Mallorca has been saying adiós to the cheap-as-chips bundle vacation cliché over the previous few years to deal with its year-round out of doors enchantment.
And whether or not you’re leaping off a cliff, negotiating the Tramuntana’s gruelling hairpins by mountain bike or kayaking to secluded coves too tiny to seem on maps, an increase in journey journey has given a complete new that means to the thought of a wild vacation in Mallorca.
Gazing out from Mallorca’s distinctive limestone peaks. Picture by Andy Christiani / Lonely Planet.
1. Cliff leaping
Sure, cliff leaping sounds extra loss of life want than pleasant seashore vacation, however with guides who know the rocks just like the again of their arms, this suicidal-sounding pursuit is completely secure. On the identical stage as bungee leaping on the Richter scale of nerve-shredding pursuits, you leap off cliffs between three and 12 metres excessive – not colossal by any means, but it surely feels that means within the freeze-frame second whenever you leap and plunge. Hear for the euphoric whoops and yells in north coast Cala Sant Vicenç, the place locals doing dives and even the odd somersault present the way it’s executed correctly.
Go: Expertise Mallorca gives half-day cliff leaping excursions from April to October for €55. The minimal age is 12.
Mallorca’s rugged coastlines, almond, orange and olive groves, forests of pine and limestone crags whipped into weird formations by the weather are greatest explored on foot, hikers say. And they’re proper. For an alpine-style ascent, trek as much as 1367m Puig de Massanella, the island’s second highest peak, for 360-degree views of the bald, steel-grey heights of the Serra de Tramuntana. Amongst our different half-day favourites are the 8km spherical hike from Sóller to Mirador de Ses Barques lookout, returning by way of the hill city of Fornalutx; and the exceptional 5km trudge from Ermita de La Victòria hermitage to 359 Penya Rotja, an actual cliff-hanger of a hike with dazzling sea views. Within the south, you may hop from one fine-as-flour sand seashore to the subsequent on a full-day, 16km stroll from Cap de Ses Salines to Colònia de Sant Jordi. The perfect multi-day trek? Consider every week for the GR221 Ruta de Pedra en Sec (Dry Stone Route), an epic 150km traverse of the Tramuntana, with in a single day stops in refugis (rustic mountain huts) the place goat bells are your wake-up name (be taught extra on www.conselldemallorca.internet).
Go: Strolling is feasible year-round, however keep away from mountain hikes in July and August. Native vacationer places of work and newsagents inventory maps and guides, resembling Cicerone’s Strolling in Mallorca. Go it alone or be part of one of many guided treks run by Tramuntana Excursions, Bike & Kite and Mon d’Aventura.
Mountain hikes alongside Mallorca’s rugged shoreline. Picture by Andy Christiani / Lonely Planet.
3. Kite browsing
A stupendous breeze whips off the ocean that rolls into Sa Marina within the broad Bay of Pollença. From April to September, these shallow turquoise waters and the north coast’s dependable thermal winds create the best circumstances for mastering jumps and loops, kite surfers say. Surfers launch their kites off this mountain-flanked bay and close by Playa de Muro, a protracted sweep of pine-backed sand that types a part of the Parc Pure de S’Albufera wetlands.
Go: Bike & Kite in Pollença and WSM Kite, with bases in Playa de Muro and Sa Marina, run kite browsing classes, together with three-hour intro programs (€150).
4. Mountain biking
Bradley Wiggins as soon as known as Mallorca a ‘Scalextric set for cyclists’, which neatly sums up the compact scale and difficult terrain of this bikeable island. In February, the Mallorca Problem race kick-starts the professional biking calendar and highway racers may be seen tearing alongside the serpentine roads of the Tramuntana, two abreast, as almond timber bathe the limestone heights with snowy blossom. Mountain bikers swear by the cooler, greener months, which take the sweat out of the island’s climbs and descents within the north and west. The 55km loop from Pollença to Lluc monastery, the 12km helter-skelter experience all the way down to Sa Calobra and the giddying highway to Formentor, a limestone promontory that flicks out to sea like a dragon’s tail, ought to all be excessive in your record. When you’re not fairly prepared for the climbs but, follow the flat, bird-rich wetlands of Parc de s’Albufera.
Go: Biking maps and bike rent are extensively accessible. Primarily based in Port de Pollença, Bike & Kite organize wonderful excursions costing €55. Tramuntana Excursions excursions begin at €24 (not together with bike rental).
Mallorca’s difficult terrain is ideal for cyclists. Picture c/o Bike & Kite.
The limestone peaks of the Unesco-listed Serra de Tramuntana that ensnare the west of the island are a pure playground for canyoneers. Strap on a helmet, climbing harness and neoprene go well with to burrow deep into ravines just like the Torrente Gorg Blau Sa Fosca, certainly one of Europe’s most dramatic canyons. It is a difficult 6.5km, extremely technical descent, with 300m-high partitions, 40cm-wide gaps and a 400m stretch in complete darkness to barter. The going is simpler within the Torrent d’es Pareis, Torrente Coanegre and Torrente de Na Mora, the place a day spent boulder-hopping, climbing up sheer-sided cliffs, abseiling down waterfalls and swimming in freezing rock swimming pools of sapphire blue will depart you exhausted however elated.
