Coastline to Mountaintop #
Hiking across Mallorca is the most effective way to behold the many facets of beauty the island terrain has to offer. There are as many trails to captivate the lover of the salty sea breeze as there are for the admirer of the unadulterated oxygen you can only procure at the top of a mountain.
Much of the flora and fauna can be appreciated all year round, like the beautiful deep-blue flowers of the common rosemary. Others, like the famous blossoming of the almond trees, can only be witnessed during late January into February. Regardless, each forthcoming season presents its own unique explosion of colour and contrast for the trekker to enjoy.
Here are two must-see routes, different visually yet equally stunning. Don’t forget to bring plenty of water, and good shoes are a must.
La Trapa from S’Arracó #
- A brilliant spring time hike, especially for the sea salt searcher.
- Long and moderately strenuous, but with well-defined paths.
- Approximately five hours.
This wild and unspoiled trek is easily accessible by bus and unfolds at the S’Arracó roundabout, northwest of Andratx. As the temperature becomes more pleasant in springtime, keep your eyes peeled for the blossoming of the rock rose, a vivid pink flower with a crispy appearance paired curiously with soft suede-like leaves.
As you make your way to the first magnificent viewpoint, Mirador d'en Josep Sastre, your eyes will be lured in by the shimmering Mediterranean Sea wrapping itself around the gorgeous island of Sa Dragonera. This majestic island is uninhabited by humans but densely populated with hundreds of little lizards. (Did I mention you could hike this tiny island sanctuary as well?)
Continue to La Trapa (or Sa Trapa in the local language), an abandoned Trappist monastery, whilst enjoying the impressive coastal views and rugged cliff walls. Soak in the fresh air before completing the final leg of the journey down a forested hillside until you reach the main road directing you back toward the S’Arracó roundabout.
Galatzó from Puigpunyent #
- An autumn hike for the matured mountaineer.
- Shorter with easy woodland paths, but with steep and rocky climbs reaching 1027 m.
- Approximately three hours.
Galatzó is the highest peak in the southwestern stretch of the 80 km long mountain rage of the Serra de Tramuntana. You’ll need a car in order to find the slightly more difficult starting point I suggest for this hike, but believe me, the views make it all worthwhile. There may be other routes to the summit, but I prefer this path as it is shorter and offers equally breath-taking faraway views.
Beware of fallen trees whilst remaining on the lookout for two landmarks, the fire tower and a ruined shelter. You won’t be able to miss the strawberry tree, which isn’t actually a tree but a tree-like shrub, offering soft and sweet edible orange fruits that turn dark red as winter approaches.
Keep climbing up a stony staircase, followed by a steep yet manageable scramble across the limestone boulders. You’ll know you’ve made it to the top when you see the trig point (a pillar which represents the highest point).
Gaze upon not only the gorgeous mountain village of Galilea, but an epic panorama of the island! Embrace the diversity of the land, and admire Spain’s famous silver-grey leaves of the ancient olive trees, some dating as far back as 1,000 years.
Affordable Mallorca Tip: Now that you’ve made the trek once, next time, grab a head-torch and set off in the dark to witness one of the island’s most incredible sunrises.
Safety First #
The island of Mallorca offers trekkers endless opportunities to indulge in their search for serenity amongst nature, but like all beautiful things, the Mediterranean requires time to transition from one season of beauty to the next. Although the island provides plenty of hikes for a calendar year, it’s highly recommended not to hike during the hot summer months of July and August. Instead, hang up those walking boots and take a barefoot walk along the water line on one of Mallorca's stunning beaches Giving your feet a rest shouldn’t be very difficult as there are more than 260 coves to choose from.
Always remember: Safety is of most importance so be sure to always check the local weather updates before lacing up your boots.
June Parker, Walking in Mallorca, Cicerone Press, updated by Paddy Dillon, fourth edition 2006. Check this this useful handbook, it has 80 detailed walks including the two mentioned above.
#HikingOnMallorca #SaTrapa #Galazo #Puigpunyent
By Delia Paul
1 January, 2021