valley walls.
Walk to Carla Sant Vicente... (One and a half hours, two and a half miles each way)
Starting at the main roundabout on the sea front road follow the main road (PM 220) away from the seafront, along the main shopping street (this had been closed to traffic Easter 02). Walk on the right hand side of the street until you reach the bar "Juanito" at "La Cala" and turn right. (If you reach the "Cepsa" petrol station on your left you have just missed your turning!)
Continue ahead passing an open area (ignore "R. Valenilla" and "Horttensies" roads on your right) and keeping left / ahead along the road now called "Roses". You soon turn right then left before crossing a narrow (take care crossing) road-bridge over a small river. Turn right just after the bridge and follow the lane until eventually you reach a yard, where the path swings to the right of it. Follow the path passing through a gate (please close the gate) and winding round eventually into open ground. Follow the good path as it begins to ascend to the "Coll De Siller" (this is a short valley passage). The path eventually turns right and the track opens up with rocky walls to your right.
Continue ahead until you reach the highest point on the track. Follow the good clear track ahead passing a tempting good road off to your left. You soon meet a (unusually located) large roundabout.
(The steep road immediately opposite takes you to a good viewpoint overlooking Cala Sant Vicent and is well worth visiting).
Take the (second exit) road downhill to the right of the steep uphill road. Soon you pass a road off to your right - ignore this and continue to wind down, first left, then on to Cala Sant Vicenc.
Return the same way.
Simple bus journeys from Port Pollensa...
These destinations are all quite easy to reach but please check the current times (also be aware of the winter or summer season timetables). The bus stops will show the current timetable and you can ask hotel reception and tourist information for timetables (also see transport below).
Bus travel is very cheap, even the more distant destinations like Palma (very easy to visit) or the east-coast resorts won't cost you more than around £8.00 return. Pollensa and Alcudia are extremely easy to reach also.
There is a summer bus service - there are only two busses per day so take care...
Outgoing at 10.00 and 16.00 hours and the return from Soller at 09.10 / 15.10 hours.
In the winter season you can still get to Soller and the best way to do this is by bus to Palma then a bus to Soler. I will tell you what you need to do but again, please check the current timetables...
Get the Palmer bus at the roundabout (or Pollensa Park Hotel) at 0900. It takes about an hour and a half to reach Palma. When you get of the bus at the terminus, (stop number 1B14 opposite a big blue sign "Onessa") the connecting bus stop is only twenty yards away. Walk across the bus parking spaces away from the toilets and the tall "Mill Tower" to the next row of bus spaces - you want the second one in from the main road, I think the bus stop was numbered 1B09 but it has Soller on the stop to identify it! The next bus is due at 1100 so you have a thirty-minute safety margin between.
This bus will take you through Soller and on to the port, so if you wish to spend your four hours in Port Soller then stay on the bus - it saves time. If you prefer to visit Soller first, you can catch the famous orange express tram to the port, where you will find a good choice of restaurants and just in time for lunch!
For your return journey the bus leaves the port at 1600 (from the harbour / large car park). If you used the tram from Soller it is best to get the bus back to Palma from here, due to the limited time available. This bus takes about an hour to reach Palma and the connection leaves at 1730, arriving at Port Pollensa at 1900.
If you decide to visit the port, you can walk up to the lighthouse (start near to the cemetery, as you enter the crescent shaped port, crossing the road bridge on the left, you follow this road for just over one mile). This is one of the best viewpoints as seen on many postcards. (For more information see Port Soller under "other resorts").
Alcudia - Frequent bus service from bus stops along the main sea front road. All times are listed on the bus stops - you need to get the bus on the inland side of the road going (takes about twenty-five minutes).
Port Alcudia - Frequent bus service - the same as for Alcudia (takes about forty minutes).
Ca'n Picafort - Frequent bus service - the same as for Alcudia (takes about an hour).
Palma - There is a regular service from the central roundabout (wait on the seaward side of the road). You need to get the 0900 bus because it takes an hour and a half each way.
Porto Cristo and the Caves of Drach - Aumasa daily service (takes two hours), only one bus, 0915 from central roundabout or sea front near Pollensa Park or Llenaire restaurant. (See transport / bus below). Stops right outside the caves. (Check current opening times and they close for siesta!).
