Behind the scenes of this stunning picture overlooking Cala Murta beach, a fierce debate raged about whether my two sprained ankles were ‘recovered’ enough to traverse some pretty scary beach steps. I got halfway down in a fireman’s lift (thanks husband) and then had a panic when I got to a pathway of slippery rocks and had to admit defeat.
And yes, you read right – two sprained ankles, the product of Blackheath Festival, The Libertines and uneven ground a week before my wedding day. And yep – you read right again, A WEEK BEFORE MY WEDDING DAY! One day I’ll tell you all about my hobble down the aisle, but for now I want to tell you about Mallorca.
Mallorca was our mini-moon destination, a short trip straight after the wedding before a big honeymoon later that year. If you’re wondering where we went on our maxi-moon the answer is nowhere – we had a whole trip planned to Vietnam but cancelled it due to me freaking out about Zika. Luckily our mini-Mallorca-moon didn’t disappoint.
Whenever we go away it becomes our mission to find somewhere beautiful and quiet that we can dip in and out of, finding busier places if we feel like it or going more remote when we want an adventure. This trip to Mallorca was no different. Other than research beforehand we’ve found the best way of finding hidden gems is looking at Google Maps once you’re there. It sounds terribly un-wanderlusty but it works. It also feels more productive while you lie on your hotel bed ready for the holiday snooze fest feeling guilty you’re in the room and not the sun.
On our search list were marinas, hidden beaches and optimum sunset views, using the help of Google Maps, a hired boat, a bit of local knowledge and limited trekking (ankles) we found them all.
Our hotel was La Posada Del Marques, a small yet grand, family run hotel in the mountains. It’s a beautiful old hotel that seems to be a favourite with hikers so most days the pool is empty which suited us fine. The whole hotel is surrounded by gardens of orange and lemon trees and beyond them, forests, mountains and the sea. The staff are massively accommodating, we arrived really late, and they were cool enough to leave our room keys out on the reception desk. The lovelies even gave us a massive upgrade because of our newly wedded status. Though we only realised when we walked into a suite complete with holiday night air drifting in from a balcony overlooking moonlit pine forests and the bay of Palma.
We popped into Palma briefly. It’s a great city but this wasn’t an intended city break for us so we had a little wonder and then started out on our true mission, finding Port Adriano. We had arranged a boat for the day (roughly £100) and armed ourselves with a picnic that consisted solely of wine, bread and cheese. I felt a tad out of place in my sundress, flipflops and wicker basket jammed with wine and plastic cups once we got to the Port. The place is smart as you like. My casual attire was further highlighted in the boat pick up cafe whilst a couple in front of us arranged their charter yacht hire, the wife taking off her huge sunglasses (probably necessary indoors to shield her eyes from the glare coming off her diamante sandals) to rustle for papers in an equally huge Luis V beach bag.
In a port our love of house stalking turns to boat stalking and we managed a good game of ‘which would you have’ on the walk to greet our little sea fairer. Massive yachts gleaming in the sun with lounge decks, sound systems and jetskis lined the way, it was a tough choice! Reality and our ride for the day whirred up to the port and unlike it’s neighbours, the only extra on offer was a sun canopy. Oh, and a seat that was also a box – genius!
But that did us just fine.
Most places you go you’ll find there’s no license needed to rent a small boat. You don’t need anything massive to get you around the coast exploring new beaches. But do take the sun canopy – no one wants sunstroke on a boat, the seat/box, however, isn’t so necessary.
After no arguments at all about boat navigation or getting too close to rocks we found a lovely beach. Only shame was, we seemed to be crashing some sort of jellyfish rave up. I stayed put, yelling and pointing out jellyfish locations to my daredevil husband as he swam ashore like some sort of Crystal Maze holiday special.
Back on dry land our scenic road helped us find the achingly picturesque village of Valdemossa. Nestled in the hills of the Tramuntana range, full of perfectly manicured public gardens, soft stone houses and surrounded by forests of olive, oak and almond trees. You may as well be in a movie here and it’s an easy afternoon while away spot with small gift shops and restaruants around every corner.
Sunset hunting was not to be forgotten. Well, it was our mini-moon after all! You can’t get more romantic than a sunset can you? Luckily we had a friend who lived locally and knew a little spot which was more than likely one of the best, Mirador de Cabo Blanco outside the village of El Refugio Del Aguila. This is the kind of diamond you find on holiday back roads but drive past because you’re too scared to check it out. It could equally win first place as ‘Derelict Shack Containing Rabid Dog’ or ‘Most Cool Secret Drinking/sunset Spot on the Island’.
A rough little shed-come-house with a porch full of boxed fruit and a few chairs is set back from the road. Inside is dark and could be a home or a small shop, it’s a mixture of both but wander around the back and you’ll find rough brush land stretching out to cliff edges and the Mediterranean sea, dotted with sporadic tables and chairs and waiter service. Note: I say waiter service in the loosest sense…
The sunset here was stunning. I’m gutted I only have 1 picture but then we all know that pictures never do sunsets justice anyway. Serious sunset seekers should put this place at the top of their list. Arrive just before the sun starts to dip and enjoy the colours as you make your way through a bottle of local wine and toast with all sorts of toppings. This simple and stunningly quiet place provides a perfect stage with zero distractions for the main event.
Coming in almost as a tie for a great sunset is Mirador de ses Barques, high up in the mountains. It’s a totally different vibe, you feel you’re high up in some sort of treehouse as you overlook the vista from the covered balcony with a table of back packers next door to you each with their beers. The restaurant reminded me of the places I found trekking in Nepal, all wooden beams and plants looking out over the mountains, forests and on to the sea. There’s no website for this place so you’ll have to take my word for it and write down the address, make sure you visit: Mirador de ses Barques, Carretera de Lluc, Km 45, 07109 Sóller, Islas Baleares, Spain
We spent a rather more upmarket lunch at Port D’andratx which was very smart, and what it lacked in scary wooden sheds and balconies it made up for in swanky restaurants and wide, pale pavements. You can drink white sangria (yes there is such a thing! A new found fave of ours) with lunch and walk along the almost empty #nofilterneeded beach afterwards.
Our final evening was spent in Paseo es Traves Marina, soaking up the last gusts of warm evening air and the sounds of the street performers as we decided on dinner, with more white Sangria to help the decision process.
Mallorca really is such a beautiful island. It’s mix of beaches, forests and mountains gives you so much to explore- plus flights are cheap and once you get there it’s not too bad either.
It’s an ideal option for a short getaway – or mini moon!