Discovering the East of Mallorca

 

Discover the East of Mallorca

Hiking on Arta coast

Many visitors come to hike in Mallorca atracted by its popular routes in Serra de Tramuntana. The breathtaking landscapes of Serra de Tramuntana are in fact a fantastic environment worth visiting, but there are other great hiking and biking spots which offer different and unique features. In particular, the East of Mallorca is a very attractive area for hikers because it has a varied offer of natural elements and a very accessible seashore. This area has many mountain summits with panoramic views over the sea and the island, coastal paths, forests, caves, historic buildings and remains, virgin beaches and lovely villages. Most of the walks in this area are very calm and go through well-preserved natural areas, helping us to get away from crowds and stress.

The Peninsula de Llevant comprises several municipalities (Artà, Capdepera, Son Servera, Sant Llorenç and Manacor) and has a long coastal shore that runs from Colònia de Sant Pere until Portocristo. From Colònia de Sant Pere until Cala Rajada there is a marine reserve, which means that it has a particularly rich marine flora and fauna. Therefore, we strongly recommend you to bring snorkelling equipment in order to enjoy a true Mediterranean experience during your hike.

Depending on the site of the Peninsula we can find different attractions in terms of outdoor activities:

  • Colònia de Sant Pere is a small village located by the sea in a coastal area running along the feet of the mountains of Serra de Llevant. It has a very long flat coastal itinerary (10km) suitable for walking, biking and Nordic Walking. The pavement has gravel and stones except for the sandy beaches, pebble beaches and urban areas. We think it is a perfect plan for families and elderly people due to its smooth flat paths. Swimming is possible (and recommendable) at many spots during the itinerary, both from the beaches or from the rocks. However it is important to not take any risks when it is windy and there are big waves.
  • Ermita de Betlem is a lovely and isolated hermitage built in the XIXth century, hidden in the mountains over Colònia de Sant Pere. It can be reached by car through a very narrow and complicated road or by foot both from Colònia de Sant Pere and Artà. In the surroundings of the hermitage there is a beautiful natural fountain, crops and mountain terraces with fabulous views over the coast. Several walks begin also in the hermitage, such as the route to the  summit of the stunning Bec de Ferrutx and the route towards the Natural Park. The place is very inspiring due to its pintoresque views, silence, fresh air and maritime atmosphere.
  • The Parc Natural de la Península de Llevant is the largest area in Mallorca with such an environmental protection and it is located in the mountains of Artà. Its mountainous terrain is mainly covered with bushes, carritx grass and stones, though there are some pines, oaks and other trees as well. Wild goats and predatory birds are the larger wild animals in this area, being easy to spot during your hike. In total there are 13 different signposted itineraries for hikers, nevertheless there are other interesting paths without signage. The difficulty varies depending on the length of the walks, but it is important to notice that reaching the virgin beaches takes at least 5 hours. The Park has a visitors facility which can be reached by car (same road to Ermita de Betlem), and it also features 3 well equiped cabins and a camping area for overnight stays.

    Coastal paths Llevant

    Watchtower of Albarca

  • The North coast of Artà and Capdepera has several interesting coastal walks in which it is possible to combine hiking and swimming when the weather allows it. There are several beaches with a special charm (Cala Torta, Cala Mitjana, Cala Mazoc, Cala Mesquida, Cala Agulla) and an abandoned but well preserved watchtower that can be visited. This side of the Peninsula is partly covered by pine woods which provide a pleasant shadow during the summertime.
  • Cala Rajada is a tourist seaside village located in the easternmost point of Mallorca. It has a long paved maritime promenade from Cala Gat until Cala de n’Aguait that passes the nicest part of the village and its pintoresque fishing port. In its surroundings we find several attractions such as the lighthouse, old tower ruins, a small lake (green lake) with salt water, the castle of Capdepera and several beaches. The summits of Puig de Son Jaumell and Cap Vermell have unique views over Cala Rajada and the Peninsula, being among the most interesting hiking routes nearby the village.
  • Punta de n’Amer, located in a cape between Cala Millor and Sa Coma, is a small coastal protected area with signed trails. The cape is partially covered by pines on sandy ground, though there are many open air rocky areas. Trails are not long but are particularly suitable for running, Nordic Walking or just walking.  We recommend to visit the castle from the XVIIth century and enjoy the sea breeze from the restaurant’s terrace.

