Highlights of modern art and architecture in Palma

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

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

see more details of the tour:

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

and the dates we’ve scheduled the tour for:

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

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.

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Blossom Fever: guided walking holidays in Mallorca

almond blossom mallorca hikingFebruary is a fabulous time of year in Mallorca, and it is when the almond blossom is at its best. Mallorca is famous for it’s almonds and every year the island comes alive with landscapes of blossoming almond trees – and thousands of visitors flying in to marvel at it’s beauty…

Almonds are a major part of Mallorcan life. They’re an important locally grown food product and a hugely popular ingredient in many traditional local dishes, both sweet and savoury. They’re also a much-loved part of the island’s winter landscape when the almond trees burst into white and pink blossom in late January.

What better way to enjoy the vibrant colours and beauty of the island at this time, than to get outdoors with a guided walking holiday? We can arrange a “made to measure” break – a long weekend, a week – just for you and your group, or if you’re traveling alone you can join our popular annual Blossom Fever: 8-day guided walking holiday in Mallorca

This week-long itinerary is a good example of the kind of walking holiday we can organize for you at this lovely time of year. We combine the delights of the Sóller valley with walking in some of the best spots for almond blossom. You’re based in the pretty village of Fornalutx, just outside Sóller, and three of our walks are in this area – walking straight out of your hotel door. The other two are at the heart of the best almond blossom – a real treat.

Walking Itinerary

Graded: Green Boot (“Easy” enough for everyone to enjoy!)

Your walking itinerary includes 5 days’ guided walking. One day we walk around the Sóller valley visiting some of the surrounding villages and other highlights; another day we set off down to the port of Soller and the Muleta lighthouse and then on to Deia, a lovely village further along the coast (see W-NW11 for more details)… and no stay in the Sóller valley is quite complete without having tackled the spectacular Barranc (gorge) of Biniaraix – either in one direction or the other – see W-NW08.

During the course of the week, we’ll already have seen a lot of almond blossom in different areas, but for the other 2 walks on your itinerary we go further afield to visit the inland village of Es Capdella, which in our opinion, has the best almond blossom on the island. Here, we’ll meander through the village and along the surrounding lanes and visit a lovely old finca with a typical Mallorcan courtyard (see W-SW05). Another of our favourite walks for this time of year is walk Ref. W-NW01 where we pass a fabulous old senyorial manor house – formerly owned by Richard Branson – which is surrounded by terraces of almond trees.

Hotel

For this itinerary we usually like to be based in a delightful, 8-bedroom hotel in the centre of Fornalutx (see Ref. A-NW04 for details), but if you’d prefer us to organize a tailor-made holiday for you, there are plenty of others to choose from (see Accommodation).

Valentine’s Day

Alternatively, Valentine’s day is always a perfect excuse to treat yourself and your partner to a special, and romantic weekend away. So why not try something different this year – take a short flight to this sunny Mediterranean island, enjoy some lovely easy walks among the blossom, and indulge yourselves with champagne and the luxury of your hotel…. the perfect recipe for a romantic weekend getaway!

However you decide to enjoy fabulous February in Mallorca, make sure you have plenty of memory sticks for your camera and be prepared for some incredible landscape collages of vibrant colours – an unforgettable experience!

To review prices and what is included in our guided walking holidays please visit our web page at MallorcaHiking.com

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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 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.




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

Gourmet Walking Holiday: Olives & Fiestas

Gourmet holiday mallorca hikingA perfect opportunity to shake off the Winter blues and treat yourself to a gourmet adventure through the Olive groves and fiestas of Mallorca…

January is a very busy month in Mallorca with the Olive harvests and Fiestas.  Every year at this time, we offer a week’s magical Mallorcan experience that combines an insight into the local production of olives and olive oil, and 2 of the island’s favourite “fiestas”, San Antonio (17th January) and San Sebastian (20th January). These fiestas are enthusiastically celebrated with music and street antics, bonfires and barbecues, fireworks and processions…. This is a fantastic time to be on the island, as these exuberant celebrations involve ancient and very traditional customs (as well as a lot of fun!), and we see the island in a very special light…

The location is the north west of the island around the beautiful area of Fornalutx. Just outside Sóller, Fornalutx  is one of the prettiest villages on the island. It has a small central square, and narrow cobbled streets full of character and charm – it has even won awards for Mallorca’s “best kept” village. It is within easy walking distance of central Sóller, and also has a few cafes and restaurants of its own, a bank, post office and other essentials.

