Castell d\'Alaro ©
Mallorca's most popular hiking trail is the climb from the town of Alaro up to a ruined castle and hilltop chapel, which offers panoramic views of the sea and plains as far as Palma. From Alaro the walk takes about two hours to complete depending on fitness levels. A castle has stood on this site since Moorish times and the fortress was once so impregnable that the Moors managed to hold out against the Christian conquest for two years. Later, in 1285, Mallorcan independence fighters tried to defend the castle against Alfonso III of Aragon, but they were defeated and burned alive for their impudence. The castle ruins now visible on the hilltop date from the 15th century and dominate the landscape. They seem to grow out of the rock and are rather romantic and picturesque, fuelling the imagination. At the summit there is a restaurant and bar to refresh weary climbers. If you fall in love with the place it is possible to spend the night on the summit in one of the simple rooms. On Sundays the trail becomes rather busy. It is possible to drive almost all the way up if you don't mind dealing with rather scary, steep roads that aren't in the best state, but hiking is generally more satisfying.