Staff Review

Discovering Mallorca

by The Kirker Team

Having previously visited her sister island Ibiza, I was intrigued to discover what Mallorca had to offer during my four night stay in mid- October.'Despite being the largest of the Balearic Islands, Mallorca is easy to navigate. There are well-maintained motorways, clear signage and for the more confident driver, the winding coastal roads offer incredible views. Cycling is very popular here - you will find them fighting their way up the majority of the mountain and coastal roads and many hotels offer complimentary hire if you are brave enough to join them!'The main city Palma, is the arrival point for most visitors - many of whom flock en masse to the resorts of the south coast. However, lingering here is well-rewarded. A sunny day in Palma is like no other: the grand majesty of the cathedral looking out over the turquoise waters of the port is breath-taking. You could get lost for hours in its stone streets, finding surprises around each corner, and there are no shortage of enticing restaurants to enjoy traditional paella and tapas. This is an intimate city, best appreciated on foot. The Palacio Ca Sa Galesa, originally a Mallorcan Palace built in 1571 and now lovingly transformed into a stylish 12 room hotel is a perfect base from which to explore Palma.'I would highly recommend complementing a city break with a few days of luxurious tranquillity in the countryside. For us, this meant leaving the masses to the resorts of the south, and taking the quieter road north from Palma into the mountains. The Gran Hotel Son Net, situated on a hill above Puigpunyent, a 20 minute drive from Palma, provides stunning views across the World Heritage site Serra de Tramuntana mountain range which runs southwest to northeast of the island. The Son Net is a hugely luxurious getaway (the spectacular suites with private Jacuzzis and their own swimming pool are ideal for a special occasion), and is the perfect place to unwind whilst sipping a glass of wine from the private vineyard. For a day trip, the Carthusian Monastery in nearby Valldemossa served as refuge to Frederic Chopin and was where he composed many works.'We next ventured further up the rugged western coast of Mallorca to the small town of Deia, home to the picturesque La Residencia, perched atop the scenic winding costal roads. Combining a traditional Mediterranean rustic feel with impeccable service and uncompromising luxury, it is truly a gem. Built around two refurbished stately Mallorcan houses the property extends to almost labyrinthine grounds, with several pools, bars and restaurants. A favourite with locals celebrating a special occasion, their gourmet restaurant El Olivio is housed amongst one of the original olive presses and is highly recommended. Deia has long been viewed as Mallorca's cultural centre, due to its literary, artistic and musical heritage. As the scenery will not leave you short of inspiration, I would suggest booking in for a private lesson with La Residencia's artist in residence, unless perhaps a massage on the terrace overlooking the mountains is more appealing'The Majorcan 'Cala' (beaches) are truly magnificent, from the long sandy ones in Port Soller to the pebbled tranquility of Banyalbufar to the more secluded coves of Port de Pollenca and Cala Fornells. The Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel and Spa is perfect for families (rooms accommodate two adults and two children) and the only difficult choice is whether to have an ocean or mountain view (both are equally breath-taking!). The décor and design is that of contemporary opulence and very different from some of its more traditional counterparts on the island. The hotel is in a panoramic location on the hillside, but only a short walk away from the small yet vibrant town of Port Soller. The more understated Cala Sant Vicenc, situated in a bay of the same name, also offers nearby Port de Pollenca as a charming alternative.'Mallorca really does have it all, be it city break, relaxing amidst the mountain scenery or a more traditional beach holiday, I would be delighted to tailor-make your perfect itinerary to explore this wonderful island.' '

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