During the autumn term-break, we went to Mallorca to hike as a family on this Balearic island that we already knew and that we wanted to discover in a different light. Hiking with the kids in Mallorca was a really good idea! There are easy hikes in Mallorca, suitable for children, but also some more difficult hikes for families used to walking. The climate at the end of October was ideal. We had 22-23°C every day. These are seasonal norms. Obviously, weather is not an exact science so we are delighted to have had very good weather during our week of hiking in Mallorca!
Our 7 hikes in Mallorca as a family:
Torrent de Pareis: hiking in a gorge
A magnificent hike in a very impressive gorge. To get to the start of the hike, the road which goes down to the sea is quite winding and very beautiful (be careful of travel sickness!). At the bottom, we arrive at the sea at Es Calabra. There is then a small path which leads to this mouth marking the arrival of the Torrent de Pareis riverbed:
At this location, there are still tourists who come to see this very photogenic beach. They swim, take photos and leave. However, the most beautiful part is at the back, when you start to go up the riverbed, venturing into the gorge. At the beginning, there are two or three passages where you have to take off your shoes. There are lots of small stones at the bottom of the water… it hurts a little so we take it slowly. Ideally, bring swimming slippers for the start of the hike.
Then, we get into the gorge and it becomes spectacular. There are large rocks to pass and climb. Our kids love these kinds of obstacles. At the beginning, we meet one or two more couples, then we find ourselves alone with immense walls on each side. Going up the whole of Torrent de Pareis would be a big 4 or 5 hour project but then you would have to organize a return to Es Calabra by taxi. We don’t like having to depend on a taxi :-). We decided to instead walk back and forth, covering only a good third of the gorge. So we walk 1h15 and when we arrive at this magnificent spot, we decide to turn around.
In total, it was a 2.5 hour hike for us. You can modulate as you wish according to your fitness and your taste for adventure. In any case, take the time to discover the gorge because Es Calabra is pretty but the Torrent de Pareis gorge is even better! Small detail: the Es Calabra car park is expensive but hey, it was the only car park at the start of the hike where we had to pay during a week of hiking so that’s okay! After this hike, we took the winding road again:
Then, we continued to follow the Serra de Tramuntana, towards the villages of Fortnalutx , Deia and Valdemossa . (I will write an article on the villages discovered during our week in Majorca).
Punta d’es Calo: superb coastal landscape and the easiest of hikes!
Here is an easy hike, ideal for families, in the northwest of Mallorca. Allow 2 hours for the round trip at a very leisurely pace. See how flat and clear the path is:
We left from the village of Betlem . Then we followed the path, along the coast to Punta d’es Calo . Along the way, we see many small coves and a sea of beautiful emerald and turquoise colours.
For example, on the way, you will come across the Mirador de Na Clara. Once you arrive at the tip of Es Calo (which you can see in the photo below), it is possible to swim. The water was still a little cool because it was windy. For the return, it’s the same path in the other direction. It’s really easy and the landscape is very calm, very soothing.
Cami de Cala Boquer: direction a swimming spot
Not far from Pollença, there is an easy hike, totally suitable for families, which allows you to combine walking and swimming in a cove, the “Cala Boquer” cove. It took us 2 hours round trip. The landscape is pretty and there is very little difference in altitude. The path is spacious and clearly marked. On arriving at the cove, and before turning back, we stopped for a moment of swimming. The sea was 21 degrees. All the hikers were in the water so it’s not that cold! Except for Papa Voyage who needs warmer water. The sea was calm so it was the perfect time to relax before heading back. At the end of the hike, it was lunch time, we stopped at the La Aldea bar (Pollença port) for a nice little snack. The squids were excellent.
Penya des Migdia: a hike with a wow effect!
We are now on the Victoria peninsula which separates the bay of Alcudia and the bay of Pollença. This is a moderate level hike – 2 hours of walking. For regular hikers, it’s easy. We start the hike at the Ermita de la Victoria, then we set off for two beautiful hours. At first, it’s nice, you can see Cap de Formentor in the distance. We come across sheep. Then, suddenly, we arrive at an old ruin: we pass through the door and discover a superb panorama of the very green tip of this peninsula!
We would have liked to go down to the small turquoise cove that you see at the bottom left of the photo but access to this point is private. Back at the starting point, we collect our car and go down for a stroll through the old town of Alcudia. We then have some tapas at the snack bar “El Bar y Punto” outside the old town.
La Trapa: panorama of the Sa Dragonera natural park
This hike is located completely in the east of Mallorca. Moderate level (easy for regulars). A 2.5 hour round trip hike. We really liked the landscapes and the wild side; the views of the sea and the island of Sa Dragonera. The hike is quite easy but poorly marked. There are a few red paint marks but there is still room to make a mistake. See at the bottom of the article my app tips for finding your way. Let’s return to the La Trapa hike: we first walked towards the Tour de Cala en Basset, then we continued the ascent to the La Trapa viewpoint.
If your children are young and you want to shorten this hike, you can skip the small detour towards the tower. You can also stop as soon as you have this beautiful view halfway up:
Continuing to the top gives just the same view but from higher up: Obviously, the more sporty ones will do the whole hike :-).
