Mountains have been used by man as defensive points as well as retreats and hideaways for centuries; it is therefore hardly surprising that there are so many monasteries on the peaks of the Serra de Tramuntana and the Serres de Levante. Some of them have remained true to their original role and are today home to monks and nuns. Others, on the other hand, have transformed into places of relaxation, spiritual reflection and good dining.
It is, of course, possible to get to the monasterios or eremitas, as they are known in Spanish, by car but a relaxing and leisurely hike is much more romantic and healthier, too – it is, in fact, very healthy. In this way you can also enjoy a treat at the end, the coffee and cake, as many of the old monasteries have very good restaurants and cafes. abcMallorca provides a few tips on some of the best hikes to picturesque monasteries with breathtaking views. Due to the often very stony and slippery ground we recommend you have good equipment/hiking gear such as sturdy shoes and water and windproof clothing.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Serra de Tramuntana is the backbone of Mallorca. Find out what this spectacular mountain range has to offer. […] Discover the Serra de Tramuntana
Santuari de Lluc – ancient monastery and place of pilgrimage and relaxation
Santuari de Lluc is, undoubtedly, Mallorca’s most well-known monastery, as well as being a real place of pilgrimage. Each year, on the ‘Lluc a Peu’ (Lluc on foot), 10,000 people go on the pilgrimage from Palma to Lluc – and this in just one night!
Santuari de Lluc is the most important holy site on Mallorca and lies in a picturesque valley setting in the Tramuntana mountains. A must-see! […] Santuari de Lluc
Lluc is also part of one of the most beautiful stretches of the Dry Stone Route (Ruta de la Pedra en Sec) – from Tossals Verds to Son Amer. And it is also possible to go on numerous other excursions from here.
The Dry Stone Route is the most well-known hiking trail in the Tramuntana mountains – take a look at the four most scenic routes. […] The Dry Stone Route (Ruta de Pedra en Sec)
One of the most well-known pilgrim routes is in honour of the virgin of Lluc is the Camí Vell de Lluc and starts from the small town of Caimari. This path has been used for walking up to the monastery since the Middle Ages and offers hikers marvellous views. If you walk at a relaxed pace, it will take you 2.5 hours to reach the monastery grounds, which are almost like a small village.
There are several restaurants, cafes and even a bakery here where you can stop off for a break before exploring the monastery and the surroundings.
Due to its central location in the Serra de Tramuntana and its historical and contemporary significance, Lluc is very popular and therefore also offers various traditional and rustic accommodation options. You can stay in the monastery itself, in one of the 81 rooms or 39 apartments, or at the traditional Son Amer hostel, only 15 minutes away. From here you can start the next stage of the Dry Stone Route to Pollensa. If this isn’t close enough to nature for you, you can also sleep in a tent in the adjoining campsite.
Lluc a Peu is the most famous walk in Mallorca – in one night, thousands of people walk 50 km from Palma to Lluc monastery, in the Tramuntana mountains. […] Des Güell a Lluc a Peu – the Night of the Pilgrims
Sant Salvador – discover the Serres de Levante
The monastery on the Puig de Sant Salvador, in the heart of the Sierra de Levante nature park, is a two hour and 45 minute car journey from the town of Felanitx. At the top, you can enjoy the views from the Creu de Picot (Picot cross) and Crist Rei (statue of Christ) viewing points. You can also easily drive to Crist Rei by car.
From the peak you can start several further interesting hikes, for example to the neighbouring Castell de Santueri. The ruins of the former fort lie on the peak of the Puig de Santueri and are a two-and-half-hour journey from Puig de Sant Salvador.
The Sant Salvador monastery also has a cafe which transforms into an à la carte restaurant in the evenings and can even be booked for weddings or other events – all at an altitude of 510m with marvellous views.
If you can’t manage the walk back down you can spend the night in the Hotel Sant Salvador Hostatgería. The double rooms or apartments are simple yet cosily furnished and offer stunning views of the Serra de Levante and the sea.
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Randa – the monastery mountain: through caves and forests in the footsteps of the monks
The special thing about the mountain of Randa is that not just one but three monasteries were built here: Cura, St. Honorat and Gràcia. Randa and Cura monastery are still associated with the 13th century Mallorcan philosopher Ramon Llull.
It is best to start the relatively easy two-and-half-hour hike to Cura monastery from the idyllic village of Randa. With a few detours along the way, it is also possible to include the other monasteries in the hike. The tunnels and caves that have been carved into the mountain are fascinating but it is best you don’t enter them without a torch and rope to lead you back out – remember the myth of the Minotaur!
The view from Cura is breathtaking as you can see Palma, the Serra de Tramuntana and the bay of Pollensa from there. The monastery has a cafe, restaurant and hotel, ideal for a break, and you can even spend the night here.
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Santuario del Puig de Maria – the most beautiful sunset on Mallorca
The 14th century monastery was built to offer the virgin Maria protection from the black death. It sits enthroned in a picturesque setting above the town of Pollensa and, if you manage to get up early enough, you will be rewarded with the most breathtaking sunrise you will see on Mallorca – the view from the monastery of Pollensa and the Bay of Pollensa is truly spectacular.
The hike from Pollensa to Santuario de Santa Maria only takes around an hour and is therefore perfect for a family day out. Once you’ve arrived at the top, you can (outside of the hot summer months) use the barbecue and eat food you have brought with you. Alternatively, enjoy a typical Arroz Brut in the restaurant.
If you decide to enjoy the sunset, book one of the small rooms in the monastery – staying and dining here in the rustic surroundings is quite an experience!
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Ermita de Bonany
The name of this monastery, which was probably built in the 17th century, means ‘good year’. If the stories about it are true, it provided believers with much needed rain in 1609 and, with this, a good harvest. If you set off on a hike from the town Petra, you will need about an hour to get to the monastery which is at an altitude of 315m. At the top you will have stunning and particularly uncommon views as you are more or less in the middle of the island. The monastery is one of the biggest of its kind on Mallorca and therefore particularly worth visiting. If you want to enjoy the views and the stars at night, book a room in the hostel.
More Activities on Mallorca
You’ll never run out of things to do on Mallorca! Here we give you ideas for everything from cultural and outdoor activities to sports and water fun.