Sierra de Tramuntana of Mallorca – discover the UNESCO World Heritatge
Discover the flora and fauna of the Serra de Tramuntana in Mallorca – declared UNESCO World Heritage in 2017
The owners of the Hotel Ecocirer in Sóller have been so kind as to provide this wonderful information about the Sierra de Tramuntana for us. The Ecocirer hotel is a sustainable and eco-friendly hotel in Sóller with views of the Tramuntana mountains. This is why they especially care about the flora and fauna of these wonderful natural surroundings. They want to protect the Sierra de Tramuntana so that everybody can enjoy it for a long time to come, no matter if you are a guest at the Ecocirer or a nature-lover, spending a day in the mountains.
We want to show you the wealth and diversity of the scenery of the Sierra de Tramuntana, with wooded areas formed by holm-oak, pine and other plant communities which alternate with farmed spaces devoted to the cultivation of olive trees, citrus trees and almond trees in the valleys. With numerous public estates which can be visited through signposted routes and shelters for hikers.
The Tramuntana is rich in fauna and flora, with an abundance of endemic species. Please, reduce your environmental impact and respect wildlife and their natural habitats.
Some parts of the Tramuntana mountains are especially protected for their ecological value, like the Natural Park of the isle Sa Dragonera, the Torrent de Pareis and Ses Fonts Ufanes.
Discover our mountains by hiking the hundreds of paths, often connected to the famous long distance route GR-221.
It is important to us to ask you to please keep the environment clean, our mountains are not a rubbish bin. In protected areas, access only the places open to visitors, leaving the minimum of footprints and the best impression behind.
Respect our fauna
The wild fauna of the Sierra de Tramuntana includes many endemic species, favoured by the dual insularity that results from the existence of this mountainous área. An island within an island, isolated from the rest of the region, this área is less affected by recent human activity. Thus, it was possible for many species to survive. Nowadays, many of them are protected species.
Cinereous vulture (Aegypius monachus)
Unmistakeable because of its size and its tranquil, majestic flight. Totally black in younger animals, and a chocolaty tone in adults, it has light plumage on the head and neck. Its beak is curved, robust and powerful. It is not unusual to see them gliding slowly high above the peaks of the Tramuntana.
Mallorcan midwife toad (Alytes muletensis)
Four centimetres in length and 5 grams in weight. A pale skin and dark spots on its back.
An endemic amphibian of the Tramuntana mountains, that lives only in certain seasonal water courses.
During the day it rests near the water, hidden in small cracks in the rocks; at night it comes out to look for food, above all small insects and animals that live under the stones, or the vestiges of the plants which fall into the pools of rainwater. It is the rarest amphibian in Europe, and is in danger of extinction.
Protect our flora
Isolation has led to the appearance of life forms that are unique in the world. As a result, in the Serra de Tramuntana mountains can be found a significant amount of endemic flora and singular plants, essential for the development of diverse plant communities.
In fact, the mountain range holds 65 of the 97 endemic species of the Balearic Islands, 65 of the 68 endemic plants are found in Mallorca. To name one example, nine species of orchids and over ten species of fern live in the Sierra alone, nowhere else in the world.
The holm-oak grove, that ancient indigenous forest, has its main strongholds here, and the mountains are the only refuge on the hot island for trees typical of cold climates, like the yew.
The Botanical Garden of Sóller
Reproduces the flora typical of the mountains, among others, and a visit is therefore an excellent way of discovering the peculiarities, characteristics and endemic plants of the Sierra de Tramuntana.
Balearic holm-oak woodland
This is the climatic forest community that would occupy most of the territory if there was no human intervention. In the Serra, the location of this type of woodland has been reduced and contains two sub-groups – the mountain holm-oak woodland and that of the lowlands and coastal areas.
Wild olive scrub (garrigue)
A plant formation typical of warm areas which predominates in lower altitudes. It appears as a consequence of the extreme dry conditions that prevent the holm-oak woodland from developing. The garrigue led to the expansion of the agricultural olive tree.
The Tramuntana nature has created beautiful spots that are unique in the world and essential for understanding the island. The light, the sky, the land and the sea are never the same. Contemplating them gives us an idea why the the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range has been declared World Heritage. Now it belongs to everyone. We must all admire and, above all, protect it.
