The five star island

The five star island

Mallorca. It is quite simply whatever you choose to make of it. Sun, sea and sangria? If that’s what you are looking for then that’s what you can find. For us, since we’ve been travelling as a family, it has been about beautiful days and nights in stunning surroundings. Less crazy golf and more lazy days.

We’ve been back time and time again, enticed by the variety to be found and the type of welcome that says the island is happy to have you.

Whether choosing villa, apartment or hotel (we’ve done all three with varying degrees of success!), hiring a car gives you the freedom to roam and is highly recommended. Traffic is light, in the main, and nothing is more than an hour’s drive and exploring all corners is a pleasure not a chore. We could reel off hundreds of Mallorcan highlights but for a five star island we’ve boiled it down to our personal top five:

1

Anyone travelling to Mallorca by air arrives in Palma – the crying shame is only a tiny portion get the chance to see past the hustle and bustle of the airport or the smooth efficiency of the network of roads which dart out like spiders legs, stretching to all corners of the island. It is a city of 380,000 people, the beating heart of an island that has a strong sense of independence, but has the warmth of a village. On a similar note, it’s as accessible on foot as a village too – with shady lanes, sprawling beaches and enticing marinas all within easy reach. Then there are the parks, lots of them … from children’s play parks to outdoor gyms aimed at those of, shall we say, more advanced years. For a spot of retail therapy, Palma has a contemporary twist but there’s never far to look for reminders of the city’s rich and proud history, from Roman times right through to the construction of the simply breathtaking Gothic cathedral and beyond.

 

 

2

Clinging to the western coast, a diamond on the cliff face of the island, is the small but beautifully formed Port de Soller. With the Puig Mayor providing a stunning mountainous backdrop, the winding roads and tunnels are worth enduring for the shining light at the end. Sitting in a picturesque half-moon bay, Port de Soller has an old world charm and not surprisingly has been enchanting artists, musicians and writers for generations.  A stay at the retro Esplendido Hotel is on our wish list, so far we have had to settle for a walk-by and envious glances. Whilst us oldies wonder at the innate beauty of the bay, there are more youthful attractions – including the fun tram which runs from the port to the hillside village of Soller. There is also a train service running to Palma, although for little travellers the novelty may well wear off before the final stop!

Images  courtesy of http://www.visitsoller.com

3

Puerto Portals isn’t so much a hidden gem as a shining bit of bling. There’s no hiding its target audience – with multi-million pound yachts bobbing at their berths, high end shops peppering the neatly designed marina complex and a smattering of high end restaurants to cater for the tastes of the jet set. But behind all of that, there’s actually a pretty lovely spot to be enjoyed. Side by side with the internationally acclaimed eateries are more relaxed and family friendly restaurants, down through the years our favourite has been the delicious and delightful Lollo Rosso. On one side is the marina with views out to sea, on the other seats overlooking the enclosed squares where kids can play in the Balearic sun. There’s also a lovely beach tucked away at the far end of Puerto Portals which is well worth seeking out. When night falls, there’s a relaxed but lively feel.

4

The old town of Pollensa, just a few miles inland from the port and popular beach resort sharing the same name, is a long-time favourite of ours. Why? It’s difficult to pin it down to one reason or another, more just the general feel and many happy memories of chilled out afternoons and evenings spent eating in the square that life in Pollensa revolves around and strolling the atmospheric lanes that criss-cross the town. It’s a chance to sample Mallorcan life, albeit far too briefly, as young and old come together to chew the fat, play, laugh and generally be merry. Yes the weather helps, but we’ve been in Pollensa outside of heat of summer and there’s the same lovely vibe.  It’s a lovely place to daydream. Along the road at Puerto Pollensa the pace of life is slightly quicker with a more touristy feel, but it remains one of the more reserved resorts on the island. The Pine Walk – tracing the beaches along the front – is the perfect place to stretch the legs and there are some fantastic restaurants to be found (IRU is one we’ve been back to time and time again, with a modern take on the island’s traditional culinary delights).

 

5

Puerto Andratx completes the top five. Punctuating the south-west tip of the island with specks of white from the boats moored in the harbour and the villas peppering the hillsides, it is another picture postcard part of Mallorca which is as far removed from bucket and spade stereotypes as you can imagine. A traditional fishing village which has embraced its new-found place as an escape for those in the know – including stars from the world of sport and the big screen who have chosen the region as their holiday hideaway. We first visited long before we were a family of three, never mind five, but still make a point of returning whenever we’re on the island. An ice cream watching the last of the Andratx fishermen repairing their nets may not register on the excitement scale but sometimes the simple pleasures do just fine.

