The Best Hiking Trails Around Mallorca

Hiking trails in Mallorca often come with phenomenal views
Hiking trails in Mallorca often come with phenomenal views | © Grethe Ulgjell / Alamy Stock Photo

The compact Balearic island of Mallorca, with rocky, white sand coves and backboned by the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range, has long drawn the world’s artistic elite. But the idyllic Spanish island in the Mediterranean, rising out of the Balearic sea 300km east of Valencia, is also a hiker’s paradise. The dramatic and varied landscape lends itself to countless walks through rocky gorges, lush valleys and coastal pathways – rewarding walkers of all abilities with brilliant views. Here are the best hiking trails around Mallorca, Spain.

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Torrent de Pareis Gorge Walk

The Torrent de Pareis Gorge goes from Escorca to the sea. Not one for inexperienced hikers, this demanding five-hour hike involves lots of scrambling over boulders and squeezing through narrow gaps in the huge rocks. There’s no easy way out of the steep gorge if you find it too much – and no mobile phone reception – so don’t try it if you’re unsure. A high risk of flooding in the winter means the hike should only be attempted between May and September – though this can also mean sweltering temperatures, so carry plenty of water. It’s all worth it when you reach the tiny, sandy cove at Sa Calobra – the gorge’s end point and a serene swimming spot.

Sóller to surrounding villages and coves

Sóller is a hugely popular hiking area, with many fantastic trails starting from the town or the surrounding area. There are two three-hour circular routes taking in picturesque villages such as Fornalutx and Biniaraix, where you can stop for refreshments before ambling on. These routes are old bridle paths, so are easy to walk – and incredibly scenic. For a longer hike combined with a swim, head to the coves such as Cala Tuent or Cala Deia, where you can catch a boat back to the Port of Sóller after a soak and sunbathe at the beach – or after lunch at Ca’s Patro March, the waterside seafood restaurant in Cala Deia that famously featured in the BBC’s 2016 series, The Night Manager. The four-hour hike from Sóller to Cala Deia isn’t too challenging, either.

The Cabrera Islands

The Cabrera Islands are a small, uninhabited archipelago around 10km (6mi) off the southeast coast of Mallorca. The main island once housed a prison camp and then a military base, but is now a protected national park. Boats head there from Colònia de Sant Jordi in high season and, with prior permission from the park ranger, you can embark upon a number of different hikes on the island, including an 11km (7mi) walk to the lighthouse and a 7km (4mi) hike to La Miranda and the caves nearby. The area is a haven for wildlife, and there are also ruins of a castle, some impressive cliffs and numerous tiny coves to explore.

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Puig de Massanella from Lluc Monastery

Puig de Massanella isn’t the highest peak on Mallorca – that’s Puig Major, an inaccessible military zone. But at 1,364m (4,475ft) above sea level, it’s the highest accessible peak, and has spectacular views across the island from the summit. There are a few starting points: the route from Lluc Monastery is a challenging, circular route that starts in an oak forest and involves the option of climbing to the summit of Puig d’en Galileu on the way – worth the extra slog if you’re up to it. It’s a full day’s worth of hiking – about eight hours – and some parts of the trail are very well-marked or signposted, while others are much more unclear. A decent map is a must.

GR221 Dry Stone Route

This epic 135km (84mi) dry-stone route is Mallorca’s ultimate long-distance challenge. It runs from Port D’Andratx in the southwest to Pollensa in the northwest, through the Tramuntana mountain range – which is a Unesco World Heritage site. The route is based on a network of ancient pathways and is split into eight stages – some parts make for easier walking and are better signposted than others, and many parts are better done with the help of a guide. As with many hiking trails in Mallorca, there are parts of the route that run through private land, so it’s important to follow the signposted pathway, as this is a public right of way. If you feel up to the challenge of walking the whole route, there are refuges at various points along the way, where walkers can refuel and spend the night.

