Estellencs: the little gem in the south of the Sierra de Tramuntana
Weather in Estellencs
At the foot of Puig de Galatzó, the southernmost peak of the Sierra de Tramuntana, you will find the small village of Estellencs.
Situated between the populous Andratx and the also small but somewhat more accessible Banyalbufar, Estellencs stands out, among other things, for its low population, being the least populated village in Mallorca, with barely around 300 registered inhabitants.
This small village appears in history for the first time in 1234, shortly after the Christian conquest, when its lands were granted for the construction of stables.
Like Banyalbufar, its surroundings had already been shaped by the Muslim occupants, who built terraces and hydraulic infrastructure to make use of the abundant water in the area but had not constructed any significant settlements.
Around these stables, and taking advantage of sources and channels, mills, washhouses, blacksmiths, etc., were built. The terrain’s topography influenced the design of the urban center, with narrow, winding streets, often leading to dead ends. This has resulted in almost no vehicular traffic in the village’s streets today, adding extra charm to the walk through its urban center, which is classified as a Cultural Heritage site.
The Sierra de Tramuntana is a true paradise of tranquility, and this holds particularly true in Estellencs.
Due to its low population and the fact that traffic is limited almost exclusively to the road. The only drawback is the lack of some services, but it poses no inconvenience for occasional visitors.
For centuries, Estellencs’ economy depended on the exploitation of forest resources and agriculture, with olive cultivation and oil production becoming prominent from the 18th century onwards. This led to the need to create an extensive network of forest roads, which today delight hiking enthusiasts.
For sea lovers, at the foot of the village is Cala Estellencs, a small cove where small shelters for fishermen’s boats were built.
Estellencs is a must-visit for all nature enthusiasts due to its environment where humans have integrated for centuries, leaving their mark but not destruction.
How to Get to Estellencs
Estellencs has traditionally been the most isolated village in Mallorca, and the road passing through it is winding and narrow in some sections.
People who experience motion sickness should take precautions to avoid discomfort during the journey. It’s important to exercise special caution during rainy and stormy periods, as the fall of trees or rocks onto the road is relatively common.
How to Get to Estellencs by Car
To get to Estellencs from Palma, you have two options: through Andratx (a bit faster) or through Banyalbufar (a bit more scenic).
- If you want to go to Estellencs via Andratx, take the Ma-1 highway to this town. At the entrance roundabout, you will already find signs to follow towards Estellencs and Sóller.
- If you choose the route through Banyalbufar, take the Ma-1110 road towards Inca. After passing the UIB campus, you will reach a roundabout where you will connect with the Ma-1120 towards Esporles. Cross the town and continue on the Ma-10 (the road that runs through the entire Sierra). 4.5 km later, you will reach an intersection where you should continue straight following the signs to Estellencs and Andratx. From there, the path is straightforward; you will pass through Banyalbufar and shortly after arrive in Estellencs.
At the entrance of the village, coming from Banyalbufar, there is a small parking area for about fifteen cars, including charging points.
There is another parking lot near the beginning of the descent to Cala Estellencs, with space for about 30 vehicles.
How to Get to Estellencs by Public Transport
From Palma: line 202, which passes through Esporles and Banyalbufar and has Estellencs as its final destination.
How to Get to Estellencs by Boat
Anchoring in Cala Estellencs is not recommended due to its exposure to the sea and the presence of rocks very close to the surface. Nevertheless, if the sea is completely calm and you want to anchor here, it’s advisable to do so over the rocky bottom, at a depth of 6 to 10 meters.
In summer, it’s possible to beach small boats on the shore, but extreme caution is required.
There is a large rock near the surface right in the center of the cove. In winter, the waves and the Son Fortuny stream, which flows into the cove, make it impossible to beach on the shore.
The nearest port facilities are the Puerto de Andratx Sailing Club, 13 miles away, and Port of Sóller, 13.7 miles away.
Estellencs mainly offers tranquillity in an unparalleled environment. To begin, we can wander through its medieval streets, discovering charming corners along the way. You can visit its 17th-century parish church, the 16th-century tower of Tem Alemany, which is part of the defense tower system that was built in the entire Mallorca during that era, and the 14th-century washhouses, one of the original constructions in Estellencs.
