Tuesday, June 14, 2016
After a lot of sprinting through airports, living out of suitcases and language difficulties I can say with certainty that Mallorca is my favourite place in the world and am happy to now call it my home. Mallorca while having a renowned reputation central to Magaluf and its antics has far more to offer than what is commonly acknowledged. Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands situated in the Mediterranean Sea. It gets quite busy in summer with an influx of tourists commonly from Germany and Britain. While Palma is the main city and mostly Spanish is spoken in the towns the people of Mallorca take to speaking in Catalan. It’s common for the people of Mallorca to love to travel, however it’s uncommon for them to actually move off the Island to reside elsewhere. Once you have spent some time here, I can guarantee you will understand why.
To see in Palma:
Bellver Castle is a gothic style castle build during the 14th century for King James II and is one of the few circular castles in Spain. Currently the castle is being used as a museum after being given to the city of Palma de Mallorca.
Palma Cathedral is a Gothic Roman Catholic Cathedral, its size is comparable to that of Notre Dame de Paris. It’s best to go inside during the afternoon when the sun is at a good height to have the most effect inside the Cathedral.
Foods traditional to Mallorca:
As always there are some traditional foods to be sampled. A nice safe place to start would be with sampling some Ensaimada. This is a traditional spiral shaped pastry that comes in many varieties depending on the occasion; however there are also relatively plain standard ones available all over the island. If you would like to be a bit more adventurous you could move along to sobrassada which is basically its own unique food. It’s kind of like a spreadable sausage, a type of pate made from pigs. You can spread it on biscuits or into sandwiches or whatever tickles your fancy really. Mallorcan soups usually change from season to season however they typically involve the ingredients onion, garlic, tomatoes, cabbage, beans, paprika, with bread sliced thinly. Tapas is also quite popular and is a good way to eat cheaply throughout the island if you’re on a budget. A lot of places will offer a two euro tapa and beer deal.
However, if you’re not in a particularly adventurous eating mood there are a vast variety of restaurants in Palma that will serve you what you would probably eat for dinner at home. My recommendations are:
Badal Burger. This is one of the best restaurants I’ve ever eaten a burger at. The menu is basically a pick and choose where you can select your own type of bun, how well you want your burger cooked and a variety of special sauces my personal favourite being the chorizo hollandaise. When trying to choose what type of chips you want on the side, always choose sweet potato.
Patxi: This is the best restaurant for steak. My recommendation is the T-Bone with a side of pimientos de padron. However, there is also a tapas available in a smaller section of the restaurant if you don’t feel like steak.
Ombu: Ombu has some fantastic food on offer. It is tapas however, and a little bit pricey but it is well worth the expense. The pork is delicious however the ceviche I once ordered was definitely a questionable life choice.
Wasabi: This is a Japanese restaurant and the sushi there is perfect. It is expensive, however also well worth the cost. It’s best to make a booking in the warmer months as it does get quite busy and you will probably struggle to be seated.
Going to explore Mallorca:
There are a few special places on the island well worth the mission. However it is in your best interests to pay for car hire and go as the buses can be quite unreliable.
Serra de tramuntana: This is the mountain range in the north west of Mallorca. The highest point is Puig Major which is 1,445 meters closely followed by Puig Massanella at 1,364 meters. The road is quite a difficult drive so if you are lacking confidence behind the wheel and driving can be avoided I advise doing so. If you make it up to the lighthouse at Cap de Formentor you might be welcomed by a friendly goat or two, don’t worry they won’t hurt you.
Deia: Deia has a lot to offer as a small village and is one of the most picturesque in Mallorca. It’s a bit of a time warp to be honest. You can go to the cala during the day if you are travelling in high season which I definitely recommend. If you can, head up to the look out as the sun is setting. The deia look out is renowned amongst people living on the island, locals and foreigners and you will know why after you arrive. The experience is completed with music being played out doors and a bar to serve you drinks however this is one of the few places you are not allowed to bring your own alcohol that I have discovered on the island.
Coll Baix: This is one of my favourite cala’s in Mallorca. It’s a little bit tricky to get to as you must either go by boat of hike. There is a long version of the hike which can be done which when I did it took about three hours each way. However, if you drive to the closest accessible point you only have to walk half an hour to forty minutes. The hike isn’t particularly difficult so never fear. There is no area where any refreshments or food may be purchased as there are at many other beaches on the island. Due to this it is important that you remember to bring enough with you.