Alaró Castle

The ruins of the castle of Alaró sit on the top of Puig d’Alaró mountain, surrounded by steep cliffs, and the medium-level hike there from the town of Alaró takes around two hours. There has been a castle on this site since Moorish times, and the impressive ruins of its most recent incarnation – in the 15th century – seem to cover the whole mountain top. On the way up, you can see right across the plains of Mallorca towards Palma and the sea, and from the top there are incredible views over the Tramuntana mountain range. A very popular walk, this one is best avoided at weekends if you want any chance of having the castle to yourself.

Colonia Sant Pere to Es Caló de Betlem

On the east of Mallorca lies the small town of Colonia Sant Pere, and not too far from that lies the even smaller village of Betlem, itself the gateway to one of the most secluded, beautiful beaches in all of Mallorca. Starting from Sant Pere, it’s a 1.9mi (3km) walk to Betlem, and then the route takes you through pine forests before reaching your destination around an hour later. Es Caló de Betlem is a cove that’s so remote, those willing to make the journey may find themselves all alone there – with the only other potential visitors being rock climbers. The mountain views and the crystal-clear water make this beach the perfect reward after a hike.

Barranc de Biniaraix

The landscape of Mallorca is rifted with craggy gorges and many of them make for excellent hiking routes, as they’re easy to follow and replete with awe-inspiring scenery. Barranc de Biniaraix is one of the easiest and best. Starting from Biniaraix, just outside the pretty town of Sóller, the hike takes in a full circuit of the gorge. It takes about four hours, but there are shorter routes if that seems like too much. The vistas provided by the Tramuntana Mountains, combined with the quiet, rural surroundings, make for a walking experience that feels authentically Mallorcan. And with so many different routes available, you can return to this walking circuit again and again.

Puig de Sant Martí

This mountain, sitting near the northern town of Alcúdia, is one of the most impressive in Mallorca and one of the most inviting to those in search of a good walk. Heading west out of Alcúdia will lead you on a route to the top of the mountain, which offers an outstanding view of the town you left behind. At 266m (873ft) above sea level, it’s not just known for the views: this is a popular spot for paragliders, too. Take an alternate route down past the Cova de Sant Martí, a deep grotto that houses a religious shrine. The whole circuit can be completed in under two hours, but those who try it could be forgiven for spending some extra time peering out over the island from this amazing vantage point.

Maioris Decima to the Delta

On the east side of the Bay of Palma, Maioris Decima is an unassuming town which hides a route to some of the bay’s best coastline. After parking up in town, it takes around 45 minutes to trace the rocky coastal path down towards the sea. Your reward after walking, climbing and scrambling is what locals call the Delta: a slice of cliff face that guards yet another wonderfully secluded coastline. While there’s no sandy entrance to the water – climb or jump, depending on how brave you’re feeling – it’s difficult to pass up the chance to take a dip. For bonus points, bring a snorkel and get a live marine biology lesson before strapping your walking boots back on for the ascent.

Estellencs to Mount Galatzo

For most, going on a hike in a place like Mallorca means looking for something off the beaten track – and a village with less than 320 inhabitants and no tarmac roads certainly qualifies. Entering Estellencs feels like travelling back in time, especially when faced with the 16th-century Tower of Tem Alemany or the fortified church. There are a few walking routes from here, including down to the nearby cove, but perhaps the best known is the two-hour hike up to the peak of Mount Galatzó. This rocky pyramid looms over everything in the area, at a whopping 1027m (3,370ft) above sea level. You can head up solo in the daytime, or take a guided night walk for a unique stargazing experience.

Camí de l’Arxiduc

At around 7mi (11km) in total, this route requires blocking out most of a day to complete – but it’s worth the time. It’s one of several routes mapped out by conservationist Archduke Ludwig Salvator of Austria, who spent years studying local wildlife on Mallorca in the late 19th century and has become something of a famous historical figure there. This route provides some of the best views of the Tramuntana Mountains you’ll find anywhere, snaking through Ses Puntes, over Puig de Teix and more. It’s sometimes described locally as the Archduke’s path, and his old refuge at Talaia Vella features along it. It’s a long trek, but you’ll be walking along a ribbon of Mallorcan history.

Additional reporting by Callum Davies.

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