DESTINATIONS CULTURE AGENDA CONNOISSEUR'S GUIDE ALTERNATE ROUTES INSIDER'S VIEW NEWS PHOTO GALLERIES

CHOOSE DESTINATION

Mallorca

EssenceWhere to sleepWhere to eatRoutesWorth knowingConnoisseur's GuideInsider's view

CHOOSE OBJECT

Routes« BACK « TO BEGINNING

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER

Add your e-mail address to receive our monthly news.

WE RECOMMEND:

Jewellery by Artists: From Picasso to Koons, an exhibition organised by the culture and art portal Arterritory.com

Destinations · Europe · spain · Mallorca · Routes ·

Routes

Author: Anothertravelguide.com0 COMMENTS

Routes

Andratx - Banyalbufar - Valldemossa - Deià

Drive down one of the island's most beautiful scenic routes (Ma-10), one that will take you from Andratx to Deià. 56 km in length, it begins in Andratx, a town surrounded by pine forests and orange and almond trees, located on the southern end of the Tramuntana mountain range - just a 15-minute drive from Palma. Unfortunately, parts of this region (which is also designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site) were destroyed in the massive wildfires of 2013, the likes of which hadn't been seen in Majorca since 1999. Wednesdays are market day in Andratx, a day on which the usually sleepy little town wakes up and becomes barely recognizable. Next on the route is the coastal town of Banyalbufar, famous for its terrain of more than 2000 step-like terraces that climb downwards along the cliff-side. The terraces used to hold vineyards, and according to legend, the island's substantial stores of wine were the reason that the King of Aragon invaded Majorca. It was the Moors who devised the unique irrigation system used to water the terraced vineyards of Andratx. On the outskirts of Banyalbufar lies one of the most beautiful scenic viewing points on the island's northwest coast - Torre des Verger de Ses Ànimes, or "The Tower of Souls", a watchtower built in 1579 to aid in protecting the city from pillaging pirates. Today, however, the watchtower is held in high regard by sunset watchers - the panoramic view from it truly is wonderful. Not far is Port des Canonge, a small fishing pier with beaches. From here the road heads inland for a bit, winding along fields of olive trees until it touches the coast again by the village of Valldemossa. With its narrow cobbled streets, stone houses and tiny cafés, Valldemossa is worthy of picture postcards, but it is better known as being the temporary home of Frederic Chopin in the winter of 1838-39. This famous composer (of Polish extraction) spent the winter here with his mistress at the time, George Sand, and two of her children. Their lodgings, two cells in Valldemossa's 13th-century La Cartoixa monastery, are the village's main tourist magnet.
If you happen to get hungry, a good place to lunch is Ca'n Pedro, a restaurant serving traditional Majorcan fare since 1967. Not far from Valldemossa, and on the way to Port de Valdemossa, you might be interested in stopping by the cultural centre Coasta Nord; it was founded by Michael Douglas, the Hollywood star and a huge fan of Majorca.

Foto: Routes

The final leg of the route, from Valldemossa to Deià, is one of the most beautiful drives on the island - the road hugs the edge of the meandering, cliff-edged coast, revealing the sublime vibrancy of this part of the Earth. Be sure to make a stop at Sa Foradada, another breathtaking scenic lookout made even more special by the remarkable rock formation jutting into the sea, looking for all the world like the head of some mystical sea monster with a hole in the place of its eye. There's also a small café and restaurant.
Deià is a bohemian village that has been attracting artists since the 19th century, but its pin on the global points-of-interest map was inadvertently stuck in by the English poet Robert Graves. Having moved here permanently, he often invited along his entourage of famous friends - from Gabriel García Márquez to Ava Gardner.
If, after all this, you're up to having a just as unforgettable dinner (with a touch of romanticism), then La Residencia's hotel restaurant, El Olivo, is the place to go. But be forewarned - it is not cheap. Once under the ownership of Richard Branson, La Residencia is now part of the Orient Express chain, but it is still one of the most famous and beautiful of Majorca's better hotels.

Foto: RoutesFoto: Routes

Sóller - Lluch

The road from Sóller to Lluch is a continuation of the scenic Ma-10. In the 19th century, Sóller was known as a substantial exporter of olives and citrus fruits, and, as can be seen from its various gems of modernist architecture, the incoming wealth funnelled its way into the city's construction projects. One of Sóller's hottest tourist attractions, however, is the old wooden tramway that still operates and connects the city with Palma. Not far is the small harbour village of Port de Sóller, famous for its seafood restaurants.
Heading on in the direction of Lluch, the road twists through the mountains heading inland, eventually revealing the Cúber and Gorg Blau water reservoirs - which rather look like small lakes. Also en route is Puig Major which, at 854 meters, is the island's highest point of elevation. This stretch of road is also highly favoured by bicyclists, who usually take coffee breaks in Biniaraix and Fornalutx - two picturesque villages with beautiful views of the mountains. At this point, you will have to choose between two different routes; one will take you straight to Lluch - its monastery is legendary among pilgrims, but the museum that now operates inside of it has become so overloaded with touristy paraphernalia that it has lost much of its charm. The second road will take you on a small detour in the direction of Sa Calobra. Take note that the drive is a bit hair-raising - the mountainous road loops and loops around Puig Major, and at times is so narrow that it is quite difficult for two larger cars to pass one another. Nevertheless, the dramatic views of sheer cliffs and the small beach that welcomes you at your arrival are definitely worth this slight fraying of nerves. Unfortunately, this spot is not a secret, so don't expect solitude. If it is solitude that you're looking for, then keep driving on to Cala Tuent - the larger buses can't manage the road any further. Cala Tuent is a small, sandy cove featuring an old farmhouse that has been turned into a restaurant - Es Vergeret - which is going on its 46th year now. You can lunch either here or at El Guix, a restaurant outside of Lluch for which there are no signs of its existence to be seen from the road. Ensconced by a wild and verdant garden, it sits upon a small hill with a view of a lovely rock pool.

Foto: RoutesFoto: RoutesFoto: Routes

Pollença - Formentor

Pollença, Alcúdia and Formentor are the three main towns in the northeastern part of the island. Pollença is neither too small nor too big - ideal for lazy strolling. The town's main attraction is the Calvari Church; located at the top of a 365-step stairway, the view from it is dizzying. It's also worth driving down to the harbour - Port de Pollença - which, like most such areas, teems with cafés and restaurants. The preeminent sight-seeing spot on this route, however, is Formentor Cape (Cap de Formentor) - the northern-most point of Majorca. The road to the cape snakes through the mountains, and when it's not slicing through forests, then it's skirting the edge of seaside cliffs; the dramatic views change like the frames of a non-stop film. At the very tip of the cape, a lighthouse built in 1892 sits atop the cliffs, but at the halfway mark there's a lookout spot from which approaching pirates were once monitored. Locals call this place "the meeting point of the winds" - and trust us, the winds really are quite buffeting. The road from Port de Pollença to Alcúdia then continues along the coast for a while. Six kilometres from Alcúdia is the art space Fundación Yannick y Ben Jakober; designed by an Egyptian architect, the impressive building contains an eclectic collection of art with works from the 16th to 19th centuries, as well as a good amount of modern and contemporary pieces. The building is surrounded by a sculpture park and a rose garden with more than 100 varieties of roses.

SHARE:
Facebook Twitter

 

Your comments

Unfortunately there are no comments yet.

Your name:

Time of visit:

Your comment: