Tips from a Travel Writer: Mallorca

Posted on June 27, 2013 by Fiona Hilliard

 

This week, travel writer Julie McNamee shares her top travel tips for the Balearic island of Mallorca…

 

mallorca
 

Magaluf is the resort we’ve all heard of in Mallorca/Majorca and its high-rise buildings and all-day breakfasts do have a tendency to taint our view of the island. There is of course much more to the island, and here are a few ideas on things to do in other parts of this Balearic isle.

City Break in Palma

Beach holidays are all well and good, but if you have only a short period of time for your holiday, or you’re more of a culture vulture, take your well-earned break in Mallorca’s capital city, Palma.

As it’s a city on one of the most tourist-centred islands in Europe, there are of course tourist rip-off restaurants to avoid. There are however a good choice of great places to visit as well, like La Boveda in Passeig Sagrera for both tapas and main meals, and tapas and cocktails at the Tas Club in Puigdorf Ila.

Attractions include the gothic 13th century cathedral of La Seu that seems almost too large for this small island. If modern art is your thing, then the Museu d’Art Espanyol Contemporani should be on your to-see list, and if Juan Miró in particular floats your boat (he doesn’t have the broad appeal that Picasso does), then you should really see the Pilar and Joan Miró Foundation.

Puerto Sóller

The port of Sóller on the west coast was formerly a base for outdoorsy travellers, but has since grown in popularity with the more well-heeled holiday-maker. Situated in a beautiful spot, with views to the Tramuntana mountains as well as to the sea, it’s still a relatively peaceful resort, especially in relation to the larger tourist resorts on the island.

Valldemossa

The traditional old stone village of Valldemossa is just a 30 minute drive from Palma,  yet sits in an area popular with outdoors enthusiasts. The well signposted trails into the valley around the town give plenty of choices for hikers to stretch their well-toned legs.

Mondrago Natural Park

Not yet marketed by the large tourist companies, yet still popular, Mondrago Natural Park lies in the south of the island – it’s off the beaten path, so a car will be necessary for this trip. Places to stay are in the resort of the Cala de Mondrago (try the agrotourismo accommodation at Na Martina), and the rural town of Santanyi.

Walk the paths among the pine trees and spot the abundant wildlife, especially the mediterranean tortoises. The white beaches and beautiful turquoise waters are the most attractive features of this area. And visit the Caves of Drach which house one of the largest underground lakes in the world.

Walk around Lluc

High up in the aforementioned Tramuntana mountains in the north-west of the island lies the monastery of Lluc  with its 81 rooms and 39 apartments. It’s a great base for exploring the amazing landscape round and about and there are wonderful views to be had from the monastery grounds as well.

Summary

These are just a few ideas of places to visit on this surprisingly beautiful island. Don’t let the stories of drunken tourists put you off. Pay Mallorca a visit!

Fiona Hilliard

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