Tramuntana as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

This week 2 big celebrity visitors to the island supported Mallorca’s application for the Tramuntana mountains to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site (officially defined as a site with “special cultural or physical significance”).

Rock legend Patti Smith and her band were playing in the magical setting of the gardens of Palau Comtes d’Aiamans, in Lloseta, at the feet of the Sierra de Tramuntana (how appropriate!), and Michael Douglas – a long time ambassador to Mallorca and property owner in the Tramuntana – is on one of his regular visits to the island with wife Catherine Zeta Jones and family.

If you’d like to help preserve this fabulous natural resource for all outdoors and nature lovers, why not join the growing band of supporters for this application? Take a look at the following link on Facebook (it’s mainly in Catalan, which is a bit of a challenge, but you can get the general gist!)

PER QUE LA SERRA DE TRAMUNTANA SIGUI DECLARADA PATRIMONI DE LA HUMANITAT. PARA QUE LA SIERRA DE TRAMONTANA SEA DECLARADA PATRIMONIO DE LA HUMANIDAD.

Happy hiking!

Mallorca’s gastronomy during hiking (Part 1)

When we go for a hike we need to eat the appropriate type and amount of food, due to the intensive physical exercise. Drinking is even more important especially if we are not used to the climate and to the type of terrain. Therefore, we must plan carefully our food and drink intake before, during and after the hike.

Mallorca’s hikes can be quite challenging, especially in terms of temperature and slope, as the mountain paths are often steep and with a limited amount of shadow. Temperatures at noon can go over 25ºC already in March-April, and until the end of October. From June to August temperatures can pass the 30ºC threshold, even reach 35ºC or more in extremely hot days. Many routes should be avoided when temperatures are so high up, while other routes (more shadowy and with sea access) can become a perfect option to enjoy an outdoor hot day.

Mallorca hiking food

Eating local food while enjoying the fantastic views

This article (divided into 2 blog posts) will try to introduce you to the typical Mallorcan food that can complement your hikes, while resuming the health benefits they have to offer. Since we are focusing on food that can be eaten during a hike, it must be raw food or previously elaborated food. Notice that Mallorca Hiking offers you the possibility to tailor made your activity and include local food, which we will select and bring in order to make your day even more special.

 

Fruit is a source of vitamins (especially vitamin C), vegetable soluble fiber, water (fruit provides fast body hydration), and it helps the digestive system and the drainage of liquids. The typical seasonal fruits produced in Mallorca are tangerines (November-March), oranges (November-April), lemons (November-May), grapefruits (December-April), strawberries (February-May), loquats (April-May), cherries (May-July), apricots (May-August), peaches (May-September), nectarines (May-September), plums (June-August), watermelons (June-August), melons (June-September), figs (July-September), pears (July-November), apples (August-January), pomegranates (September-November), grapes (September-December) and kakis (October-December). The sunny Mediterranean climate combined with the traditional tree varieties and low air and soil pollution; provide the perfect environment to grow very tasty and juicy fruit. However, you need to know where to get it, preferably from smaller shops or directly from countryside producers.

 

Local and abundant nut

The healthy energetic snack to bring on excursions

Almonds are the main nuts produced in Mallorca, since the cultivation of almond trees became a main economic rural activity during the late XIXth century, after an epidemic stage in the grapevine that led to the end of the traditional wine producing sector. Therefore, it is usual to see almond trees during your hike, as they have been planted almost everywhere on the island. Almonds are rich in vegetable oils, meaning that they provide a great caloric kick to our body. Moreover, they contain proteins, vitamins (B and E groups especially), minerals (iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium and zinc) and fiber. They are a great healthy snack (not salted), helping us to gain some energy to continue doing some body activity. And they are so delicious!!

The natural salty snack

Olives are very appreciated both for macerating and for pressing to get oil

One of the oldest symbols of peace and goodness is the olive tree which grows delicious olives. In Spain it is said that “the one who grows olives lives a long time thanks their nutritional properties”. They are not a great source of calories, though they have high quantities essential oils (omega 3 and omega 6) which are beneficial to our body. Moreover, they are a source of vitamins A and C, minerals such as iron and sodium, and fiber. Olives are easily assimilated by the body, being a perfect and tasty snack. Since they have been previously macerated, they are normally salty which means we should not eat lots of them while we are hiking. You can also bring a jar of the flavourful Majorcan olive pâté to spread on a bread slice or cookie.

