The Sant Elm to La Trapa hike is one of the best coastal trails in Mallorca. Along the way, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of Sa Dragonera (Isla Dragonera) and the Tramuntana Mountains. All in all, there are quite a few trail variations for the hike from Sant Elm to La Trapa.
In this hiking guide, we’re going to detail the four main trail options. But, in particular, we’ll focus on the shortened Sant Elm to La Trapa trail version and explain why this is a good option. On top of that, we’ll talk about everything else you need to know about hiking to La Trapa from Sant Elm. We’ll also include information about where to stay and eat in Sant Elm as well as how to visit the island of Sa Dragonera itself.
If you’d like to see footage of the shortened Sant Elm to La Trapa hike, please watch our Mallorca hiking video.
For information about the nine best hikes in Mallorca, read our Mallorca hiking guide.
Table of Contents
About Sant Elm and La Trapa
Sant Elm is a scenic fishing village on the southwest coast of Mallorca, which falls in the Andratx municipality. This charming small town is also known as San Telmo.
La Trapa is a former Trappist monastery located between Sant Elm and Estellencs in the southwest region of Mallorca. La Trapa is located around 400 metres above sea level in the southwest corner of the Tramuntana Mountains. There, you’ll find ruins from the monastery, such as remnants of the houses and chapel.
It’s certainly possible to drive to La Trapa. But, it’s one hell of a sketchy road to access the ruins. Better yet, you can simply hike to La Trapa. Sant Elm is the typical trailhead for hiking to La Trapa in Mallorca; but, there are a few different trail options.
Sant Elm to La Trapa Hikes in Mallorca
From Sant Elm, it’s possible to follow a coastal path to La Trapa. In fact, there are three fairly well known trail options from Sant Elm to La Trapa. There’s also another trail option starting from Coll de Sa Gramola that also explores La Trapa in Mallorca. We’ve listed each of the trails below.
- Shortened Sant Elm to La Trapa Hike
- Sant Elm to La Trapa Hike
- Extended Sant Elm to La Trapa Hike
- Coll de Sa Gramola to La Trapa Hike
Let us provide some trail specs and maps for each of these trail options. Personally, Beck and I did the shortened Sant Elm to La Trapa hike and recommend that option. We’ll explain why below.
Shortened Sant Elm to La Trapa Hike
- Type: Out & Back
- Distance: 4.75km
- Time: 1.75–2.25 hours
- Accumulated elevation gain: 290m
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Map: Wikiloc
As you’ve probably gathered, this is the shortest Sant Elm to La Trapa trail option. By doing this hike, you won’t actually explore the ruins at La Trapa Monastery. You’ll simply arrive at a viewpoint called Pas de La Trapa (298m), where you can see La Trapa in the distance. From this viewpoint, you’ll also have mindblowing views of Sa Dragonera – an island shaped like a dragon!
Out of all of the Sant Elm walks mentioned in this guide, this trail option is the easiest and quickest to do. Basically, if you’re looking for the simplest hike to access extraordinary views of Sa Dragonera and La Trapa, then this hike could be perfect for you. Personally, with a busy hiking itinerary, Beck and I arrived at Sant Elm late in the afternoon. So, this trail option was perfect for us to experience Sant Elm and La Trapa in the short time we had.
But, if you have more time and want to explore the La Trapa ruins, then you’ll want to extend this hike. In that case, you’ll want to do the standard Sant Elm to La Trapa hike or the extended version.
Sant Elm to La Trapa Hike
- Type: Out & Back
- Distance: 7.7km
- Time: 2.75–3.5 hours
- Accumulated elevation gain: 365m
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Map: Wikiloc
This is the standard hike from Sant Elm to La Trapa in Mallorca. You’ll enjoy outstanding views of Sa Dragonera and then continue to the ruins at La Trapa. We’ve heard the hiking trail continuing to La Trapa from Pas de La Trapa can be challenging to follow with difficult track terrain and orientation. So, watch your step!
