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…

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.

Our Weekly Facebook Roundup

Again, for those of you who have missed some of our many Mallorca Facts and Figures; Hints and Tips and General What’s on information – here’s a summary of last week’s news from Mallorca Hiking – if you know anybody who might be interested in our Walking Wikipedia – just hover your mouse over the big Like button above and share us with your Facebook & Twitter  Friends, Thanks.

Mallorca Hiking Did you know: People have lived on Mallorca since 5000 BC The Romans were here in 123 BC. Tourists have only been coming here since 1952!

Mallorca Hiking Did You Know: The local pastry, the Ensaimadas is only available in Mallorca. Try one for breakfast today with cafe con leche!

Mallorca Hiking Did You Know: In 2005, there were over 2,400 restaurants on the island of Mallorca according to the Mallorcan Tourist Board. How many now?

Mallorca Hiking Walking Holidays – Seven Key Tips For Beginners

Tom Oxby is one of our guest writers and today we have another excellent checklist he has created for those of you thinking of taking your first Walking Holiday: Walking Holidays are a great way to explore the world. Whether you are on a trail in your country or visitin…g another you are sure to meet like minded people….

Mallorca Hiking Did you know: The name Mallorca derives from the Latin ‘insula maior’ meaning ‘larger island’ Mallorca is Spain’s largest island

Mallorca Hiking Did You Know: Palma is famous for La Seu, its vast cathedral originally a mosque. Construction began in 1229 it didn’t finish until 1601!

Mallorca Hiking Did you Know: The surface of the island of Mallorca is 3.640,16 square kilometres, and it has more of 554 kilometres of coast.

Mallorca Hiking

The Talayot Of Es Rossells

Source:Mallorca Daily Photo Blog

Mallorca Hiking Did you Know: In 2008, 22,832,865 passengers passed through Son Sant Joan Airport in Palma, with an additional 1.5 million arriving by sea

Mallorca Hiking Mallorca Fact: Did you know: The population of Mallorca is 702.000? From those, more than 300.000 live in Palma

Mallorca Hiking Good morning Hikers: The sun is shining – good weather forecast for the weekend. Get your hiking boots out!

Mallorca Hiking Alimenta 2011

Mallorca’s very own international gastronomic fair, Alimenta, will this year be held at the Palma Arena from the 23rd to the 26th of March. Alimenta includes an exhibition of businesses related to the food and wine industry in Mallorca and across  Spain. It is a fair wh…ich attracts thousands of business owners, entreprenuers and ‘foodies’. One of Alimenta’s highlights is the ‘Gran Gourmet’ which is a special section of the fair dedicated to…

Source:SkyBlue Mallorca for Mallorca Restaurants, Wine Estates & Gourmet Prod

Mallorca Hiking

Coming soon… Misa Brasserie

February will see the opening of a brand new restaurant in Majorca. Marc Fosh and his team opens Misa Braseria and Bar. ”We are pleased to announce the opening of our new restaurant in February. MISA will be a Mediterranean Brasserie with a Modern-Rustic feel. It will f…eature a Relaxed & vibrant cuisine and offer the city of Palma something totally new, taking informal dining to new heights with Marc Fosh’s renowned cooking…

Source:SkyBlue Mallorca for Mallorca Restaurants, Wine Estates & Gourmet Prod

Mallorca Hiking Do you live in Mallorca? Would you be interested in joining a walking club for small annual fee & monthly walks – plus equipment discounts?

Mallorca Hiking We’re working on a club format that should be enticing for everybody who wants to enjoy what this wonderful island has to offer Paddy. If there is any cost it will be more than returned with many benefits. Watch this space!

Mallorca Hiking HikingTopTip:Fitting your pack: don’t over tighten shoulder straps. Tighten just enough to keep your pack close to your body and stable.

That’s it for this week – Look out for our daily Facebook Facts next week..


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.