    Head torch is always good to bring to a cave

    Exploring the caves

  • The coastal area nearby Portocristo is mostly composed by short cliffs (less than 30m), caves and narrow beaches. Nearby Cala Barques there are several cliffs suitable for Psycho-Block (climbing without ropes), which usually gather a few climbers and some audience as well. In Cala Magraner there are regular rock climbing routes of many difficulty levels, very appropriate for begginers.  The area is full of caves but unfortunatelly they are quite hidden and there are no signs to get there. Among our favourite caves there is Cova dels Coloms and Cova des Moro. The first one can only be reached from the sea and has a lot of inner lakes, with freezing waters, therefore a wetsuit is very recommended. The cave itinerary is long and features some amazing “halls” and rocky domes. The second one is a dry cave that used to be the home of ancient tribal human groups. The inner itinerary is shorter but also interesting as we find remains of the old human settlement integrated with the natural shapes.We really enjoy visiting caves due to their magic atmosphere, a combination of complicated and beautiful rock shapes, dark shadows and holes, humid and clean air, silence and echoes, etc.

As you can see, it is worth discovering the East of Mallorca. If you’d like to know more about walking in this area or walking in Mallorca, please visit our website and our Facebook page for information and advice, as well as tips, photos…

 

Highlights of modern art and architecture in Palma

You may or may not know that Palma is an absolute treat for contemporary art lovers – there are Joan Miró sculptures everywhere especially around the Cathedral in Parc de la Mar. In fact Joan Miro and Mallorca are inextricably connected (his mother and his wife were from the island, and Miro lived and worked here for 40 years), and many examples of his work are on display in the galleries. Es Baluard, the contemporary art gallery has an excellent collection, as does Palau March in the heart of historic Palma, where you can see works by Picasso, Miró and Dalí all in one room! This museum has one of the best collections of contemporary Spanish art you’ll find outside Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia…

Few people realize that there is a wealth of culture and history waiting to be discovered in Mallorca’s capital and this season we’ll be doing just that – discovering some of the cultural delights on our doorstep – on foot, of course!

see more details of the tour:

http://blog.mallorcahiking.com/en/p147/palma-excursion-art-architecture.html

and the dates we’ve scheduled the tour for:

http://blog.mallorcahiking.com/en/c3/walking-calendar-mallorca-majorca.html

Mallorca’s gastronomy during hiking (part two)

jamon serrano

In our last blog post we where talking about what to bring when you go for a walk and giving suggestions and tips on delicious local food and products. Here comes the continuation on the same topic.

Pa amb oli” is the way local people from Mallorca call a slice of bread with tomatoes, olive oil and salt. This is the local sandwich base, which can be topped with other food or eaten directly as the 4 ingredients are already very tasteful. The best thing to do while hiking is to prepare it during one of our stops: cut some bread slices with a foldable knife, cut some tomato slices (the tomato should be a big one!) and then add virgin olive oil (local gold) and salt. A fresh “pa amb oli” is something that all locals go mad about!!

