Weekend Walk: Santa Maria to Orient
Take a Walk on the Wild Side of Mallorca
“Walking the entire circuit can be challenging, so it’s not recommended for beginners, but the start of the walk is along a beautiful pathway and is mostly flat, making it perfect for walkers of every level. Dogs are welcome, too!"
I don’t know about you, but I love a good walk. One that really gets the blood pumping and clears the head.
Mallorca offers no shortage of them, and all you have to do is go online, and up pop several sites willing to show you the best/worst kept secret hikes on the island. One of my favourites starts literally in my backyard and is a perfect way to spend a good half day.
The Trail Begins #
The walk begins in the market village of Santa Maria del Camí, roughly 20 minutes by car, and 25 by train from Palma Station. From the train station in Santa Maria, you simply walk or drive to the end of the road and turn left onto Camí de Coanegra just after Macia Batle winery. You will cross the train tracks and follow the paved road toward Alaró, passing some lovely countryside and beautiful properties such as the Son Torella, Son Berenguer and Son Oliver estates. It is possible to drive to where the tarmac ends, but after that, the walking in earnest begins.
Avenc de Son Pou #
The Avenc de Son Pou (formerly known as the Es Coloms cave or En Botó cave) is a not-to-be-missed natural cave. The Mallorcan poet Costa y Llobera even wrote a poem about its beauty! Measuring about 70 x 150 metres, it is lit by natural light from a huge opening at the top. It is possible to enter the cave by a tunnel excavated into the rock. Once you’ve seen the cave, you can easily return to the footpath that leads up to Orient.
Detour to Salt des Freu #
After visiting the Avenc de Son Pou you return to the footpath that leads upwards towards Orient. Shortly afterwards, at a small pass, you turn off to the left towards the gulley. The path, which has impressive views, starts to flatten out, and after passing near to a limestone silo and kiln, turns sharply to the left. Straightaway you pass a stone wall behind which the winding cart track descends to the gulley. At this point, it is possible to take a path to the left, to the Es Freu waterfall which is spectacular in the rainy season.
Final Destination #
The route then crosses the gulley, leading to a metal gate that provides access. You will see the ruins of the Es Freu houses on the right and, 15 minutes after going through the gate, you will reach the road. Continue up, and you will arrive in Orient roughly 30 minutes later.
Transportation from Orient #
For the return, it is important to point out that only one bus route goes to Orient. This is the L221, which is an on-demand service. Reservations must be made at least one day prior to the walk by calling +34 617 365 365 from Monday to Saturday in winter and 7 days a week from 1 June to 31 October.
The L221 leaves Orient for Bunyola at 17.45, and currently is not in service on weekends and public holidays and is subject to change. This should be noted when planning your walk, which takes 4-6 hours depending on your walking speed. From Bunyola the L221 joins the L220 to Palma
Points of interest
Other than buses, it is possible to get a taxi back, but again, it would need to be reserved in advance. With a little forethought, and a good pair of walking shoes, this hike is sure to be one you’ll do again and again!
By Stephanie Horsman
20 February, 2019