Mallorca: more than Magaluf

Posted by on 17 Jun, 2015 in Blog, Slider, Spain | 7 comments

For those who don’t know (i.e. anyone I haven’t bragged to yet), I got to spend two weeks in May working out of my company’s Palma de Mallorca office. (And yes, I am well aware I am one very lucky guy.)

It was my first time visiting Mallorca but I felt like I knew what to expect – I mean, who hasn’t heard the stories? Wild parties in Magaluf, Brits abroad drunk in the streets and cultural gems like McDonald’s doing a roaring trade.

However, Mallorca totally surprised me.

 

The island – far, far larger than I realised – is home to some beautiful natural scenery, charming towns and incredible secluded beaches. Magaluf is merely a concentrated ugly stain on an otherwise shining gem.

So for anyone else with a bad false impression of Mallorca, here is a list of things to see and do in on this Balearic Island that will change your mind.


Sóller


Things to do in Mallorca: Soller daytrip

One of the first places we visited in Mallorca was Sóller. Found on the other side of the impressive Serra de Tramuntana Mountains, the northern town has a very traditional feel, boasting a beautiful cathedral in its main square. The mountain range makes an incredible backdrop to the photogenic town, which also has a preserved tramway that cuts through the main square and trundles along to Port de Sóller, the town’s waterfront, beach and tourist hub.

Port de Sóller’s main attraction for us Sun-deprived Northern Europeans, of course, was the white sandy beach stretching along the coast of the sheltered bay. The area is full of hotels, which at least guarantees some great restaurants.

Mallorca daytrips: Port de Soller beach


The Caves of Drach


The caves of Drach, Mallorca

Something that doesn’t immediately leap to mind when you think of Mallorca is a labyrinth of caves. But in fact, the island is home to not one but two cave networks. We visited the Drach caves during our visit, which turned out to be a real highlight of the trip.

The network consists of four connected cave systems, supposedly formed by water pushing through a narrow opening to the Mediterranean Sea. Today, you can see incredible stalactites and stalagmites on every available surface, formed over the course of centuries. The route takes you around the caves, before leading you to an underground lake.

Things to do in Mallorca: Drach caves

There, guests are treated to a classical symphony performed by musicians on rowing boats who appear from nowhere. Casual as you like. You can then opt to be rowed back to ‘shore’ across the lake.

Bizarre? Yes. Worth it? Definitely.


Calo des Moros


Best beaches in Mallorca: Calo des Moro

The nicest beach we found on Mallorca was the beautiful Calo des Moro. Unfortunately, despite it being a Monday afternoon – plenty of other people found it too.

Nevertheless, the tiny, rocky beach is a real sight. Found in a little cove with clear turquoise water and high cliffs on all three sides, the beach is definitely worth the trip.

Things to do in Mallorca: Calo des Moro


Casa Gallega


Eating at Casa Gallega is a must. Found in the centre of Palma de Mallorca, close to the main square of Plaça de España, the restaurant specialises in Galician-style seafood and is hands down one of the best places I’ve eaten in my life. (And as a self-confessed non-foodie, that is really saying something.)

Ordering from the set menu, we were treated to bread and olives and four starters – chorizo ham and bread, calamari and assorted battered fish, prawn and avocado salad and a dish consisting of octopus and potato. Then for our mains we had a choice of steak, fish or 400lb lobster (I opted to try lobster for the first time in my life) and finally dessert was an assortment of sorbets. In addition, every two people ordering received a full bottle of wine. In total, this cost just €26 each. For everything. I honestly would have been happy paying twice as much.

Top tip: reserve a table in advance. Unsurprisingly, tables at Casa Gallega seem to fill up quickly…


Palma de Mallorca


Palma de Mallorca cathedral

Another surprise during our stay in Mallorca was its capital city. I’m not entirely sure what I had in mind, but I suppose I’ve always thought of island towns to be quite rural places.

I was wrong.

Palma de Mallorca is actually the twelfth biggest city in Spain and easily boasts better shopping opportunities than Düsseldorf – there is a Pull & Bear. Not to mention some classic Mediterranean architecture, historic churches and the huge Cathedral of Santa Maria de Palma. Not too shabby.


Toys and Tapas bar


Surprisingly, we didn’t seem to spend much time in bars during our trip (it was a very professional business trip after all) but one place we ventured to that I would definitely visit again was Toys and Tapas.

Just the right level of hipster with retro games and comic strips plastered on the walls, the bar had a really relaxed vibe. We didn’t order the apparently very good burgers, but we did have a few beers and play some card games.


Playa Romantica


Playa Romantica

Another great beach we happened to stumble upon was Playa Romantica, found near the posh tourist town of Porto Cristo. After an afternoon in the caves, we spent the evening chilling (literally) in the waters just off the long, sandy beach.

Romantica has plenty of sun loungers and parasols and a small bar and restaurant, so it would probably make a lovely day-time destination. Don’t miss the walk along the clifftop for great views back over the beach.

Playa RomanticaProfessional photos from our professional business trip


€1 Tapas


Among our group was a seasoned Mallorca veteran who let us on to the secret of €1 Tapas Tuesday. Whether this is the official ‘title’ of the evening I’ve no idea, but on a Tuesday a selection of bars and restaurants found just south of Plaça Major put on a range of mini tapas dishes, which will only set you back €1 – or €2 if you buy a drink too. Definitely one to try during a visit.

trivago life A very important and serious business meeting

Have you been to Mallorca before? What was your favourite area?
Comment below!

7 Comments

  1. SOOO pretty, I guess I know where I’m headed next! Love the caves and the diversity, it really looks like a place I would enjoy a lot. By the way, your business meetings are WAY better than my boring ass four hour ones. Did I mention that I hate you? 😛

    • Haha, you don’t hate me! But yes, Mallorca is an amazing place. It would be so easy to spend weeks on the island on never once get bored.

  2. WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH THOSE LAPTOPS YOU CAN’T SERIOUSLY TAKE THEM INTO A POOL?!?!?!?!?

    • Relax D-Grizzle, I wouldn’t let any water drizzle its way into my laptop. Izzle.

  3. And you call this work? Ugh, some people… 😉 Hope that 400-lbs lobster was delicious!

    • Haha, it’s a hard job but someone has to… and yes, it was lovely!

  4. Amazing photos!It’s a little bit funny watching all of you using laptop while supposedly having a break. Anyway, i will include this in my trip list and i’ll be doing that also.hehe

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