Whilst we did grace the ill-reputed strip of pubs and clubs four nights on the trot, we discovered that once you flee the neon-lights, the persistent reps and the strong stench of booze in Magaluf, Mallorca is a beautiful island with an awful lot to offer.
Transport: AerLingus direct to Palma, then a VW Beetle from Click-Rent for exploring the island
Accommodation: Hold your breath, BH Mallorca Rocks Hotel
We arrived in May so the place was quiet and notably clean. Check-in did take an hour, the staff were rude, deposits for damage were demanded and extra costs for a working safe were incurred, but what else would you expect?
5. Cap Formentor
The northernmost point of the island. Drive into the wilderness and find the famous lighthouse. It area is beautiful. A small café sells tasteless but pricey food and drinks.
4. Cala Falco
After about an hour of rambling up hilly paths and winding roads, we stumbled upon the most quaint, unspoilt beach, Cala Falco. Sheltered from the elements, the small beach is situated in a cove surrounded by rocky outlets, pine forests, a beach bar with a tasty, healthy food options and a drinks menu. We paid €5 each for a sunbed and spent the day swimming the shallow but clear waters.
In the small town of Manacor, we ate pizza ‘al padellino’ outside on a narrow pedestrianised street. They make the dough one day in advance to allow for fermentation which makes for a deliciously focaccia-style consistency. It wasn’t touristy in the slightest, the prices were low but the quality of the ingredients was high.
UNESCO World Heritage Site, the village of Dieà is situated in the heart of the Sierra Tramuntana mountain range, over 1000 metres above sea level. We had our breakfast on the terrace of Cafe Sa Font Fresca, overlooking vast green landscapes, in awe of both its magnitude and natural beauty. We then made for the beach by driving down a narrow, winding road, parking up and walking downward for a further ten minutes. The beach had little sand, mainly rocks, but that made it all the more unique. The water was cool, clear and cleansing. Restaurants were built into the rocks and there was a buzzy atmosphere yet you couldn’t accuse it of being busy.
1. Cala Varques
A secluded beach that is disputably the best place for cliff jumping on the island. We drove for an hour, reached a single lane dirt track and walked a trodden path in a forest to reach a small, captivating beach, just in time for sunset.