The Mediterranean's Must See Island: Mallorca, Spain
Off the beaten path in Mallorca, far away from the clubs and pulsing nightlife of Palma, where the partygoers never venture, lies the unspoilt, natural charm of this island. Lying to the east of Spain in the Mediterranean Sea, the island of Mallorca is a true “break-a- way” destination with the full allure of Spanish charm and a slower pace to the day.
What Does Mallorca Has to Offer?
This European summer hot spot makes many bachelor/bachelorette partyer’s list (which was almost everyone on our flight)--partying in Palma. And then there is the more well-known resort area of Alcudia which is almost overrun with the Continents’ Northern inhabitants who are seeking the ever elusive sun and warmth. But off the main tourist trek lies quiet inlet coves of sandy beaches, turquoise water, rugged mountain trails, and raw beauty. Making the northern town of Port de Pollença our vacation spot, we found great variations of how to spend your leisurely time. (I just love that on vacation your time is described as leisurely.) As the hubby and I greatly vary on how we would like to spend our down time, I was amazed that here, in one location, we could satisfy both, not to mention our young kids and dear friends who were vacationing with us, another young family of five. But yes, the north of Mallorca was perfect to fully entertain EVERYONE. The terrain, gastronomy, sports, and activities were divergent and in close enough proximity to be a destination winner! So for the multi-need vacationing family, you can have your pick:
For The Adventurer:
This would be my husband. He is the vacationer who is only truly relaxed while spinning up for and seeking a thrilling experience. There is no idle time to sit and literally “not do anything” but seize the free time to engage in an adrenaline-rushing activity. It just happens that Mallorca is a mecca for cyclist and triathletes, specifically the northern part of the island where the rugged mountains offer steep grades for biking and absoutley breath-taking views. You can ride the hills with the best of the best, literally. No need to even bring your bike, as there are a thousand choices to rent from. Cycling seems to be the most prominent and easiest adventure of which to partake (and, luckily, one of the hubby’s favorite activities), but there is always swimming. After all, you are on a island, and the variety of swimming holes are quite endless, but I will say the snorkeling was pretty spectactular--again, something my husband the adventurer wanted to do! The North also offers many trails for walking or hiking through the mountains.
For The Beach Bum:
This is me. I want to spend my days with my toes in the sand while completely doing nothing except maybe reading a book and working on my tan; basically, I want to do anything that does not require my attention or presence. I’ll take a good conversation and an ice cold drink--wait, I’m in Europe--let's make that a chilled drink or cold ice cream. The most important words for the beach bum to learn in Mallorca are playa (beach) and cala (cove), so you know where you eventually want to end up. But even the beach bum might want to play in the water, so at the waterfront there are opportunities to play watersports (they seem to take on a novelty for those of us who don’t live at the sea). In addition, kayaking, windsurfing, and sailing can all be found at the Pollença Beach.
Port de Pollença
This was a fabulous beach with long stretches of sand and an incredible view of the Sierra de Tramuntana Mountains as a backdrop. The ocean was quite calm and fairly shallow for a good ways out, so perfect for the kiddos. The beachfront had plenty of venues from restaurants, to shops, to ice cream, to watersport rentals, just about everything. As we were staying in this town, this was our “go-to” beach, as it was only a five-minute walk (with kids) because it was so diverse.
Not far from the Port of Pollença are some amazing beaches that any beachbum would want to visit:
This pine tree-lined beach offers spectacular views and lots of natural shade (a major plus for the 7 month old baby who was with us). It’s a short, sandy beach, but the inlet is hemmed in by rising mountains and looks out over crystal water. It was shallow enough for the kids to play for a good ways out! For more information about Formentor, see here.
A quick drive from our hotel, this small beach offered a very secluded feeling. The town of San Vincent remains largely a fishermen’s village and only slightly touched by tourism. The mainly local (and secluded) vibe was enhanced even further by the family of goats yodeling at the top of the cliff, slowly making their way down to the beach. They never made it, but I can say in all my beach experiences, I have never come that close to sharing a beach with goats. I actually never imagined goats on a beach--horses maybe--but definitely not goats. It was still pretty neat to experience, though. The fine, sandy beach entranced my youngest daughter into a myriad of imaginary play for quite a while. And us adults, well, we were particularly fond of the snorkeling in the cove. Want to know more? Click here.
For The Family:
We can’t rave enough about our hotel, Hoposa Hotel and Villaconcha Apartments. It was everything we were looking for to have a RELAXED vacation with little to think about. The hotel was extremely child friendly, to the point that there was entertainment staff in the evening for the sole purpose of entertaining the kids. The face painting was a HUGE hit every night with our little ones. On site there were four pools, a playground, and a small grassy area with two goals (used for soccer, of course). The “kiddie” pool had numerous slides for tots and older kids. We spent many a laid-back morning here, seemingly without a care, watching the little ones tire themselves splashing, giggling, and squealing with delight over the sheer fun of the pool. The other huge advantage of the hotel that contributed to our main goal of relaxing was the half-board option. We took our breakfast and dinner here. Dining out with our posse (five kids under five) of kiddos isn’t always easy, so dining with kid-targeted entertainment and a buffet every night was extraordinary. The buffet offered a variety of food with good quality, especially when you consider the price. Upon our very late arrival, our dinner was waiting for us in our refrigerator! Again, we were very impressed with the friendliness and helpfulness of the staff. Not only was the hotel great for vacationing families, there were also quite a few athletes using the facility for training, as the hotel is equipped for training for triathletes and cyclist. Its pretty neat to see how a family friendly hotel can co-exist harmoniously with top notch athletes.
Mallorca was a splendid vacation that suited the quite diverse desires of our little group and exceeded our expectations. Upon returning, we are already planning another vacation there, I am not one to want to go to the same place twice, but this little treasure of an island has made me reconsider that travelling approach. Maybe next time, we will find a truly secluded beach or charter a boat and sail around the island.
Have you been to Mallorca? Wanna go? Join the conversation on Facebook, we’d love to here from you.