Extended Sant Elm to La Trapa Hike
- Type: Out & Back
- Distance: 11.2km
- Time: 4.5–5.5 hours
- Accumulated elevation gain: 535m
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Map: Wikiloc
If you’re wanting to go beyond merely exploring La Trapa, you can extend the walk into the Tramuntana Mountains. By doing so, you’ll pass by Puig de ses Basses and reach Mirador d’en Josep Sastre. From this vantage point, you’ll enjoy sensational coastal views of Sa Dragonera and far-reaching views of the Tramuntana range.
Coll de Sa Gramola to La Trapa Hike
- Type: Out & Back
- Distance: 15.1km
- Time: 5–7 hours
- Accumulated elevation gain: 555m
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Map: Wikiloc
This is the only trail option described in this guide that doesn’t start from Sant Elm in Mallorca. Starting deeper in the Tramuntana Mountains at Coll de Sa Gramola, your elevated position means even more mesmerising coastal views. Eventually, you’ll reach Mirador d’en Josep Sastre, where you’ll enjoy mind-blowing views of Sa Dragonera. From there, you’ll explore the ruins at La Trapa. You’ll then retrace your steps to complete the hike. This is the longest route option for exploring La Trapa in Mallorca.
For shorter, quicker and easier access to La Trapa and views of Sa Dragonera, we recommend starting from Sant Elm. In addition, Sant Elm is a worthy town to visit in its own right.
FYI – we won’t discuss this trail option from Coll de Sa Gramola in any more depth in this guide.
Shortened Sant Elm to La Trapa Hike Description
As mentioned, Beck and I chose to do the shortened Sant Elm to La Trapa hike. So, that’s the trail option we’ll describe in more detail. Before we dive into the nitty-gritty details, let us explain exactly where to start the hike from.
Where to Start: Sant Elm (Map)
It’s best to start the hike from Avenida de la Trapa in Sant Elm. You’ll find free street parking there. This street connects with a dirt road that leads into the forest towards La Trapa.
Sa Dragonera (Isla Dragonera) Views
Following a flat forest track, you’ll soon notice that it begins to ascend. Indeed, not far into the hike, you’ll be huffing and puffing as you slowly progress through the dense forest. After gaining some elevation, you’ll soon be rewarded with gorgeous views of the Balearic Sea. Although, initially, you won’t be able to see Sa Dragonera. As the climb continues, you’ll negotiate a winding and undulating dirt trail, passing areas of dense vegetation. Eventually, you’ll steer nearer to the coastline, providing your first glimpse of Sa Dragonera, also known as Dragonera Island.
With continued elevation and climbing to the right, you’ll being to enjoy complete views of Sa Dragonera. Its unique shape resembles a dragon’s back. Indeed, the island is an incredible natural attraction. From the peak of Pas de La Trapa, you’ll enjoy your best views of Sa Dragonera, whilst capturing a glimpse of La Trapa from a distance.
From Pas de La Trapa, you’ll have decent views of La Trapa and the Tramuntana mountain range. For those doing the standard hike, you’ll then continue to the La Trapa ruins. As mentioned, Beck and I decided to return to Sant Elm, from Pas de La Trapa, as we were satisfied with the views of La Trapa from that vantage point. Indeed, if your goal is to enjoy a stunning viewpoint of Sa Dragonera, you needn’t hike beyond Pas de La Trapa. Otherwise, if you’re interested in scoping out the historical landmark at La Trapa, then you’ll want to certainly do the standard hike.
From Pas de La Trapa, we made our way back to Sant Elm in Mallorca. Along the way, we used the momentum of the descent to our advantage as we enjoyed some speed hiking.
What’s speed hiking? Find out more about your potential new favourite hobby here.
Sant Elm Beach
Regardless of which trail option you decide to do from Sant Elm, you should definitely finish with a swim at Sant Elm Beach. Also known as Platja de Sant Elm, this charming beach is easy to access and a refreshing way to finish off the Sant Elm to La Trapa hike in Mallorca. Indeed, after having sumptuous views of the sea, you’ll relish the opportunity to finally jump into the water!
How to Get to Sant Elm in Mallorca
Getting from Palma de Mallorca to Sant Elm using public transport is simple, but time-consuming. From the Intermodal Station, catch the 40 minute 101 bus, in the direction of Port d’Andratx, to the Torrent (5031) bus stop. From there, catch 30 minute 121 bus to Sant Elm. The journey time is around 1.5 hours. This bus route runs hourly during summer. The earliest departure time is usually around 5:45am or 6:50am.
