What is it?
Alaró castle is one of three castles built on rock in Majorca that were used to defend and protect the inhabitants of the surrounding area. Its strategic position on the peak of Puig d’Alaró guaranteed early detection of attackers. An unrivalled panoramic view of the plain, or Pla de Mallorca, can be enjoyed from the summit.
Location and contact:
Fundació Castell d’Alaró (“Alaró Castle Foundation”): Plaça de la Vila, 17. 07340 Alaró
Web site: www.castellalaro.cat
ALARÓ CASTLE GUESTHOUSE
Telephone: +34 971 182 112, +34 971 940 503
Tariff (per person)
Room only per night (adults): €12.00. Nights before public holidays: €15.00
Room only per night (<10 years old): €6.00. Nights before public holidays: €7.50
Bed and breakfast (adults): €15.50. Nights before public holidays: €18.50
Bed and breakfast (<10 years old): €8.50. Nights before public holidays: €9.50
Half board (adults): €24.00. Nights before public holidays: €25.00
Half board (<10 years old): €14.00. Nights before public holidays: €15.00
Available public transport
|Monday to Friday|
This route is classified as easy. It is approximately 10.6 kilometres long (there and back). The ascent to the summit takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
1. On the way to the Castle
We start the route at the bus stop in the centre of Alaró, specifically, in the Carrer de Joan Alcover, Escriptor, number 2. From this point, we take the Avinguda de la Constitució towards the town centre. About 150 metres on we reach a crossroads where you can only go right or left. Turn right into the Carrer de Can Ros, go straight ahead, link up with the Carrer del Pontarro and then take the Carrer de Solleric. Finally, we get to the exit from the town. Some 300 metres further on, we reach kilometre 18.150 on the Ma-2100 road (Bunyola-Alaró) where a signpost points to the start of the route up to the castle.
At the start the track is tarmac but we must be careful because this track crosses, at various points, the old cobbled path that used to lead up to the castle. Having climbed the first slope, which rolls out between the walls of the first farms bordering the path, the Puig d’Alaró comes into view. From here we get a good idea about just how impregnable it was. It is surrounded by flat fields full of almond trees. Nevertheless, the climb soon becomes steeper and it is shaded by evergreen oaks that lend it a mysterious air. From here we can see that the hillside is a vertical wall stripped of all vegetation. There is no need to worry, however, because we reach the summit by following a winding cobbled path that crosses the evergreen oak wood and clings to the wall until it comes to the only way up to the castle.
2. Alaró castle
The entrance is the only access to the castle on foot and it is the first line of defence that attackers would have come across. It is made up of a fortified wall with a medieval rounded archway. On both sides of the doorway, we can see some long, narrow openings that are known as espitlleres (mullions). There are three in all and they are just wide enough for the defenders to have been able to look out and fire without any danger of being injured.
We go through the doorway and continue our way in on the cobbled path until we reach the second door – the homage tower. It is known as the “Constipador” (the cold-giver) because the wind blows through at this point and after the climb arrival is sweaty. The left side of the tower was built taking advantage of the natural rock. There is a type of balcony, known as a parapet, that was used to keep watch and to launch stones and burning materials at attackers when they tried to break down the door.
We go through the tower and find ourselves on an esplanade. On the left, a forest path takes us to a line of the wall with battlements that borders the western spur of the mountain. Following the cliff, we reach a third tower which has a window with direct views onto the Verger houses and a mullion on the southern side. This was an important defensive position and strategic look-out post.
3. Battle arena
Alaró castle is one of three castles built on rock in Majorca – the other two are Santueri (Felanitx) and the Del Rei Castle (Pollença) – which were built in places that were difficult to get to, away from towns and high up so that they were good look-out points. Its purpose was to serve as a refuge for the population of the surrounding area in times of danger.
It is certain that this site was the arena for bloody battles since early times. During the Catalan conquest, the Muslims took refuge here.
4. The area around the Castle
On the right, there is an esplanade where the remains of a large cistern with a small basin on the edge. Going around the edge of the cistern, there is section of wall with battlements.
We leave the tower and continue the climb amongst evergreen oaks towards the guesthouse, on the left. As we climb we get an impressive view of the Orient and Solleric valleys and the Serra de Tramuntana. The Balearic pincushion flower, or Cretan Scabious, (Scabiosa cretica) hugs the wall.
Just a few minutes later we arrive at the Verge del Refugi chapel and the castle’s guesthouse. A forest path goes south from the guesthouse which forks after a few minutes. If we go to the left, it takes us to the three cisterns and a rainwater collection basin. Water was highly important in a siege, as it is not possible to live without it, and if it ran out this implied surrender or death. If we go to the right, we get to the midday tower or the Moors’ Prison. The tower has a square ground plan and, like the homage tower, also has battlements and mullions. This tower defended the southern side of the castle.
5. Back to Alaró
To go back to Alaró, we must go to the homage tower and take the path downhill. On the way back the views change and we find ourselves in scenery of olive groves just at our feet with the Pla de Mallorca in the background.