MALLORCA – NORTH CENTRAL PLAIN
Known locally as ‘Es Pla’ Mallorca’s Central Plain is also the Island’s heart. The region has an abundance of underground water which making it ideal for agriculture. The area is world famous for its vast olive and almond groves and is also the centre of Mallorca’s recently re-established wine industry. Although there is little concession to the tourist industry the area is popular with ex-pats looking for somewhere to settle that is reasonable sheltered from the coastal hustle and bustle.
Mallorca’s third largest town is also located on the Central plain. The market town of Inca is best known for manufacturing high quality leather goods but is in fact a thriving vibrant community and home to some of the Island’s best restaurants. Wine enthusiast should make a point of heading to Binissalem and visiting a few bodegas. You never know you may well develop a taste for the local wine, which is now considered to be amongst the finest produced in all Spain. There are numerous market towns worth checking out including the colourful Santa Maria with its superb choice of tapas bars, Alaro with its pretty streets and lovely castle and Marratxi with its thriving pottery industry.
You are unlikely to choose Es Pla as a holiday destination but it is definitely well worth day trip. If nothing else it is a chance to experience grass roots Spain and get a fascinating insight into what really makes this wonderful island tick.
MALLORCA – SOUTH CENTRAL PLAIN
The Southern area of the Central plain is mostly rolling countryside covered by small farms, picturesque villages and market gardens. Largely unchanged for centuries it has the greatest number of old windmills in the region which are used to pump irrigation and domestic water from underground springs.
As with the Northern Central Plain the region’s main industry is agriculture with the main crops being capers, potatoes and apricots. The second most important industry is salt production in the wetlands to the south of the region. There is a small concession to tourism, mainly geared for day trippers from the coast and, to be honest, it’s well worth taking the time to explore. The countryside is breathtakingly beautiful and there are numerous pockets of cultural and historic interest throughout the area.
The main towns are Llucmajor which is an agricultural centre and market town and best known for its apricot production; Algaida is typically Mallorcan with a lovely central square surrounded by townhouses and has remained virtually untouched by tourism; Mountuiri stands on a hill overlooking the surrounding countryside in an area which is characterised by windmills both derelict and renovated.
The South Central may not offer the fun and games of the majority of Mallorca but is indisputably charming. The gentle landscape is prettiness defined and towns and villages have an atmosphere of bygone days. There is plenty of fine food and hospitality to be found, but, unlike the coastal regions, it is geared towards locals and all the more refreshing for it. It is definitely worth taking a few hours to explore the region for a fascinating glimpse of traditional rural Spain.
MALLORCA – EAST
The East Coast of Mallorca is characterised by countless small sandy coves or ‘callas’ and is a beautiful stretch of coastland. Despite a few areas of densely packed tourist developments, most of the region is protected and therefore remains unspoilt. Besides the resorts there are still several functioning traditional old fishing towns. Many of the larger beaches such as Cala Mesquida, Cala Mitjana and Cala Torta are stunning and the sea is crystal clear and ‘Blue Flag’.
The main port in the area is Porto Cristo, a natural harbour and active fishing port that also provides ‘year round’ moorings for luxury cruisers. It is also far more peaceful and somewhat more sophisticated than other ports and marinas around the Island. The best known resort is probably Ca Coma, a relatively new development that boasts a super long sandy beach. A magnet for sun worshippers and water sports enthusiasts the town has an excellent choice of shops, bars and restaurants. For that get away from it all feeling you can’t go far wrong with Cala Murada. A quiet fishing village situated on an attractive rocky section of the coast it is a lovely place with limited concessions to tourism which only adds to its appeal.
Like all the regions of Mallorca, the East Coast has a personality of its very own and like all the personalities of Mallorca it is charming and very appealing indeed. More laid back than many areas but with much to offer it is the ideal destination for a quiet family holiday.
MALLORCA – NORTH COAST
A genuinely stunning stretch of coastline the Northern region of Mallorca is where the Traumantana Mountain Range reaches its highest peaks and falls towards the sea to Cap Formentor on the north shore of Bay of Pollensa. This stunning blend of breathtaking mountain scenery and beautiful coastline is virtually untouched. As you round the northern tip of the Island you arrive at some of the region’s best known holiday destinations such as Puerto Pollensa and Puerto Alcudia both of which are favourites amongst the international yachting and pleasure boating fraternity.
