Vacation in Mallorca was the last thing we needed right now. Both of us had a very work intensive time at work and we also needed to organize our move to a new flat. One, that would finally have a Kids room. Just then was the holiday on Mallorca. What a perfect timing. In addition, there was the millennium spring in Hamburg with 5 weeks of summer temperatures without rain, while on Mallorca the weather was rather mixed.
But it wasn’t the island fault and ultimately it did not disappoint us this time either. But you have to keep away from the crowded tourist attractions and most of the beaches. This time we had rented a small finca somewhere in the middle of nowhere at the foot of the Tramuntana mountains between Alaró and Orient, where one wakes in the morning from the bells on the neck of the sheep, which move comfortably from tree to tree. Well, all except us. Charly caught a cold on the first day and kept us up to speed almost every hour of the night. But unfortunately, that is also part of traveling with a baby. Luckily there are good Spanish coffee and big sunglasses.
With a sniffling baby in the luggage, we went on a road trip to discover the beautiful Serra de Tramuntana. If you travel without a baby, you can easily manage the trip in 1-2 days. But we wanted to deliberately take a lot of time not to strain the ailing Charly too much. We divided the route into smaller chunks and planned a beach day in between. We consciously skipped overcrowded tourist resorts such as Valdemossa and Deià. They are beautiful but we already visited them years ago and wanted to focus on the smaller places this time, away from mass tourism. But if you don’t mind loads of tourists and have enough time at your hand, you can easily integrate these stops in the road trip.
The trip starts via Andratx along the coast to the north into the mountains to Estellencs, a picturesque village on the slopes of the 1,026 meter high Puig Galatzó. A walk through the village is worthwhile, with its narrow streets. For many hikers, this is an ideal starting point for hikes. But according to the motto, the way is the goal, the trip to Estellencs alone through the beautiful mountain landscape is worthwhile. And that’s just the beginning of a unique mountain panorama. If you have enough time, you can continue to the Cala d’Estellencs, a beautiful quiet bay.
Torre del Verger
Our next stop was the old lighthouse Torre del Verger. This stop not only makes a great photo opportunity. You will also be rewarded with an excellent view of the coastline.
the nearest town Banyalbufar is known for its hillside pathways. Banyalbufar comes from the Arabic “buniola albahar” and means something like “small vineyard by the sea”. In the past, the region was a popular wine-growing region. Today, mainly citrus fruits and vegetables are grown here. This place looks like a picture book and was the perfect stop for a quick lunch. If you still have enough energy, you can venture on the steep descent to the sea. The bay has a natural waterfall but has otherwise too much concrete for our taste. So on to the next stop along daring serpentines.
Our next and last stop of the day was a complete surprise. Esporles is located 21 kilometers northwest of Palma and is compared to the other villages in Tramuntana mountains with its 4,200 inhabitants quite large. But it could still maintain its tranquil charm. Beautiful avenues of poplars and holm oaks provide pleasant shade and invite you to stroll through the quaint village with its stately homes. Again, several hikes start in the mountains, which of course we could not do with a baby. One of the hikes to Ermita Maristel Monastery is highly recommended, as is the visit to the Finca Es Verger at the foot of the Fita del Ram, above Esporles. The wines of Es Verger have achieved some international awards. Es Verger is one of the few companies on Mallorca that not only works according to the principles of organic farming but can also use the official seal of the state government. We’ll pick up this trip for the next time.
The most famous mountain village on Mallorca is Valdemossa. This beautiful village is one of the most popular destinations for a day trip for package tourists. The mountain village owes its fame above all to the Polish composer Frederic Chopin, who spent a winter there with the French writer George Sand. Valdemossa is really picturesque, but if you are not on crowds, you should either go early in the morning or in the off season. We skipt Valdemossa on our trip this time.
Deià is also very popular among tourists. Since the beginning of the last century, Deià hosted numerous artists (painters, writers, musicians and film actors) such as Peter Ustinov, Ava Gardner, Ulrich Leman, William Waldren, Santiago Rusiñol, Daevid Allen, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Mati Klarwein, Kevin Ayers and Pierce Brosnan. That established the nickname “artist village on Mallorca”. The US actor couple Michael Douglas and Cathrine Zeta-Jones have also purchased their holiday home near Deià. The houses of the village are distributed around the mountain peak, which forms the center. The artists also brought a number of small museums, galleries, fine restaurants and a luxury hotel into the village. The cultural highlight is the international concert of Deià, to which the well-known greats of the music industry visit the small town every year. This little village of 500 souls is definitely worth a visit, although the village similar to Valdemossa a magnet for many day trippers.
