A Summer day trip down the Torrent de Pareis

torrent de pareis

Our group

It was a hot dry day in mid-June when a small group of us set off early from Escorca to tackle the infamous Torrent de Pareis hike. There was a sense of excitement among the group as we had all wanted to do this hike many times before, only to be told “the conditions weren’t right”, or “there was too much water in the gorge”, “there had been heavy rains recently” ….. so this was our first time.

The temperature was perfect as we set off, the skies were crystal clear blue, and the views towards Puig Roig were stunning. Our guide Nina showed us the location of the concealed gap in the craggy rocks where the gorge carved by the torrent ran through the Tramuntana mountains. This is where we were headed. We admired the views.

The start of the hike is a gentle descent through masses of carritx grass, which is very typical of Mallorca’s alpine regions. We chatted animatedly as we zigzagged down to the dry riverbed and a point at which the paths of 3 different torrents met. Here we took a short rest and then continued, following the bed of the torrent de pareis. At first it was easy enough – we followed narrow paths along the edge of the riverbed; we scrambled over a few boulders and strolled along the pebble surface of the riverbed. But slowly and steadily the boulders got bigger; the scrambling got more strenuous; and there was no longer an inclination to cruise along chatting. This needed concentration; your wits about you. And at times even our guide had to stop and think and try and remember – which tiny gap between these massive boulders was going to offer us a way through. This was a real challenge.

torrent de pareis, Mallorca

Boulders, boulders everywhere…

As the sun rose in the sky, the temperature rose too, and so did the challenges we faced. We met a group of fun and noisy young Spanish guys – they were loving it; leaping among the boulders like mountain goats and sliding down the well worn surfaces. There are a few sections where you need to reverse down a crack in the rocks with the help of ropes – almost light abseiling. I think we all used every muscle in our body and not just the ones you’d expect to use for a “normal” hike! I for one, could feel every muscle for days after the hike.

By now we were deep inside the gorge, and it felt like another world. Slightly surreal. What a stunning landscape. At times the gorge is so narrow, that you can only see a slither of blue sky between the imposing rock faces on either side. It gradually becomes clear why this could be a very dangerous place to be when there is a lot of water flowing in the torrent ….

torrent de pareis, Mallorca

A chink of sky

And after about 5 hours of walking and mainly clambering, the gorge begins to open up and let some more daylight in.  We continue our walk and finally we’re greeted by a very normal Sunday scene in Mallorca – lots of happy laughing people relaxing with picnics on a beautiful pebble beach. This is Sa Calobra, our destination, and the scene is a very strange contrast to our day so far. Ed and Sean had run out of water way back, so they made a beeline for the bars along the coast. The rest of us couldn’t wait to get into our bikinis and dive into the cool, crystal clear water ahead. This was the best swim of the summer, by far!

This is an epic hike and well worth doing if you enjoy a bit of adventure – do take a look at the video we took on the day, as it’ll give you a more visual description of what’s involved! This is not the sort of hike to do on your own for the first time, so if you would like to hire a guide please contact us.

And if you’d like to know more about walking in Mallorca, please visit our website and our Facebook page for information and advice, as well as tips, photos…

A Swift Story

We found a tiny Swift one hot June day while walking the Barranc at Soller. (S)he didn’t look like (s)he was going to make it, but we gathered the little thing up and I took it home with me….

(S)he stayed with me for just over a week and kept me very busy catching the required 100 flies per day to feed him!!!!  It was with some relief that I finally coaxed him into flying free and now his fate is in the feathers of his wings!

Charming little creature, and I kind of miss him now he’s gone. He spent most of his days here perched on my shoulder eyeing the world around him warily! Apparently they can live in excess of 15 years, so I truly hope this little chap (or chap-ess!) lives on and brings many a young bird to our skies.

Jainie, Guide
Mallorca Hiking

Walking in Mallorca in June

So far, this June has been a fantastic time to be out walking in Mallorca. The conditions have been perfect – sunny, clear and not too hot.

We just completed a flurry of short walking holidays with some delightful Canadian, American, Austrian and Swedish walkers. It couldn’t have been better – great company, great walking and great weather…. and we just managed to finish before the rain began to fall (it had been forecast for days!). A day of refreshing showers and now the sun is shining again!

We walked some fantastic routes in the Tramuntana mountains: a couple in and around Sóller – see our website blog.mallorcahiking.com or our walks Ref. W-NW11, W-NW08, a circular route out of the pretty village of Valldemossa Ref. W-NW10 and one a little further down the coast from Esporles to Banyalbufar Ref. W-NW01.

Let’s hope the conditions stay like this for a couple more weeks… the forecast is good, so let’s get out there and enjoy some more fabulous walks, before the heat sets in!

