Do you prefer to lie down on the beach or do you like to explore the location during your holidays? I'm definitely in the second group. I can't spend more than an hour lying on the beach without thinking that I should go somewhere and see something new. I've tried to read a book on the beach too but there was still this thought in the back of my mind.

Well, to be honest it was up to 37 degrees Celsius every day in Mallorca so staying on the beach would be the best option 😊 but we want to explore more than just the beaches and I'd like you to join us on our trip today.

DSC_0130.jpg

ISO 100 1/320 sec. f/9 18 mm

The Santuari de Lluc

Today I will take you to The Santuari de Lluc. This is a monastery that is located in the north - west part of Mallorca, in the heart of the Serra de Tramuntana mountains. It is also a popular pilgrimage place and the most important religious site in Mallorca.

The complex consists of a church, a museum, the hill of the Rosarys, a botanical garden, an archive, a recreation zone, a campsite and L'acolliment. The site is much bigger than I expected. We also must have been lucky as there was almost nobody. Actually maybe it wasn't luck but the fact that we went there during lunchtime 😊

DSC_0085.jpg

ISO 100 1/250 sec. f/10 18 mm

Do you know why it was built?

The legend says that a shepherd boy named Lluc discovered a small dark statue of the Virgin in the mountains which he took to the church of Sant Pere in Escorca. The statue however disappeared. Lluc found the statue again and returned it to the priest in Escorca but it disappeared again and was found back at the original place. After a few more attempts the priest concluded that the statue wanted to remain where it was originally found. The first chapel of the sanctuary was built on this spot in 1260. The dark statue can be found in the chapel behind the high altar so don't forget to have a look.

DSC_0118.jpg

ISO 100 1/320 sec. f/10 18 mm

A Memorial to bishop Pere-Joan Campins, a promoter of the sanctuary, is located in front of the church.

DSC_0104.jpg

ISO 100 1/250 sec. f/11 18 mm

The church was finished in 1691. Its interior is covered in gold. The high altar was created by Jaume Blanquer with the statue of the Virgin in her central niche. The baroque decoration was finished in 20th century under the guidance of Antoni Gaudi.

You can enter the church on the left side of the building.

DSC_0107.jpg

ISO 100 1/320 sec. f/10 18 mm

It's so dark in the church that your eyes will need to adjust for a second before you will be able to see the beautiful decoration. It's a rather small church but it's the most important religious building on the island.

We were lucky to attend the celebration that was held in a small chapel on the left side of the church. There were just a few locals joining too. We had no idea what was being said but the atmosphere was very spiritual. And to be honest it was also very relaxing to have a few moments inside as it was so hot outside.

20180725_124429.jpg

Samsung Galaxy S7

The museum is on the site from 1954. You can enter it on the right side of the building. It's quite small but big enough for such a small island. It has 8 rooms - Archaeology, Treasury of the virgin, Majorcan room, Sacred imagery, Ceramic collection, Coll Bardolet, Art gallery and textiles.

The collections are showing the history of Mallorca, its traditions and also the artwork related to the island. My favorite part was the Art gallery with its collection of paintings from more than 100 artists that were either born in Mallorca or moved to the island at some point of their lives.

20180725_135955.jpg

Samsung Galaxy S7

There are some beautiful views from the museum windows too.

It took us around one hour to see all the rooms in the museum. After that we went to the botanical garden. It hasn't rained in Mallorca for so long that you can see dry canals and river beds very often.

DSC_0090.jpg

ISO 100 1/320 sec. f/8 18 mm

The island is still very green even though it hasn't rained for long time.

DSC_0093.jpg

ISO 100 1/250 sec. f/9 18 mm

We could also see the other side of the church from the botanical garden.

The garden was first laid out in 1956 when it was reserved for the use of the religious community and was made up of indigenous plants.

It was redesigned and expanded mainly because the amount of visitors and pilgrims was getting higher each year. The work took place between 1993 and 2001.

Currently there are examples of around 200 plants from the Balearic islands, and wherever possible, wild plants are shown in a natural setting. There is also an area dedicated to aromatic and medicinal plants from Mallorca and a display of the most ancient varieties of fruit trees from the island, especially those found in the great estates of the mountains.

The setting of the garden is beautiful. You will feel like in the forest and climb the hill up and down. At the end of the garden there is a big swimming pool so don't forget your swimming suit.

DSC_0101.jpg

ISO 100 1/125 sec. f/5.6 18 mm

The Serra de Tramuntana mountains

Instead of swimming we went for a hike in the Serra de Tramuntana mountains.

In 2011, the mountain range was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the cultural landscape category. We knew we had to go there as soon as we learned about this.

DSC_0056.jpg

ISO 100 1/250 sec. f/11 18 mm

The mountain range is stunning! It's amazing how the trees are growing 'out of the rocks'.

DSC_0121.jpg

ISO 100 1/320 sec. f/10 18 mm

You can't get the real perspective from this photo but the rocks were really big. I climbed a little bit up to get a better view but gave up after a few meters as the rocks were too big and the holes between them too deep. I was not sure if my insurance would cover the helicopter to rescue me so I decided it's better to walk back 😊 Safety first!

DSC_0126.jpg

ISO 100 1/320 sec. f/10 18 mm

I liked this spot as we could see various types of grass and trees. The mountain in the back just adds to the charm of the view.

DSC_0128.jpg

ISO 100 1/320 sec. f/9 18 mm

There are so many hiking trails in the mountains. We didn't see anybody hiking but I can imagine it's because of the temperature. We also didn't stay long as it was very tiring. We might come back to Mallorca in the autumn to do more hiking.

DSC_0139.jpg

ISO 100 1/320 sec. f/11 18 mm

These mountains are so different to the ones in Switzerland. The landscape here is extraordinary.

DSC_0141.jpg

ISO 100 1/320 sec. f/10 18 mm

On the way back to the hotel we spotted a vineyard and wanted to buy a few bottles of local wine for our family. The shop was unfortunately closed but we still got to enjoy the surroundings.

DSC_0151.jpg

ISO 100 1/320 sec. f/10 18 mm

The vineyard is behind this fence.

DSC_0153.jpg

ISO 100 1/320 sec. f/10 18 mm

I would love to have such a small vineyard in this area, grow my own grapes and make the best wine ever! I would of course consume the most of it myself 😊

DSC_0149.jpg

ISO 100 1/320 sec. f/10 18 mm

The plants were so green! We wanted to see more but we were getting hungry so it was time to go back.

DSC_0150.jpg

ISO 100 1/320 sec. f/10 18 mm

I had hard time on the way back not to become car sick. The roads here are so narrow and so curvy! Lucky me we didn't have lunch 😊

Happy that we survived the trip with no sickness accident (if you know what I mean) we treated ourselves to some delicious cocktails. I had Sangria and my husband a gin cocktail with cucumber and black pepper.

Even though it's so hot we are enjoying our time here and we really love the island. It's much better than what we have expected and we are so happy that we are able to spend a few days here.

I hope you have enjoyed our adventure in Mallorca.

There are more to come so stay tuned! 😊

If you like my article feel free to upvote/resteem it or follow me.

All pictures are taken by my Nikon D3200 AF-S NIKKOR 18-55 mm 1:3.5-5.6 G II (except of the ones indicated in the article).

Thank you for reading!

Cheers,
Martina