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►Experienced and fit hikers with walking boots will enjoy this difficult and , in several places, dangerous hike through the canyon. You may need a rope (there are some left in the difficult passages, but bring your own). If you are experienced you don´t need the rope, but always check for the best passage. (cairns or paint markers)
►The best season is from May to September, but even then you may have to swim after a heavy rainfall. In winter the canyon could be dry after 2 weeks without rain.
►It is more convenient to walk uphill from Sa Calobra to Escorca. The climbing passages are easier on the ascent and you will realise earlier (2 minutes from the mouth, Sa Calobra) if the riverbed is dry. Sometimes the water is only 20 to 40 cm deep, in this case you could take off your boots in several passages at the beginning and, after that, the rest of the riverbed is usually dry. You can reach Sa Calobra from Port de Sóller by boat (every day at around 10 am, only if the sea is calm- Barcos Azules, Tel. 971 630 170, www.barcosazules.com).
►If you walk down from Escorca and park your car there, you can catch a public bus in Sa Calobra to take you back to Escorca (from April to September, from monday to saturday)it leaves Sa Calobra at 3 pm (971 545 696, www.autocaresmallorca.com)
Torrent de Pareis
(information from the guidebook of the Alpina map "Tramuntana Nord")
4hr/ Ascent/descent: 600 m/ Degree of difficulty: high
For its 300-metre high cliffs, its wild nature and some difficult places, the Torrent de Pareis is considered the most extraordinary hike on the island by most Majorcan mountaineers. Due to its biological and geological peculiarities, the gorge Torrent de Pareis has been declared a “Monument Natural”. We describe the route in both directions: the ascent and the descent. Groups of volunteers sporadically smooth out the more complicated places by carving out steps in them (in 2004 it was done by those in the Grup Excursionista de Mallorca and in 2014, the guide Josep Suau from Sóller). The mountain rescue teams have also improved the most difficult key point: Pas de S’Estaló.
You need mountain boots, to be in good physical shape and an experienced walker. It can normally be done from May to October. The Torrent is usually practicable about ten days after the last heavy rain. If you find the pools full, it’s best to go back to the starting point. To be safer, it’s a good idea to carry a 10-metre rope, but it’s not essential. Be careful and follow the markers: you have to leave the streambed 4 times.
The Descent of the Torrent: from Escorca to Sa Calobra
The best way to do it if you do not have your own vehicle and you are quite sure that the streambed will be dry. You should bear in mind that, on the way down, the tricky places are more difficult.
To reach the starting point there is a bus from Port de Sóller or Sóller (April – October, Monday – Saturday, at 9am) to Lluc and Pollença that stops at the restaurant in Escorca. There is also a bus in the mornings from Lluc to Escorca.
In the small car park at km. 25,2 there is a board with information about the difficulties of the hike and, to the left of it, the start of the trail. Shortly afterwards you pass through a gate and walk on the flat following a wall on your left. Go through another gate and, in 5 minutes, you see some large cairns indicating where you have to turn left. The path leaves the wood and begins to zigzag (picture 1).
Between Escorca and S'Entreforc (1)
On the other side of the gorge you see, on the slopes of Puig Roig, the Quarter des Carabiners (built for the police to pursue smugglers) and the Cosconar cave dwelling. The very stony and overgrown footpath leads to the streambed (1hr 15min from Escorca). In a few metres you have to leave the bed and go along its left bank to S’Entreforc (10min, picture 2).
The Torrent de Pareis begins here where the Torrent de Lluc (which you have been following up to now) joins the Torrent des Gorg Blau. You could go up this last gorge, on your left, for a few minutes until its slippery walls and the darkness force you to stop. Further up is the most difficult gorge on the island, one section of which, Sa Fosca, never sees the light of day (picture below).
Entry to Sa Fosca from S'Entreforc
At S’Entreforc leave again the streambed, this time on the right. Above you the cliffs reach 300 m high and you discover the cave Cova des Soldat Pelut. 10 minutes later, you climb down the first boulder, carefully go round the two pools (3) and down the steps carved out of the rock to the streambed (4).
