Castell del Rei: Hiking Vall de Ternelles
Castell del Rei, the King’s Castle, is one of the three remaining rock castles on Mallorca. Only few know the imposing structure near Pollença. Not only because of its perfect camouflage. The path leading through the Vall de Ternelles is still an insider tip. Because the terrain is privately owned, and it is also a sanctuary for the rare black vultures.
Equipped with binoculars and a bit of luck you may spot the emblematic bird with its wide wings circling in the unique thermals of the Northern coast. Or keeping watch on a rock. To protect the black vultures, which were almost extinct on the island in the 80‘s, a maximum of ten people per day is allowed to visit Finca Ternelles as part of a guided tour.
On the hike you will learn about Mediterranean flora and fauna. And about the traces that Roman and Arab culture left in irrigation, landscaping and agriculture. Until today, the development of infrastructure and tourism on the island had and still have left their mark.
Of course, the tour also offers fabulous views of mountains and sea. All the way to Puig de Massanella and Puig Tomir. On the northernmost outpost, almost 500 meters above sea level, sits the Castell del Rei on a rocky cliff. Hardly recognizable by attackers, so much it merges with the rocks. Legend has it, that the Castell was the last refuge of the Arabs before king Jaume I. expelled them from the island in 1229.
The castle itself cannot be visited. And at least during breeding season of the black vultures we pass it at an appropriate distance. Still close enough, though, to stimulate the imagination and make the history of the island tangible. Estilo Palma
Entrance and guided tour are free. More information and obligatory pre-registration, right here.
Original article written by Caterina Bury and features on Estilo Palma.