GR221 Stage 1: Es Capdella to Estellencs
This lovely walk from the pretty inland village of Es Capdella to Estellencs on the northwestern coast is now officially Stage 1 of Mallorca's long distance hike, the GR221 or Dry Stone Route. And what a great start it is! It is a combination of gentle, tranquil walking through typical Mallorcan vegetation, a steep satisfying climb and then an easy, mossy, wooded descent with lovely coastal views into Estellencs - a charming, rather remote settlement.
Our route begins gently, and meanders down country lanes and tracks through the Galatzó estate, but then we start to climb steeply out of the valley through wild terrain enjoying fabulous views of the valley below. Along the way there are fine examples of restored charcoal burners settlements, and a delightful old well, still in operation. After a long steep ascent on a narrow stony goat path we find ourselves on a pass between the south west's 2 iconic mountains S'Esclop and Galatzó - in all their glory.
Before we start our descent, those who find summits irresistible can ascend the peak of S'Esclop without much of a detour. Otherwise we descend via a soft path through pine and then holm oak woods. We cross the main mountain road and the path becomes a rather charming track below the road, through the woods and along the coast, meandering through casitas and rural smallholdings until we finally reach the pretty village of Estellencs.