THE FIRST DAY
We leave the stables after tacking up our horses between 9 and 10am. Our bags go ahead by minibus, whilst we begin our ride across the plain towards the Tramuntana Mountains. After an hour we begin to rise quickly passing with long canters, through almond and olive groves with views of the golden villages of Mallorca in the distance. We pass Campanet and arrive in the pretty town of Caimari (the olive oil capital of Malllorca) where we stop for a typical Mallorquine lunch.
After lunch we set off to reach the Piedra en Seco, an ancient pathway which was used by the ice men to bring ice into the towns and villages from the ice caves on the highest mountain peaks before the invention of fridges. We rise then, first through woodlands of pines and oaks, with charcoal making platforms and limestone kilns, to reach a high pathway with breathtaking views across the north of the island. Before the light begins to dim, we see the wonderful monastery of Lluc in the distance, where we find warm comfortable rooms waiting for us and an excellent dinner.
THE SECOND DAY
After a good breakfast on the second day, we set off into the high Tramuntana and soon find ourselves beginning our journey across what feels like the top of the earth. You will be amazed at how your horse tackles the rocky paths and steep mountain climbs. The views are incredible and the landscape changes from the pastoral to the austere. We often see eagles and the island’s famous black vultures as we ride.
We visit the huge Galilea Ice Cave before stopping on a sheltered plateau for hot drinks and food. We continue then on our journey over a high ridge and on into a more sheltered and forested landscape until we reach the magical hideaway mountain refuge at Tossals Verds. Here we meet hikers who are amazed that we have horses with us, and spend an evening in good company sharing a simple meal with people from many different countries. Wine and other drinks are available. The accommodation is in clean and comfortable dormitories and there are good shower and toilet facilities. There is a field and a shelter for the horses just outside of the refuge, which they share with the donkeys who live there all year round.
THE THIRD DAY
After a simple breakfast, we set off again with a picnic lunch in our saddle bags. We ride a different route back towards Lluc with dramatic changing scenery, steep and winding paths, rocky moorland and wide open stretches. Then we follow the side of a long valley. From here we can see Puig Major, the highest mountain on Mallorca. Then we climb to a higher point where you can see the sea below on both sides of the island. On a fine day the views will take your breath away as the blue sky meets the sea all around you. After our picnic lunch and a rest for the horses, we travel down towards Lluc through a wide sheltered valley and finally a wooded track back towards the monastery. Then there is some free time to explore short walks from the monastery, the chapel, the botanic gardens, the visitor centre, the museum and the shop before dinner.
THE FINAL DAY
After breakfast we ride down towards the beautiful town of Pollença on the old pilgrim track from the town to the monastery. At first the decent is steep through enchanted woodlands with silvery stones and then more gradual as we reach the side of the riverbed running down from the mountain to the sea. It is a pretty and gentle landscape in contrast to grandeur of the previous day. We picnic for lunch by the river and continue along flat tracks with some canters into Pollença to the old Roman Bridge, where we say goodbye to our horses, taking with us all our memories and leaving only hoof prints. The horses return by horse box, while we have coffee and cake.
The four day trail begins at Hipica Formentor and ends in Pollença and includes three nights’ accommodation. All meals, water, table wine, soft drinks and tea or coffee are also included, other drinks can be bought if desired. The all-inclusive trail cost is 795€. We can also arrange accommodation at the Son San Jordi Hotel in Pollenca on a bed and breakfast basis for 71€ per night per person. (all accommodation costs are based on two people sharing a twin or double room except at the Tossals Verds Refuge where there are dormitories