August on the island is holiday time, but it´s also oddly when the weather begins to calm and temperatures drop, imperceptably to some, as it is still very much the middle of summer, but just enough to make this an excellent season for outdoorsy and active holidays.
And though being on the water may appeal more (there's a full water sport guide coming up on the subject, soon) mountains that are the last frontier; protected, wild and largely unmapped. Routes are cairned and signposted along the whole of the GR221, which crosses the Serra de Tramuntana range, but that's just a part of this vast and hilly landscape.
Cyclists know all about it. They visit in their tens of thousands, train, compete, come in clubs, pro and mateur alike, in groups and individually, and they take on the island's big climbs. A little more about cycling later, but let's start with hiking.
Hiking is the first outdoor adventure sport we are going to write about here, because it's the most exciting one of all, and unbelievably, the least well known. Golf clubs and cycle tour operators have got their sport activities up on the Mallorca radar, but as hiking and trekking are largely practised by individuals, free agents, locals and small guiding organisations, they get a lot less media coverage.
Besides, mountains aren't exactly what most people associate with Mallorca! Where are tthey you may ask? Look away from the sea in Port de Pollensa, and you will see the blue haze of mountain peaks on the horizon, rippling into the distance. That is where you want to go!
There are a myriad of routes around town. We wrote about them in: 8 best hikes in Port de Pollensa earlier on in the year. Have a look and see if these are any good for you. Because they are near PP, they are easy to reach and don't need much in the way of logistics or transport. For the really juicy walks you may prefer: The 8 stages of the Tramuntana hike, which cross the Tramuntana Mountains from Pollensa in the northeast all the way to Port d'Andratx in the southwest, following goat paths, old smugglers routes and the GR221 dry stone way which has served mountain folk for millennia and now welcomes adventure holidaymakers from all over the world.
There is a great little hiking shop in Pollensa old town called MonAventura. They sell high end mountain running and trekking gear and if they don't have it they can order it. They are actually more than a shop, but as a shop they have great stock.
In Puerto Pollensa there is another hiking shop by the big carpark opposite the sport's centre.
We work closely with local mountain guides who have grown up in these hills and know the area like the back of their hands. It is a great way to explore the Tramuntana without taking any risks, climbing the highest peaks and accessing the most beautiful parts. Because there are so many possible routes it is easy to design a day out that will suit you and your party.
Although any time is good for hiking in Puerto Pollensa, Spring and Autumn are best. The high summer temperatures can make it uncomfortable and drinking enough water can be a serious issue at this time of year. It isn't uncommon to read about hapless tourists being airlifted out from the mountains, lost and severely dehydrated, having misscalculated these remote Tramuntana hills.
The Island's Ornithologic Centre is based in Puerto Pollensa, within walking distance of town and our hotel. Seems pretty amazing really that when we talk about birding sites and centres we are actaully within walking distance of the main spots on the island! La Gola is not only an information centre of course, it is a marsh area in town, which links to the marshlands along the NE coast.
Puerto Pollensa is home to S'Albufereta, a natural wetland connecting to the sea on the southern side of town. Along the coast in Alcudia there is the larger sister site; S'Albufera, the island's most important and interesting bird watching marshlands.
To the northeast of Puerto Pollensa you have the Formentor Peninsula, which you can see jutting out to sea, beyond the lighthouse, and the Boquer valley, which is over the hills to the north.
And then there is the Serra de Tramuntana, Mallorca's 1000m2 mountain range, home to the Black Vulture and the island's most exciting birding destination.
Mountain runners on Puig de Galatzó
Mountain running as it is also called is a big thing here in Mallorca. Whereby ten years ago there were just a few die hard exteme runners taking to the hill roads, now there are several organised races a week, clubs in every town and village, a Balearic island network and a major Tramuntana cross country race every year.
The place to go to to sign up for most of these is the elitechip site. Mostly untranslated, it is fairly easy to navigate and a great way of combining a boutique hotel holiday in Mallorca with some local running.