Mallorca’s Waterfall: Es Salt des Freu in Orient

Salt des Freu means leaping with Joy. It’s likely that Mallorcans in the past celebrated the sight of the first wild streams with fresh water after dry summers. This was especially true at the most renowned waterfall in Mallorca, situated just a brief distance from the village of Orient.

Mallorca's Waterfall: Es Salt des Freu in Orient

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Water is a scarce resource in Mallorca. During the summer, all the wild and cascading streams dry up until the rains return in the fall and winter. In the fertile plain outside the town of Orient, a truly unique natural spectacle unfolds. The wild stream cascades multiple times, forming an impressive waterfall through the forest. Many dilapidated structures stand as a testament to the value of the wet element in times past. Nowadays, the area is mostly deserted unless the stream carries water. Throughout the year, the forest holds a magical allure, offering ample space for play and exploration among weathered rocks, abandoned buildings, and densely overgrown terrain.

Es Salt des Freu Mallorca: Retreat for City People

Similar to the Ses Fonts Ufanes springs, the water in the forest surrounding Es Salt des Freu is a highlight that few islanders want to miss. Social media is flooded with updates when the waterfall is once again flowing with water. Due to its proximity to Palma, especially on weekends, more urban dwellers can be found in the forest than in the city.

waterfall in mallorca

However, the proximity to the city is not the only draw. The hike to Es Salt des Freu is one of the easiest on Mallorca and can be easily accomplished even with very young children. The walking distance is manageable yet still spectacular. The nature experience is unparalleled, providing the opportunity to splash in the water, have a picnic under ancient oak trees, and breathe in the fresh forest air.

Activities around the Waterfall

There are many paths and hiking options to reach the Es Salt des Freu waterfall, including one variant that stands out as one of the easiest and most spectacular tours for children. The trail is quite rocky, making it unsuitable for strollers, but it is also very short, allowing even younger children to walk it independently.

Picnic at the Waterfall

Regardless of the length of the tour, a picnic is a must. It’s also possible away from the wild stream and waterfall. If it’s not too crowded, sitting directly by the lower cascade is very pleasant. If it gets busier, the forest above is a better and quieter option.

easy hiking trail to the mallorca waterfall

The area around Es Salt des Freu is both rocky and damp. Especially during the wetter seasons, you should carefully consider where to set up your picnic. It’s undoubtedly more interesting for the kids by the water, but be prepared to bring them back a bit damp.

Wearing rubber boots and water-resistant clothing is not a bad idea for this tour. However, even in winter, it’s often too warm for bad weather gear in Mallorca. Try to realistically assess the situation and, if in doubt, bring along some dry clothes to change into.

Climbing & Hiding

Even outside the rainy season, the terrain around Es Salt des Freu is like an adventure playground. An old water mill and other dilapidated structures invite exploration. The moss-covered rocks are perfect for climbing. Many gnarled oak trees create the impression of stepping into a fairy-tale forest.

Old Mill at Salt des Freu

The water has artistically worn away the stones, creating many caves and arches that are better explored when it’s drier. Each season has its advantages and disadvantages. The biggest advantage outside the rainy season is undoubtedly having the forest practically to yourselves. On the flip side, it gets very, very crowded during and after heavy rain periods.

Canyoning

Canyoning in Mallorca is one of the lesser-known sports. It involves exploring a gorge from top to bottom with professional equipment and guidance. Due to the numerous, sometimes dry canyons, Mallorca is quite suitable for this emerging trend sport.

canonying at the salt des freu waterfall

It’s not uncommon to see people jumping down the Es Salt des Freu waterfall. Please do not attempt to replicate this! Canyoning is highly popular among locals during the winter. Equipped with professional guidance, helmets, neoprene suits, and life jackets, these individuals hike, swim, and jump through the island’s canyons. Es Salt des Freu is just one of many points on their route. It’s undeniably impressive to watch, but this activity is not suitable for children.

Some providers accept children aged 12 and older, provided they have the fitness required. You can book one of those canyoning tours here.

Hiking Trails to Es Salt des Freu

Family friendly trails: Hiking with children on Mallorca.

Easy: To the Es Salt des Freu Waterfall and Back

More of a stroll than a hike, this route covers just under 5 kilometers in a little over an hour. The starting point is at the street that connects Bunyola and Orient. The path leads to the Mallorca waterfall Es Salt des Freu, and returns along the same path. Most visitors choose this route, making the parking situation a bit more complicated. However, especially with younger children, this option is perfect.

hiking with children in mallorca

The path leads through a manageable stretch along fields, past flocks of sheep, and old agricultural buildings until the waterfall is reached. From there, you just need to follow the water. Strollers are not suitable for this path. However, we have walked the route with our two-year-old, which took a bit longer but is entirely feasible.

Moderate: Circular Tour around Orient

For those finding the short walk too easy, the hike can be turned into a circular tour that passes through the picturesque village of Orient. The downside here is a short but steep section to overcome. However, there is another highlight: the Pas des Estalo, a rock passage serving as a natural boundary between the mountainous terrain and the expansive plain. The view from there is magnificent. The path itself is less traveled, unfortunately, and marked only sparingly.

circular hike in orient

To undertake this hike, I recommend using a hiking app or trail map. You can start the tour in Orient and follow the sparse trail markers into the mountains. The ascent, in particular, is a bit challenging but offers fantastic views of the village of Orient. Once you reach the waterfalls, you can take the easy route back to the street and walk a short distance along the road back to Orient.

Difficult: From Santa Maria

The most challenging hike starts from the town of Santa Maria del Camí through the Coanegra gorge. The one-way distance is approximately 8 kilometers, taking about two hours. The scenery is beautiful but demanding, especially because the spring in Torrent de Coanegra is where the water later flows to our waterfall.

We haven’t personally taken this hike yet, but it looks incredible and seems like a lot of fun. It’s definitely on our list, and once we’ve explored the trail, we’ll provide you with more information.

All the Details

  • Route (Easiest Variant): 2.6 km – 76 meters elevation gain – 1-hour walking time – from 3 years old
  • Parking: No designated parking is available. Park along the side of the highway between Bunyola and Orient, ensuring it doesn’t obstruct traffic.
  • Equipment: Waterproof shoes or rubber boots for children during the rainy season. Sturdy shoes for other seasons.
  • Strollers: Not suitable.
  • Restaurants: In the village of Orient.
  • Nearby attractions: Alaró Castle ruins. Raixa Manor. Alfàbia Gardens. Cúber Reservoir.

Read More

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