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Once again, I had the opportunity to lace up my hiking boots and go on an amazing hiking trip - this time to Mallorca and this time with my mum. In the spring I went on the Wicklow Way in Ireland as a solo traveller, and although it was amazing, I was also looking forward to sharing this experience with someone else. Normally, I prefer hiking in "colder" places like Scotland, Ireland and the Faroe Islands - the hottest place I've hiked is probably Zion National Park in the USA in the spring of 2016, so I was excited about the trip to Mallorca, which is also known to be on the hot side.
As I said, I was travelling with my mum. My mum is 57 years old and has never been on a walking holiday before. She is in generally good shape, works out a couple of times a week and likes to go for long walks, so I was curious to see what she would say about a walking holiday, which can be physically challenging in many ways. Fortunately, it all went really well and my mum thought it was a great experience that she would definitely want to repeat.
The trip to Mallorca is absolutely fantastic and highly recommended. You get impressive views and varied terrain. Even though many of the tours are close to each other, they are all so different that it makes for an incredibly exciting tour, where you're always excited to see what's around the next bend.
There are alternatives for almost every day, so if you suffer from a fear of heights or just tired legs, there are many options to customise your trip. Common to all the routes, however, are the very uneven paths, which I've mentioned several times. I can't emphasise enough how important it is to wear good hiking boots. You shouldn't set off on this trip with trainers or regular low hiking shoes. If you have problems with your knees, it's also worth considering whether a different walk might be better. You'll be walking downhill a lot of the time, which is hard on the knees. Neither my mum nor I have walking poles, which is recommended on this trip - it was fine without them, but in hindsight, it would have helped us a lot if we had had poles with us - especially when going downhill. Other than that, I'd say it's a trip that most people can do. Neither my mum or I are in "super shape". We both work out, run shorter distances and like to walk, and neither of us had trouble making the trip. It was tough at times, yes, but that was mostly because of the heat.
Speaking of heat, remember to bring plenty of water and snacks. Depending on the time of year you go, it can be really hot. There are no opportunities to buy food or drink on the routes (with the exception of Day 6), so it's very important that you bring your own.
If you're looking for a unique trip with beautiful landscapes, great hotels and hospitable people, I can only recommend a trip to Tramuntana in Mallorca.
(Image: My mum and I in front of Cuber Reservoir)
As with all our trips, Day 1 is the day you arrive at your destination - for us it was the Sol de Alcudia hotel in Port d'Alcúdia, Mallorca. It's relatively easy to get from Denmark to Mallorca, so we chose to fly directly from Copenhagen to Mallorca with Norwegian. Our flight was slightly delayed, so it was close to 9pm when we got our suitcases and walked out of the airport. There was our transfer waiting for us, ready to take us to our first hotel.
The transfer is an optional extra that we had chosen for convenience. It is also possible to take public transport, but because we wanted to land so late, it was really nice to have someone waiting for you. The journey from the airport to the hotel took about 30-40 minutes.
As soon as we woke up, we realised it was going to be a hot day. We had packed water for the walk home (I had packed it in my suitcase and my mum had bought it at the airport) as our welcome meeting started at 9am and we couldn't find a supermarket beforehand. This also meant that we had packed snacks from home. So when we arrived at the reception at 9am, we were ready to go. After the welcome meeting, we were driven straight to the start of the trail. We were dropped off at a car park where our driver, Ricardo, sent us in the right direction up into the mountains.
Already within the first kilometre, it is possible to take the first option on the trail. A short walk to Mirado Penya des Migdia, where an old cannon stands in the foreground of an impressive view. However, it's also a walk you shouldn't do if you're afraid of heights, as there are very narrow paths and steep slopes down to the sea. We decided not to go out there and instead walk down to Coll Baix beach later on the route.
Before we started walking, Ricardo had informed us that today would be the toughest day of the trip. You had to get your legs going and stuff, he said. The walk was indeed tough, with a lot of up and down on uneven paths and several places where I had to sit down in order to climb carefully. It wasn't a problem, but it made me really appreciate my hiking boots. On the other hand, you are also constantly rewarded with stunning views of the mountains and coastline.
The drive down to Coll Baix beach is tough. Very hard, as you are warned in your roadbook. When we were almost all the way down to the beach, we came to a section with rocks that you had to climb over. Here, unfortunately, we chose to stop that part of the trip and go back again. Partly because my mum was unsure and partly because, with my short legs (a height of 159cm), I was simply nervous that I would not be able to climb up again when we had to go back. This is something to consider if you want to go down there. The hike back up was tough - especially with the intense heat approaching 36 degrees centigrade.
The hike was SO beautiful with the raw, reddish mountains, the blue, blue water and the winding paths. But it was also hard, and as we approached the hotel, a shower and a dip in the pool, we both agreed that Ricardo had been right. The legs needed to get going, and they did.
(Image: Coll Baix beach, which you can walk down to)
The first thing I did when I woke up was to check the weather for the day. It was supposed to be as hot as the day before, but I was hopeful because according to our Roadbook, much of the day would be spent in the shade of oak trees. We were picked up by our transfer at around 9.30am and were ready to start the ride to the beautiful Lluc Monastery. All 13km of the day's ride would follow the well-known GR221 route, which I was particularly looking forward to experiencing. Both because we sell this tour and because the GR routes are all supposed to be something very special - the best of the European hiking trails.
"Easy up and down" is what I told my mum our Roadbook said before we started the trip. A phrase I wondered about when I saw the elevation map, because it looked like it was mostly just going up. My mum also had a hard time seeing the "easy" part of today's trip, which she told me a few times. I agreed, but that being said, it was not at all the same level as the day before. Today was downright pleasant, walking in the shade of beautiful old oak trees. Several times we stopped and said to each other, "Listen how quiet it is here". It was a real pleasure. The last few kilometres towards Lluc were downhill, and once again I was happy for my hiking boots. The path here was also incredibly uneven and full of loose rocks, so you had to be careful where you put your feet.