Dry cured cuts of meat are among the best toppings to a “pa amb oli”. Typical dry cured meat from Mallorca is made of pork meat, salt and spices. The most popular types that are eaten without cooking are sobrassada (orange soft paste that can be directly spread on a bread slice or bread cookie), paté (orange soft paste made of pork libber that can also be spread on a bread slice or bread cookie) and camaiot (grey and white color, cut in slices). These are the fatty and “unhealthy” part of the meal, but in small quantities they are just delicious if you like meat. It is common to also complement the “pa amb oli” with other Spanish dry cured cuts of meat such as Jamón Serrano, fuet, chorizo, salchichón… We recommend you to buy from small producers in order to maximize quality and authenticity. Majorcan cheese

There are many cheese producers in Mallorca, bringing lots of different products to the market. Cow and sheep cheeses are the most usual, though there are some excellent goat cheeses as well. Native red sheep are farmed to produce excellent and original flavors. There are ecologic producers who use traditional methods and reach excellent results (normally a bit more expensive than bigger producers). Curing and aging processes directly affect consistence, texture and taste of each cheese. We do not recommend bringing fresh cheese when hiking unless you bring a well functioning/long lasting cold bag. Cheese is a source of animal fat, protein, vitamins from group A, B and D, as well as minerals like calcium and phosphorus (great for our bones). It must be eaten moderately, but when you are hiking it is always nice to cut some slices with your foldable knife and enjoy its fantastic flavors, alone or combined with a “pa amb oli”.

 

Bakery products from Mallorca, both salty and sweet, normally contain pork fat. They are not healthy products eaten on a regular basis but it can be interesting to bring some of them ‘cause they are delicious and provide a caloric boost that can be needed when you have a long way to walk. “Coques” (sort of cold pizzas with only vegetables on it) with paprika, onion, tomatoes or parsley are crunchy and oily. “Panades” are round pasties filled with cooked lamb meat or bacon, onion and peas. “Cocarrois” are long pasties filled with cooked vegetables, including raisins. These pasties use to be typical Easter food, but nowadays they are baked the whole year around; they are very convenient to bring to an excursion because they last more than other bakery products. If you like sweet stuff (or you are longing for a sugar kick), then you must bring some ensaïmada, a round spiral inflated dough powdered with sugar, sometimes filled with sweetened apricots or other ingredients (cream, chocolate, etc.). There are other typical sweet baked products like “coca de patata”, “bunyols”, “crespells” and “robiols”, but easy on the sugar and fat.

panades

In terms of drinking, we always recommend to drink mineral water (preferably from Mallorcan springs). Freshly squeezed natural orange juice can be sometimes acquired in some hikes as there are some rural houses which prepare them for you in the very moment.

Finally, we sometimes like to bring some local red wine to do a small toast and savor this traditional beverage during our lunch break. But the wine culture in Mallorca is interesting and rich enough to write another blog-post…

Find Your Inner Space through Hiking and Yoga on Mallorca this Summer 

image2

Yoga and Walking Holiday Mallorca Hiking

Yoga practitioners often talk about finding peace within. The most difficult thing (even if that can be hard enough) isn’t really to find a quiet place during our holidays where to roll out our mat, but to keep that quietness within, in middle of our daily rush. 

Nina and I have known eachother for many years. Coming from the colder northern Europe Nina is a dedicated Outdoor-guide, and I’m a Yoga Teacher, and we both have found our place and our peace here in Mallorca. We have practiced and hiked together, and we both agree that the sea and the island’s special light give an extra energy to our training and to our daily life. The nature, the peace and calmness, are one of the reasons that we have decided to settle here and that we see this as the ideal environment for our Hiking- and Yoga Retreats. Nina knows all the tracks and trails of the island, she always suggests new places where we may go to come closer to the wonderful and varying nature that this Mediterranean island offers.

image

Yoga and Walking Retreat Mallorca Hiking

Sometimes we need to get away from our daily routines to be able to appreciate what is there right next to us, and also to find new energy and inspiration. I have just been away travelling for a few months in Central America, where I’ve found beautiful places to practice Yoga. Far away from my daily life, surrounded by dense rainforest, deep waters and volcanoes, it was easy to find stillness within. Later, in the crazyness of Mexico City, I had the opportunity to experience the total contrast; the deep forest was suddenly far away, the subway full to its limits, and making my way between people selling napkins, lighters and tacos in every corner, I was lucky if I reached my yoga class on time. There it was: a MiniAshram squeezed in between offices, bars and a dance studio, we had to close all the windows to get away from the noise. I took a deep breath and looked around me, I could feel my heart beating faster, but the faces around me didn’t actually reflect any stress at all. It looked like they had that deep calmness from the rainforest within.

