The Council of Mallorca parliament has approved a modification of the Ruta de Pedra en Sec project, in the backbone of the Serra de Tramuntana.
The objective is to make this mountain area more accessible to the public, in addition to responding to the requests of several town villages to connect them with the Dry Stone Route, and to improve the quality of the route to increase hiker’s safety and its landscape and heritage interest.
The Dry Stone Route is now increased to 350 km and it will connect with 2 more towns and villages and also Palma, the capital of the island.
Dry Stone Route
GR 221 is a long trail that allows the discovery of dry stone landscapes in the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range, which was included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites within the category of a Cultural Landscape. Visitors will find fascinating historical remains and explore traditions, architecture, customs, gastronomy and handicrafts of these privileged sites in Mallorca's geography.
The route often takes us close to the coast and in some points to the loftiest peaks of the range, offering amazing views of the island and the Mediterranean Sea. The highest point on the route is Coll de ses Cases de sa Neu pass, at slightly over one thousand two hundred metres (1,200 meters). This combination of coast and mountainous heights, coupled with the variety of the vegetation, shady holm oak groves giving way to the typically Mediterranean scrub (garriga or maquis), help to enhance the scenic attraction of the path.
The trail is largely based on the network of ancient footpaths that have been restored and are maintained by Consell de Mallorca.
Dry Stone work
The differentiating element that makes it unique are the dry stone features, built using stone as the sole building material. Over the centuries man shaped and adapted his environment to make the most of the natural resources available, creating landscapes with unique characteristics of enormous ethnological interest and great value as far as their construction itself is concerned, reflecting a society and a culture passed down through generations. The complexity and quality of this type of building is linked to the existence of the craft of marger (dry stone waller) which, in Mallorca, has a long tradition and requires outstanding technical knowledge and skill.
This technique helped to create paths and roads, to build walls to set out estate boundaries and planning agricultural land, in addition to channelling mountain streams to help prevent erosion.
However, the highlights of the landscape are the dry stone retaining walls, created to provide areas of deeper and more stable soil, that cover the 20% of Serra de Tramuntana–about 200 km², mostly used for olive growing.