A Travellerspoint blog

Summer in Mallorca

Mallorca, Spain


View Nov 2020 on margofiala's travel map.

Our last destination was Mallorca, the largest of Spain’s Balearic Islands. They are located off the east coast of Spain, so we flew from Lanzarote in the Canary Islands back to Barcelona, and then a short 50 minute flight to Mallorca. You can also take a long ferry from Barcelona (~8 hours), but we opted for the plane.

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We arrived in Mallorca to find a paddler’s paradise! In contrast to the “windy” season in the Canary Islands, it was the “still air” season in Mallorca, perfect for paddle boarding. Mallorca is known for its clear aquamarine water of the Mediterranean Sea, and it was stunning. With the temperature increasing (25–32C/77–90F), we put our hiking and touring gear away and paddle boarded as much as we could. It was truly some of the best scenery and conditions we had ever paddled in, and reminded us of paddling in Costa Brava.

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Most of these paddling trips were made possible by Hannah and Miguel at Mallorca SUP, who had top quality equipment (even carbon fiber paddles), great advise us on paddling routes and even transported us to some amazing starting locations. We loved their SUP pups too, Honey and Teddy.

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They had a marketing video produced while we were there, check it out (turn up your volume):

Port de Pollença was our home base and where we paddled from most days. The water was so blue and so clear, and the bay was very calm, Hannah took this video of us:

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Hannah suggested we do a sunrise paddle up the dramatic Cap de Formentor coastline. The water is warm even at 6:00 am! They dropped us at Formentor Beach, with the pups of course. It was one of those “experiences” we will never forget:

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All the caves and crevasses are so fun to explore on a paddle board:

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Cala de Sant Vicenç is the next cove over from Pollença to the west, not as protected from the open sea but very spectacular and amazingly calm on the day we went. Again, the water is just so clear and we have another video:

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Cala Alcanada is near Alcúdia, on the next bay east of Pollença:

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Port de Soller is about an hour drive on the northwest coast and was one of the only paddles we did without Hannah and Miguel, but they did tell us exactly where to go 😊:

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We had considered staying here, similar to Port de Pollença with a bay leading to the sea, but smaller:

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Many people we met in Spain had recommended Mallorca and given us advice on where to stay, etc. The most patient and helpful with all our questions was no doubt another Hannah from England, who is also a Spanish transplant. Fluent in Spanish, she teaches English, works winters in the Spanish Pyrenees (skiing - that’s where we met her two winters ago) and summers in Mallorca with her boyfriend Franco, a socorristo (lifeguard) and skier as well. Yes, a hard life! Her and Franco’s advice was so helpful and is why we found the perfect location for paddling and seeing the natural beauty of Mallorca. Thank you Hannah and Franco!

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Cala Agulla is where Franco works, so we had to paddle there as well. The water here is a more exposed to the open sea, so more work to paddle than we are used to. It was super fun and very scenic, but we were glad we were paddling with two lifeguards (Franco and his friend Tincho):

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We stayed in Port de Pollença, in the northern part of the island to get away from the more touristy centers (south and east coasts). We had a great view from our apartment and enjoyed the beach right in front of us:

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We celebrated Dean’s birthday on a boat cruise from Pollença Bay, exploring the capes on either side (Cap de Formentor and Cap des Pinar). The boat was owned by friends of Miguel, Raul and Oscar, and he made sure we toured all his favorite spots. Hannah (skier) joined us for the day and Oscar made sure we had a super fun day! Dean sends a big thank you to Margo’s family for a great birthday gift:

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We were cruising up the Cape with steep cliffs dropping dramatically into the water and with the clear water you could see them continuing underneath. Oscar stopped the boat, pointed to a cliff, and said, “this is it, go here” and motioned to the water. All we could see was blue water and the cliff, but we did as we were told and jumped in! We swam to the cliff, dipped under the edge, and it opened into a large, brilliant cave that was literally glowing from the sunlight reflecting on the white sand below. It was so cool! Oscar’s father had discovered the cave years ago when he was a child. There were no tour boats, just us, what an experience!

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The drive to Sa Calobra on the northwest coast is an island highlight called “The Snake“and another nail bitter drive. It winds through the Tramuntana mountains down 12 kms to the sea.

