5 fun things to do in Mallorca
Mallorca really does have it all. With no less than 262 beaches to choose from with a total length of 50 km, Mallorca boasts an amazingly diverse coastline to gladden the heart of every beach lover. Deserted calas, white sandy family beaches or rocky bays… take your pick. Then there’s the Sierra Tramuntana, a spectacular mountainous spine running the length of the island. Spectacular panoramic scenery, blissful isolation and tranquillity that’s easily accessible from anywhere on the island. Throw in impressive architecture, pretty, well kept villages, a capital city, Palma that’s so easy on the eye. Not to mention cuisine as good as anywhere in Europe, with a smattering of Michelin Starred eateries. Oh, did I forget to mention the climate? Wall to wall sunshine, sometimes even in the depths of winter. Mallorca is a jewel in the Mediterranean crown. Here are five suggestions to get the most out of your visit.
A day at Gran Folies/Cala Llamp
Located in Cala Llamp and not far from Port d’Andratx, Gran Folies has been arguably the best Beach Club in Majorca for the last 40 years.
Beach Club Gran Folies is a restaurant-bar concept where you can enjoy the stunning outdoor location. Built in a graceful arc, both bar and restaurant are inserted among rocks which have formed with the movements and erosion of the sea. Few other places on the island of Majorca enjoy such a private atmosphere, with spectacular views over the bay and only visible from the sea. There isn’t a sandy beach here but that’s never spoiled any of the numerous visits I’ve made.
With its different areas, restaurant, swimming pool, solarium and cocktails, you can enjoy a dip in the sea, which is right at your feet – Gran Fiolies is the perfect place to spend a whole day. Book a day bed, check in for lunch and return home fully satisfied by a wonderful day by the Med in some luxury. Advance booking is seriously recommended.
Explore the island by car
Mallorca is a great island to explore by car. It’s not too big that you can’t easily get from one end to the other. There’s a variety of landscapes to take in, the flatlands to the south and east and the mountains in the North.
Explore the Tramuntana mountains and call at some of the beautiful villages you’ll find there. Of particular interest are Valdamossa, Fornalutx and Diea, all stunningly beautiful and well kept villages boasting great restaurants and cafe stops. Take the road from Soller to Pollensa and be amazed at the breathtaking scenery en route. Sa Colabra is worth a visit, if only to drive down the tortuous road that twists and winds down to the sea. The road from Pollensa to Cap Formentor is one of the most beautiful roads on the island and the lighthouse at the end affords views over the Med that are stunning. Car hire is relatively cheap and there are many companies to choose from.
Hire a boat or rib for the day
A fantastic way to spend a day is to take to the sea. Families and groups of friends will have an unforgettable day on the Med.
Pack a picnic and a cool box full of booze and don’t forget the tunes. Sail to any nearby cove, drop anchor and chill. It’s a great way to see the coastline and you’ll be amazed by the vertiginous cliffs and the rugged rock formations to be seen as you sail by. There are several places where you can drop anchor and be picked up and taken to shore for lunch. Gran Folies immediately springs to mind. It’s not too expensive to hire a boat and a skipper and is well worth the cost for a special day.
The capital city of Palma is the main shopping hot spot on the island, but there are pockets all over Mallorca where you can spend many hours of browsing. For the shopper, the compact size of Palma is of great advantage. The main shopping areas you should visit in the city are Passeig des Born, Avinguda Jaume III and the pedestrianised cobbled streets and ancient passageways around Placa Major and Placa Cort.
The Islands marinas are usually great shopping destinations on the island. Puerto Portals, Port Adriano and Port d’Andratx are generally tailored towards designer shopping. Affordable fashion and gift boutiques can be found in Cala d’Or, Port Alcudia and Port de Pollensa. The holiday resorts all have supermarkets and beachwear shops for your essentials and some will have weekly markets selling all sorts of souvenirs and local produce, including fruit and veg.
My favourite market on the island is at Santanyi. Be it for the scenery, curiosity or interest in art, Santanyí is well worth a visit and the best time to go is at the weekend. Saturday is market day in Santanyí, so you better start off early. Enjoy a breakfast in one of the cafés and watch the continual coming and going on one of the nicest markets on the island. Take a look around the galleries or stroll around the market stands with their vast selection of curiosities. Highly recommended.
The cathedral is spectacular from the outside and set in an amazing location dominating the seafront. Arguably the building is even more impressive inside, with amazing multi-coloured light coming through the huge stained glass windows into the cavernous light, airy interior.
There is also a contemporary feel with an unfinished alter by Gaudí and a modernist chapel by a renowned Spanish artist. Located right in the middle of the old town in Palma, it’s surrounded by gardens and the lovely lanes of the old town. Marvel at the skill of the stone masons who created the beautiful facades.