Hiking in Mallorca
Explore parts of Mallorca you never imagined existed with both scheduled and tailor made tours from the team at Mallorca Hiking.
There are a range of walks on offer depending on the type of walk you’d like to do, how fit you are and how much energy you have. Some hikes are in the mountains and other routes include ridges, hills and valleys, beaches, coastal paths, pine forests, olive and citrus groves… There is a weekly schedule of walks, and if you prefer to hire a private guide they will design a tailor made itinerary for you.
There is also a weekly schedule of guided walking excursions, which are a little different. Every Tuesday or Wednesday there is a full day’s guided excursion with a Mallorcan theme or special interest, e.g. art and architecture, wine tours…
The emphasis of these excursions is as much on the theme as the walking, and the walking involved is easy. So, for those of you that don’t consider yourselves “walkers”, rest assured these excursions are not a major hike, but they are a fascinating day out with an experienced guide who has a wealth of knowledge to share.
Hiking is a popular pastime here in Mallorca. We locals and ex-pats treasure the quieter, cooler months of the year when the island becomes “our own” again. We generally have more leisure time out of season, so this is when we get the opportunity to get out into the great Mallorcan outdoors, explore and discover, and enjoy the treasures that lie at our doorstep. And increasingly, a different and altogether more discerning type of visitor is discovering what the island has to offer when they don their hiking boots and go exploring on foot. This small island in the middle of the Mediterranean is not only beautiful, but also extraordinarily diverse.
Another view of Mallorca Discover hidden beaches and beutiful scenery on your hike
There are fabulous beaches and sparkling blue seas, a dramatic range of mountains (the Sierra de Tramuntana), countless charming un-spoilt hamlets, cliff-hugging villages, monasteries, castles, meadows, orchards, olive groves, wetlands, as well as history and culture. And the truth is that often some of the best bits are hidden away or not very accessible, so walking is an excellent (and sometimes the only) way to discover them! Of course another factor that makes Mallorca an excellent place for hiking is the climate. With over 300 days of sunshine every year, and with higher average temperatures than most European countries, it has one of the best climates for walking all year round.
The summer months – July and August – get a bit hot for walking, but it’s still possible if you take a few precautions against the heat and dehydration, and set off early and finish before mid-day. But it’s really the spring, winter and autumn months that are ideal.
While many other European countries are under snow and shift into ski gear, or under grey skies and endless rain, Mallorca enjoys mild daytime temperatures and often long spells of clear dry sunny days. We very seldom have to cancel a walk due to rain or poor weather.
Where to Walk on the Island
The diversity of the island’s terrain lends itself well to walkers of all ages, fitness levels and abilities. The whole of the northwest coastline is hilly or mountainous with peaks of over 4,000ft, so the challenging and more difficult walks tend to be in this part of the island. In contrast the northeast and southeast are relatively flat, with gentler and easier walking conditions. Some of the coastal paths in these areas are delightful walks for those looking for something less strenuous. And all over the island you can find strolls through vineyards, orchards and deserted country lanes, so there is literally something for everyone.
The well-known Dry Stone route GR221, which runs the entire length of the Tramuntana mountain range – and in its entirety constitutes a linear hike of about 5 day’s walking – is now extremely easy path finding with way posts throughout. Each section varies in length and difficulty so it should be easy to find one that suits you. Not surprisingly, this route is popular with hikers. There is a further long distance route, the GR222 under development.
Be warned though, if you decide to go out on your own armed with a book and a map, leave plenty of time to complete your chosen route. In some areas, paths dwindle and routes are problematic. It’s easy to take a wrong turning… Path finding is generally via a combination of way posts (often placed at worryingly long intervals) supplemented by cairns (pyramid-shaped piles of stones), blue or red blobs of paint on rocks or trees, and many other imaginative means… You need to concentrate and keep an eye out for the signs.
How to go about Hiking on the Island
As always there are a number of ways to go about hiking in a new location:
- Stay on the well-worn way posted paths in your local area,
- Buy a good book and a map of the walks on the island, and set off to explore – we can recommend the Walk! Mallorca series by Charles Davis, and Walking in Mallorca by June Parker (updated by Paddy Dillon) as well as a combination of maps, as there is no “definitive” mapping of Mallorca (such as Ordnance Survey).