Next week we will intrduce you to more elaborated Majorcan food that is also suitable to bring for a walk in the nature.

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…

Diverse Mallorca

Diverse MallorcaMallorca 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 coastline are throbbing tourist resorts. As well as long white sandy beaches, there are also lots of isolated rocky coves and deserted bays, so it’s still possible to find a peaceful spot by the sea if you’re prepared to make an effort and get off the beaten track. And the best way to do this is to walk or take a boat…

Being an island, Mallorca revolves around boats so there are any number of different boat trips you can take here, particularly in high season. The east coast of the island is relatively flat and the coastline is a long string of rocky coves punctuated by the occasional resort. Here it is fantastic for boating and exploring hidden away inlets and bays, many of which are impossible to access other than by boat or foot.

For a small island, it is extraordinary how diverse Mallorca is. Yes, there are fabulous beaches and sparkling blue seas, but beyond these there is also a dramatic range of mountains (the Sierra de Tramuntana), countless charming rural – and totally un-spoilt hamlets, cliff-hugging villages, monasteries, castles, meadows, orchards, olive groves, wetlands (yes wetlands!), and the chic sophistication and culture of the capital city of Palma.

The Serra de Tramuntana on the west coast of Mallorca – the ‘mountains of the north wind’, which run the length of Mallorca’s north coast are home to some of the island’s most spectacular landscapes, wildlife and birds. Pine-covered slopes lean into the sea, and higher up forested hills give way to barren crags and peaks. This is hiking country and by far the best way to get to the heart of this fabulous, and surprising, part of the island is on foot.

Dotted throughout Mallorca, and often located in dramatic hill-top locations, there are many ermitas, hermitages, santuaries and monastries, mainly dating back to Medieval times. Originally inhabited by monks, they were places of pilgrimage, and they still retain a sense of calm and tranquility – a serene reminder of an ancient world. Nowadays, they offer an excellent focal point to a hike, as many offer refreshments, and some offer (fairly basic) accommodation so it’s even possible to stay overnight and continue walking the next day.

But the diversity of the island is not limited to its natural beauty, culture and history. Palma – the island’s capital – is a big surprise to many people. It is stylish, sophisticated, intimate and yet bursting with life. Half of Mallorca’s population live here, enjoying the island’s best restaurants, shops and nightlife as well as a thriving arts scene and a lively cafe society.  Palma’s masterpiece is its Gothic cathedral, rising out of the city walls which once marked the edge of the sea. In Palma you can also find the old Arab quarter, fabulous architecture, a maze of narrow streets hiding museums, art galleries, palaces and exquisite courtyards.

This “other side” of Mallorca is distinctly up-market, and appeals to a very different visitor. As a result, a popular new hotel style has evolved – traditional “Agroturismos” and boutique hotels offer relaxed luxury in quality surroundings. These hotels are usually beautifully restored traditional Mallorcan buildings, often old country estates, fincas or townhouses, and offer the discerning visitor an excellent opportunity to experience Mallorca at its best.

We could go on and on… so this is just a small selection of things to keep in mind when planning your next trip – you don’t need to endure long flights to far-flung parts of the world to discover a fabulous holiday experience. Added to which, you could come back several times a year on a short break and continue discovering hidden treasures, great restaurants, relaxing walks or just disconnect from the world and relax… And if you need some help or ideas, take a look at our Tailor Made holidays

We can offer you a holiday that is exactly what you want , when you want it. With the benefit of our local knowledge and experience, everything will be arranged before you arrive. A worry free holiday with airport transfers, great accommodation, the best restaurants, excursions “off the beaten track” – as well as shopping trips and days to just relax. We guarantee Mallorca will become a regular place to visit.

If you’d like to read more about Mallorca and what it has to offer, why not sign up to Follow this blog …?

