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From the shallows of the sea to the top of the island in the municipality of the great landscapes

Escorca (Mallorca) is landscape, is contrast, is sea and mountain… One of the ten largest municipalities of the Balearic island, by extension, and at the same time the least populated. The most abrupt reliefs of the Tramuntana mountain range are to be found here, forming part of this ridge that crosses the largest of the Gimnesian islands and which has been added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

With this letter of introduction, it is possible that we have already felt the desire to visit it, but if not, there are still a few other attractions that may convince us.

Much more than Sa Calobra

One of the best-known tourist spots in the Tramuntana mountain range is Sa Calobra, a beautiful cove of pebbles, with a narrow outlet to the sea and framed by large rocky massifs that form a kind of natural amphitheatre. An impressive place located at the mouth of the Pareis torrent.

Added to this is the attraction of the seclusion of the place, which is reached after having travelled along a winding road, designed in the first third of the 20th century, with such famous routes as the so-called «Nudo de Corbata» (tie knot).

However, although Sa Calobra is the spearhead of the municipality of Escorca and its coastal symbol, and many people only come to this Mallorcan sector with the intention of getting to know it, the truth is that if we only do this, we will miss out on a good part of the essence of the island.

An example of what we are missing is very close to Sa Calobra, without even leaving the coastline. We are referring to Cala Tuent, a virgin and isolated cove, just under 200 metres long, which is a true marvel, both for the scenery that accompanies it and for the transparency and colour of its waters.

Cala Tuent is guarded from the heights by another of the great icons of the municipality of Escorca, Puig Major, the highest elevation of the Tramuntana mountain range and, therefore, of the island of Mallorca and the Balearic Islands, at an altitude of almost 1,500 metres. Although it is not accessible without permission, as it has had military installations since the Cold War, its peak is easily recognisable by the large sphere-shaped radar that crowns it – a recent inheritance of the former two spheres that the Mallorcan inhabitants affectionately knew as «Ses Bolles» -.

In any case, although Puig Major is the most recognisable, it is not alone, and several of the highest peaks in Mallorca are located next to it, forming an imposing landscape that is the hallmark of Escorca. There, several viewpoints allow us to admire the grandeur of these reliefs in all their immensity, as well as to discover spaces that are fundamental to the life of the capital, Palma, although most of those who have visited it are completely unaware of its existence. These are the artificial reservoirs of Cúber and Gorg Blau, which supply water to the entire metropolitan area of Palma and which many will have spotted from the heights when flying over the island when they were about to land or take off.

Precisamente en el embalse de Gorg Blau nos topamos con una sorpresa arqueológica que no esperábamos encontrar en Escorca, el santuario de Almallutx, un yacimiento de la cultura talayótica de la isla que conserva aún varias estructuras en pie a pesar de estar cubierto parcialmente por las aguas.

And there is still Lluch…

Further inland from the town of Escorca and in the direction of the curious rocky spot where Es Camell is located – a great tourist attraction for hikers – is another of the most important places in the municipality and in Mallorca as a whole, the sanctuary of Santa María de Lluch.

Considered the most sacred place on the island as it houses the image of its patron saint, the Virgin of Lluch, it is located on land that has been ancestrally inhabited since prehistoric times, as can be seen in the nearby caves and the remains of burial sites.

What was the first Marian sanctuary in the Balearic Islands, taking over from the old parish church of San Pere de Escorca, is an essential visit that also takes us to the Lluch mountains, where the Pareis torrent rises, which runs to the sea, dodging the deep ravines that have contributed so much to this municipality being considered one of the areas with the most spectacular landscapes in Mallorca.