The North Coast is the ideal destination for a combination sailing, outdoor pursuits and conventional beach holiday. There is also plenty to satisfy culture vultures as the area boasts some of Mallorca’s most famous ‘Old Towns’. Pollensa ‘village’ nestles at the foot of the Traumantanas and simply oozes history offering a fascinating insight into the Mallorca of bygone days. Alcucia ‘Old Town’ is set back from the port and offers a fantastic choice of good food and entertainment.
Other places worth checking out include the dramatically rocky peninsula of Cap Formentor; the picturesque ‘Old Towns’ of Campanet and Buger with their wonderful views of the mountains and surrounding countryside and Cala de Sant Vincenc with its trio of lovely little beaches, excellent restaurants and bars.
The North Coast has much to offer the adventurous visitor. History, culture, countryside, fine food, entertainment, wonderful sailing and stunning beaches. Don’t expect to get bored.
MALLORCA – NORTHEAST
The Northeast Coast of Mallorca a plenty to recommend it to the discerning holiday maker. Even the established resorts like Cala Rajada have a definite ‘laid back’ feel about them. Despite the invasion of the Brits, Germans and French most of the area has retained a distinctly traditional identity making it a magnet for more mature visitors looking to get away from it all and enjoy a taste of true Spain.
The Northeast Coast begins at the Southeast side of The Bay of Alcudia. The area is surrounded by magnificent sand dunes and empty beaches, many of which are conservation areas. The bay is home to two small harbours, Son Serra de Marina and Colonia de Sant Pere. Son Serra is the liveliest of the two, relatively speaking whilst Clonia de Sant Pere is still a functioning fishing port. They are ideal places to moor if you fancy a relaxing time and still enjoy creature comforts.
The region’s most popular harbour for leisure boats and yachts is Cala Ratjada. The picturesque marina offers ample berths and all the marine services and facilities you would expect from a modern leisure port. The harbour is backed by an attractive promenade lined with bars, cafes and al-fresco style restaurants. Cala Ratjada is situated only a short distance from the main town and centre of Northeast Mallorca, Arta, a delightful, traditional settlement that’s becoming increasingly popular with holiday home owners and ex-pats.
All in all, if you prefer a lazy laid back holiday in the sun you couldn’t go far wrong choosing Northeast Mallorca. You’ll find everything you’d expect from a Spanish holiday without the hustle and bustle of resorts geared for a younger demographic. The scenery is amongst the best you’ll find anywhere in Spain and the hospitality is always warm and traditional. Simply put - Beautiful.
MALLORCA – NORTHWEST
They say that Mallorca is an Island of many faces but none are quite as dramatic as the magnificent Northwest Region with its pine-clad coastline and backdrop of the magnificent Traumantana Mountains. The ideal place to get away from Mallorca’s countless tourist traps, the area is steeped in local culture and tradition. It is most popular amongst outdoor enthusiasts with virtually limitless opportunities for walking and cycling amongst some of the most breathtaking scenery in Europe.
The mountains are peppered with small villages, hotels, bars and restaurants, which means you can easily combine a day of excursion and adventure with some quality r & r.
The star in the Southwest’s coastal crown is the strikingly beautiful Puerto de Soller, an idyllic fishing port surrounded by mountains. It is a favourite retreat for discerning yachtsmen looking for somewhere different from the Mallorcan norm. Sailing enthusiasts with an interest in local history and culture would be well served taking time out to drop anchor at Port de Valldemossa, a favourite spot amongst up-market ex-pats and steeped in tradition. All along the coast there are abundant wonderful sailing opportunities and always plenty to look at landward. It’s also an ideal location to moor your yacht and take the tender ashore for time out enjoying some truly divine empty beaches.
For those wanting a taste of Spanish country life the Southwest region of Mallorca has it all. Scenery to die for, fascinating places on interest, superb local cuisine and hospitality second to none. And once you’ve had that first taste of the region you’re guaranteed to want to keep coming back for more.