Sóller and Port de Sóller
The next stop along the mountain road in the Tramuntana mountains is Sóller and Port de Sóller. Cut off by the steep summits of the Serra de Tramuntana, you could reach Sóller by boat only until 1912. Today there are well-developed tunnels through which you can reach the city by car or train. The town of Sóller itself is a bit off the main road to Port de Sóller. Many excursion tourists, therefore, do not consider Sóller. The city has one of the most attractive Plaças in Mallorca and a station like in the time of the emperors, where treetops still provide protection against the southern sun over the platforms. With a nostalgic tourist train, you can get from Sóller to Port de Sóller (or vice versa). It was a bit crowded that day but was nice to look at. But for a little bigger kids the train is a real highlight.
Port de Sóller is a fairly touristy old fishing village that has made way for hotels and tourist restaurants. The bay of Sóller is almost completely enclosed, which makes bathing with small children very pleasant there. We enjoyed strolling on the beach promenade in spite of the tourists. A bit off the main tourist flow we discovered an incredibly good little restaurant with really great food. Of course we tried many small cafes and restaurants along our route. Some were not great, others were great. But the Sa Barca at Port de Soller really deserves a special recommendation.
Approximately 15 minutes from Port de Sóller I find the most beautiful mountain village of the Tramuntana mountains. The mountain village of Fornalutx has been voted by many as the most beautiful village in Spain and, like many of the mountain villages along the route, is UNESCO World Heritage. The narrow streets and many stairs of the village are planted with plants. The rustic atmosphere of Fornalutx makes a trip to this village a must for any holidaymaker on Mallorca. If you only want to visit one mountain village, I would choose Fornalutx, because, despite its popularity, it is too far away for many beach tourists.
If you still can not get enough of the breathtaking mountain scenery, the MA 10 can continue through the mountains to Pollença. On the beautiful panorama route are the two mountain lakes Cuber and Georg Blau. The street is very well developed so you can find many buses here. We did not make that section on our route, but we’ll save it for the next time.
Attention insider tip !!
And who made it up to here, I reward now with an absolute insider tip. One of the most beautiful mountain roads through the untouched landscape is the Ma 2100, which leads from Alaró, over the beautiful village called Orient and continues behind Bunyola to Sóller. The road is in a dilapidated state, the hairpin bends could not be any steeper, but that keeps most tourists away. Except for hordes of racing cyclists, you rarely meet mass tourists here. So who wants to experience the last true Mallorca, can still find it here.
In Orient, the time has stood still. Next, to Fornalutx, Orient was the most beautiful destination along our journey. This idyllic, well-maintained village with only 30 inhabitants owes its wealth of agricultural past. Almond plantations, olives, many sheep, apple orchards and built-in terraces dominate the landscape here. Because Orient is located in the east of the Tramuntana mountain range, it is called the village of the “rising sun”.
Because of its seclusion and its well-preserved state, the mountain village of Orient has a special attraction for all hiking enthusiasts of the island of Mallorca. The only attraction in the village, the church of Sant Jordi, is commonly known as a pilgrimage site. In culinary terms, Orient has a lot to offer. Next to the Mandala restaurant (make sure to book, as the restaurant opens at 19:30 we could never go there as this is Charly’s bedtime) the restaurant in the Hotel L’Hermitage in one of the most beautiful wooden oil mills is the high cuisine of the island of Mallorca.
If you still do not have enough of winding mountain roads in poor condition, you can make your way to the ruins of the Castell d’Alaró. This road really has it all and I do not think it would be a public road anywhere else. It is a one lane street and in a really bad condition and yet you have to count on traffic coming down sharing that little bit of road that is left. This is sometimes really brute but also part of the adventure and the view rewards the daredevil ride upwards. You can not drive to the top. You have to walk the last stretch to the ruins. You can park at a farmer who also has a small restaurant. We thought the trip was adventure enough and did not take the last one-hour walk up to the ruins with our baby.
More information about the villages in the Tramuntana mountains can be found here: https://www.mallorcatipps.com/orte/
My beach tips
If you want to enjoy a bit of beach and sea, you can hardly miss the many tourists. Real insider tips do not exist anymore. Certainly, there are there still small stony bays here and there with clear water, to which only a few tourists get lost. But that makes bathing there with a toddler just not recommendable.
I do not want to deprive you of my top three beach favorites.
Playa de Muro
Great white sandy beach, which invites you to dig and play and hip Burgcafés. In the middle of Playa de Muro, about at the height of the cool beach restaurant Can Gavella begins the most beautiful section of the beach. Far away from the bed castles you still have natural dunes.
Playa de Formentor
For shade seekers a perfect beach, as there are many trees. There are no beds castles on the beach, but that does not make it any less crowded. If you want, you can do Stand Up Paddling (SUP) here.
This natural beach was still a secret tip a few years ago. This time is long gone. The Caribbean blue water meanwhile attracts crowds of tourists. But the water is really turquoise and beautiful for swimming and splashing with the little ones.
I hope I could inspire one or the other for a road trip through the Serra de Tramuntana. Traveling with babies and children often requires a lot of planning, definitely more luggage and a high degree of flexibility. But then almost everything is possible. Let me just briefly mention that a sling for the babies in each mountain village is an advantage because the many stairs virtually exclude a stroller.
All the best,