By vida villas | 27 January 2023 | pollensa
Mallorca has, over the years, developed its reputation as a hiker’s paradise in the middle of the Mediterranean.
Harbouring picturesque vistas, breathtaking panoramas, and plentiful coastal hotspots offering optimum views outwards to the horizon, it’s hard to not understand why this isle is loved amongst those who revel in the outdoors.
With its fantastic mountain regions, including the likes of the Serra de Tramuntana, its verdant gorges, such as the Barranc de Biniariax, and its stretching coastal routes, there’s a wealth of opportunity on offer as soon as you set foot on its shorelines.
And not to mention the spectacular weather on offer all year round, this only makes Mallorca more attractive to the average hiker and traveller. This means that, regardless of the time of year, you can pull up your hiking boots and venture out on any one of its fantastic trails and routes.
But, you may be asking, where is the best place to hike in Mallorca? Here at Vida Villas, we would undoubtedly recommend Pollensa to be a destination placed at the very top of avid walkers' lists to indulge in some of the best hikes on the island.
Nestled in the Northern area of the island, Pollensa is a haven for the sand-toned buildings and traditional cobbled streets that Mallorca is best known for. You’ll find small boutique shops and cafe terraces dotted with woven chairs and parasols at every turn as you explore its maze of side streets.
And set with the beautiful backdrop of north Mallorca’s verdant countryside and hillside landscapes enclosing the town from all angles, it makes for a pristine paradise for those seeking to connect with the best of the outdoors of Mallorca.
The Puig de Maria walk is one of Pollensa’s best nearby walking routes. Famous across the island, and beyond, the Puig de Maria is a hill and area drenched in history, home to a sandstone religious site built in the 14th century. The area offers exceptional views of the valley below, and its hiking route cannot be missed on your next visit to Pollensa.
So, we’ve highlighted everything you need to know about this route if you’re planning on hiking in Mallorca. From its length, how long it will take you, and what to do once you’ve reached its peak, this is a comprehensive guide for those looking to immerse themselves in one of the most memorable hikes in Mallorca.
So what are you waiting for? Pull up your hiking boots and let's get started!
The Puig de Maria is 330m in height and its main road route, which leads to its peak, is roughly 2.2km in length. As such, from the centre of Pollensa, it usually takes between 40-45 minutes to take a steady ascent to its peak.
However, depending on the time of year that you visit the island, this may vary. For example, in summer, when temperatures reach their peak, you may be faced with the predicament of when is best to embark on your journey, as the sweltering heat may begin to take its toll mid-walk.
Therefore, it may be best to give yourself around an hour to an hour and a half to complete the walk at this time of year to give yourself additional leeway. You’d also be wise to pack plenty of water and food supplies to keep yourself hydrated, and sated, during the trip.
We would also advise that you avoid embarking on your hike, and being on it, anytime around midday. This is when temperatures, and the sun, reach their highest, meaning you’ll find it much more difficult to walk this route, taking away from the enjoyment of the experience. It’d be best to walk early in the morning, from 7 am to 9 am, when temperatures are cooler, or, in the afternoon, from around 2 pm until 5 pm.
The initial stretch of the route is the easiest. Starting from Pollensa, you’ll follow the Cami des Puig and then the Ma-2200 to reach the base of the hill. This should take roughly 20 minutes to reach from the town centre, and as you venture further from the confines of the charming cobblestone streets and ochre-coloured buildings you’ll be immersed in the lush forestry of surrounding Pollensa.
Then comes the trickier stretch. The second half of the route is not accessible by car, and is of rocky terrain, meaning it is not suitable for those in wheelchairs and isn’t advised for this with pushchairs or prams.
As you walk up the start of your hill stretch away from the Ma-2200, you’ll pass rural walled houses and venture alongside verdant woodland and dirt tracks. You’ll eventually come to a more prominent cobblestone path, which is the steepest stretch of the route, marking the final climb to reach the Puig de Maria.
The main leg of the hike itself is a relatively steep climb, however, we feel that it can be climbed by hikers of all abilities and proficiencies. Whether you’re an accomplished hiker or someone who enjoys a saunter in scenic landscapes now and again, you shouldn’t have a problem tackling this Mallorca hike. This takes roughly an additional 20 minutes to walk.
