The Camí de s’Arxiduc (Path of the Archduke) is one of the best hiking trails in Mallorca. Located in the serene Tramuntana Mountains (Serra de Tramuntana), this day hike offers stellar views of the mountains and also the coastline. In this guide, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about the Camí de s’Arxiduc. After a trail description, we’ll talk about the Valldemossa Monastery, which you can easily visit after the hike. Then, we’ll detail how to get to Valldemossa in Mallorca, discussing bus routes between there and Palma. Afterwards, we’ll chat about the best hotels in Valldemossa. Of course, throughout this post, we’ll share photos of the hike itself!
To see footage of the hike, please watch our Mallorca hiking video.
For other great hikes in Mallorca, read our guides on the Puig de Galatzo hike and Sant Elm hike to La Trapa (La Trapa from s’Arracó is an alternate route option). Otherwise, read our Mallorca hiking guide, where we talk about the nine best day hikes in Mallorca.
Camí de s’Arxiduc From Valldemossa in Mallorca
The Camí de s’Arxiduc is one of the most popular walks to do from Valldemossa in Mallorca. You may be aware that Camí de s’Arxiduc roughly translates to the ‘way of Archduke‘. That’s why the hike’s also known as the Path of the Archduke, Archduke’s Trail and the Archduke Way. So why is it called the Archduke’s Trail in Mallorca? Well, the path was ordered to be built by Archduke Luis Salvador in the late 1800s. Basically, he just wanted a nice hiking trail to enjoy views over the northwestern coastline. Fair enough then!
Before we describe the trail itself, let’s look at a map and the specs of the hike. Keep in mind, that trails in the Tramuntana Mountains can be difficult to navigate. Hikes following the multi-day Ruta de Pedra en Sec (Dry Stone Route), otherwise known as GR221, are easy to follow and well signposted.
But, the Camí de s’Arxiduc hike from Valldemossa, in Mallorca, only joins the official GR221 route after approx. 4.3km. Basically, from that point, you’ll follow a section of the official GR221 route for the remainder of the hike. Before joining the well-signposted GR221, you might accidentally stumble into private property if you’re unfamiliar with the area. We highly recommend using our Wikiloc map for GPS-guided directions or any official maps. Maps.me doesn’t consider private property, so it’s not a suitable option for trail navigation.
Camí de s’Arxiduc From Valldemossa Map & Quick Stats
- Trail Type: Loop
- Distance: 13.7km
- Time: 5 hours
- Accumulated elevation gain: 940m
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Trailhead: Valldemossa (free street parking)
- Map: Wikiloc
Let’s now talk about the hike itself. Later in the post, we’ll talk about how to get to and from the trailhead, detailing the bus between Valldemossa and Mallorca. We’ll also discuss where to stay in Valldemossa, looking at the best budget, mid-range and lux hotel options.
Camí de s’Arxiduc Trail Description
Starting from the gorgeous town of Valldemossa, in Mallorca, you’ll initially follow roads, before reaching a narrow and uneven trail. You’ll then begin to ascend and meander through a forest. Slowly but surely, you’ll gain enough elevation to see the glorious northwest coast of Mallorca. Indeed, every photo we took, did not do the views or the place justice.
Essentially, once you emerge from the forest (after approx. 4.3km), you’ll join an exposed trail. It’s around this stage of the hike, that you join the GR221 and the official section of the trail known as the Path of the Archduke. Personally, soon after reaching the path, the weather turned sour. So, we had no choice but to speed hike and persevere through the heavy rain.
What’s speed hiking? It’s a great way to cover a trail faster. If you encounter heavy rain, speed hiking will help you find shelter quicker. Find out more about speed hiking here.
Thankfully, by the time we reached the best section of the Path of the Archduke, the rain stopped! It’s around Puig Gros (938m), where you’ll have superb views of the coast, surrounding mountains and the epic path.
Before starting the hike from Valldemossa in Mallorca, we had planned to add a short return hike to Puig Des Teix (1,064m). But, unfortunately, when we arrived, we found that it was located on private property. So, we respected the sign and turned back to the Camí de s’Arxiduc to continue the hike. Although, we did see locals ignoring the sign, jumping over the partially blocked ladder and hiking to Puig Des Teix.
