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

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….

Tossals Verds Loop – Lakes Walk, Tramuntana Mountains

Lake Cuber Mallorca hikingThe lakes region of Mallorca has been declared one of the best walking areas of Mallorca by the Travel writer of the Times. Snuggled in a basin of the Sierra Tramuntana Mountains, this is one of our most popular walks. This is not only an area of natural beauty but it’s a favourite spot for the island’s birds, where falcons, ospreys and black vultures – with a near three-metre wingspan – and even eagles can be seen circling the peaks. The area also has a network of mountain refuges for backpackers and hikers. (We’ll be covering the refuge facilities in more detail in a future article).

As well as the facilities and range of walks for the seasoned hiker, there are also excellent picnic facilities including bbq areas for day trippers, and these areas are well frequented at weekends and holidays by the island’s residents.

This is an excellent and nicely varied circular walk around the Tossals Verds peak (at around 1,100 m high, it is the 3rd highest on the island). It is an energetic route, which takes us through 5 tunnels (so you’ll need a torch!), includes a couple of steep ascents and a well-located stop at one of the island’s beautifully restored refuges. Otherwise, the walk is along delightful paths, many formerly used by the charcoal burners.

We start at the car park to the north east of the reservoir, and follow the tarmac lane along the side of the reservoir before we branch off and descend the valley (with fabulous views of Tossals Verds). Here we pass through the tunnels and then continue down.

The climb up to the refuge is quite steep but we walk on an easy track and path, and the views from the refuge terraces are quite lovely. From here we continue to climb – steeply and then more gently. The path which circles around Tossals Verds is delightful, and eventually we get a view of the Gorg Blau reservoir before we return to the Cúber.

After Hike – the surrounding area includes the towns of Pollensa and Sóller – both have magic and charm and retain a lot of their historic roots. They are an ideal place to stop for a coffee or a meal after your walk and watch the world go by. The monastery of Lluc is also a must visit location in this part of the island, and if you get there around 5pm in the afternoon you can listen to the choir practice – magical.

Why not make a day of this great walking excursion, and combine our guided walk with a tour of some of the local towns afterwards.

The Boot’s best friend

Hiking Socks Mallorca HikingBoots are our major protection against the outside world when walking. But we also have to consider protection to our feet from the pressure and movement of the boot against our foot. Hours of walking creates friction, and damp wet conditions can aggravate the situation.

Pressure points, sweat and general friction can lead to blisters, and your socks are your first line of defence against these problems. Correct fitting is very important to ensure they don’t bunch, create pressure and become uncomfortable. They must move sweat away from your skin (wicking). Forget cotton socks. Forget tube socks. Our recommendation is to buy wicking, anatomically designed walking socks, and your feet will thank you.

Where to buy them

Hiking and walking are very popular sports and pastimes now, so there is a wide choice of manufacturers of socks for all styles of walking. Here in Mallorca there are several specialist Walking and Outdoor stores where you can also get some great advice. Our recommendation in Palma is: Es Refugi, Via Sindicate 21, 07002 Palma. Amazon also has a vast range of socks on their website and we’ve put a selection for you to see below.

Thickness and Padding

Socks designed for walking are padded in strategic areas for your protection – heel, ball of foot, toes and in some cases the instep. Some omit the padding.

Double Layer Socks

Double-layer socks are a great solution for preventing blisters. They provide wicking and minimise friction. This is achieved by the sock layers moving against each other, rather than your foot moving against the sock. This is a a key preventative measure for blister prevention. WrightSock is a leader in this type of sock.

Anatomic Design

The best type of sock that stays in place and does not bunch, is usually one that is shaped to your feet. Designers have added to this with elastic or ribbing to keep them snug. Men’s and women’s feet differ in shape, so it’s best to buy socks designed for your gender.

Wicking Fabrics

Cotton is out! Wicking fabrics include CoolMax, Dri-Fit, Sorbtek… and there are many other brands emerging. Smartwool uses wool to extract moisture. Wicking fabrics are key to preventing blisters.

This may seem a lot of information about a simple sock – but when you’re walking for hours – the last thing you want is pain and discomfort – taking time to choose, and investing a little more in this vital piece of kit will pay dividends for your walking enjoyment.

The New Residents Hiking Club 1st Official Walk..

Mallorca Hiking ClubThere is still time to qualify for a free membership for the all new Mallorca Hiking Resident’s Club. Just click back to our introductory article here and complete the three simple Facebook entries – we will be closing up this offer this weekend.

The first official club walk will be on the 12th of March – giving you all just 3 weeks to limber up those muscles and break in your Hiking boots. The first walk will be the very popular walk from our full range of walks as found on our main web site. Affectionately known as The Old Postman’s Route – a beautiful walk between Esporles and Banyalbufar and an ideal trek for first timers to the Hiking fraternity.

This delightful, linear walk  can either be done on its own, or it can be combined with another fabulous walk Ref. W-NW01 to create a more ambitious full day’s hike. Done on its own, it’s a fairly easy walk with a few climbs and some tricky cobbled surfaces (which are fine with the right footwear!). It is a particularly good walk to do when the temperatures have started to rise, as it is mostly in beautiful holm oak woods, where we can enjoy the dappled shade!

We usually start at the car park of La Granja, although we can also start in the centre of Esporles, making it a slightly longer trip(about 2.5 hours). We begin by climbing through some ancient broken down olive terraces, along cobbled paths and then we continue through the holm oak woods, where we pass a natural spring and a couple of old lime kilns. Every now and then there is a clearing from which we get fantastic sea views.

Our route then begins to descend steeply via a country lane into Banyalbufar, giving us an amazing perspective on a gentle rural life here, and the surrounding terraces and Moorish irrigation systems, which made this part of the island such a successful wine growing area in its time.

We end our trip with a wander around the village before getting the public bus back to Esporles and a good time will be had by all.

Of course it will be obligatory to bring along your cameras and compare your scenic shots on Facebook afterwards! For those of you on your first long walk, we highly recommend reading our previous articles on Being Prepared and Seven Key Facts for Beginners. The good news is there will always be some experienced walkers who will be able to give you some great Hiking tips – and with regular practice you will soon be progressing to the intermediary and more energetic walks.

Tomorrow we will be announcing the lucky entrants and Founder members into the Mallorca Hiking Resident’s club (fanfare please!), don’t forget to put the date in your diary for that first walk – everybody must be there for this one!

Now off to your homework and read up on all our great tips.

Happy Hiking.