That’s where Mallorca comes into its own. Away from the bright lights and the 18-30 resorts there’s a whole island waiting to be discovered and we’ve only just scratched the surface.

 

 

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23 Comments Add yours

  1. sunbonoo says:

    Thank you for your insights! We do agree on that: Mallorca indeed has so many beautiful places, but you need to go and discover them. It’s difficult sometimes to get past the mass tourism and get to know the friendly locals, seeing the charming, hidden and secret spots and experiencing the Mediterranean island as the wonderful place of earth it is. We’ve been sorting out some beaches that are special and unique and remote enough to be less crowded, maybe you’d like to check them out on your next Majorca visit: http://bit.ly/1QcC0Bl

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    1. WTMluggage says:

      Oh it really is gorgeous – the water is always so clear.

      Like

  2. Lovely post. We are in Palma next month so really useful #mondayescapes

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WTMluggage says:

      Oh lovely. It really is a great place -loads to do and see -hope you have a great time 🙂

      Like

  3. Tanja says:

    lovely! #mondayescapes

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  4. Mallorca is one of my favourite places: I spent my 40th in Palma as it just has everything! The beaches are stunning, and I love the food. Perfect place #mondayescapes

    Liked by 1 person

  5. tracycollins2016 says:

    We love Majorca particularly Porta Pollensa – – favourite October half term haunt when my daughter was younger. Too long since we have been – maybe a visit is due 👍 #mondayescapes

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WTMluggage says:

      It is so pretty there – love the pine walk!

      Like

  6. Trish @ Mum's Gone To says:

    Mallorca is a favourite place of mine and yet I’ve not been for years. We used to have beach holidays here when I was little and then, when my son was small, we did the same with him. But this post is great because it gives me a much better idea of what else is on the island, not just Pollensa and the beach resorts of my youth!
    #mondayescapes

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WTMluggage says:

      Thanks Trish – It is time we went back too I think! I want to go back to Deia and visit the lovely waterside restaurant from the night manager! #Mondayescapes

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  7. WanderMum says:

    We have been to Mallorca a fair bit over the years and always have a great time. I really love the places you’ve shared. It certainly is a five star island…some great hotels and a wonderful welcome. I love Deia – a beautiful little town. We actually went to a wedding there a few years ago. It was stunning #mondayescapes

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  8. I haven’t been to Majorca for ages and would love to get back soon with the kids. Lovely post thanks for linking up. #MondayEscapes

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I stayed on Mallora, years and years ago, and was impressed at how unspoilt the place was considering the impression I had of it being a ‘party’ place. We took a coach tour up to Port de Soller, and I loved it so much I vowed to return one day. Thanks for reminding me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WTMluggage says:

      The soller train is great fun too. Soller is really pretty -we normally do day trips but I would like to stay there for a few days next time!

      Like

  10. Emma Day says:

    I went to Mallorca as a kid, I’d love to go back as an adult!

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  11. Oh I think I need to look into Mallorca as we are currently planning our holidays for this year and this really sounds amazing. I love the look and sound of Soller. Thanks so much for linking up to #ThePlacesWeWillGoLinky xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WTMluggage says:

      Soller really was a lovely place, I want to head back to Deia and check out some of the filming spots from The Night Manager!

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  12. otisandus says:

    I love to read about all of the hidden gems out there and to see the less ‘touristy’ parts. Really beautiful pictures x Thanks for sharing ! #ThePlacesWeWillGo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WTMluggage says:

      Thank you -we have such a soft spot for Mallorca. Lots of great memories with the children. Such a pretty island.

      Like

  13. I have no idea of this little gem! What a great read about it! #ThePlacesWeWillGoLinky

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WTMluggage says:

      We really love it there -must return soon !

      Like

  14. daisythebus says:

    A beautifully written ode to what sounds like a heavenly slice of Mediterranean island life. We have never been (Mrs Daisy the bus won’t get on a plane…) but if we ever did I would be sure to peek beyond the mass tourism into precisely the type of places you have described here. Thanks for the inspiration! #ThePlacesWeWillGoLinky

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WTMluggage says:

      It really is lovely -there is so much more to Mallorca away from the main touristy spots.

      Like

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