Hiking has a seven-month season from October to April but can continue into May. | Elena Ballestero

3

Majorca has become one of Europe's most popular destinations for hiking. Between October and the end of April next year, more than 350,000 hikers are expected to come to Majorca, mainly from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Scandinavia.

Hiking has been heavily promoted in recent years, and within the framework of the "Better in Winter" campaign it has featured at fairs such as Düsseldorf's TourNatur, which was held in September as well as the major fairs like the ITB Berlin.

Various town halls have made efforts to embrace hiking tourism. This has been most evident with town halls in mountain areas - Pollensa and Soller in the Tramuntana; Arta and Capdepera in the Arta Mountains and Llevant Nature Park.

The dry-stone route of the Tramuntana is the best known of the hiking trails, but the aim is to ultimately unify the whole island by having routes that complete a circle around Majorca and so bring benefits from hiking tourism to municipalities less associated with the activity.

The German market is especially important, and it also benefits from having the best low-season air connections with Palma. Deutscher Wanderband, the German hiking association, has conducted a study which suggests that some 40 million Germans engage in hiking of some form. If so, then they represent around half the population of Germany.

If the figure of 350,000 hikers for this low season (an increase of 20%) is accurate, then it eclipses the number of cyclists, for which the estimated number is some 200,000.