A Guide For A Well-Rounded Experience In Mallorca
This island! Why aren’t people talking about it more?
I don’t even know where to begin with Mallorca.
Spain is a very underrated country in more ways than one.
Whenever we talk “travel”, in regards to Spain, it’s often summed up with these destinations:
And if you’re a party animal…. Ibiza.
Mallorca is rarely mentioned, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out why. For some crazy reason, I think people view Mallorca as another party island that isn’t as good as Ibiza and this couldn’t be further from the truth.
As expected, we steered away from the main city, Palma, and stayed in smaller hot spots splitting our time between two opposite ends of the island. We rented a car so we can explore as we pleased.
Stop #1: Cala D’or
This is a popular destination for Europeans that I can best compare to Key West. A spot I wouldn’t necessarily choose again in the future, but served as a nice change of pace. This was our first location outside of our campervan where we enjoyed a 5-star hotel. Hello big comfy bed!
We chose this city more for its location and that was for deep water solo rock climbing.
Back to Cala D’or.
This location attracts a lot of German & Norwegian culture. It’s a buzzing downtown that’s filled with restaurants, next to restaurants, next to gift shops, next to restaurants, where the menus come in various languages.
You know those tourist spots where the hostesses are waiting outside to lore you in? That type of environment.
It was fun.
It was easy.
It was safe.
If that’s your type of thing, by all means, stay there.
What itt did offer, is some SICK Mediterranean beaches and that leads us to...
Stop #2: Cala Varques Beach.
We came to this location for the climbing, but it’s not just for climbers, oh no, you want to go here.
It’s a bit of a hike. (roughly 30 minutes)
It’s located off of someones private land? vineyard? estate? A whole lot of property that you have to lug your things through. You start your trek walking down the rocky path. Do not drive despite the temptation, your car will be towed if parked there.
Note: As mentioned, this is privately owned property, don’t expect any shops or stores around it. You’ll want to bring not only your towel, umbrella, and chairs, but a cooler too.
The rocky path will lead you to a wall that looks like the end, but the graffitied door is kicked down. Walk on through and enter the woods.
Yep, over the river and through the woods folks.
A little while down you’ll finally start to see the dirt turn into sand and you’ll notice the end is near. The moment you get a glimpse of the trees opening up you will be blown away by its beauty. A large wide open sandy beach surrounded by cliffs and crystal clear Mediterranean water.
It’s hard to describe the bluebird skies, aqua blue water, and orange cliffs that compliment the blues so well. In the distance big white pearly yachts are anchored and enjoying peace in the coves. Many people venture up the cliffs for a little cliff jumping, but if you hike across them into the next cove you will find the rock climbers.
If we were smart we would have brought a tube, I could have floated in that sea all day long watching Marc dangle like a monkey.
After two nights in the Cala D’or area we picked up and headed across to...
Stop #3: Valldemossa
Ok, this is a place we didn’t know much about, but mostly booked because of the amazing villa we found. It could have easily sucked. I’m happy to report that’s not the case. The island of Mallorca is well known for its beaches and party scene, but the real beauty is found in the mountains.
Valldemossa was founded in 123 B.C.! Yup, it’s old and nestled into the Tramuntana Mountains. The famous Polish composer, Frederic Chopin, found inspiration from these mountains and stayed for an extended period of time. I get it, If I was ever planning to write a book I would come back here to do it. The view of this town will never leave us.
Stop #4: Mirabó
Our hotel staring at the ancient city of Valldemossa was nothing short of magical. Mirabó is far more than a hotel, it is a home away from home. Located on a former olive farm, this home was built in the 1500’s and comes straight out of a story tale novel.
Two main hostesses run the house that are always there to greet and help when in need. There is no office, just expect them tending to their duties throughout the home. If I had a butler, I assume this is what it would feel like.
It offers 9 rooms to rent and several common areas, living room, winery, dining hall, patio, and an infinity pool. Each room uses an antique skeleton key, we were warned that there is only one and not to lose it. Our room had a large bay window that overlooked the city and the fruit trees.
I imagined myself as rapunzel or snow white, I was only missing my singing birds.
A trust policy was used to grab beverages and food as you please, as long as you document it in a ledger and pay at the end. That simple act relieves the stress of having to carry your wallet everywhere. Every morning and evening you can order your meals that are exquisitely cooked and romantically served on the outdoor dining area.
I could go on and on about this place. It was a dream. Everyone staying there was so respectful and at peace. Dinner was practically eaten in silence every night, as we were all in awe watching the sunset fall over the city of Valldemossa.
Now speaking of dinner that leads me to our last stop.
Stop #5: Casablanca Betlem
A restaurant located in Betlem on the same side of the island as Cala D’or but far north.
We heard of this place due to a friend of ours who located distant cousins on ancestory.com. They were visiting the states and she had invited them over to a party where we soon found out one was the owner of this restaurant. Sure enough, we reached out to him before our arrival and were hosted for a beautiful evening there.
Casablanca is located in a community where many own summer homes, no hotels. It’s peaceful and warm, a place where everyone knows one another as this is one of the only restaurants in the area. A large indoor and outdoor seating area with pool and cabanas make it inviting for daytime drinks and swim or evening meals. The dishes are astounding with a mix of Spanish and Italian flavors.
Feasting was an understatement, we indulged in a 4 course meal with plenty of wine pairings. The restaurant sits up on a cliff overlooking the ocean, and to the west, one can’t miss the sun setting above the Tramuntana Mountains. Take me back!
That was it. Five days of exploring that provided us a well-rounded experience of what Mallorca has to offer. The luxury of two different cities, the nature of the beaches and off beaten paths of rock climbing, the food from our new friends in a local neighborhood, and the culture and history of Valldemossa. It doesn’t get much better than that.
As always, we seek to understand a culture from all avenues and do our best to squeeze it in no matter how long or short the stay my be and provide you with a little bit of what we learned. We hope this inspired you to put Mallorca on your radar, but if that juiciness and beautiful photos weren’t enough, then check out this vlog of our experience.