The 'mountains of the north wind' which run the length of Mallorca's north coast are home to the island's most spectacular landscapes.
Pine-covered slopes lean into the sea; as you climb higher, forested hills give way to barren crags and peaks. The people of Majorca have good reason to be grateful to the mountains - in winter they act as a buffer, shielding the plain from the fierce tramuntana wind and absorbing most of the island's rain and snow. In summer they provide a cool retreat from the heat of Palma and the south.
The Serra de Tramuntana runs for 88km from Andratx to Pollenca, with the rocky outcrops of Sa Dragonera and Cap de Formentor at either end. Ten peaks are over 1,000m, most are concentrated in the area around Lluc. The highest are Puig Major (1,445m) and Puig Massanella (1,349m). There are no rivers, though there are several mountain torrents which swell rapidly after rain, and the Cuber and Gorg Blau reservoirs, essential resources on an island so often affected by drought.
The mountains are best seen slowly, on foot. You smell the wild rosemary, hear the sheep bells, frighten the goats, breathe in the air and marvel at pine trees growing out of red rock - a divine version of the colours of Mallorcan village houses. If you have to drive, try to avoid the peak months of July and August, and take care - the roads here are the most dangerous on Majorca, and the endless procession of hairpin bends requires total concentration. The most dramatic drive of all is the C710 from Soller to Lluc, traversing tunnels and gorges on its way between Puig Major and Puig Massanella.
Of course, the Tramuntana Mountains hold great appeal for cyclists, both road and mountain types. The most famous route is that to Sa Calobra, a great descent with plenty of bends down to a beautiful coastline. Popular routes also include riding from Soller to Valldemossa, Soller to Pollenca and Andratx to Banyalbufar.
For a selection of hikes in the mountains, the tourist office has published a useful guide with maps and reliefs, although their trail descriptions are a little sketchy! See Walking in Mallorca.
- Highest Point: 1445m
- Beauty Spot
- Nature Reserve
- Driving / Road Trip
- Hiking / Walking
- Trails & Routes