Perfect Weekend: 48-Hours in MajorcaBy Angelica Malin
Majorca holidays usually conjure up images of teens spilling out of bars in Magaluf, or families with children escaping the British cold for warmer climes. However, take your Majorca judgement and throw it out the window. Majorca, the largest of the Balearic Islands, is the perfect holiday destination, and here’s why: a mere couple of hours on the plane, the island benefits from year-round warm weather. Here’s the top 15 hotels in Majorca if you’re looking for some fun in the sun, and for a whistle-stop tour, a pocket guide to the Balearics – you can see more on Teletext’s blog here.
The food scene in Majorca is firmly on the up, and is fast becoming a hotbed for international chefs showcasing world-class cuisine. And on top of all that, there’s also miles of unspoilt beaches, hidden coves, turquoise waters and stunning natural beauty. You’d be wrong to think you were in the Caribbean. If you’re planning a holiday to the sunshine island, check out Teletext holidays – and here’s our favourite picks:
48 Hours in Majorca: Where to Stay
What: If you’ve been lured by the peaceful nature and pristine beaches of Northern Majorca, The Be Live Hotel in Palace de Muro should be your first port of call when it comes to accommodation. This seafront hotel has direct access to the beach, along with multiple swimming pools, an on-site spa and first-class activities. Favoured by families thanks to the hotel’s numerous activities, pools and games; the hotel is also perfect for those wishing to unwind. The spa is one of the best in the area; two saunas, a jacuzzi and a steam bath, as well as treatment rooms where you can enjoy massages, facials and other pampering procedures.
The Lowdown: Accommodation at Be Live collection range from Deluxe Rooms to Sea Front Suites. The newly refurbished suites have been kitted out in all the latest mod-cons including a Nespresso Machine, 43” flat screen TV, a gourmet minibar, and Wifi. Kick back in the living room, or watch the sunrise from your own private terrace. And if that’s not enough – the suites boasts breathtaking views over the Mediterranean sea. Cloud-like mattresses along with picture perfect views? We’re sold.
Where: Carrer Guardes de Mar, s/n, 07458 Muro, Illes Balears, Spain
What: Majorca holidays are all about taking it easy. If you’re planning a holiday with the only form of strenuous exercise is lifting a cocktail to your mouth – you need to stay at Montelín Apartments. 24 self contained studio apartments are spread over two floors, providing a real home from home feel. The main focal point of the hotel is the swimming pool, and the solarium which is equipped with sun loungers and sunshades. Next door is Mallorca Apartments Villaconcha, and is run by the same company. There you’ll find plenty of other facilities to enjoy if you’ve finished your book, or need a break from drinking heady alcoholic concoctions.
The Lowdown: The cosy studio apartments have everything you could need; a fully equipped kitchen, a balcony/terrace with pool view, and a modern bathroom. You’re on holiday, and the chances of whipping up a gourmet meal are pretty slim. Good news: a short amble away is the picturesque town of Puerto de Pollensa where you’ll find local restaurants, lively bars and other foodie delights.
Where: C/ Les Nanses 6 07470 Port de Pollensa, Mallorca Islas Baleares
What: All-Inclusive resorts are no longer seen as the down-market holiday choice – with Viva Zafiro Alcudia Aparthotel showing other all-inclusive hotels exactly how it’s done. This sprawling resorting in Puerto de Alcudia opened in 2015 and has already caused quite a stir. Why? Well, because there’s 4 al la carte restaurants on-site, with an adults only restaurant too, all rooms are stylish and modern, and there’s a numerous pools, facilities and activities to keep you occupied. If you’re holidaying with a bunch of chums, or bringing along your tots, Viva Zafiro Alcudia Aparthotel is the one.
The Lowdown: There’s your classic rooms and deluxe rooms, but the creme de la creme are the apartments. Not the cheapest, but certainly the best, the apartments really are something special. Each apartment has its own private balcony with a jacuzzi, perfect for a pre-dinner dip, or lapping up the rays, Margarita in hand. Little details have also been through about – the bathroom is stocked with luxury toiletries, Egyptian cotton towels, and the kitchen has all the tools you require to cook a gourmet feast.
Where: C/ Camí Real al Moll, 2, 07400 Puerto de Alcudia, Islas Baleares, Spain
48 Hours in Majorca: What to Eat
What: Majorca holidays can feature some amazing food – Majorca’s food scene has vastly improved in recent years. Not just seen as a place to bask in the summer rays – Majorca has become a foodie destination in its own right. The island is home to nine restaurants serving cuisine recognised by the prestigious Michelin Guide for Spain and Portugal, with six restaurants retaining their one star from 2016 for 2017 and two restaurants gaining their first star for 2017. Zaranda is the only one restaurant on the island to be awarded two michelin stars in both 2016 and 2017. Fernando P Arellano is behind Zaranda, which originally opened in Madrid in 2005. Since moving his entire team to Majorca, the restaurant has earned an epic reputation thanks to their off-beat, innovative tasting menus.
Eat and Drink: Go for the tasting menu – it’s what the restaurant is known for. And if you really want to splash the cash, opt for the wine pairing too. Zaranda houses some of the best, vintage vinos in the area. The black egg with white onion and cuttlefish caviar is somewhat of an icon, and the confit and glazed veal tongue with warm leek and potato salad proves once again the innovation that goes on in the Zaranda kitchen.