You’ll find it much easier to start your walk from the centre of Pollensa as there aren’t any marked parking facilities nearby to the hillside. The town has several public parking facilities, so you shouldn’t find it difficult to park up for the day to set off on your hike.
Once you’ve reached the end of the Puig de Maria walk and you’re at its summit, there’s plenty to admire and keep you occupied.
Of course, the first thing that will catch your eye is the Puig de Maria monastery itself. The building was originally constructed in 1348 as a sanctuary to plead the Virgin Maria for safety and protection from the Black Death, which was plaguing Mallorca at the time and killed roughly 20% of its population. This fortification is now a site of religious and tourist significance in the north of the island.
The Puig de Maria chapel itself finished construction in 1355 and was later converted into a monastery in 1371. Years later, further development was completed on the structure, in the form of its defence tour and walls. Its building is constructed of traditional sandstone large bricks, and dark wood panel features.
The monastery only reopened in 1638 after being closed from the mid to late 1500s. In the 1700s, it received a large renovation that altered its architectural style to Baroque, relinquishing its original Gothic features, but this was later reverted in the 1800s as a result of Europe’s Gothic revival trend.
Now, the fortification is run as a hostel with accommodation offering self-catering facilities for its guests. It also features a lovely cafe for visitors to visit and vacate its outside terrace. Whilst here, you have to visit the gardens, and the Oratory, which was built in the 1300s.
Should you have worked up an appetite, you can also find a restaurant that is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner serving traditional Mallorcan dishes. Savour the splendid simplicity of some typical Mallorcan and Mediterranean cuisine to recharge your batteries before descending back to Pollensa.
And finally, simply soaking in the breathtaking views from the Puig de Maria stretching out to Pollensa, and even Puerto Pollensa and Alcúdia, is the best way to reward yourself for your hard efforts before heading back to town to enjoy the rest of your day.
Before you embark on your Puig de Maria walk, or any hike in Mallorca for that matter, you need to ensure that you’re appropriately dressed so that you’re comfortable for the duration of your journey ahead.
This means ensuring that you wear comfortable shoes. Either activewear trainers, walking boots, or hiking sandals will make for the ideal footwear for the duration of your trip. Particularly given the cobbled and unpaved terrain on certain stretches of the journey, you’ll want to make sure that whatever footwear you choose is sturdy and has sufficient grip.
You’ll also want to make sure that you’re wearing breathable active wear or clothing in which your movement is not restricted. Active leggings and a t-shirt or shorts and a vest top would be sufficient in warmer weather, for example. However, dependent on the time of year you’ll be embarking on the hike, you’ll want to make sure you’re dressed for that season. So thicker items such as a fleece or rain jacket would be more appropriate for the winter or rainy season.
The best time to embark on the Puig de Maria walk would be during spring to early summer or from late summer to early autumn. This means you still get to make the most of the better part of Mallorca’s blissful Mediterranean weather but avoid the colder, wetter months that are less favourable for outdoor activities.
For example, in the height of the summer season in Pollensa, from July to August, average daily temperatures hover at around 25ºC. For someone who is not used to the Mediterranean climate, this may be overwhelming, particularly when engaging in physical activity, which can make your hike much more strenuous.
On the other hand, in the wintertime, temperatures are at their coldest. And whilst this may be more tolerable than embarking on the hike during the height of summer, you may not see the Puig de Maria and its surrounding landscapes in their best light, particularly if it’s rainy and miserable.
This is why visiting during spring or autumn offers a prime opportunity to embark on the Puig de Maria walk and savour its splendours at its finest.
The Puig de Maria is one of the north of Mallorca’s best-kept natural wonders. It offers an oasis in the hilltops for those who seek to explore the wilderness that Mallorca is best known for and to relish some of its architectural and religious grandeur.
We hope you’ve found our above insight useful to help you decide when may be best for you to embark on the Puig de Maria walk, and how best you can prepare for hiking in Mallorca on this picturesque wilderness trail.
For those who seek adventure and are ready to pull up their hiking boots on their next trip to Pollensa on a hike up the Puig de Maria, here at Vida we offer a range of rental properties in Pollensa that place you within close proximity to both the Puig de Maria and Pollensa’s other surrounding hikes to make the most of this natural haven during your holiday.Or, why not contact a member of our team to discuss what options we have available for you?