Castell d’Alaro is situated on the summit of Puig d’Alaro, 821m, one of the two sugar-loaf mountains that arise abruptly from the central plain of Mallorca. Our objective for the day was to climb up to the castle. I thought we were going to do a straight in and out walk but Greg had other ideas. He had devised a circular route taking us to Orient and then approaching the castle from the Orient valley with the return back to Alaro.
We parked at Alaro and made our way to the main square where there was a beautiful statue of a woman and child.
We left the square and headed in a north westerly direction to join a country lane, eventually reaching a signpost which indicated – Orient, Pas de s’Escaleta 1hr 15 min. We then began to climb quite steeply as we headed for the pass.
The descent towards Orient was lovely and we passed a beautiful font where we stopped for lunch. Upon reaching the road we turned right continuing past the Hermitage hotel to reach the farm of Son Bernadas. Opposite was a sign indicating our route to Castell d’Alaro. The way led along terraces of olive groves. Some of the trees were hundreds of years old and their trunks were twisted into fantastic shapes.
The path continued upwards through woodland to reach a clearing at Es Pouet. Across the clearing we picked up the start of an ancient cobbled path which led us all the way to the castle. The path became a series of stone steps with the sheer cliff to one side as we approached the archway to the castle.
We had plenty of time to explore the remains of the castle and the Ermita de la Mare de Deu del Refugi. Here it was possible to obtain a cold drink from the bar and stay the night in basic accommodation. The interior of the Chapel was a surprise and so beautiful.
The Castle is in an almost impregnable position and could be defended by just a handful of people. In 1229 the Arab Commander-in-chief was able to hold out for two years following the reconquest of Mallorca by Jaime I
I wandered round the back of the building and looked down into the peaceful Solleric Valley. The view was fantastic and I took several images that I stitched together to create a panorama.
I could see a large section of the Sierra Tramuntana from Puig Major along to Massanella and Puig Tomir. On the right is the other sugar-loaf mountain, s’Alcaldena.
I spent a happy half hour wandering around taking pictures of wild flowers. I now have to try and identify them. My 1950 edition of I spy British Wild Flowers was no help at all.
We retraced out steps to Es Pouet. On the way we spotted a pulpit set up against the rock face. Greg, also known as Moses, gave us a sermon!!!!
From Es Pouet we followed the clear track to the road for the final couple of kilometres back to Alaro.
A harder day than I expected but full of interest.