Serra de Tramuntana

National candidacy of the Serra de Tramuntana for UNESCO World Heritage status

This website is supporting the national candidacy of the Serra de Tramuntana for UNESCO World Heritage status


What does the Serra de Tramuntana’s addition to the list of World Heritage sites represent for Mallorca and the Balearic Islands?

It constitutes a clear commitment and a key contribution toward:

1. Maintaining the balance and proper use of the land
2. Achieving sustainable management of the territory and resources.
3. Ensuring quality of life.
4. Creating a new framework for future generations.
5. Raising self-esteem and social cohesion.
6. Protecting and revaluating the heritage.
7. Improving the image of Mallorca and the Balearic Islands abroad.
8. Consolidating cultural and nature tourism.
9. Building consistency between image and reality.
10. Bestowing Mallorca with the appropriate management and respect for its most treasured asset: its cultural landscape.

Limits of the property

Core area: 30,745 ha
Buffer zone: 78,617 ha. (On-land area: 52,760 ha / Maritime area: 25,857 ha.)
Total: 109,362 ha.

From an administrative point of view, the area formed by the core area and buffer zone includes 20 municipalities, 1 of which (Deià) is included in its entirety and the rest partially: Andratx, Alaró, Pollença, Fornalutx, Escorca, Sóller, Mancor de la Vall, Deià, Banyalbufar, Puigpunyent, Estellencs, Esporles, Valldemossa, Bunyola, Palma, Calvià, Santa Maria del Camí, Lloseta, Selva, and Campanet. This area covers the whole breadth of the Tramuntana Mountains as well as the island of Dragonera, which is the natural continuation of the Tramuntana mountain range towards the south and was declared a Natural Park in January of 1995.

The core has a surface area of 30,745 ha., constituting the geographical area in which the values of the cultural landscape become apparent and are expressed with maximum intensity in spatial terms. This area contains publicly-owned estates that occupy a total of 6,704 hectares, accounting for 21% of the area. In total the core area contains an estimated resident population of 8,000 people, most of them from the urban nuclei that it includes.

The buffer zone has a surface area of 52,760 hectares and its boundaries coincide, broadly speaking, with those of existing areas with protective designations, established by virtue of Balearic Act 1/1991 governing natural spaces (LEN): Natural Areas of Special Interest (ANEI) and Rural Area of Scenic Interest (ARIP), added to which we have the so-called Settlement Areas in a Landscape of Interest (AAPI).

The boundaries of the buffer zone are completed with the incorporation of a protective area that comprises a strip of sea running parallel to the maritime edge of the Tramuntana area. This stretches perpendicularly from the coastline to a distance of one nautical mile (1,852 metres) out to sea.

Inscription criteria

The Serra de Tramuntana’s nomination as a World Heritage Site, in its capacity as an essentially evolutionary cultural landscape, is based on the following UNESCO criteria:

1. (ii) It exhibits an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design.
2. (iv) It is an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history.
3. (v) It is an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change.
4. (vi) It is directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas or beliefs, or with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance.

Justification Statement of Outstanding Universal Value

The cultural landscape of the Serra de Tramuntana is an exceptional example of a Mediterranean agricultural landscape because of its singular combination of water supply systems applied to irrigation, of Islamic origin, and olive and vine growing systems, of Christian origin. Both are conditioned to a large extent by the scant resources the environment offers in the region, due to its climate, orography and insularity. The result of this combination is a landscape modelled by man in an extremely intense fashion, and one which bears witness to the continuous interaction between man and nature over the centuries.

This landscape is characterized by the intense transformation of the original natural environment, based on the construction of hillside terraces on mountain slopes for olive cultivation; the extraction, channelling and conveyance of water in order to achieve orchards and irrigated areas; and the consolidation of a whole agricultural system in a mountainous area founded on the use of dry-stone architecture and intelligent management of the area.

The landscape of the Tramuntana area is therefore a faithful reflection of the isolation that the island of Mallorca experienced over the centuries due to its remoteness from continental lands and because it was a border region, half way between Africa and Europe, subject to invasion from both north and south, which led to major cultural interchanges. The singularity of the landscape is defined by concepts such as insularity, the orographic layout and climate, water as a means of subsistence and aesthetic value in the form of the sea, Islamic and Christian cultural legacies, admiration on the part of philosophers, travellers, painters, musicians, poets and writers, and a wealth of legends, traditions and festivities linked to the Tramuntana area.