Manacor / Sa Coma / S'Illot - Aumasa bus (takes almost two hours), only one bus, 0915 as Porto Cristo.
Pollensa is almost four miles inland from Port Pollensa. Here you will find lots of art galleries and beautiful handicraft shops. The cosmopolitan character is due to the many Europeans that choose to reside there, some permanently.
You can wander through a labyrinth of narrow streets dating back to Arabic times and then relax in one of several pavement cafés in the bustling main square.
Visit El Calvario (from the main square walk towards the church and keep left around it). There are 365 steps to climb, lined with cypress trees and traditional Mallorquin houses, before you reach the thirteenth century church and hermitage. According to local legend you'll loose a sin for every step climbed. We enjoyed a coffee and cake at a charming café at the bottom of the steps.
If you visit the area at Easter, on Good Friday, don't miss the local torch lit procession / celebrations.
Pick up bargains at the market - Wednesday and Sunday in Pollensa's main (Placa Major) square.
Don't miss the Fiesta Virgen Del Carmen (16th July) celebrating the local Saints day. There are live bands, fireworks and processions. Also the Moors and Christians Fiesta on 2nd August when locals re-enact their ancestors battle against invaders.
There is an Arts and Musical festival in August and September, which takes place in the former Monastery of Santo Domingo.
Visit the ancient hermitage perched at the top of Puig Santa Maria (see walk below).
Walk to Santa Maria
If you are feeling energetic then don't miss a walk up to the ancient hermitage at the top of the Puig Santa Maria - the highest mountain towering over Pollensa.
From the main square walk out of the square with the church behind you until you see an illuminated (unless closed) green cross of a chemist on your right. Continue across the road until you meet the "Cecili Metel" road, turn right onto it and continue until you reach the Repsol petrol station on your right. Cross over directly opposite the station and then turn almost immediately right then ahead, to pass a small fenced area to emerge on the busy PM 220. Cross over carefully and follow the sign-posted Puig Maria road opposite. It takes about an hour and a half to walk up the good road (benches on route), which merges with a very good track near the top, where you will find a picnic area, small gift shop, bar and toilets plus superb views over Pollensa and Port Pollensa. I wouldn't recommend trying to drive but if you insist, it might be possible to park two or three cars at the end of the road. It is very steep (around 1 in 3) and narrow - you might have to reverse back down, not a good idea due to the many hairpin bends minus safety barriers. It was full up when we visited!
Walk to Puig De Santuari (Orchid Hill)
141 Metres ascent / decent, about one and a half miles each way / one hour fifteen minutes each way. This walk is not suitable for children due to exposure to traffic.
This is a wonderful short walk and well worth the effort, especially if you don't normally walk very far. The views are spectacular. You can see the entire expanse of Port Pollensa's bay, Cap Formentor, Serra De La Punta, Puig De Maria and Alcudia. I think this offers the best views for minimum effort. Take a picnic - the top of the hill is quite flat and offers plenty of places to sit and take in the sun and views.
Starting from the bus station, with the station at your left walk ahead passing the green cross (chemist) almost immediately. Almost opposite ahead, follow the street called "Pius XI" until you reach the square "Placa De CA Les Munnares" (on your left). Turn right here onto the street "Avgda Argentina" and follow ahead soon crossing another road. This is a pedestrian walkway (dead end for cars) and you soon meet the busy PM-220 road, passing between a concrete wall to block cars. Take great care crossing here. When you have crossed the road into the junction opposite, you must take the road that forks left. Ignore the right branch. Your route is past the garden refuse area, which you will pass immediately on your left. Follow the long straight road until you reach the signpost for the Puig De Santuari and picnic area (under half a mile). You turn left into the entrance and just before the entrance to dog kennels (you will hear them barking!), follow the path on your right up-hill. Just follow the signs, you cannot loose your way. The hill is only 141 metres high and you will be surprised by the speed at which you reach the summit! You will rise up to meet an old dead tree, which stands above a hole / shaft - don't let children run ahead, as this could be dangerous. Return the same way.
Walk to Puig Sant Marti (Alcudia's red / white radio masts)
Use the regular bus service to Port Alcudia. Ask for the hospital stop. See below, Alcudia section under " Radio Mast Hills".
