We recently got back from spending the week in Majorca. It was my fourth visit to the Island and it is rapidly becoming one of my favourite holiday destinations. Although when we first visited on honeymoon 11 years ago we left feeling a little underwhelmed. It was the weather rather than Majorca’s fault though. It tipped it down almost the entire time we were there meaning we spent most of our time sheltering from torrential rain rather than dipping our toes in turquoise waters.
However, 3 years ago we hired a villa in the Tramuntara mountains on the North-West side of the Island with my cousin (who is conveniently married to one of my husband’s best friends) and finally fell for its charms. In fact so much so that we returned for girlie city break in Palma just 12 months later losing ourselves in the winding streets of the old town and the changing rooms of Mango and Zara.
This time round we hired a villa in the middle of the Island in a village called Consell. It is not really a touristy type of a place lacking the postcard good looks of Deia or Fortnalux but it still has plenty of flaky paint doors, white washed buildings and winding alleyways to fill up your camera roll with and felt much more like we were discovering the “real Mallorca”. So with four trips now under my belt I thought I would do a little roundup of my favourite places to stay, eat, beach and explore on the Island. Please do add suggestions in the comments below as I feel like I have probably only explored about 35% of this gorgeous place so far oh and Rafa Nadal’s home address if you happen to have it…..
Best Places To Stay in Majorca
When we visited on honeymoon we stayed up in the North of the Island near Pollenca in a boutique hotel called Son Brull. If you are unencumbered by children and want to stay somewhere Mr Tumble free with beautiful crisp clean interiors, an infinity pool and a bartender who memorises your favourite cocktail after the first night this is the place.
On our girlie break we were looking for somewhere right in the middle of Palma that had nice interiors but which wouldn’t break the bank. We chose the Nakar Hotel which I would whole heartedly recommend for the following reasons a) it is very centrally located so very easy to get to the Old Town, Cathedral and Harbour as well as to pick up buses to get to places along the coast b) the rooms are large, clean and contemporary c) it has rooftop terrace and infinity pool which look out over a view of terracotta rooftops, blue skies, the twinkling sea and magnificent Cathedral (in the evening a DJ plays so you can go up there after a few Roses and two step dance like it’s 1998 again) d) there is a breakfast buffet that features both limitless chocolate cake and cava and e) the concierge staff are almost exclusively very handsome young Spanish men who smell and look great as well as obviously being great fonts of knowledge on Palma’s cultural sights.
I actually deliberated long and hard about writing this blog and sharing the details of the Villa we stayed in this time round as it was such an amazing find and I am slightly worried that when I let the secret out it will get booked up and I won’t be able to go back!
As I mentioned above it was located in a village about 20 mins North of Palma called Consell and it’s location was perfect as we could explore all over the island without ever having to drive more than an hour. There is a little bakery, a bar on the local square, a newagent, supermarket and a couple of nice restaurants (of the local rather than trendy variety).
But to be honest most days it was hard to drag ourselves away from the Villa compound! It really was heaven. Sleeping 12 in total there are 5 double bedrooms all ensuite with air conditioning and two with their own private roof terraces. Downstairs is a huge dining/living space with a whopper of a kitchen table and a massive corner sofa with access to Netflix. Outside there is a lovely enclosed courtyard garden, a further outbuilding with seating and a table and chairs and then through a gate is the stunning infinity style pool and outdoor dining area.
The pool was a lovely temperature and had shallow steps in so perfect for little ones. It also had colour change lights for the evening which the kids said were their favourite bit of the whole holiday. Around the pool dotted amongst lemon and orange trees are sun loungers, parasols and ridiculously comfy bean bags
It really has got everything you could ever hope for and more. If you are in a smaller group then the neighbouring property is owned by the same person and has the same great combo of stylish, simple interiors and a knock out pool. If you travel as a group in peak Summer months it works out at about £350 per person for the week which is amazing value compared to some of the other far far less nice places we looked at.
So if you would like to book this slice of paradise for your holiday click here for the link. Promise to leave me a week free in July 2020 though?!
Majorca has a lot of great beaches to chose from it just depends what you are looking for. My personal beach criteria are: turquoise clear waters, access to shade, a secluded/cove like location if possible, beach bar in easy reach, parking in close proximity and a walk down to the beach that does not require you to have previously gone on a survival skills course with Bear Grylls. Oh and if there happen to be Rafa Nadal types playing Beach Volleyball near my sandcastle all the better.
Our favourite find from our first trip was Cala Fornells down in the South of the Island. It is not a huge beach but we rocked up late afternoon and found a lovely shaded spot in amongst rocks with plenty of shade from pine trees and it delivers the full turquoise sea experience. It is theoretically possible to hire loungers although we had a stand-off with a German man in very small trunks after some confusion about which ones belonged to the hotel that backs on to the beach.