I do think that we have a lot to learn. And learning begins here and now. We practice Yoga to learn and to share with others what we experience through our practice. And it is necessary to start with ourselves, to later see a continous change in our surroundings. First it is important to give us time and space for what we want to do. A shortcut to find out what that is, is to give yourself time for an intense practice, in a peaceful place, where your daily stress doesn’t reach you. Where your common worries and habits dont draw all your attention. A place where we withdraw from what normally distracts us, to come closer to ourselves. We create a quiet room, to give us the space to listen to our inner voice.

Retreat means to withdraw. Yogis have been doing that for ages. It doesn’t mean that we go away forever or that we quit our responsabilities or pleasures. It means to shirk all those things that draw your attention and energy, in order to be more present. In this way we load the batteries, and slowly we can find the route back to the essence within us that tells us who we are and how we want to live. It is easier to do this in a place that is not our home, a place in nature that reminds us of the human origin, far away from the rush. To walk in nature helps us a good bit on the way, and once we find and give ourselves those moments and places of tranquility, it is easier to find back here. The next time you are stuck in the metro or in a difficult situation, you will find it easier to resort to your inner peace, your inner space, maybe giving it the form and coulour of a Mediterranean landscape. This is the landscape that Nina and I want to invite you to, and at the same time, create together. The blue ocean, the mountains and the tranquility are already here; the sense of community and energy that emerge when we intentionally look within and practice intensely with others, will fill you with spirit and motivation.

During the hikes you will experience a new part of Mallorca, less known than its packed beaches. Nina takes you to the most unforgetable places. Walking is a moving meditation, when we are in closer contact with earth and nature, our body gets the opportunity to discharge and exhale all that may not serve us anymore.

To stay in a rustic farmhouse, enjoy the settings, and get healthy Mediterranean food with fresh ingredients, will be a special treat for body and soul.

The yoga classes will be adapted to each and everyone’s needs and experience. Beginners as well as more experienced Yogis are welcome. We will charge our batteries in the morning with a more activating practice, whilst the evening classes will be more of a restorative and relaxing type. Through Asana, Pranayama and meditation we will play with different themes, and again, our beautiful surroundings will help us to look deeper within and discover new ways and possibilities.

www.mallorcahiking.com

Hiking and Yoga retreat at rustic finca in Majorca.

We hope and believe that you after four days of hiking and Yoga in S’Alcadena’s and Alarò’s environs will feel renewed and relaxed, filled with energy and experiences that you can bring home with you and keep in your inner space, to bring forth in the more difficult moments, when you need it the most.

Nina Harjula is a professionell mountain- and outdoor guide (hiking, mountainbike, cycling and horse riding).

Maria Larsson (author of this article) is a masseus, art therapist and credited Yoga teacher (200 RYT, 120h Therapeutic Yoga, current Anusara studies).

If you are interested in participating in our retreat, please send us an email to: info@mallorcahiking.com, or contact us by filling out the contact form at our webpage. You can also call us directly on: +34 699 906 009.


A different hiking concept

Mallorca Hiking has started collaborating with Mallorca Rural Experience, an enterprise from Artà that has launched a very interesting and different hiking concept.

Mallorca Rural Experience is a 4 hours guided activity (in English) that features several key elements:

