Mallorca is well known mediterannean destination, but still there are many secrets on this beautifull island, and tourists are welcome to discover it. One of the best kept secrets of Mallorca is Serra de Tramuntana, mountain range that strech on western coast of Mallorca. With its hidden beaches, rocky peaks and cliffs it is perfect spot for eco tourism, hiking but also cultural trails as this place was always crossroad of civilisation.
Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the Tramuntana Natural Park is one of the greatest examples of the perfect integration of the human footprint with nature, offering as a result a very interesting combination of culture, heritage and nature.
It is a hikers paradise and there are numerous hiking path from routes for beginners where all tourists can enjoy beautiful views to more extreme routes where you can try climbing on rocky peaks of Serra de Tramuntana and after that jumping from high cliffs into the Mediterranean sea.
One of the most beautiful hike that all tourists can enjoy is walk between Banyalbufar and Port des Canonge. During this one hour easy hike you will see famous cliffs of Mallorca, hidden beaches but also unique eco system of Serra de Tramuntana.
Beside hiking opportunities, Serra de Tramuntana is full of old picturesque villages and one of the most important is Valldemossa. Located about 20 km from the capital city, you will find a pastoral town with cobbled streets, full of flowers and potted plants, which famous individuals have walked through such as the romantic couple Chopin and George Sand, Rubén Darío or Jorge Luis Borges.
They all stayed at La Cartuja, one of the best-known historical and artistic buildings in the town. Here, you can visit its rooms full of history and fantastic gardens and if you’ve ever wanted to relive the life of the most famous guest in Valldemossa, then stick around for the annual International Chopin Festival.
Finca or possessió is another secret that you have to discover while you are visiting Serra de Tramuntana. It is a rural farming estate, which includes land buildings and usually production of olive oil or similar Mediterranean product. Infrastructures of great ethnological interest are to be found on the possessions – charcoal pits (the stores where the charcoal produced on the property was kept), wine cellars (especially on the coast of Valldemossa, Deià and Banyalbufar) or the properties’ own defence towers, typical of the estates nearer the coast.
For centuries fincas was the key to the traditional agricultural but these estates have gradually adapted to the passage of time, and now many of them are beautifully transformed into boutique hotels with accent on eco tourism, offering organic food, spa treatments but also workshops and showcasing how olive oil is produced.
One interesting point that should be highlighted is that 95% of the territory of the Serra de Tramuntana is privately owned, so public and private collaboration is fundamental for improving its management. One of the best examples of Public and private collaboration is Planicia where Mallorca government is adapting one old Finca into public lodge for hikers where they will have space for sleeping and eating, place for rest but also numerous workshops.
The Lluc Sanctuary has been a place of pilgrimage since time immemorial, and its name comes from lucus, which means ‘sacred wood’. According to legend the small, dark image of the Virgin of Lluc was found by a shepherd and a monk amongst the rocks. It was immediately taken to the old parish church of Sant Pere, but returned to the it had been found in of its own accord – a miraculous event which occurred several times, until eventually a chapel was erected next to the place where it was found. The chapel dates back to 1268, and around it an architectural complex was built which in time became a centre of pilgrimage, a religious symbol and cultural standard of Mallorca.