Mountains of Majorca

Although Majorca is best known as a holiday destination, it is also a popular sporting island particularly walking, cycling and golf. Below we focus on the hill walking. There are over 50 hills in Majorca with a drop of at least 500ft, and the two highest mountains are higher than Ben Nevis.

Barry has been exploring these hills/mountains over the last few years, and has given his thoughts on some of the more interesting ones below. These include;
1. Puig Massanella (1,364m, 4,475ft)
2. Galatzo (1,027m, 3,368ft)
3. Puig D’Alaro (821m, 2,694ft)
4. Talaia Freda (562m, 1,844ft)
5. Talaia D’Alcudia (445m, 1,460ft)
6. El Fumat (334m, 1,096ft)

The first three of the hills lie in the Serra de Tramuntana, a World Heritage site, described by Unesco as a sheer-sided mountain range running up the north west coast of Majorca. The landscape is marked by agricultural terraces and inter-connected water works.

Summit of Alaro towards Puig de s’Alcadena

Hill four, Talaia Freda is the high point of the Llevant nature park in the north east of the island. Minorca can be seen from here. Talaia D’Alcudia is the high point of the peninsula north east of Alcudia, and finally, El Fumat is an iconic peak overhanging the valley on the Formentor peninsula. All these hills can be climbed by walkers, and give a great understanding of the landscape of Majorca.

1. Puig Massanella (1,364m/4,475ft)

“The highest mountain Majorca accessible to the public”

Puig Massanella is the second highest mountain in Majorca, and the highest accessible summit. Puig Major (1,436m) is the highest mountain in Majorca but there is no access to the summit except with authorization from the US Air Force.

West from the summit of Puig Massanella

Puig Massanella can be climbed by walkers from Coll de Sa Batalia near Lluc Monastry, to the east of the summit. The Ma-2130 road from Inca passes Coll de Sa Batalia where there is a café and a petrol station. The walk is just under 12 kilometres and involves 800 metres of ascent, as Coll de Sa Batalia is 579m above sea level. The normal time taken is approximately 5 to 6 hours for the round trip.

It is best to avoid June to August due to the heat, and a clear day is important as navigation, high on the mountain, could be tricky in mist. I climbed it on a pleasant day in January. Often the weather in winter is excellent for walking in Majorca with clear days and temperatures around 17 degrees centigrade.

The Plateau at 1200m. Summit is the central peak.

From the Coll de Sa Batalia, I walked 100m south down the road, crossed a bridge, then took the GR222 south. After approximately 250m, I turned sharply right to follow an excellent track west into the valley. After 800m I reached a stile, and entered private land. At this point there was a charge to continue (four Euros for residents and six Euros for non- residents). When I spoke English, I was charged six Euros.

I continued up the valley on a good path through the trees, in a south easterly direction, ignoring any paths going off to the right. There were signs saying ‘Puig’ which are signs to Massanella. After a further two kilometres, I arrived at Col de sa Linia, and turned right to follow the sign to ‘Puig’ (the path going off to the left climbs 650ft to Puig de n’Ali).

Summit of Puig Massanella

The path up the hillside was cairned and the trees thinned out gradually. At 1,000m there was a sign ‘Puig y Font’ or ‘Font y Puig’. I followed the sign ‘Puig y Font’, as this appeared to be the easier route. At 1,200m, a plateau appeared with the summit straight ahead to the west.

The path continued over flat ground towards the mountain, then ascended past some goats, heading directly to the col between the summit (on the right) and a subsidiary summit at 1,348m to the left (see below). At the col I turned right for the final ascent to the summit.

There are big drops to the north of the summit so care should be taken on this final section. There is no cairn or Trig Point at the summit. My intention had been to descend to the Coll des Prat to the north, but there are cliff faces and no obvious route down to this col, so this should be avoided. I returned by the route as of ascent to the café at Coll de Sa Batalia for a welcome coffee and almond cake. Energetic and experienced hill walkers may want to add Puig de n’Ali on the way down.

2. Puig Galatzo (1,026m/3,368ft)

“The Matterhorn of Majorca”

Puig Galatzo is the most popular peak in Majorca, towering magnificently just to the west of Palma. It is known as the ‘Matterhorn’ of Majorca, the views are superb, and it is easier to climb than it looks. The walk from Es Cucui took approximately 4 hours, just over 2 hours for the ascent and just under 2 hours for the descent.

Galatzo on the approach to Sa Font des Pi

We drove to Es Cucui by following the road from Palma to Puigpunyent, then a minor road, signposted to the Reserva Puig de Galatzo, for three kilometres. Having parked at Es Cucui (400m above sea level) we walked up the minor road which goes right, and climbs towards the hill.

We followed this minor road for about 30 minutes, ignoring tracks going off to the right, then turned right, continuing the ascent on the minor road to the walled spring at Sa Font des Pi. It would be possible to drive to this point. However, it is not clear whether this is allowed and, in any case, it is not necessary as it is a pleasant walk.

Standing in front of the walled spring, we followed the left hand track up the hill. At the next junction, after three minutes, we took the path to the right, and ascended through the forest. As the path became steeper, the wood thinned out and a fire lookout came into view ahead on the Coll des Carnisseret. The tower is at a height of 703m

Looking west from the summit Trig Point

We kept left on the track which passed 100m left of the tower. The path turned left towards Galatzo. After a short distance, the path veered right to begin the traverse below the north side of Galatzo. It headed directly towards the rocky tower called Es Bispe, descending slightly, then crossing over a scree slope. The path now ascended right of Es Bispe to a col at 825m.

