The Sierra de Tramuntana nominated as “Cultural Landscape” by UNESCO

The Sierra de Tramuntana mountain range of Mallorca has been nominated to receive UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

The Consell de Mallorca has earmarked €8 million for improving the natural and historical heritage and landscape, according to Mallorca President Grancesc Antich and Consell President Francina Armengol. This includes €2.6 million for renovating the roads and recovering the shelters and lodgings in the Sierra de Tramuntana in a bid to promote hiking tourism – all very good news for our clients at Mallorca Hiking.

The first traces of human presence on the landscape of the Tramuntana Sierra date back some five thousand years, with new settlers leaving their Talayotic, Roman, Moorish and Christian marks.

The road connecting its 19 municipalities offers extraordinary views of the northern coast of Mallorca, and several historical remains can be seen along its route: medieval defence towers, farm buildings, monasteries, churches, Talayotic villages, castles and a palace of the Kingdom of Mallorca.

The immense intangible wealth of this region – such as the oral traditions surviving in place names, verses and legends, the popular wisdom kept alive through local arts and crafts, the gastronomy, traditions and festivals – constitutes knowledge and skills which are susceptible to being lost, and which are key to understanding the cultural heritage of the towns that existed here. With a view to preserving this cultural ensemble and its natural landscape, the Consell de Mallorca registered the Tramuntana Sierra as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the category of “cultural landscape” and this has now been officially accepted.

Below is a beautiful selection of photographs depicting the stunning scenery of this region and a sample of what you will experience when taking your walking holiday with Mallorca Hiking:

Our Facebook Round-Up

Mallorca is a much misunderstood and often maligned Mediterranean island. It is so much more than a package holiday resort for low cost summer holidays in the sun – away from the high-rise hotels and manicured beaches of the mass tourist resorts (which incidentally cover only a tiny proportion of the island), there is another Mallorca – a far more alluring, varied and totally different world. Thankfully, not all Mallorca’s beaches and…
The sun is shining in Mallorca & the mountains are calling – who fancies leaving the office & getting some fresh air?

Mallorca hiking is launching a Residents Hiking club very soon – are you interested in joining – leave us a comment below
It’s hard to say what single item would come to one’s mind when one would try to associate things typical of Spain. Flamenco would perhaps rank in the forefront, or paella, or lemon trees, or sangría, or bullfights; what do you think? Come to think of it, maybe tapas are the most typical invention of today’s Spain. There are various theories as to how tapas came about….Source: Mallorca Daily Photo Blog

Good morning Hikers – what are your plans for the weekend – have a look at all these great walks for inspiration:

VISIT ES BALUARD MUSEUM FREE Sunday’s for the month of February from 10am to 8pm. The Museum is located at Plaza Porta de Santa Catalin
Do you like Almonds? Check out our latest post for all the best things you can do with the alluring almond:

Almonds are one of Mallorca’s main crops and cover a surface of over 60,000 hectares in the Balearics, of which 90% are in Mallorca and produce around 14,000 tons of this precious dried fruit.

Saturday 12th – MARMALADE DAY: at Sa Taronja (C/Andalucia, 23) in Andratx. Picking, squeezing and cutting them, from 11am cooking the marmalade 3.30pm to 4.30pm filling the jars.5 euros. Children are free. Helpers go home with two pots of “bio” marmalade. All ages welcome. Bring pots.

Historically Almonds became popular in Mallorca in the 18th century at the expense of the vineyards. Almond trees were planted in their thousands to replace the grape vines that had been devastated by the outbreak of phylloxera. Today Mallorca has close to five million almond trees and the island’s landscape is at its finest when the almond trees blossom….Source:
Mallorca Planetarium Costitx Thu, Fri, Sat. A relaxing trip across night sky discover the key stars & constellations 20:00 Tel: 971 513 344.

What a perfect day’s hiking in Soller – it doesn’t get better!

Today we revisit the importance of for a hiking or walking holiday. Following these simple, commonsense tips will help ensure you don’t have wasted days because you’ve taken on too much, or because you didn’t realise what is involved – especially if you are not a regular walker. Read on… Regardless if you are a professional or a novice on a walking holiday, it is still really important to go on a…

another fabulous day in the Sóller valley – this is Biniaraix

Thursday, 17 February 2011 at 10:00
Es Capdella
15 Hours and Counting to the release details for Mallorca Hiking Residents’ Club . Twelve noon Sunday 13th February

Specialised guided walking tours for people of all ages and abilities on the Balearic island of Mallorca. Outdoor activities hiking, sailing, diving and specialised Gourmet, Food, Wine and Cultural packages

Introducing Mallorca Hiking’s new residents* walking club (Be sure to see the Special Introductory Offer at the end of this article – but read the article first!) You may have been living in Mallorca for a short time or have had a home here for many years – but the reality is that you probably still haven’t seen even a small proportion of this beautiful island that we live on. It is also true…

Tailor Made Walking Holidays in Mallorca

Tailor Made Holidays in MallorcaWe appreciate your holiday time is a precious part of your year and it needs to deliver the fullest satisfaction for your break away from everyday life. Give yourself what YOU want in your holiday – don’t allow yourself to be herded into what a tour operator or hotel group wants to serve up. Here at Mallorca Hiking we give you a holiday, which is 100% tailor made for you – we start each trip with a blank sheet of paper. We match your dreams, your budget and your dates to our knowledge, our contacts on the ground, and our creative thinking.

