"Mallorca" Top 5 Page for this destination Balearic Islands by annemariebyrne
Balearic Islands Travel Guide: 3,000 reviews and 7,976 photos
Whenever I need some sun, sea, sand and relaxation the island of Mallorca is my destination of choice. Nestling in the Mediterranean, Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands and with 550 kms of coastline, and at 75km in length and 100km in width, you are never far from the sea. The centre of the island is a flat fertile plain, (Es Pla), and there is an impressive mountain range, the Serra de Tramuntana, running all along the north-west of the island. Whatever you are looking for in a holiday you will almost certainly find it in Mallorca. Resorts like Arenal and Magaluf attract a young pleasure seeking crowd. I haven’t tried it but reputedly Magaluf has the biggest disco in Europe! Families with children like the resorts of Santa Ponsa (in the southwest) and Puerto Alcudia (in the northeast) with their Water Parks and amusements; the beach between Puerto Alcudia and Playa Muro is long, sandy and safe. Puerto Soller is a hotspot favoured by a more upmarket clientele, who are also attracted to Valldemossa and Deia. For beautiful architecture, history and culture the city of Palma is definitely worth a visit either as a destination in its own right or at least as a day trip during a holiday elsewhere on the island. Sometimes Palma is referred to as a mini Barcelona as it shares a similar architectural background. The cathedral, known as La Seu, is a gem and well worth a visit. During the summer months Palma airport is one of the busiest in Europe and can handle up to 12,000 passengers an hour at peak times and around 11 million visitors per year! Despite this high volume of tourists many parts of Mallorca are unspoilt and almost 40% of the island is protected countryside.
My own favourite resort is Puerto Pollensa in the north-east of the island. It’s a relaxed, pretty place, and completely flat so it’s easy to get around on foot or by bicycle. It has beautiful sandy beaches and it’s within easy reach of the Tramuntana mountains so if you like hiking, birdwatching, swimming and watersports then you will find it all here. Just inland is the old town of Pollensa, a fifteen minute bus-ride away. While there it's worth taking a walk up the 365 steps of the Calvario, where you can admire the lovely town houses along the sides, visit the house/museum of local artist Marti Vicenc and of course enjoy the stunning views from the top. You’ll definitely have earned a beer in the Café Espanyol down in the main square after all that, or perhaps some tapas in one of the many cafes. There are often interesting exhibitions on in the old church near the tourist office or the really energetic might plan a strenuous but rewarding hike up the hill called the Puig de Maria which towers over the town. There is a restaurant in the old monastery building at the summit and more amazing views.
A great trip to do from Puerto Pollensa is the peninsula of Formentor, and there are several ways to get there: if you have nerves of steel you could hire a car and drive there or take the local bus (only a couple per day). If you are a complete masochist you could walk or cycle along the long, twisting, hairpin-bend infested route. But if like me you enjoy life on the ocean wave then the best option is to take the boat. The journey takes about twenty minutes and is one of the most pleasant trips you could do during your stay in the area. There are several departures every morning during the tourist season and several return trips in the afternoon. Formentor beach is a narrow sandy strip backed by pine trees. The water is crystal clear and always seems more buoyant to me than anywhere else! There is a self-service restaurant near the docking area as well as toilets, showers, a souvenir shop and an ice-cream vendor. Further along the beach there is a more up-market bar/café with very comfy seating and sun loungers. You’ll pay a premium here because this is part of the amenities of the famous local landmark, the Hotel Formentor. This hotel has been a haunt of the rich and famous for many years and boasts such diverse visitors as Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin and Peter Ustinov to name a few.
- Pros:scenery, weather, hiking, nature,restaurants
- Cons:thunderstorms frequently in September (but I enjoy them too!)
- In a nutshell:I want to live there!
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