Winter is well underway in Mallorca and with the drop in temperature the only disturbance in our pool is the wind, rain or the odd leaf debris. With the balmy summer days over, I love the change in season and with it a change to the outdoor activities we do as a family.
This island is in abundance of natural beauty and my favourite way to experience it is to be out walking in it. Whether hiking up in the mountains or taking a stroll along the coast line, there really is no better way to reenergise and feel rejuvenated than being out in nature. My children enjoy these times too, especially now that we have a dog to amuse us along the way.
However, if it seems that even the mention of a family walk feels like you’re already dragging reluctant kids out of the front door, then take note of this what’s app group idea a friend of mine started a few weeks ago. She simply set up the ‘Walking Mallorca’ group inviting friends and their families to rug up and get out walking this winter. Once the kids know they’re out for the day with their friends, the first obstacle – getting out the door – is removed! With friends of friends also coming along, it’s lovely to enjoy the day meeting others. For the kids, I think it’s even more fun for them to be with a larger group of children of different ages. Certainly my boy loves being in the company of older children. It’s so good for confidence, team spirit and responsibility when there is a mix.
Of course it’s a huge help if the whats app organiser already knows some great walks to do here in Mallorca, like ours does. But don’t let inexperience stop you. There are websites online which give great walking advice and many Mallorca walking books out there you can pick up. Or even easier, ask the Nourish Community for some ideas – no doubt you’ll get a good response there! In the meantime, I’ll share with you three walks I have done with my children.
The Short Walk
This walk begins not far from the square of Soller and leads to what has been called the prettiest village in Mallorca – Fornalutx. I’ve not seen all of Mallorca but I can vouch that Fornalutx is indeed a very pretty village. Cobbled streets and beautiful terraced stone cottages make it a lovely spot to walk around and explore, with plenty of cafes and restaurants to choose from for a pit stop before the journey home.
The starting point is along the MA2122 and close to the Camp De Futbol C’an Maiol. The walk is not long – approximately 45 minutes and so I think ideal for younger children. My daughter was four at the time we did this and she managed to walk nearly all the way to Fornalutx. But we could see she wasn’t going to make it another 45 minutes back on her own two legs. Piggy back rides might be needed for little legs!
The track is easy to follow with some spectacular mountain views along the way. Be sure to bring a camera also for the postcard picturesque olive tree and orange orchards. The children were kept occupied finding walking sticks (which became swords) along the way. The odd dog, chicken or goat said hello from the back gardens as we passed by too.
By far one of the most enjoyable days walking I’ve had this year is a trail from Banyalbufar to Port Canonge – it’s a fantastic all-day excursion. Organised via the what’s app group, there were thirty eight of us (kids included) who joined in for the hike. The starting point is easy to find along the Ma-10 as conveniently there is a small car park right there. Be warned though as it fills up quickly at prime times but more parking spots can be found along the main road.
The trail is wide for the majority of the way which worked for our large group. The older children could spread out and at points, four or five of them could still walk and talk side by side. It is also ideal for the younger walkers – the path is flat and follows a gentle decline down to the beach. But bear in mind it is a long walk – for energetic 6 and 7 year olds – not a problem, but any younger than that – be prepared for more piggy back rides!
Walking along the coast, there are quite a few ‘WOW’ moments when there is a break in the trees and the seascape is in view. Natural kids attractions along the way include wall-climbing, a fallen tree trunk into a demolished small stone ruin, rock hopping over small streams and as you reach Port Canonge there is even a rope swing. On a blue sky day, the beach makes for a great picnic spot. For our large group, a restaurant was booked with paella for all before we trundled back, bellies full and blissful in the company of friends.
If you’re looking to take your family on a rugged mountain walk where you can immerse yourself in nature, then the Galatzo trail in the Tramuntana mountain range is a great option. There are several ways to reach the summit, but with children in tow, the Font De Pi route is recommended as there is parking and a clearer pathway.
My family and I have yet to complete the hike to the summit and instead our destination picnic point is the lookout tower. The views from the lookout are well worth the effort, especially when it’s not cloudy. You’ll certainly appreciate Palma from above, out of the traffic and breathing the fresh mountain air.
This is a popular walk at peak weekend hours so don’t always expect to be alone in nature. It’s steep in places and can be slippery underfoot if the ground is wet, so decent supportive shoes are essential. The trail is interesting because it is varied – sometimes it’s a wide pathway and at other times it narrows and can be a little bit precarious clambering up rocks. My seven year old has done this walk a few times now and so likes to take the lead, finding the best walking sticks and looking out for the rock piles people have left to guide fellow walkers.
In the car on the way home, it’s likely you’ll pass through another pretty village, Puigpunyent; a lovely place to stop for a refreshment or bite to eat.
I’m dedicating this article to my parents who took me out walking when I was a child. Our family would walk for miles over the cliffs in Dorset. Back then I wasn’t always a keen walker…but so thankful to have had those childhood experiences. I’ll bet you can’t believe I’m doing the same with my children now! 😉
Written by Gemma Sherlock
About the author
After many years of moving around, Gemma, her husband and 2 children settled in Mallorca.
She loves exploring novels and plays, words and meanings and writing in a variety of ways. Not realising that it was something that she would miss, Gemma is happy to have found a new outlet in Nourish.
Why Nourish the Kids? Words, language and especially writing have always been a focus and priority for Gemma.
She likes to express herself thoughtfully and with clarity whether writing or speaking and enjoys discussing and researching new ideas and topics, particularly when it comes to health and well-being.
Likes: Circuit training, pilates, cooking from Ottolenghi books, pukka tea, hummus, reflexology, the audible app, Spanish lessons at MTA and thoughtfulness.