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Snow in Mallorca


February 23, 2017 | Blog

Lately around Mallorca, you’ve been able to see a fun confluence of phenomena: the island’s two forms of “snow” overlapping on the calendar.

This time of year, the blossoming of the island’s many almond trees creates the so-called “snow of Mallorca”: a gorgeous sight sought after by many photographers (not to mention more than a few brides and grooms). Given the millions of almonds planted here, the white and pink blooms put on quite the show, needless to say.

The Other Snow, Too

But we’ve also had snow of the genuine variety here on the island the past several weeks, and not just up in the heights of the Serra de Tramuntana. In January, flurries fell at sea level—not a common spectacle—and, rarer still, the white stuff even accumulated a bit at Can Picafort along the Bay of Alcudia.

Though such low-elevation snow doesn’t stick around, the wintry weather has arranged some beautiful photo ops of flowering almonds cast against the whitened Tramuntana ramparts: “snow” against snow, in other words!

The Snow Collectors of Mallorca

Given Mallorca’s deliciously balmy year-round climate, snow in the island’s lowlands is downright exotic. But the high country of the Serra de Tramuntana typically gets some modest snowfall every winter, a fact much-appreciated by Mallorcans in the era before refrigeration. Between the 16th and early 20th centuries, snow collectors—nevaters—trekked up the mountains along well-worn high paths to gather snow in baskets, trample it to compact it into ice, and store it in layers in excavated snowpits covered in ash and boughs. During the summer, workers would haul blocks of ice from these farflung storehouses down to the settlements for use keeping food and drinks cold.

You can actually still see remnants of this longtime island industry when hiking certain Tramuntana mountaintops. Up on 4,475-foot Puig de Massanella, for instance—the second-loftiest peak in Mallorca—some 11 “snow houses,” which include shelters built by snow collectors, dot the slopes and saddles. (According to June Parker and Paddy Dillon’s Walking in Mallorca, the last recorded use of a snowpit was in 1925 up on Massanella.)

“Snow” Sightseeing With Hoposa

So, as you can see, whether it’s actual snowflakes dusting the gnarled peaks of the Serra de Tramuntana or the springtime blossoms in the almond groves, Mallorca—an island famed worldwide for its warmth and sunshine—does have a snowy side. Come stay with us at a Hoposa hotel or apartment, and you can tour the flowering orchards or ramble up to the historic snowpits of Puig de Massanella with some gorgeous and very non-wintry beaches near at hand!

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