After waking up at 4.30am, Kristian and I questioned whether our very short, overnight stay in Mallorca would be worth it. Door to door, our trip would be a mere 42 hours long. This is not the way we usually travel, preferring to take our time slowly exploring new places. With work commitments however, this was the best we could do. Keen to see a new place and also deprived of sun as we slowly come out of an English winter, we set off to the sunny Spanish island.
We picked up the hire car and set off in search of the turquoise beaches that I had seen in many a photo prior to our departure. First stop was Cala Sequer, a tiny cove just outside the town of Manacor on the East side of the island. With the directions to the beach in hand, we made our way down the Ma4015, turned right at the junction, passed the Agroturismo and headed down the gravel road, stopping just before the old farmhouse where we parked the car. It would be a 40 minute hike from this point.
After bumping into a German couple who informed us that there was no access through the giant metal gate up ahead, I felt slightly disheartened but we had no intention on giving up, so off we went. On the advice of the Swedish family who we happened to cross paths with we discovered a smaller gate would allow us back onto the path to the beach. We also learnt that there was an even better beach nearby. We took a quick snap shot of their hand drawn map and continued our walk, passing horses, beautiful run down stone barns and fields of Spring flowers. Cala Sequer was stunning, with clear, turquoise waters (which we soon discovered are not at all uncommon in these parts). We took our time, eating our picnic lunch (that I had packed from Manchester!) and enjoying the tranquillity before heading back passed the horses, stone barns and flowers to find this ‘other beach’.
It wasn’t very far at all from Cala Sequer. Back in the car, passed the old castle, down another gravel road and squeeze through the locked gates covered in graffiti, as specified by the Swedish family.
This beach was a little more popular, and maybe even more beautiful than Cala Sequer. Naturally, my water-loving husband couldn’t resist the clear, blue waters and in he went. It was only about 20˚C and that’s definitely not swimming weather in my opinion so I happily stayed on the warm sand.
Our next stop would be our b&b in Capdepera, at the north east of Mallorca. We arrived at the beautiful medieval town, got lost and organised to meet our host, Francois, outside the old castle. He showed us the way on his blue motorbike and we arrived at a beautiful 19th century villa. Perfect.
We spent the afternoon exploring the town, driving to even more quaint, little beaches and checking out a light house with amazing views of the crystal clear Balearic Sea and surrounding cliffs.
My favourite time of the day rolled around (dinner time, of course!) and we made our way to Es Coll D’os. This lovely, family run restaurant sources most of its produce from the family’s farm, a mere 800m away. Everything we ate that evening was delicious. We started with an orange salad, drizzled in the freshest olive oil and served with delicious bread. The flavours immediately brought me back to my childhood, as this is one of my dad’s favourite things to eat, a simple dish he learnt from his parents.
The next plate on the agenda was a trio of small dishes; a creamy artichoke soup, chard croquettes and a kind of chicken curry with pineapple. Each was delicious on its own, but I wasn’t so sure that the flavours married together very well. Still enjoyable.
The following dish was my favourite. Monkfish tail served on a bed of garlic mash and drizzled with a sweet pepper aioli. So yum. This was the first time I had eaten monkfish and it is definitely a fish that I will revisit! It has a firm, white flesh and, as Kristian noted, has a flavour not dissimilar to lobster. It was cooked to perfection. Lamb fillets from the farm followed our fish. They were tender and flavoursome.
We finished on a high sharing an oozy chocolate fondant and Crema Catalana. A delicious end to a lovely dinner. We headed back to our b&b with very full bellies.
The next day was a big driving trip around the island and back to the airport. From Capdepera, we headed towards yet another secluded beach. I had read that Coll Baix would be a tricky beach to find. I had printed out what I thought were very clear instructions but we just couldn’t find it! With limited time, we had to throw in the towel and decided to proceed to our next destination.
Cap de Formentor lighthouse, at the northernmost point of the island, was an impromptu stop that came highly recommended from a German girl that we had breakfast with at the b&b. It was an amazingly beautiful drive up to the lighthouse, with the windiest roads we had ever driven. It is very popular with cyclists, and I mean very popular. I think there were actually more bikes than cars!
There are gorgeous views at every turn and a stunning panorama from the very top (as well as some friendly mountain goats!) This was one of our favourite places in Mallorca. Absolutely stunning and well worth a visit if you ever find yourself on the island.
From the lighthouse, we headed into the Serra de Traumentana mountain range, making our way around the curvy roads, with gorgeous views at every turn, yet again. The first town we stopped in was Fornalutx. Beautiful, sandy coloured houses nestled into the green valley and surrounded by orange groves, it’s the image that comes to mind when you imagine what a Spanish island would look like! We spent a couple of hours strolling through the town’s sandy coloured streets, trying to pick oranges but failing to find a tree that wasn’t surrounded by six foot high, barbed wire fencing, protected from pesky, sneaky orange thieves!
Orange-less, we moved onto Deia. We didn’t spend too much time in the town, but made our way towards the beach. Naturally, Kristian was in the water before I could say, ‘Look at how blue it is!’ I think he is half man, half fish. Again, I happily observed from the pebbly shore, taking photos of my merman instead.
The next town of Valldemossa was supposed to be our last stop of the day before heading back to the airport. As we pulled up, I knew it would be the perfect final destination. Quaint little streets, beautiful sandy coloured villas, boutique shops- the ideal place to explore before heading back home. The only thing to do was to find a car park. No problem, all the day trippers from Palma had left, car parking spaces were everywhere! And then we realised that every single carparking space (and I mean EVERY single one, even ones that shouldn’t have been, you know- behind the soccer stadium two kilometres from the main street!) required a ticket. Alas, we were euro-coinless (orange-less and euro-coinless! Disaster!) We tried to find an ATM to no avail. With several ticket inspectors roaming around, there was nothing to do but move on.
The day didn’t end so badly. We concluded our journey in the main square of the small town of Esporles, eating ice cream and watching tiny Spanish kids playing soccer/riding bikes/chasing each other. A pretty good end to our 42 hour Mallorcan extravaganza!
Es Coll d'Os- Hernan Cortes esquina Verge de l'Esperanza, 07590 Cala Ratjada, Mallorca
Beautiful family run restaurant in Cala Ratjada. For more details, see above.