From the Cap Gros lighthouse, the Mediterranean appears endless, and the echoes of ancient civilizations that conquered, plundered or sought refuge in the bay of Port de Sóller seem to still reverberate. From the Muleta refuge, views and solemnity of the landscape are shared with some of the most expensive and exclusive resorts in the area. Just one small difference: the night costs 14 euros per night, a substantially lower price than the rest of the accommodation in the north of the island.

This particular situation has a simple explanation: the Muleta refuge is one of the public accommodations that the Consell de Mallorca offers to hikers who travel the Ruta de la Pedra Seca, a wonderful 167-kilometre itinerary that crosses the Serra de Tramuntana. In total there are eight refuges, located in strategic places, in a natural environment of unquestionable beauty at very affordable prices.

Simple accommodation with luxurious views

Each refuge has its own characteristics, but to get a general idea, in the Muleta refuge they offer breakfast for 5 euros, lunch for 13 euros and dinner for 9.5 euros. Towels and bed linen are also rented. As it is a shared dormitory system, the doors close at ten o’clock at night. 

The bedrooms, bathrooms and common spaces respond to a clear pragmatism: wooden beds, wide spaces, simple and efficient furniture. There is a fireplace in the living room, heating and Wi-Fi. Everything is in perfect condition, clean and tidy. Reservations are made online, through the page of the Consell Insular de Mallorca. There a simple form is filled out and then a bank transfer is made. Once this is done, to pack.

The exteriors, with numerous wooden tables and chairs, invite you to enjoy the picturesque landscape of Port de Sóller. Evening falls and a fresh smell of pine permeates the atmosphere. The sun lazily wins through the mist on the horizon. The presence of the old lighthouse gives the setting an epic and cinematographic touch, recalling this trade in danger of extinction that is dedicated to illuminating the dark Mediterranean night.

Reflections of the Gorg Blau

A modest sign indicates access to the Gorg Blau refuge, which is part of a second network of refuges -a total of 13-, managed by the Ministry of the Environment of the Government of the Balearic Islands. These are simpler and more austere than those of the Ruta de la Pedra Seca, but they are also located in places of great beauty, in a natural and wild environment. The reservation is also made through a web page of the Conselleria.

The Gorg Blau is one of the most beautiful natural settings on the island. It is a huge water reservoir, which formerly supplied the city of Palma, and was built in 1972. The rocky setting combined with the turquoise blue of the waters draws a landscape reminiscent of the mountainous regions of central Europe. The surface of the reservoir is still and reflects the surrounding cliffs like a mirror. From the road you can see a group of wild goats grazing on some sharp rocks. A huge natural limestone rock wall stands in front of the reservoir. This huge pediment invites you to give an atavistic cry that is rewarded with a pronounced echo that bounces playfully over and over again.

The construction of the shelter is small, it has a single floor of about 30 square meters and room for eight people. Inside there is a table, a bench, a fireplace, a first aid kit and a fire extinguisher. Visitors must bring sheets, towels and other personal belongings. Outside there is a space to make a fire and picnic tables.

These proposals are highly recommended for family tourism, since they are safe and easily accessible places. From the refuges it is easy to make excursions, both on foot and by car. A simple proposal is to partially walk the perimeter of the Gorg Blau, with photogenic landscapes of blue skies that contrast with the limestone and turquoise blue of this artificial lake. 

Just 30 minutes away by car is the famous Torrent de Pareis, a natural canyon of more than 3 kilometers that runs through a narrow gorge to the natural mouth in the sea. Another wonderful free tourist proposal, which will allow you to immerse yourself in one of the most fascinating corners of the Mediterranean.

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