Mallorca – Cuber to Soller via L’ofre - By Alan Garner
We start our walk at the end of Cuber Reservoir on the main road from Soller to Lluch/Pollenca.
Through the gate into the reservoir grounds and walk on the excellent broad path along side the ----- side of the water. The path is broad – pass over the bridge at the head of stream that flows down the valley from Tossals Verde- and after another half a kilometre at the gate pass through.
You are still on the GR221 here. In another kilometre of easy walking on the broad path, take a moment to look around you at the arc of mountains that encircle the reservoir.
Over the small stream that feed the reservoir, keep right – follow the GR 221 signs through the woods climbing easily and eventually reach the Coll d’ Lofre. A metal sign here.
Here if you walk forward for 150 metres – a fine view over Soller to the sea. On your right and slightly behind you is the highest peak in Mallorca – Puig Major – 1447 metres with its satellite dishes – part of the European defence systems. To the left the twin peaks of Cornadors- called because the two peals look like the horns of a bull.
From the - Coll de Lofre - keep left into trees and eventually pick up a broad path which ascends slightly through trees – this brings you to an n open space underneath Lofre mountain at 850 metres high. Maybe time for lunch before scaling the peak.
The route up the mountain is seen in front of you- the path is well worn on the floor, though not much in the way of signage- look out for markings on the rocks – climb to the pylon, then a steady climb on smooth rocks – path is clear. Almost to the top, you scramble up a short gulley. The top, now metres away, gives you super 360 degrees views over a large part of the island. Lofre is the fifth highest mountain and possibly the most accessible- at 1098 metres high.
Maybe lunch here, but it can be quite congested.
Take care on the descent – it is the same way - some loose scree. When you reach the clearing- return to Col de Lofre along the same path.
(Should you wish to return to your start point – at the head of the reservoir – turn right here and follow the broad downward path - eventually you reach the path with your original route going right. Retrace your steps- but you also can take the path on the opposite side of the reservoir – it leads to your start point).
If you are carrying on to Soller, follow GR221 signs and you will begin the long descent. Initially you can take the tarmac road which bends down but eventually leave the road to take the down steps to Binaraix some two kilometres below.
This is the Barranc de Biniaraix, which, is one of the most spectacular sections of the Gr221 route and has been used by pilgrims to Lluch monastery since the 14th century. Take your time here – there are 3000 steps n- so take a couple of breaks along the way – the knees and legs deserve some respite. The valley is formed by the stream coming from the SonTorrella mountain range.
We eventually pass through orchards, olive trees and pines and passing enormous rock and cave formations, the path has wonderful views all along its way.
On entering the mallet of Binaraix, see the former public washing area, you may be lucky to find a small café open.
Binaraix has some interesting houses, follow now the GR221 route- the easiest way to get into Soller, along a narrow lane to Binibassi- a rushing stream here may tempt your feet. Pass through the houses and continue until a more main road is reached again following the GR 221 signs- proceed into the back streets of Soller. You eventually reach some shops, then the main square by the church.
Here you can rest awhile – plenty of cafes, ice cream shops, gift shops, lovely cakes, cooling beers, - we could go on.
The church if open is well worth a look, and perhaps venture along the tram lines to the main station and tram terminus. Trains to Palma – on the Oranges and Lemons line
Soller is certainly worth a couple of hours wander round. Transport from here to all parts of the island, and the superb tram ride down to Post Soller.
17 kilometres Ascent to Lofre is 22o0 metres. Descent to Soller is 700 metres
NOTE – do not attempt the walk-in rainy conditions as the descent to Binaraix is hazardous when wet.
Set in a lush valley of orange groves between the mountains and the sea, Soller has been popular with day trippers for some time. They tend to arrive on the vintage train from Palma and seem to do little but sit outside the cafes in Plaça Constitució soaking up the atmosphere and the sun. With several tapas bars, a fine selection of pastry shops, local ice-cream, and freshly squeezed orange juice, there is little temptation to move on.
A typical old Mediterranean town, Soller is made up of narrow streets lined with traditional style residential townhouses with the famous green Mallorcan shutters. The main square, Plaça Constitució, has plenty of cafes where you can enjoy a fresh orange juice or coffee, and the area comes alive on Saturdays when the local market takes place. Culture vultures come from far and wide to travel to Soller as it is a place rich in history, full of beautiful architecture and museums. It is also a town that hosts many traditional Mallorcan fairs and festivals throughout the year.
Soller lies a couple of miles inland from its port, Port de Soller. There is a vintage tram that runs from the town to the port, which is one of the most famous attractions for tourists in the area. It’s also really easy to travel between Soller and Palma, thanks to a vintage train, dating back to 1912, that connects the two and travels several times throughout the day.
The train journey is an experience as it passes through some wonderfully scenic countryside.
See this video - https://www.seemallorca.com/soller