It is also possible to make this day a little shorter. You can choose to shorten the trip a little at Binifaldo. A good option if the weather is bad or if your legs are tired. However, we decided to continue on the GR221 towards Lluc.
Today was supposed to be a very special day. It was supposed to be the crown jewel of the trip, so it was a day I was really looking forward to. Unfortunately, we were hit by a thunderstorm and rain during the night, and according to our Roadbook, today's descent would be so incredibly slippery that you would need walking poles to walk it. We didn't have walking poles, and after a chat with our transfer driver, we decided that it would be too dangerous to walk today. It was a shame, but at the same time, it's also super important that you don't feel unsafe when you're out hiking and that you also remember to respect the weather and conditions. It's better to miss a hike than to risk getting badly injured. We checked if there were other routes in the area that we could walk instead - after all, we were already in our hiking gear.
We found a short walk of about 5 kilometres that started at the monastery and took us on a short tour of the area. It was a very nice walk with many beautiful cliffs and views of the Tramuntana mountains. A perfect alternative in case of bad weather, as we experienced, or if you just need a quiet and peaceful day. After our little walk, we went back to the monastery for an ice-cream and a drink. My mum then went straight to the pool and I went exploring around the monastery. Lluc Monastery dates back to the 14th century and is a well-known place for pilgrims - in fact, it's recognised as the most important pilgrimage monument in Mallorca. The monastery is perfectly situated between beautiful mountains and staying there is a very special experience.
(Image: View on the road towards Lluc)
After our little involuntary break the day before, we were SO ready to get going again. Our transfer was ready at 9.30am to take us to the starting point of the day: Cuber Reservoir. This day also follows the GR221 and the first 4 kilometres are a steady climb. We were joined by a couple of mules on the way, which was quite cosy. When you reach the top of today's route, there's a great view of the Cuber Reservoir - perfect for a photo or two. After that, it's all downhill. And when I say down, I really mean down. Today's ride was 12 kilometres, so the last 8 kilometres were downhill. It's hard on the legs, and for not the first time on this trip, we wished we had hiking poles with us. The road down is uneven and it's important to look where you're going. Don't forget to stop and enjoy the view from time to time. It's absolutely stunning. You have the high mountains at your back, while olive groves and the coast in front of you. So beautiful.
On today's tour, a small detour to El Cornador is possible, where you are rewarded with a beautiful panoramic view of the mountains and Sóller. However, bad weather was forecast for the afternoon, so we decided to skip it and head straight down. The bad weather never materialised, so in a way it was a bit of a shame.
The tour ends in beautiful Sóller. We bought a delicious ice cream at a small ice cream parlour, which we deserved after that descent. Sóller is beautiful and cosy, so if you have the time, I'd recommend spending some time walking around the winding streets before taking a tram to Port de Sóller. You pay on the train, so there's no need to buy tickets in advance.
(Image: View towards Cuber Reservoir)
Day 6 was without a doubt my favourite day of the whole trip. All the days were fantastic, but Day 6 was just that little bit extra special with its views of the coast, cake break at Finca Can Quatre and a myriad of beautiful old olive trees. Just like the other days, we again follow the GR221. Today there is the option to walk along the coast or to follow the GR221 all the way and walk a little further inland. We chose to follow the GR221.
The walk is pleasantly up and down with 300 metres of ascent and 430 metres of descent - somewhat less than the previous days. The day starts in the cosy town of Deia, where you can take a stroll through the small streets before starting the hike. It doesn't take long to reach the first olive grove overlooking the coast. The trees are obviously very old and it almost feels like a fairytale as you walk among the crooked and twisted trunks. After the olive groves, the walk continues on old, uneven paths. After walking about halfway, we reach the cosy Finca Son Mico. This is the first of the tours where it is possible to have something to eat and drink along the way. We take the opportunity to buy coffee and cake, and it just seems like the cake tastes a little extra good when you're sitting with your hiking boots on and enjoying the view of the mountains you've been walking in for the last few days. The rest of the walk continues again through old olive groves, and I found it absolutely magical. "If these trees had eyes, they could probably tell some interesting stories," my mum remarks at one point. We talk a bit about how old the trees are, they must be old, we agree, with the size of their trunks. "I'm going to get an olive tree when we get home" I tell my mum. I'm completely in love and want a little bit of Mallorca at home too.
(Image: Beautiful olive grove)
Our trip to Mallorca is coming to an end and the last day offers several options. You can take the train directly to Palma and enjoy the day there, or walk from Palma to the hotel. However, we choose the latter option, which is a beautiful walk to the village of Fornaluxt, which has been voted the most beautiful village in Spain several times. The walk there is relatively easy, but again, it's mostly on uneven mountain paths. We reach Fornaluxt after a couple of hours of walking, and it's well worth it. The town is incredibly beautiful and it's clear that it's something the residents cherish. We spend some time exploring the winding streets before continuing towards Sóller, where our tour ends. Here we take the old train to Palma, where we spend some time walking around and looking before catching the bus to our hotel. The bus journey takes about 20 minutes and costs 2 euros per person. It was super easy and the bus stops right in front of the hotel.
I take a trip to the beach to dip my aching feet in the water and get the most out of Mallorca before heading home the next day.
Day 8 - Travelling home
We already have a flight at 10am, so our transfer comes to pick us up at 7.30am. It's a short trip to the airport and we arrive in plenty of time to have a quick breakfast before catching our flight back to Denmark.
(Image: Fornaluxt - the most beautiful village in Spain)
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