The village is surrounded by majestic mountain peaks and is a truly spectacular location for a walking holiday.

The History of Olive Oil production in Mallorca

It is said that olive trees (Olea europaea) were first introduced by the Phoenicians and Greeks to the Spanish mainland, and from there they eventually reached Mallorca. After the re-conquest of the island in 1229 by Jaime I, olive oil was exported from Mallorca to Northern Africa together with other agricultural products. For centuries, olive oil played a key role in the island’s economy, both as a basic ingredient in the natives’ diet and as a product for trading and exportation. Olive oil became Mallorca’s leading export product during the first half of the 19th century, accounting for up to 80% of the island’s total exports in monetary terms. Mallorca’s olive oil achieved recognition outside the island in the late 19th century, when the second prize at a gastronomic award for quality oils held in Catalunya went to a Mallorcan oil produced by one of the local olive mills.

Walking Itinerary

You start your holiday with an opportunity to participate in something really special – the traditional Mallorcan methods of olive oil production. After breakfast on your first day, we walk to the neighbouring village of Biniaraix, where we visit the 600 year old olive farm of Ca’n Det. Here we pick our own olives and then take them to the local 15thC press. While our olives are being processed, we enjoy a deliciously typical Mallorcan lunch of Pamb Oli (featuring plenty of olive oil, of course!) before collecting our own individually labelled bottles of oil made from the olives we picked earlier!

In the afternoon, we walk back to your hotel via some of the pretty villages in the area, before getting ready for a gastronomic evening in Palma (30 minutes by car). Michelin star chef, Marc Fosh and his team, will demonstrate the art of Cooking with Olive Oil… to include recipes such as chocolate olive oil mousse! We get to sample and enjoy all their delicious and creative dishes, while sipping some Mallorcan wine to accompany them… This is a real treat!

The next day, after a leisurely start, we set off from your hotel on today’s walk – a one and half hour walk downhill through some of the most ancient and spectacular olive trees in the valley. We lunch with Maria and Guillermo at their 17th century farmhouse, Balitx d’Avall. The menu will be either roast home-grown goat, or another Mallorquin speciality, rabbit with onions. We have time to relax or explore their 13thC tower, the chapel, the ancient olive press and Guillermo’s eccentric art collection before walking back to Fornalutx and your hotel.

Whichever day of the week the fiestas fall on, the eve of the fiesta of San Antonio (the patron saint of animals) sees the start of the celebrations. A huge fire and barbecue is set up in the main square of Soller, where we barbecue local sausages, sobrasada and other meats, accompanied by the music of the Ximbomba!

The next day after breakfast we walk into Soller, where the town celebrates the fiesta of San Antonio with a charming ceremony of blessing the local animals. From here, we set off on our walk down to the port of Soller and the Muleta lighthouse and then on to Deia, a delightfully pretty village further along the coast – see W-NW11 for more details.

During the course of your week’s holiday, we do another excellent walk in the Sóller area (see W-NW12), and then we go a bit further afield to visit one of the island’s most historic sites – the ruined Castle of Alaro, from where we experience some of the island’s history, and get sweeping views of Palma and much of the rest of the island (see W-NW03). We also visit Valldemossa and walk the so-called “Archduke’s Bridleway” – a classic Mallorcan hike and an insight into one of the island’s historical figures W-NW10. On each walking day we have a picnic lunch at one of our special picnic spots along the way.

The 20th January is the fiesta of San Sebastian, which is celebrated with spectacular fireworks in Palma. This is well worth a visit and a good opportunity for a stroll around the beautiful old town of Palma as well.

Hotel

Your base for this holiday is a delightful, 8-bedroom hotel in the centre of Fornalutx (see Ref. A-NW04 for details). You are very well looked after by your extremely hospitable hosts – their breakfasts are legendary and so are their evening meals.

The hotel is centrally heated and at this time of year there is always a fire roaring in the grate of the sitting room. This is a warm, friendly, cosy and exceptionally welcoming place to stay.

The price

If you would like to use this itinerary as the basis for a tailor-made walking holiday for you and your party, please contact us. The price will depend on the number of people in your party, how long you stay and other factors.

If you’d like to join one of our small group holidays, then please see the holiday itinerary on our website to check the price and the next dates scheduled (at the bottom of the page).

Please note that this is a popular walking holiday, and as our tour groups are small (8-10 people) it fills very quickly. We recommend you book early.