Alcudia is one of the largest and most popular resorts on the island. There's something for everyone here - a long sandy beach, big choice of shops, lively night clubs, historic old town and walls and the old fishing village of Port Alcudia.
There is a useful and frequent bus service operating hourly - Autocares Public Bus - the service is called "Linea 2" and the current timetable is available from www.autocaresmallorca.com. You can travel in either direction, C'an Picafort to the south or Port Pollensa to the north - maximum travel time thirty minutes. You can easily reach Palma by bus - you can also download a current timetable which is called the "Linea 1" service which runs between Alcudia and Palma. Takes about an hour.
I found the remains of the old Roman town interesting, you might notice that some of the original woodwork has remained intact, I expect due to the climate. Have a stroll around the cobbled streets of the old town (within the restored medieval walls). You will find a good selection of café and tapas bars here.
Visit the ruins of the Roman City of Pollentia. This is one of the most important archaeological sites to be found on the island. You will see the remains of the amphitheatre, which seated around two thousand people. Visit the Museu Monografic de Pollentia in Calle Sant Jaime (open daily except Mondays from 10 am to 1.30 pm, afternoons 5 pm to 7 pm - check current hours).
Stroll around the fishing harbour where you can take a boat trip to Cap Formetor. Visit the farm and see the ostriches. Check with local tourist office for details.
Go pony trekking at Rancho Grande near C'an Picafort (frequent busses available). Ask the tourist office for more details.
Visit the Parc Naturel de S'Albufera - a large nature reserve where you will discover many rare species.
Visit the market in the old town - Tuesday and Sunday morning.
Look for the more traditional Spanish shops in the back streets, you will find typical gift shops along the seafront.
Radio Mast Hills...
You will soon notice the twin-peaks of San Marti (the taller mountain is 266m) and the red and white radio masts (smaller peak at 183m) which dominate the inland view from the Alcudia area. It is possible to walk up (one hour thirty) to this fantastic viewpoint. This is certainly the most impressive view over Alcudia and the old Port, Playa Alcudia, Talia D' Alcudia mountains, Pollensa and the Saint Maria hermitage, Port Pollensa and the Cap Fermentor region. I followed a guidebook, which was written before the new PM 70 (busy bypass) had been completed, so I experienced some difficulty finding the start of the walk - perhaps you should ask the tourist office to direct you to the start of the track at the PM 70. If you feel like exploring yourself this might help...
If you aim for the Caves of Sant Marti (central and inland side of the "Es Lac Gran" lake) take the "Avinguda De Pere Mas i Reus" (hospital road) and left on the "Vauma" road. You should be looking to turn right (ten minutes) heading towards the Caves and the PM 70. Once you cross the PM 70 (slightly north of 2 Km marker) the path is VERY easy to follow. You begin on a track which takes you round the left of the two peaks, this soon swings right behind the peaks where it opens out into a good wide woodland track. Soon you reach a big hut (Poble Nou) on your left - take the track opposite (right) which takes you up to the radio masts. This is the access route that is used to allow maintenance work on the radio masts. Return the same way.
For an interesting idea for return, you can take in a circuit, which will take you back into old Alcudia. (Total extra time add one hour thirty) After descending to the hut turn right (instead of backtracking left). Follow the good track until you reach the busy main road C 713. Cross over and turn right, walking along the cycle track until you reach the roundabout. Keep left here, taking the first exit, the main road into Alcudia. Just after passing a red (Cepsa) petrol station, cross over turning right into a country lane. Follow the lane left in a short distance, heading towards Alcudia (parallel to the busy C 713 road you just left behind). In a short distance you reach a small junction where you turn right and immediately left (walking almost straight ahead!). After another long straight road you approach a strip of pine trees where you follow the road left / right alongside them. You soon rise gently up into the old town and emerge behind the disused SYP shopping centre. Turn right and walk alongside the building until you meet the outer "ring" road. You have a choice of routes from here depending on your destination. You can cross over and enter the old town, or follow the main road right to circle the walls soon reaching the bus stop on your right (you can get a bus to Port Alcudia from here). You could turn left and follow the road to the junction of the Port Pollensa road.
