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Sierra de Tramuntana

The Tramuntana mountain range, which stretches for 90 kilometres along the north-western coast of Majorca, is the hidden face of an island that is known for sun, sea and sand tourism. Declared a World Heritage Site in 2011 due to its harmonious symbiosis between nature and human action, in its mountains we still find irrigation systems from the Arab era and old dry-stone terraces used for cultivation. Spread between the town of Andratx, to the south, and Cap de Formentor, in the far north of the island, the mountains conceal two reservoirs–the Gorg Blau and the Cúber–and several peaks that surpass 1,000 metres in altitude and are filled with snow in winter, among which the Puig Major (1,445 metres) stands out. Moreover, perfectly integrated with the mountainous environment, there are 20 beautiful towns in which it seems that time has stopped. Let’s go over the most outstanding ones.

The town of Valldemossa, only half an hour from Palma by car, is the most popular of all due to its history and picturesque beauty, with its typical cobbled streets adorned with pots. A centre of attraction for many painters and artists, Valldemossa is known for having welcomed the Polish composer Frédéric Chopin and his wife, the French writer George Sand, in the winter of 1838. It is also the birthplace of the only saint on the island, Saint Catherine Thomas. Its main attraction is the Carthusian Monastery of Valldemossa, a 15th century monastery, former palace of King Sancho I of Majorca, one of the cells of which housed the Chopin couple (today it is the Chopin Museum).

Another vital stop, a little further north, is Deià, one of the most beautiful towns in Majorca. Its special charm has attracted artists such as the English writer Robert Graves, whose house-museum Can Alluny you can visit here, or Archduke Ludwig Salvator of Austria, an eccentric nobleman in love with the island who lived in the estate of Son Marroig, today also a museum. This aristocrat created in the surroundings several paths and viewpoints with unbeatable views of the mountains: the best hiking trails are those that go to the spectacular Sa Foradada peninsula and the Miramar monastery, a building founded by the mystic Ramon Llull in 1276 that Ludwig Salvator of Austria rehabilitated in the 19th century.

If you want a different plan, one of the most charming excursions to the Tramuntana mountain range is the beautiful route on a 1912 wooden train that takes you from Palma to the town of Sóller, located in ‘the valley of oranges’, in the heart of the mountains. The main attraction in this typical town in the shade of Puig Major is taking the old tram that connects the historic centre with Port de Sóller, about 3 kilometres away, where you can enjoy the beaches of Traves and Ca’n Repic and a wide maritime promenade. Or go on a mini-cruise to the nearby Torrent de Pareis, a spectacular canyon crossed by a torrent of water. Very close to Sóller there is also a must-visit town, the small rustic town of Fornalutx, considered one of the most beautiful towns in Spain.

The route northwards through the mountain range ends in Pollença, the northernmost town on the island. It is one of the most charming places in Majorca, and the gateway to the wild Cap de Formentor, the northern point where the Tramuntana mountain range disappears in the Mediterranean. The town stands out for its Plaza Mayor and its medieval layout, as well as for the El Calvario viewpoint, a mountain that belonged to the Knights Templar and offers unbeatable views of Pollença. Seven kilometres away is Puerto Pollença, a traditional fishing port that has become the largest tourist centre in the north, mainly frequented by Brits.

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