GR221 Dry Stone Route
Start: Port d’Andratx
End: Port de Pollenca
Distance: 87 miles (140 km)
Time: 8 days
Surface: Long-Distance Path
The GR221 Dry Stone Route-otherwise known as the Ruts de Pedra en Sec-was created by the Mallorca government to give visitors a different experience of their island. It’s designed for those who want to see rural Mallorca and do more than spend their days basking on its glorious beaches. It’s much more, however, than just another mountain trail.
Mallorca’s limestone-encrusted interior has long been utilized by everyone, from ninth-century Arabs and tobacco smugglers to its latter-day residents and farmers, to provide for all kinds of structures, from pathways, huts, and buttresses to hold back cultivated terraces, to limestone snow pits for the storage of snow and ice (snow is extremely rare, but it can happen). Even ancient bread ovens made from limestone blocks and stone water channels can be found in its mountainous interior, all of which help to make this fascinating trail a walk through both the island’s natural landscape and its built heritage.
The GR221 Dry Stone Route begins in the south at the fishing village of Port d’Andratx and continues for 87 miles (140 km) through typical Mediterranean scrub and the evergreen oaks and pines of the rugged Serra de Tramuntana Mountains, following old limestone paths, forest trails, and mule paths that pass through the interior’s mountain towns, villages, and estates before emerging at Port de Pollenca in the north.
The GR22l takes you close to the coast and up to the island’s loftiest peak, the Coll de ses Cases de sa Neu, at more than 3,280 feet (1,000 m), but don’t be surprised if it is the Tramuntana’s wonderful stone terraces, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011, that linger longest in the memory.