The Mallorca Many Don’t See . Its coming up to Christmas and as the cold weather hits we begin to think of warmer climes and hot sunny holidays. Here at can Jaume, we often begin receiving inquiries for our holiday guest house about this time. Perhaps now that you are Fabulous after Fifty, and you are thinking of a holiday abroad, it’s time to see a different side to a favorite holiday destination.
I have lived in Mallorca for the past twenty six years. Living on the small island in the Mediterranean has many advantages, having a guest house often highlights the very best points, we absolutely love telling our guests about things that the majority of visitors to the island never get to see.
Mallorca is just not ‘Shagalluf’ and we really love the fact that few people ever get any further than the coast or organized coach trips. It means the rest of the island belongs to those who really appreciate it!
Now that many visitors to the island book their own flights and make their own arrangements for accommodation it is getting more and more difficult to find something that isn’t on the map. Even our list can be found in most guide books, yet at least we have our own personal slant on it.
Have you every noticed that when we stay in an area for years, no matter where it is in the world we tend to take for granted where we live? Often we forget to visit the local beauty spot or art exhibition, until one day we realize it is no longer there. In order to keep ahead of our guests we are always looking for something new.
Mallorca is a world heritage site
Did you know for example, this year Mallorca was designated as a world heritage site? The Tramuntana mountains that run the along the Northwest of the island. This back bone of Mallorca will be kept for all to enjoy into the future.
Here is a list of our family Top Ten Favorites:
1. Caves of Campanet
Hidden in the centre of the island these caves are my favorite yet less known on the island. They take about 40 minutes to walk around and its never too busy. Close by there is a very unusual natural water feature which happens after rain on the island. Water springs out of the ground amongst the forest of Ses Fonts Ufanes each year and well worth a visit.
2. Mercado Olivar + paella
We often take our guests to the main market in Palma where I love pointing out types of vegetables and species of fish not seen often in England. We taste the olives and check the differences in prices of the dried ham and then go for tapas at the local bar where the owners always ring a bell when a tip is left – very traditional. We fill our baskets with the ingredients to prepare a paella which we make in the BBQ area back at the farm. A perfect day for all!
3. Caimari to Lluch
You can walk this route even in the heat of the summer as long as you get up early enough. The whole route in August is accompanied by the sound of cicadas. The four hour walk takes you from the Caimari village up on the old pilgrims route to the monastery at Lluch, where coffee and ensiamada, the local equivalent of croissants are devoured before the journey home. Total number of people on the route between 7am–11am even at weekends = YOU. The whole mountain to yourself!
4. The Dry Stone Wall Route
The GR221 route takes you from Port d’Andratx to Pollenca. It has eight stages which if you can book places in the small boutique hotels along the way or in the government run refugis/hostels. You do not need to loose you way.
As this has now been designated as world heritage site it will be preserved for generations to come, who will be able to enjoy its varied and rugged terrain, beautiful scenery and history.
5. Son Serra de Marina
This beach is a favorite with local surfers. When the weather has been bad in France, it always ends on this shore in the form of waves! It is also a nature reserve and if you don’t mind walking past the naturist section you can literally walk for miles. No buildings, just sea, sand, sun and nature. We love arriving just as the sun comes up, getting in a swim on an completely empty beach, then going for breakfast at the only bar/supermarket open. Well worth a few hours less in bed.
6. Cafe Mon
I am sitting in Cafe Mon as I write this, just off Plaza España in the very centre of Palma, opposite the cinema and main bus/train hub, it is well hidden with a tiny entrance and yet very mediterranean. The service is good, the house red wine is great quality and the cafe is usually full of locals, very few tourists use it.
It is my second office, with fast internet and a great meeting point. You may even find me sitting upstairs or in the patio at the back. Please don’t tell anyone about it!
7. Out of season – The Autumn Fairs
If you can get a flight to Mallorca out of season the Autumn sees most local villages having traditional fairs, from the celebration of the mushroom, olive or honey you will find something to occupy you every weekend. The Biggest fair of the year is held on the third Thursday of November in Inca my local town, ‘Dijous Bo’ or Good Thursday sees the whole city centre becoming one big trading point.
8. Menu del Diá
This is a Spanish tradition, a three course meal for a reasonable price. Our favorites change with the seasons and with the chefs of course! At the moment we love eating at B29 a small bar right next door to the very popular tourist spot of Marineland in Costa d’en Blanes. The plate of the day is enough for me and at 5.50€ it has to be the best lunch deal around. No tourists!
9. Zoomer/Boomer sports
Boomers love to ‘zoom’ around Mallorca, we have many activities to keep the 50+ happy from water sports such as sailing and diving to cycling and hiking but I have yet to meet a 50+ person who is into ‘Gravity Long-boarding’. My two teenagers are avid long-boarders. Beware particularly if you decide to drive the route to Sa Colobra, you just may meet them on their planks of wood with four wheels careering around a corner! Nothing to do with me of course!!
Although in the past 26 years I have seen many changes here in Mallorca including the tradition of children only receiving present from the three kings at Christmas, I still love the family atmosphere surrounding the evening of the 5th of January when the Three Kings bring the Spanish children their gifts. The parade in the centre of Palma is worth watching but personally I love sitting in a local catholic church where the faces of the children receiving their gifts from Baltazar, Caspar and Melchor often brings me to tears.
Have you been to Mallorca? What was you favorite spot? What made it special? I would love to hear your opinions.
Kay Newton is a personal development coach who combines her busy professional life with her home and family. If you would like to know more about Mallorca you can visit her website at www.mallorcalet.com
Mallorca has just been designated as a world heritage site. People only ever think of it as ‘Shagaluf’ – Top ten places to visit whilst on holiday that you won’t find easily in the guide books.