Rural Wanderings – Es Capdella & the Galatzo Estate

Galatzo Wanderings Mallorca HikingAfter the noise and excitement of the San Sebastian festivities in Palma, what better way to wind down than an idyllic and gentle hike through the wonderful Galatzo Estate and the village & countryside of Es Capdella. Stunning views blended with the aroma of the almond blossom will restore tranquility and fill you with that breath of fresh air you need to shake off the winter and embrace the spring…

There are a number of different routes we can take around the village of Es Capdella and the estate lands of the Finca Galatzo, just outside the village. Many different variations make up a number of excellent walks of different lengths and duration. This is a sleepy, rural corner of the island, which has fabulous views of the conical-shaped Puig de Galatzó. The whole area is particularly spectacular every January/February when the almond trees are in flower. And this year, the winter has been so warm that the blossom is way ahead of itself and Es Capdella is already in full bloom!

Whichever route we choose, we walk out of the village along country lanes and rural tracks between casitas and fields and into the Galatzo estate with its magnificent ‘Possessio’ Manor House in the shadow of the Puig de Galatzó. Here we walk easily along broad dirt tracks to the Finca, where we get an insight into the agricultural workings of the estate’s past, and a peek into its fabulous courtyard – a feature of all significant old Mallorcan homes. Let your imagination drift back many years and its not difficult to imagine a different life, a different pace…. a different world!

At 1,027 metres high, the Puig de Galatzó is an impressive mountain that generates an air of mystery that has created many legends, myths and anecdotes reinforcing it’s magical appeal. A superb and imposing backdrop for our wanderings…

There are two options for booking this walk – you can either join one of our group walks, which are scheduled for specific days (see our calendar) or you can choose a day when you would like to go… So why not hop over to our web page now to find the best date for you and your friends – they’ll really appreciate you organising such a refreshing and relaxing outing. And if you’d like to see the almond blossom at its best, make sure you come along in the next few weeks…

Olive Oil – The Fruit, The Production and Oleoturismo

olive oil production mallorca walkingMallorcan Oil is an extra virgin olive oil made with the Mallorquina (Empeltre), Arbequina and Picual varieties of olives, using traditional processes conserving the aroma, taste and consistency of the fruit. These three varieties of olive allow producers to create olive oils which are of an extremely high quality and which have very unique flavours and aromas. The Arbequina olive gives the oil a fruity taste, the Picual a more bitter flavour and the Mallorquina a subtle sweetness reminiscent of ripe almonds. These flavours are created from a variety of processes ranging from pressing before full ripeness of the olive to blending different varieties.

The high quality of the Mallorquin olive oil is achieved from a combination of the soil characteristics, rugged landscape, irregular rainfall and the great age of Mallorca’s olive trees. The olive harvest is influenced by climate and Mallorca generally has an earlier harvest than other regions.

Mallorca has a long history of olive growing, as well as production and consumption of olive oil. Mallorcan olive oil has always been well acknowledged and popular among local residents but despite this, the amount of Mallorcan Olive Oil consumed on the island only accounts for 2.7% of total sales. The rest is exported, with Germany being the main consumer.

According to historical data, the Phoenicians and Greeks introduced olive trees to the Iberian Peninsula, and from there they reached Mallorca. It was in the 16th century that important progress was made in olive growing and oil production, and for many years this was the main source of income for numerous estates on the island, many of which had their own olive mills. Mallorcan olive oil continued to be the island’s leading export product until the first half of the 19th century. Today there are close to 402 producers of Mallorcan Olive Oil, covering a total of 1400 hectares of land, and using 7 Olive Oil presses. Recent records show annual production in excess of 100,000 litres of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil, increasing year on year.

The Pressing of the Oil

Much of the Olive Oil production in Mallorca still uses traditional systems used over centuries. The olives are placed on a grindstone and crushed by machine-operated conical-shaped rollers. The grinder is a mechanical hammer type machine and the grinding process depends on the amount of olives in each batch. The golden rule is that they should never be ground for more than 6 minutes. The paste produced is placed between woven mats that are laid one on top of the other and pressed. In the olive press, by applying considerable pressure, a liquid is produced composed of water and oil. The liquid is left to settle and separates into two layers, with the oil on top and the water from the olive below.

