Nestled in a valley below the Tramuntana mountains, Lluc monastery lies in a perfect location and is a worthwhile stop on any trip to Mallorca. The monastery dates from the 18th century, though the location has been a place of pilgrimage since the 13th century, following the reconquest of Mallorca lead by Jaume 1, when local monks settled here and invented the story of a shepherd boy called Lluc discovering a statue of the Virgin in the woods.
The monastery lies between Soller and Pollenca and is well signposted and easy to find. It attracts thousands of visitors every day though most arrive in tour groups and stay only a couple of hours. Most of the sights within the monastery can be seen within this time. The biggest attraction is the basilica which lies at the back of the main building. Close by is the museum, the only sight in the complex not free of charge. Outside the main building is the botanical garden though we missed this as it was closed the time we tried to visit.
Behind the monastery is a pilgrims path called the Cami des Misteris which after a 5 minutes ascent leads to a lookout point above the monastery. THis spot is marked by a large cross and offers good views over the monastery to the north and over the quiet Albarca valley to the south.
While the monastery is attractive, it's the location that is perfect, being a good base for exploring the Tramuntana mountains, and that's what made us stay here for two nights. Accommodation is available in rooms converted from what were once monk's cells, and staying here is a good opportunity to explore the area. Once the tour groups leave the complex becomes much more quieter and peaceful. See my accommodation tip about Lluc for more details about this.
An amazing place worth a visit. This monastery was founded in 1121 by Pfalzgraf Otto dedicated to Saint James. It is set up in the olive grooves few kilometers from the southern coast of Mallorca. It is still a religious pilgrimage for many today who come particularly to see the small dark statue of the Nuestra Senora de Lluc,"La Moreneta", which has an accompanying Christian story along the lines of a shepherd Luke who found a coloured statue in the woods and he took it to a monk who was a little perturbed on seeing the virgin statue glow. Follow the finger of the statue of Bishop Campins, a patron of the church who renovated it in the 1900s and you'll find the Virgin statue. Bishop Campins by the way commissioned Gaudi to renovate the basilica and to build its Way of the Cross. The views of the mountains up here are magnificent as well!
Take part in a guided tour.
This is a nice stop-off if you're doing any hiking in the mountains on the west coastline. It's well signed and absolutely beautiful. I hit it during a snowstorm and it was gorgeous. Be sure to hike the pathway around the back, it's peaceful and has an overlook towards the sea, though the snow didn't let me see the sea itself at the time!
Lluc is an old monastery set high in the mountains in the northern centre of the island. It is situated in a wonderful area. A favourite place for walkers today, but also the scene of many pilgrimage events during the year. The national pilgrimage shrine in Majorca is that of the Lady of Lluc the 'Maroneta or 'Little brown lady', because the ancient statue is of a brown stone.
Located in the mountains in the south of Pollensa.
The monestry, like it is towday, was build during the 17. and 18. century. Pilgrims come to see the black madonna. I think there are also guest rooms for pilgrims to stay the night. But I'm not 100% sure about that.
We came in the late afternoon and most of the tourist buses were already gone so it wasn't that overcrowded.