To return to Palma de Mallorca from Sant Elm, you’ll simply do the reverse journey. The final departure time of the bus from Sant Elm is generally around 6:50pm.
If you pay for your ticket online or by contactless bank card on the bus, it’s €3.60 ($3.60USD) each way. Paying by cash on buses is discouraged in Mallorca as you’ll slow down the driver. If you pay by cash, you’ll pay €4.50 ($4.50USD) each way. Please head to Transports de les Illes Balears for the most up-to-date prices and departure times.
By far, the easiest way to get to Sant Elm is by driving there yourself. It’s also worth noting, that outside of peak season in summer, buses are less frequent. So, getting to Sant Elm using public transport will be trickier if you visit during the non-peak season.
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 quick and stress-free. They offer a good range of cars and an unbeatable free cancellation policy.
Where to Stay
There are plenty of nice places to stay in Sant Elm in Mallorca. You’ll find a mixture of apartments, hotels and resorts, covering options to suit all if not most budgets. Although, if you’re keen on a quieter stay away from this resort town, you might want to consider staying at the nearby Calvià or Es Capdellà. To cover all bases, we’ve handpicked the best budget, mid-range and luxury options for staying in Sant Elm. Honestly speaking, there isn’t much in the way of budget or even mid-range options in Calvià or Es Capdellà. So, for these two gorgeous towns, we’ll tell you about the best accommodation option, respectively.
Of course, if you’re keen on the Sant Elm to La Trapa hike, it makes sense to stay in Sant Elm. That way, you can start the hike from your accommodation!
- Budget – Hostal Dragonera: if you’re looking for the cheapest accommodation in Sant Elm, Hostal Dragonera will likely be your best choice. This accommodation option is fairly basic, but it’s highly rated. We’ve heard about an excellent breakfast and sweeping views of the sea.
- Mid-range – Universal Hotel Aquamarin: this beachfront hotel is another highly-rated option in Sant Elm. Universal Hotel Aquamarin offers a terrace with spectacular views of the sea as well as good buffet meals on-site at its restaurant. This hotel would be an excellent choice.
- Luxury – Apartamentos Amores San Telmo: for those who can stretch a little further, Apartamentos Amores San Telmo is a fantastic accommodation option. Each room has a direct view of the sea and of Sa Dragonera. There’s also an excellent outdoor swimming pool with your name on it!
Just a 30 minute drive away from Sant Elm, you’ll find the remote and tranquil town of Calvià. Here, you’ll enjoy an even more peaceful and quiet stay when compared with Sant Elm. In terms of accommodation, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better place to stay than Fincahotel Can Estades. This beautiful country estate is a luxury option at only a mid-range price. Indeed, staying at Fincahotel Can Estades is great value for money. The estate offers charming rooms, apartments and studios. In addition, there’s an outdoor swimming pool, gardens and a terrace with superb views of the Tramuntana Mountains.
Es Capdellà is a small and scenic village in the municipality of Calvià. To get to Sant Elm from Es Capdellà, you’re looking at about a 25 minute drive. Without a question, the best play to stay in Es Capdellà is the five-star Castell Son Claret. Yes, it’s a luxury option that’s not for the budget traveller. But, this restored castle, made up of seven historical buildings, is one of the most highly-rated accommodation options in Mallorca. All of the rooms are super modern, spacious and comfortable. It also features an outdoor swimming pool with stunning views of the Tramuntana Mountains.
Where to Eat: Sant Elm Restaurants
When it comes to Sant Elm Restaurants, similar to hotels, there are plenty to choose from. Many waterfront restaurants in Sant Elm serve fantastic seafood whilst offering almighty views of Sa Dragonera. The pick of the bunch would be La Casita Del Mar, Cala Conills and Restaurante Vista Mar.
