Mallorca is an island we have visited so often and love so much we keep returning year after year.
It has so much to offer, a rich culture, excellent food, you can get lost in the mountains of the North, and the scenery on the North West coast is breathtaking. We spend all of our time in the North West of the island; Soller, Pollenca, Alcudia Old Town and Deia, but our favourite part of the island is Fornalutx. A hire car is a must to allow you to explore.
Deia, is an idyllic village and has become a “millionaires” hideaway, it could have just been another pretty Mallorcan village if the poet and novelist Robert Graves had not moved to the village.
Today Deia is still very much an artists village with a number of art galleries, gift shops, a good selection of restaurants and top end hotels. It is now a popular haunt with the rich and famous, with Princess Diana, Bob Geldof and Andrew Lloyd Webber having visited.
As you can imagine the hotels in Deia are all high end, the most famous being the Belmond La Residencia which was formerly owned by Richard Branson and provides luxury accomodation on the outskirts of the village. Es Moli on the other side of the village is another high end establishment that has everything the discerning visitor requires for a relaxing holiday. The Sa Pedrissa is a boutique hotel and offers a more low key intimate vibe.
Deia is home to some fine dining restaurants The Michelin Star Es Raco d’Es Teix, The El Olivo within the Hotel Belmond La Residencia. For rustic Mallorcan cuisine try the Restaurant Sebastaion or the El Barrigon Xelini. Or if you want to dine in a film set head to the Ca’s Patro March, which is famous for featuring in the TV series the “Night Manager”.
Soller is a typical old Mediterranean town set in a lush valley of orange groves between the mountains and the sea. The main square has plenty of cafes and bars, and it has a large local market on Saturdays.
Soller lies a few miles inland from its port, Port de Soller, there is a vintage tram that connects them. There is also a vintage train that runs between Palma and Soller, which is an attraction in its own right.
Soller has a few stylish boutique hotels and quality restaurants, our favourite hotel is the Hotel Finca Ca Nai, which is in the middle of the countryside between Soller and Port de Soller, but has its own tram stop making both very accessible. The rooms have a rustic decor and large balconies or patios with views of the mountains. The restaurant offers excellent Mediterranean cuisine and guests can enjoy its spectacular views.
Port de Soller, is still a picturesque village situated in a large horseshoe bay, its isolated location at the foot of the Serra de Tramuntana Mountains meant that, before the Soller tunnel opened in the 1990s, it was a very difficult place to get to. As a result, unlike many other seaside destinations on the island which were subject to overdevelopment in the 70s and 80s, Port de Soller remained a charming seaside destination.
The bay has a sandy beach and a pedestrianised promenade lined with endless bars, cafes and restaurants. Remaining true to its traditional fishing harbour roots, seafood restaurants are in abundance. Two worthy of a mention are both next to the marina at the far end of the bay, The Kingfisher and Xelini and both serve excellent seafood.
Alcudia, is a perfectly walled medieval town, it sits on the peninsula that separates the bays of Pollenca and Alcudia.
Alcudia provides a real contrast to the tourist beach resorts of Port d’Alcudia and Port de Pollenca. It offers an authentic Mallorcan experience, it has a large twice weekly market on Tuesdays and Saturdays. There are many boutique hotels and excellent restaurants within the walled town. Saying that, we have always booked a town house when we have stayed just for the ease of having space.
There is a cycle path to Port de Pollenca which makes for a nice relaxing day out and a great restaurant Can Cuarassa on the way which is well worth a stop for lunch. Restaurants we recommend in Alcudia are Osteria El Patio and Restaurant S’Arc which are well worth a visit.
Pollenca is an ancient rural town at the tip of the Serra de Tramuntana Mountains, although we have never actually stayed in Pollenca we have stopped many times on route between Fornalutx and Alcudia.
Pollenca has kept its local charm, and there are more locals than tourists, the square Placa Major, is filled with market stalls and a wide selection of restaurants and cafes.
It is certainly worth stopping for a gentle stroll around the square or a climb up to the church for lunch, there are also a few boutique hotels in the centre of town. The Restaurant Bar Nou serves excellent hearty Mallorcan cuisine, this is the first restaurant that we tasted “Tumbet”. We enjoyed it so much that we now cook it at home.
Fornalutx is our favourite destination in Mallorca the charming village just draws us back year after year, the village sits deep in the Serra de Tramuntana Mountains and claims to be one of the prettiest villages in Spain.
The village is well worth a walk through with its pretty lanes filled with potted plants and old Mallorcan charm. It also has some wonderful walking trails. One of our favourites is to walk to Soller via Biniaraix, stopping at the café Es Barranc for coffee.
The village has a laid back atmosphere with a great selection of cafes and restaurants with wonderful views of the orange groves and Puig Major, the highest mountain in Mallorca.
For a small village it is well catered for with a bakery, a well-stocked Spar, chemist, a bank with ATM, a few souvenir shops and three café / bars located in the square.
We had always booked villas when staying in the village, as the views were stunning and all had private pools, the only downside was that they were outside the village or set so high into the mountains that the trek back after dinner and a few glasses of wine were better suited to a mountain goat.
Then we stumbled across the Sa Taqueta de Fornalutx Hotel, which is a 4-star adult only apartment hotel with 14 separate apartments on the edge of the village, being a five minute easy stroll to the village square. It has a wonderful pool, breakfast is served on the terrace and it has an honesty bar, if you want afternoon drinks by the pool.
The village also has a great choice of restaurants, Can Nantuna and Es Turo are at the top end of the village, and both sell hearty traditional Mallorcan food, the fact that they are packed with locals tells you how good they both are.
Calzone Pizzeria produces great pizza, while across the road Can Nantura has a great selection of local produce, as well as five or six fresh seafood dishes on its daily menu.
Two new restaurants have just opened the New Red Fort which is Indian as well as Molon which looks like a classy tapas restaurant, we have also still got to dine at the Restaurant Café Med. So we will being trying all three in 2020.
So our overall assessment of Mallorca is, it has some magical effect that draws us back year after year, we are returning to Fornalutx in 2020 but also for the first time we are going to visit the east coast so we will update this blog after our next visit.