This process is known as Continuous Flow which involves: Cleaning and Washing, followed by Weighing andolive-press mallorca walking holidays Classification and then the Grinding. The paste then goes through a Mixing (malaxing) process where the paste reaches a maximum temperature of 28ºC. This section of the oil extraction takes between 60 and 90 minutes. Now comes the Extraction of the oil using horizontal centrifugation. Separation is the final stage that is achieved by horizontal and vertical centrifugation, which then results in the finished product: pure Mallorcan Olive Oil with designated origin ‘Oli de Mallorca’ .

Storage & Bottling : The oil now moves into storage. After being classified, it is placed in tanks depending on its quality. The oil mills are located geographically, with building characteristics to ensure the oil can be stored at appropriate temperatures, not rising above 25ºC.

The oil is then bottled in conditions that protect it from the sunlight, preventing any possible alteration due to the oxidation of the oil’s fatty acids.

The next time you try the pure essence of Mallorcan Olive Oil, think of the process required to arrive at the golden liquid you are enjoying.

The popularity of Mallorquin Olive Oil both in Mallorca and importing countries, has resulted in a new form of tourism in Mallorca: Oleoturismo. Promoted as Olive Oil Tourism – The Art of Nature this initiative was created in order to introduce visitors to all aspects of the Olive tree; the oil and the additional products created from Olive wood with a series of highly original activities. You can find more details regarding these activities and the routes on the island here:

Hiking Poles

Hiking Poles Mallorca HikingContinuing with our recommendations and advice for the best Hiking Clothing and Equipment here at Mallorca Hiking - today’s article will elabourate on the advantages of Hiking Poles (also known as trekking poles, hiking sticks or walking poles). These practical accessories to walking and hiking trips are becoming a familiar sight.

A distant cousin to ski poles, they have many features in common such as rubber-padded handles and wrist straps. They often consist of two or three sections, and can be extended or retracted as necessary – some poles can even be retracted sufficiently to fit into pockets or backpacks when not required. They are usually made of lightweight aluminum or carbon fiber.

The primary use for poles is to give support and rhythm to your walking. They’re not really necessary on flat, smooth sections of your hike, but they can help to exercise your upper body if used continuously throughout a walk, and they help maintain an even speed. On uneven or rocky terrain and slopes, hiking sticks provide stability and support and they are particularly helpful for walkers with an injury, or weak joints or those who are susceptible to knee injuries.

folding hiking pole Mallorca HikingPoles are also very handy for a number of less obvious uses e.g. for checking the depth of water when crossing a river or marshy area; as a splint or to help carry a fellow walker to safety in the event of injury. There are even hiking poles that are designed to be the support for a tent thereby giving them a dual purpose, as well as reducing the amount you have to carry on overnight treks. So, there are lots of good reasons to take walking poles on your next hike.

Walking poles are now also considered a fitness accessory with the growing popularity of Nordic Walking. This kind of walking / exercise can be done anywhere – including city streets – as a flat surface is the best for keeping up a good energetic pace. Use of poles ensures you get a full body workout, burning more calories without any major exertion. Nordic Poles come with detailed instructions on how to use them and even video tutorials.

Some walkers prefer walking with just one pole (the tradition for shepherds and gamekeepers for centuries,retractable poles mallorca hiking and commonly seen with beautifully carved wooden staffs). This still helps stability and support but for maximum benefit, we recommend using two sticks. Using a pair of hiking poles or trekking poles gives you the balance you need and takes more stress off the lower body joints. The grips and straps are designed so you can push down on them, but also for quick release if the pole gets stuck between rocks or roots.

Telescopic/Adjustable Poles or Fixed Length Poles?

One-piece poles are lighter and quieter, and are the best choice for nordic walking use. For trekkers, adjusting the length as you go uphill and downhill allows you to keep the correct angle and benefit from the fullest support. For traveling hikers, poles that collapse down to store or carry in your luggage or in your pack on the trail are very handy.

