Will you come for family route to see the biggest ravine of Menorca?
The ravine of Algendar is one of the most beautiful landscapes of Menorca. It runs through the town of Ferreries until reaching Cala Galdana and on the way there are many stories to tell. Some of them have remained popular legends that everyone knows about. Today we will enjoy a family excursion along a section of the ravine: the Camino Real.
A Roman road?
We leave the car parked in the cemetery of Ferreries and with our backpack on we begin our adventure on this trail. It used to be called the Old Road and crossed the whole island, from Mahon to Ciutadella.
Its origin is medieval and was made on a road built by the Romans who lived in Menorca.
A kestrel approaching
The first part of the road is wide and lined with trees that give shadow because, although it is early, the sun is shining brightly.
The little ones entertain themselves by running and jumping around.
"Wait! Here you have to go to the right. Have you not seen the panel? "
"We have not noticed it, look at the sky!” They say with amazement.
"It's a kestrel. It is like a small hawk that has seen a lizard and wants to hunt it. That's why it flies so low. In Menorca it is called a Xoric".
"That´s nice!" They say smiling.
Lightning in the storm
Suddenly we find a cross on the road: the cross of Son Gornés. The town hall of Ferreries has placed on this trail several panels explaining the places and the best known legends of the area and proposes activities for entertainment during the route.
We read that over 150 years ago a young man was surprised by a strong storm in the middle of the road. He tried to hide, but before he got there, he was struck by lightning. The cross is a memory.
Have you seen the white partridges?
There are sections of the trail that, despite the sun, are dark because the trees surround us from the side and from above. It's like we're in a green tunnel.
We arrive at another panel that tells us the legend of the well of the white partridge. They say that a hunter from Ferreries, who visited his girlfriend in Algendar, saw a white partridge and shot it. But the shotgun failed him and the bird continued flying. This happened several times and he could not get it right.
"That´s wrong! Luckily he did not know how to shoot; surely the partridge was very pretty, "one of the girls says.
"But one day, he managed to do it because a friend told him he had to carry the shotgun with silver real and he broke the right wing,”.
"And what happened then?" a child asked
"Well, when he went to his girlfriend's house and told her that it had just fallen and broken it´s right wing. A coincidence?
We see the white partridge pit but we cannot get in, so we follow the path.
A cave to take refuge
The ravine changes color. We see many white rocks as we approach the Royal Cave. Shepherds and peasants are there now but they used to use it to take refuge as it is a prehistoric cave. The ancient settlers of Menorca buried people who died here.
We decided to stop and rest for a while. We brought fruit and water. I eat like two apples and we continued because the kids already started running off.
The slope of happiness
"Do not run as now we arrive at the Cuesta de na Salema," I shout.
"Is it very long?" One of the girls asks me.
"No, it's about 200 meters. Its name is Arabic and means happiness or peace, "I explain them.
It has been fun and we have reached the end. From here on begins another section of the ravine where there are cliffs up to 80 meters high. Will we prepare a trip for another day?
The return has been fast. I explain them that this road started to get used until just over 50 years ago. We have been able to do this route because a group of volunteers of Ferreries decided, 20 years ago, to recover the road. It was full of grasses and trees and you could hardly pass, but among everyone, it got cleaned and now is a route that can be done walking, by horse or by bike.
Thanks to the volunteers we have been able to get to know this part of the Algendar Ravine and enjoy it. It is the biggest ravine of Menorca. Have you already been there? What did you like the most?
From Son Bou to Ferreries are 22 kms. To get there you exit the main road towards Ciutadella and at the roundabout in Ferreries take the road to the village cemetery.
We recommend you to rent a vehicle. There is public transport to the village of Ferreries but you have to walk to the cemetery, where the route begins.
The Camino Real is very well signposted. It is an easy 3.5 km one way route.
The City of Ferreries has published an interactive route that you can pick up on paper when there or access through its website.
Remember to wear appropriate shoes, food and drink.