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A wintery coastal hike on Cami de Sa Volta des General

From Banyalbufar (Banalbufar) to Port des Canonge

Jose Rains | Mallorca Reporter | Published: 12th February 2018

On a sunny February Saturday morning, we drove towards Banyalbufar to try the leisurely but beautiful Port des Canonge hike, along a coastal path at the very edge of the majestic Serra de Tramuntana mountain range. The path is called Cami de Sa Volta des General, named after General F. Cotoner who, in the 19th century, was the owner of the Baronia estate, now a hotel in Banyalbufar

From the Ma-20 which rings Palma, we took the Ma-1040, then Ma-1100 which turns into the Ma-10 towards Banyalbufar. The first 25 minutes of the drive were fairly ordinary until we got to Esporles. This town was vividly pretty, with a row of bare trees and well-kept, pretty, blonde-stone houses with traditional Mallorcan shutters lining the main street. As we departed the village, we were met by some more challenging roads and endured a further 15 to 20 minutes of twists and turns to get to Banyalbufar.

With the help of my hiking guide ‘Mallorca the finest coastal and Mountain walks’ by Rolf Goetz, we managed to find the small car park that had been marked on a sharp bend along the Ma-10. There were a few other cars parked up here too, so we expected to see fellow walkers on our expedition. As we got out the car, we took a moment to appreciate the remarkable view over Banyalbufar and its famous ancient terraces dating back to as early as the 10th century.

From the car park, we followed what was once a wide cart track drifting slightly downhill, and some steps later we were surrounded by green pine trees as we had entered into the edge of a forest. A few minutes into the journey, we came to a fork in the path, at which point we took the lower path on the left which is signed posted by wooden waymarker with a black arrow. This was where I noticed the start of the waymarkers which became a massive help on the journey! After passing a gate, the pine trees were slightly sparser, so we could catch little glimpses of the sea below.

I then realised that I was walking at the foot of the Puig de ses Planes which had been clearly indicated as a beauty spot in my hiking guide. The most notable feature was a giant, rugged but beautiful rock face overhanging the path. On our other side, there was a clearing in the trees and we had our first clear view of the sea, which was complemented by the breathtaking mountain scenery ahead. It’s the kind of place you automatically stop in your tracks and soak up the surroundings, and is definitely one of the most picturesque parts of the hike.

At this point, huge boulders and rocks are strewn along the path. So, as we continued our journey I had to make myself concentrate on my footing rather than the view. Before long we came across more pine trees which obstructed the view out to sea, but we kept looking down and vibrant turquoise water quickly caught our attention. On closer inspection, we could see it was a little bay surrounded by craggy white outcrops.

After almost 45 minutes, we met a tarmac road where we were directed to travel downhill to the left. Here the valley opens up and the derelict Son Bunyola Estate dominates the landscape amid terraced fields and almond trees. A truly memorable moment, with nothing but mountains and countryside around the grandiose house, we felt as if we had been transported back in time.

When we left the estate behind, we were directed on a track toward the sea and our backdrop changed once again. Here there was a spectacular contrast in the scenery thanks to the rusty red coastal road and the deep blue colour of the Mediterranean.

This took us to a small opening where we were greeted by a small ancient stone shack, from here a marker directed us toward the sea. We followed the pebbled beach until we reached a dry streambed, which for a moment confused us. However, our hiking guide directed us to ascend the embankment on the other side which we did. Climbing some rocky terrain at the top we followed our instincts to follow the coastline towards some buildings a short distance away, we reached a road and realised we were in Port des Canonge. Crossing over to an elevated bench area we could then see down to the bay and the old small fishing harbour. This was a great place to sit and soak up the surroundings.

We wandered around the small village and along Carrer Port des Canonge we stumbled upon Restaurant Can Mado, a traditional looking Spanish restaurant. We didn’t want to overindulge as we knew we had to return in our footsteps to get back to the car, so we avoided the big dishes like Paella in favour of tapas. Bread with home-made aioli, olives, Jamon Serrano, Manchego cheese and calamari were just what we needed to give us some energy for our return journey.

There’s certainly no shortage of hiking routes in Mallorca, from leisurely strolls through to challenging climbs. This is an unchallenging hike of 2.5 hours in total (there and back), therefore one of the easiest walks along the Tramuntana coast. Highly recommended for its wonderful assortment of scenery you can enjoy in a short space of time!

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