Visiting Sa Dragonera Nature Park
Other than enjoying splendid views of Sa Dragonera during the Sant Elm to La Trapa hike, it’s also possible to visit the island. Sa Dragonera Nature Park, also known as Parque Natural de Sa Dragonera, is an uninhabited island separated from the mainland by a small channel. It’s around 6km long and features incredible biodiversity. There, you’ll find 361 different plant species, 18 of which are endemic to the Balearic Islands. There are some easy walking trails on the island to help you explore the area.
Ferry From Sant Elm to Sa Dragonera
From Sant Elm, the Margarita ferry takes people to Sa Dragonera half-hourly from around 10:15am until 1:15pm. You’ll find the ferry dock next to Mollet de na Caragola in Sant Elm. This ferry does return trips from Sa Dragonera between 11:30am and 3:50pm. The ferry operates daily from 1st April to 30th September. Otherwise, the ferry operates a reduced service Monday to Saturday in February and March as well as in October and the first half of November. The price of the return ferry is €10 ($10USD) for adults and €5 ($5USD) for children.
Otherwise, there are fantastic boat tours that run to Sa Dragonera. You’ll find a selection of these tours on Get Your Guide.
Sa Dragonera Nature Park is open all year round. Visiting hours are usually between 10am to 5pm from 1st April and 30th September and 10am and 2:30pm outside of that period. Check the official website for the latest prices and departure times.
Sant Elm and La Trapa Weather
Sant Elm and La Trapa have a warm and pleasant climate most of the year. From April to October, you’ll experience average daytime temperatures between 19–30°C. Specifically, in summer, you’re unlikely to encounter any rain. From November to March, average daytime temperatures vary between 15–19°C. During this time, you’ll have a higher chance of rain. According to NOAA, rainfall is highest between September and January. Given La Trapa is situated in the mountains, you’ll likely have windier conditions there when compared with Sant Elm.
Mallorca Travel Essentials
You’ll want to make sure you have all of the right gear for your trip to Mallorca. Let’s look at the essentials below.
Hiking Gear Essentials For Sant Elm to La Trapa
These are our five hiking gear essentials for hiking from Sant Elm to La Trapa in Mallorca.
- 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.
You should also take water, food, sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat. Of course, you’ll want to pack swimmers and a towel if you plan on visiting Sant Elm Beach after the hike.
Tech Gear Essentials For Sant Elm to La Trapa
These are our three tech gear essentials for this hike.
- Sony Cybershot RX100: this camera is the best compact digital camera on the market. Lightweight, compact and durable, this camera takes awesome photos and 4K videos.
- GoPro HERO: great for taking action footage during a hike.
- DJI Mavic Air: this is a top-notch drone that takes brilliant aerial footage.
Other Mallorca Hiking Guides
Mallorca is certainly an underrated hiking destination. Whether it’s epic mountain walks or sublime coastal trails, Mallorca has great variety in its hiking trails. In our humble opinion, here are the other best day hikes in Mallorca.
- Puig de Galatzó Hike
- Puig de l’Ofre From Cúber Reservoir
- Camí de s’Arxiduc (Path of the Archduke)
- Puig de Massanella Hike
- Puig Tomir Hike From Lluc Monastery
- Cala Romantica to Cala Varques
- Parc Natural de Mondragó Walks
- Torrent de Pareis
Mallorca Hiking Guide Books
Of course, we hope that our hiking guides will provide all of the information that you need! But, if you’re after information about other hiking trails in Mallorca, we suggest the following books.
- Mountain Walking in Mallorca: 50 routes in Mallorca’s Tramuntana
- Trekking Through Mallorca: GR221 – The Drystone Route
- Visit outside of peak season: cheaper accommodation, fewer crowds and quieter hiking trails. Why not visit Mallorca outside of summer?
- Don’t just spend time on the coast, head to the mountains: yes, Mallorca has a stunning coastline. But, the island’s Tramuntana Mountains are totally underrated. We’ve heard the Sa Foradada hike, Soller to Fornalutx hike and Soller to Cala Deia hike are other great mountain trails on the island.
- Finding cheap flights to Mallorca: If you’re US or UK based, you should subscribe to Jack’s Flight Club premium membership. That way, you’ll receive frequent flight deal alerts. It helped us find cheap flights from Manchester to Mallorca.