After following along the Path of the Archduke for around 3.5km, the trail continues downhill along the GR221. You’ll pass through more forest before arriving back in the town of Valldemossa. You can either visit the Valldemossa Monastery as part of your walk or simply finish the trek and head there afterwards.
Either way, it’s time to explore Valldemossa – one of the most charming towns in Mallorca. After grabbing a coffee at one of the many lovely cafes, we recommend heading to the Valldemossa Monastery. It’s also known as the Royal Carthusian Monastery or Valldemossa Charterhouse. The Valldemossa Monastery features a palace where king Sancho of Majorca resided in the 15th Century. It was also a monastery for Carthusian monks. Once the monastery was disbanded in the late 1830s, cells in the Valldemossa Monastery were available to rent. Some of the cells in the Valldemossa Monastery were occupied by the composer Frederic Chopin and the writer George Sand.
It’s possible to buy tickets upon entry at the Valldemossa Monastery. Tickets are around €9.50 ($9.50USD). But, to secure your tickets in advance, we recommend booking on Get Your Guide. The Valldemossa Monastery can get very busy over Summer. So, it may be worth buying tickets in advance. During your visit, you can explore the palace, church and gardens. Also, you can check out artwork and artifacts from local and international composers, such as Chopin and Sand.
Other Popular Valldemossa Hiking Options
If you’re keen on other walks to and from Valldemossa, other than Camí de s’Arxiduc, there are two other popular day hikes. After looking at these, we’ll then talk about getting between Valldemossa and Palma by bus, before talking about hotel options in Valldemossa.
Esporles to Valldemossa Hike
- Trail Type: One-way
- Distance: 11.1km
- Time: 4.5–5.5 hours
- Accumulated elevation gain: 640m
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Trailhead: Esporles
- Map: Wikiloc
The hike from Esporles to Deia, via Valldemossa, is officially known as Stage 3 of the GR221. But, if you’re just after a day hike, you can simply do the Esporles to Valldemossa hike. The trail is fairly tough as it’s mostly uphill. But, you’ll enjoy stunning coastal views along the way. You can catch the 202 bus from Palma to Esporles. From Valldemossa, you can then catch the 203 bus back to Palma.
Valldemossa to Deia Walk
- Trail Type: One-way
- Distance: 12.7km
- Time: 5–6 hours
- Accumulated elevation gain: 535m
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Trailhead: Valldemossa
- Map: Wikiloc
Another popular trail option is the Valldemossa to Deia walk. It forms the second part of Stage 3 of the GR221. As you’ll notice from the map above, the trail follows the same route initially as you’d do for the Camí de s’Arxiduc loop hike. But, at around the 5km mark, you’ll continue north toward Deia instead of veering right, in an easterly direction to follow the Path of the Archduke. You can catch the 203 bus from Palma to Valldemossa. From Deia, you can then catch the 203 bus back to Palma.
Getting From Palma to Valldemossa
Getting from Palma de Mallorca to Valldemossa is very easy. As mentioned, there’s a bus that runs directly between Palma and Valldemossa. We’ll talk about the bus route between Palma and Valldemossa, in more detail below.
Car hire: during our time in Mallorca, we actually hired a car. Although Mallorca has a decent bus system during peak season in Summer, they run far less regularly during the off-season. So, getting around by bus when hiking outside of that time can be a fairly laborious task. We hired an automatic car using Rentalcars.com from Palma de Mallorca Airport for only €10/day ($10USD)! Booking a car with Rentalcars.com was easy and stress-free. They offer an unbeatable free cancellation policy too.
Palma to Valldemossa Bus
From this bus stop in the north of Palma de Mallorca, catch the 203 bus to Valldemossa. The journey time is around 25 minutes. During the Summer, buses leave fairly regularly (1–2 times per hour), starting at around 6am. If you pay for your ticket online or by contactless bank card on the bus, it’s €2.70 ($2.70USD). Paying by cash is discouraged as you’ll slow down the driver and journey. You’ll be charged €4.50 ($4.50USD) if you pay by cash. Tickets become cheaper, the more you buy. Please refer to Fares on the Transports de les Illes Balears website for more information.
