The climb up to Castell d’Alaro is one of my favourite walks, offering some beautiful scenery, a bit of history and the chance of a pint at the end.
We started our walk from KM 11.9 on the Alaro to Orient road and after passing through the access gate we began the steady climb through terraces of ancient olive trees. The trees had twisted into some beautiful shapes and the views down the Orient Valley improved as we gained height.
Soon the way became tougher as we began to climb the zigzag path through the woods to reach a clearing known as Es Pouet.
We continued along the old cobbled trail to reach the archways of the castle entrance.
We crossed a level area from where there were fantastic views of the Sierra Tramuntana but I kept well away from the edge and the precipitous drop.
We continued upwards to the top where one of the buildings in now a cafe. A chance for a nice cool drink.
Nearby was an old telescope giving views over the south of the island.
We searched our pockets but none of us had an old 10 pesetas coin to get it to work.
There was also the small but beautiful old chapel.
Climbing some steps to the rear of the chapel we came to an area from where we could look down into the Sollerich Valley and across to the high peaks of the Sierra Tramuntana. A new notice board helped us to identify the peaks, almost all of which we had now climbed.
Looking down over the almost sheer cliffs it is easy to understand how the fortress of Castell d’Alaro was almost impregnable. After the Reconquest of Mallorca by Jaime I in 1229 the Arab commander-in-chief was able to hold out here for almost two years.
We returned by retracing our inward route. It was much easier going down and the views were somehow different.
Back at the car we decided to travel back via Alaro to avoid some of the cyclists. We ended up in Bunyola and a chance to visit the bar in the small square for a pint of Estrella, amber nectar.
That evening I once again chose to eat at Pizzeria Del Porto. Pan, olives and Ali Oli to start with, then swordfish and a bottle of White Rioja. Perfect.