Mallorca offers more than beaches and party; it’s also a year-round paradise for hikers due to its Mediterranean climate. The north and west of the island are particularly ideal for discovering hiking trails through beautiful, varied flora and fauna, while the south offers trails through the rugged coastal landscape. This blog post should give you a little taste of what Mallorca has to offer aside from beautiful beaches and charming villages. I’ve laced up my hiking boots and explored the hiking routes of the Balearic Island for you.
These are my most beautiful hiking routes on Mallorca:
1. The Way of St. James – begins in Mallorca
Whether you are a passionate trekker or a novice, the Way of St. James (also known as the Camino de Santiago) is certainly a familiar concept for most, especially since Hape Kerkeling’s well-known book. During my stay in Mallorca, I wanted to experience the newly created part of Europe’s most famous pilgrimage route, which starts here on the island. The starting point is the monastery Santuari de Cura, which is located on the sacred mountain Puig de Randa. The view alone from the 542-metre-high Puig de Randa is enough reward for the ascent. In the monastery I easily receive my official pilgrim pass, which I need for the overnight stays in pilgrimage hostels en route to Santiago. You’ll also get the first stamp in your pass here. The trail then leads me down the Puig de Randa. For the serpentine paths, I strongly recommend sturdy footwear. Pass through the town of Llucmajor, which is definitely worth a visit for its beautiful marketplaces and 1920s- and 1930s-style houses, and you will reach the island’s capital Palma de Mallorca. If you want to continue hiking on the Way of St. James, Palma will take you to the Spanish mainland. For the moment, my journey continues on the island.
2. The Dry Stone Route (GR221)
The world-class hiking trail GR221 criss-crosses the wild and rugged karst landscape of the Serra de Tramuntana. The Tramuntana mountains are the most famous mountainous landscape of Mallorca, and at the same time the largest natural area of the island, with limestone cliffs cut by wind and water. The Dry Stone Route (“ruta de Pedra en Sec”) takes its name from the countless stone walls piled by shepherds along the way. As it takes several days to hike the full route, I decided on a segment with around six hours of hiking time. This leads me from the mountain refuge Tossals Verds on Lluc to the pilgrimage hostel Son Amer, where you cross the Coll des Prat on the Puig de Massanella. A real highlight for me on this trail is the Santuari de Lluc, an important pilgrimage site with a chapel and Madonna statue. The Santuari rises like a small oasis between the trees and rocks, the beautiful sight inside lets me forget my aching legs for a short time.
3. Paguera to Port d’Andratx – short and sweet
The seven-kilometre trek from the tourist village of Paguera in the southwest to the port city of Port d’Andratx is an easy and relaxed tour. The special attraction for me on this route is the magnificent view; from the Pagueras seafront, the path leads along the beautiful coastline of Mallorca, overlooking the sparkling blue Mediterranean – which more than makes up for any effort it requires. Continue through the nature reserve Cap Andritxol, where you can make a short detour to the Calo des Monjo. The way down to the “Bay of the Monk” is a bit cumbersome, but well worth it, especially in good weather. Here, I can cool my hot feet in the water and relax a bit. By walking at a comfortable pace, you’ll have already reached Port d’Andratx in two hours, where you can rest and recharge right on the beach. In the café “La Consigna” I enjoy a delicious coffee while taking in the wonderful view of the azure water.
4. Coastal walk from the Mirador de ses Barques to Sa Calobra
This route, which is a popular hiker’s classic, challenges my stamina with six hours of walking. The route starts from the viewpoint Mirador de ses Barques, from which I can enjoy the splendid view of the port of Sóller and the mountain landscape of the Serra Tramuntana. The path leads through olive groves and fragrant orange plantations via Bàlitx up to Coll de Biniamar. After this climb I was already feeling the burn in my legs … But if you continue on, you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular view of the steep Sa Costera coast and the deep blue sea below. The signs on the trail lead me to Cala Tuent, a rocky beach at the foot of the highest mountain on the island, the Puig Major. After a short dip in the sea, my path continued to Sa Calobra. Those looking for more of a challenge should hike through a nearby tunnel into the gorge of Torrente de Pareis. Over the centuries, the water cut through the rock to create the canyon, which served as a photo opportunity for me.
5. The “Barefoot Way”
This ten-kilometre trekking route starts at the end of Puigpunyent and leads me to “Es Grau” and “Esporles”. There is an informational plaque with the story of how this trail got its unique name at an impressive carob tree along the way: the residents of the valley Vall de Superna used to take their shoes off on the way to Puigpunyent to protect them. On the way back, they put on their shoes under the tree and headed back towards Esporles. Following the red markings and cairns along the way, the route continues along the Puig de Galatzó, offering magnificent views over Serra des Puntals to the Teix Massif. Through the circular route, after about three hours, you will reach the famous carob tree again. Incidentally, I kept my shoes despite the name 😉
A few tips for hiking in Mallorca
Hiking in Mallorca is a real adventure! Although most routes are marked by cairns, signs, or coloured dots, I recommend purchasing a GPS device in addition to a good hiking map if you want to walk in Mallorca.
Another important note from me: many hiking trails are on private land. Many owners tolerate individual hikers, but some areas are closed to the public. When you meet a landowner, greet him with a friendly “buenos dias” (or “bon dia” in Catalan) and ask if you can use the path (“Puedo pasar?”).
Keep also look out for warning signs that can end your journey. Important are “Prohibit pasar / Prohibido el paso” (passage forbidden/prohibited) and “Vedat privat de caça / Coto privado de caza” (Private hunting area).
In Mallorca, the BLUE Guides at the newly opened TUI BLUE Rocador will always be happy to help you with any questions about hiking routes on the island. I hope I’ve awakened your wanderlust. See you in Mallorca!
Cover photo © Joseph Maniquet – fotolia.com