The GR221 explores the Serra de Tramuntana of Mallorca. You hike the mountain range parallel to the northwest coast of Mallorca, which is only 15 km wide, but at least eleven peaks with more than 1,000 m in height. The long distance trail GR221 of 140km leads from Port d’Andratx to Port d’Pollença in the north of the island. Discover our daily stages in our map. The highest climbable mountain in Mallorca (the highest one – Puig Mayor – is closed by the military) is the Puig de Massanella 1,365 meters (4,478 feet). Camping is not allowed even though wild camping is an alternativ on the GR221. Leave no trace and you´ll be save.
Stages from our GR221 -- Mallorca Tour
1 Port d’Andratx via Sant Elm to Ses Fontanelles (wild camping near Pas d’Eu Ponca) (24km)
2 Pas d’Eu Ponca to Esporles (Sa Fita Backpacker) (22km)
3 Esporles to Valdemossa (wild camping near Puig Gros) (21km)
4 Puig Gros via Sóller to Biniaraix (wild camping beside the path) (26km)
5 Biniaraix to the monastery Llyc (Santuari de Lluc) (22km)
6 Llyc to Port de Pollenca (24km)
Read our story!
Flying from Dortmund we arrived in Palma de Mallorca at 10:00. After bying some gas for our stove in Intersport Kenia Outdoor, Avinguda d’Alexandre Rosselló, Palma, we took the bus nr. 102 to Port Andratx (6€pP/1h). Final stop was then directly at the harbor. From there we were heading in the direction of the hotel “Mon Port” following the street. The GR221 is not marked as such in this section. This first afternoon was a little adventure, because of that unmarked trek. Due to these circumstances we did not find the descent near Pas Vermell on this side of the mountain. On the “other side”, the way to Sant Elm is easy to see. We camped the first night above Sant Elm. Very idyllic is a former shelter carved into the rocks on the “other side” of that ridge, overlooking the dragon island “Sa Dragonera”. The first few kilometers of the trail extend on a beautiful path with old olive trees and holm oaks.
1b Sant Elm to Ses Fontanelles
An alternative is to start the GR221 in Sant Elm. Here we had breakfast with sea view, not realy a busy place in April! The path climbs steadily up to the monastery complex “La Trapa”. Here we walked past this historical site and had a small break at the viewpoint “Mirador d’en Josep Sastre” with cereals and a cup of coffee. At this fantastic lookout the cliffs drop 450m vertically into the blue Mediterranean Sea. At the end of the stage, you walk along the road for 2km to the finca “Ses Fontanelles”. Very comfortable looking, it is certainly a good idea to stay there. We decided differently and marched on after break on the GR221. Climbing to the Pas d’Eu Ponca. Above the tree line you´ll find an old historic threshing floor. At around 7:30 pm we reached our destination, an overnight stay up here on the plateau. A beautiful place for wild camping, sunset included. You´ll find this place in our map. During the day the weather was very comfortable sunny it fliped with the nightfall. Strong wind with rain and some lightnigs.
2 Pas d’Eu Ponca to Esporles (Sa Fita Backpacker)
The night was cold and at 8 am the sky was still foggy. The signposts are very present in this section or stage and the GR221 is well marked. Wild sage and blooming rosemary spread a wonderful fragrance. Later we came to a forest road, a gently sloping gravel road, past the Finca Coma dén Vidal. A large estate with renovated buildings, continue in serpentines to the highway (Ma-10). The trail GR221 leads us parallel right down to the village Estellence. Drinking water from a hydrant near the sculptural iron horse should not be missed. Around 5pm we reached Banyalbufar. Actually we wanted to stay here, strengthened with coffee and cake, we were determined to do the 350m uphill out of the village. On the historic mail trek with new cobblestones, the path went up to the Coll de Pi, a lookout point overlooking the westcoast of Mallorca. From there the trail leads you to Esporles, this section also passes the characteristic dry stone walls. We stayed in the backpacker “Sa Fita” (25€/pP, newly renovated), centrally located and highly recommended.
3 Esporles to Valdemossa (wild camping near Puig Gros)
For breakfast we bought fresh fruits and bred from a grocery around the corner. The GR221 guided us through wooded terrain to the summit of the 704m high Mola de Sa Comuna. The path went down into a valley, into Valdemossa. In the center is the Charterhouse, Chopin bust. Spending some time for a little stroll through the old town we enjoyed one of the nice cafes. We wanted to make it up to Gros Peak (938m) as the highlight of the day hence we hiked uphill out of town into the mountain. During this stage, you hike on the historic bridle path of Archduke Ludwig Salvador (1847-1915). The view is breathtaking and thanks to the good weather conditions we could see as far as Palma and in the northern direction also the summit Major (1445m). Due to the advanced time, we decided to find a nice spot for our tent off the GR221. Have a look into the map. By chance we discovered a grotto, here we set up our camp.
