Hello guys and gals, and welcome to another travel piece. Earlier this month Luke and I travelled to the Balearic Islands and spent a glorious week soaking up the sunshine in Mallorca.
We both like to stay active on holiday (we’re not really into lounging around on the beach…or so we thought…), and we’d chosen Mallorca because there are so many opportunities to stay active. Mallorca is home to the Serra de Tramuntana mountains, as well as caves and beautiful beaches, so we’d planned to do lots of fun things like hiking and paddle boarding.
Then, Luke’s accident happened, so we had to change our plans. It’s okay, don’t get upset, we still had an absolute blast.
Driving is the best way to explore to Mallorca – you can pretty much travel from the north side to the south side in an hour, and there is so much to see and do all over the island. We only went for a week, but we packed a lot into our trip and still left feeling relaxed. I’m not sure how, but we did!
I thought it’d be fun to re-cap the areas we explored, and hopefully if you’re planning a trip to Mallorca this will come in handy for you. I’ve got so much to share that I thought I’d break it up into two parts, save you having to sit here reading for an absolute age because I’m not a punchy writer. Alright, let’s get into part 1.
We stayed in an Airbnb in Binissalem, which is a small, rural town right in the heart of Mallorca. Our house was typically Mallorcan in style, and I loved it. We could maybe have done with some air con so we didn’t have to point the fan at the bed and leave it on all night, but other than that, I really enjoyed the simplicity of this rustic house. It was nice to get away from all the mod-cons of usual life. The house is named after ‘Uncle Pep’, a carpenter who used to own the house, and some of his tools are still hanging up on the walls! It’s actually full of artefacts, and I like a house that has so much story to it.
Binissalem is surrounded by vineyards, and supplies most of the wine you’ll find in Mallorcan restaurants. It’s a really pretty little town, and we chose it for two reasons:
1). It’s in the middle so a great base to explore the island
2). The accommodation is more affordable than the likes of Palma and Peurto Pollensa, so a great option if you’re looking to save a few pennies.
It’s not touristy at all, and there’s a lovely community feel to it. It has a few supermarkets, bars and restaurants, and it has a market every Friday morning in the square. I actually stumbled across the market by accident. I’d woken up early and was toying between going for a walk and reading my book. I chose to go for a walk, and I’m so glad I did because I saw the market and got to soak up all the lovely community vibes. There was an abundance of fruit, vegetables, spices, plants, flowers, clothing, wine, souvenirs and more.
I bought some mint (menta), and some limes (limas), because, you know, it’s nice to support local suppliers and all that jazz. Plus, I taught a Spanish lady the English for ‘mint’, so I wandered back to the house feeling like I’d done a good deed.
Anyone close to me will know that I’m not a city girl. Cities to me are busy, stressful, rushed, and non-scenic. Give me a tiny English hamlet any day. But I LOVE PALMA. Palma, for those that don’t know, is Mallorca’s capital.
It’s vibrant, lively, colourful, it has loads of independent stores (as well as the Zaras and Mangos of the world), a beach, and a really happy vibe. It’s also a very beautiful city. We went late afternoon when the temperatures were starting to drop, although it was still about 37 degrees. So yeah, HOT. There’s the Gothic Cathedral which stands tall near the sea front, some lovely green spaces, palm trees everywhere (hello, Captain Obvious…), and loads of cafes, bars and restaurants just waiting to serve you an ice cold beverage.
What I’m about to say might be a bold claim, so brace yourselves. Palma is home to a restaurant named Bon Lloc, which serves the best vegan food I’ve EVER eaten. There’ll be more to come on that in a separate ‘What I ate in Mallorca’ post, but blinkin’ eck, that food was incredible. I would book a trip to Palma solely to eat at that restaurant again.
Palma is really easy to reach by train, which I’d recommend over driving as it is a busy city. It’s about a 20 minute journey from Binissalem, with trains running fairly regularly.
Pollensa (Old Town and the Port)
I’ll start with the old town of Pollensa, which is very pretty (apologies if I keep describing Mallorcan towns as pretty, but they are pretty). We went early on Saturday morning before the sun was in full force and we had to re-apply factor 50 every 20 minutes, and enjoyed just aimlessly wandering the streets. We also took a trip up the Calvari Steps, which you must do if you visit Pollensa. I believe it started off with 365 steps (one for each day of the year), but there are a few more than that now.
The views from the top are stunning, and if you’re not up to climbing the steps all in one go, there are places you can stop and rest en-route to the top. I didn’t find it that challenging, although I did keep stopping to befriend the several cats we saw.
We stopped for drinks at one the cafes at the bottom of the steps, and I enjoyed a much-needed cold passionfruit smoothie.
Even though Peurto Pollensa is quite touristy, the old town is definitely not. So if you’re looking for a traditional Mallorcan town that isn’t brimming with beach towels, inflatables and half the population of your home town, I’d recommend Pollensa.
That being said, Peurto Pollensa provided us with a lovely afternoon stroll along the sea front. We’d been for lunch at a gorgeous cafe (more to come on that in another post!), and then walked up to the beach, had a look at the boats, and then wandered past the palm trees lining the paths. I can certainly think of worse ways to spend an afternoon!
And that concludes part 1 of our trip to Mallorca. Good grief, that was a long post wasn’t it? Coming up in A Week in Mallorca Part 2, we’ll look at Formentor (one of the most beautiful spots I’ve ever been to), Alcudia, and Porto Cristo.
Until next time, have a wonderful Tuesday you lovely lot!