A 30.000 pies por viajeros para viajeros


Five Culinary Enticements in Majorca

While “The Times” recently described Palma de Mallorca as “the best place to live in the world”, it should be noted that Majorca is not just Palma and that you are likely to come across your “ideal spot” at any location on the island. I imagine that the Germans would agree, too… On this, the largest of the Balearic islands, there are so many hedonistic enticements that they can scarcely be encompassed in a single getaway. That is why many finally decide to “occupy it”. With the island’s gastronomy as a pretext, here are some key venues in Palma and the rest of the island for tasting it, according to one’s appetite and urges. Some might seek a simple snack; others, a full-blown banquet.

Ensaimada. You will get tired of seeing them everywhere, but at Ca’n Joan de S’Aigo they make the best ensaimadas, which are also for takeaways. Plain or filled with custard, cream or apricot. Don’t be put off by the queues or the time-worn appearance of this pastry shop, arguably resembling your grandparents’ living room. If you’d rather try something different, go for the gató or the cuarto, two traditional, homemade Majorcan sponges.

Sobrasada. Still in Palma, you will come across lots of grocery stores that sell sobrasada. The legendary one is Santo Domingo, where you can see it on display in all its shapes and varieties. The sobrasada sold at the Xesc Reina delicatessen, or La Luna, in Sóller, is delicious spread on toast and honey.

Well-Starred Cuisine

Enogastronomy is on a high, riding on the back of names, paradigms and also Michelin stars. The island is now a foodie destination of the first order, thanks to the cuisine and “gastro-activism” of such chefs as Andreu Genestra and Fernando Pérez Arellano. Both use ingredients sourced locally which they show off in style in reasonably priced/quality tasting menus.

Andreu, in the Son Jaumell hotel, and Fernando in the spectacular Castell Son Claret, grow and pamper much of the raw material for their dishes in situ. Andreu also explores new techniques in his recipes, such as smoked spices, while Fernando dishes up signature breakfasts coveted by other hotels on the island.

Casual Cuisine

Stop off at Claxon, preferably with a prior booking, to discover the “composite cuisine” typifying this establishment, with its garden, lunch menu and portions menu. Amid the bustle of Santa Catalina, head for Patrón Lunares, featuring well-known dishes reworked with aplomb and served up in ingenious guises. You can also have a drink at both places.

Eclectic Cuisine

Rialto Living is the place to head for in downtown Palma if you’re looking for a classy, arty, cultured multi-disciplinary space with fine cuisine. A new restaurant will shortly be opened on the first floor, but you can meanwhile take a seat at one of the café tables and order a snack, or try their fusion cuisine.

And, Two Stayover Options in Palma

Sant Francesc. The hallmark of this hotel, housed in a listed building in Palma’s historic centre, is the well-being of their guests. With spacious rooms and common areas, a rooftop swimming pool, a cocktail bar and a substantial collection of contemporary art and photography, no wonder this spanking new hotel is already one of the “Small Luxury Hotels of the World.”

Can Alomar. On the most exclusive stretch of the Born de Palma promenade, this classical-style luxury hotel affords panoramic views of the Cathedral and harbour from its rooftop solarium, as well as from its restaurant terrace, where sipping a drink on high is an elating experience.

Delicious, isn’t it? Why wait to discover these five gastronomic idylls in Majorca? Check out our flights here.

Text by Belén Parra (Gastronomistas)

Photos by Belén Parra y Vera Lair



more info

The Rugged Side of Majorca

Majorca is renowned the world over for its beaches and coves, but the Sierra de Tramuntana, which rises over a thousand metres above the island’s north coast, is a veritable paradise for hiking enthusiasts. An intricate network of centuries-old tracks and footpaths has been upgraded into a set of fully-fledged walking routes traversing a surprisingly rocky landscape carpeted with dense forest. Peeping out of the clearings are a number of quaint villages and hamlets that preserve their pristine charm. A long-distance footpath, known as the Dry Stone Route (Ruta de Piedra en Seco) or GR-221, runs from one end of the range to the other, flanked by the most rugged landscapes in Majorca. The route, imbued with the region’s rich cultural heritage, covers 120 km and can be done in full or by sections. For visitors with a tight schedule, we have selected three of the best sections along the trail.