Just over 3 km away, in the direction of Andratx, you’ll find one of the best viewpoints in the entire Sierra de Tramuntana, known as Ricardo Roca’s viewpoint.
It has good parking, and the views from here are hard to beat.
If you enjoy a refreshing swim, just 1 km from the village, you’ll find Cala Estellencs
A small and usually calm rocky cove for swimming, sunbathing, or snorkelling.
Where Estellencs truly excels is its wide range of hiking routes along the ancient paths used for forest exploitation in the area
Some are circular routes that start and end in the village itself. Others are stages of the major cross-Sierra de Tramuntana treks and require advance planning due to their length and difficulty.
- Route 1: one of the most typical excursions in Estellencs is the Mola de s’Esclop, moderately difficult, 11 km
- Route 2: a less typical excursion is the descent to the unspoiled beach of Can Pruaga, moderately difficult, 6 km
- Route 3: an extension of the previous route that takes you to Cas Xeremier, moderately difficult, 8 km
- Route 4: a circular route to Es Penyal de Son Llarg, moderately difficult, 10 km
- Route 5: a round trip to Sa Coma den Vidal and s’Esclop, moderately difficult, 17 km
- Route 6: from Estellencs to Esporles along the Ruta de Pedra en Sec, easy, 16 km
- Route 7: a journey from Estellencs to Sant Elm, moderately difficult, 21 km
- Route 8: from Estellencs to Valldemossa, an easily traceable but long route, 27 km
- Route 9: another essential route in Estellencs, the ascent to Galatzó, moderately difficult, 13 km
In addition to these routes, the municipality of Estellencs hosts several public estates
One of them is Son Fortuny, where the aforementioned Puig de Galatzó is located. The area also hosts the recreational area of Sa Boal de Ses Serveres. Throughout the estate, you can find examples of Mallorca‘s ethnographic heritage, such as charcoal makers’ houses and rotlos de sitja where charcoal was produced. You can also reach the recreational area of Coma d’en Vidal, which borders the Galatzó estate and belongs to the municipality of Calvià.
Accommodation in Estellencs
Whether you are looking for a romantic retreat, a base for hiking or simply a relaxing experience by the sea, the hotels in Estellencs are designed to meet your every desire
From luxury options to charming accommodation, Estellencs invites you to immerse yourself in authentic Mallorca while enjoying unrivalled comfort in spectacular natural surroundings.
The lands of the Estellencs municipality were undoubtedly inhabited since prehistory, like the entire Sierra de Tramuntana. At the Son Serralta d’Abaix site, remains dating back to the Iron Age have been found, but they haven’t been thoroughly studied.
The clearest ancient traces of human habitation date back to the Islamic period, starting from the 10th century
It was the Muslims who built terraces to improve land use and created an extensive hydraulic network to utilize the various water sources in Estellencs. Some of the farmsteads in these lands undoubtedly focused on horticulture, making use of the numerous available water sources.
In 1234, after the Christian conquest of 1229, the Bishop of Barcelona, Berenguer de Palou, to whom these lands had been assigned, donated them to his vassal, Bernat de Mogoda, on the condition that he established a permanent guard with horses. The stables built at that time were the nucleus around which the village of Estellencs grew.
During the 16th and 17th centuries, Turkish and Berber corsairs ravaged the coasts of the entire Mediterranean, including Mallorca
To warn of the attacks and repel them, a series of watchtowers and defensive structures were built. In Estellencs, the tower of Tem Alemany, which still exists, dates from this period. For the parish church of San Juan Bautista (built between the 16th and 17th centuries), a defense tower was constructed next to it, which was later used as a bell tower. During that time, the current municipalities of Estellencs and Puigpunyent formed a single universitat (an old administrative entity, partially equivalent to the municipality and parish), and they maintained a significant military detachment of arquebusiers, crossbowmen, spearmen, and knights to deal with these incursions.
After that threat had passed and the 18th century began, Estellencs experienced significant agricultural growth, especially in olive cultivation
The village once had up to fifteen olive oil mills for oil production. However, from the 19th century onwards, Estellencs declined. In 1836, it became an independent municipality, but economically, it struggled to recover and maintained a gradual population decline, partly due to the village’s isolation.