Cultural landscape of the Sierra de Tramuntana
Sierra de Tramuntana mountains
The Sierra de Tramuntana mountains run parallel to the northwest coast of the island of Majorca. Its unique agricultural landscape, with irrigation systems dating from mediaeval times, have merited the World Heritage designation by the UNESCO.
From the municipal district of Andratx to the cape of Cabo Formentor, we find a succession of steep mountains and fertile valleys linked by a series of gorges. In addition to the beauty of the landscape which captivated artists such as Chopin, Unamuno, Anglada Camarasa and Camilo José Cela, the Sierra de Tramuntana is also the site of Majorca's main water reserves. Its steep slopes and agricultural terraces are an outstanding example of the exploitation of natural resources according to the means and knowledge available in each historical period. The network for managing and distributing the water between the different plots of land combines systems which date from Arab times with other elements such as mills and stone constructions built without mortar (bridges, walls, paths…).
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The area of the Sierra de Tramuntana also has towns and monuments of cultural interest. These include the historic sites of Deià and Estellencs, and the towns of Sóller, Valdemossa, Andratx and Pollença. The Carthusian monastery of Valdemossa and the gardens of Son Marroig are just two places well worth visiting. What's more, there are numerous lighthouses and historic towers to be found along the coast, such as for example the Formentor and Creu lighthouses (in the port of Sóller), and the towers of Picada, Sa Calobra, Sa Pedrissa and Sa Mola.
The highest summits in the mountain range are Puig Major de Son Torrella (1,445 metres) and Puig de Massanella (1,367 metres). The flora features particularly crops and the typical Mediterranean vegetation such as olive trees and Holm oaks. Among the animal species it is particularly worth mentioning the presence of birds such as black vultures and ospreys.
The route from the city of Palma de Mallorca to the Sierra de Tramuntana can be done in a period train: the Sóller railway. The network of hiking routes known 'Piedra en seco' ('dry stone') runs from west to east, passing through various points of interest, and also offering itineraries which are particularly suited to families. All along the mountain range there are various natural viewing points which afford spectacular views, such as the one at Ses Tres Creus (Sóller).