You will find plenty of fish restaurants along the promenade but don't forget to explore the back streets too.
Try Bougavante, near the fisherman's pier, for a selection of sea - foods and International cuisine.
A popular and traditional Spanish restaurant is Bodea Des Port in the port next to Bougavante. Here you will find a selection of tapas and steaks.
Try Pizzeria Roma for great pizzas and steaks.
La Villa provides a selection of Chinese foods (near the taxi rank in the port).
For tapas, try C'an Punyetes in Port Alcudia for typical Mallorquin meals.
This was once a small fishing village and started to become popular with tourists in the 60's. Life in the old town / harbour remains much the same but there are plenty of shops, restaurants, bars and lively clubs to choose from. The beach is actually at the Port Alcudia end of the resort. Plenty of choice for water-sports plus all the usual facilities but can become crowded in summer. Platja de Muro is quieter though, it backs onto the Parc Naturel de S'Albufera. You can visit the Son Baulo beach (which is south of the centre) and beyond there's a long stretch of cliffs and sandy beaches.
There is a useful and frequent bus service (operating hourly - Autocares Public Bus - the service is "Linea 2" and the current timetable is available from www.autocaresmallorca.com) which provides you with cheap and simple transport between C'an Picafort - Port Alcudia - Alcudia - Port Pollensa. The longest journey time is only one hour so you comfortably visit other resorts!
Visit the old harbour and take a trip on a glass-bottomed boat, or simply stroll along the prom.
Explore the beautiful Cap Farrutx - not easy to reach by car, ask the tourist office about boat trips.
Visit the Necropolises at Son Real and S'Illa d'en Porros - ancient burial grounds where hundreds of people were buried between the seventh and second centuries BC. Son Real is about twenty minutes walk from Son Baulo beach. If you continue for another fifteen minutes you can swim across to S'Illa d'en Porros. Ask at the tourist office! (The office is located in the centre near the hospital at Son Baulo).
Visit the Parc Naturel de S'Albufera - a marsh nature reserve between C'an Picafort and Port Alcudia. Enjoy a peaceful walk and take in nature (you can hire binoculars here). Cars are not allowed at weekends during breeding season but you can walk in from the main road (about half a mile).
Go pony trekking at Ranch Grande or visit the biggest go-kart track on the island.
At the beginning of September you might see the processions of people - a re-enactment of the life of Saint Catherine Thomas.
For delicious homemade cakes (and ice-creams) try Helados San Remo on the seafront promenade.
There are plenty of restaurants and bars along the promenade with sea view terraces. For a special occasion try Manilego in Carrer Isabel Garau (closed Mondays) near Port Esportiu. Or for good local tapas C'an Tomeu at Carrer Ran de Mar. British pub style with satellite tv and pool, quizzes and karaoke - No 1 pub on the Avinguda Jose Trias (Walk along the sea front road towards Port Alcudia until you reach the Marbella). Just around the corner try the Papaya cocktail bar on Passeig Colon where is usually a disco most evenings.
Soller and Puerto de Soller
Soller is an ideal base from which to explore the slopes of the Serra De Tramuntana Mountains, which have isolated the region from the remainder of the island. The town can be reached by the winding mountain pass, the Coll de Soller (you must pay a toll at the impressive C-711 tunnel) or by rail, which has been running between Soller and Palma for ninety years.
The final journey from Soller to the Port Soller can be made aboard the famous "Orange Express" tram (frequent service - between 0555 to 2110), aptly named as the tram passes through orange and lemon groves as you travel towards the port. Take a look in the shop at the station also! You might notice a French influence in the area, before the railway was built it was easier to export the local citrus fruits to the south of France than to Palma!
As you will notice, the countryside around Soller is absolutely stunning. The best guidebook for this region is Landscapes of Mallorca by Sunflower Books, which is ideal for both driving and walking - excellent value as many of the routes are around Soller! See notes (above) under the maps and guides section.
Remember to ask the tourist office for any information / leaflets on walking, local landmarks and any free maps and guides. Also ask for the local bus / train / boat timetables etc. There are other boat-trips available so ask for details. If you take to the sea be sure to take your camera for some of the best views of the port and the surrounding mountains!