A peninsula located close to Deià, with an impressive hole of 18m in diameter in its middle and that can be contemplated from different parts of the coast.
Sa Calobra and Torrent de Pareis
Located in the heart of the Tramuntana, this well-preserved pebble beach boasts a spectacular scenery. An impressive valley, surrounded by high walls of rock rising up to 200m hight.
A heavenly beach in the shadow of the 1.440m Puig Major, the highest mountain in the Sierra de Tramuntana. The sand on the seashore turns into pebbles and gravels further inland. Cala Tuent marks the end of Sa Costera, one of the best excursions on can take on the island.
Ses Fonts Ufanes
A natural monument that constitutes a unique hydrogeological phenomenon in the Baleares. An intermittent upwelling of water, manifested violently and spontaneously after intense rainfall.
Barranc de Biniaraix
A karstic canyon, situated at the south-east of Sóller. Carved by millions of years of water flowing down the mountains, the villagers have managed to wrestle from it farmland for cultivating olive trees, carob and almond trees. The pathway integrates the famous mallorcan dry-stone constructions into nature. Its scenic, natural, historical and cultural value has led the Biniaraix trail to be declared an Asset of Cultural Interest.
Lluc (Sacred Wood)
A walk full of legends and miracles, here you get to listen to Mallorca to spiritually. At the same time it affords views of some of the most exceptional landscape. The Sanctuary of Lluc has been a place of pilgrimage since time inmemorial.
The work in dry stone is one of the most singular treasures of the Tramuntana Mountains. A building technique used since ancient times which has served to extend farmland, improve harvests, prevent damage and exploit the irregular water supply the region receives.
A technique that makes use of the stones that lie about abundantly in the Sierra de Tramuntana, using no mortar or cement of any kind. In this way, no building material has to be carried up the steep mountains.
Walls marking plots of land and properties are erected in this way, as well as mountain paths, huts, charcoal pits and charcoal burners huts, lime kilns, ice houses and many others wonderful constructions.
These constructions use the materials that are found in the mountains, perfectly integrated into their natural scenic context, almost a continuation of it.
Love for the Sierra de Tramuntana as a lifestyle
The inhabitants of the Tramuntana are the architects of its current landscape, which has been sculpted over the centuries. They possess an extensive cultural legacy, transmitted from generation to generation, consisting of agricultural, livestock and fishing processes and techniques and knowledge related to the harvesting and exploitation of natural resources.
With the tourist boom these activities fell into decline, threatening a large expanse of secular knowledge with oblivion. However, a certain level of agricultural activity has nevertheless survived, such as oil, olives, wine and ramellet tomatoes.
There are specimens of olive tree, carob tree and others, are extraordinary for their size, age and cultural value. Some are several hundred years old, located in extremely beautiful enclaves. Please, take care of them, because we live from them.
You can give your support to the local farmers by buying fresh ingredients and artesanal products, in the market or the Cooperativa Agricola de Sóller.
The Tramuntana is drying up
In Sóller, there are 127 springs and the most important beeing na Lladonera, s’Olla, na Gireta, Cas Patro Lau and sa Font Nova-Font des Barranc. But the extremely dry weather in Sóller every summer also takes its toll on these springs. The lack of water is getting worse every year, many of the springs having little or no water.
Many owners of vegetable gardens have to abandon the vegetables and stop watering, due to the scarcity of water. Also the citrus trees are affected by the dryness. This situation results in neighbours stealing water from each other, to irrigate their vegetables and fruit trees.
As a visitor of our beautiful island, as a responsible traveller, please be conscious and reduce your water consumption whenever possible.
Danger of forest fires
Around May, the high-risk wildfire season begins, which lasts until the end of October. In this period, the use of fire and other activities susceptible to increase risk of forest fires is strictly prohibited in all the wooded areas of the islands, and within a radius of 500 meters of any forest.
Because of the weather conditions and the extremely dry wood, forest fires are a real danger. Your collaboration is essential in the fight against fire. We ask for extreme caution and preventive actions. You have to be especially careful with cigarette butts and the burning of garden waste. Even a piece of glass in the wrong location can cause devestating wild fires.
Awareness and responsibility is vital. About 90% of the fires are started by humans, whether due to negligence, accidentially or intentionalal.
We are all responsible for our own safety.