Wonderful Walking Facts

Walking Facts from Mallorca HikingThose of you who have been following us on Facebook and Twitter (just click the links to become a fan or follower!) will have seen the Walking Facts we have been posting over the last few weeks. Here today you can have the full list – providing overwhelming justification for your next holiday being with us in Mallorca!

Walking is one of the simplest and safest aerobic exercises you can do. It will help you strengthen your bones, control your weight, and condition your heart and lungs. Being consistent in your walking exercise routine is one of the most important factors in developing a healthy physical activity program. Research has shown that people who walk approximately 20-25 miles per week outlive those who don’t walk, by several years.

So, take your time to review all the great reasons for booking your next holiday with us at Mallorca Hiking. Read on…

Walking Facts:

  • Fact 1: On average, every minute of walking can extend your life by 1.5 to 2 minutes. That’s about a 2 for 1 trade-off!
  • Fact 2: Walking an extra 20 minutes each day will burn off 7 pounds of body fat per year.
  • Fact 3: To burn off 1 plain M&M candy, you need to walk the full length of a football field. Think about that next time you dip your hand into a candy bowl at someone’s office!
  • Fact 4: Longer, moderately-paced daily walks (40 minutes at 60% to 65% maximum heart rate) are best for losing weight
  • Fact 5: Shorter, faster walks (20-25 minutes at 75% to 85% maximum heart rate) are best for conditioning your heart and lungs

Walking provides the following benefits – it:

  • Fact 6:  Improves efficiency of your heart and lungs.
  • Fact 7:  Burns body fat
  • Fact 8:  Raises your metabolism so you are burning calories faster, even while you rest
  • Fact 9:  Helps control your appetite.
  • Fact 10:  Increases your energy.
  • Fact 11:  Helps relieve stress
  • Fact 12:  Slows aging
  • Fact 13:  Reduces levels of cholesterol in your blood
  • Fact 14:  Lowers high blood pressure
  • Fact 15:  Helps control and prevent diabetes
  • Fact 16:  Reduces the risk of some forms of cancer including colorectal, prostrate, and breast cancers
  • Fact 17:  Aids rehabilitation from heart attack and stroke
  • Fact 18:  Promotes intestinal regularity
  • Fact 19:  Helps promote restful sleep
  • Fact 20:  Strengthens the muscles of your legs, hips, and torso
  • Fact 21:  Strengthens your bones and reduces bone density loss in older women
  • Fact 22:  Reduces stiffness in your joints due to inactivity or arthritis
  • Fact 23:  Relieves most cases of chronic backache
  • Fact 24:  Improves flexibility
  • Fact 25:  Improves posture
  • Fact 26:  Promotes healthier skin due to increased circulation
  • Fact 27:  Improves mental alertness and memory
  • Fact 28:  Spurs intellectual creativity and problem solving
  • Fact 29:  Elevates your mood
  • Fact 30:  Helps prevent and/or reduce depression
  • Fact 31:  Improves your self-esteem
  • Fact 32:  Increases sexual vigor
  • Fact 33:  Helps control addictions to nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, and other drugs

Walking is much more preferable to running or jogging because it creates less stress on your joints, including hips, knees, and ankles. Remember to properly warm up before and cool down after every walking session… your muscles will love you for it!

Dry Stone Route, GR221 Pt 1

GR221 Dry Stone Route with Mallorca HikingToday we continue our description of Mallorca’s Dry Stone Route, which connects the SW of the island at Port Andratx to the NE at Pollensa. We’ll cover the early stages in this post and also let you know which sections are currently not open or are under construction.

The Dry Stone Route or GR221 has eight distinct stages, each with it’s own designated Refuge (not all of which are completed yet). The route passes through the Tramuntana mountains, crossing the island from west to east.

