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I have to admit I’d always turned my nose up at the largest of the Balearic islands. Put off by the tales of jam-packed beaches and bustling tourist resorts, its image as a magnet for party animals kept it off our travel list for a long time. Until an offer to join an extended family holiday was too good to refuse. And I’m so glad it did as I unearthed a whole island of delights.
On our week break to the Mediterranean island we enjoyed the Caribbean-esque scenes of the azure waters and enticing beaches associated with Mallorca.
Not one to spend all my time laying horizontal catching the rays, my explorer instincts soon kicked in. Within the seven days we managed to cover a lot of ground. Squeezing in all corners of the island we explored some unforgettable landscapes rich in high mountains, small fishing villages and underground caves.
North Coast Gems of Mallorca
We were a short drive away from this incredibly picturesque Mallorcan rural town. Think cobbled narrow streets, stone houses, and an impressive historic square lined with cafés, restaurants and bars. Café culture is large here. We slipped into the tradition with complete ease joining the locals supping beverages or (licking ice-creams in the case of the kids) whilst watching the world go by in Placa Mayor. The square is also home to the 18th century Nostra Senyora Del Angels church with its spectacular rose window.
If you fancy a mini pilgrimage, climb the 365 cypress tree-lined steps (representing each day of the year) from the town centre leading you to El Calvari.
Take a bottle of water particularly in the summer months, the steep steps can be quite a trek in the sweltering heat. When you reach the simple and peaceful hilltop chapel the rewards don’t stop there. The views at the top are magnificent rolling out to the Bay of Pollença over a patchwork of terracotta rooftops.
For those with a penchant for shopping don’t miss the tiny lanes brimming with artisan boutique shops. No surprises my wallet was empty after our first visit.
For the sun worshippers the long swathes of sandy beaches are not too far away either in Puerto Pollença. The marina and cafe-lined promenade has enthralling views of the rugged Formentor Peninsula.
Another glorious spot and
My only regret was not making it to the end of the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range and the razor-edge cliffs of Cap de Formentor.
East Coast Gems of Mallorca
Cuevas del Drach
Without doubt the world-famous Cuevas del Drach (Caves of Drach) is one of the island’s grandest and most popular tourist attractions.
Inevitably this does mean the slow penguin shuffle is required for the 1.2kms winding path, which leads to a series of dramatic cave formation chambers. The tours take about an hour. After staring at the jaw-dropping shapes, colours and sheer size of the stalactites and stalagmites it ends with a rather cheesy but strangely enjoyable classical music recital. When was the last time you were serenaded at an impressive underground lake?
Gems On The South Coast Of Mallorca
The historic capital is a vibrant and stylish city. It has it all – culture, luxury hotels, trendy restaurants, bars and a beautiful marina.
Palma’s old town is centred around the majestic gothic cathedral, abundant with ancient passages, historic monuments and incredible architecture.
Gems On The West coast Of Mallorca
The quiet, enchanting village perched on a hilltop in the Serra de Tramuntana is one of the prettiest and most exclusive on the island. It’s long been a magnet for the creative minded, like the English poet Robert Graves and authors Agatha Christie, Evelyn Waugh, and Kingsley Amis.
The steep cobbled streets, stone houses adorned with bougainvillea, impressive views across the crystal clear Mediterranean and the stunning mountain vistas help you ease into the laid back air of the coastal village.
Deià is also home to the Belmond La Residencia, a stunning boutique hotel set amongst acres of scented olive and citrus groves. We sipped on cocktails and enjoyed the exceptional views over the picturesque village of Deià and later feasted on the most delicious tapas in one of their restaurants Café Miró.
A thirty minute walk or short drive away is Cala Deià, where you’ll find a small shingle beach set within a captivating coastal inlet.
The small rocky cove is home to two restaurants and one for sure will require advance booking. Tom Hiddleston and The Night Manager fans join the queue – it’s where you’ll find the popular waterside restaurant Ca’s Patró March, used as a location for some of the scenes from the hit TV thriller.
The quaint village of
The 13th century Carthusian Monastery is one of the main attractions famous for once being home to the great composer Chopin. Outdoor thrillseekers won’t be disappointed either as the surrounding terrain is perfect for rock climbing, hiking and mountain biking.
If you’re pressed for time like we were, Soller makes a beautiful day trip from Palma. Board a charming wooden vintage tram which takes you past citrus groves on a scenic journey of the countryside. You’re so close you could do some fruit picking of your own!
Disembark and arrive in the main square Placa Constitucid. Join in the favourite tourist pastime of café lounging. There are some great, tapas bars, pastry and ice-cream shops to indulge in. Then sit back and soak up the atmosphere.
When you’re next in the mood for some sun, sea
Have you been to Mallorca? If so, I’d love to know your favourite area. Let me know in the comments box below.
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