Forget what you think you know about this sunny Spanish island...
As the largest of the Balearic Islands, Majorca’s mild climate, sandy beaches and fresh food, straight from the sea, attracts a wide variety of visitors. But don’t underestimate this jewel of the med – it has a lot more to offer than punch bowls and package holidays.
Palma, Majorca, is a city that’s seen a vast amount of cultural development at a rapid pace. The city recently won its first Michelin star, and with new restaurants popping up all the time, it’s fast becoming a foodie destination. Centred around the magnificent Gothic cathedral in the old quarter where ornate mosaics of Catalan Art Nouveau are still visible, Palma offers plenty of boutiques and galleries for those seeking shelter from the sun. With easy and cheap flights from the UK, tourists in their droves are coming to explore the city – and its stunning surrounding areas.
Venture off the beaten track outside of Palma, and you’ll find a wealth of unexplored terrain, from the whitewashed beaches of Port De Soller, to majestic Serra de Tramuntana, with its endless olive groves and citrus trees. Even if it’s just to taste the freshly squeezed Soller oranges, trust us it’s worth the trip.
Where to visit
The sleepy town of Orient is nestled among olive groves in the Western Hills of Majorca, so remote that many who visit the island may fail to discover it.
But those who do will appreciate its incredible views, old world charm, and wonderful spots to eat and drink. Mandala, a small restaurant with a terrace overlooking the hills of Orient, offers a tasting menu with culinary influences from all over the world, each course designed to delight and surprise. We can’t recommend it enough!
Port De Soller Beach
A postcard-style snap of Port De Soller’s sea front could easily be mistaken for the South of France, with its sandy covers and impressive collection of yachts clustered around the harbour.
Wander down the promenade, and enjoy an ice cream or cold beer by the seafront, then catch the vintage tram to explore the charming Soller.
If you’re hankering after authenticity, Soller is a traditional spot in Majora’s north-east corner. As well as offering a wealth of culinary delights, to fruity ice pops served in the local shops, to generous portions of paella served straight from the pan, the hustle and bustle in this tiny town encapsulates Majorca’s real charm.
Windy, narrow streets make up a maze of trinket shops and local trade, centred around a picturesque square, all situated with the majestic Tramuntana mountain range in the distance.
Gradually establishing itself as the island for foodies, Majorca now boasts ten Michelin-starred restaurants, one of which belongs to Palma’s Marc Fosh. And while this unassuming hotel restaurant may be attracting the attention of the critics, it’s in extremely good company with the vast range of traditional tapas bars and restaurants around the city.
Where to stay
Not many of us like feeling like a tourist.
But knowing the best place to stay off the beaten track isn’t always easy. That’s why the likes of Airbnb come in handy, as they can offer a comprehensive guide to properties with their own individual character – and a range of hosts more than happy to help you find your way around a new area, and really feel at home.
Here’s a selection of beautiful properties for those wanting to experience some authenticity on their mini-break…
Rosa’s beautiful home consists of two twin fincas, both decorated in a traditional Spanish style. The houses sleep 14 guests in total, so are perfect for large families, spanning the generations, with a large pool, patio and BBQ area, as well as a basketball area and tennis court, to keep everyone entertained. This property is off the beaten track, so perfect for those who want to enjoy a walking or cycling holiday in serene surroundings.
This plush villa offers incredible views across the Majorca’s Western hills, its pool area boasting a dramatic backdrop. Tania, the owner, will be more than happy to give you a tour of the surrounding areas, including the family’s olive groves, where they produce their own olive oil. If you so desire, the family can also cater for you and your guests with local produce in their rustic kitchen. Pretty ideal if you ask us! It’s a spacious property, with room for 12 in brightly lit bedrooms, customised with the family’s trinkets and travel relics.
A truly magical building, Pila’s old-fashioned finca is nestled in the Majorca mountains and houses one of the island’s oldest olive presses. Enjoy breakfast on the terrace, taking in the views, trek up the mountains to find a a secluded picnic spot, or stop off to feed the property’s (very friendly) donkeys- the choice is yours.
This stunning property comfortably sleeps 8 people in luxurious bedrooms. The house is situated close to the beautiful coastal spot, Port De Soller, and also Soller Town, if you fancy venturing out.
Thank you to Airbnb for hosting us on this trip. Airbnb has over 16,000 rentals on the island, and is the perfect way to connect with native hosts and find the best that Mallorca has to offer. Find out more at Airbnb.co.uk.