The Archduke’s Way is a challenging but rewarding walk that climbs steeply out of the picturesque village of Valldemossa. Named after Luis Salvador, Archduke of Austria, who first laid eyes on Valldemossa high in the Tramuntana mountain range in 1867 and was so captivated by the sheer majesty of the landscape, he knew immediately he had found his piece of heaven.
In the decades that followed, he restored houses and estates, created gardens and dedicated himself to preserving the natural beauty of this special corner of Mallorca. His legacy includes the spectacular path he had laid high above Valldemossa known as Cami de s’Arxiduc or Archduke’s Way.
This circular walk winds steeply through olive trees and oaks reaching the Coll de Son Gallard at 766 metres where you arrive at the cliff-top corniche offering spectacular sea views along the west coast of the island. And make sure to keep watch for the impressive black vultures in this, as this area is a protected reserve for them.
The full circuit takes about 5 hours but the rewards are immense. There is a shorter alternative which takes about 3.5 hours if you are limited on time.
Picnic near the high point of the walk Puig Caragoli at 945m. From here the route starts to descend taking in the viewpoint of Puig Gros at 938m and then its downhill all the way. The path passes the Refugi de Son Moragues, though the valley of Es Cairats and the Son Gual estate and then winds back into the village of Valldemossa.
Tired but elated, enjoy a well earned cooling drink in one of Valldemossa’s lively cafés.