A week in Mallorca (part 1)

Since I broke my arm three days before we were supposed to be backpacking across Norway, we substituted a week in Mallorca as Norway in October might be a bit cold. Mallorca may bring to mind lobster-coloured tourists on beaches, but it turns out to have some pretty good walking as well.

We arrived on Thursday, rented a car and headed to our hotel in Puerto de Pollensa. Having emptied our bags, we wandered along the waterfront of the town, watching cormorants chase fish in the shallow water, and then went for a walk to Cala Boquer on the opposite side of the island. The walk goes along a beautiful valley down to a bay, and we sat on the shore and watched the wild goats foraging on the headland, and the waves breaking on the rocks.

Cala Boquer: the lovely bay just across the island from where we're staying.
Cala Boquer: the lovely bay just across the island from where we're staying.

Day two saw us in the highlands of North-Western Mallorca. The plan was to walk a section of one of the long-distance routes, but we missed a turn, and when we ended up at what we thought was an alternative way to join the trail we wanted, it turned out to be on the opposite side of a canyon. After a rather loose scramble down, and an awkward climb up sharp limestone up the other side, we managed to find the path we wanted and continued to Rifugio Tossals Verds. From there we climbed up a ridge to reach the spring that supplies the rifugio with its water, then back along another water channel to the spring where we’d left the car. We finished off the day with cake at the Monastery of Lluc!

Mallorcan cake!
Mallorcan cake!

On day three we opted for easy walking and some swimming – part of the reason for coming here was so Rachel could try some open water swimming, so we headed out to Formentor beach in the far North of the island. After spending the morning in the water, snorkelling, swimming, and generally trying to be proper tourists, we headed out to the lighthouse at the far north of the island for lunch. The views are gorgeous, with sheer cliffs dropping into brilliant blue water. After that we decided on a short loop walk that dropped from the road down to a quiet cove. As we started the walk we were distracted by the sight of a yacht aground in another cove. We watched as a fishing boat tried to get in to the cove to get a line to the yacht, but after a couple of attempts, they gave up. We later learned that the stricken yacht had been there for two days.

Formentor peninsula. The white dot in the bay is the shipwrecked yacht.
Formentor peninsula. The white dot in the bay is the shipwrecked yacht.
How not to anchor in a lovely bay.
How not to anchor in a lovely bay.

The walk took up over a pass then down into a small valley on a very indistinct path. The valley got more and more gorge-like, shaded by pine trees and filled with small birds as it approached the sea. We clambered down a number of dry waterfalls before finally arriving at the cove – not as quiet as we’d hoped as it had two boats moored in it, but a beautiful spot nevertheless, with cliffs on either side of the entrance, and two tiny beaches, each with a dry valley behind it. After enjoying the views at the coast, we headed back up the other valley on a much better track, originally built to supply the lighthouse.

A peaceful cove on the Formentor Peninsula.
A peaceful cove on the Formentor Peninsula.

It’s been a lovely three days so far. Tomorrow we’re planning an easy swimming and hiking day again, before some more serious walks later in the week.