Where: Castell Son Claret, Carretera Capdella – Galilea, Km. 1,7, 28010 Es Capdellà, Islas Baleares, Spain
What: Since opening in February 2016, Amaya dishes up new world cuisine, with the cooking of the Mediterranean the main source of inspiration, complemented by and combined with classic and traditional recipes with influences from all cultures. It’s truly a remarkable restaurant, with the dishes consisting mainly of fresh, seasonal produce from local markets. Everything on their menus is homemade and freshly prepared from scratch every day.
Eat and Drink: There’s some overly complicated dishes on the menu, but the simplest ones are the best. The chargrilled octopus for starter is straight-off-the-boat fresh, and the beef main course is rich and flavoursome. And the benefits of being an island is the access to fish. And Amaya serves undoubtedly some of the best fish dishes in the area including hake and tuna.
Where: Calle Fabrica nº 18A, 07013, Palma de Mallorca (Baleares)
What: You can’t miss this during Majorca holidays – Ponderosa Beach is Majorca’s worst kept secret. This beach side restaurant, or ‘chiringuito’ as it’s known in Spanish is a hit with tourist and holidaymakers alike – get their early to grab a table, or prepare for a wait. Totally worth it, mind. The restaurant champions the farm to form philosophy, with all produce sourced from local farmers, fishermen and grocers. When the sun sets, the vibe is cranked up a notch, with DJ sets and music playing well into the night.
Eat and Drink: The menu is largely Mediterranean, and there’s a strong focus on fish dishes. After all, you are by the sea. The seafood paella is out of this world – a large pot that has been simmering for hours is filled with homemade fish stock, clams, mussels, cuttlefish, monkfish, prawn tails, lobster and red prawns. It’s a must try dish, and will have you totally hooked after the first bite. There’s plenty of gluten-free options including the tuna tartare with soy sauce, ginger and coriander, and the red tiger prawn curry with vegetables and coconut milk.
Where: Casettes des Capellans, 123, 07440 Palma, Islas Baleares, Spain
What: You can’t say Majorca is behind the times when it comes to their culinary delights. Cafe Scholl is a boho-retro haunt with a cute courtyard area and bags of charm. This spot caters for everyone; meat fiends, coeliacs, vegans and veggies. They’ve earned quite a reputation for their extensive plant-powered menu that’s not only tasty, but excellent value.
Eat and Drink: 48 hours in Majorca is enough time to get a cracking pick-me-up – there’s great coffee here, with the team roasting all the beans themselves. Kick off with the goat’s cheese in a light filo pastry with honey and almonds – a light, sweet and savoury dish, and follow this up with the fillet mignon. It’s divine. The veggie moussakas are made fresh everyday, and their cakes are homemade and totally dreamy. If you can, stop by for breakfast. There’s loads of choices, and the most delicious croissants.
Where: Carrer de la Victòria 11 Maig, 9, 07100 Sóller, Illes Balears, Spain
48 Hours in Majorca: What to Do
What: Even if you don’t stay in Palma, make sure you visit the capital city. It’s a far cry from anything you’d expect – there’s tons to do and see, and its rich history is definitely worth checking out. The Palma Cathedral, more commonly referred to as La Seu, was begun by King James I of Aragon in 1229 but only finished in 1601. You can easily spend a few hours here, and it’s a must see on the Palma hit list.
Why: If you want to sink your teeth into more historical landmarks, the Llotja is a stunningly beautiful building, located right on the seafront, west of the cathedral. The space has been transformed into more of an art space, but it has still maintained its grandeur. Meander down the quaint side streets, and take a slow stroll up to the Bellver Castle, a 700-year fortress that dominates the skyline of Palma. The circular castle is an artectects dream, with Gothic style touches. It overs some of the best views over the city. There’s plenty of tapas bars, cosy wine bars and restaurants to help you refuel.
Explore the Great Outdoors
What: Majorca may be known for white sandy beaches, however the island offers far more in terms of nature and the great outdoors. The mountains and hills are crying out to be explored, and it’s one of the best ways to discover the real Majorca.
The Lowdown: There’s various coastal trails to suit varying abilities, so don’t panic if you’re not an avid adventurer. If you don’t own a pair of study hiking boots, hire a bike and head for Cala Millor on the east coast. It’s generally flatter than the west, but still boasts incredible views across the ocean. For the biking beginner, a great area is Na Burguesa near Palma which has plenty of forestry roads.
Day Trip to Port de Sóller
What: Port de Sóller is a tiny village situated in one of Mallorca’s most beautiful horseshoe harbours. Found on the west coast, Port de Sóller is enclosed by the Tramuntana mountains. This place has it all; a mountainous coastline, secluded coves, a warm turquoise sea and insanely good restaurants.
The Lowdown: When spending 48 hours in Majorca, the best way to see the town is to hop on and off the tram, which is the only way to travel if you’re not in the mood for walking. And it’s a great attraction too. Shopping isn’t the best, with a few touristy shops and supermarkets. There are many hidden coves along the coast line, great for snorkelling or diving, or for a spot of private sunbathing. And the restaurants found on the beach dish up the freshest fish.