At the col there was a signpost, left to Puig Galatzo, and straight ahead to Boal de ses Serveres. We took the left turn to Galatzo and followed the path for the final ascent of 200m (650ft) to the summit of Galatzo. The path followed rocky terrain and ascended steadily, at one point going through some huge boulders. Near the summit, we kept right to scramble onto the final summit ridge a short distance from the round Trig Point.

Care needs to be taken on the ascent and descent, but on a clear summit day, the summit can be reached by most walkers. Expect to find others sharing the summit with you. We descended the same way back to Es Cucui and a late lunch at Puigpunyent.

3. Puig D’Alaro (821m/2,694ft)

“The mountain with coffee on the summit”

Puig D’Alaro is a mountain with history. The medieval castle on the level summit plateau was considered impregnable by both the Moors and the Aragonese. It can be ascended on good paths from the Orient Valley west of the summit or Es Verger Restaurant south of the summit. A longer route climbs to the summit from Alaro.

Cliffs of Puig D’Alaro

The route from Es Verger means good refreshments at the start and end of the walk, and a few kilometres of twisty single track road from Alaro. That was the route I decided to take. There was good parking at Es Verger although this could be crowded in the summer. The restaurant at Es Verger is at a height of 550m so there was under 300m of climbing from here to the summit.

I followed the road as it continued uphill towards the Pla des Pouet at 685m. The road turned into a track and glimpses of the summit could be seen between the trees.

From the Pla des Pouet the path headed towards the castle, then traversed below the south side of the castle, before doubling back at a fork to climb to the castle. From here it was a straightforward ascent of nearly 200ft to the chapel and coffee shop. The summit is slightly higher and behind the seating area.

The Chapel and restaurant near the summit of Puig D’Alaro

I returned to the castle, and descended further to the fork passed on the way up to the castle. From the fork I followed the GR 221 towards Alaro, as it zigzagged down the mountain. It reached the road below the Es Verger restaurant, and it was a short walk back up the road to the restaurant and the car park.

4. Talaia Freda (562m/1,844ft)

“The high point of the Llevant nature park

The Llevant nature park north of Arta in the north east of the island gives good walking and excellent views. Talaia Freda is the high point of a ridge of mountains running close to the sea. The ascent from the car park at s’Alqueria Vella is straightforward and is a round trip of approximately 8km.

South from Talaia Freda to Bac de Ferrutx

From Arta I followed the Ma-3333 north towards Ermita. After 4.7km, I went right at a fork in the road (signposted Parc Natural). After a few hundred metres this led to a walkers’ car park. There is a drinks dispenser and information centre next to the car park.

I walked north east along the road (continuing in the same direction as I had been driving) for nearly 2km. At a bend in the road a sign appeared for Talaia Freda. I followed this path as it climbed the hillside. Just before the path rejoined the road I went left directly towards the summit. I ascended the cairned path for another kilometre to the large Trig Point at the summit.

I returned directly to the road and followed back to the start. Talaia Moreia, at the end of the peninsula, with its Tower (pirates’ lookout) could be added to this walk but it is an additional 10km round trip.

Talaia d’Alcudia (445m/1,460ft)

5. Talaia d’Alcudia

A popular summit rising impressively above Alcudia

There are two peninsulas at the north end of Majorca. The Formentor peninsula and the Alcudia peninsula. The next two walks take you to the best known summit on each of these peninsulas.

Talaia d’Alcudia, good waymarking

To reach the start point for Talaia d’Alcudia, I followed the signs from Alcudia to Ermita de la Victoria. The road ran east along the coast, then climbed to the car park at Ermita de la Victoria. There was plenty of parking in front of the Hermitage.

From the car park I ascended the broad forest track, ignoring a path which went off to the left towards Penya des Migdia. Soon there was an open view ahead of Talaia d’Alcudia. The track continued to the col between Talaia d’Alcudia and Penya des Migdia. From the foot of Talaia d’Alcudia, I ascended a zigzag path which found its way through the rocks to the summit of the mountain.

There is a Trig Point at the summit and good views over Alcudia. I saw other people on the summit who had climbed the mountain directly from Alcudia, a longer route with more ascent. I returned by the same route, and was back to the car park two hours after setting off.

6. El Fumat (334m/1,096ft)

“An iconic peak on the Formentor Peninsula

With its striking shape, El Fumat is the most prominent peak on the Formentor Peninsula. Its rising horn overhangs the road below which disappears into a tunnel at the base of the rock. El Fumat competes with El Pal for the most northerly peak in Majorca.

Old lighthouse path to El Fumat

From Port de Pollenca I drove along the Ma-2210 in the direction of Cap de Formentor, went through the Fumat tunnel, and parked at the Mirador. The Mirador is at 14.9km, about 1km past the tunnel. However, it gets busy and it can be difficult to park. I also understand that the road is closed to private cars from 15 June to 15 September each year and a shuttle bus runs from Port de Pollenca to the lighthouse every 30 minutes. On these occasions it is necessary to start at the car park before the tunnel is reached and walk through the tunnel.

The Mirador was a fantastic viewpoint. Having spent a few minutes there, I walked a few hundred metres back down the road to the point where the old lighthouse path goes off to the left. I followed this path as it zigzagged up the hill to the col de la Creu at 242m. At the col I left the lighthouse path and followed a cairned path which makes a direct ascent of the last 300ft of El Fumat. The ascent was straightforward but care has to be taken to stay on the path, as there are some steep drops. I returned the same way. The walk took two hours.

The Cap de Formentor from El Fumat