Workout Your Heart, Exercise Your Eyes and Take in the Most Panoramic View of Mallorca - No Helicopter Needed
We know that spending a lot of time outdoors is crucial to good health, but one reason why hiking is such a great activity (aside from the obvious cardiovascular training to get to the summit!) is that looking at distant things helps keep the eye muscles that control distant vision flexible and strong, just like the rest of our bodies!
We all spend way too much time looking at things close up—from phones to computer screens. (I know it's a necessity of life, but how often do you really take the recommended breaks or regularly look up to focus on something distant?) It's particularly important for kids today to get away from their phones and get fresh air.
So, when my hiking enthusiastic husband says "let's go!" and I sort of hesitate, I go anyway for the sake of eye health! (Bright UV light is also damaging to the retina, so be sure to wear good UV blocking sunnies, especially on this sunny island!)
On an island as geographically diverse as Mallorca, you can choose to spend the day relaxing on a sandy beach, exploring charming countrysides, or sailing the magnificent coast, but don't neglect the chance to explore the gorgeous mountains by foot! Spring and fall are the best seasons for hiking, but if you're here in summer, try to peel yourself off your beach chair for a few hours and hit the trails. July and August are hot and sticky for most hikes, but there's one on La Victoria that has such panoramic, spectacular views of both Alcudia and Pollensa Bays, as well as the northern peninsula that ends at the famous Cap de Formentor, that I'll sweat it out just to soak in all that beauty.
The other fabulous thing about this hike is, that for those who are inclined, it ends with a refreshing dip in Cala S'Illot—one of the most pristine and off the beaten path coves on the island. Not all trails on Mallorca are this close to the sea, so this is absolutely my favorite on the island! Make it to the canon atop Penya des Migdia, at roughly 355m, and I think it will be yours too!
While the views from the summit will impress anyone, this is a fairly easy trail. There's just one small stretch of about three meters across the edge of a cliff (with just a chain between you and a steep drop) that will test your fear of heights and may prove too challenging for young children or anyone with vertigo! And as it's not a well trodden trail, you'll probably be on your own, so better to go with a friend in case there is an emergency on this remote mountain! To reach the summit, the average speed hiker will need about 90 minutes from the base at Ermita de La Victoria, where there is also a small hostel and carpark to leave your car, and then of course the path down again.
I've hiked this several times with family and friends, always allowing four hours to take photos and enjoy the views, and a little snack on the summit. We usually go for a swim afterwards and have drinks and dinner at the Bar S'Illot while watching the sun set behind the mountains. Total magic! So many tourists miss the immense beauty of this island, and unless you take a helicopter ride, hiking to one of the Mallorca's summits is the only way to see such stunning views!