Mallorca, located in front of the east coast of Spain, is the largest of the Balearic Islands. It is an island of pebbled beaches, rugged coves and olive groves where sun-drenched days can be spent harvesting freshly fallen figs, picking plump lemons from trees and foraging almonds directly from the ground. It is also a place to swim in the turquoise sea and gorge on sizzling king prawns cooked in olive oil and garlic. So if you plan on visiting the stunning sunlit island, here is a quick guide to Mallorca featuring the island’s best beaches, what to eat and where to stay.
WHERE TO STAY IN MALLORCA
A 17th-century former doctor’s house in the northern town of Pollensa, this is the latest in the stable of characterful old-town properties. What’s new here is the emphasis on ecological values and island-grown talent.
Named after the ‘great bear’ star constellation visible above the finca each night, Osa Major is a stone-carved lodge right in the heart of Mallorca’s rolling countryside. Days in this peaceful retreat can be spent lazing by the infinity pool, reading in the shaded, stone-paved, corners or floating through the surrounding region’s endless chequerboard of fields. Inside, airy rooms with wooden-beamed ceilings give way to concrete-covered bathrooms with free-standing tubs, and cool, hidden corners are filled with wall-mounted bookshelves, stained-glass vases and giant pillows.
Architect and visionary Antoni Esteva has curated some of Mallorca’s most elegant hotels (Son Gener, Son Penya, Can Simoneta), but his new wellness retreat is in a different league. A 180-hectare estate and 13th-century house next to the Llevant nature reserve, it’s a thing of beauty and high ideals. Almost everything is biodegradable, locally sourced, organic and designed to evoke what he calls ‘the Mallorca we miss’. This is somewhere, hopes its creator, from which you’ll emerge a changed person.
A guesthouse with lush gardens for experiential retreats with an artistic side and decorated with refined taste. An "it-place" of the island.
An exclusive luxury hotel (5*), on a 40-hectare estate in the heart of the Mallorca, where a deep sense of calm invites happiness. Own-grown products provides the base for the menus here, with wellness at the heart of the delicious dining experience. Wellbeing is at the heart of the Finca Serena experience with yoga, meditation, outdoors tai chi classes, running sessions and horseback riding.
WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK IN MALLORCA
Maria Solivellas and her sister Teresa were championing seasonal ingredients and sustainable fishing practices when Mallorca’s new bohemians were still in short trousers. Their delightful restaurant in Caimari makes stylish use of raw materials sourced entirely from the island; natural wines are a speciality.
Buenos Aires-born chef Edu Martínez Gil’s adventures in Mallorquín gastronomy include foraging for wild chard and carrot, smoking locally reared meat with carob wood, and fermenting kombucha using grapefruit and loquat. The restaurant’s garage-like space in Llubí also houses a craft-beer brewery.
Palma’s most extravagantly talented chef shows that not even alta cocina is above tradition and respect for the terroir. Hard-to-find authentic dishes such as sopes mallorquines, island-style snails and fish greixonera are at once elegant and earthy, refined and authentic.
Farm-to-table cooking at a wooden-decked, waterfront chiringuito in Port de Sólller
BEST BEACHES IN MALLORCA
Cala Formentor (Playa de Formentor) is one of the favorite beaches in Mallorca. This sandy area is very long but narrow and it is formed by very fine-grained sand of a very clear and white colour. There is a very thick and green pine and holm oak wood on the headland of Formentor that surround this beach. The branches of the trees nearly touch the crystal clear water of the Mediterranean Sea on this wonderful coastal area.
ES CALO DES MORO
This must be one of the most beautiful beach in all the Balearic Islands and is considered the top 1 in Mallorca by Trip Advisor.
A private foundation owns and cares for this beach, so it’s beautifully maintained and you won’t see any hotels or beach bars there.
The setting down there is beautiful, and you have to walk through a long tunnel in the mountainside to get to the beach. The beach has small stones instead of sand, the water is amazingly clear and the landscape is simply beautiful.