5 days enjoying slow life on the island of Majorca
The island of Majorca is full of surprises. It has many leisure options, as well as nature, culture, traditions and contrasts. It’s worth spending a few days exploring, and you’re sure to come again! Join us on a five-day getaway to discover the best of the island’s slow life. Are you ready?more info
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.
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.
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.
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
Majorca for the Family
Majorca is one of the largest islands in the Mediterranean. Its exceptionally good climate makes it one of the most popular destinations, and it has more to offer families than neighbouring Ibiza. Here are some places the youngest members of the family may enjoy.
Cuevas dels Hams in Porto Cristo
Majorca is brimming with magical spots and natural spaces that will pleasantly surprise you, such as the spectacular and beautifully maintained Hams caves near the town of Porto, which were first opened to the public in 1910. It’s an easy drive on good roads, and the play of coloured lights inside the caves will delight your children.
Excursion to the Cúber Reservoir
A great place to take small children, the Cúber reservoir is in a lovely setting at foot of the island’s tallest mountain, the Puig Major. To walk around the perimeter of the reservoir takes a bit more than two hours, starting at kilometre 33.8 of the Sóller-Pollença road, where there is a small parking lot. A little higher up the mountain there’s another parking lot in the Font des Noguer recreational area where the walk begins, and you can enjoy the views as well as the flora and fauna.
Beaches for Babies
The island boasts numerous coves with beaches, but not all are easily accessible or suitable for taking very small children and babies. Cala Ferrera is an exception. It’s just 1,500 metres from the centre of Cala d’Or, and very popular with holidaymakers. There’s a restaurant on the beach itself, with stairs and a boardwalk to the sand. Cala Serena is quieter and semi-developed, and shallow waters make it ideal for children. Cala Esmeralda (also known as Caló des Corrals) in the middle of the Cala d'Or residential and hotel district. Its white sands are ringed with vegetation and rocks. Cala Sa Nau is another charming beach some 13 km from Porto Colom, and boasts a charming restaurant on the smallish but very attractive beach. Cala Marçal, in Felanitx, is distinguished by its large parking lot and its Wi-Fi zone. It is very clean and has good services, including showers, as well as several places to eat.
Changing of the Guard at the Palacio de la Almudaina
At midday on the last Saturday of each month there is a colourful changing of the guard ceremony by the Palma 47th Light Infantry division in front of the Palacio de la Almudaina. The soldiers wear elaborate dress uniforms designed in 1808 for the volunteer corps. The palace was once the official residence of the viceroys of Majorca.
Where to Eat
The Ca’l Dimoni in Algaida is to be recommended for its limited but excellent offering of typical Majorcan dishes such as torradas (grilled sausages and meat), and probably the best arroz brut (“dirty rice” with meat and veg) on the island. Prices are reasonable and the quality is tops. When dessert is served, the famous Dimoni de Ca’l Dimoni or masked demon makes jokes and hands out sweets to the children. Francesco, the owner of the Café El Trotamundos (Calle Annibal, 18. Palma de Majorca), in Palma’s friendly and traditional Santa Catalina neighbourhood, is serious about the quality of the food and service at her cafeteria, and the fresh toasted panini are a favourite with her youngest customers. There’s even a play area for the children.
Where to Sleep
Pirates Village (Avenida del Rey Jaime I, 114. Santa Ponsa) A pirate-themed hotel, is it designed especially for families with children. It has a special swimming pool for smaller children, and water slides for older ones. As well as a children’s activity programme. It’s near the beaches of Santa Ponsa and Caló d’en Pellicer.
Photos: Fundación Turismo Palma de Mallorca 365, Turisme Petit, Cuevas dels Hams.
Serra de Tramuntana
Some areas of the Mallorcan coast have been hit by the touristic boom, the one that has sown it merciless with large buildings and beachfront resorts. Luckily, others have been carefully conserved and have protected the environment.
This is the case of the Serra de Tramuntana, one of the most beautiful and emblematic landscapes of Mallorca, located northwest of the island. Of its relief the peaks over 1,000 meters stand out -like the majestic Puig Major, the highest peak of the Balearic Islands with 1447 meters- and the different landscapes that you will discover traveling the road that runs through it and running from Andratx to Pollença going by some of the most beautiful villages of the island as Bañalbufar, Estellencs, Deià, Pollença, Lluc, Fornalutx or Valldemossa.
An excellent area for practice hiking, caving and canyoning with spectacular views through valleys, cliffs and gorges.
The town of Sóller offers various attractions: it concentrates a large number of modernist buildings such as the Banc de Sóller or the Can Brunera mansion -that now houses a museum-, the old church of San Bartolomé and a picturesque harbor with two beaches.
In addition, it is said that the ensaimadas from Soller are the best, with the garrovetes del papa, its typical sweet, or the oranges used to prepare juice and ice-creams. You can find these local products and traditional crafts in "Es Mercat" which is held every Saturday.
One of the fun trips you can do from Sóller is to take the Sóller train that connects the town with Palma de Mallorca. A trip to the past in their wooden wagons and with the rattling of a line that opened in 1912 and runs between the beautiful landscapes of the Tramuntana mountains and fields full of almond, olive and carob trees.
Just above the village of Sóller there is Fornalutx, chosen as one of the "most beautiful in Spain" a couple of times. Their houses are finely restored and perfectly ordered despite the uneven, the flowers on the balconies, the cobbled streets and ancient tradition of painted tiles-present in many of the houses- make it a dream place.
Walkers have here many interesting routes ranging from Sóller to Fornalutx, like the one leading to Mirador de Ses Barques or the Cami de Sa Figuera.
Sa Calobra and other beaches and coves
In the same mountain range of tramuntana there is Sa Calobra, a cove created at the mouth of the River Torrent de Pareis where the sea, forest and cliffs converge in a natural setting of stunning beauty.
The access is complicated because you must go through 800 sinuous curves along 4 kilometers, including the convoluted 360 degrees curve known as the Nus de la Corbata (tie knot).
From Sa Calobra you can reach to the Torrent de Pareis Creek, where they celebrate each year the "Concert in Sa Calobra" every first Sunday of July. The canyon walls exert natural amphitheater, creating a unique and unrivaled sound.
Throughout the area you can find pristine beaches like Cala d'Egos in Andratx, Es Port des Canonge in Banyalbufar, the Cala de Valldemossa or Llucalcari in Deià, and although sometimes you have to walk a few miles down steep rocks or drive on narrow roads with impossible curves, it is worth the effort, to be rewarded at the end with a wonderful beach less frequented by tourists.
The Sanctuary of Lluc
The origin of its name comes from lucus, meaning "sacred forest". Here is the Virgen de Lluc "La Moreneta", patron saint of Mallorca; a small, dark-skinned virgin, that, according to the legend, found a shepherd in the mountains. The virgin was reluctant to leave the place and that is why a small chapel was built and with time, it became this beautiful sanctuary.
There are are some bars and restaurants around the architectural complex.
Picture Sa Calobra by Hugin | picture Sóller by jpm2112 | picture Serra Tramuntana by Carlos Delgado
A place well worth discovering! Check out our flights here.more info