The History of the «Camí de Cavalls»
“Road of the Horse”
There are many theories on how the road started. We know that parts of it were built as early as the 14th century. At that time, King Jaime II ordered each of his knights to have a horse ready for defending the island and its inhabitants.
Between the 15th-16th centuries, watchtowers were needed to better defend the island. The path was then lengthened until there was a path all the way around the island. In 1736, British governor Richard Kane deemed it the “Royal Way.”
Twenty years later, in 1758, the French governor, Count de Lannion, authorized its upkeep, and had it widened. The first known map of the island showing the Camí de Cavalls dates from 1780. It was drawn by the French cartographer Louis Stokes de Arco de la Rochette. Years later, the Spanish governor of the island, the Count de Cifuentes, said, ‘The paths for the horses are open and can be used unhindered’.
In 2000, the Balearic Islands Parliament passed the Camí de Cavalls law (Law 13/2000 of 21 December), which established the public right of way of the path. Now everyone can walk the Camí de Cavalls around the entire island.