The 3 peaks hike: Puig de Sa Rateta, Puig de na Franquesa and Puig de l’Ofre
We saved the only difficult hike of our stay for last – 5 hours of walking in total. We really wanted to climb the peaks of the island and enjoy the very mountainous landscapes. It was superb ! With 360 degree views. We left from the large Embassament de Cuber reservoir. It is a starting point for many hikes. We chose an ambitious option: the ascent of the three peaks, Puig de Sa Rateta, Puig de na Franquesa and Puig de l’Offre (they peak at just over 1000 meters). Between each summit, we go down a little but fortunately not completely! I would say that a more classic option is to only do the ascent of Puig de l’Ofre. Now that we have climbed all three, I can tell you that we preferred the view from Puig de Sa Rateta. But as this peak is less popular, the path up is not clear at all! There are a few cairns but not always. And there are lots of thorn bushes! If like us, you venture there, it is better to wear long pants. The kids and I were in shorts and got a lot of scratches from the brambles. Here is the view from Puig Sa Rateta:
What followed was simpler. The path to the other two summits was more obvious. Here we have arrived at the summit of Puig de na Franquesa … it’s a bit windy!
And finally, here is a photo taken from Puig de l’Ofre, as we leave it. The mountain on the right, without vegetation is the Puig de na Franquesa. For the return, we first followed the same path as on the way out, up to the pass between these two peaks. At the pass, we descended more or less directly. Once again, there were quite a few brambles and lots of small stones. You have to be careful not to slip. There is an easier path back down from Puig de l’Ofre but it is longer.
Simpler variations: you can choose only one of the three peaks. It will remain a sporty hike but less long. Or, for a really easy version, suitable for families with younger children: you can choose to stay at the reservoir and walk around it, admiring the peaks around you.
Cala de s’Almunia – Calo d’es Moro – Mirador des Pontas: the dotted hike!
We are now in the southern part of Mallorca. I’ll tell you right away: there are lots of pretty spots but they are poorly connected! Hence my title talking about dotted hiking! We would have liked the coastal path to be more continuous and better maintained in places. But anyway, here are the sections where we managed to walk… We walked between Cala de s’Almunia and Calo d’es Moro (30 minutes round trip). For this, we are in the village at the top of Cala de s’Almunia. There are very few places to park so it is only possible out of season, especially not in summer. We then went down to the cala de s’Almunia:
We followed the path to the Calo d’es Moro cove, a very popular spot absolutely crowded in summer it seems. There was only one bather and three hikers there. There was also a lot of algae during our visit. We didn’t swim there but the spot is pretty.
Then we tried to continue the coastal path but we could not find where to pass. So we turned around, got back in the car and went to the Pontas viewpoint . There we walked along the coastal path again. We walked towards Cala Lombards but had to turn around on the way because we couldn’t find the right passage. Lots of vegetation, vague, very narrow paths and no markings.
Nevertheless, on the section covered (another 30 minutes round trip) it was still a beautiful part of the coast.
In the same area, at the southernmost tip of Mallorca, next time we will test the section which goes from the Salines lighthouse to Cala Marmols (1h30 one way, so 3h round trip). It seems that at this point the path is very clear and passable.
Some tips for hiking in Mallorca with the family:
- Season: we found that the autumn term-break was perfect for hiking in Majorca. There are few people on the trails and it is neither too hot nor too cold. No doubt during the Easter holidays it’s quite similar. On the other hand, you should definitely avoid summer vacations because it would be too hot! And in summer, the island is extremely visited! Moreover, these beautiful autumn vacations in hiking mode on Majorca reconciled us with the destination! During our first stay in Mallorca in summer, we really had too many people! It was worse than any other island in the Mediterranean!
- Clothing: in the morning, it was a little cooler so we went with windbreakers; then, between the sun starting to heat up and the sport, we quickly took them off and often ended up in a T-shirt.
- Shoes: Sneakers were enough for us. We didn’t find that the chosen hikes required hiking shoes but you can of course wear them, if you prefer.
- The essentials: as always, take plenty of water and sunscreen with you.
- Guide: we found and chose our hikes by looking on Google Maps, Alltrails and in our Marco Polo travel guide (general paper guide). If you want a guide dedicated to hiking, the Rother collection is perfect.
- Hiking markings and GPS: we found that the hiking markings were not great. Sometimes the paths were so easy that there was no doubt but for other hikes, as said above, it was not clear! So we used the free Organic Maps app to find the paths.
- Parking: we appreciated being able to park for free at each hike departure except for Torrent de Pareis.
Accommodation in Majorca: where were we based?
We had chosen to sleep inland where it is easier to find beautiful fincas at attractive prices. We had booked three different accommodations, for 3 nights, 3 nights and 2 nights:
- accommodation right in the middle of the island, on the Petra side at the Agroturismo Son Burgues : this is a quiet place! We didn’t see anyone in the area. We had a villa all to ourselves with a swimming pool just for us (cool in this season). We particularly enjoyed feeling alone in the world, on the terrace, in the countryside, facing the swimming pool. The interior wasn’t really to our taste in terms of decor but it was very spacious and very clean and the landscape around it was really calming!
- accommodation in the south-west part, on the Campos side at Finca Sa Canova : this is a complex with several guest rooms. So there are other tourists in the finca. It’s also nice because it makes the places come alive. The swimming pool is shared (and also very cool in this season). The big plus of this address: the welcome of the owners and the excellent breakfast! The rooms are small but comfortable. Very good value for money in the end.
- accommodation in the north-eastern part: not a favorite so I won’t share the address but staying inland on the Pollença side was also a good choice in my opinion.
In all cases, we had to drive to get to the start of the hikes but the distances were very reasonable. I’ll let you do the route simulations on Google Maps. Last note: don’t forget to bring mosquito repellent! Well ? Tempted to hike in Majorca with the children?