(3) Going around one pool .............(4) Going down the steps carved out of the rock to the streambed
The next three dificult places are two very smooth ramps (5) and another pool that you go around to the right of.(6)
(5) Slippery ramp............................... (6) Pool, the passage is to his left (to his right when going down)
Five minutes after this pool, you have to cross over to the right of the streambed and leave it for a few minutes. Return to the bed, which you follow, looking for the best ways forward, indicated with cairns and paint marks (7). If you find a place that is too difficult you have most likely gone wrong and will have to look for another. An hour later, you have to leave the stream by the left and, shortly afterwards, you pass very close to the cave Cova des Romagueral (8).
(7) View direction S'Entreforc.......................................... (8) Cova des Romagueral
You come across the last tricky places: the first with a pool in the middle, two narrow places that you get round to the right (10) and the last one to the left through a hole (11).
(10) “Grassos estrenyeu-vos” (the meaning is: Fat people, get slim!)....... (11) Pas de S'Estaló, the most difficult passage until 2004
Shortly afterwards you come to the spring Font des Degotís (12) and the spectacular final stretch (13).
(12) To the right is the spring 'Font des Degotís'............................................ (13) "Canonball"
The difficulties end at one pool which is passed to the right, and 15 minutes later, you reach the mouth (pictures 14 und 15).
(14) Chaste tree (Vitex agnus- castus) in Sa Calobra........(15) The mouth of Torrent de Pareis in Sa Calobra
If you still haven’t had enough thrills, take the “Carrer Nou”, the old path used by people coming to work in the vegetable gardens that growed at the end of the stream. The traces of the stepped path can be found 100 m to the left of the entrance to the tunnel that replaced it.
To return to the starting point: from Sa Calobra there is a bus to Escorca and Lluc at 3pm (April – October, Monday – Saturday). If the sea is calm there are boats to Port de Sóller until 5pm
The Ascent of the Torrent: from Sa Calobra to Escorca
You are advised to do it this way if you have your own vehicle and just wish to visit the most spectacular part and return the way you came. It is also the best way if you are not sure of the state of the Torrent. In this case the best thing to do is go to the mouth and, if there is water in this area or in the first 30 minutes, turn back. You get to Sa Calobra by taking a turn-off from the Ma-10 (Lluc to Sóller road). You could also take a boat in the morning from Port de Sóller to Sa Calobra and go back from Escorca to the Port by bus at 4.55pm (only April to October and Monday to Saturday)
From the car park go down to the harbour and through the tunnels to the mouth of the gorge (pictures 14 und 15) where you follow the streambed for about 15 minutes to the first pool that you go round on the left. You now come to the most spectacular part of the gorge (13) and, 15mins later, to the spring Font des Degotís (12). Shortly afterwards, get past the key point Pas de s’Estaló on the right (11) and the “Grassos estrenyeu-vos” (the meaning is: Fat people, get slim!) on the left (10). A few minutes later you find a narrow crag on the left and a pool above a huge boulder. Past the narrowest area of the gorge you see the cave Cova des Romagueral (8) on the left. Five minutes later, you have to leave the streambed and go to the right.
When you return to the bed, you have to follow it for an hour over not particularly difficult terrain looking for the best ways to pass (7). In a rather indistinct place, you have to leave the streambed going to the left (this place is very difficult to find: if you didn’t find it and followed the stream you would encounter some tricky climbing but nothing too difficult to overcome). When you return to the bed of the stream, you have to cross over to the right. Very soon you come to a pool that you have to get round on the left (6) and 2 very smooth ramps (5). The last complications are some large boulders with steps carved out of them (4), 2 pools that you have to get round (3) and a short climb uphill. Ten minutes later you reach S’Entreforc (2).
If you have to return to Sa Calobra it’s not worth going any further. To get down from here, you are advised to follow the explanations in the previous hike. Before going back down you could explore the gorge on the right for a few minutes (Torrent des Gorg Blau, the most difficult in Mallorca), which narrows to form Sa Fosca.
If you want to continue on to Escorca, choose the widest gorge on the left (Torrent de Lluc) and leave it on the right in about 100 m. When, after 10min, you return to the streambed you only have to walk a few metres along it. The path goes off to the right (dir SE), zigzags up to the wood (1), turns sharply right there and, after following a wall and passing through two gates, reaches the road (1hr 15min).
To return to the starting point: if you do the hike to Escorca there is no way of returning to Sa Calobra by bus. You should call a Taxi from Escorca- Lluc (tel. 608 631 707).
►The Torrent de Pareis was protected in 2003 as a "Monument Natural" (Natural monument) : the interesting fauna and flora have to do with the isolated and unspoilt landscapes and with the microclimate (little sun, much humidity).