This well-known long-distance path was created by combining many routes, some dating back to the Arab occupation of Mallorca from around 900 AD. These ancient paths had many uses: connections between villages; commercial routes for bringing products to markets; entrances to watch towers to protect against pirates; access to the mountains for the charcoal and lime burners deep in the forests, the snow makers…

Many of these paths suffered significantly over the last sixty-odd years, mainly through erosion and neglect as a result of a change of use of the land, from farming to tourism. Recently however, there have been many initiatives to restore sections of the route, and a considerable amount has been invested in new signage and way-marking. Other problems that have arisen involve rights of access through private land, and although there have been efforts to resolve these amicably between the Consell of Mallorca and the landowners, there has been little success to date. The next stage is to resort to European law to resolve these rights of public access.

The eight sections of the walk are:

Stage 1 Port d’Andratx-la Trapa Stage 2 La Trapa-Estellencs Stage 3 Estellencs-Esporles

Stage 4 Esporles-Can Boi, Deia   Stage 5 Can Boi-Muleta, Port of Soller Stage 6 Muleta-Tossals Verds

Stage 7 Tossals Verds-Son Amer, Lluc Stage 8 Son Amer-Pollença

Since the end of 2010 the Dry Stone Route has been well way-marked from Deià to Pollença with 5 mountain “refuges” also functioning and looking after grateful walkers. In the southern section of the route Coll des Pi; Estellencs; Banyalbufar; Esporles and Coll de sa Basseta are also way-marked.

Let’s clarify in a little more detail now, exactly which sections are open and accessible, and which provide full way-marking. We don’t want you disappearing into the Mallorcan wilderness – although of course another option would be to use the services of a guide with Mallorca Hiking to make sure you stay on the right track!

In this post we will focus on stages 1 to 3: Port d’Andratx to Esporles. These first sections are a bit problematic – they are not well marked – if at all – and several sections cross private property, the rights for some of which are disputed, so the route has been diverted.

Monastry at Sa Trapa Mallorca HikingStage 1:   The first part of the route from Port Andratx is not very well marked but it is accessible. There are restoration works currently underway at the old monastery of La Trapa to create a mountain refuge.

Coll de Sa Gremola Walking Mallorca

Stage 2:   Between La Trapa and Coll de sa Gramola there is no way-marking. Again the route covers private property, but access is permitted.

From Coll de sa Gramola to Coma d’en Vidal, there are again no way-marks. The route here follows the Andratx- Estellencs (Ma-10) to the Pla de s’Evangèlica. The trail then crosses the mountainous area of S’Esclop to Coma d’en Vidal where there are plans to construct a further refuge.

Watch Tower Estellencs Walking MallorcaStage 3: From Coma d’en Vidal to Estellencs, again there are no way-marks. However, there is good news from Estellencs through Banyalbufar to Esporles – this section is fully way-marked. When the trail reaches Es Rafal, between Estellencs and Banyalbufar (a disputed right of way) it has been diverted.

There are no confirmed dates as to when signage will be completed for the sections without (as described above) – so if you are not a confident route-finder we advise you to walk this section with a guide.

To give you a flavour of the scenery and surroundings for these first sections of the Dry Stone Route – the first official walk for our new resident’s Mallorca Hiking Club recently completed the Old Postman’s Route. This runs between Esporles and Bunyalbufar, which makes up part of the third stage of the GR221. You can see lots of photographs from members on our Facebook Page. And there is also a superb short video on our YouTube Channel.

This is a beautiful part of the island and hopefully the full route will be clearly marked soon to allow the complete trek from one end of the island to the other.  Next week we’ll cover the area between stages 4 to 6 – in the meantime happy hiking!

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.

10 Best Hiking Trails in the World

World's Best Hikes - Mallorca HikingFor those of you thinking about a walking holiday, which will allow you to actually appreciate the beauty of the world around you, we are reproducing a great article written by Julie Blakley of the 10 Best Hiking Trails in the World.

Walking holidays need preparation to ensure you get maximum benefit and enjoyment from them and to avoid problems such as blisters or being caught out with the wrong clothes or equipment for the weather or terrain where you’re hiking. We recommend you start your preparation towards regular walking holidays with a guided walking company that can give you the advice, information and tuition necessary to build up to some of the spectacular hikes detailed in the article below.