Go: Tramuntana Excursions provide canyoning excursions graded from straightforward to tough; costs depend upon group sizes. Peak canyoning season is when the rain falls from October to April.
Do not look down! Experiencing a special view of Mallorca by abseiling a steep rock face. Picture c/o Expertise Mallorca.
6. Sea kayaking
A lot of Mallorca’s loveliest seashores can solely be reached by boat. To the island’s north and west, the place the Tramuntana mountains fall abruptly to the ocean, the coast is indented with dramatic coves and you do not want a yacht or speedboat to succeed in them. A sea kayak permits you to tune into the light rhythm of the ocean and discover rock formations, blowholes, caves and quiet bays at your individual velocity. Marine falcons, cormorants and wild goats are often sighted, and also you may even spot the odd dolphin or flying fish. The shoreline round Sóller within the west and Cala Sant Vicenç, Formentor and Cap des Pinar within the north is right.
Go: spring to autumn is sea kayaking season. Anticipate to pay round €50 for a morning’s tour. Tramuntana Excursions and Mon d’Aventura are two operators value trying out.
Exterior it could be 35°C within the solar, however you’d by no means guess within the cool twilight of the limestone caves that rear above Mallorca’s north coast, closed to (but hidden from) the bays of Pollença and Alcúdia. Headlamps on and kit safely saved, you enter a slit within the rock and encounter a maze of subterranean chambers the place stalactites drip like wax candles and minerals glitter. One minute you are crawling by means of slim passageways, the subsequent you’re in a cathedral-like vault sufficiently big for 30 folks to face comfy. Change off your headlamp for a second and the silence is deafening, the darkness complete.
Go: Expertise Mallorca leads half-day caving excursions year-round, which price €50/€55 within the low/excessive season. The minimal age is 12. Put on lengthy garments that you do not thoughts getting soiled.
Exploring a subterranean wonderland in Mallorca’s limestone caves. Picture c/o Expertise Mallorca.
When you have ever sat on a seashore and questioned what’s across the rugged rocks, coasteering is one exhilarating technique to discover out. A summer season different to canyoning (being that bit nearer to the ocean), it is a heart-pumping mixture of swimming, climbing, scrambling, abseiling, cliff leaping and traversing the rock horizontally utilizing the ocean to catch your falls. Get kitted out in a helmet, life jacket and durable sneakers to grapple with the rocks. Coasteering areas attain from Bonaire close to Alcúdia within the north to Peguera within the southwest.
Go: Mon d’Aventura arranges two totally different ranges – the better one is appropriate for youths. A half-day journey with Expertise Mallorca prices €55. April to October is one of the best season for coasteering.
9. Scuba diving
One take a look at Mallorca’s iridescent blue sea and divers are itching to slither right into a wetsuit. There are scuba diving centres providing PADI programs, excursions and rental gear up and down the island. Formentor is each bit as spectacular beneath the water, with underwater caverns the place stalactites glisten, wall dives and crevasses teeming with moray eels, grouper and anemones. Or go south to the island’s cluster of marine parks and pristine islets – Illa de Sa Dragonera and Illa de Cabrera have wrecks, cave drops and brilliantly clear water swirling with rays, octopuses and barracuda. With a little bit luck, you may spot dolphins and ocean sunfish in summer season. For wreck dives, the Islas Malgrats off the coast of Santa Ponsa cannot be crushed.
Go: Mallorca Diving lists 10 respected dive centres. Diving is greatest from Could to October. A one-tank dive will set you again round €45, a two-hour intro course round €80.
Rock climbers rub their arms along with anticipation on the mere considered Mallorca’s good limestone partitions. That is certainly one of Europe’s premier locations for sport climbers, with considerable overhangs, slabs and crags. Climbing right here is targeting three fundamental areas: the southwest for multi-pitch climbing, the northwest for magnificent crags and the east for excellent Deep Water Soloing (DWS). A holy grail to climbers, Sa Gubia is a big fist of rock combed by means of with multi-pitch routes. Different climbing hotspots embody the ragged limestone crags of the Formentor peninsula and the coves of Porto Cristo and Cala Barques within the island’s east.
Go: with the knowhow and kit you may go it alone, or hook onto a Rock and Journey intro course or guided climb. For extra on Mallorca climbing, go to Rockfax.
From the adrenaline rushes of Mallorca to a feast of tapas in Madrid, plan your good Spain journey with Lonely Planet’s Spain journey information. And whilst you’re in planning mode, ebook a palacio or backpacker bunk-bed in certainly one of Lonely Planet’s expert-picked motels and hostels in Spain.