GR221 Mallorca: Next Perfect Team Building for Your Team Should Be Here

Serra de Tramuntana is a national reserve that stretches along Mallorca’s northwest coast. It occupies about 30% of the island’s territory. Serra de Tramuntana includes 19 municipalities. In each, your team can experience traditional Mallorcan cuisine, authentic sights, and a bustling fair. Hold tight as we are going to discover hiking the GR221 in Mallorca!

Serra de Tramuntana – a world heritage site

The length of the mountain range is approximately 90km. The peak of the mountain range and the highest point of the Balearic Islands is Mount Puig Major (1,445m). 4 other peaks reach over 1000 meters in height:

  • Puig de Massanella – 1,348m
  • Sierra de Alfabia – 1,069m
  • Es Racó d’es Teix – 1,064m
  • Galatzo – 1,026m

The area has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Cultural Landscape category. All thanks to the paths, walls, terraces, defense towers, and other traditional structures made of dry stone.

Best time to visit Mallorca

In the minds of tourists, Mallorca is Spain’s main beach and party island. But, limiting yourself to the coast, your team will definitely not see the most beautiful landscapes and unusual sights! The best time for walking in the Serra de Tramuntana is April-May and September-October. The weather in Mallorca will be dry and not hot, and you will easily find a place in the shelters.

If you’re hiking in the Sierra de Tramuntana, the GR221 Mallorca trail is the most popular route there. As you walk along, your team will see many structures built this way, from mills to defense towers. These sights are far away in the mountains and can only be reached on foot.

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GR221 – dry stone route

Dry stone is an ancient construction technique that involves the precise placement of hewn stones together without using mortar and cement. The main purpose of dry stone is to create stepped terraces to prepare new farmland. This method of erecting various structures was the most popular on the island in the Middle Ages. The technique was used all over Europe: in Valencia, Catalonia, Portugal, Sweden, and even Ireland! 

People appeared in the area as early as 2700 BC. The natives lived in comfortable local caves and practiced agriculture and herding. In the northeast of Mallorca is the ancient Bronze Age town of Capocorb Vell, with 5 fortified talaiot and 28 houses.

The island was ruled by the Roman Empire until the 4th century AD and was conquered by the Arab Caliphate of Cordoba in 902. After the annexation of Mallorca by King Jaime I in the 13th century to the crown of Aragon, the island’s territory was divided between the king, his knights, and the church. To protect Mallorca from possible attacks by the Arabs, the Christians created a network of towers, lookout posts, and castles. The most important fortifications, the stone castles of Castell del Rei (Pollenca) and Castell d’Alaro, dating back to Roman times, were united.

When Christians came to Mallorca, the island’s fertile lands were distributed among the island’s Catalan nobles. The ancient infrastructure is still intact, with coal pits, wine cellars, and their own defense towers on each estate. The mansions in some estates look like real palaces – for example, Son Marroig in Deia, a favorite wedding venue in Mallorca, or the neoclassical Raixa Castle in Bunyola.

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Rapid tourist development began on the island in the mid-twentieth century. Sierra de Tramuntana has remained the least poppy place, so nature here is almost untouched. The forests have stone oaks, olive scrubs, pines, heather, and rosemary bushes. On the mountain trails, your team can see huge 300-year-old cedars. All old trees are protected by law.

7 stages of GR221

The most famous hiking route is the “Dry Stone Way”. It runs for more than 140 km from Port d’Andratx to Pollenca. GR-221 consists of 7 stages:

  1. Es Capdella – Coma d’en Vidal refuge (9km). Most tourists start from Es Capdella, as it is easier to get here from Palma by rented car on the MA 1015 highway or Mallorca intercity buses. The beautiful mountain route along the coast takes 3-4 hours and ends at a welcoming refuge.
  2. Coma d’en Vidal – Estellencs village (7km). This is the shortest section of the path that is easily passable in 2 hours. Therefore, if you want to walk and spend a minimum of time, take this route.
  3. Estellencs – Esporles (15km). Your team will pass 3 villages along the sea. Along the way, you will see the medieval estates of Es Colle, Es Rafal, Son Sanutges gypsum kiln, and extraordinary stone terraces. Try to get to this part of the route on a Saturday – it’s market day in Esporles.
  4. Esporles – Can Boi refugee (22km). This will be a most beautiful walking day passing through the authentic hillside villages of Valldemossa and Deia. The houses are built of yellow sandstone. Near each courtyard are potted flowers and hedges braided with green plants. Your team can walk to Cala Deia and take a break on one of the best beaches in Mallorca.
  5. Deia – Port de Soller – Muleta shelter (9.5km). It is a small section of the route where your team will find a maximum of buildings made of dry stone. Muleta Shelter is housed in a former telegraph station. It is the best place on the island to catch sunsets.
  6. Port de Soller – Tossa de Mar (28km). It is one of the most challenging sections, passing through the Cuber and Gorg Blau reservoirs, Palma’s main tap water sources. It is possible to deviate a little from the route and descend to the beautiful Sa Calobra Bay.
  7. Tossa de Mar – Santuari de Lluc – Refugi Son Amer (15km). It is a challenging trekking route through the main pilgrimage point of Mallorca. Your team can spend the night in the monastery: its doors are always open to tourists and pilgrims.
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GR221 ends in the center of Pollensa, in the building of the former city slaughterhouse, the Refugi Son Amer. We recommend leaving your heavy backpacks behind and heading out to explore this ancient town’s Jesuit monasteries, museums, and art galleries.

Conclusion

Camping in the Sierra de Tramuntana is prohibited. Breaking the strict rules a little is possible. Just go away from well-marked trails and camp safely in the forest. Making bonfires is definitely not recommended – you can be fined 600€.

The most interesting festivals in the surrounding villages are the festivals of the patron saints, which take place almost every week in summer. The program is surprisingly rich. It includes carnival processions, music, dancing, and, most importantly, a food court with traditional food in the open air. In April, almost all cities hold livestock and craft fairs. In May, wine and cheese fairs take place. In the fall, agricultural and cultural fairs are popular.