Local food and wine

Picnic on top of the lookout

  • The circular route runs inside a private farm, which means that you don’t find other hikers than those who come with your group.
  • The path has got a great part of shade thanks to the majestic Holm oak forests, a distinctive characteristic of the farm considering its location next to the deforested Natural Park of Llevant and surrounding mountains.
  • A very original sensorial circuit lets you discover new sensations and definitely brings our body and mind to a new status, ideal to immerse yourself into a true natural experience.
  • Several human heritage remains (lime kilns, charcoal platforms…) have been restored in order to let you learn more about the rural traditions of Mallorca.
  • The path features an ascension to a marvelous lookout on top of a mountain, from which you are able to enjoy fantastic views over the East part of the island.
  • A delicious picnic consisting in local food and wine is enjoyed under the pines on top of the mountain, a very pleasant moment for the whole group.
  • Organic agriculture is nowadays carried out in the farm. During the walk we can see and learn about sheep ranching, fruit trees, almond trees, vegetables and a lot more.
  • The itinerary is not particularly hard and the paths are well kept, which means that the excursion is suitable for all ages, particularly interesting for children because there are dynamic activities and animals.
Alternative hikes

Sensorial circuit

The relaxing environment of this walk is impressive, as the farm is located in a protected area far from villages and crowds. During the excursion you might only hear sheep bleats, singing birds, moving treetops and your own footsteps. You can achieve a very special mood while trying the peculiar sensorial circuit, barefoot and blind over different materials and cold water, quite an amusing activity too. In the orchard and vegetables patch you are invited to try any available fruit or vegetable, if there are any (depending on the season). What can taste better than a freshly picked fruit? At the end of the walk, you almost feel like knowing this farm since a long time ago. But what it is for sure is that you will bring with you a wonderful and clear picture of the authentic rural Mallorca.

For all these reasons, this rural walking activity is suitable not only for those who want to get a deeper insight into Mallorca’s culture and nature, but also for those who want to evade themselves from the touristic side of Mallorca. The unique, modest and authentic element of this farm captures your senses in an unforgettable way.

 If you want to know more about this different hiking concept you can visit www.mallorcaruralexperience.es or email mallorcaruralexperience@gmail.com .

 

Introducing the Mallorca Hiking Club – our new residents walking club

Mallorca ResidentsHiking Club 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 for many of us that we get very tied up in our work and family lives and we neglect the opportunity to switch off, relax and make the effort to explore the island on our door step, and just enjoy our surroundings. Well here is your opportunity to do just that, and at the same time to meet like-minded people, make new friends, and much more by joining our newly formed Mallorca Hiking Club.

Mallorca Hiking has been an established Guided Walking and Tailor Made Holiday provider in Mallorca for more than ten years. We’ve had many locals using our services and joining our walks through the years, and we know how much you enjoy “getting out there”. We now want to develop this into a local hiking community; a walking club that enjoys the social aspects of walking as well as the obvious benefits of discovering new places – and of course the physical and health benefits of a good walk.

The Mallorca Hiking Club will consist of walkers of all ages and levels of ability, so if you’re a beginner, you won’t feel like the odd-one-out as there are bound to be other beginners walking with you. Likewise, there will also be experienced walkers who can offer advice and useful tips. In due course, we’ll also have separate walks to suit different levels of ability.

Why  Join the Mallorca Hiking Club

  • Get outdoors, enjoy nature and discover more of our beautiful island – away from the madding crowd!
  • Meet a whole variety of new people with a common interest – gone will be the Sundays you would have liked to go hiking, but all your friends were busy or didn’t want to go with you…
  • If you don’t have your own transport, there’ll always be someone who can give you a lift to the start of a walk and back again…
  • If you’re a beginner, you won’t be the only one, and even if you are you will benefit from the support and experience of more seasoned walkers;
  • Share your knowledge and experiences of the island, and benefit from other member’s knowledge and experience – whether it’s places to walk, the best places to buy gear, great restaurants….
  • Experience something new and different, and meet someone new every time you come along for a walk
  • Discover fabulous hostels, country restaurants, bars and cafes where you’ll often benefit from club discounts
  • It’s a healthy activity that doesn’t require expensive memberships, equipment and a lot of time commitment to maintain your position
  • Bring along visiting friends and relatives – it’s an easy way to show them parts of Mallorca they would not have discovered (and you may not have known yourself!)
  • Enjoy lots of other fun events, outings and Mallorcan discoveries…

There will be a small annual fee to join the Mallorca Hiking Club and members will enjoy the following benefits:

