So much for our lovely GR221!

 

GR221, Mallorca, Majorca

GR221 route thoroughly blocked

This post is for everyone planning to hike the GR221, Mallorca’s Dry Stone Route, in the near future. I just wanted to give you a quick update on some recent issues, which have arisen with the GR221 routing. I’m afraid the GR221 has been, and continues to be, beset with problems regarding rights of way over private land, and now there’s a new one to watch out for.

Don’t expect there to be any helpful published information along the way!

But please note the implications for your trip are:

  1. Estellencs to Banyalbufar: This section has been problematic for years and it is currently un-passable, so it means taking a bus for this relatively short section of your hike. This is a fairly longstanding dispute, which is taking years to resolve with the landowner.
  2. Esporles to Valldemossa: This is a very recent development and the landowner of part of this section has now erected signs, fences, and (ironically) a very solid dry stone wall to prevent hikers passing over his land, thereby cutting off the route to Valldemossa.

The really maddening thing is that the Consell de Mallorca has issued no warnings and provided no information regarding the sudden closure of the Esporles to Valldemossa section. These paths are ancient rights of way and have been used for hundreds of years as a link between the two towns and yet they think a virtually imperceptible notice on their website is enough to inform us that suddenly, this section is “in project” or under construction, again.

Many hikers come to the island solely to complete the GR221 – a fabulous long distance trek – and just this morning, in the space of about an hour we met 7 hikers heading off for Valldemossa from Esporles. None of them had any idea that there was an issue with the route. All GR221 way-marking is still happily in place, lulling unsuspecting walkers into a false sense of well-being – little do they know that only meters ahead they will be faced with a massive wall blocking their route!

So what are your options?

GR221, Mallorca, Majorca

GR221 signage all still in place!

  • To persevere notwithstanding these obstacles? But beware, the landowner has also destroyed many of the way-markers that considerate hikers have taken the trouble to construct over many years, so path-finding is even more tough-going than before. Also beware an angry landowner who prevents you from passing over his land – you may have to back down and return to Esporles.
  • Alternatively, if you prefer the easy option, make your way to Valldemossa from Esporles by taxi and continue your hike from there.

Thankfully, from Valldemossa on the GR221 route is a clear run with no further problems.

So, what’s the story, you ask? What’s going on? That’s what we asked the Consell de Mallorca, whose (unhelpful!) explanation was that the section was (now) “not open”! Ah that’s just great, thanks for the heads up, really useful (yeah right). Well I’m sorry to say that that’s all we know for the time being, but we’ll be keeping our ears and eyes peeled for some local gossip and we’ll keep you posted!
If you’d like to be kept informed about developments on Mallorca’s GR221 then please sign up to our Facebook Page and keep your eye out for further posts on this Blog. Please also refer to the Consell de Mallorca for the “official” situation!
And finally, if all this sounds far too complicated to tackle alone, why not contact us about our guided walking tours and take a look at some of our favourite walks – there are plenty to choose from!
We hope to see you very soon!

Comments

  1. KEVIN LUTON says:

    Both myself and my wife were very much looking forward to doing this walk in 2013.
    We have been over to Mallorca several times enjoying some great days in the Tramuntana.
    Have done many of the peaks but could never understand why we could only do Puig Roig on a Sunday, and only by a specific way, and within the alloted timescale. This is not what walking is all about. Being told what, when and where.
    As we don’t enjoy confrontation whilst out enjoying freedom, we won’t be heading to Mallorca again anytime soon.
    Looking forward to heading out to Alonissos instead.

  2. Janet Nicholson says:

    Hi there, just goyt back from walking GR221. We started on the alternative start from Peguera to Estellanc. great route fully waymarked with no problems. We got the bus from Estellenc to Esporles and continued walking as this was waymarked and yes you are led on with false hopes as suddenly half way the route is barred but passable to an extent. we did indeed encounter the wall in the photo which has been partially torn down so it is climable but then the problems really start so we back tracked to the metalled road and continued onwards past the private homes to the Valdemossa road and walked in fro there. We encountered other walkers who had problems from Valldemossa to Deia. we did’t because it was blowing a gale and pouring with rain so we wimped it on the bus. The route from Deia to Pollenca fully waymarked with no problems whatsoever with sign posting. Fantastic route thoroughly recommended.

