Puig de Massanella seen from Puig des Tossals Verds
Puig de Massanella or short simply Massanella is the third highest mountain of Mallorca. Like the higher Puig Major (1447m) and Penyal de Migdia (1398m) it is located in Serra de Tramuntana, the mountain range which covers the island's north-western corner. It is considered the island's highest reachable mountain since Puig Major is off limits due to a military zone around its summit, which also covers part of Penyal de Migdia. In most publication this latter summit is considered to be little more than Puig Major's south ridge.
Massanella is a standalone mountain, which stands out some 400m above the low timberline of Serra de Tramuntana. This makes it look much more impressive than its modest elevation, a distinction which holds true for the whole mountain range. Also, reaching its summit along one of its many routes turns out to be more strenuous than expected. Some routes offer considerable exposures wheras the north face scramble is a UIAA II affair.
Any of the routes except the normal one will turn into a full day hike, especially if you do the circle from Lluc Munastery, heading up the south-west face and returning by the normal route. Another long day adventure is the loop from Es Noguer near Embalsement de Cuver, mainly due to the long approaches.
Serra de Tramuntana seen from Massanella
Like the surrounding Serra de Tramuntana, Massanella is a limestone mountain. A sloped karst plateau - the location of the normal route - leads up to the summit from the south-east. It culminates in a number of smaller summits, from which two stand out among the others and which give the mountain the characteristic look. To the north and the west the plateau suddenly stops with faces of 100m - 200m height.
Being a standalone mountain makes Puig de Massanella a wonderful lookout. Moreover it is located almost centrally in Serra de Trammuntana, with the range spreading out beneath its base. On clear days (which are not common) you can see along all of the coasts of the island with the three capes Formentor, Alcudia and Ferrutx in the north and the large fertile plains of the centre and the south. In addition to the more than 40 summits of Tramuntana, which exceed 1000m.
360° Summit Panorama
360° summit panorama from Puig de Massanella
Routes and Approaches
Routes to Massanella - the normal route connects E with A
There are three trailheads, from which you can start your quest to Puig de Massanella, which require different approaches. All but one of them (the normal route) connect at or in the vicinity of the saddle Coll des Prat (1205m). SPer Goldilocks has done a good job to describe them on his route page From Es Noguer
The normal route starts at Coll de Comafreda at around 830m and heads up a dirt road to Finca de Comafreda, where you have to pay a fee to be allowed to proceed. It heads in south-westerly direction until it reaches Coll de sa Linea, where it turns west and runs across the karst slopes towards the summit. There are two big steps to cross. After the first one you reach the karst plateau, where orientation is not straightforward, even though you can see your destination in front of you.
Alternatively you can turn west at Finca Comafreda already, heading up to Coll des Prat for any of the other routes.
Approach from Lluc Monastery
A well marked hiking trail leads west from the parking lot at Lluc through a dense oak forest. It crosses the road MA-10 (also a possible trailhead but very little parking space) and heads out onto a paved sentiero with marvellous views which winds through the north slopes of Puig d'en Gallileu (which you can easily bag en route). Descending a little it joins the alternative route from Finca de Comafreda and heads for Col des Telegraf and Coll des Prat.
Approach from Font d'es Noguer
(Description from Goldilocks):
Leave the car park at Es Noguer and follow the new canaleta eastwards for some 35 minutes. Where a path ascends from the left and a bridge crosses the canaleta cross the bridge and follow the path ascending into woodlands. Soon the col is reached at 825 metres and the path begins to descend. After a few minutes a view appears through trees up the valley (Comellar des Prat) to the Col des Prat with Massanella to the right. The way goes up the right of the Comellar with decision points shortly after exiting the trees and shortly before reaching the Col des Prat.
Once up on a large karst plain the trail leads directly to the mountain, which you can bag
From Coll des Prat there are basically two routes:
Routes to Topo of the direct route by Oujmik
You head directly for the cliff and scramble up on the left hand side to reach a ledge. From here a ledge system leads to a place on the west ridge, from where you can walk over to the summit.
Alternatively you can climb the chimney directly, which heads up from the base of the wall and reaches the ridge east of the summit
For more information - with more specific details - have a look at this addition
South-west ridge of the secondary summit
South of Coll des Prat a narrow but marked path leads to the base of the Massanella west face. It negotiates the rocks at the base in direction of Puig de ses Bassetes to attain the south-west ridge of the secondary Massanella summit. Here a bit of steep scrambling leads to this summit (1347m) and from there across the summit plateau to the main summit
Alternatively you can descend to Font des Prat from where a marked path leads you to the same secondary summit, avoiding the somewhat exposed south-west ridge.
Puig de n'Ali Puig de Massanella and Puig Major
A typical tourist location, the island Mallorca can be best reached by plane. There are flights from virtually every European international airport to Palma de Mallorca. From the island capital the following itinerary leads to the most common trailheads:
Take motorway Ma-13 from Palma north-east to Inca.
Switch to Ma-2130, direction Lluc Monastery
The first trailhead is at the intersection between Ma-2130 and Ma-10 to Polenca
The second trailhead is at Lluc Monastery, which you reach from the intersection by following Ma-10 eastwards and later Ma-2140 to the monastery.
To reach the third trailhead at Font des Noguer you have to follow Ma-10 westwards in direction Sòller, passing Embalsement de Gorg Blau. There are two parking lots, one close to the source, one a little later near Embalsement de Cuber
Puig de Massanella seen while descending Puig des Tossals Verds
The normal route to Massanella runs over the private property of Finca Comafreda. The owner charges a fee, currently €6 per person. Also, if you plan to start from Lluc Monastery for the parking lot you are charged €4.50 per day.
When To Climb
You can climb Massanella all year round, however September through May is the best time. Avoid the hot summer months.
Generallly, there are lot of accommodation options on Mallorca, which you can find on the usual portals. Prices, however, are quite high.
In the vicinity of Massanella there is a campground near Lluc Monastery and a mountain hut, Refugi son Amer close by. The sanctuary itself also provides small rooms ("pilgrim cells") for overnight stay at a moderate price.
Looking across the west face of Massanella towards Puig Major
The right clothing provided, the mountain can be accessed in any weather condition.
Maps & Books
There are many publications about hiking on Mallorca. I include the ones which I have used myself as well as recommendations by other SPers. The book by Rolf Götz, which is available in four languages has a good choice of routes, two thirds of them in Serra de Tramuntana. Two routes are dedicated to Massanella.
In particular I want to recommend the book by Marc Schichter & Kirsten Elsner, even though it is only available in German. It comes with an excellent map of Serra de Tramuntana (probably the best available) and lots of routes which can be connected at will.
4 map box set
Discovery Walking Guides