Mallorca is the azure gem of the Mediterranian, and it’s highly popular among tourists who like to chill on the beach by day and party by night. During the summer, especially in mid-August, it can get super crowded, but not everyone enjoys this aspect of vacationing on the island.
Mallorca also has another side — one that is adventurous and refreshing. With ravishing nature, rugged mountain paths that lead to old monasteries, and dramatic landscapes reminiscent of the iconic hiking trails in Scotland, the island offers plenty of opportunities to escape the crowds.
So put on your hiking shoes and hit one of the following walks in Mallorca.
Torrent de Pareis Gorge Walk
If you crave seclusion (no-phone-service level seclusion) and you’re reasonably physically fit, you could try the Torrent de Pareis Gorge walk. It starts at the heart of the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range, passes through the canyons (the pareis, meaning “pair”), and finishes at the open beach in the bay of Sa Calobra.
It’s a five-hour hike that involves a lot of maneuvering, scrambling over rocks, and fitting through tight squeezes between boulders. Once you’re halfway through the gorge, you can’t simply take a detour and walk out, so make sure you’re thoroughly prepared before you decide to try this hike.
However, even with all the potential difficulties, this is easily the most scenic walk on the entire island, and it will almost feel like a religious experience.
One thing to keep in mind if you really want to escape the crowds is that you should avoid peak seasons (March–June, September–November) and weekends. Also, you should avoid rainy seasons as some sections of the canyon can get flooded.
The Cabrera Island
Have you ever dreamed of leaving everything to chill on a deserted island far away from civilization? If you have, you might get closer to this fantasy by visiting the almost uninhabited island of Cabrera.
You need permission from the park ranger to get to the island by boat from Colònia de Sant Jordi. This visit has to be arranged in advance.
The island used to be a prison and then a military base. It is a gorgeous piece of paradise, but the military presence (the island belongs to the Ministry of War) has kept it from becoming a tourist hive.
Today, Cabrera Island is a protected national park bustling with wildlife. There are several hikes you can take here, either guided or on your own. They range from easy to advanced, so there’s something for everyone.
No matter which walk you choose, you’ll enjoy it thoroughly. These hikes offer a wealth of variety. Some of them lead to an old lighthouse or a ruined castle, while others pass through mountain ranges and different coves. All in all, the island’s pristine nature and isolation won’t disappoint you.
GR221 Dry Stone Route (Ruta de Pedra en Sec)
The most iconic walk in Mallorca that explores the mountainous west of the island is Ruta de Pedra en Sec or the Dry Stone Route. It’s a 135km (84mi) trek that takes a total of eight days to complete (if you decide to walk the whole thing).
It treads the ancient cobbled roads through the Serra de Tramuntana and winds through old mountain villages done in dry-stone building technique (hence the name of the route), as well as beautiful olive groves growing there for many centuries and aromatic pine and oak forests. The route is a 360-experience, engaging all your senses and muscles and allowing you to clear your head and reset.
The road goes from Port d’Andratx to Port de Pollença (south-west to north-west of the island) and has eight main stages, as well as some possible variants along the way. Many of the stages are best done with an experienced guide. Not only are many of them physically strenuous, but the signposts are often incomplete, and you may get lost.
Puig de Randa
If you’re looking for a low-intensity stress-relief walk, you will love the Puig de Randa route in the south of the island in the area of Llucmajor. This walk is short and sweet — only 6km — and it’s suitable for families with children as well.
The walk is a loop. It starts from the village of Randa, goes up to the monastery at the top of the Puig de Randa, and circles back via another route. It’s a secluded and fun trail with lots of beautiful wildlife to observe along the way, especially gorgeous wildflowers. You can take the walk alone, but it’s best to go with the guide and hear some interesting facts about the local nature and history.
You can visit three monasteries on the hill and have a lovely coffee break in the one at the top. The view from there is spectacular, and you can see far in every direction of the island. You can also pass through an abandoned tunnel on the way up, which used to hold artillery during the Spanish Civil War.
Ermita de Betlem to Can Picafort Walk
This lovely moderate walk starts from Ermita de Betlem, aka the Hermitage of Bethlem, which is a 200-year-old monastery whose last monks retired a decade ago. This is a beautiful spot to start the walk among the aromatic orchards and cypresses and feel at peace instantly.
Starting from the monastery, you’ll embark on a downhill hike with amazing views that leads to a small coastal village and the bay of Alcudia. The next part of the route is a refreshing coastal walk where you can enjoy the sea breeze and calming sounds of the water. You can always stop along the way and take a swim (be sure to bring your bathing suit).
Finally, the biggest attraction of this route is the Santa Margalida municipality, which dates back to 500–10BC.
The walk is quite laid-back and casual, and you can turn around or get off-route whenever you feel like it.
As you can see, Mallorca provides a lot of opportunities to escape the hordes of tourists even in the most crowded seasons. You can escape in its beautiful nature, relax, and wind down.