Mallorca Hiking has been running Tailor Made holidays for over ten years, and we will help you to aclimatise to this kind of holiday. We will help you develop your walking skills and prepare for your dream hike (whichever one of the ones outlined below that might be!), so why not contact us to take that first step (if you’ll excuse the pun)…

Here are  Julie’s 10 Best Hikes, this is the first of two posts itemising these idyllic walks and their surroundings, enjoy!:

If everyone placing personal ads who claimed the hobby of “hiking” really did it with any regularity, the earth would have been trampled flat decades ago.

But those who really do enjoy this peaceful outdoor activity have plenty of incredible choices in every corner of the world.

Here are the ten best hikes on the planet, each with a combination of scenery and special extras that make them well worth going out of your way to enjoy.

Tongariro Northern Circuit, North Island, New Zealand10 Best Hikes Mallorca Hiking

It is certainly no secret that New Zealand boasts some of the world’s most beautiful and dramatic scenery, which is why it’s not surprising that one of the world’s most spectacular hikes is located on these mountainous islands. While many people who hike in the Tongariro Reserve (a World Heritage site) on the Northern island stick to the one-day Tongariro Alpine crossing, the multi-day (2 nights and 3 days) Tongariro northern circuit provides hikers with a much richer and scenic experience.

Hikers on the Tongariro Northern Circuit hike for about 35 kilometers through non-stop compelling volcanic and desert environs that will make you feel like you are trekking on the surface of another planet—all while giving you high mountain peaks as a backdrop, diversely striking vistas wide variety of different scenery. Hikers who set out on this out-of-this-world hike (quite literally) will circumambulate the active volcano Mt. Ngaurube (Mt. Doom for those Lord of the Rings fans out there) while hiking past boiling mud pools, craters, interesting lava features, the amazing water filled volcanic vents, glacial valleys and water-filled explosion craters called the Emerald Lakes. Things stay nice after dark, as you get to stay in comfortable alpine huts along the way that have decent beds, gas heating and stoves, running water and toilets. Hikers on this trek can also easily do two short side trips to the tops of both Mount Tongariro and Mount Ngauruhoe—allowing hikers to gaze out at the captivating volcanic scenery below.

10 Best Hikes Mallorca HikingZion Narrows, Utah, United States

While hiking through the volcanic landscape of the Tongariro northern circuit may provide enthusiasts with an extraterrestrial experience, hikers are sure to be amazed at the unique and stunning scenery of trekking through the Zion narrows in the American southwest. Recently ranked as #5 on National Geographic’s list of America’s Best 100 Adventures, this trail will have you hiking up streams through dramatic, narrow slot canyons.

Hikers will wind their way through colorful, sculpted sandstone walls that rise up to 3,500 feet (that’s just about 1 km). The trek will also lead hikers through the famous “Wall Street,” a 2-mile section of the journey that crosses through a narrow canyon where the walls close to just 22 feet wide at the top. Hiking through water for about 60% of the hike up the streams that wind their way through these breathtaking slot canyons, you will see hanging gardens bursting from the red canyon walls, trickling water threading through cracks in the canyon walls and sprouting patches of moss, waterfalls sliding over the sandstone, and sandy banks with towering ponderosas. However, while this wondrous journey is sure to enchant hikers, it should be noted that hiking through the Zion Narrows is extremely dangerous, as flash floods can come quickly and the entire area is a huge drainage. Rainstorms up to 50 miles away can storm down the canyon and every year hikers die on this trail. Make sure to check the weather report in advance to make sure there is NO RAIN whatsoever in the forecast. However, with proper precautions, this hike, which is rated as one of the best hikes in the entire U.S. National Park system, is truly unparalleled.

Annapurna Circuit, Nepal10 Best Hikes Mallorca Hiking

Any serious hiker or trekker dreams of going to Nepal to journey through the world’s most dramatic mountain landscape. While most hikers think of Kathmandu and Everest when they hear the word Nepal, the Annapurna circuit (which circumnavigates the Annapurna massif) not only has staggering snow-capped and rugged peaks providing for a spectacular backdrop, but the hike also offers trekkers great opportunities to see a wide range of natural and cultural diversity.