Take a boat to Sa Calobra from the port (telephone 633109)...
Port de Soller - 1030 - 1130 - 1500 Sa Calobra - 1120 - 1220 - 1550
Sa Calobra - 1400 - 1500 - 1645 Port de Soller - 1450 - 1550 - 1735
(To reach Sunflower walks ten and eleven)
Visit Soller and walk an impressive circuit through the historic settlements Soller - Binibassi - Fornalutx - Biniaraix - Soller. (Discovery Walking Guides).
For an interesting day trip, visit the Lluc Monestery, which is steeped in history. You will find a number of restaurants in the area also. You will need to check the bus times / availability at the tourist office. There is a summer service to Pollensa but none in the winter timetable.
If you feel like a short walk (or drive) to the lighthouse it is well worth the effort for one of the best views of the port. The ascent by road is ninety metres and takes around forty minutes, less for the downhill return. The lighthouse was built at Faro Cap Gros - you will also find a bar here! As you leave the port behind heading towards Soller take the sign-posted road on your right towards the Hotel Rocamar and simply follow it up to the lighthouse! (Discovery Guides feature alternative route).
The Sa Torre Picada watchtower was built to warn of Saracen invaders and pirates - this is also worth a visit but involves a little more climbing to reach it. (Discovery Walking Guides).
Visit Deia, which is just out of town (bus / taxi available). It's only tiny but well worth a visit and you can follow Sunflowers Walk 6 back to Soller if you want to take in the fantastic scenery (this is about 7.5 miles so you need to be fit).
Visit the Natural Science Museum and Botanical Gardens.
Visit the Cuba Lake / Gorg Blau by bus (Soller to Pollensa service). You can get off at the KM 34 marker and walk to either / both lakes. You can walk back to Soller through the mountains on an ancient trail (Sunflower books include all three walks).
If you visit in May, look out for the annual Moors and Christians fiesta with concerts, exhibitions and local dancing. June 29th is the fiesta of St Peter in the port. The Eve of Our Lady of Carmen is on 15th July and there's a procession of boats across the bay at dusk.
Eating out / night life...
Be sure to sample plenty of the freshly squeezed local orange juice - you can watch the oranges freshly squeezed in machines outside the many cafés and bars. You can buy fresh orange ice cream made locally by Sa Fabrica de Gelatis in most cafés and it is also available in the shop in the market hall.
You will find a good variety of restaurants in Soller, which you can reach easily by tram (between 0555 to 2110) or taxi. You will find a good choice of Cafés and tapas bars.
Visit Es Grau in Deia for fantastic sea views and local cuisine.
For typical Mediterranean dishes, especially fish - visit Es Pescador in the port.
For Mallorquin specialities try Sa Cova d'en Jordi in Placa Constitucio or Cellar des Port.
For an upmarket fish restaurant try Sa Llotja des Peix overlooking the harbour.
Contact Soller tourist information office at email@example.com
A very quiet and typical small Spanish fishing village. An ideal location if you want to escape from it all! You can also visit nearby neighbours Cala Millor (walking distance) Sa Coma and S'Illot quite easily by bus or taxi.
Visit the nearby (walking distance) Cuevas del Drach (Dragon Caves). See all the local marine life in the aquarium, also the more exotic species like piranhas and electric eels! See one of the island's largest underground lakes. A popular family attraction, bus service stops outside the entrance. Open 0930 - 1700. If you find these caves interesting then perhaps you would like to visit the Cuevas dels Hams also. The name translates to Caves of the fishhooks due to the unusual rock formations found there. There is also an underground lake where concerts are sometimes performed! Caves are open from 1030 to 1315 closed for lunch / siesta and open again from 1415 to 1730. Check all opening times with your local tourist office.
There is a fine sandy beach near the harbour or you can take a short drive / taxi to the Porto Cristo Novo beach, which is smaller but quieter. The beach is sheltered in a small cove. You will find windsurfing facilities here and a sailing school.
Visit Smithy's bar in the town centre serving British food and beer. There are a few bars and clubs near to the marina, which open on Friday and Saturday nights only. The locals tend to visit for the occasion so expect more of a Spanish atmosphere, similar to Twist, which is can be found near to the marina also.