This time round we headed East for a day and our favourite find was Cala Mesquida . We parked easily and it was a simple five minute stroll down on to a sandy beach with loungers under Tiki Parasols to hire (with no stand offs with Bavarians in Budgey Smugglers). The water was incredibly clear and warm and there is a great Beach shack serving up snacks and a mean mojito. There is a resort above the beach but it is very small, low rise and unimposing. If you are child free or have somehow ended up with the kind of kids who will walk for more than 5 minutes without asking to turn back/be carried/be given sugar then from Cala Mesquida there is a tail you can walk over to Cala Torta a more secluded beach with no resort attached and the famous Dolores and Manolo’s beach bar which is renowned for serving up great seafood in this beautiful setting.
Our other new discovery was Playa D’Albercuix up in Port de Pollensa. Port de Pollensa has a big wide sandy beach well served for water sports and family friendly facilities but the bit that we explored and fell in love with was at the end of the Pine Walk that stretches along the harbour in the Port. We parked up near the Hotel Illa D’Or (which itself looks like a lovely spot) and then based ourselves on a lovely little stretch of sand on Playa D’Albercuix just along from the hotel which had stone jetties reaching out into the water for the kids to fish from and beautiful clear, shallow water for swimming and cooling off in. If you fancy an ice cream walk from there towards Pollensa under the shade of pine trees whilst taking in some of the beautiful Villas that back onto the beach. We had a beautiful seafood lunch on the terrace of the Hotel Illa D’Or (whose rather nice loo facilities we also used for the day) which is lovely and shady and has a great menu that changes daily.
If we come back to the Island I would be tempted to base myself in Pollensa or Port de Pollensa and then to go off exploring the stunning Cap de Formentor. If you don’t fancy the slightly butt clenching journey to the end of the Cap you can catch a boat from Port de Pollensa to Formentor beach which would make a lovely day trip.
When we were on our girlie break we took a bus from Palma to Illetes Beach which in itself is a lovely little beach with a couple of great bars from which you can watch the sun set whilst sipping a cocktail. You can hire loungers from the beach club there which was our original plan. However when we arrived we discovered there had been a mix up and our booking lost. However whilst we were waiting for them to reveal this fact I spotted just around the bay the glistening of white Balinese beds on a rock above crystal clear waters.
Enter Puro Beach. To know it is to surrender your credit card and fall hopelessly in love. For 60 Euros a day you can lie back on a white lounger and spend a further sum of your monthly salary on Rose Wine, perfect crispy squid and at lounger Spa treatments. We made our way back there again this time and it was just as heavenly as we had remembered.
A new opening since our last visit and located in the trendy Portixol suburb of Palma, Assasona has more than a little flavour of Ibiza with its boho beach good looks. The setting in the harbour right on the beach is amazing. There are loungers to hire but we visited for dinner just as the sun was going down and enjoyed a gorgeous open air dinner looking out to sea
Roxy’s Beach Bar
Not strictly a beach club but on our girlie break we visited Puerto Portals and loved this place. It is right at the end of Puerto Portals beach on a pontoon out in the water from where you can watch yachts coming into harbour and tanned young types on jet skis whilst sipping Sangria and listening to a chilled out sound track.
Puerto Portals itself is sort of like a Majorcan version of St Tropez. Think a harbour full of yachts, boutiques full of clothes that look like they have got caught up in a Swarkorski Crystal hurricane and boulevards full of Sugar Daddies and their twinkies. That makes it sound awful but if you take it with a pinch of salt and add 10 Euros to what you thought was your previous ceiling price for a pizza then it is a great fun place to while away a few hours people watching.
Places to Eat
Because we were staying in such an amazing Villa (and had 5 kids between us) quite a few of the nights were there this time we just ate in.
We visited Palma one evening and parked near the Cathedral. Parc de sa Feixina is just adjacent with a great playground to let the kids burn off some energy and then from there you are a short stroll into the winding streets of the Old Town. Just off the square is a Tapas place we didn’t eat in but which has great reviews called S’Angel. We were due to eat at the Mercado de San Juan but realised it was actually 30 mins from the centre so instead nabbed a last minute table at Forn . It has great industrial style interiors and tapas style menu and they were very family friendly although the prices were a bit eye watering.
Just across the Street was the sister restaurant Koi which came recommended by a friend and is known for its great oven cooked Pizzas. We rounded off our evening with an icecream at Can Miquel which is located through a maze of the beautiful old streets. The Hazlenut flavour is not to be missed.
Both of the times we have holidayed as a group we have traded babysitting so we each got to go out to a more special occasion type of place. The first time we wen to Hotel Castell Son Claret and I cannot recommend the magical setting enough. It is an old castle and the enter courtyard was strung with tiny fairy lights making it look so pretty on a clear starry night. The food was almost as pretty.
This time my Cousin visited Cap Rocat and ate at the Sea Club (we were also meant to but I booked for the worng week!). The food itself is ok but the real draw is the amazing setting on the cliffs from which you can watch the sun go down with a huge gin and tonic in hand . I guess I will just have to go back next year to experience that sunset!
A snapshot of images from the Cap Rocat Instagram to wet your appetite
So there you have it the Malmo & Mos Guide to Majorca. It probably only scratches the surface of all this gem of an island has to offer. I guess i will just have to keep going back for the purposes of research. Puro Beach 2020 here I come.