This 3-week trek allows you to stay in comfortable lodges as you hike from lush sub-tropical landscapes into the highest mountains in the world (beware of altitude sickness as the trek goes to a elevation of 17,749 feet). As you hike the Annapurna Circuit, you will get to interact with the Tibetan mountain peoples, see Buddhist temples, visit teahouses, soak in hot springs and take in some of the most awe-inspiring scenery in the entire world.

10 Best Hikes Mallorca HikingInca Trail, Peru

Most people who know something about travel, know about the famous and world-renowned Inca Trail. While some of the more hard-core types out there may think of this amazing trek as cliché, the truth is that this trail is popular for a reason. Peru offers some of the most beautiful South American mountainous scenery and, while some criticize the trail for being over-regulated and too popular, Machu Picchu is a destination worth seeing and the hike along the way is sure not to disappoint, with plenty of scenic vistas and amazing views.

Along with offering spectacular scenery, the Inca Trail is not only safe and easy to organize, it also allows trekkers to hike through jungle to high alpine terrain, visit 3 sets of Inca ruins along the way, and take in the beauty of the Peruvian mountains over the 3-night, 4-day hike. Plus, at the end of the journey, hikers will arrive at one of the most celebrated man-made destinations on Earth.

Tiger Leaping Gorge, China10 Best Hikes Mallorca Hiking

This 15-km gorge located along the Yangtzee River between approximately 6,000-meter Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and the 5,300-meter Haba Xueshan mountain, in China where rapids pass under a series of dramatic 2,000-meter cliffs. The gorge got its name from a legend that says a tiger once jumped the narrowest point of the gorge to escape a hunter (which is still 25 meters). As one of the world’s deepest river canyons, Tiger Leaping Gorge is a beautiful and scenic hike for those adventurous trekkers.

The high-road trail is well-maintained and marked and takes hikers on a 14-mile journey with varied mountain views that features a surprising variety of micro-ecosystems, waterfalls and even guesthouses where hikers can stay along the route.

While this gorgeous gorge is a essential and protected part of the World Heritage site of the Three parallel Rivers of Yunnan, the Chinese government has proposed building another hydroelectric dam that would flood this place—meaning hikers interested in seeing this beautiful, lush canyon should probably head there sooner rather than later.

Julie Blakley grew up mostly hiking the trails of the Rocky Mountains and has recently discovered trails of the Cascades near Portland Oregon. When she’s not dreaming of trekking through Nepal or summitting Mount Kilimanjaro, she’s busy writing the France Travel Guide

10 After Hike Recovery Tips

Recovering after a Hike Mallorca HikingAfter our Resident’s Club Inaugural Walk we thought it would be helpful to look at the “After Walk” routine that will ensure you are fighting fit for our next outing! Lots of attention is usually given to preparation for long walks – (we have dedicated several articles to it in this blog!), but just as important is the “winding down” after a long hike. Rest and recovery is an essential part of any excercise routine. Your AfterHike recovery routine will ensure you take the máximum effect physically from this great excercise and ensure you are in good condition for your next excursion. Unfortunately, many people do not utilice a post excercise routine and lose some of the physical effect of a great walk . Here are some tips to get your post-walk plans on track.

Why Recovery after Hiking is important

Recovery after exercise is essential to muscle and tissue repair and strength building. This is even more important after a testing, intensive hike for several hours. A muscle needs anywhere from 24 to 48 hours to repair and rebuild, and working it again too soon simply leads to tissue breakdown instead of building.

10 Ways To Reward your Body after Hiking

There are as many routines and methods of recovery you can apply that would be interusable for many excercise routines. The following are some of the most commonly recommended by the experts.

