Mallorca Sun, Sea and the Smell of Dead Goat

Date walked: 11/04/2012

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 11km

Ascent: 700m

Deia is a magnificant mountain village on the west coast of Mallorca and was our base for a week's villa holiday over Easter. I would imagine that Deia and the surrounding villages get very busy in the high season. April was an ideal time to visit and take in some walks between Valldemossa, Deia and Soller. This describes an excellent high level walk between Valldemossa and Deia via the Archduke's path. It was undertaken on a clear sunny day - temperature between 18-19 degrees. I wouldn't have been comfortable on the ridge in the fog and descent footwear is essential.

We took the bus between Deia and Valldemossa; the later is an attractive mountain village - with an altitude of around 350-400m it makes a good starting point for the walk. Taking in supplies at the local bakery we hunted for the access point to the hills. A map and local walk guides in Mallorca are essential as, apart from some sections of the long distance footpaths walks are poorly marked. We faffed around for some time (along with other walkers) before finding a small path which runs next to a high fenced estate to the north of Town (behind the tourist information office!).

The path rises steeply through the trees with periodic evidence of the ruined huts of charcoal burners and circular plots where the charcoal was burnt. The climb tops out after 40-45 mins at a dry stone wall and the wooded plateau. At this point we had intended to continue uphill to take a shortcut to the Archduke's path however this must have been poorly marked as we continued to ascend to the Mirador de Ses Puntes, a ruined medieval fortfication which has fantastic (and vertigo inducing) views towards the south of the island (around 770m). In retrospect, although adding at least another hour to the walk this route is highly recommended.

From here the path ascends further to a triangulation point and then onwards to a recently restored hut (locked so no idea what it functions as).
From here the view across to the Archduke walkway is breathtaking but intimidating. Not to be put off however the after a brief descent around the front of the hut we spent another 20-25 minutes ascending to the dry stone path built by Archduke Luis Salvador in the 1860's-1870's. The views offer fantastic views across the whole island however, given the drop to our left I wouldn't have wanted to be clambering around here in the fog.
Despite the sun the ridge was surprisingly cool and breezy but we found a little shelter for a bite of lunch. The ridge tops out at around munro height and, before we descended to Deia we passed some feral mountain goats and made a short detour to Puig de Caragoli - at 926m the high point of the walk.

Guidebooks mentioned that the path down to Deia was steep! We had been trying to figure out the path down to the village for some days without success. Hovering rapors and the awful smell of a dead mountain goat (perhaps unsurprisingly like goat's cheese) at the start of the walk hinted at the challenges to come. Eventually we came to a sign (possibly taken out of a Roadrunner cartoon) and speculated that it had been placed by a Mallorcan youth with a warped sense of humor as we peered over the edge to a rather unpromising looking path below.
The first 20 minutes of zig-zagging down the mountain were steep and tested the nerves of the party. The total descent through the wood and terraces took over an hour and finished up at the back of the famous Es Moli hotel. The route down is over the cliff to the right of this photo, taken from the village.

If we weren't staying in Deia I might be more inclined to start and finish in Valldemosa - there are some interesting circular walks taking in the Puig Es Teix (1064m); the highest peak in the area as well as the Archduke's walkway.

Thanks to those who contributed photos to this report!

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Comments: 6

Glenshee Three - Expectations Exceeded

Attachment(s) Munros: Càrn a' Ghèoidh, Càrn Aosda, The Cairnwell
Date walked: 17/05/2011
Comments: 4
Views: 3217


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Trips: 1
Distance: 11 km
Ascent: 700m


Trips: 1
Munros: 3

Joined: Jul 24, 2009
Last visited: Oct 30, 2020
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