Return to Mallorca

I missed a few sections of the GR221 last time I was in Mallorca, and there was a few ridgelines I wanted to try, so I am heading back for a quick weekend hiking break. My buddy Sam is coming along too.

Day 1 – circular ridge route from Soller – 20km, 1200m of ascent

The weather forecast wasn’t promising and after a bit of faffing getting food and water and an excellent breakfast we headed out of soller and up a lovely but unrelenting climb up to Puig de S’aritgar. The path didn’t appear to have been walked on for quite a while but we found our way through the high grass following faint red marks.

We stopped for coffee about about 800m enjoying the views down to the coast and ignoring the enormous mobile phone tower behind us.

From the first peak we had to pick our way along the ridge line for about 4km picking out rock cairns which marked the route. There was a fair amount of rock hopping – jumping from one big rock to another across the high grass. Sam had an easier time with longer legs. We stopped for lunch at Puig d’Alfabia but got pretty cold within a few minutes so got moving pretty swiftly.

The path got a lot easier when we reached Cornador Gran and it was an easy meander down the Barranc de Biniraix (a ravine) on a fabulously engineered mule path to the lovely village of Biniraix before returning to Soller.

After an excellent hot shower and a wee lie down, we went for a nice dinner at Can Bouquet and an early night. Sam wasn’t quite full after dinner so he did try the vending machine hamburger on our way back……. It was apparently not awful

Day 2 – up to Font Prat via Tossals Verds – 22km, 1700m of ascent

It was a glorious sunny day and we had a leisurely start with coffee and excellent almond pastries at the St Christo, and packed up some baguettes to go

We headed out through the streets and then through some citrus groves, wandering 4km to the lovely village of Fornalutz. That was our warm up. And then it was a straight up grunting climb for 900m to Puig des Verger. Most of the path was well walked but there were a few bits of the path that had slid away and necessitated two hands on the ground, rocks and trees to haul ourselves up. The views were stunning and we tucked into a sheltered wall and had lunch around noon.

From there we picked our way over the ridge line to rejoin the main GR221 route at Col de offre. From their we started seeing other hikers and it was a leisurely and flat stroll down to and along the cuber reservoir where we stopped to hang out with the sheep and have some more food at 13.30

Time was passing and we had to navigate around the whole tossals verds, so we headed out from Font Noguer up to the hill and down to Pas de Llis. This was the most fun section of the day, not many people and a hairy section with chains to hold on to and haul yourself up a slippery rock face. I have vertigo and it wasn’t that bad.

It took us the full signposted 1h 50m to get to the Refugi tossal Verds from Noguer, so we didn’t dally at the refuge. We filled up with water for the evening and grunted up the hill (3 litres of water weighing 3kg) for another 90mins to camp at Font de Prat. Some young hikers had beaten us to the most obvious spot but we found a quiet and lovely site directly next to the fountain.

I had an excellent cod and potato stew and a hot chocolate and settled in for the night. I had neglected to read the forecast so was ill prepared with my summer gear. I slept in all my clothes and was just warm enough with hat, gloves, puffer and a buff over my face

Day 3 – over to Lluc and down to Caimari on the GR222 – 19km, 800m of ascent

I was up at 7 and had a couple of coffees and some muesli and packed up. We headed out just after eight and saw some other wild campers a little further up the trail. It was cold and my feet took a full half an hour to wake up.

The morning was a gentle 450m climb up to the Coll des Prat with stunning views of Puig Massanella when we cleared the tree line. We made decent time down the valley and then back up to Puig Galileu. And then it was time for the fun stairs down to Lluc.

We got to Lluc at 11.30 and had a substantial early lunch of steak and papas bravas. And then we meandered our way down the hill for another 8km to Caimari.

That’s it – a short but lovely three days hiking in Mallorca.

Additional notes

I used the cicerone gr221 guide and also their guide to mountain walking in Mallorca (gpx can be downloaded) to piece together the route. Stayed at can abril in soller – my go to choice.

Mallorca, Feb 27, 2022

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