The Santuari de Lluc is a popular destination in itself. Considered the spiritual center and most important pilgrimage site of Mallorca the monastery dates back as early as the 13th century. But it’s also a great starting point for a couple of hikes into the heart of the Tramuntana mountains. Hiking around Lluc you are entering a unique diverse landscape that has been declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO, ten years ago.
One of my favorite routes leads once around the monastery. On cobbled paths or soft forest floor, through shaded holm oak forest and past long abandoned charcoal burners sites. Across open fields and high plains, along impressive mountain panoramas and through a fabulous rock garden. Every now and then you reach an unexpected vista point with spectacular views of the monastery nestled in the distance.
But the immediate surroundings also offer plenty of things to discover. This time of the year the madroños bear fruit, bright orange and red berries that look like small strawberries. They don’t quite taste like them but I can never resist to pick a handful. Or the ancient holm oak, said to be almost 500 years old. A landmark and signpost, guiding the way towards the rocky part of your tour.
Under the huge tree I felt rather tiny. But the giant rock formations towards the end of the tour look as if giants had played with stones. So there is also a little climbing part on this hike. And if you are into bouldering you might even try the rock wall. A great spot to practice. However, the most popular rock is the Camell, a fantastic stone formation that precisely looks like a petrified camel.
Shortly after the camel rock you return to the monastery again. Take a little break. But after a rest for your feet it’s worth to continue walking. The sacred place is currently populated by familiar looking figures. Sculptures by the Mallorcan artist Joan Bennàssar. The exhibition is called “Camí de Lluc. Refugis d’amor i oferiment” – Road to Lluc. Shelters of love and offering – and marks the pilgrim way from Caimari to Lluc.