MALLORCA – SOUTH
It may be the least well-known part of Mallorca but, in truth, the South Coast is a hidden gem and boasts some of the very best beaches on the Island. The relatively undeveloped rocky headland at the Southern tip is home to Sa Colonia de Sant Jordi only a short visit from Es Trec one of Mallorca’s best known beaches. Further along the positively lovely coastline you will find the picturesque resorts of Sa Rapita, S'Estanyol and Cala Pi each possessing their own distinctive character and offering plenty to do.
It may be considered one of main resort in the region but Colonia de Sant Jordi still benefits from a remoteness that makes its beautiful coastline all the more appealing. The old marina town of Sa Rapita is the main port of call for yachts but is mainly used by locals to moor their boats and as you would expect has a distinctly authentic Spanish atmosphere.
It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but the South Coast of Mallorca is a stunningly beautiful as the rest of the Island. There is a wide variety of things to do and see and the coastline is possibly the best on the Island. For visitors looking for a Spanish holiday away from it all the region is absolutely perfect.
Strikingly different in landscape and character to the rest of Mallorca, the Southeast Coast of old, with its picturesque fishing villages, is a far cry from its 21st Century incarnation. Today the area is a major focus for the tourist industry and is defined by ‘Ibiza style’ white washed buildings, luxury coastal villas, community apartment developments and hotels. It is also one of the Island’s primary destinations for pleasure boat and yachting enthusiasts. Indeed boating is, by far, the most popular activity along this stretch of the coast.
As you would expect there are several excellent marinas, the largest of which Cala d’Or caters for leisure boats of all sizes and has marine services available that you would expect from a premier marina. The town’s myriad bars, restaurants, clubs, exceptional entertainment and recreational facilities have made this a favourite destination amongst ‘go for it’ Brits.
But it’s not all razzle-dazzle. Despite its proximity to Cala d’Or, Porto Petro has clung onto its roots and retains its fishing village character. This quiet village is the ideal location for visitors looking for something more traditional and laid back. Arguably the prettiest working fishing village in Mallorca the tiny resort of Cala Figuera has much to recommend it. From its stunning rocky inlet to the crystal clear waters, attractive fisherman’s’ town houses to cosy restaurants and friendly bars Cala Figuera is a truly magical retreat.
The main town of the Island’s Southeast coastal region is the fascinating 14th century Santanyia, an official Mallorcan ‘Old Town’. Situated close to Cala ‘Or and Porto Petro it is surrounded by stunning countryside peppered with traditional country houses.
The Southeast coast of Mallorca combines both sides of the Spanish holiday coin. It offers all the big bucks entertainment and activity you could wish for, yet you are never very far from what can only be described as the unwinding calmness of traditional Spain. All in all it’s the ideal place for a fortnight’s holiday. A week of in your face party madness followed by a week of total res, relaxation and recuperation.
MALLORCA – SOUTHWEST
The most well-known region of Mallorca, the Southwest coast has everything that you would expect from the definitive 20th century Spanish holiday. Fortunately the area was first developed before the 18/30 phenomena and its ugly offspring reared its large scale over developed head. Unlike many parts of the coastal mainland Mallorcan developments are relatively small as the Island has strict policies on maintaining traditional values and identity with conservation of uppermost importance. In short, the Island is so naturally beautiful it sells itself.
Famed for its magnificent bay and home to around half the Island’s permanent residents, Palma de Mallorca is the region’s most popular resort. It also boasts one of the most extensive harbours in the Mediterranean and ha a bountiful supply of safe moorings for hundreds of sailing craft ranging from fishing boats to speed boats, dinghies to multi million pound luxury super-yachts. It is by far one of the most popular ports of call for the European sailing fraternity. Other harbours in the area include Puerto de Andratx which is one of Mallorca’s main fishing ports; Port Adriano which has recently been granted permission to extend the marina so it can cater for luxury super-yachts and Palma Nova which is often described as a ‘less frenetic’ version of Magaluf with which it has virtually merged.
For all its popularity with the tourist, the Southwest still retains an elegance and mainly attracts up-market visitors looking for a lot of sunshine and a lot of luxury. All of which isn’t that surprising when you consider that the Spanish Royal Family pay regular visits to their palaces in Palma.