I’m a little late on this post, but better late than never. Especially for a hike as worthy as Torrent de Pareis. If you live on Mallorca, you’ve probably heard the name thrown around once or twice. The Gem of Mallorca, I’ve been told on more than one occassion, as if it’s a second name.
I’ve been on my fair share of hikes on the island, and I’ve never seen anything quite like the Torrent de Pareis. Running along the northwest side of the island, beginning in the mountains of Escorca and ending at the beach of Sa Calobra, it’s nothing short of epic. For an average person, it takes around six hours to do and consists of a mix between walking and bouldering down the riverbed (meaning this isn’t a hike to do after or during a heavy rain).
The hike is absolutely stunning and takes you through a series of different sceneries, from dense shrubbery and thick grasses, to cairn-guided stone paths, to cliffs that soar overhead at 300m high, to giant boulders that you sometimes have to get creative to find your way around. Quite a few tour guide companies on the island offer a day package leading you from top to bottom for around €40-€60, but we decided to chance it and be our own tour guides for the day.
For those without cars (or friends without cars), it can be a little tricky working out logistics; the bus schedule here only runs a couple times a day and doesn’t allow enough time between the drop-off time up at the start and pick up time at the end to do the full hike. So we decided to rent a car and drove to the trailhead in Escorca.
And I suppose this is the part where the pro tour guide would have come in handy. The initial trail is fairly easy to spot but somewhere on our way down, we managed to get a little lost among the tall shrubbery. After about an hour of backtracking and tracking and backtracking again, we found the trail again which consists of a stony path lined with cairns that guides you down into the canyon.
Once we made it into the riverbed below, the “path” was relatively easy since it just consists of taking the riverbed the rest of the way. For a while, the riverbed is made up of dirt, stones, and gravel, making for an easy start to the hike. The area here is stunning. Think a mix between Jurassic Park, Zion National Park, a hike in the mountains of Central California, throw in some fig and olive trees, and you sort of get an idea of the area.
About 2/3 of the way down the riverbed, it splits off into a fork. For a short detour (and some great views), taking the left fork will lead you to one end of Gorg Blau, a very slim slot canyon that is often frequented by canyoneers. The canyon is too technical to go up on foot from Torrent de Pareis, but you can go into the very beginning of the slot canyon (once again, not after a rain) which offers some incredible views.
If you go back to the fork and head in the opposite/right direction, you’ll continue on down the riverbed. It's only once you reach this section that sometimes you have to get a little creative in parts. Mostly though, the cairns and a handful of painted arrows make it relatively easy to find the easiest way around, under, or over the boulders.
Here, you'll continue on down the riverbed, mostly of which (towards the end) becomes relatively flat again.
At the end, the riverbed eventually opens up at the the beach of Sa Colabra. After a six hour hike, there are few things that feel better than a swim in the Mediterranean, so don’t forget to wear or pack a swimsuit.
By luck, we managed to catch the last bus running from Sa Colabra to Escorca within minutes and got dropped off back at our car at the top of the hike.
All in all, the epicness and magnitude of this hike cannot be put into words nor pictures. If you have ever been to Yosemite, you know more or less the feeling. The place has such a grandiose and humbling energy that can only be experienced once you’re there. If you are on the island of Mallorca and want to see the gem of hikes, I would hands-down recommend doing the Torrent de Pareis. Be sure to pack a lot of water and snacks/lunch, a good grippy pair of shoes (hiking shoes are probably best), and be prepared to be blown away by some of the most epic scenery on the island.
For any other comments/suggestions, feel free to write in the comments section below!