4 Puig Gros via Sóller to Biniaraix (wild camping beside the path)
It rained terribly during the night. Without breakfast in the hope that the cloudy weather is getting better, we packed together quickly. We had to continue over the ridge, it was very uncomfortable and rainy. That affected our concentration. We indeed missed the signpost (cairns) and turned wrong, namely back to Valdemossa. After an hour our mistake finally was noticed and we had a descent of 800 meters in front. Past old Köhler places and zig zag into the valley, our destination Deià was reached until noon. In the pretty vegan cafe S’HORTET, we got a delicious lunch. The desire to stay at Refugi De Muleta motivated us to move foreward. Unfortunately, because the Refugi in Port de Sóller was fully booked, we skipped the loop and went directly to the center of Plaza Constitucion to the baroque St.Bartholomäus church. The day came to an end and we had to decide where to stay overnight. We moved on and crossed the small village of Biniaraix. The darkness has forced us to pitch our tent at the edge of the ascending path.
5 Biniaraix to the monastery Llyc (Santuari de Lluc)
The night was marked by the sound of many sheep. The torrent “Torrent des Barrancs”, one of the rare rivers of Mallorca, has dug its way into the canyon. The trail continued and we saw the highest mountains on the island, the Puig Major (1445m) and the Puig de Massanella (1364m). After the parking lot near the reservoir, we walked parallel along the water pipeline for a few kilometers, a plant from the 1970s, enclosed in a concrete jacket. The route of the GR221 then leaded uphill through a holm oak forest across the plateau to the Coll des Prat. Mountain goats watched us and the view was a dream. At the top of the pass we could already see the final destination, but it was still a long way to go. Past the old ruin of the “Casa de Neu d’en Galileu” snow house, the path descended until it ended in a paved path that leaded us through a thousand curves to the monastery of Lluc. This resort is recommended, a double room was 50€.
6 Llyc to Port de Pollenca
The last stage of the GR221 from Llyc to Port d’Pollenca north of Mallorca is a section that is easy but not always enjoyable. First on a path through a forest, with views of the valley around Llyc, then it follows a forest road and a small relatively busy road, along Finca gardens. You come along the Refugi Ponte Roma. Some hikers take there time to explore Pollenca and climb the steep steps to Iglesia del Calvari. We attached the last 6.5 km to our hike to reach the sea. Because that way is not nice to walk you have the opportunity to drive this section by bus, if you like to cheat yourself. There is rumour of continuing the GR221 as a hiking trail to the coast. In Port de Pollenca, we had somehow expected a welcome sign, a stone or something similar, which once again illustrates the arrival at a certain point. But there was nothing. Only the seafront, but at least the certainty, “Yeah! We made it!”.
- As a hiking trail, the GR221 leads through the Tramuntana mountains of Mallorca, from Port d’Andratx to Port de Pollenca. The island Mallorca offers a varied area with some climbs and particularly beautiful views over the Mediterranean Sea. The nature trail GR221 alternates with sections through forests and barren rocks.
- The track is only partially signposted. Careful route finding and a keen eye for the cairns is therefore important.
- This tour is highly recommended in spring, but the nights are colder than expected. Strong gusts and heavy rainfall with thunderstorms are common up in the higher mountains. The weather ranges from pleasantly warm to stormy, especially when the Tramuntana wind sweeps over the mountains. Do not forget sunscreen and rain gear.
- Bring some food and plenty of water (2-4L/day depending on season), maybe a stove for coffee. You´ll find restaurants, cafés and some shops on the GR221 on a regulary basis.
- You have to decide wether you want to stay in a hostel and order food or you pitch your tent and make yourself dinner. Most of the time you walk alone. Wild camping is possible, but not allowed. The refuges are often fully booked, so book in advance.
- Walking pols are quite usefull especialy when you go downhill. If you´re looking for outdoor equiepment you have to go to Palma.
- Public transport is well developed. Therfore to get back to Palma from Port de Pollenca is once again a simple exercise.
For more information about the GR221 -- Mallorca don´t hesitate to contact us. Feel free to watch our videos on YouTube and explore our other trails we´ve experienced for you!
Take care and go out and make it happen!