Hiking the Torrent de Pareis in Majorca, Spain

This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read the disclaimer.

After 3+ years in Mallorca it was time to do one of the most famous treks on the island. We rallied a group of 15 of which only 13 brave souls turned up on the day and set about organising the logistics.

Walk up the valley to Escorca.
The calm of the water, not reflecting the turmoil within

Torrent de Pareis is a riverbed you can hike during the dry months in Mallorca. These are also the hottest months. Rain usually comes around in September and lasts throughout the winter months. As Torrent de Pareis is in the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range it is often home to flash floods as it collects a large amount of rainwater that falls on the mountain and funnels it down this narrow valley.

View of the sunrise over gorge.
View of the gorge

To access the Torrent you have two options. If you wish to hike down the valley you start at a place called Escorca, which is on the Ma-10 that connects Pollensa with Soller along the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range. There is a “Restaurante Escorca” just off the road, opposite which (in the direction of Soller) is the starting point.

The winding roads of the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range in Majorca.
Winding Road down to Sa Calobra

The second option is to start at the bottom and walk up the valley to Escorca. To access this end of the Torrent you would continue on the Ma-10 towards Soller from Escorca and when the road splits in two, follow it to the right onto the Ma-2141 towards Sa Calobra. If you reach a large reservoir called Gorg Blau you have gone too far.

Our Choice – Hike down the valley From Escorca

On this occasion we opted to hike down the valley in the belief that this should be easier . . . We all rallied together early in the morning to pile together in as few cars as possible and set off for Escorca.

Admiring the sunrise.
Everyone admiring the view at the start

We reached there shortly after sunrise driving through the winding roads to get onto the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range. 

In the group of hikers we had people who were born and raised on the island, those like myself who have moved there for work, those who have accompanied their other halves who moved to Mallorca to work, and one visitor (tourist) who was the only one who had done the hike a few years before. Ages ranged from 21 to 60 with various abilities and fitness levels.

We did our research beforehand and to say we received a wide spectrum of opinions is an understatement. So here I will also add my own opinion on what it takes to complete the hike without injury.

Hike down the valley in the belief that this should be easier.
At times its easier on your bum
Goat on the mountain terrain.
It’s much easier for mountain goats

Warnings about Hiking Torrent de Pareis (according to me)

  1. Do not do this hike if you have a fear of heights or a fear of falling.
  2. Do not do this hike without rope.
  3. Do not do this hike in a large group if you wish to complete it quickly.
  4. Do not do this hike with children.
  5. Do not do this hike by yourself. I would suggest at least a group of 4 if it’s your first time and only lesser if everyone has experience. (This hike is through a valley, you will not have mobile signal for 95% of the time in the valley. If anything should happen you will need to hike out of the valley before you would be able to get help.)
  6. Do not do it if it’s due to rain, has recently rained, or you know that there is water collected in the Canyon. The rocks are really smooth due to the water polishing them nicely for the last x-amount of years.
Rain water that falls on the mountain and funnels it down this narrow valley.
Don’t look down

So now that we have the disclaimer out of the way lets continue. The first 1h30mins of the hike from Escorca is following a zig-zag path down the side of the mountain. At this point you will reach a signpost where there is an intersection of Torrent de Pareis and Torrent de Lluc. This is generally pretty straightforward, as long as you stick to the path. Sometimes this was easier said than done.

The zig-zag path down the mountain.
The zig-zag path down the mountain that leads to the intersection of Torrent de Pareis and Torrent de Lluc

The path, if you stay on it, is pretty straightforward with no big drops or climbs over rocks. As most of the mountainside is covered in razor grass you would prefer to remain on the path as those blades can cut badly.

If you reach the riverbed without having drawn blood you are already doing pretty good. 

Now we leave the vegetation behind and we start down the barren, bouldered, riverbed. This at first appears pretty easy and you think to yourself this can’t be as bad as some people say it is.

Difference in the color of rock suggest water levels.
The water level of the recently receded rain collection

Then you reach the first impasse. As the floods of years past have dislodged massive boulders into the gorge it is only natural that you would have sections where they would get stuck and lodge and make passing near impossible.

.

The first wedged boulder you come to gives you only one way to continue and on the rock you will see the climbing hooks on the side of the boulder. 

A few carved out holding points.
A few carved out holding points
Watch your steps.
Don’t slip

So, we brought rope but decided we won’t need it (from reading other reviews and listening to locals who have done it before). BIG mistake. This was the first of many such points where you were limited on how you could continue. To this day I am not sure how we managed but to say I am proud of the achievements of our group that day would state it lightly.

Looking up at the sky through the mountains.
The only way out?
Going through the narrow gorge.
127 Hours?
Tight squeeze path.
Tight squeeze
Coming out of narrow path.
The way is not always obvious

This is one of the main reasons to go in a smaller group as you are limited to one person at a time moving through these narrow passages. With a large group like ours it added on a considerable time but also meant that we had a lot of hands to ensure everyone got through without injuries.

These impasses continued and continued and continued . . . and just as you think you must be close to the end there comes the next one. These continued to get more and more challenging and I remembered clearly one of the more abled hikers telling me that he was getting quite worried about some of our less experienced hikers completing this hike without injuries. 

Our group hiking through the mountains.
You expect me to do what?

At this point we had passed a few places which I could not imagine us climbing back up without robe so I could only see one solution. Talk to God and ask Him to continue to help us through this and ensure we all make it through to the end.

Angel saved one of our group from slipping and falling.
Our Angel sent by God

Shortly after this, two guys and a girl, also hiking down the torrent, caught up with us. By the Grace of God, he sent this angel just at the point where he saved one of our group from slipping and falling down a hole between two boulders we had to cross over. I dread to think what would have happened if he wasn’t there holding her by one hand as she was hanging off the side of this boulder. We met them again later on, on their way back up the torrent.

Narrow valleys in the torrent de pareis filled with rain wter.
The final hurdle!

After 8 hours from leaving our cars at Escorca we finally made it to the end of the gorge at Sa Calobra. What a reward to immerse our wrecked bodies in the beautiful turquoise blue Mediterranean seawater between the massive walls of the Serra the Tramuntana mountains.

As Torrent de Pareis is in the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range.
Last look back at Torrent de Pareis
Serra the Tramuntana mountains.
I can see the ocean
The last bit of energy.
The last bit of energy

Was this the most challenging hike we’ve been on? Yes, it quite possibly was. Even more challenging than hiking the Tongariro Alpine crossing in NZ. Will I do it again? Definitely!

Top tips for Your Torrent de Pareis Hike

  1. It is easier to trek up the torrent from Sa Calobra to Escorca but you need at least 2 able, confident climbers to get up and hook the rope at the top for the less able climbers to use.
  2. After the hike, make sure to stretch out very well. The first time we did it, day 2 post-hike is when you will feel it, and then the last thing you would want to do is to stretch it out.
  3. The hike is possible to do both ways in one day but you have to be very fit and able. Otherwise, for us more normal ability people there is a bus that runs between Sa Calobra and Escorca. If you love cycling why not hide your bicycles somewhere by Escorca, drive to the bottom, hike up and bike your way down.

Other Adventure Posts You Might Like

Pinterest image of a Walk up the valley to Escorca.
Pinterest images of Mediterranean sea between the massive walls of the Serra the Tramuntana mountains.

Leave a Comment

40 Shares
Share24
Pin11
Tweet5
WhatsApp
Telegram