For free local east-coast resort map-download visit www.solmagazine.com/maps
S'Illot and Sa Coma
We managed to get to S'Illot / Sa Coma by Aumasa bus from Port Pollensa so if you are thinking of staying in this resort you could easily manage to visit the north coast resorts by using the same bus service! Remember that there are only two busses per day. Aumasa busses are common on the East Coast so you should be able to travel to most of the coastal resorts very easily. The bus stop for return to Port Pollensa is opposite the (red sign) Royal Mediterraneo Hotel (opposite side of road) Ask at the tourist office for timetables.
Good local maps of east-coast resorts can be downloaded at various scales from...
S'Illot / Sa Coma are really the same place and they were divided relatively recently I believe. The division between them is easily missed!
You will find a long sandy beach with sun-loungers and parasols and for hire. There's also windsurfing and skiing.
You will find ticket offices for the boat trips centrally on the main promenade.
You can take a safari bus from Sa Coma to visit the miniature safari park. Children (and dads) will also enjoy visiting the Golf Paradis - a 54-hole mini-golf course set amongst palm trees, waterfalls and fountains.
We enjoyed walking to the headlands medieval watchtower at Punta de n'Amer. There are plenty of places to stop for a picnic along the route, which follows the rocky coast before joining a maze of trails more inland. It is easy to follow, just keep heading towards the headland. There is a café at the tower and the walk takes about three-quarters of an hour each way!
Shopping, for self-catering there is a good selection of food at the Caprabo hypermarket on the Avinguda de les Palmeres.
Eating out and night life...
For special occasions visit Lago in S'Illot, for Spanish and Mallorquin cuisine, or visit the owners taps bar next door where the food is just as good but a little kinder on the pocket!
For typical British food visit Jay Jays.
For families visit BiBaBo, a café / music bar on S'Illots seafront, for a selection of both Spanish and British food.
Estrumbols in S'Illot is the resorts only disco and very popular with both locals and visitors.
Palma is located quite close to the airport so you won't have to waste time on the coach! If you like cities then don't miss the chance to visit and remember that there are frequent bus services operating from all the well-known resorts. Here are a few ideas for things to see and do when you arrive...
One of the most distinctive landmarks is the glorious Gothic Cathedral. It was built in the 14th century and added too ever since. Antonio Gaudi designed the interior in the twentieth century - with plenty of religious art and beautiful stained-glass windows. Behind the cathedral is the old Arab quarter, which hasn't changes so much in eight hundred years. Wander thorough the narrow streets and see if you can find some of the oldest churches and mansions. Look out for the Banys Arabs - the Arab baths.
Walk along the Passeig Maritim (seafront promenade) where you can watch fisherman at work and see the vast number of yachts moored there.
Visit one of the many open air cafés in the square and watch the world pass by.
If you are interested in art, you can choose from around fifty galleries! Visit the Fundacio la Caixa in the former Gran Hotel. La Llotja on the seafront was a maritime exchange in the fifteenth century but has also been converted into an art gallery.
Take time to visit the Spanish village (Poble Espanyol) on the outskirts of the city, if you are interested in purchasing some traditional arts and crafts.
Visit the Almudaina Palace (Palau de L'Almudaina) and gardens, which I believe was originally Moorish before being turned into a medieval palace of the Mallorcan kings by Jaime the second. His royal residence, The Castell de Bellver (14th Century), which now houses the Palma History Museum, can be found high in the woods above the city.
Walk along (or take a ride in a horse drawn carriage) the tree-lined promenade of La Rambla and the Passeig des Born. See fine nineteenth century palaces and pause at one of the many cafés.
Wander through the pedestrian shopping area around the Placa Mayor for the smaller speciality and craft shops.
Porto Pi is the indoor shopping centre found on the outskirts. The top department store in Palma is El Corte Ingles. Take a wonder along the Avenida Jaime III for a selection of antiques, jewellery, leather goods and designer clothes / boutiques.
Eating out / Night life...
Here are a few restaurants recommended by our holiday company...
Visit the Casco Antiguo - the old town, walk along the Passeig Maritim and choose!
Mediterraneo is opposite the marina and specialises in seafood.
