Legends from lovely Lluc, Mallorca

Lluc, Escorca

Lluc, Escorca Ajuntament d'Escorca

As of the 2023 census, Lluc had a very modest population of 194 inhabitants, but its grandeur is revered throughout Mallorca and beyond. It is the spiritual heart of the island, a place of pilgrimages both religious and secular, with spectacular winding approaches from both Caimari and Pollença.

Site of 312 cycling event

The 312 cycling event always passes through Lluc. And all visiting cyclists have an ambition to one day complete the grueling climb from Sa Calobra, with its “tie-knot pass”.

The surrounding municipality of Escorca is almost 140 square kilometres consisting of mountains, holm-oak and pine forests, coastal cliffs and the highest peaks in Mallorca (Puig Major, 1445m, Puig de Massanella, 1364m, Puig de Tomir, 1102m and Puig de Galileu, 1181m), the deepest valleys (Torrent de Pareis), and the island’s reservoirs (Cúber, Gorg Blau). Plus, the breathtaking beaches of Sa Calobra and Cala Tuent.

Lluc is a place of pilgrimage, peace and prayer but also popular with locals in summer to escape the heat, and in winter to cook paellas in the public grilling area (although not from April-October due to forest fire risk), go camping in one of the island’s few campsites, or enjoy the many walks.

Stopoff on GR 221 drystone route

Lluc is a stop on the GR 221 dry stone walking route between Tossals Verds and Cúber reservoir. The walk from Cala Tuent to Sóller on the Sa Costera route passes through completely unspoilt terrain high above the sea. And the path from Caimari to Lluc takes about two-and-a-half hours one way (bus services available).

La Moreneta, Black Madonna

Tourists and pilgrims flock to the Sanctuary to offer thanks and ask favours of the Virgen de Lluc, the Black Madonna. According to legend, after the Christian reconquest of Mallorca by Jaume 1 in 1229, a shepherd ‘found’ the dark little statue one night in a cleft of the mountains.

He brought it down to the church in the valley. However, the next day it inexplicably reappeared in the mountains.

A chapel was thus built to house the figure, and in the 17th century this was amplified to become the imposing basilica of today.

Choir school, Blauets de Lluc

Attached to the basilica is a 500-year-old choir school. The site was very remote before modern roads were built and the choir children, known as Blauets for their blue tunics, used to live there all year round, only seeing their parents a few days of the year.

The blauets still sing salve to the Virgen de Lluc every day and at mass on Sundays.

Many towns in Mallorca have their traditional pilgrimage to Lluc on foot, perhaps the most famous being the 40+ km march in early August from where the bar Güell used to stand in Palma. 2024 marks the 50th anniversary of the Güell-Lluc walk, which starts at 11 pm from Palma and around 5 am from Inca.

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Annie christmas in the Bay of Palma
Written by

Annette Christmas

Annie Christmas loves language and communication. A long-time resident of Mallorca, she enjoys an outdoor life of cycling, horse riding and mountain walking, as well as the wealth of concerts and cultural events on the island. She also plays fiddle in a traditional Mallorcan dance troupe.