The Archduke route:

Now that winter has arrived and the island of Majorca has dressed in different colours, very different from its summer ones, the idea of carrying out an excursion through the heart of the Tramutana mountain range has become an attractive one only for adventurous tourists. The Archduke route with its varied itineraries is one of the most classic routes of all the excursions on the island of Majorca. Beautiful because of the surrounding mountain countryside, it is also a good way to get started on the different trekking routes around the island.

The Archduke Louis Salvador de Hausburg-Lorena and Bourbon known on the island as ‘s’Arxiduc’, was a young prince from the imperial Austrian family who, while he was in exile during his youth, was under the protection of Francisco José and Sissi. At the age of 25 he moved to the island of Majorca becoming an important figure in the cultural life of Majorca. We are speaking about the year 1872.

On his arrival in the island he became captivated and started buying large pieces of land in the Tramutana mountain range. Intellectual and romantic, he carried out descriptive geography and Mediterranean ethnographic studies producing one of his most important works ‘Die Balearen’.

The Archduke route is the itinerary that this important figure used to move from one of his possessions to another. He did it on horseback so he could observe and enjoy his land in an always-romantic mood, travelling throughout the mountain range of the famous Tramutana Mountains. The route goes through the lands around Valldemossa and Deià.

It is, therefore, a circular itinerary with a proposed route with a start and a finish which goes through ‘Pla des Pouet’, ‘Ses Puntes’ lookout point, ‘Sa Talaia Vella’, the Archduke’s refuge, Son Gallard, Puig Caragoli’, ‘Racó perdut’ and ‘Sa coma des cairats’. The route takes about 8 hours and is considered to be of medium difficulty. Its highest point is at ‘Puig Caragoli’, which is 923 metres above sea level. The rest of the terrain is easily accessible. The excursionist will come across great landscape beauties, not only along the route, but also in the nearby towns, which are well worth a visit such as Valldemossa, and Deià, or their close neighbours Banyalbufar and Soller again well worth a visit.

The route goes through the ‘Pla del Pouet’ forest where ancient coal mining remains can be seen (Sitges) and the ‘Na Torta’ lookout point, which has an excellent view over ‘Pla del Rei’, can be enjoyed. In the area around the town of Valldemossa near the ‘Ses Puntes’ lookout point, the route goes through a thick oak wood and later goes down to a rocky stretch which is sign posted with red paint. From this point we reach the geodesic limit of ‘Sa Talaia Vella’ where we continue along the route till we reach a fork. We will take the right hand lane. The so-called Archduke’s refuge is in fact a stone house, which nowadays is in ruins, where we can enjoy the excellent views. From here we go down to Son Gollard where the routes through Valldemossa and ‘Pla des Pouet’ come together.

If you decide to go on this route, you must visit the Archduke museum found in Marroig. To finish off your trip through the Tramutana mountain range, save a few minutes to enjoy the beauty of a sunset over the sea from the viewpoint in the architectural jewel of the ‘possessió’ at Son Marroig.

Photos :  Judith Rivero - Flickr

More information:

Grup Excursionista de Mallorca

"Pedra en sec" and hiking in Mallorca

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