About Running in Mallorca
Mallorca is the perfect destination for all levels of running, from those who just like to stretch their legs in the morning with a quick jog to the more advanced athletes. Thanks to the island’s diverse terrain, there is a variety of running routes available to satisfy the needs of road runners and trail runners all around the island.
Many popular running routes are located around Palma, Pollença and Alcúdia which offer flat terrains for long distances, so runners can go for miles. These destinations attract both local and holiday runners of all levels. You will always see people running along the coastlines throughout the year, come rain or shine!
For runners who prefer to get away from the crowds, then inland and mountain routes in the Serra de Tramuntana mountains are a better choice. Mallorca has an ancient network of paths linking villages around the island which provide optimum conditions for trail running. There are many trails that you can run that require no extra gear other than your running shoes and some water. Although the more complex and longer tours require trail running trainers (more grip on sole and support on ankle) and a running backpack to carry water and food. Terrain on the trails varies depending on the route you take, the lower levels tend to be wooded and the higher levels offer well-constructed limestone paths. This kind of mixed terrain feels more challenging for your fitness but much better for your legs and knees than an hour jog along a tarmac road.
When to come
Thanks to the gentle climate it is possible to run all year round in Mallorca. Many runners prefer the spring and autumn months when the island is at its most beautiful and offers more comfortable conditions for runners. In the high summer months, it's best to get out early in the morning or in the evenings to avoid the heat of the sun. From June to September, look for the lower level wooded tours rather than the high mountain trails and be sure to have a good idea of your running route or take a mobile phone with you in case you get lost.
Also see: Weather in Mallorca
Walking trails & routes
Mallorca has a wide range of routes to cater for all levels of running. For beginners and long distance runners, the coastal paths tend to be the more popular choice, whilst the inland forested paths and limestone mountainous trails are ideal for the more adventurous runner. It's also worth noting that many of Mallorca’s walking routes are great for running, so include these in your research before putting on your trainers.
One of the best ways to explore this city’s stunning coastline is by foot, especially when the sun is shining. Wherever people are based, they tend to flock towards the Passeig Marítim because its wide promenade and interesting coastline make it runner friendly. It’s possible to complete up to a 30km round trip when travelling from one end of Palma’s main promenade via the fishing port areas of Portixol and Molinar, to the end of Playa de Palma beach resort.
There are plenty of opportunities to run around the island's coastline, especially in ports and beachside resorts occupying large bays. Places like Palma Nova, Sóller, Port de Pollença and Port d’Alcúdia offer long stretches of coastal promenade and pavements, making them particularly runner friendly.
Perhaps the most popular trails in Mallorca are those located in the Serra de Tramuntana. With such easy access to the hills and the restoration of the well-known GR221 Long Distance Dry Stone Route, word is spreading and trail running in the Mallorcan mountain range is becoming increasingly popular with more and more running enthusiasts taking to the hills with their trainers.
The area above Bunyola is especially popular because it provides easy access, has well-pitched trails and offers stunning views with its 450m height gain. The area around the Castell d'Alaró is another favourite, with a 620m ascent tour and stunning 360-degree views from the top. Another admired route is that of Sa Talaia in Alcúdia, which has long been one of the north’s most recognised walking excursions. The famous old hermitage and stunning views make this route memorable for those who explore the trail.
Also see: Walking Routes in Mallorca
Walking / Running hotels & hostels
There are many different types of accommodation on the island for runners, their families and friends. From hostels and budget apartments through to charming boutique hotels and 5-star luxury resorts. The island is becoming one of the best destinations in Europe to practice sports, particularly known for hiking, running, cycling, swimming, triathlon training and watersports, so specialist sports hotels are popping up in cleverly placed locations just to cater for athletes, their families and friends.
Races & events
The most popular running race on the island is the Palma de Mallorca marathon and half marathon, which takes place in October and attracts both locals and expats alike.
The Cursa de Muntanya (Mountain Course) race series is Mallorca’s premier mountain race series that runs throughout the year. No two races are the same and each race is hosted by a different town. They are labelled according to their level of difficulty. (A) = Long/Hard, (B) = slightly less Long/Hard, (C) = Short/Easy. The series begins in February and runs through to November. Each race attracts up to 300 runners, mostly made up of locals but increasingly showing an international presence.
Running tours & companies
There are running tour companies available on the island offering a variety of tours with tailor-made routes which are a great way to go sightseeing in Mallorca. Guides have a good knowledge of the island, basic first aid understanding and GPS recording equipment so that distances and heights climbed can be shared (verbally and electronically) with the runners. They will have run the route many times so can coach runners along and keep them informed of what to expect around the next corner. There are even business programs, training and running analysis centres available on the island for those who are keen to take their running to the next level.