How to Walk With Poles

Believe it or not, there are at least three recommended walking methods with hiking poles. Each manufacturer provides detailed instructions on how to use their particular poles. We’ve uploaded some videos to our YouTube channel for you to see, listen and learn! It can take a bit of practice until you are using them to their fullest advantage.

Below we’ve displayed a selection of walking poles – click on each image to see more details. Hopefully now you know and understand a bit more about walking poles, which should help you when making a choice for your first purchase.

Where to walk in winter…?

Weather Chart Mallorca All YearIf you’re the type of walker that prefers mild sunny days and blue skies to blizzards, snow-shoes and crampons then read on…

In our opinion, Mallorca has one of the best climates for hiking all year round. Yes, in the summer months it gets a bit hot, and we have to be extra careful about the heat and dehydration, but if you start early it’s still possible to get a good 3-4 hour hike in, and be in the pool by 11 am. You’ll have plenty of time for a siesta, and a catch-up on lost sleep, later in the afternoon.

But it’s the winter months on the island that are ideal for hiking. Clear sunny days are the norm – in fact we’ve just had about 3 weeks of perfect sunny and warm days – it just doesn’t get better for walking! Of course we get rain, and some grey skies too, and the real excitement starts when we get a bit of snow on the mountains, but they never stick around for very long. Before you know it the skies clear and the sun’s out again – this is the Mediterranean after all.

But having said all that it does get cold here in the winter, particularly in the mornings and evenings. Recently, for instance, we had frosty, very cold mornings and temperatures close to zero. Many people who know Mallorca from their summer holidays don’t realise this, and it never ceases to amaze the residents here when they see holiday makers arriving in January, dressed in shorts and flip flops and absolutely no clothes packed for cold or wet weather.

The fact is however, that Mallorca tends to have higher temperatures than most other European countries, and more days of sunshine each year. Even on frosty mornings, once the sun comes out the days are glorious and you may be walking in a T shirt by midday.

Knowing when to visit Mallorca, and the weather and temperatures you can expect, are important facts that can make the difference between a great, or a ruined vacation. To help you plan the best time for your visit, we’re including a graph with average minimum and maximum temperatures throughout the year, as well as other helpful facts and figures. Apologies to those of you who aren’t so keen on statistics…

One thing that is absolutely certain though, is that whether you’re visiting for the warm summer months or the cooler autumn, spring and winter – Mallorca Hiking has a fantastic range of guided walking tours to show you some of the hidden secrets of this beautiful island. Take some time to browse through our list of walks or the holiday options available. Come rain or shine our walks will show you a part of Mallorca that you never knew existed.

Season averages Mallorca

  • The average temperature in Palma, Mallorca, Spain is 16.8 °C (62 °F).
  • The average temperature range is 14.5 °C.
  • The highest monthly average high temperature is 29 °C (84 °F) in July & August.
  • The lowest monthly average low temperature is 6 °C (43 °F) in January & February.
  • Palma, Mallorca’s climate receives an average of 427 mm (16.8 in) of rainfall per year, or 36 mm (1.4 in) per month.
  • On average there are 71 days per year with more than 0.1 mm (0.004 in) of rainfall (precipitation) or 6 days with a quantity of rain, sleet, snow etc. per month.
  • The driest weather is in July when an average of 5 mm (0.2 in) of rainfall (precipitation) occurs over 1 day.
  • The wettest weather is in October when an average of 74 mm (2.9 in) of rainfall (precipitation) occurs over 9 days.
  • The average annual relative humidity is 75.0% and average monthly relative humidity ranges from 69% in June & July to 83% in January.
  • Average sunlight hours in Palma, Mallorca range between 4.5 hours per day in December and 11.5 hours per day in July.
  • There are an average of 2796 hours of sunlight per year with an average of 7.7 hours of sunlight per day.
  • There are an average of 2 days per year with frost in Palma, Mallorca and in January there are an average of 1 days with frost.

