Category: Serra de Tramuntana

Category: Serra de Tramuntana

Sa Calobra Serpentine

Just 13km long, the Sa Calobra Serpentine (MA-2141) is one of the most scenic drives in the world.

It is referred to as ‘The Snake’ by locals but ‘Spaghetti’ would be more apt and was built specifically to avoid tunnels resulting in a road that snakes through the landscape often with a gradient in excess of 7%; which is why it is very popular with cyclists and is mentioned in our ‘best cycling routes’ section.

With a 800m descent over 12km and the infamous 270 degree loop known as the ‘Knotted Tie’ and incredible mountain views of Mallorca’s highest mountain, Puig Major, the road to Sa Calobra is an adventure in its own right.

The Sa Calobra Serpentine was manually built in 1932 and was created by the engineer Antonio Paretti and is a masterpiece of twists and turns; however it is one of the most dangerous roads in Spain with no marked central line and no guardrails and much too much traffic especially during the summer.

At times, the road is very narrow and impassable for 2 cars at the same time and on rainy days, the asphalt becomes extremely slippy. It should not be attempted by those who don't know how to reverse. 

The 25 minute route is an unforgettable and sensational experience but definitely not for anyone who is nervous of steep, winding descents. It has more than 50 curves with the majority of those being hairpins and the gradient can reach as high as 11.5%.

Sa Calobra is a small village on the coast that is widely regarded as having the best unspoilt cove on the island. It also has a hidden beach and an incredible gorge – Es Torrent de Pareis. Tourists flock to this location in their hundreds all year around to admire the jaw-dropping scenery and to enjoy the incredible journey there with its twisting roads and spectacular views.

Cala Deià

Cala Deià is a small, picturesque shingle beach framed by the stunning Tramuntana mountains and located on the northwest coast of Mallorca. The rocky, rugged beach has very clear 6m deep waters and is only around 70m long.

The tiny cove beach is mostly made up of large rocks and small pebbles with glistening rock pools and great views. It has two restaurants; which both provide local cuisine such as tapas, paella and an assortment of fish.

Located just outside the beautiful village of Deià, the beach is very popular with locals and visitors and is a favourite destination for artists. It is not unusual to see the occasional celebrity on the beach.

Cala Deià is an ideal location for swimming, snorkelling and diving due to the crystal clear waters; however there are no equipment rental facilities on the beach so you will need to bring your own.

The beach is not considered to be family-friendly due to the rocky beach and lack of sand, it also has multiple jellyfish sightings during the summer months. The beach also has no umbrellas, lounge chairs, water sports activities or lifeguard and access to first aid is minimal. The beach does have toilets and showers.

Many visitors enjoy walking along the cliffs up to the former pirate tower with its terrific views.

You can get to the beach by car and if you arrive early enough, there is a small car park or you could park in the village and walk, it is around 3 km.

Deià is a small mountain-coastal village that has attracted artists, tourists and celebrities for many years. One of the prettiest villages in Mallorca, Deià is part of a landscape awarded World Heritage Site status. The writer Robert Graves famously lived in the village twice with many of his creative, artistic friends coming to visit and Deià quickly gained a reputation as an artist’s retreat.

Check out the Top Picks for accommodation near Cala Deià from Booking.com – Search now

The most scenic driving route in Mallorca

This driving route takes you from Andratx to Port de Sóller via Banyalbufar, Valldemossa & Deià and is the most scenic drive on the island.

This is an incredible drive that begins at Andratx, the largest town in southwest Mallorca and follows the MA-10 north to the very pretty and rustic mountain village of Estellencs. The route to this village is an attraction in its own right with the deep blue Mediterranean sea to the left-hand-side and the dramatic and changing face of the Tramuntana Mountains to your right. The landscape is covered in thick pines at times and sometimes it is arid and sparsely vegetated.

Before you arrive at the laid-back and quiet little village of Estellencs, you will see a restaurant called 'Es Grau' on the left-hand-side of the road; which has the most incredible views from its terrace and is the perfect location for a stop.

Mallorca car trip

The first thing you will want to do when you come to Estellencs is reach for your camera, the narrow timeworn streets with their flower adorned stone buildings framed by the mountains is picture postcard perfect, no wonder that this beautiful village is a magnet for hikers and cyclists.

From Estellencs, continue north along the MA-10 until you reach the small picturesque and authentic coastal hillside town of Banyalbufar. This quaint, rabbit warren of a town is surrounded by the Tramuntana mountain range and boasts many visitors who wish to stroll down the beautiful plant-lined lanes which wind down towards the sea and admire the glorious views and stunning sunsets.