  1. At least one guided walk per month – on a Saturday or Sunday or fiesta
  2. We’ll organise transport among members so that those without cars get a lift with other members to the start of a walk (and back)
  3. A varied schedule of walks in all parts of the island exploring mountains, flatlands, countryside, coves, historical landmarks…
  4. Club discounts from selected hiking/walking shops in Mallorca
  5. Hints, tips and advice on all aspects of walking
  6. Introductions to, and Club discounts at some of the best kept secrets around the island – restaurants, Agroturismo’s…
  7. We’ll organise regular, special outings such as hiking/boating combo days, wine tours, dinners…. as well as walking weekends away, for Club members and their friends and families
  8. Friends and Family Discounts for Mallorca Hiking’s walks and holidays, whether scheduled or tailor-made
  9. A fun, social element for those who want to join in Après Hike activities (why should skiers and golfers have all the fun?)

And the fee for joining the Mallorca Hiking Club? The good news is that this will be a very low annual joining fee (how low will surprise you!).

There will be a 5€ contribution payable to Mallorca Hiking for each monthly walk to cover the cost of organising the day, many ‘phone calls, logistics…

For members without a car, there is a 5€ contribution towards petrol etc. payable directly to the member giving you a lift. For members who have their own car and choose to share transport with other members, or “take it in turns” to drive, can sort out contributions (if any) between themselves!

The actual joining fee will be announced on the 20th of February – but for this week only you can get free membership to the Club by doing the following:

  • Publish the link for this article on your Facebook Wall (just hover your mouse over the Launch Offer image to the left and click Share)
  • Invite and join at least two friends to our Facebook Page
  • Leave a Comment on our Facebook Page letting us know you would like to be a “Founding Member of the MHC” (Mallorca Hiking Club)

Of course we would be even more excited if you actually shared our Facebook Page with all your friends – but to get free membership (just for this week) hop over to Facebook and complete those 3 simple tasks.

Following us on Facebook will keep you updated on all our activities; news; hints; tips; discounts and more – so if you haven’t already become a Fan here’s the link.

Imagine the fresh air in your lungs; the incredible changing scenery of each monthly excursion; lively conversation with new friends; magical historical and cultural discoveries; quaint restaurants and hillside inns for a local speciality lunch; views from the tops of Mallorca’s incredible mountains; learning about all the best equipment and techniques for all levels of hiking and most important of all a fit, energetic, healthy body and mind looking forward to the next outing…..

Mallorca Hiking Club – be a Pioneer Member – Join now!!

*Living on the island permanently or for a large part of the year is the only criteria needed to join the club. Official Spanish residency is not required.

Active aging and the benefits of Nordic Walking

 

Nordic Walking in Mallorca, Active ageing, active aging, benefits of Nordic Walking

Nordic Walking in Spain

 

As you probably know by now, the population is getting older in average due to the extension of lifespan. Medicine, food and exercise are the main drivers of this phenomena, leading to fitter and healthier seniors. Todays’ 40-plus generations are either thinking about or actively trying to not become “the oldies that do not participate anymore”. Instead they are more eager, able and willing to continue eating healthy and practicing sports in order to enjoy an interesting social life when they retire: family issues (which can actually be thrilling and demanding), travelling, performing (music, theatre, dance, etc.), studying, (volunteer) working, and many other leisure activities are also a seniors’ thing. This rich social interaction will probably help them to prolong their capabilities in time.

In this post, we want to support the international movement of “Active Aging” by highlighting the benefits of Nordic Walking. To better understand the meaning of active aging, we think that the explanation from the World Health Organisation’s website is very helpful:

“Active ageing is the process of optimizing opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age. It applies to both individuals and population groups. Active ageing allows people to realize their potential for physical, social, and mental well-being throughout the life course and to participate in society, while providing them with adequate protection, security and care when they need. The word “active” refers to continuing participation in social, economic, cultural, spiritual and civic affairs, not just the ability to be physically active or to participate in the labour force. Older people who retire from work, ill or live with disabilities can remain active contributors to their families, peers, communities and nations. Active ageing aims to extend healthy life expectancy and quality of life for all people as they age. “Health” refers to physical, mental and social well being as expressed in the WHO definition of health. Maintaining autonomy and independence for the older people is a key goal in the policy framework for active aging. Aging takes place within the context of friends, work associates, neighbours and family members. This is why interdependence as well as intergenerational solidarity are important tenets of active aging.”