1. Ses Basses and La Trapa – the Stunning Sa Dragonera Vantage Point

The walking route starts at the Coll de Sa Gramola, a mountain pass accessible from the Andratx main road. From here, a trail heads westwards towards the caseta de Ses Basses. After that the path narrows and leads to an area with various viewpoints overlooking the sea, affording wonderful panoramic views. The trail gradually merges into the wild landscape which compounds a rugged, breathtaking setting against the backdrop of the island of Sa Dragonera protruding into the sea. After a descent flanked by vegetation, you come to an old Trappist monastery now under restoration. The project will eventually include a shelter for hikers. For the return trip, you go back the same way you came.

This is an easy route, covering 15 km for the whole round trip, ideal for a morning’s hike.
Access: Coll de Sa Gramola lies 5 km from Andratx, reached via the Ma-10 main road, where there is a parking area. If you happen to come in two cars, you can extend the excursion beyond La Trapa as far as Sant Elm, where you can park one of the cars beforehand. The walking distance from Coll de Sa Gramola to Sant Elm is 13 km in all. Remember to take water as there are no drinking sources on the way and little shade.

2. Camí de s’Arxiduc – a High-Flying Lookout Between Valldemossa and Deià

The excursion begins at the Charterhouse of Valldemossa, the former residence of King Sancho I of Majorca. Exit the village of Valldemossa following the white and red markers of the GR-221 along a stony path with a steep gradient that ends at the Es Cairats shelter, which is still closed. It should be noted that original route of the GR-221 was very different from the current one as it used to go over the summit of Talaia Vella, from where it joined up with the Camí de s’Arxiduc. On the new route, old lime kilns are visible on the ascent leading to Es Cairats, as are charcoal kilns and the small shelters once inhabited by those in charge of managing resources in the magnificent holm oak woods.

After the shelter, the footpath turns into a track and you soon come to a wild, open area. The GR-221 markers lead to the summit of Puig Gros, the Pla des Aritges plain and Es Caragolí, where the route finally links up with the panoramic Camí de s’Arxiduc. Before taking a detour to descend towards Deià, it is well worth walking a few extra yards – even though this involves going back on our tracks – along this emblematic route, as it runs along the ridge of the mountains. It was commissioned by the Archduke Louis Salvador of Habsburg-Lorraine in the late-19th century for the sole purpose of being able to enjoy the scenery.

While only 13 km long, the route has a difficulty of medium-high, on account of the slopes and terrain, which is very rocky and steep in some stretches.
You can leave your car in Valldemossa and take the bus back from Deià.

3. From Sóller to the Monastery of Lluc – A Weekend in the Mountain Heartland

One of the most spectacular, varied, accessible and best appointed sections of the GR-221 is the one that connects the historical town of Sóller to the Monastery of Lluc. It covers a distance of 35 km and can readily be divided into two stages – of 19 km and 15 km each – with an overnight in the Tossals Verds shelter.

Stage 1 – On the first day, the GR-221 markers point you from the centre of Sóller to the bucolic Biniaraix gorge. This involves a pronounced accumulated slope, leading up to the Coll de l’Ofre and the Cúber dam. From here, the more seasoned hikers can proceed to the Tossals Verds shelter via the new Pas Llis bypass, with an added ascent and a brief, simple equipped pass. The alternative is the old route which goes around Coll des Coloms and does not entail any difficulty.

Stage 2 – After regaining your strength in the shelter, you proceed along the GR-221 towards the panoramic areas of Coll des Prat and Coll des Telègraf. From here, a long descent leads you to the monastery along a winding path which snakes through a holm-oak wood featuring old but recently restored ice pits.

The trek lasts two days and the difficulty level is medium to high, as it includes steep slopes – with a daily accumulated slope of over 1,100 metres – and prolonged descents along tracks. The terrain is rocky and requires mountain footwear, in addition to trekking poles. While the path is signposted with posts, waymarkers and paint marks, it is advisable to take your own hiking map, such as the one published by the Editorial Alpina. You should also book overnights at the Tossals Verds shelter in advance, as capacity is limited (website).
You can get a bus to Sóller from Palma, or you can travel on the old Sóller railway, which has been plying the route daily since 1912. You can take the L330 line bus to make the return journey from Lluc to Palma.

Don’t wait to discover the rugged enclaves of Majorca – check out our flights here.


