This walk is a real treat and the good news is that the length and difficulty of the route can be varied to suit most walkers' abilities and energy levels! This particular walk duration and grade apply to a moderate circuit but including an ascent of the Teix makes it a much longer and more difficult hike. The climb out of the valley is steep, but it is well worth the effort for the rewards when you've reached the top - we get the most amazing views to Deia and Puig Major beyond!
We start with a gentle stroll along a wide track through a picturesque valley lined with ancient olive trees growing on beautifully maintained terracing. We then climb steeply out of the valley through fabulous holm oak woods, enjoying the views of Valldemossa behind us as we climb. We have the option to ascend the summit of the Teix mountain at 1,068m high or alternatively we can skirt around it joining the Archduke's bridle path (named after the Austrian Archduke Ludwig Salvator, a member of the Habsburg family).
In 1867 the Archduke visited Mallorca and loved it so much that he stayed! He was a passionate walker and nature lover and an early conservationist. He is responsible for cataloging (and sketching) a broad range of flora and fauna found on the island. In so doing he also built an impressive bridleway, complete with refuges and miradors (look-out points) that we continue to enjoy now.
This impressive and beautifully restored path zigzags across the mountains and offers spectacular vantage points of the surrounding scenery and coast. From here we ascend another couple of high points, one of which has a plaque commemorating the Archduke, and from both we can enjoy excellent views.
Our descent back to Valldemossa is largely on a rough and stony old mule track through the woods.
The Bridleway and incredible views....
Island weather can change very quickly and unexpectedly, so it is always advisable to be ready for anything. In the mountains, cloud can drop quickly and mist can come in from the sea, causing loss in visibility and fall in temperatures.
The terrain in Mallorca is rough so good footwear is essential. Most of our walks require walking boots with hard soles, good grip and ankle support. It is a good idea to wear your boots in well (if they are new!) before putting them to the test on some of our uncompromising, rocky surfaces.
September to early June are the main walking months on the island, and although not as hot as the summer, Sept/Oct and April/May can still be hot, and even in mid-winter sensitive skins can burn. Consequently, anything that you like to use to protect yourself from the sun – hat, cream, glasses, lip salve, long sleeves and long trousers….. is advisable.
Whatever the month it is essential to carry plenty of water, and a few snacks to top up your energy levels, are always advisable – just in case!
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