Now this is where Nordic Walking and Mallorca Hiking have something to contribute. This fantastic sport has got a large number of benefits and it is considered as one of the ideal sports for almost all humans in different ages because of the following facts:

1) Nordic Walking is one of the most effective cardiovascular workouts (together with cross country skiing) because when doing Nordic Walking you use all your major muscle groups in your body.

2) Recent studies by the Cooper institute in Dallas showed that Nordic Walking burned more calories, increased oxygen consumption and can be up to 46% more efficient than normal walking.

3) Nordic walking is great for weight loss as you burn more calories compared to walking without poles.

4) Nordic walking is generally a very “kind” sport for the rest of your body and less stressful for knees, back.. compared to regular walking, jogging or biking.

5) By adding the poles and a correct Nordic walking technique to your walk, you increase the total use of your muscle mass from approximately 70% to 90% while increasing your heart rate significantly.

Nordic Walking Mallorca

Nordic Walking in the woods

Moreover, we need to add another few but very important issues that might lead to a greater popularization of Nordic Walking in the future. The price is not a barrier because if you want to exercise Nordic Walking on a regular basis you only need comfortable sport shoes and a pair of poles, and that’s it! Since you are most likely to be walking in the outdoors (and preferably in the nature), you will receive all the benefits of (hopefully) fresh clean air, sunshine (D vitamine amongst others) and quietness (relaxed mind). Nordic Walking is generally a very safe sport and the risk of injuries is very low. Nordic Walking is also a very social sport as it is often done in pairs or groups (you might even have a Nordic Walking club or association very close to where you live!). It is easy to learn a proper Nordic Walking technique and easy as well to keep it up. It is a sport that is suitable and has got benefits for everyone; from the absolute beginner to the fittest sportsman or woman.

Mallorca, and especially the East part of the island (Llevant), is very attractive for exercising Nordic Walking due to its natural quality, its fantastic landscapes and the fabulous climate. Mallorca Hiking’s guide Nina Harjula is a licensed Nordic Walking instructor from Finland, and she is committed to spread the knowledge and fun of exercising this magical sport in a beautiful natural environment such as the Mediterranean coast can offer.

CAP DE FERRUTX – SATURDAY 24TH APRIL

What a day – perfect Mallorcan spring weather, a fresh breeze, clear skies and warm sunshine!

Four ladies and 2 dogs set off from Palma at about 11 am after a leisurely and very civilized breakfast in Santa Catalina market. We headed east towards Arta and then from there we rumbled along a rough country lane to Cala Estreta. After only an hour’s drive we were on the stunning north-eastern coastline with a clear view of Menorca and tourquoise blue seas!

Our route today was Mallorca Hiking’s W-NE01 – a fabulous walk along easy paths and nothing too steep, apart from a very short stretch up to the tower on our way back. This is a really special walk and what’s particularly nice about it is that we saw a different part of the island to the usual north-western walking areas.

We took our time and completed the walk at a leisurely pace with lots of stops to admire the views and a yummy sandwich we had picked up at the market (and some flapjacks Jan had made) for lunch on the beach! We took about 5 hours overall but what a lovely relaxed and enjoyable day!

The dogs loved it too – and apart from a short and dramatic goat-chase (Oops!) they behaved well! They slept in the car going back.

Practice makes Perfect

Today we revisit the importance of preparation 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 lot of practice hikes before jetting off to your holiday destination. Practice walks serve many purposes: to test new gear and clothing; to know your walking and physical limitations; to master different walking conditions; all are important factors to understand before you embark on a series of long walks.

