Puig de Randa, a spiritual oasis in the green heart of Mallorca

At the level of the Mediterranean Sea and in the center of the Balearic archipelago is located the Spanish island of Mallorca, the largest island of the country and at the same time the most populated of the Balearic Islands; it used to be called “The island of calm”. Its capital is Palma de Mallorca, which consists of several mountain ranges and 2 Puig or highest points of the island, one of which is the Puig de Randa, 546 m high.

Mallorca invites tourists to relaxation, nature lovers, meditation and yoga; especially on spring days, thanks to the spaces available for a retreat, and to be able to make a connection with Mother Earth. In addition, it is one of the destinations called “mindfulness”, that is, a place that, apart from knowing it, gives you something for your life; also called conscious tourism.

Puig de Randa is also known as “The Mountain of the Monasteries”, and is located a few kilometers northeast of the village of Llucmayor, which means major forest, at the foot of the mountain of Randa. Which belongs to the municipality of Algaida, from which we will start to reach Randa. 

In which part of the island is Algaida located?

Algaida means in Arabic “the base”, and it is located a little more than 20 Km from Palma de Mallorca. It has several points to emphasize, among them its wine cellars, since it is an activity of great importance for the zone. 

We also find the glass museum of the Gordiola family, an activity that dates back to 1719, maintaining this tradition of glass blowing for 8 generations and for 3 centuries. Unesco, in 2021, included them in the “Representative Manifestations of Intangible Cultural Heritage”.

We continue our route to Randa:

We continue to a small hamlet or district of Algaida called Randa, population of just 100 inhabitants and has its history related to the monasteries that are located in Puig de Randa and dating from the thirteenth century. Place of retreat for both pilgrims and monks since then; and today for conscious tourism. 

To climb to the top is done by a road that goes along the side of the mountain, winding its winding way, but with beautiful views. It is about 5 km; besides, this road is popular for cyclists; but if you prefer, the ascent can be done on foot, by a hiking trail. On the way of this ascent we are going to find a very well designed complex of monasteries.

Let’s talk about the 3 famous monasteries:

So, going up this mountain we are going to find first the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Grace, and a little further on the Hermitage of Sant Honorat; further up, at the end of the peak, is the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Cura. The latter also has a restaurant and a guesthouse, in addition to the incredible viewpoints from where you can see practically the entire island. Let’s analyze the monasteries one by one:

About halfway up the climb we come across the Sanctuary of Gracia, the smallest of the 3 monasteries, which was built in the 16th century, embedded in this cliff. Its name is due to the virgin of the same name, as a thanksgiving because she ended the plague of that time. Antonio Gaudí participated in this restoration of the sanctuary, where many artistic works can be observed internally. 

If we continue further on we find the Hermitage of Sant Honorat from the 14th century; that is, it is older than the previous one and was erected thanks to the request of a nobleman named Arnau Desbrull, who by his own decision wanted to retire and live as a hermit. From this height you can see part of the Sanctuary of Gracia, the plains of Llucmajor and the island of Cabrera.

Both this sanctuary and the previous one invite you to meditation and meditation, as they are very quiet and peaceful places; in addition, their views fill you with a great peace and tranquility to see how nature expresses itself every day. Finishing the summit we find the last Sanctuary of Cura, which is considered the most important of all. 

This is because the Catalan Ramon Llull, a distinguished writer in the thirteenth century, found a refuge in this place and later opened the school that drives the pilgrimage, because the place was ideal for prayer and study. To the point that in 1588 they had 150 students, but this school ended its existence in 1826. 

Later it was the Franciscans in the 20th century who took over the place and it was restored, with the idea of maintaining the cult of the Virgin of Cura and to make the new generations aware of Ramón Llull. 

A very interesting curiosity is that the word Cura seems to have several interpretations. Among them, Cura has the meaning of “Care” and experts say that this means that both students and children who were to be educated in this place were to be taken care of. 

Likewise, in the Chapel of the Sanctuary of the XVI century there is an inscription with the following explanation of the name of Cura: “In the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ and of his Glorious Mother Mary, under the title and nickname of Cura, the present chapel is instituted, which Virgin deigns to cure the souls and the understandings of the Christians and the inhabitants of the present Kingdom”.

In this Sanctuary we can also enjoy the Museum left by Ramon Llull, in the old rooms of the Lullian college. Books, religious objects, manuscripts and themes related to the Lullian cult, painting, among others. Also, if you want to stay, since 1970 there is a guest house with all the comforts, since the rooms have been renovated and has a restaurant.

The legend about this mountain:

The legend heard in the village according to experts is that this peak rests and rises on golden columns, which are cracked, except for one of them. Therefore, when the latter also cracks, possibly the Mediterranean Sea will absorb it and then also all the rest of the island; but it is only a legend.

In the meantime, the place remains a spiritual retreat that will help you relax, breathe clean and fresh air, walk in nature and, of course, an encounter with yourself; just as it served many hermits, monks and knights in ancient times.

Posted in Europe, Mallorca, Spain.