- If you’d like to get off the beaten track completely, take a local walking guide – there are a few excellent locally based organizations that offer good value guided walking tours on the island. For example,
- Mallorca Hiking: www.mallorcahiking.com
- Mallorcan Walking Tours: www.mallorcanwalkingtours.puertopollensa.com
- Tramuntana Tours: www.tramuntanatours.com
Whichever way you choose, be prepared, wear the right footwear, keep an eye on the weather and take provisions – just in case. Tell someone where you’re going and when you are due to be back.
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Some Example Hikes
For this purpose, we have roughly divided the island into 4 areas – northwest, northeast, southwest and southeast.
The Northwest includes the Tramuntana range of mountains and has endless possibilities and a wide range of walks. It is the most popular area for walkers.
This is one of the most challenging hikes on the island – long, steep, high and tough going. It should only be attempted by the fit and energetic and those looking for a challenge! It involves a 1,000 meter climb and then rough, pathless terrain all along the ridge…
It is a circular route of about 20km out of Sóller and takes 7-8 hours to complete. From the top of the ridge you get extraordinary views of the Sóller valley on one side and the Orient valley on the other. The descent is via the stunning Barranc (gorge) of Biniaraix back into Sóller.
Altogether an unforgettable experience if you’re brave enough!
A delightful circular route through 2 of the prettiest villages on the island… and easy walking. The route is about 7 kms and takes about 2 hours, not counting a compulsory stop, in either of the villages, to try some outstanding freshly squeezed orange juice from local fruits.
The northeast is less well known for walking but it has some fantastic hikes with spectacular scenery, and some hills of its own. You won’t meet nearly as many people en route, which for some is an added bonus.
There are 2 fabulous circular routes on the Victoria peninsular just outside Alcudia, one of which we describe here and another, which takes a little longer to complete – 5 hours. Walking in this area is a real treat as the views you get are extensive and very often they are of both the Bays of Alcudia and Pollensa.
This particular walk is about 11 kms and takes about 4 hours to complete. A good place to start is at the Bar S’Illot on the road to the Ermita de la Victoria. The route takes you past the the Ermita and further up to the Talaia d’Alcudia. From here it is quite remote in places and there is one section where path finding is a bit tricky. There is also a short section, which may worry those who suffer from vertigo. However, it is a very scenic walk with 2 added bonuses – an optional diversion down to the stunning Platja d’es Coll Baix with its crystal clear waters, and you can’t fail to come across the protected Balearic goat on your way!
This is an easy 6 km walk that should take about 2 hours. You set off from the pretty port of Cala Ratjada following the coastal path round to the light house, which involves a little bit of scrambling. After this though it’s easy walking along sandy paths and through some of the coastal urbanizations. There are lovely views along the way – on a clear day you get spectacular views of Menorca – and it’s a great spot to watch the cormorants diving for their prey.
The Southwest, which includes Palma and the most densely populated part of the island, is quite varied with some stunning hill walking as well as fabulous coastal paths that take in many of the charming beaches in the area.
This is a lovely, easy coastal walk around the edge of the Cap de Cala Figuera peninsular, starting and ending at start at Cala el Mago. It is roughly 10 kms and takes a good 3.5 hours to complete. It includes a visit to some of the smallest and loveliest beaches on the island, some weird rock and sand cave formations, a lighthouse, and for most of the way there are views over the whole of the bay of Palma.
Path finding is relatively easy though you do need to keep a look out for cairns and painted dots on the rocks, which mark your way.
This is a rewarding 2.5 hour hike up one of Mallorca’s most distinctive and accessible mountains. This circular 8 kms route starts from La Reserva just outside Puigpunyent, and is the easiest of the summit approaches. It takes you through woodland, stony tracks and paths with rigorous stretches climbing across rough terrain in places. The reward for your 550 meter climb is spectacular panoramic views across the Tramuntana, the western coastline and towards Palma.