There are a number of different routes we can take to the ruined Trappist monastery high above Sant Elm, with a number of possible diversions, but this is the most direct approach. Whichever way you go the approach is steep and challenging, but it is well worth the effort. This is a "must-do" walk if you are staying in the South West or just want to explore this lovely part of the island.
We set off from the sleepy fishing village of Sant Elm in the far south west of the island. We start walking along wide paths and tracks and then enter some delightful woods (from which we can make a detour to the Tower at Cala Basset). We follow the soft woodland path uphill, and continue along a narrow coastal path along old terrace walls, which indicate past agricultural activity.
We then start to climb more steeply and our route becomes rockier and more tricky and a few scrambles over rocky surfaces eventually bring us to a fabulous view of the remains of the Sa Trapa monastery and community activities below us. We follow the track down to the monastery and take a wander around the old buildings, one of which is the old community windmill. There are a couple of round look-out points from which the views of the coast and Dragonera island are quite breathtaking.
We then continue our climb for a short while until we reach the Coll de Ses Animes, from which we get completely different panoramic views from a height of almost 400m. From here we descend into the Sant Elm valley via a wide windy track with fabulous views ahead of us all the way.
The monastery and fantastic views of the coast and Dragonera island...
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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