Everything is planned around you – from dates, to hotels, to walking routes, to restaurants, to any other activities YOU want to include. Your Tailor Made Holiday.

Mallorca has a little known range of terrain: from mountains, to valleys, to beaches & coves, to wide open spaces. The variety is plentiful in this island paradise and there is something for everyone.

Our walking routes vary so we advise you and choose walks to suit your pace, your level and your experience. Our guides are seasoned professionals who live on the island and have a wealth of knowledge, experience, and contacts. They care about making your holiday special, and their experience and knowledge is focussed on delivering your every requirement.

We’ll help and advise you when choosing somewhere to stay – and we’ll book it for you too. We have a number of fabulous hotels that we like to work with – see our accommodation list – and they are all small, boutique hotels with a special Mallorcan charm. They will enhance your holiday experience.

Each Tailor Made holiday is a unique programme that includes the walks, excursions, additional activities and special interests that you choose. Tell us what you’re interested in and we’ll organise an itinerary to match. For example, some of our popular themes include:

–       Mallorca’s cuisine, it’s home-grown food products, and the seasonal fiestas that celebrate each, e.g. the olive fair and the honey fair, both in November

–       The history and culture of the island – see our Excursions, for example Palma’s Art & Architecture

–       The island’s wild flowers – particularly in the spring

–       Mallorca’s wines, including vineyard tours and wine tastings

Some of the additional activities that you can include in your holiday itinerary are biking, boating, diving, ballooning, helicopter tours and much more.

Alternatively if you’re traveling on your own or as a couple and you’d like to join other like-minded walkers for one of our fabulous walking holiday itineraries, we have a number of scheduled group holidays that you can sign up for. These holidays are for small groups of 8 people and are already designed with dates set, so please check our calendar for details.

Your holiday is very precious time and we understand how to get it right for you. Our guides and organisers are available all day, every day you are here in Mallorca – making sure you have everything, as you want it, when you want it. And because the people we work with know what we expect, they go that extra mile for our clients – after all, it’s often the special touches which count. Your only requirement is to relax and enjoy…

Make your holiday in 2011 one to remember with Mallorca Hiking. Contact us now to start arranging your Tailor Made Holiday.

Christmas in Mallorca

Christmas turrones MallorcaAs we are posting lots of information about how our guided walking tours and tailor made holidays are not just a great escape but good for your health and fitness, we do not feel too guilty about telling you about all the great traditional Christmas treats you can find in Mallorca.

The month of December features all the Christmas fayres with hundreds of little stalls set up for the many shops and hand made gifts on sale. The Plaza Mayor and Plaza España in Palma city centre are always a great place to visit.

Another Christmas tradition (and only for sale throughout Spain in December) is Turrones – chocolate, marzipan and mousse style bars, sweets, candies and thousands of different varieties. From the 1st of December shops start clearing the shelves surrounding their tills to fill them ceiling-high with Turron – who knows where they go in January!

Carol singing is also very popular in Mallorca and the place to find these singing spectaculars are La Lonja and the Plaza Cort, again in Palma centre. The tradition here is for local schools to bring along their choirs, of all ages, to serenade the crowds that gather to listen. This really sets the Christmas mood!

Traditional Christmas decorations MallorcaThe Belen or Nativity scenes are prolific throughout Mallorca with many church halls, interior patios, shop windows and schools displaying impressive scenes depicting the birth of Jesus and the arrival of the three wise men. Palma’s Town Hall at the Plaza Cort has a particularly impressive Nativity scene, and has a queue of people waiting to see it, snaking in and out of the building right through to January.

As the main Christmas celebrations in Spain were traditionally for the arrival of the Three Kings on the 5th of January – the children in Spain are now really happy that the internet and commercial pressures have given them Papa Noel, or Father Christmas on the 25th of December as well. In reality though, nowadays their presents are probably just divided between the 25th of December and 5th of January. However, on the 5th of January there is an added bonus when thousands of sweets are thrown to the children on over-crowded streets,  straining to see the processions working their way from the port of Palma where the Kings arrive, to their destination in the centre of the city.

On the 24th of December, Christmas Eve, everyone stays at home and enjoys the evening with close family. Some go out for a late night drink while many others go to the magnificent cathedral (or their own village’s church) for Midnight Mass, also known in Spain as the Misa del Gallo.

The 25th, Christmas day, a big lunch at home used to be the norm, but eating out is also very popular now, so we recommend booking early if you’re planning to go to a restaurant.

While December the 26th is a normal day throughout Spain, this is not the case in Mallorca – here the Segona Festa de Nadal (Second Christmas day) will be in full swing. This is an ancient local custom, and as in the UK, it is a bank holiday.

December the 28th is the Spanish equivalent of April Fools day, so be on your guard for crazy newspaper articles or practical jokes.

New Year’s Eve is celebrated in much the same way as in other countries – by welcoming in the New Year.  Plaza Cort (Palma Town Hall) is the centre of the festivities with thousands gathering to see in the New Year in traditional Spanish style – by eating twelve grapes, one on every chime of midnight. You can even buy tins of grapes that contain the exact number required for your midnight munch!

The Christmas lights and various festivities carry on until Three Kings is celebrated on the 5th of January, and after that the shops start their New Year’s sales bonanzas, or rebajas.

So, there’s lots to do and see over the prolonged festivities if you’re visiting Mallorca. If you hanker after a white Christmas you can usually find it on the hilltops and the mountains around Lluc and the rest of the Tramuntana – so there’s something for everybody on our Christmas island.