GR221 Dry Stone Trail
Hiking the Ruta de Pedra en Sec GR 221/ “Dry Stone Route”
Majorca is the biggest Island of the Balear Group. The island is famous for its parties, beaches and beautiful landscape. It’s well known in Europe and within just a quick travel to get there. Since there are so many budged airways out there is it really affordable to fly there. The island is famous under the young generation for a party and beach vacation, it’s not rarely that people drink off their minds and end up with a hangover the next morning. Besides the party strip at the “Ballerman” and the city life of Palma are there many opportunities to escape that place into quiet and peaceful areas.
What many don’t know that Mallorca has a wonderful long distance hiking trail through the Serra Tramuntata. The Serra Tramuntana is a 90km long mountain range with 11 peaks over 1000m starting in the north of the island to the south and offers a dry stone landscape. You visit historical ruins, explore traditions, architecture and spanish gastronomy. The GR221 trail takes you close to the coast and some peaks of the range. The combination of coast and mountainous heights with a variety of the vegetation give the trail a scenic attraction.
Moreover, the Majorca’s climate makes walking possible all year around.
If you look for an hiking adventure on Mallorca I highly recommend the hike trough the mountains.
During high season in the summer can it get crowded every where, even in the mountains. Many people come here to ride their bikes along the mountain roads. Hiking or running is popular by the locals and on Spanish holidays or weekends can it get really busy on the trails. The GR221 follows its way over the mountain range. The Trail is divided in to 8 sections. The trail is restored by Consell de Mallorca and work is still process. During the work do they close some parts from time to time, but there are couple alternatives available to hike.
Because of the constructions I recommend to start in the north and walk the section backward starting at sect 7 in “Pollenca” towards “Santuari de Lluc” over “Sollar” and finish in “Valldemossa”. From here it is possible to walk further south, but check out their website for updates on their construction work.
Official website Dry Stone Route GR221 by Consell de Mallorca
The trail is serviced by some refuges, a typical walk in house with shared rooms for trail walker. Your section walk follows between these refuges. Walk in campsites are not popular and not available along the trail. Anyway it’s convenience to use these Refuges and saves you a lot of space in your backpack by not bringing your whole camping equipment.
To stay in these refuges you have to book your stay ahed. Depending on the season you should plan you nights well ahead, because it can get pretty crowded especially on the weekends. A night in a Dormitory room cost around 11 EU. On each arrival you check in with your online booking details and you will be asked if you want to eat. Dinner, breakfast and lunch need to be reserved couple hours ahed, so they can plan for how many people they need to cook. I highly recommend to eat there, they will cook typical Spanish dishes served with fresh and local food and wine. Like you share a room by couple people you enjoy your meals together as well on big tables. It’s a good chance to get in touch with some locals or other foreign walker. The meals are not expensive, you get for an affordable price really good food. Dinner cost around 10EU.
After breakfast you move on with your hike to the next refuge. There are sections which have not many options to buy food or drinks. So its good to prepare your lunch during breakfast or order the extra available lunch box the night before. I still recommend to bring some trail snacks with you, like muesli bars, nuts or fruits. If you want to save money you can buy your lunch for a whole week before getting on the trail.
The refuges serve coffee and tea often all day long, some also have a whole restaurant in it where you get small meals, cakes, warm and cold drinks. Be aware that in low season some refuges do not have service all day long, they will cook like I said on reservations only. If you cross a little village there might be restaurants, hotels, little shops or cafes available for a lunch or coffee break.
You book your Refuges Muleta, Tossals Verds and Son Amer over Consell de Mallorca.
Follow links to Can Boi, Pont Rama and Hostatgeria del Castell d’Alaró
I arrived the Airport on Majorca and took a shuttle service into Palma “Estacio Intermodal Palma” from there get a connection bus to “Port de Pollenca”.
Link Public transportation, PDF Route Map.
I started my journey in “Port de Pollenca” and stayed a night in a Hostel. So I got on the trail a couple kilometers before official section 7. In Pollenca I passed the Refuge Pont Roma and hiked the 16,7 km long section 7 to “Refugi Son Amer”.
After a simple breakfast I made my way on day 2 from “Son Amer” over “Santuari de Lluc” to Refuge “Tossals Verds” Along the 15,2km section I crossed the “Lluc” right on the highest point of the mountain range. It is a well known tourist spot and a lot to see there.
I didn’t hike the full official 27 km on day 3 to “refuge Muleta” in “Port de Soller”. I finished my section in “Soller” after 20km and checked in to a Hostel. I relaxed the rest of the day, enjoyed a cold beer with dinner and explored Soller. The next day I got on the historic Train to “Port Soller” and spent the afternoon at the Port.
It’s worth it to stay the extra day in Soller. On day 5 I went back on the trail over “Deia” to “Valldemossa”.
Along the way you will explore some awesome views over villages with the typical spanish houses and villas as well some great look-overs of some beautiful bays. You walk through some fruit plantages and private gardens full with citroen, orange and olive trees.
I finished my hike after 5 days in “ Valldemossa” and cached the public bus back to Palma. I checked in to a Hotel in one of the “Ballermann” and enjoyed 2 additional days at a quiet beach. It was low season in October and still warm enough to lay at the beach.
Here is an official PDF Guide to the GR221 with Trail description, pictures and highlights along the way
GR22.info is an additional website