There are many different ways to attack the climb; you could start in the town of Mancor, at Soller on the north coast or even take on the Massanella as part of a longer trail across the island. The route I chose is that which best isolates the climb itself, providing the shortest distance up and down - the ascent is around 11km. This route is not too difficult to follow thanks to markers, though it is certainly advisable to carry a map and to familiarise yourself with the paths as much as possible in advance.
The walk begins opposite the Repsol petrol station and Coll de Sa Bataia restaurant which can be found just off the Ma-10 to the south of Lluc. There is plenty of room here to park and also a very convenient bar for the end of the walk! From here, you cross the bridge and after 100m turn off the road to the right onto a footpath. Follow this footpath for roughly 1km, you then double back on yourself where the path will lead round to the warden’s lodge.
The Puig, as with the majority of the island, is located within privately owned ground. The owner does allow walkers, cyclists and horse riders access but at a small charge. For walkers wishing to conquer the Massanella, the fee is €6 (€4 for island residents).
Having gone on from the warden, the path winds its way through the holm oaks of the lower slopes. These provide welcome shade for both you and the ever-present goats who chime their way across the mountain side. When you arrive at a first stone offering you directions to Mancor, Lluc or Puig, follow the route for Puig. Upon arriving at the second stone offering the options ‘Font-Puig’ or ‘Puig-Font’, you have the option to take either route, though it is advised to take the former going up and the latter coming down. For the rest of the way, the path is marked at regular intervals by red spots on the ground and by small piles of rocks, the rocks being particularly useful closer to the summit when the lack of trees makes the path less obvious.
But it is also at this point that one is really able to soak up the views! Gaps in branches offer glimpses of what is to come as you creep up the beginning of the climb before you emerge from the treeline and enjoy views to the horizon across vast areas of the island. The range and quality of these sights only improves as you push higher, making the struggle of the climb all that more bearable. There is a real sense of achievement upon reaching the top, justly rewarded by the spectacle on offer. The afternoon that I went up was slightly cloudy, certainly not enough to detract from the experience, but on a clear day it is possible to see across as far as Menorca!
The climb up the Massanella is certainly a challenge; I would definitely call it a climb rather than a hike. It requires a certain amount of forethought and willing. Though if I were to give one piece of advice to climbers, it would be not to focus too much on the climb but more on the opportunity it offers to take in the beautiful island of Mallorca in all its glory.