Discover one of Mallorca‘s greatest treasures: the Serra de Tramuntana, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO as a cultural landscape. There are stunning mountain and sea views, many peaks, caves and canyons to explore and some charming villages to visit.

Geography and History

The Serra de Tramuntana mountain range runs along the island’s northern coast for about 90 km. Several of its peaks reach a height of more than 1,000 m. They are towering over the sea to create one of the most beautiful landscapes in the Mediterranean.

Historically, the economy of Serra de Tramuntana has been based on agriculture and using the natural resources available. This created a characteristic landscape with great ethnological values: charcoal piles benefiting the forest, lime kilns and dry-stone terraces allowing the creation of agricultural land. All stand out as traces of its agricultural past. The centuries-old olive trees that cover the terraced mountain slopes, the cultivated fields in hidden valleys and the leafy, shady holm oaks are all part of the Serra’s landscape. Together with picturesque villages and grand estates, the possessions, they testify to a rich heritage.

Flora and Fauna

The Serra de Tramuntana is also an environment where a great diversity of species have their habitat. Some of them are vulnerable or endangered. A number of endemic plants have managed to survive the voraciousness of introduced goats. Furthermore, the ferreret, an amphibian first described as a Pleistocene fossil was later, in 1981, found to be alive. It is native to Mallorca and lives in remote mountain pools. There is also the majestic black vulture. Its population has recovered in recent years thanks to the work of the Fundació Voltor Negre and the environmental administration. There are now around 120 of them, nesting on the steepest and most isolated cliffs you can find by the sea. Other birds such as Eleonora’s falcon, the osprey, red kite and the recently reintroduced Bonelli’s eagle are some of the hunters you can see giving chase across a backdrop of Mallorcan mountains.

Protect the Serra de Tramuntana

These days, apart from a resurgence of agricultural activity based on the high quality of products found in the region, the Tramuntana’s amazing scenery has made it a popular place to explore. Both among Mallorcans as well as those who visit the island. This creates pressure on nature, which makes it essential to ensure proper management and that all those who visit behave responsibly. Due to this, the Tramuntana XXI association together with the Balearic Government and the Serra de Tramuntana World Heritage Consortium have recently published a good practice guide for the mountain region.

Good Practice Guidelines

  • Lighting fires or littering are not allowed.
  • Respect both public and private properties.
  • You must walk on the authorized, marked roads and leave barriers as they have been found.

Visitors will have to respect and look after the environment if this unique Mallorcan landscape is to withstand the pressure. This is also fundamental for the co-existence with residents and farm owners. They are intrinsic to the character and traditions of this area.

Activities to do in the Serra de Tramuntana

  • Go on a hiking trip through the mountains and enjoy a stunning scenery and sea views. There are several charming towns waiting to be explored where you can take a break and soak in Mallorcan culture.
  • Visit farms in the Serra that produce their own wine or oil. See their vineyards and olive groves and learn about their history. Taste their delicious products and enjoy the wonderful landscape that surrounds them. It will allow you to connect with a rich tradition and be part of it, too. Surely a great activity for gourmets and fans of Mallorcan culture.
  • Visit beautiful natural landscapes such as coves sheltered by cliffs and peaks that let you enjoy exceptional panoramic views.
  • The Santuario de Lluch is a monastery filled with history dating back to the thirteenth century right in the heart of the Tramuntana. It is an interesting alternative place to visit to fully understand the spirit of this part of Mallorca.
  • The Sóller train from Palma lets you discover a unique landscape as you travel at a different pace in a train from the early twentieth century. Once in Sóller you can take the opportunity to get to know the flora and fauna of the Tramuntana by visiting the botanical garden and the science museum.

Written by Ana Riera of www.mallorcapreservationfund.org
Photos by Pernilla Danielsson

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