Walking with babies and small children on Mallorca

Walking with babies on Mallorca

Picnic break with little baby in nature

Every day there is a growing request for information about where you can go and hike or walk bringing your baby or little child with you on Mallorca. The truth is in fact that there are many places that you can walk with your kids to enjoy the magic nature of the island; either by carrying them in different types of carriers or by letting the child walk by him or herself. If you are well prepared and using common sense, you can bring your little child almost anywhere into nature on the island. There is however quit a few things you need to keep in mind before heading out for an excursion with your little ones, here comes a list one some of those things:

Know the total distance & type of terrain

Be completely sure on the distance that you are planning on doing and the type of terrain. Many walkers in all ages have been surprised by Mallorcas stony terrain; the stones are many and they are everywhere! Bear in mind that there is a huge difference for a 2- year old walking on a more or less flat earth track or asfalted little backroad compared to “coastering” on rocky stones or jumping from stone to stone on a very uneven surface. On the later option mentioned, a lot more time and energy is consumed and this needs to be taken into account. Many times there are several different ways of arriving to a location – be sure to choose the option that suits your whole family the best and most importantly; make sure you know where you are going either by asking, using a good map or contracting a guide. Its also wise to have a good think about were you are actually going, if you’re not sure which routes are suitable for going with kids, then have a look the walks we have graded as easy walks (green boot) – they will give you a realistic idea and perhaps some inspiration.

Keep a track on time

Walking with your children in Nature

Parents hiking on Mallorca

As mentioned before we all know that it takes more time to take small steps than bigger “adult” steps. Sunset happens pretty fast on Mallorca throughout the year, and its is not the most pleasant experience to get caught by darkness without a flashlight, perhaps on your way back from the beach. To avoid this be sure to check when the sun goes down locally and keep a track on time.

Be well equipped

First of all consider carefully how you are going to carry your child keeping both your and your babys comfort level in mind (padded bandoliers, sunshield etc). For smaller babies we have been very satisfied with carriers such as “ergobaby”, “manduca”, “babybjörn” and similar brands and we were using this type of carrier for all kinds of walks until our son was more or less 1 year old. The time one type of carrier is used depends on several things though, most importantly the babies weight. We did experience that these kind of carriers tended to get too warm from time to time here on Mallorca, as  you carry the baby very close to your belly or back. Later on we got a babycarrier where the baby sits in a separate “seat” on your back from the brand Deuter (Kid Comfort) and this is the one we are currently using. It has got a handy sunshield that can be taken off and a pocket where you can carry other things apart from the child. You can find a huge variety of this type of baby carriers on the market in all price levels and be sure to check the second hand offers before you by a brand new one.  There are a few other things you should consider bringing before you get into nature with your small children, for example; a small headtorch is inexpensive, it doesn’t weight much and it can come in handy more than one time during your trip. A little first aid kit bag can save you from a lot of hazzle, be sure to complement it with your own details. We have also found it very useful bringing some kind of soft, light weight, easy-to-fold and well isolated pad that you can use for changing diapers, for sitting on, or for your baby to have a small nap on. Last but not least, do not forget your own equipment! If you wan’t to be sure of not leaving anything necessary at home, then have a quick look at our kit list.

Walking with babies

Walking with children

Bring the “just in case” stuff

When bringing small children into nature with you, its recommended that you have a good thought about what you are bringing because you don’t want to find  yourself carrying any extra weight and neither do you want to be in the situation where you think “I should have brought that”.. Bring a little bit extra food and snacks, enough water for everyone, 3-4 diapers per child, one complet set of extra clothes and perhaps a small light quilt. If its summer then be sure to not forget sun lotion, swimmers (if you are going near the sea) and perhaps goggles if your child is used to wearing them. If your child is walking by him/herself, it might be a good idea to bring a “small surprise” that you can take out and give to them if they run out of energy or motivation for continuing walking; fruit, dried fruit and chocolate are classic “decoys”. In the end the most important thing is that you and your child can be able to enjoy your outing together, and if you are not sure on how to set up this by yourself, just contact us and we will come back to you with a tailor made day-plan that suits both your and your babies needs. We would also very  much like to hear about your point of view and experiences when it comes to hiking with babies on Mallorca so please feel free to join the debate on our facebook page.

Time to head for the beach!

Late June, July and August are hot for walking in Mallorca unless you start very early and get a few hours in before 11 am. So this is the time to head for the beach and relax and think about walking seriously again when the Autumn comes. September and October are lovely warm months still and our itineraries for early Autumn will include lots of time for relaxing by the pool of your hotel after a good walk! See you then….

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!