    Regards
    Janet and Claire from Kent, UK.

    • Hi Janet
      Many thanks for your message and I’m so glad you enjoyed the GR221 – it’s fabulous isn’t it, despite the various issues!?
      Would you mind elaborating on your comment “and then the problems really start”? What did you come across beyond the wall? It would be helpful for our readers who are tempted to persevere on the route!?
      The section from Valldemossa to Deia is not well marked so I’m not surprised people had problems. It’s best to take a guide on this section – preferably one of our very knowledgable and experienced guides ;-)
      Thanks again for your contribution!
      Best wishes, Fiona

      • We walked from Estellencs to Port de Soller over 3 days last week without any problems.

        From Estellencs we took the high route via Plancia and S’Arbrossar and to avoid the Es Rafal land.

        From Esporles we followed the main route until Coll de sa Basseta and then followed the trail of cairns and red markers through the forest over the first broken wall, through the hunting grounds and over the wall on the far side. Janet’s problems may have been finding the way through, but with compass in hand it was possible to navigate where the trail was not clear.

        Overall a great 3 days hiking, despite the hail storm on the Cami de s’Arxiduc!

        Jane

        • Hi Jane

          Many thanks for this and happy to hear you enjoyed the hike!

          A couple of questions:

          How easy/hard did you find the pathfinding on the Estellencs to Banyalbufar section – it’s not very well way-marked is it?

          Has the first big wall been totally dismantled now?

          Many thanks for your input!

          • Hi Fiona
            I last walked some of the GR221 in 2010, but only the sections from Soller to Polenca & from Soller to Banyalbufar. My original plans had to be altered due to fight changes caused by the Icelandic volcano!

            In April 2014 I am going from Pollenca to Pt Andrax. Have there been any more changes to the route recently, for example between Banyalbufar & Estellencs?

            Alan

          • Dear Alan,

            Thank you for your comment. There have been no recent changes, have you read this article?
            http://blog.mallorcahiking.com/2012/09/so-much-for-our-lovely-gr221/

            The stone wall mentioned in this article has been partly destroyed and you can go over it without any big difficulties, but instead all the small landmarks (small piles of stones) marking the path, are also gone. And keep in mind that there are no sign-posts on this route. The stage Estellencs-Banyalbufar has been partly affected buy last summers big forrest fire and is still not officially open. But we know a way to go around this by choosing an alternative route on this stage, and we would be very happy to guide you on this one.

            Hopefully this was some useful information.

            Kindest regards,

            Nina

  3. Kevin Castner says:

    Hi Fiona—Liked you page and your input. My wife and I hiked from Esporles to Valldemossa two days ago. In many ways it was a wonderful hike, aided by big dollops of common sense and a decent GPS. We parked in Esporles in the parking lot down the street from the church, then wandered thru town and up the well-marked trail to where the last real GR221 sign is, at the side of the road. There, someone had very nicely written that the trail is closed but still possible as long as one utilized the red dots. Well, sometimes it is red dots, sometimes it is green/yellow dots, and sometimes it is the Mallorquiin staple, cairns. But, it works, after a fashion. However, it is not a march; rather an investigation. With payoffs. And we finished in about the usual allotted time…just under 4 hours. It is rather sad that there is not a more proactive site that exists to tell of updates to different trails. Any ideas please feel free to contact me at: kevin.castner@gmail.com. Anja (my wife and co-conspirator) and I walked from outside Andratx (coll de sa gramola) to la Trappa. An interesting experience, given that the area suffered a huge fire (in July, I think). Very sad. Kind of a weird Twilight Zone beauty to the place. Maybe we would have done it anyway, but we had no easy way to know about it beforehand, and might have picked somewhere else.

    This is our fifth trip here, and I have a question for you, if you don’t mind (or maybe someone else can answer or has input). It is….we feel like we’d like to contribute to the upkeep of the trails, but don’t have any idea (after trawling the web) who to contact, or where money would be best donated. Anybody know, plea speak up!! The whole island is an incredible place to wander.

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