From Banyalbufar, the driving route takes you inland for a few kilometres before resuming its northward trajectory to the eye-catching village of Valldemossa, famous for the Valldemossa Charterhouse, a palace /  monastery where King Sancho of Majorca resided prior to his death in 1324 and the musician Frédéric Chopin and the writer George Sand lived from 1838 to 1839.

Driving routes Mallorca

Surrounded by the wooden slopes of the Tramuntana Mountains, the village boasts tree-lined, cobbled lanes, stunning villas and ancient blonde stone houses.

Whilst you are in Valldemossa, we recommend that you try Coco de Patata, a sweet tasting potato pastry; which is sold in every bakery in the village.

From Valldemossa, the driving route continues north to the small mountain-coastal village of Deià, one of the prettiest villages in Mallorca with honey-coloured townhouses, citrus orchards, almond and olive trees all perched on a picturesque hillside and set against the mountain backdrop of the Puig des Teix at 1062m.

Mallorca car trip

The writer Robert Graves famously lived in the village twice with many of his creative, artistic friends coming to visit and Deià quickly gained a reputation as an artist’s retreat.

From Deià, your journey continues north and then inland into Sóller.

Also known as the Golden Valley, Sóller is famous for its grand merchant houses, orange and lemon groves and the famous tram which connects the small town with the Port de Sóller district.

On your way back to base, we highly recommend that you take the Ma-11 heading towards Palma and visit the Jardines de Alfabia where you will discover an enchanting garden oasis of ornate fountains, atmospheric walkways, and botanical delights. It'll take your holiday snaps to the next level – More information

Driving routes Mallorca

Tren de Sóller

Even if you are only on the island for a short time, the narrow-gauge, Tren de Sóller journey from Palma to Sóller should be close to the top on your things-to-do list. One of the most rewarding excursions on the island, the vintage train to Sóller is a very popular attraction with a journey time of around 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Sometimes known as the Orange Express, the wooden train was originally introduced to transport oranges and lemons from the Sóller valley to the capital, replacing a stagecoach service, which crossed the high mountains via the Sóller pass on a steep, narrow dirt track, which was exhausting and tediously slow.

Funded by profits of the citrus fruit trade, the Tren de Sóller has trundled along the winding 27.3km route to Sóller since 1912.

Departing from its own station in Palma, Plaça de l’Estació, the train only has one stop at Bunyola before it arrives at its final destination, the quaint Art Deco station in Sóller; which is housed in an early-17th-century mansion.

This is a train trip that will transport you back in time, you will hear a cacophony of hoots, whistles, rattles and hisses as the narrow-gauge train with its mahogany panels and brass fittings initially rolls through the streets of Palma.

Within 20 minutes, you will be enjoying the countryside dotted with olive trees and a view of the mountains in the distance. Just 30 minutes after leaving Palma, you will arrive at Bunyola, a traditional town located on the spurs of the Serra de Tramuntana. The train station at Bunyola is picturesque constructed from blond-stone and combined with traditional green shutters, definitely a chance to take some memorable photos of your trip.

From Bunyola the journey becomes super-scenic as it crosses the 496m high Serra de Alfàbia mountain range via a series of 13 tunnels, bridges and viaducts.

Things to look out for on the journey are the Túnel Major (Main tunnel); which is just short of 3km long and took three years to carve out of the rock and Mirador Pujol de’n Banya, an incredible lookout point with views stretching out over the Sóller valley. These are followed by the “cinc-ponts” viaduct which has five arches with spans 8 metres high and a great many bends and the “cinc-ponts” tunnel with its 180 degree bend.

When you arrive at Sóller and you’ve had a chance to explore, we highly recommend that you take the old tram; which regularly trundles down to Port de Sóller. Combined train and tram tickets can be purchased and this is the best option financially. A combined train and tram ticket for the entire journey from Palma to Port de Sóller and back to Palma is €32.

Please note:

The Tren de Sóller does not leave Palma from Plaça Espanya but rather from its own separate building to the left-hand-side of the main train station. Just look out for a sign that reads ‘Ferrocarril de Sóller’ above the entrance and you will find it easily.

When you purchase your tickets, you must inform them which time you will be taking the return train, so some advance planning about your itinerary for the day is required.

The website for Ferrocarril de Sóller is very informative and provides a detailed history about the train and its route, you’ll also find a timetable there with a list of up-to-date prices – trendesoller.com