Enigmatic Nato-peak: Walking the moon of Mallorca


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Olive groves, hidden gorges, panoramic views and the most beautiful mountain villages of the island: a charming long-distance hiking trail leads away from mass tourism across Mallorca's wild Tramuntana mountains. We want to hike the Tramuntana mountains complete - a hard way, dry and beautiful. This cow is a happy spanish cowThis cow is a happy spanish cow

In Spring, before the sun really burns over Mallorca is the best time to discover the island, which is known for beaches, discos and alcohol abuse. The best way to do that is with hiking boots firmly laced. Follow me all the way to the other side of a well known and complete unknown isle. (Please read chapter one here, chapter two here, three here)

After a quiet and long night in Sóller, a pretty town completely surrounded by mountains, the sun slowly creeps over the peaks in the morning. It's actually only 34 kilometers from here to Palma, Mallorca's capital and the party capital of Europe. But you can't get any further away from the continent's hectic daily life than here. Our starting point is in the middle of the historic town center, not far from the Port de Sóller harbor, which gives Sóller direct access to the Mediterranean Sea.

Climbing a hillClimbing a hill

It goes up again

But we turn our backs on the Mediterranean. Through citrus plantations we walk to the village of Biniaraix, a long, leisurely path that seems almost comfortable in view of the unexpected hardships that the crossing of the entire Sierre de Tramuntana has already brought us. Then, however, it goes up again: In a ravine, which is called exactly like the place at its end, we jump slowly and sweaty up to the Bauemhof "Cases de l'Ofre". Here the term loneliness gets a face. You don't want to live in this emptyness, never.

It’s a small island with a few ways to goIt's a small island with a few ways to go

But we do not stay too. Instead, we follow the numerous stone-epflastered paths that have connected the villages and homesteads here since time immemorial. Every step is a torturte because of the kind of the way. They were all supposedly laid out by the Arabs, some 1.000 years ago. For that, their condition is downright excellent - you don't want to think about what our modern roads will look like in the year 3000.

Foggy coastline of MallorcaFoggy coastline of Mallorca

Forgotten fortresses

Similar thoughts come to mind when you look at the fortresses that the inhabitants of that time built everywhere to watch the sea, over which pirates kept coming and taking what they could use from the villages. Built of rough stones, the towers, some of which can even be entered, still look like new.

It always goes up, up and upIt always goes up, up and up

On the karstic slopes of the northwestern mountain range, the Moors again laid out their elaborate terraces and made the soil fertile through irrigation. Due to the greater settlement and the booming Mallorca bathing tourism, water is even more precious today than it was then. Even now in spring there are only a few streams that carry water, the higher we get the more barren the landscape becomes.

The watchtower on the seaThe watchtower on the sea

Slowly but steadily

Our next stage runs through high valleys to the foot of the mountain Puig de l'Ofre. Along the ridge, we now climb slowly but steadily to the 1,093-meter peak, the king of the island, which is admittedly almost 350 meters smaller than Mallorca's highest mountain, the Puig Major, which stretches 1,437 meters into the sky. But once at the top, we have a very good view of the little giant and the valleys around.

A view along the coastlineA view along the coastline

1,437 meters, this makes real alpinists smile. Recreational hikers, however, quickly realize that nothing goes here without good shoes, sure-footedness, sunscreen, rain protection, endurance and sufficient water. What begins picturesquely deep down in the valley, grows with increasing height every single day to a steep climbing tour on narrow paths.

Rich island, very nice churchesRich island, very nice churches

One goes on scree field, on impassable terrain and through overgrown meadows. Fortunately, Mallorca is known to be an island, so that the gate tour is rewarded with a new gradiosen view of the sea after almost every bend in the path.

The water treasure of the islandThe water treasure of the island

View to the forbidden peak

Or on a peak. No one is allowed to enter the summit of the Puig Major, not since 1958. It is a restricted military area, in the early days not Spanish, but American. In 1953, Spain ceded several army and naval bases to the Americans in return for extensive economic aid. The U.S. military stationed the 880th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron on the Puig Major, and it operated a gigantic listening facility there.

Four hours to goFour hours to go

To build the facility, the summit was removed by five meters because a plateau was needed as a flat surface for the buildings.  Mallorca's highest mountain has been a little shorter since then. Sounds like fiction, but it's true. It was not until 1964 that the Americans left, but the military stayed.

The mediterrean seaThe mediterrean sea

To this day, the Spanish army uses the mountain as a site for one-dimensional radar Lanza 3D , which monitors the western Mediterranean and parts of North Africa, as our guide tells us over a picnic of fresh Mallorca tomatoes, cucumber, cheese and Serano ham.

They listen to youThey listen to you

Islands water heart

Then work is already waiting again. Walking on the moon of Mallorca. No grass, no trees, no animals here in the heights of the isle. Over the Coll de Cards, which is still 963 meters high, we return to the Mallorcan plain. Below, the picturesque Cüber reservoir awaits, which is enormously important for the island's water supply. What looks like all the way down is still high: at 750 meters above sea level, the water is dammed here, a huge expanse of water that duels with the sky for the most beautiful blue.

The Cüber reservoir, up in the picture the Nato outpostThe Cüber reservoir, up in the picture the Nato outpost

The waves glitter, the water plays with the entire repertoire of the ink box - from Caribbean turquoise to darkest marin. It's dream come true when the evening comes and your legs are tired and the food is good and a galss of fine wine is waiting.

Thank you for reading and if you like my work please follow me          on HiveTravelfeed or Steem or visit my homepage koenau.de

A few more pictures for you:

From the tower they’re looking for the piratesFrom the tower they're looking for the pirates An very old way, hard to goAn very old way, hard to go Build by the ArabsBuild by the Arabs A very old churchA very old church Palms and buildings in the outbackPalms and buildings in the outback Mallorca has stunning sceneriesMallorca has stunning sceneries Water is rare in the islandWater is rare in the island One way or anotherOne way or another View into the islandView into the island The Nato peak, forbidden areaThe Nato peak, forbidden area Gulls on a non-Nato-peakGulls on a non-Nato-peak On eof the castles at the coastOn eof the castles at the coast
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