  1. Cool Down Cooling down simply means slowing down (not stopping completely) after exercise. Continuing to move around at a very low intensity for 5 to 10 minutes after finishing your walk helps remove lactic acid from your muscles and may reduce muscles stiffness. warming up and cooling down are more helpful in cooler temperatures.
  2. Replace Fluids You lose a lot of fluid during a long Hike and ideally, you should be replacing it during the walk, but filling up after exercise is an easy way to boost your recovery. Water supports every metabolic function and nutrient transfer in the body and having plenty of water will improve every bodily function.
  3. Eat Properly. A long walk will deplete your energy stores, you need to refuel to replace this energy, repair tissues, get stronger and be ready for the next challenge. Ideally, you should try to eat within 60 minutes of the end of your hike and make sure you include some high-quality protein and complex carbohydrate.
  4. Stretch. After a tough hike, consider gentle stretching. This is a simple and fast way to help your muscles recover.
  5. Rest. Time is one of the best ways to recover (or heal) from just about any illness or injury and this also works after a long, hard hike. Your body has an amazing capacity to take care of itself if you allow it some time. Resting and waiting after a testing, long hike allows the repair and recovery process to happen at a natural pace. It’s not the only thing you can or should do to promote recovery, but sometimes doing nothing is the easiest thing to do.
  6. Perform Active Recovery. Easy, gentle movement improves circulation which helps promote nutrient and waste product transport throughout the body. In theory, this helps the muscles repair and refuel faster.
  7. Have a Massage. Massage feels good and improves circulation while allowing you to fully relax. You can also try self-massage here’s a link to a Foam Roller Exercises for Easing Tight Muscles – you can do this for free!.
  8. Take an Ice Bath. Great for the summer, ice massage or contrast water therapy (alternating hot and cold showers) to recover faster, reduce muscle soreness and prevent injury. The theory behind this method is that by repeatedly constricting and dilating blood vessels helps remove (or flush out) waste products in the tissues.
  9. Get lots of Sleep. While you sleep, amazing things are taking place in your body. Optimal sleep is essential for anyone who exercises regularly. During sleep, your body produces Growth Hormone (GH) which is largely responsible for tissue growth and repair.
  10. Avoid Overdoing your Hike . One simple way to recovery faster is by ensuring your hike is within your capacity and build up gradually to harder walks. Trying to do too much immediately without a gradual aclimatisation for your body and muscle groups will limit your fitness gains from your hikes and undermine your recovery efforts.

Listen to Your Body for a Faster Recovery

The most important thing you can do to recovery quickly is to listen to your body. If you are feeling tired, sore or notice decreased performance you may need more recovery time or a break from walking altogether. If you are feeling strong the day after a long walk or hike, you don’t have to force yourself to go slow. If you pay attention, in most cases, your body will let you know what it needs, when it needs it. The problem for many of us is that we don’t listen to those warnings.

So, keep this advice list in mind after each of our Hikes and you will be fitter and stronger for our next excursión!

Layering your Clothing for Hiking

clothing layers for HikingWe’ve covered two of the most important items of clothing for walking holidays with our previous Boots and Socks articles here at Mallorca Hiking. Today we’re going to consider the rest of your walking attire and particularly the layering of clothes for comfort and adaptability to temperature and weather conditions.

When hiking you need to consider your clothes according to 4 basic categories. These groups are:

1. inner layer, 2. mid layer, 3. insulation layer, 4. outer layer.


1. Inner Layer (underwear)

As this first layer is worn against your skin it is important for both insulation and perspiration. Choosing material that has a wicking* function will ensure perspiration and sweat are transferred away from your body, keeping you comfortable during your walk. This inner layer/underwear also provides an extra layer of insulation. You will need an inner layer when you break into a sweat and the weather conditions are cool to cold.

Materials to consider for your inner layer are:

-   Cotton is not your best choice for an inner layer, since it absorbs sweat instead of wicking it away. Plus it takes a long time to dry, which will cause discomfort after a while.

-   Silk is very comfortable and light-weight, and it is an effective wicking and insulating material. However it is not very durable, and some silk hiking clothes require special cleaning (which is boring!).

-   Polypropylene is the original wicking material. It will wick moisture away and maintain a dry layer next to your skin. The material is highly elastic and allows unrestricted freedom of movement.

-   MTS 2® (Moisture Transport System) is a step up above polypropylene. It is durable and comfortable like cotton, and wicks sweat away from your skin. MTS 2® is available in a variety of “weights” for different conditions.

