How to Discover the Quiet Side of Spain on FootHow to Discover the Quiet Side of Spain on Foot
If you hike in Mallorca the only thing that will follow you is the shadow of Limestone Mountains that get longer late in the afternoon
Have you heard the most unbelievable thing about Spain? They say that people in the Iberian Peninsula express their deepest emotions in silence. How can this be possible when Spain is considered one of the most joyous countries in the world? Spaniards are known for their Latin temperament. Even their passion for music, dance, bullfights or tomato fights is expressed in the loudest voice. But, maybe most of the people that join these festivals and events are foreign tourists.
Yet, there is a kind of remarkable experience that Spain offers and it can be enjoyed in silence. Bulls are silent and toreadors too, the crowds make all the fuss. But outside of the bullrings and major cities like Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla or Valencia, Spain becomes hushed. This happens in the endless routes that are walked by thousands of hikers in the mainland and in the beautiful islands of the Balearic and Canary archipelagos. You won’t believe it but even Ibiza has its own noiseless side.
Hiking in the most crowded island?
Explained in figures, over 68 million tourists visited Spain in 2015 and even though the country is large enough to welcome more some places become overcrowded. One of them is Mallorca. Yes, it is the place that must be on every bucket list. This is one of the reasons why the number of tourists that visit the island during the summer season is higher than ever. Yet even the number of out-of-season visitors increased significantly. Over 75percent of the people that visit the Balearics goes to Mallorca. Consequently, the local administration may take into consideration a limit to the number of annual tourists.
Hence, one can normally ask where to go in order to find the noiseless part of the island. The answer is the countryside or along the coastline and the best time for doing it is when beachgoers and other holidaymakers start to leave the island. This is the time when most of the tourists are gone and anyplace in Spain is less crowded.
Out-of-season tourism has increased significantly in the island but despite this, the network of hiking routes is long enough to preserve the loneliness of the walker. The trails run for hundreds of kilometres along the coast, around the limestone mountains and through small villages and towns.
Hiking in Mallorca is a great recreational activity for all ages. It gives the chance to enjoy vacations as a solo traveller, with a group of friends or on a family trip.
Besides the beautiful cities and urban areas, the awe-inspiring landscape is the best choice for enjoying vacations in the island. This is what hiker say. The inhabitants of Mallorca have walked the trails for many years. Many centuries ago pirates and other people that invaded the island used to walk the old routes of Mallorca. Now, more paths were added to the old network of trails. They are all marked and signed in maps.
There are also shelters and huts for those that hike in mountainous areas. Meanwhile, all private trails have a signed writing ‘Propiedad Privada’. However, there is a lot to see during a walking adventure in Mallorca. Hikers walk among olive, citrus and almond groves while in the countryside they can find cheese making factories and wineries. Thus, they discover the way how bread and cheeses taste in Mallorca.
The best hiking routes in Mallorca
Choosing a hiking route depends on many factors but the most important are related to skills and techniques. Based on this fact, hiking trails can be divided into categories depending on the time that is needed to complete them.
One day walks
Those that search for a thrilling path to walk in one single day may try Puig de Massanella. This is an 11 km long trail of the alpine style. The trip includes three hours ascent and two hours descent in the second highest peak of the island.
Soller to Mirador de ses Barques is a 10km trek that can be completed for about three hours. This is the best way for reaching el Mirador or the viewpoint, which is one of the most beautiful in the island as well as for exploring the Moorish past of Mallorca.
The pilgrims' trail or a hiking adventure to Lluc Monastery. There are many ways for reaching the beautiful sanctuary and some of them can be walked even by children. One of the paths is from Pollensa to the Monastery and it is also the sixth section of the famous GR221 or the Dry Stone Route. The sanctuary can be also reached from capital Palma or the city of Cuber.
These are only a few of the short route that can be completed in one day, but you can find more about them and guided groups that enjoy hiking in Mallorca at http://www.mitoura.com/.
Long day hike
The most famous long trail on the island is the Dry Stone Route. It is a 173 that runs from Port d’Andratx in the south to Pollensa in the north and crosses the famous Serra de Tramuntana. The trail is divided in eight sections and each of them is completed in one day. GR221 is on the bucket list of every hiking enthusiast.
What to bring with you during a hiking trip in Mallorca?
Depending on the types of walk that hikers choose they should make the list of important things to bring with them. They say that good shoes take you to good places and hikers have proven it to be true. Sun protection and water are necessary in order to stay hydrated and not get sunburned. The sun shines brightly in Mallorca even in winter or spring. A walking pole is the best buddy of every hiker along with a warm blanket for those that stay overnight. It is important to not forget swimwear as many walks take to the seashore. Indeed, there are some beaches in Mallorca that can be accessed only through hiking routes. Snacks, light waterproofs, medical kit, whistles, compass, camera, torch, an additional pair of shoes and clothes are necessary for those that take long hikes.
The people that have already explored Mallorca by foot say that it is silent and quiet and difficult to put into words. It has to be walked.