For a popular Tapas bar try La Boveda.
Es Parlement specialises in paella.
For a good choice of typical local dish, try Celler Sa Premsa.
For Japanese try Shogun, below Bellver Castle.
For Indain, try Baisakhi on the Passeig Maritim.
For Italian, try C'an Palut also on the Passeig Maritim.
For American, try Champs American diner.
Clubs / Bars...
Visit the area around Sa Llonja where you will find plenty of fashionable bars. Stroll along the Passeig Maritim where you will find some of the more sophisticated nightlife - more upmarket disco's, designer bars and live jazz. Choose from six bars in the exclusive Tito's club. For the latest dance music visit Pachas, popular with the local teenagers. For cocktails try Tututangoo, or the more unusual Abaco - set inside a 17th century palace with fountains and caged birds! For a lively music bar with a South American theme visit Café Brazil on the Passeig Maritim.
Palma Web Cam...
Take a look at the Palma web-cam, not the most exciting choice of view (unless they have decided to adjust it) but at least you can check out the sunshine...
You will find the bus and railway station's located together. The bus stations are divided into three sections - A, B and C. You can easily visit the islands main resorts and due to the central motorway system it takes a little over an hour to reach most of the east and north coast resorts. Palma probably offers the ideal base for travel by public transport, which is reliable and VERY cheap. Visit the tourist office for current timetables.
You can visit Soller and the port by the "Orange Express" train - this is a superb day out (see Soller above). Remember that there are a limited number of seats available on the train in peak seasons. You will probably be able to pre-book this trip with your holiday rep to guarantee a place!
Take a bus to C'an Pastilla, one of the popular local resorts...
This is a small but well-established resort and only a short bus-ride from Palma. The resort is close to the airport so consider the possibility of aircraft noise!
You will find a fine sandy beach and plenty of choice of water-sports. Be sure to visit the attractive little marina.
Visit Aquacity on the outskirts of S'Arenal - the largest water-park on the island with the best slides in Europe.
Play crazy golf in a Jurassic Park setting - Playa de Palma offers 54 holes. Snack bar opens daily.
Take a trip on the Land Train, which runs along the promenade.
Don't miss the beautiful glass church in Playa de Palma!
Visit the Es Trenc beach at Playa de Palma, keep to the left side of the beach if you intend to keep your clothes on - the other side is a nudist area!
Visit the market in S'Arenal a good source of leather goods.
Lladro Porcelain can be purchased locally, try the shop next to the Hotel El Cid in C'an Pastiolla.
You will find a good selection of restaurants and bars - you can choose Spanish (Rancho Picadero), English, Chinese, Mexican (El Paso's), Thai (Chon Pa Pa) and Italian (Don Corleone Pizzeria). Visit the many traditional tapas bars in the back streets of S'Arenal.
There are several night-clubs in Playa de Palma but they can be very expensive and cater mainly for German visitors. There are plenty of bars in the resort. Try Manchester, one of the popular ones (at the top end of the beach). Open midday to four p.m. and then 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. Large screen TV for sporting events plus snacks available daily. Try Tony's for families / older couples. Good menu, open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. then 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Ricky's (next to Hotel El Cid) caters for the older generation, old musical favourites and good food / menu. Visit the Sun Pub in Playa de Palma, Sunday roasts, good menu and quizzes / karaoke every night. Beachcombers bar off the promenade in S'Arenal serves food all day, open 10 a.m. to 6 a.m.
Interesting Links -
www.mallorcanow.com www.puertopollensa.com www.visitbalears.com
www.caib.es www.mallorcaonline.com www.mallorcaservice.com
www.lospinguinos.com - Based at Cala Sant Vicenc
www.pollensanet.com/hipicaformentor - Based Cap Formentor
I would like to thank my friend and author Harald Haugli at www.islandwalking.com for his initial and mutual interest in walking and photography, which encouraged me to pass on my pictures and to write some additional information to reinforce his already excellent web-site. If you didn't enter this page through "island-walking" I recommend that you visit the main site where you will find a first class report on Majorca and many other islands.
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This page was last modified at March 18, 2005.
©2002-2005 Christopher Thompson, use of pictures must include his credits, full size high res JPEG copies available on request.