The humble Puig de Maria is the hill that sits overlooking the town of Pollença. It's an easy walk up for about 40 minutes to reach the top but if you're really keen you can also run to the top. The hike isn't anything too strenuous, it's a 300m above sea level and the route up is 2.2km long. However, if you think that lugging your backpack was hard enough work, once reaching the top you find a magnificent monastery and chapel.
The chapel was built in 1348, the same year that Europe was suffering a plague epidemic, which Mallorca also suffered. The population reduced to a quarter as a result and it was said that the image of the Virgin Mary was seen at the Puig de Maria and therefore started the need for an area to worship there. The nuns from the local area lived there until 1564 when they had to leave and move to Palma de Mallorca. The Sanctuary later opened again in 1638 and was remodelled in the 18th and 19th Centuries, although some original features can still be spotted.
The walk winds up a road most of the way up until the final 'summit' when the path changes to a stone paved path. At the top is a small monastery and of course, spectacular views. On a really good day you can see as far as Menorca to the North, if not, you can see fantastic views to the countryside of Pollença and across to Alcudia. The hike is well worth a try, it's best to go up in the evening, around 7pm once the sun is coming down and make your way home in the dark.
At the top if you're feeling peckish you can get some food at the bar. The kitchen is open every night but on Monday and Tuesday the chef is off so the menu is restricted to pa amb olis and salads. If you're in luck and the chef is in, you can have a portion of snails and aioli - definitely recommended if you like to experiment with new foods and sample traditional Mallorcan cooking. It's also best to phone ahead to reserve a table and any food you wish cooked.