Mallorca – Penya Roja Talaia d’Alcudia
A holiday in Mallorca for most consists of sun, sea and sand. But the island has much more to offer, especially so in the form of outdoor activities. Cycling and Triathlons are very popular, with us normal beings and the Pro’s! An Ironman triathlon was in full swing on the day I arrived and the BVAW (beach volleyball around the world) championship was concluding on my final day!
Although I went mostly for working on my tan on the beach, I had allocated 1 day for a walk, and before heading out I was advised by Spanish Highs Mountain Guides to buy a Cicerone book called Walking in Mallorca by June Parker (updated by Paddy Dillon), which turned out to be a great purchase.
There are numerous great challenging walks to be found all over the island, mostly within the mountain regions of Serra de Tramuntana, with the highest peak, Puig Major, reaching 1,445m. I was based in Alcudia, and as I had limited time we chose the walk closest to us, which included the summits of Penya Roja (358m) & Talaia d’Alcudia (446m), not of great height but a lovely walk which took us around 4 hrs over an 8.5k distance.
We took a short taxi ride to our starting point, the car park of La Victoria, once a monastery now a small hotel. We then made our way up the clearly signposted path under the cooler shelter of the forestry. Followed the path and kept to the right. We kept a steady pace, ensuring we took on enough fluids in the heat. Though not so hot for the locals as two past us trail running towards the top!
Once up the stoney zig zag ascent we came to our first summit, Talia d’Alcudia. Here on the trig point you can get a great panorama of the peninsula, looking down on Alucdia and across the bay toward Pollenca. You’ll find a small green portacabin with a mast on it, which I can only guess was a radio or phone transmitter of some sort, and then a small step down on the south side takes you to the remains of two buildings.
Retracing our ascent we make our way back, and just before the original fork in the road you’ll need to step off the path up a signposted set of wooden steps. After making your way along a path almost engulfed in vegetation under the cliffs of Penya des Migida on your right you’ll get to a stoney corner. Here you’ll have to ensure the party members are not of a too nervy disposition, as they’ll need to negate an exposed ledge and tunnel carved into the cliff, supported by a metal chain and a rickety handrail!
After passing an old stone shelter, (which strangely reminder me of mos eisley architecture, though no “wretched hive of scum and villainy” was too be found here thank goodness!) you’ll need to take a 10-15 minute ascent up towards the summit of Penya Roja, with minor scrambles. Here you will find an old stone platform complete with original cannon! Looking out you’ll once again be able to appreciate a panorama of the peninsula, and looking down towards the farthest point you’ll be be able to see the out of bound military zone.
After a light lunch just below the summit we took off, once again retracing our path and headed back towards the La Victoria car park and the end of a very enjoyable walk.
The above is a very sketchy description, if you fancy a go at it then as always ensure you have a decent map to hand, and I would highly recommend you invest in a copy of Walking in Mallorca. I also had a short walking guide/pamphlet, picked up from the tourist information in Port d’Alcudia, and my BackCountry Navigator app for good measure!
If you’re a g+ user a full gallery of photos can be found here and remember to add me while you’re there!
It’s fair to say that I thoroughly enjoyed my first taste of Mallorcan walking, and I hope this article has given you a taste of whats on offer there. I could spend months exploring all the walks on the island, all I need now is the annual leave and someone to pay for my flight!