By Brennan Oakes — October 27, 2014 —
If you want to try cliff jumping, propelling into water, sliding down steep rocks, and hiking up a mountain that overlooks the Mediterranean — all in one day — try canyoning!
A group of eight of us signed up for canyoning on the island of Mallorca without a clear idea of what to expect. The only information we had was an email message from Experience Mallorca, the guide company we used to book the excursion. The message said, simply enough: “We have a great course for you guys.” Well, all right, I thought. Let’s go!
We arrived in Mallorca late Thursday night. We decided to stay at Hostal Atlanta based on positive reviews online and the recommendation of our organizer. The hostel was 15 euros per person for one night and it exceeded our expectations. The location was great too because it was only a short distance from the airport (about 10 minutes).
Getting to the Canyon
The next morning, Experience Mallorca picked us up at around 9 am. We were instructed to bring lunch and a lot of water. I think the lack of sleep caused us to just do as we were told without any questions as to what we were getting ourselves into.
The drive to the bottom of the canyon could have been enough adventure for some of the group. These were the narrowest and most dangerous turns I had ever experienced! A couple of the girls with us who had a fear of heights just stared forward, not looking down. The drivers never once seemed worried, however, and everything was very organized, which put us at ease.
We were given a backpack filled with a wetsuit, boots, equipment and a small container to keep our food from getting wet. The walk to the canyon would have seemed long if it were not for the incredible landscapes in Mallorca. Indeed, the biggest surprise of our trip was how much we enjoyed the views and hiking. Simply walking along the mountain was incredible.
The Canyoning Experience
After arriving at the canyon, we were immediately tested with our first jump. Standing on the edge of the cliff, I felt a huge rush of adrenaline. My heart was pumping. When you get that first glimpse down the steep wall, there is a split second of doubt. Somewhere inside, a little voice is wondering if this is what you really should be doing. Nevertheless, everyone in our group jumped without much hesitation. The heat encouraged us. It was a very hot day in Mallorca, and we all desperately wanted to cool off.
When I hit the surface, a stream of water flowed down my wet suit. It was exhilarating and quite refreshing. The sensation of being submerged under water for a brief moment is also pretty cool. You are surrounded by darkness, but if you look up you see the light through the canyons.
The three guides had great personalities and were absolute professionals. They made the experience relaxing. They all spoke English relatively well and were genuinely interested in all of us. They did a nice job of telling us exactly how and when to jump or propel. For three hours, we did an enormous amount of jumping, climbing and swimming. The time passed extremely fast.
By the end of the course, we were all ready to rest. However, the guides informed us that we had a two and a half hour walk back to the cars — well, to call it a walk is a bit of a misnomer. Within a matter of minutes, we were hiking up the mountain. And this was no small mountain! At times, one slip could have ended quite badly. This part of the trip was literally a two hour adrenaline ride. After about an hour uphill, we reached the top. From that vantage point, we could look out over the great expanse of the Mediterranean. It was one of the best views I’ve ever seen. Eventually, we proceeded down to our final destination with a few minor scrapes and bruises. I still can’t decide whether the canyoning or hike afterwards was more incredible. Either way, they both were unlike anything that I had ever done before.
Book through Experience Mallorca. They had great deals for groups and it was very affordable considering everything that was included (the cost included all transportation and gear).
Stay in Hostal Atlanta. It is cheap and very good quality.
Beware if you have a severe fear of heights, but don’t let that stop you from going. A couple of the girls in our group had this fear but they still had an awesome time. Just don’t look down when you’re climbing the mountain.