The Serra de Tramuntana in September
Olive oil tourism and natural landscapes in the Serra de Tramuntana
Olive trees are believed to have been in MALLORCA since way back in time, some two millenniums ago. They were introduced at that time by the Carthaginians and Phoenicians, and the Romans also helped extend the growth of olive trees, which are an integral part of the Majorcan landscape.
Due to their longevity over centuries and even millennia, there are some specimens that, in themselves are unusually attractive and create a natural, cultural heritage of immense value. Millennium and centuries old olive trees, with unbelievably fickle shapes, workshops, wine tasting or sampling, cooking or oil-production classes, visits to mills or old presses or places of great cultural and scenic interest such as the Barranco de Biniaraix and its traditional marjades (dry stone retaining walls)
Recovery of the dry stone heritage
Hiking activity in Mallorca is greatly affected by a series of actions related to the restoration, conservation, protection and promotion of the dry stone heritage, which the Consell de Mallorca has been fomenting.
The activities carried out by the Consell de Mallorca regarding the dry stone heritage can be divided into six parts:
- Training: giving school workshop courses and employment workshops to train unemployed people in the Marger (dry stone worker) profession.
- Restoration: reconstructing the dry stone constructions through the heritage brigades programme.
- Studying and classifying: Producing catalogues of different dry stone structures (terraces, roads, ancient stone dwellings) and participation in European projects to study, catalogue and revaluate dry stone.
- Local development: promoting local development activities via the dry stone.
- Protection: initiatives for the protection of dry stone constructions.
- Dissemination: implementing promotion activities about the dry stone heritage (publications, exhibitions, congresses ...).
Raixa, a Serra property with history
Many centuries before tourism became the island's economic driving force, the Raixa public estate, was one of the most important among a thousand farms or properties that sustained the lives of Majorcan pageses (farmers) and senyors (Lords).
It is in the foothills of the Serra de Tramuntana in the municipality of Bunyola, on a hillside facing south, situated at km 12 on the Palma-Soller road, it was originally a Muslim hamlet with abundant water, which, after the conquest of the island by King James I, King of Aragon, was given by the monarch himself to Ponce IV, Count of Ampurias, one of the nobles who accompanied him in the endeavour. Following that, it fell into the hands of the Sant Martí Sureda family and, later became the property of the Zaforteza-Tagamanent family.
The Serra de Tramuntana, inspiration of poets and erudites
Raixa, Sa Farm, Alfàbia, Canet, Superna, Berga, etc. are places in the Serra de Tramuntana, which prove that the landscape culture has had a very strong presence.
The landscape is also typical in costumbrist poetry, novels and schools of landscape painting. There are a lot of enlightened residents who have had an impact on the landscape and not only painters and poets: Sert and Broner in Ibiza, Graves, Miró, Utzon, the late Nobel award winner Dausset, who was named adoptive son of Soller, in his speech of gratitude, when awarded the Doctor Honoris Causa Honorary Degree by the UIB (University of the Balearic Islands), Miquel Barceló, in his speech when he received the Prince of Asturias award...