What to expect of Mallorca
Mallorca is the largest of Spain’s Balearic Islands, with a long and fascinating history. Apart from Palma, Mallorca’s capital city, highlights include Valldemossa, Serra de Tramuntana and Sóller. In the north, Alcúdia has Roman remains, Cap Formentor offers breathtaking views, and there’s the attractive town and port of Pollensa. In the southwest, visit Santa Ponsa, Andratx town and port, and the luxury marina of Puerto Portals. East coast resorts include Cala d’Or and the tranquil former fishing village of Porto Colom.
The Mediterranean climate makes Mallorca a great destination throughout the year. Forget about seeing the neighbouring Ibiza, Menorca & Formentera; the island is so big it's hard to cover even Mallorca alone at one glance. So, here's what I could see in a summer week...
The trickiest part of a trip, if you ask me, is the itinerary and where to pick as base. I'm sharing mine; the optimum I could find to spend a whole week in Mallorca 😎 My base was Puerto de Pollença which I think was a good choice.
Day1 Formentor Beach
Day2 Alcudia Beach
Day3 Sóller, Formentor y Alcudia Town
Day6 Muro Beach
Day5 Dragon Cave & Millor Beach
Day7 Puerto de Pollença
Palma de Mallorca
Palma is the capital of the island, as well as the capital of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands.
Overlooking the Bay of Palma, Royal Palace of La Almudaina and Cathedral ‘La Seu’ are capital’s main attractions. The word ‘Almudaina’ comes from the Arabic word for ‘fortress’. However, long before the Moors arrived in the 10th century, the site had already been used by Romans, and even further back, by the Talaiots. Cathedral of Light (La Sue) is one of Europe’s tallest Gothic structures. Young King Jaime I had sworn that he if succeeded in his mission to rid the island of the Moors, he would build a massive cathedral and there you have it! In the early 20th century, La Seu underwent some changes at the hands of the Catalan Modernist architect Antoni Gaudí.
You can find Arab Baths as one of the few preserved examples of Moorish architecture in the old town. A splendid garden with cacti, palms and orange trees, where guests can relax leads to the hammam from the 10th century.
Surprised to come across windmills in Palma, right? Casals de Barri are places where you can participate in many activities. These centers are dedicated to the provision of services and assistance to groups with social and economic difficulties, socio-educational prevention, social, cultural and recreational development, as well as the promotion of community life in the neighbourhoods of Palma de Mallorca. The barrio Es Jonquet is right next to its trendy neighborhood Santa Catalina.
The name Santa Catalina derives from a promise made by the wealthy Mallorcan merchant, Ramón Salelles, to Sta Catalina of Alexandria. Fearing for his life at sea, he promised to build a hospital for all the old sailors and merchants which would bear the name of the saint if he survived. Thus in 1343 he founded the Hospital of Santa Catalina. From 1990 onwards, Santa Catalina and Es Jonquet started to look and feel the way they do today, with growth in business and tourism. Santa Catalina is where the fishermen used to live, today the area is probably most popular for its huge indoor market, Mercat de Santa Catalina, Palma’s oldest food market.
Es Baluard Museum of Modern Art is a beautiful art gallery housing some impressive modern day works of art. It could be a good break from the sun or you can enjoy the artworks in its garden.
Santo Cristo is the place to try "ensaimada", the traditional Mallorcan almond cake.
Playa de Formentor is a beautiful, blue-flag beach located along the Formentor Peninsula in the northeastern tip of the island. Set in one of the wildest and most dramatic of landscapes, with dense pine forests and views of the Tramuntana mountains, the beach is very popular with tourists who also make their way north for the scenic views at the Cap de Formentor, the farthest point on the island also called the meeting point of the winds, that ends in a lighthouse. On your way, if you have a car, you can also stop by Mirador es Colomer for different angles of the breathtaking views.
Alcúdia Beach is a beautiful blue-flag, fine white sand beach that stretches from Port d'Alcúdia along a 'golden mile' of hotel-backed coastline. It's the largest beach of all the Balearic islands thanks to its 7 kilometres of sand.
By far my favorite beach, meet Muro:
Port de Pollença, also known as Puerto Pollensa, is an established, family-friendly tourist resort in the north of Mallorca. Like many Mallorcan coastal towns, the resort was formerly a fishing village servicing the local area. It still features a large marina which nowadays harbours leisure boats more than fishing boats. As it was my base, I have some culinary suggestions for you; El Bistro, Mamboreta, Angelo, Piazza Uno (you should try icecream of kefir with pear) all with delicious food .
Up north, The Pine Walk promenade provides a more tranquil and narrow beach, lined with traditional style Mallorcan chalets whereas down south of the port you will find a long, family friendly commercial beach.
Located on the north east coast of the island, Cala Millor offers an expanse of golden sands and tranquil waters which lie adjacent to a promenade that displays an array of bars, restaurants and shops. This resort has a reputation for being most popular with German tourists.
A typical old Mediterranean town, Soller is made up of narrow streets lined with traditional style residential townhouses with the famous green Mallorcan shutters. Soller lies a couple of miles inland from its port, Port de Soller and is connected via a vintage tram that goes all the way to Palma.
The main square, Plaça Constitució, has plenty of cafes (I recommend Central) as well as the main attraction, Sant Bartomeu Church. Built in the 13th century, the impressive monument had add-ons later in the years; a Baroque structure in the late 17th century, the modernist facade was in 1904 by the architect Joan Rubid (who also designed the equally impressive Banco Central Hispano next door), an arched tower suspended above the rose window, with spires like huge needles pointing into the air in 1912.
The Cuevas del Drach made me feel like I was in "Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest" 😉 The Dragon Caves are 4 great caves, calcareous formations, formed between 11 and 5.3 million years ago, during the Miocene era. The temperature inside the caves is about 21°C and the humidity an 80%. The tour takes about an hour and includes a classical music concert and a boat trip. The tour ends with a floodlit, floating violin concert on Lake Martel, Europe's largest underground lake, named after the French geologist Edouard Martel who first explored these caves in the late 19th century.Don't forget to buy the tickets online in order to avoid queues and save time.
The vibrant northern town of Alcúdia is truly a year-round location, offering life, history and culture throughout all seasons. Lying just one kilometre inland from the famous holiday resort of Port d’Alcúdia, it’s the ideal place to taste rich Mallorcan heritage, without having to stray too far off the beaten path.
Dramatic past events have left their mark everywhere in Alcúdia. First inhabited by the Phoenicians and Greeks, then established in 123 B.C. as the Roman settlement Pollença, it was subsequently attacked by Vandals, Byzantines and Arabs, before finally being conquered by Catalan Christians. The conquerors left their cultural heritage behind, which is still visible today in the town’s small alleyways.
The historic centre of Alcúdia is enclosed by Mallorca’s only entirely preserved town wall, erected in the 14th century by King Jaume II to protect Alcúdia’s inhabitants. As soon as you pass the gates, you cannot help but feel enchanted by the restored ancient centre.
Church of St. Jaume is one of the attractions. The Roman Catholic Church dates back to the times of James II in 14th century. In 1870, the precarious state of the church and heavy rains caused it to collapse, with only the bell tower, the Chapel of Sant Crist and the sacristy remaining intact. In 1893, the new church was finished in neo-Gothic style, following historicist criteria that were prevalent at the time of its construction.
Feeling hungry ? Then Cristal is your restaurant here in Alcúdia; best tapas you could around. Lovely Bulgarian family will host you just perfectly!
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