Weather facts and figures supplied courtesy of: www.climatetemp.info/spain/mallorca.html

Mallorca Hiking routes – Alaro Castle

Views from Alaro Castle - Mallorca HikingHave you discovered the history and magic of Alaro castle and its wonderful panoramic views? We highly recommend a visit to this part of the Sierra de Tramuntana mountains when you’re in Mallorca. From the heights of the castle you can see most of the island – the bays of Palma and Alcudia, the flat lands and the incredible Sierra de Tramuntana. There aren’t many places on the island that give you such far-reaching views.

The castle or Puig de Alaro, which stands at an imposing 822 meters, dates back to 900 A.D. and the Muslim occupation of Mallorca. It was built as a refuge against frequent attacks from Arab forces. There are many stories of battles and sieges surrounding the castle and there is no better way to experience these stories than from within the castle walls.

Time and a tumultuous history – having in turn been seized by the Moors, Romans and Christians – have taken their toll.  The castle is in ruins now. But in the tranquillity of its surroundings and spectacular views all around, the accounts of battles and sieges between Moors and Christians are easy to imagine.

We offer 2 walks that include a visit to the Castle – one is short and easy and the other is more difficult, but both are real favourites! The short route climbs gently out of Orient through beautiful olive groves, which line the Orient valley. We follow a narrow path that winds through beautiful holm oak woods and then we join an ancient cobbled path that leads up to an imposing entrance to the Castle. It is at this point that we realise just why this spot has been so significant in the island’s history!

After visiting the castle we then zigzag gently downhill through more holm oak woods to the famous “lamb” restaurant, where we like to stop for a delicious lamb lunch and a very rural Mallorcan experience!

A perfect end to a perfect hike.

Be Prepared – What to bring with you when Hiking in Mallorca

Be Prepared Hiking Kit for MallorcaSo you’ve booked your tailor made holiday with us and now you’re thinking about what you need to pack. Here’s a checklist to help you come well prepared:

Island weather can change very quickly and unexpectedly, so it is always advisable to be ready for anything. In the mountains, cloud can drop quickly and mist can come in from the sea, causing loss in visibility and fall in temperatures.

The terrain in Mallorca is rough so good footwear is essential. Most of our walks require walking boots with hard soles, good grip and ankle support. It is a good idea to wear your boots in well (if they are new!) before putting them to the test on some of our uncompromising, rocky surfaces.

September to early June are the main walking months on the island, and although not as hot as the summer, Sept/Oct and April/May can still be hot, and even in mid-winter sensitive skins can burn. Consequently, anything that you like to use to protect yourself from the sun – hat, cream, glasses, lip salve, long sleeves and long trousers….. is advisable.

Whatever the month, it is essential to carry plenty of water, and a few snacks to top up your energy levels, are always advisable – just in case!

We recommend that you bring with you:

  • Good sturdy footwear – hard soles and good grip are the most essential
  • 25 – 30 litres day pack
  • Water bottle – containing at least 1.5 litres
  • High energy snacks
  • Sun protection – hat, sun cream, sun glasses…
  • Light waterproofs
  • Additional layers for warmth – fleece, pullover…
  • Walking pole(s)
  • Small personal medical kit – antiseptic wipes and cream, plasters, bandage, antihistamine for allergic reactions…

Other equipment you may find useful:

  • Bathing suit
  • Torch
  • Penknife (Pocket knife)
  • Whistle to attract attention
  • Pad or cushion to sit on during rest breaks
  • Compass
  • Binoculars
  • Camera
  • Loo (toilet) paper!
  • Ear plugs if staying in a refuge!
  • Soft, comfortable shoes and a change of clothes for the evening, if staying overnight

With the above all packed, you’re ready to enjoy some of the most breathtaking views and a side of Mallorca not seen enough in the popular holiday location brochures. We will be introducing you to the history, culture, local food, villages, markets and so much more of this wonderful island – make sure you’ve got a camera and lots of memory or film!