8th of January, 2022
Around 9.30 we are on our way to Santuari de Lluc in the Serra de Tramuntana. We have another 4 days to explore the island and decided to stay one night in the Monastery and 2 nights in the attractive capital Palma. Lluc is just a 45 minutes drive from the village, where we have been house sitting. After Inca, the road is crawling up the mountain. It is still very quiet on this Saturday morning, although we do have to watch the cyclists!
We find Santuari de Lluc in a valley on a height of 525 meters. The name Lluc derives from Lucus, which means ‘sacred grove’. According to the legend, a young shepherd found the statue of the Virgin of Lluc, the Black Madonna (La Moreneta), on the mountain. On this spot a chapel was built in the 13th century, which formed the origins of Santurari de Lluc. In the 14th century a hospice was created to accommodate all the pilgrims. In the 17th century the Basilica was founded and nowadays a museum and botanical garden are also part of the Santuari. Lluc is still a very important pilgrimage meeting point and spiritual center.
We park the car at the spacious parking place just outside the grounds of the Monastery and cross the Plaça dels Pelegrins, towards the impressive entrance. Our room will be ready in the afternoon, but we can leave our luggage at the reception. After a quick coffee on the plaza and a visit to the tourist information centre, we start our hike; “The volta a la moleta de Binifaldó”. Today is windy and around 8 degrees. We even have to wear gloves! Here, in the Tramuntana mountain range, the climate is different than central Mallorca!
The route will take us through a lush pine and holm oak forest, along lime and charcoal kilns, via impressive karstic landscapes and even via an old Roman highway. We start from 474 meters and the highest point is 700 meters. It should take a rough 3 hours, but it takes us much longer! Many pictures are taken and we fully enjoy the different scenery.
Very impressive are the exokarst formations, that have been shaped over thousands of years by the rainwater, in combination with the carbon dioxide in the air. During the last half an hour we have to watch our step, as we descend over huge stones, back towards Lluc.
The grounds of Lluc are at this time of the day full of visitors. We grab the luggage and go to our room, through the very quiet and spacious corridors. The room is basic and we got some sheets to make the bed! We do have our own bathroom and the view from the window is wonderful!
At 17.00 a service starts in the Basilica and just a handful of people are present. We have a quick glimpse inside and after, go for a drink in the bar beside the Sanctuari. Now, in winter time, it closes at 6.00 p.m and the dining room in the Monastery does not open until 7.00 p.m. We are tired and cold and ask the waiter if we can sit down by the fire in the restaurant. No problem at all and he finds us a nice table and quickly serves us some lovely Spanish wine, tasty olives and delicious bread with a strong aioli! We booked our room including the dinner and we get a three course meal. Nothing fancy, but definitely tasty!
Tomorrow, we will visit the Botanical Garden and walk the ‘Pujol des Misteris’ on Mount Rosario, where ‘La Moreneto’ was found.