Text by Sergio Fernández Tolosa & Amelia Herrero Becker of Con Un Par de Ruedas

Photos by Con Un Par de Ruedas

more info

Five Spanish summer dishes

We love discovering new destinations through their food and drink. In Spain, as well as typical food that you can eat all year round, like paella, tortilla and bread with tomato, you can also find special dishes that are perfect for summer. Ideal recipes for hot days when you really fancy something light and fresh.

more info

Nine Essentials In Palma de Mallorca

When talking about Majorca, we usually limit ourselves to the wonderful beaches and landscapes to be explored and tend to ignore its main city, Palma. Tucked away in this enchanting port city with a centennial history are numerous gems that make this a must-visit destination on the island. Following are some pointers to landmarks that make this city so alluring.

1. A Cathedral Filled With Surprises
You can’t help seeing it – Majorca Cathedral protrudes well above all other buildings in the city. Also known as La Seu, this monument in Levantine Gothic style is characterised by its lofty bearing – it is one of Europe’s tallest Gothic cathedrals – and its huge rose window, also one of the largest of its kind, while the interior is crammed with surprises. It features the legacy of Gaudí, who rearranged the interior in the early-20th century, incorporating Modernist ornamental elements and a baldachin on the unfinished altar. Then there is the amazing ceramic mural of Mediterranean inspiration which crowns the Chapel of the Most Holy, the work of Miquel Barceló, which visitors are unlikely to miss.

2. The Characterful Lonja
This must-visit 15th-century building, designed by Guillem Sagrera, was once the headquarters of the School of Merchants. Nowadays, visitors are dazzled by its helicoidal columns, which end in groined vaults that look like palm trees at first glance. The construction is enormously inspiring, capable of transporting the viewer to a time when Palma was a major trade centre.

3. A Route Through Miro’s Majorca
The imprint of Joan Miró is ever-present in the city where he spent the last 27 years of his life. Be sure to visit the Pilar i Joan Miró Foundation to see the artist’s house and workshop, in addition to a small part of his vast oeuvre. And, still in the same area, the recently opened Marivent Palace gardens feature twelve of Miró’s sculptures.

4. A Good Measure of Contemporary Art
In Palma, contemporary art is not limited to the figure of Miró. If you head for Es Baluard, Palma’s Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, you can also see works by the leading artists and movements that have come together and still converge in the Balearic Islands. Another venue you should make a point of visiting is the Juan March Museum Foundation which houses a highly interesting collection of contemporary Spanish art.

5. The Waterfront Promenade
Like any decent seaside resort, Palma is fringed from one end to the other by a long waterfront promenade which affords a different angle on the city. The view is stunning when you draw level with the Cathedral, and the promenade also has leisure areas where locals do various sports or just lounge around and chill out.

6. De Luxe Cuisine
Palma has splendid and highly assorted culinary offerings. The local tradition, in the form of tapas bars and restaurants offering locally sourced products, exists side by side with establishments that have reinvented Majorcan cuisine and taken it to a new level, and those serving up international cuisine. Don’t hesitate to try Majorca’s typical and essentialsobrasada,a spicy, pork sausage, or to put yourself in the hands of gourmet chefs with their bolder gastronomic interpretation.

7. Santa Catalina, The Hipster Quarter
This erstwhile fishing quarter has undergone a facelift and a marked transformation in recent years, becoming one of the most attractive beats in town. We recommend visiting it at dusk, when the establishments get into full swing, and refueling by opting for a hearty dinner in of one the area’s trendy restaurants.

8. Terraces with Views
Another way to enjoy the city is from one of the rooftop terraces which some bars and restaurants have tucked away. There you can order a small feast while soaking up the breathtaking views. One such spot with magnificent views is the Nakar Hotel, which offers an excellent culinary assortment served up by Majorcan chef Miquel Calent.

9. An Ensaimada as a Souvenir
You cannot possibly leave Majorca without an ensaimada under your arm. This is a giveaway at your destination airport, but there’s no resisting the delight of eating one. Filled with angel hair squash, custard, chocolate and even sobrasada – or without a filling, if you prefer – you can get your hands on this tasty souvenir in numerous pastry shops. Among our favourites are Forn Fondo and Horno Santo Cristo.

Book your Vueling to Palma de Mallorca, explore its streets and let yourself get carried away by the charm of this city.

Text by Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS

Photo by SBA73


more info