Once the heat of the summer sun starts to lose its intensity, the north of Mallorca becomes a hive of sporting activity for walkers and ramblers. For those looking to buy and rent out their holiday home, it’s worth bearing in mind that there is always plenty of appetite to rent an apartment or villa in the area during the autumn and winter months from walkers, cyclists and ramblers.
The UNESCO-protected Sierra de Tramuntana offers spectacular coastline walks along paths that overlook hidden coves as well as trails that lead up into the mountain valleys along dried up torrents (streams), past stalagmite caves where rare birds can sometimes be spotted.
Despite the popularity of the region as a destination for hikers, routes and paths are often quiet, except for the odd family of goats—it sometimes feels that you’ve got the entire mountain to yourself–and there are a mix of relatively easy tracks for beginners as well as more challenging summits that reach over 1,000m (there are a total of five of these on the island).
The local government has invested in improving and developing the trails which are now well marked with wooden signposts every few kilometres. However, it’s still a good idea to track down a decent map and some provisions for the hike before setting off.
Puig de Maria
Offering some of the best panoramas of the area, the 2km trail leads from the market town of Pollensa up to a historic sanctuary. It takes about 45 minutes to get up there, depending on fitness levels, and there’s a place to eat and have a drink.
Alcudia to La Victoria
An easy hike with children is to walk up behind the restaurant at La Victoria along the paths that lead around the headland. At a certain point, you can walk up to a spot where you can look both east and west all along the northern coastline of the island.
Torrent de Pareis
This is one of the island’s best-known walks which follows the torrent from Escorca down through a gorge to the beach at Sa Calobra. It’s not recommended for either the inexperienced or the unfit as it takes five hours and involves scrambling over boulders and squeezing through narrow gaps in the rocks (the scenery has been likened to a smaller version of the Grand Canyon). A risk of flooding means it’s suitable only really from the beginning of May to the end of September.
Puig de Massanella from the Lluc Monstery
The Puig de Massanella is, at 1,364m, the highest accessible peak on the island. From the top there are spectacular views both across Es Pla, the main plain of the island, and to Puig Major, the highest peak. The route from Lluc Monastery is a challenging circular trail which starts in an oak forest. For the extra keen, there’s the option of climbing to the summit of Puig d’en Galileu on the way. It takes a full day’s hiking, or about 8 hours.
The ultimate challenge: GR221 Dry stone route
This 135km/84 miles route runs throughout the Sierra de Tramuntana from Puerto Andratx all the way to Pollensa. It’s based on a network of ancient pathways and is split into eight stages, some of which are easier than others. For those committed to doing the whole route, there are refugios to stay in overnight along the way.
Ermita de la Victoria Coll Baix loop
The lower mountain range behind Alcudia offers many great hiking routes of all levels. Starting at the Refugio de Coll Baix, you can hike down to the relatively unknown cove of the same name which is only otherwise accessible by boat.
Ses Fonts Ufanes
During the winter months, try not to miss the unique natural spectacle close to the village of Campanet. After the heavy rains in autumn and winter, the underground reservoirs in the area fill up until the water reaches the surface and the natural springs start to bubble. They are located in the middle of a forest close to the Finca Gabelli Petit and are well signposted. Timing is important as the spectacle only lasts a few days.
The Boquer Valley
Ideal for inexperienced hikers, this one-and-a-half-hour route takes a gentle path from Puerto Pollensa to Cala Boquer along a gentle path. Once there, you can take a dip in the water or go snorkelling along the rugged cliffs during the summer months. Alternatively, in winter, it’s the perfect for a picnic.
Son Baulo to Son Serra de Marina
An easy, two-hour walk from the beach at Son Baulo, along a deserted coastline, the route passes ancient watch towers and a necropolis before ending up in the sleepy seaside town of Son Serra de Marina.