Friday, December 9th, 2016

Finding the Right Adventure on the sunny Island of Mallorca

Mallorca

Ever dreamed about adventuring in the Balearic islands of Spain? This post about Mallorca will get your blood pumping!

While visitors may come to Mallorca (or Majorca depending on how you say and spell it) for the sandy beaches and laid back atmosphere on one of the more attractive islands off mainland Spain. But for those ‘in the know’, there are a whole host of other activities available to get the adrenalin pumping.

The island may not be the first or even the second place you think of when you picture adventure travel. But it is fast getting a reputation from action orientated holidaymakers. The fast speeds, bumpy rides and other adventures in store for those brave enough to step away from the beach for an afternoon are certainly catching on.

Here is just a selection of what is available:

1. Go for a ride with mountain biking. The bumpy terrain on the island is pure paradise for mountain bikers who are up for anything. The Mallorca Challenge is one of the best island road races in Europe. It begins the pro cycling season and it’s the best chance to see riders tearing it up on the winding roads of Tramuntana. The cooler months are best with mountain biking. With riders having many choices including a 12 kilometre ride full of climbs and steep declines. Or a far longer looping 55 kilometre route from Pollença to the historic Lluc monastery, which is certainly not for the timid or out of shape.

2. Can you handle the heights with Canyoning? The peaks around the Serra de Tramuntana, which sports a UNESCO listing, can see both men and women donning helmet, harness and climbing clothes to try to descend from the local peaks. The Torrente Gorg Blau Sa Fosca is a deep canyon with 300 metre walls and areas where no light can enter. There are also less daunting places like Torrente Coanegre and Torrente de Na Mora where it’s possible try ascending sheer cliffs and later abseil down waterfalls to cool off. The blue rock pool is particularly special and a nice way to relax at the end of a strenuous day.

3. Put on your mask and flippers for some scuba diving. If you’ve ever wanted to get your PADI diver certification or are a bit rusty and need a refresher course. Then one of the many scuba driving centres offer PADI courses to suit you. Formentor is the place to visit to go underwater to explore caverns replete with stalactites, crevasses and copious sea-life. There are also marine parks and the Islas Malgrats, an underwater shipwreck that lies in the waters near Santa Ponsa and is just waiting to be explored.

4. Try to avoid getting wet with Sea Kayaking. Is water your friend? Well you’ll find out pretty quick with a spot of sea kayaking. The coves dotted around the coastline to the west and up in the north can be visited easily by kayak than by land. Paddling in keeping with the rhythm of the sea can see you gliding elegantly through the water. See falcons, flying fish and perhaps a dolphin that may come to see who you are if you’re really lucky that day.

5. How about Kite Surfing? Never heard of it? Well if you combine a large kite that’s almost akin to a slim parachute in size, combined with a surfer on a board, then you have the basic idea. With strong gusts of wind, a surfer can leap into the air, land on the water and then be propelled at considerable speeds along the surface. Occasional gusts of stronger currents and winds will lift the surfer up gently in the air. Only to return him or her back down to the water to once again to glide at impressive speeds along the surface.

6. Take the leap with Cliff Jumping.  This is a sport that feels close to bungee jumping in its execution. But requires steely nerves to take the leap off cliffs that stand between three and over 10 metres above the water below. Over in Cala Sant Vicenç up in the north of Mallorca is the place to find this energetic adventure.

7. Rock Climbing on limestone sheer walls. There are several routes to choose between from multiple pitches to give people with different climbing experience a chance to experience it. The crags of Formentor are popular for a bit of climbing activity, while over in the east, climbing inside the coves of Porto Cristo, and Cala Barques is also popular.

8. Embrace the darkness with Caving. The limestone caves offer respite from the heat in the midday sun. There are subterranean chambers inside these caves to explore to see glittering minerals, stalactites and other surprises. Make sure that you’re not claustrophobic because some passages narrow considerably before opening up to reveal enormous open spaces.

9. Explore the coastline with Coasteering. This adventure sport combines swimming, climbing up cliffs, and abseiling down again, cliff jumping, and moving across from one rock face to another. This is definitely something to do in an organised group while wearing protective gear. Some of the best coasteering activity is based near Alcúdia and Bonaire.

10. Hiking rugged terrain for the best views. There are unusual paths to follow, several peaks to ascend which reach more than 1,400 metres. Eight kilometre treks to a popular lookout and treks keep hikers glued to the cliff-side for incredible views out to sea. For people who truly enjoy the great outdoors, then there are multi-day hiking trips which cover over 100 kilometres, with an overnight stay in mountain huts. You’ll sleep heavily as soon as you lay down after a busy day, but the goats with their distinctive cowbells will surely wake you at daybreak.

You can find out more about what Mallorca has to offer by visiting IceLolly.com.

photo by: Franz59