So much for our lovely GR221!

 

GR221, Mallorca, Majorca

GR221 route thoroughly blocked

This post is for everyone planning to hike the GR221, Mallorca’s Dry Stone Route, in the near future. I just wanted to give you a quick update on some recent issues, which have arisen with the GR221 routing. I’m afraid the GR221 has been, and continues to be, beset with problems regarding rights of way over private land, and now there’s a new one to watch out for.

Don’t expect there to be any helpful published information along the way!

But please note the implications for your trip are:

  1. Estellencs to Banyalbufar: This section has been problematic for years and it is currently un-passable, so it means taking a bus for this relatively short section of your hike. This is a fairly longstanding dispute, which is taking years to resolve with the landowner.
  2. Esporles to Valldemossa: This is a very recent development and the landowner of part of this section has now erected signs, fences, and (ironically) a very solid dry stone wall to prevent hikers passing over his land, thereby cutting off the route to Valldemossa.

The really maddening thing is that the Consell de Mallorca has issued no warnings and provided no information regarding the sudden closure of the Esporles to Valldemossa section. These paths are ancient rights of way and have been used for hundreds of years as a link between the two towns and yet they think a virtually imperceptible notice on their website is enough to inform us that suddenly, this section is “in project” or under construction, again.

Many hikers come to the island solely to complete the GR221 – a fabulous long distance trek – and just this morning, in the space of about an hour we met 7 hikers heading off for Valldemossa from Esporles. None of them had any idea that there was an issue with the route. All GR221 way-marking is still happily in place, lulling unsuspecting walkers into a false sense of well-being – little do they know that only meters ahead they will be faced with a massive wall blocking their route!

So what are your options?

GR221, Mallorca, Majorca

GR221 signage all still in place!

  • To persevere notwithstanding these obstacles? But beware, the landowner has also destroyed many of the way-markers that considerate hikers have taken the trouble to construct over many years, so path-finding is even more tough-going than before. Also beware an angry landowner who prevents you from passing over his land – you may have to back down and return to Esporles.
  • Alternatively, if you prefer the easy option, make your way to Valldemossa from Esporles by taxi and continue your hike from there.

Thankfully, from Valldemossa on the GR221 route is a clear run with no further problems.

So, what’s the story, you ask? What’s going on? That’s what we asked the Consell de Mallorca, whose (unhelpful!) explanation was that the section was (now) “not open”! Ah that’s just great, thanks for the heads up, really useful (yeah right). Well I’m sorry to say that that’s all we know for the time being, but we’ll be keeping our ears and eyes peeled for some local gossip and we’ll keep you posted!
If you’d like to be kept informed about developments on Mallorca’s GR221 then please sign up to our Facebook Page and keep your eye out for further posts on this Blog. Please also refer to the Consell de Mallorca for the “official” situation!
And finally, if all this sounds far too complicated to tackle alone, why not contact us about our guided walking tours and take a look at some of our favourite walks – there are plenty to choose from!
We hope to see you very soon!

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!

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