Trekking in Mallorca
GR221 - The Drystone Route
By Paddy Dillon
Guidebook to walking the GR221 Drystone Route (Ruta de Pedra en Sec) traversing Mallorca's Serra de Tramuntana between Pollença and Andratx. Following rock, paved paths and mule tracks between welcoming villages, the 140km (87 mile) trek is in 10 day stages and showcases the island's forests, mountains and drystone structures.
SeasonsPossible nearly all year round, but it can be very hot in summer, while rare winter snowfall can cover the paths on the higher parts.
CentresPort d'Andratx, Sant Elm, Estellencs, Banyalbufar, Esporles, Valldemossa, Deià, Sóller, Tossals Verds, Lluc, Pollença, Peguera, Calvià, Puigpunyent, Alaró, Caimari
DifficultyMostly on clear paths and tracks, but some of these can be rough and stony underfoot, and occasionally steep. Some parts require careful route-finding, though many stretches have been signposted and waymarked. The whole route can be completed by anyone with a little previous long-distance walking experience.
Must SeeSerra de Tramuntana, Sa Dragonera, La Trapa, Puig de Galatzó, Puig des Teix, La Granja, Vall de Sóller, L'Ofre, Cúber, Tossals Verds, Puig de Massanella, Lluc Monastery, Puig de María, Castell d'Alaró
This guidebook describes the GR221, a 140km (87 mile) long-distance trail through northwestern Mallorca, from Port d'Andratx to Pollença. Also known as the 'Ruta de Pedra en Sec' ('the Drystone Route'), the GR221 is a celebration of Mallorca's limestone heritage, taking in many historic drystone structures as it traverses the rocky peaks of the Serra de Tramuntana. Following old stone-paved paths and mule trails, it showcases the region's beautiful landscape of mountains, forests and cultivated terraces, as well as its spectacular coastline.
The GR221 can be walked in 1–2 weeks, although the guide also covers 3 alternative start-points and 3 alternative finishes, which would allow for a shorter trek. The main route is presented in 10 stages of 8.5–20.5km (5–13 miles), with a handful of optional detours to bag neighbouring summits. Detailed route description is accompanied by 1:25,000 mapping and inspirational photography, plus a wealth of information on local points of interest. Accommodation and travel are also thoroughly covered: the trail boasts good transport links and plentiful facilities on route, with accommodation in welcoming mountain villages and the occasional refugi. A comprehensive introduction offers the opportunity to discover more about the region's diverse plants and wildlife and unique history and culture, and an English-Spanish-Catalan glossary can be found in the appendix.
With a favourable climate and stunning scenery, the Serra de Tramuntana has much to tempt the walker. The GR221 Drystone Route represents an ideal way to explore this fascinating World Heritage Site.
Serra de Tramuntana
GR221 – Ruta de Pedra en Sec
Brief history of Mallorca
Plants and wildlife
Travel to Mallorca
Travel around Mallorca
When to go
Food and drink
Walking the GR221
Using this guide
GR221 – The Drystone Route
Stage 1 Port d’Andratx to Sant Elm
Stage 2 Sant Elm to Ses Fontanelles
Stage 3 Ses Fontanelles to Estellencs
Stage 4 Estellencs to Esporles
Stage 5 Esporles to Valldemossa
Stage 6 Valldemossa to Deià
Stage 7 Deià to Sóller
Stage 8 Sóller to Tossals Verds
Stage 9 Tossals Verds to Lluc
Stage 10 Lluc to Pollença and Puig de Maria
Alternative start A s’Arracó to Ses Fontanelles
Alternative start B es Capdellà to Estellencs
Alternative start C Calvià to Estellencs
Alternative finish D Sóller to Cala Tuent
Alternative finish E Tossals Verds to Alaró or Orient
Alternative finish F Lluc to Caimari via GR222
Appendix A Route summary table
Appendix B Glossary
Appendix C Public transport
Appendix D Accommodation
Appendix E Useful contacts
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The total distance in the Route Summary Table was incorrect. The updated table is available here.
A small section of mapping was omitted from Alternative Start B. The corrected stage is available here.
A truly great walk and a pleasure.
Just to let you know that I have just finished this truly excellent route accompanied by Paddy’s book. The potential access issues noted for some of the earlier walks on the route now seem to have gone away and there was no issue with access or offending signs.
The best refugis were undoubtedly the Conseil De Majorca ones and the toughest were Ses Fontanelles (absolutely freezing) and Son Trias (incredibly smelly pillows etc).
A truly great walk and a pleasure.
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Paddy Dillon is a prolific outdoor writer with over 90 guidebooks to his name, and contributions to 40 other publications. He has written for a variety of outdoor magazines, as well as many booklets and brochures for tourism organisations. Paddy lives near the Lake District and has walked in every county in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales; writing about walks in every one of them. He enjoys simple day walks, challenging long-distance walks, and is a dedicated island-hopper. He has led guided walks and walked extensively in Europe, as well as in Nepal, Tibet, Korea, Africa and the Rocky Mountains of Canada and the United States. Paddy is also a member of the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild and President of the Backpackers Club.View Articles and Books by Paddy Dillon
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