On a clear day, this is one of the most stunning walks on the island. It is challenging, with a steep climb out of Valldemossa and a long steep descent into Deia (with 1 or 2 brief nervous moments for those who suffer from vertigo), but it's well worth the effort for the views along the north western coast. There are also lots of examples of the old forest dwellers' settlements, so we get the opportunity to learn about Mallorca's rural history. Overall a real treat and one of our favourite stages of the GR221 or Dry Stone Route.
We start our walk in the centre of Valldemossa, and soon head uphill through the woods along stony old mule tracks. We continue steeply uphill for some time with an occasional breather, and fabulous look-out points with sweeping views of Palma in the distance and the coast beyond Valldemossa. We come across the remains of charcoal burners' settlements, old lime kilns and other ancient forest activities.
For part of this trail we join the Archduke's bridleway, an old cobbled path built by the Austrian Archduke Ludwig Salvator in the 1860s to '70s. The local residents thought he was mad at the time but we walkers are eternally grateful to him for leaving us this fabulous scenic route. From here we get stunning panoramic views of the coast and surrounding Tramuntana mountains.
Our descent into the pretty village of Deia is long and steep and much of it is through beautiful holm oak woods, where we walk on soft narrow leafy paths, which are a sharp contrast to the stony ascent and mainly hard, rocky surfaces.
We can highly recommend this walk - it's a real Mallorcan experience!
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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