These mountains are the life-blood of Mallorca, causing warm winds to cool, make clouds and precipitate into the resevoirs and torrents which keep the island green.
A drive through the Tramuntana mountains is really worthwhile and many enjoy walking holidays with knowledgable guides off the beaten tracks. When you drive through this region, it's a wonderfully natural place - so please don't do it just to burn up the tarmac and make a lot of noise! Take it gently - there are sharp bends and lost sheep in the road
- open your car window and sometimes rest at a viewpoint with your car engine off and listen to the birdsong, the bleating or the cowbells worn by the sheep. This is a place of magic.
One can start at the old inland town of Pollensa (Pollenca) and head towards Lluc passing grand houses and stunning prospects
heading onwards and upwards
leaving the Bay of Alcudia and the plains of the valley below behind
with olive orchards
giving way to pines and oaks.
The natural vegetation of Mallorca was evergreen oak trees but these were cut down to build the ships for the Spanish Armada. Coming over the top of the mountain the view gives way to plateaux, more mountains, lush valleys and distant views of the sea beyond the cliffs.
all the way down to Lluc. This is an important wildlife area and is the centre for many walking tours. From here on one finds attractive examples of terraced agriculture on the mountainsides and continued wonderful views:
Some of the mountain cliffs are reminiscent of those on the Grand Corniches in the Alpes Maritimes behind Nice and Cannes near Grasse in the French Riviera
and isolated places abound
Near a designated viewpoint on the road
there's a charming natural garden among the oak trees
An ancient aqueduct heralds water . . .
and the Gorg Blau reservoir comes into view
In this isolated spot, sheep and donkeys roam and the tallest peak is dominated by a radar dome
which surmounts the peak artistically.
After another resevoir,
one heads over the mountain and coming down has brilliant views
over Fornalutx, which is well worth a visit
but continuing along the road to Soller
one gains a panoramic prospect of Port Soller and the surrounding mountains
and it's worth stopping for lunch, coffee or fresh pressed oranges at the cafe on the viewpoint.
The romantic notion is that Mallorquins gained their wealth from piracy. This meant that in the main, the families lived inland whilst the pirates operated from the ports on the coast. Here we see Port Soller in all its glory:
with migrating birds overhead
whilst countryside stretches out below enjoyed by (noisy) mountain bikers on their mobile chainsaws. Luckily the distances are large so the noise is not too disturbing.
Descending into the Soller valley
potteries or wrought ironworks might prove a distraction but on the opposite hill, we start to enjoy the rural idyll once more, with terraced agriculture and the air ringing with sheep-bells.
Leaving the town far below the hill ascends to an inviting looking hotel
From here on one enjoys the coastal road with spectacular view after spectacular view
with flocks of birds catching insects on the mountains
on the road through Deia and Miramar