The forecast for día de las Baleares called for perfect spring weather, so we ventured out with our new friend Sylvia & (borrowed) pup Django for a long hike from Santa Maria to Orient. What was meant to be an easy 14 km trail turned out to be a day-long adventure, getting lost along the way but discovering some of Mallorca’s most beautiful landscapes.
Sylvia scoped out this route, and suggested the little treasures along the way – valley of the Coanegra gulley, a hidden cave and tucked away waterfalls – would make it a great way to see new parts of the island. After ascending most of the morning, we found the entrance to the Son Pou avenc cave, which opened up to a moon-like landscape inside. This fascinating spot, discovered in 1824, was covered in dripping water, stalactites and glimmers of sunlight peeking through the chasm above.
We then hiked up to the spectacular Es Freu waterfall, which marked the 6-hour mark of our hike. Thankfully, we made friends with some fellow exhausted hikers who took a liking to us and fed us casera tarta de melocotón (homemade peach cake). A sweet ending to a beautiful mountain trek.
In the Serra de Tramuntana, there are mountains that rise from 0 m to 1,436 m in just a few kilometres. Since arriving, we’ve wanted to be up in these mountains, on a hike where we could experience the Balearic Mediterranean forest and enjoy views of the sea & the island. This past Sunday, we had our chance with our new friend Emma.
We drove up to Valldemossa and set out to ascend to Puig del Teix via the Archduke path, a dry stone path built by Archduke Luis Salvador of Austria. The path wound along twisted holm oaks, strawberry trees, buckthorn and mastic. Below was a picturesque valley lined with ancient olive trees growing on beautifully maintained terracing. We climbed steeply out of the valley, enjoying the views of Valldemossa behind us and views of Deia & Soller once we reached the peak.
The rugged & scraggly landscape was stark & rough in contrast to the bright blue sea beneath. Despite the cold, we loved this first hike and look forward to many more when we return in 2015.