The Puig de Maria & Monastery, Pollenca
The Puig de Maria, more formally known as ‘Santuari de la Mare de Déu del Puig’ is a small hill that overlooks the town of Pollenca in the North of Mallorca.
The walk is fantastic for witnessing stunning views of Majorca's countryside and the local towns of Pollenca, Port de Pollenca and Alcudia, not to mention it is a great workout for the legs. It takes around 40-45 minutes to slowly saunter to the top where there is a lovely monastery and restaurant to stay for a meal or a quick drinks stop.
The Puig de Maria is a modest 330m high, the road leading up the Puig is 2.2km long and winds up through the trees giving both shade from the sun and glimpses of the scenic views below. The route takes you up a road for most of it but the last part has no vehicle access and is a more rocky path. There aren't any parking facilities here so what most visitors do is leave their car in Pollensa, in the car park by the Repsol garage which you'll see just by the main road.
Upon reaching the summit of the Puig de Maria, you are greeted with traditional sandstone buildings housing a monastery and chapel. In 1348 the chapel was constructed and a monastery was added to this 14 years later, where nuns from the local area stayed. The nuns lived and worshiped at the monastery until 1576 when they were ordered to leave and moved to Palma de Mallorca, the islands capital. The monastery still retains traditional decor with tiled floors and small windows so to not let in too much light or heat. There is a magnificent dining room within the monastery as well as a small chapel. The Santuari de la Mare de Déu del Puig is one of several sanctuaries on Mallorca - you can read about the others in our Churches & Sanctuaries page.
Once at the top of the Puig, if you are feeling a little peckish, there is a small restaurant which serves simple, traditional Mallorquian cuisine. Dishes such as ‘Pa amb Oli’ - bread with serrano ham, cheese, tomato and oil; ‘Frit’ - finely diced vegetables with liver, served warm and ‘Els Cargols’ (snails) - served with a generous helping of aioli (garlic mayonnaise) are all featured on the menu. This no-fuss dining is ideal after a trip up the Puig as it allows you to re-fuel, sample the local food and then head back down to Pollenca town.
The restaurant is open for breakfast between 8.30am-10am and serves traditional foods such as ensaïmadas, croissants and juices. Lunch is served from 1pm-3pm with dinner starting at 8pm and finishing at 10pm. As the restaurant is quite small, it is a good idea to phone in advanced to reserve a table, especially if you are a large group. This gives the chef a chance to get everything in stock and to prepare your food before you arrive. If you do go for dinner then it is a good idea to take a torch for the way down, there is no lighting on the path and by the time you leave the restaurant it will be pitch dark outside. The kitchen is closed on Mondays so to avoid disappointment, prepare your trip a different day if you are wanting a meal or snack prepared for you at the top or alternatively you can take your own picnic and sit on one of the stone benches outside the monastery.
If you’ve enjoyed too many jugs of sangria during dinner and cannot face stumbling down the hillside then there is accommodation available for around 20€/night for two beds. This accommodation is very basic so do not expect air conditioning, or an en-suite.
My main advise for climbing the Puig would be to wear sensible shoes such as trainers. Although the walk is not challenging, the path can become very rocky and slippery towards the top and wearing sandals or flip-flops could make an easy walk much more tricky and dangerous. Avoid going up the Puig during the midday sun during the summer months, going in the evening around 8pm will be a lot cooler and a more pleasant experience. Make sure you take plenty of water with you but most of all take your time and enjoy the views. This is a great opportunity to enjoy piece and tranquillity so take the chance to savour it.
The phone number for the Puig de Maria is (+34) 971 184 132.
Read more about Pollenca
Pollensa (Pollenca), Mallorca