-   Capilene® is an ideal first layer for cold weather activities. It is also a comfortable polyester-based wicking fabric. It has a special chemical treatment that spreads sweat throughout the fabric so that it evaporates quickly.

2. Mid Layer

This layer of clothing is essentially everyday clothing, consisting of shorts and a short sleeved shirt, or lightweight long sleeved shirt and trousers. In good weather these can be worn alone.

Materials to consider for this layer are:

-   Cotton is a good choice particularly for warm-weather hiking clothing, which is most often the case in Mallorca. It’s comfortable, lightweight and it keeps you cool. Cotton is best for dry weather uses because in wet conditions it takes a long time to dry, and is an ineffective insulator.

-   Nylon is lightweight, durable and (generally) non-absorbent – you can easily find shorts, trousers and shirts made of nylon. It comes in many styles, and is good for both warm and cold weather. Most modern nylons are soft and comfortable against your skin.

-   Wicking materials – wicking inner layers like MTS 2® and Capilene® can also be worn as mid layers as they help you keep dry and comfortable, and they provide good insulation.

-   Wool hiking clothes are perfect for moderate to cold weather. It’s available in long-sleeve shirts, trousers, sweaters, jackets and more. Important factors to consider with wool regardless of its insulation value, is that when wet it takes a long time to dry – and can be scratchy and bulky.

3. Insulation Layer

For hiking in colder temperatures add a lightweight, breathable insulation layer to supplement warmth from your first two layers.

Consider:

-   Wool – a great natural insulator but  remember the long drying time when wet.

-   Pile/Fleece is a better option than wool since it is fast drying and half as heavy. However, it is a porous material that “breathes” and it will provide only minimum protection from the wind. Newer pile/fleece clothing now have wind and weather-stopping liners built in.

4. Outer Layer

This layer is your protection against external weather conditions. These are items of clothing to resist rain, cold, wind, snow… You should always pack an outer layer with you in case of unexpected weather changes.

Selecting the correct outer layer, requires a good knowledge of the weather for the time of year and region in which you will be hiking.

-   Warm/Light Rain – Choose water resistant/breathable fabrics. These clothes will repel wind and light rain but are not suitable for heavy rain or very cold conditions. They are excellent for short trips in good weather. The extra breathability is good for strenuous activity.

-   Cold Temperatures and/or Heavy Rain – You will need waterproof/non-breathable hiking clothes. A popular type of clothing here is a poncho and waterproof leggings that you take along “just in case” there is an unexpected change in weather.

-   All Weather Conditions - To be prepared for most weather conditions, choose waterproof/breathable hiking clothes. These fabrics are breathable to a degree. They do not provide the breathability of water resistant/breathable fabrics, so sweat may build up during strenuous activity, but this is a good choice if you’re hiking in moderate conditions. Not specialised for one extreme or the other, they will provide comfort in a wide range of weather conditions.

Outer Layer Clothing Designs

This layer comes in many different designs targetting different uses. When purchasing an outer layer, consider all the additional features that are included, which may add extra functionality or added protection. Some features to look for are:

-   Adjustable Openings – You should be able to adjust the waist, cuffs and neck openings to tighten for bad weather and loosen for breathability.

-   Vents improve the breathability of hiking clothes. However, remember that the more vents you have the more you are susceptible to leaks.

-   Hoods – Any outer layer should have a hood to keep your head dry. Look for hoods that can be rolled up and/or folded away when not in use so they can be put out of your way.

-   Storm Flaps cover zippers, pockets and other openings to protect against leaks.

-   Sealed Seams are a must for any waterproof outer layer, but not necessary for water resistant clothes

Again we’ve included some suggestions and recommendations below for your layer choices. Choose wisely and consider investing that little extra for added comfort and durability. Happy Hiking!

*Wicking: Movement of moisture within a fabric by capillary action, usually along the filament surface, to where it can evaporate quickly. Refers to the ability of a fabric to move moisture (sweat) away from the skin to the outer layer of fabric where it can evaporate more easily thus helping to keep the skin dry. Used in activewear and high performance fabrics.