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After the amazing drive, Sa Calobra is a stunning spot where the steep rocky cliffs of the gorge meet the sea. It has a pedestrian tunnel between the two stoney beach areas and is a popular boating destination as well:

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Cala Tuent is one cove over:

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Prior to our sunrise paddle up Cap Formentor, we also drove to the lighthouse at the end of the cap and enjoyed the views from the Mirador Es Colomer:

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On the way back we hiked into Cala Figueres for a swim:

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Miguel said his favorite cala (cove) was a short 20 min hike away, Cala Boquer. It was very beautiful but took us about an hour to get to, so either we are slow, or Miguel is very optimistic!

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One bay over, Alcúdia is quite developed probably due to the long stretch of sugar-like sand:

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We met Hannah and Franco for dinner one night at a finca (estate) restaurant near the town of Artà, which is visible from all around with its hilltop castle:

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The northwestern coast of Mallorca is rugged, dramatic and has some lovely little towns to visit. I am lucky that Dean likes driving these precarious roads that connect the villages. Our first stop was Banyalbufar:

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Then we stopped at Valdemossa for shopping and lunch. This pretty little town is known for being a favorite home of Chopin’s:

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Then continued onto the lovely Deià, home of “La Residencia”, a palatial hotel that was calling our name (maybe next trip?):

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And Cala de Deia:

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My dad plays tennis and is a big fan, so he wanted us to check out Rafa Nadal’s training center in Manacor, where he is from. Rafa Nadal is one of the best tennis players in the world and has won 20 grand slam men’s single tournaments, which is an all-time record. His training center was equally impressive:

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Foodie alert! We really enjoyed Abbaco, a restaurant in Port de Pollença on the water front, it was one of our favorites (grilled avocado, crispy prawns with satay sauce, nigiri sushi and rolls):

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We also had a great meal at an Italian restaurant in Port de Pollença called Moll de Bellagio (burrata, tomato and prosciutto salad, seafood pasta, roasted lamb shoulder):

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Mallorca also produces some world class wines. We visited the Mortitx Winery near Pollença, as we had driven by their vines several times. It is a small production, grows all their own grapes and is set in an amazing valley in the Tramuntana mountains. Great growing conditions with cool nights and warm humid sunny days, makes for a great wine:

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We spent a few days at the beginning of our trip in Palma, the capital of the Balearic Islands. It is a very colorful city this time of year with lots of flowers blooming. Here is the placa right outside our hotel:

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We have visited several Arab baths in mainland Spain, but clearly the Moors were here too and built a beautiful garden as well:

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The main tourist sites in the city are the Palma Cathedral and the Palau de l’Almudaina (Palace), right beside each other. The Spanish are always protesting something, and the story goes that the land between the sea and the cathedral was slated for a large parking garage, but the public disagreed, protested loudly and in this case were successful. The land is now the “Parc del la Mar”, with water reflecting both buildings and providing a walkway to the sea. It is a very pleasant to stroll around when touring the old city, much nicer than a garage!

Cathedral:
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Palace:
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Park:
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Castell de Bellver provides a great lookout over the city and Palma Bay. As seems typical, this castle built in the 1400s as a grand home and strategic lookout, then used as a prison and is now a museum:

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Toque restaurant, by the marina was a great find. Owned and run by Belgians, we laughed about the name, which Canadians use to keep their head warm but is a chef’s hat here (Belgian succotash, grilled skate fish, beef tartare):

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The journey home: Palma/Barcelona/Istanbul/Chicago/Denver; certainly not the most direct route but we needed to exit the EU from Spain to get that magic stamp in our passport for our visa, so that is what we did. We spent a few fun hours in Barcelona and overnighted in Istanbul at the hotel at their fancy new airport, so it wasn’t as bad as it sounds. We made it home safe and sound:

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The dogs of Mallorca, starring SUP pups Honey and Teddy. The other SUP pup we met was Bongo in Port de Soller. Bongo runs the marketing side of the business, check out Dean’s T-shirt.

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Next stop: Colorado for now, with a quick trip to Canada to see family. Til next time!

Posted by margofiala 00:15 Archived in Spain

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Comments

Margo and Dean - looks like an amazing time! Love all the SUP and doggos. Keep enjoying your summer!

by donnapage

Wow! Wow! Wow!
Those blue/green waters look so amazing. You finally got to overdose on SUP-ing too. The windy roads reminded John and I of twisty roads we’ve motorcycled on in other European destinations.

by Donna-Lynne

At the top of my list now.Gorgeous!

by Silene

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