Management plan

The Management Plan for the Cultural Landscape of the Serra de Tramuntana is conceived to act as a strategic plan for the coordination of all initiatives currently in progress in the Serra de Tramuntana, thanks to the different protective instruments and management mechanisms that it already possesses. It also takes into account the implementation of those actions which, through the public participation process, have been identified as necessary.

Over 50 social and cultural bodies were involved in its creation, through different working sessions directed at reaching a consensus on programmes and initiatives that must be given priority and at identifying the necessary agents for its successful implementation. Consequently, this Plan has been created through a comprehensive strategy of public participation: a crucial factor in ensuring its successful implementation in a place as complex as the Serra de Tramuntana.

The initiatives that make up this management plan have been divided into five programmes:

1. Communication and participation: The first premise on which the Management Plan must be based is its definition through the consensus and participation of the main stakeholders that form part of the cultural landscape of the Tramuntana area. Thus, the programme for communication and participation will set forth the necessary measures to achieve effective involvement of society in decision-making relating to the protection and conservation of the nominated asset.

2. Economic development: This is the programme affecting economic activities in the Tramuntana area, i.e. agriculture and livestock farming, handicrafts, trade and tourism. The actions in this programme are mainly aimed at promoting changes and improvements in cultivation systems and supporting alternative activities that ensure financial resources that can contribute directly or indirectly to the protection and recovery of the landscape, starting out from the basis that it is, to a large extent, an agricultural landscape.

3. Dissemination: this programme includes actions in the field of education and training; relevant issues in helping to change social attitudes in the long term; and research, which covers scientific activities to improve the asset.

4. Heritage: This programme covers those actions directly affecting elements representative of the uniqueness of the cultural landscape of the Tramuntana area. In this sense, direct actions are contemplated for the restoration and conservation of cultural and natural heritage, or such complementary actions as will improve the understanding of these assets, such as inventories and the cartography of the area.

5. Management of visitors: This programme deals specifically with the handling of visitors to the area, in order to organize, regulate and limit the impact of visitors and ensure the area’s conservation.


Help us get there!


By signing for the candidacy of the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range, you are expressing your support for the Serra’s naming as a World Heritage Site. All signatures will be sent to UNESCO as a sign of popular support, although your signature is in no way binding, nor does it represent any obligation to the project. If you would like more information, please see the section entitled “The Declaration”.

Signatures can be collected through this website. Simply fill out the form and click “Accept”. You can also print out the PDF and fill it out by hand. Each sheet has space for 14 signatures. These sheets can then be scanned and sent via email to or via regular mail to the Mallorca Directorate for Territorial Planning at the following address:

Direcció Insular d’Ordenació del Territori
Departament del Territori
Consell de Mallorca
General Riera, 113
07010 Palma de Mallorca

For the Declaration of the Serra de Tramuntana as a Cultural Landscape

Campaign in support of the declaration of the Serra de Tramuntana as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We, the undersigned, in representation of public and private organizations or as private individuals from all sectors of society interested in the conservation and proper management of the Serra de Tramuntana landscape do hereby

• That the Serra de Tramuntana has cultural landscape characteristics that are absolutely unique;
• That the landscape of the Serra is a result of human activity over the centuries, and that it is a depositary of the island’s rural traditions and knowledge, and of significant immaterial cultural heritage;
• That preserving the Serra’s special character remains tied to the continuity of traditional activities;
• That the Serra is subject to pressure and impacts that threaten the conservation of the heritage it holds;
• That the silent work of thousands of farmers and territorial managers to maintain and enhance the Serra’s heritage has been neither recognized nor rewarded thus far;
• That the future of the Serra lies in the harmony and compatibility of viable economic activities with the conservation of the Serra’s heritage;
• That its declaration as a World Heritage Site is a challenge that must be met with the help of all sectors of Mallorcan society, from the Administration to the landowners and land managers, and including all forms of civil society;
• That a key factor in taking on this collective challenge is the sensibility, awareness, and participation of the population at large and the social agents; and
• That the international recognition that World Heritage status entails, along with the corresponding management plan, can contribute to the maintenance of traditional activities on the Serra and the conservation of its unique characteristics.

For all of the above reasons, we express our support to:

The declaration of the Serra de Tramuntana as a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the category of Cultural Landscape, as put forth by the Consell de Mallorca.