When starting your build up for your walking holiday, practice walks should start short and gradually increase, so you slowly “break-in” all those rusty muscles.

Pay attention to your body temperature. Use layers of clothing and remove/replace as your temperature increases and decreases on easier and more difficult sections of the walk.

Create awareness to sensations in your feet. Hot spots in your boots can turn into blisters, so stop and adjust your boots/socks/remove stones etc. If your feet get wet, stop to dry them and change your socks. If you are walking with a partner ensure both of you are comfortable about stopping each other if these re-adjustments are necessary. Remember: with walking, prevention is significantly better (and less time consuming/painful) than curing a damaged foot etc.

Keep your back-pack comfortably adjusted. Again, re-adjust straps if they have become too loose or are cutting into your arms. This may also be due to the contents not being well distributed. Try to keep the heaviest items close to your back. Try to create a set place for each item in your pack and return it to this place to maintain a comfortable walking position for your backpack.

Get used to having regular drink and snack breaks to maintain your energy levels. Little and often is much easier on your digestion and converts quicker into energy, as opposed to large meals which take energy to digest and can be uncomfortable for walking afterwards.

Your clothes are a key part of your comfort when walking for several hours, so practice walks will let you know how comfortable each item is. Trousers/shorts may rub on your thighs; upper layers may be too tight when you get warmer – all this can then be adjusted or rectified prior to flying off on your holiday.

Although none of our guided walks require large backpacks with sleeping bags etc (the luxury of boutique accommodation and good restaurants is more our style than tents and camp food!!) an awareness of your body and your clothing will make your holiday much more enjoyable.

A little preparation and thought and a bit of planning really help you get the maximum benefit and enjoyment from our holidays. We recommend these simple practice routines to all our clients – and you’ll be happy you did them when you arrive.

Tossals Verds Loop – Lakes Walk, Tramuntana Mountains

Lake Cuber Mallorca hikingThe lakes region of Mallorca has been declared one of the best walking areas of Mallorca by the Travel writer of the Times. Snuggled in a basin of the Sierra Tramuntana Mountains, this is one of our most popular walks. This is not only an area of natural beauty but it’s a favourite spot for the island’s birds, where falcons, ospreys and black vultures – with a near three-metre wingspan – and even eagles can be seen circling the peaks. The area also has a network of mountain refuges for backpackers and hikers. (We’ll be covering the refuge facilities in more detail in a future article).

As well as the facilities and range of walks for the seasoned hiker, there are also excellent picnic facilities including bbq areas for day trippers, and these areas are well frequented at weekends and holidays by the island’s residents.

This is an excellent and nicely varied circular walk around the Tossals Verds peak (at around 1,100 m high, it is the 3rd highest on the island). It is an energetic route, which takes us through 5 tunnels (so you’ll need a torch!), includes a couple of steep ascents and a well-located stop at one of the island’s beautifully restored refuges. Otherwise, the walk is along delightful paths, many formerly used by the charcoal burners.

We start at the car park to the north east of the reservoir, and follow the tarmac lane along the side of the reservoir before we branch off and descend the valley (with fabulous views of Tossals Verds). Here we pass through the tunnels and then continue down.

The climb up to the refuge is quite steep but we walk on an easy track and path, and the views from the refuge terraces are quite lovely. From here we continue to climb – steeply and then more gently. The path which circles around Tossals Verds is delightful, and eventually we get a view of the Gorg Blau reservoir before we return to the Cúber.

After Hike – the surrounding area includes the towns of Pollensa and Sóller – both have magic and charm and retain a lot of their historic roots. They are an ideal place to stop for a coffee or a meal after your walk and watch the world go by. The monastery of Lluc is also a must visit location in this part of the island, and if you get there around 5pm in the afternoon you can listen to the choir practice – magical.

Why not make a day of this great walking excursion, and combine our guided walk with a tour of some of the local towns afterwards.