Valldemossa to Palma Bus
Catching the 203 Valldemossa bus to Palma de Mallorca is also very straightforward. From this bus stop in Valldemossa, you can catch the bus back to Palma. Again, the journey time is around 25 minutes. In Summer, buses depart hourly, starting at around 7am with the final departure at about 9pm. Similar to the bus from Palma to Valldemossa, the fare is €2.70 ($2.70USD) if you pay for your ticket online or by contactless bank card on the bus. You’ll be charged €4.50 ($4.50USD) if you pay by cash. Indeed, once you’ve finished the hike, getting from Valldemossa to Palma is simple.
There are some absolutely beautiful hotels in Valldemossa. Certainly, for the ultimate experience, you’ll want to stay in a hotel in Valldemossa before and after the hike. That way, you can start the Camí de s’Arxiduc hike from your hotel!
Given Valldemossa isn’t a huge town, there isn’t an abundance of accommodation options. You won’t find any budget hostels in Valldemossa – it’s mostly hotels. If you’re on a budget, your best bet would be to base yourself in Palma de Mallorca. But, if you’re after the best experience, we’d highly recommend a hotel stay in the quaint town of Valldemossa. We’ve handpicked the best budget, mid-range and luxury hotels in Valldemossa.
- Budget – Hotel Sa Vall: this hotel is one of the most budget-friendly hotel options in Valldemossa. Hotel Sa Vall is a highly-rated hotel located just outside of the Valldemossa town centre. It’s a historical manor house featuring an outdoor pool and a large garden. This Valldemossa hotel option offers stunning views of the Tramuntana Mountains.
- Mid-range – Agroturismo Son Viscos: this is another highly-rated hotel in Valldemossa. This hotel offers amazing views of the Valldemossa Valley and Monastery. Agroturismo Son Viscos has stylish decor, a swimming pool and a nice garden area.
- Luxury – Hotel Valldemossa: if you’re looking for the best accommodation in Valldemossa, look no further than Hotel Valldemossa. These restored 19th Century stone houses offer a spa, indoor and outdoor pools as well as lovely rooms with a private balcony. When it comes to Valldemossa hotels, this place is the top dog!
Five Hiking Essentials For Camí de s’Arxiduc
These are our five hiking gear essentials for this trail! For a more extensive hiking gear list, check out our 66 Travel Accessories That You Must Travel With. Alternatively, for a general summary of everything you’d need for a trip to Mallorca, visit our Ultimate Packing Checklist.
- Merrell Moab Mid Gore-Tex Hiking Boots: these hiking boots are super comfortable and lightweight.
- The North Face Venture Jacket: a fantastic windproof/waterproof jacket.
- Osprey Skarab 30L Day Backpack: a great backpack for hiking, which has plenty of space to store your gear.
- The North Face TKA Glacier Fleece Jacket: an excellent warmth:weight ratio fleece jacket that’ll help keep you warm.
- Columbia Convertible Trousers: a value for money pair of water-resistant convertible trousers.
- Finding cheap flights to Mallorca: If you’re US or UK based, we highly recommend getting Jack’s Flight Club premium membership. That way, you’ll receive awesome flight deal alerts. It helped us find super cheap flights from Manchester to Mallorca!
- Mountain bike trails: it’s possible to bike this trail if that floats your boat!
- Best walks in Palma de Mallorca: well, you won’t find the best walks in Mallorca in the city of Palma de Mallorca. The best walks are in the Tramuntana Mountains.
- Best easy hikes in Mallorca: the walk from Sóller to surrounding villages and coves are considered easier mountain trails. Otherwise, the easier walks in Mallorca tend to be coastal walks rather than mountain hikes. For an easier hike in Mallorca, read our guides on the Parc Natural de Mondragó and Cala Romantica to Cala Varques coastal walks.
For more Mediterranean hiking content, check out our Menorca (Cami de Cavalls day hikes), Malta, and Cyprus guides.
Leave a comment