UPDATE: As of summer 2018 access to this trail is currently closed.
Unlike our hike of Puig de Maria, the Ternelles Valley isn't for the faint-hearted and is better suited to the more active walker. Despite not being a walker myself, I'm not completely unfit (at least I like to think so) and so I managed the walk just fine... but only just. The landscape one passes on this walk is just unreal and such a beautiful area of Mallorca.
Let me start from the beginning though, our base for this walk was the villa Can Hans, already located on the Camí de Ternelles and a stunning setting in itself. One can relax by the pool and hear nothing but the birds chirping in the trees. The Ternelles Valley is located outside of Pollença; you can see the turning for Camí de Ternelles opposite the entrance to Pollença from the Pollença-Lluc road. The walking trail in Ternelles has strict access, and only twenty people are allowed per day, and this is regulated. The reason the hike is restricted is that the valley is on private land owned by the Mallorcan March family. Any ordinary day the access is restricted, but on Sant Antoni, the whole town congregates in Ternelles to cut down a pine tree, essential to the Sant Antoni festivities. We'll leave that story for another blog post though.
We had picked the day we were going on the hike well in advanced and got our passes in early. The passes book up fast in the winter months. This hike is recommended for the cooler months, by the time June rolls around, not to mention July and August, it is just too hot and unshaded to attempt this walk unless of course you are well trained in hot conditions or you're going first thing in the morning.
Access is grated from 8 am - 5 pm but we didn't get ourselves ready until around 9.30am, due to a late night on the Ruta del Tapeo the night before. The guard checked our passes and nodded us through, and all was well. We first walked through a wooded area for the most part and passed a few large rural properties on our way and quite a few lazy sheep that looked like they'd also had a rough night the night before. Most were pretty timid, and we started to feel bad that as soon as we got closer to them on the path, they would get up and walk away, interrupting their nap. Soon, the trail forked, the left path takes you the Castell del Rei and the right to Cala Castell beach. The path to the castle is no longer accessible as the area is protected for the resident black vultures.
On our quest to the beach, after a bit of uphill walking, we reached the end of the woods and the land in front of up opened up into lush green fields, a complete contrast to what we had just witnessed and such a delight to see. Never have I seen such lush green grass before in Mallorca. Behind us were stunning views of the mountains beyond and ahead of us was the remaining walk to the beach. The path soon starts to wind down to the beach with hairpin bends all the way down. The path at this point becomes quite loose which made walking a bit more tricky, especially when all our eyes were focused on the amazing sea views which just hit us in the face.
We didn't actually see anyone else on our entire hike, and when we got down to the beach the only other people there were a few kayakers, I did, however, think that they were crashing our private beach party. I, of course, checked our GPS as soon as I got to the beach and we had walked 9.6km which took us around 2 hours to do. The water was fairly chilly but by no means too cold for a quick dip. The cala itself had strange textures throughout and was very rocky and dramatic. I particularly liked the large point which protected the water from becoming too choppy. It's highly recommended to take food for a picnic once you get to the beach and to take a good rest before the hike back up.
Our return from the beach was actually quite alright; we were particularly fortunate that the sun was covered by a light layer of clouds but had it not been, it would have been quite a few kilometres of completely unshaded walking - so don't forget to take your hat!
By the end of the walk, our legs were tired, and the blood had rushed to our fingers. Reaching our humble base station, Can Hans, was a relief and the best thing was to dip in the pool to cool off.
You're best to check the forecast before setting off. A Northerly wind can make this walk quite a challenge.
For those keen walkers, this is an absolute must while in Mallorca. Passes are currently available from the Pollença council website, and you'd need your passport details and need to take your passport with you for the check before starting.