In October we travelled to the beautiful Spanish island of Mallorca for a week of culinary over-consumption, cultural adventuring and maximum poolside relaxing.
Travelopo approached us and asked if we’d like to review one of their villas in exchange for a weeks stay – Hard decision right?!
Having never travelled to any of the Spanish islands, and with visions of sipping cava and scoffing copious tapas by the pool, we jumped at the opportunity to leave a wintery UK October behind…
We weren’t disapointed!
Our Travelopo Villa!
We stayed a couple of kilometres outside the Northern town of Pollença, about 6km from the sea, so we hired a car from airport in Parma to make life a bit easier.
We were instantly in love with our villa. It was called C’an Pere Estrany, and was everything you’d imagine a Spanish villa to be. Rustic, charming and earthy – with wooden beams, spacious rooms and white walls.
The attention to detail and the finishing touches were amazing, with clay pots, ornaments and local Mallorcan crafts dotted around the villa. All very homely and well thought through!
The garden was huge! More decorative clay pots, flowers and cacti. Olive trees, orange and lemons trees, and pomegranate and persimmon trees in the orchard added the extra wow factor – we had freshly fallen fruit from the garden every morning!
There were so many places to sit and eat. Either in the shade by the pool, by the bbq pit, on the front veranda, sat around the main dining table – you name it. All very peaceful, not overlooked and very quiet!
Oh yeah – Did I forget to mention the pool? We had our own pool! A perfect size for a few morning lengths and some added dive-bombs – very tranquil to chill by in the evening with tapas and a few cold cervezas!
There were 2 spacious bedrooms, one with a ensuite and large walk-in shower. The other bathroom had an epic tub!
A lady came once in the week to change the towels and clean up, and a lovely old guy came every couple of days to clean the pool and pick up the fallen olives. We attempted some broken Spanish, and muddled our way through a conversation with him!
Mallorca is pretty small when you’ve got a car! When we weren’t stuffing our faces with tapas at the villa, we were exploring Mallorca’s must-see sights..
Pollença itself is a beautiful little town. It’s narrow lanes are packed with little boutiques, terrace cafes and restaurants, back alley art galleries and pretty little stone houses.
Take the steps from the main square, all 365 of them, to the 18th century chapel, the Oratori Del Calvary. The views are incredible!
Santuari de la Mare de Déu des Puig
This pretty monastery dominates high above Pollença – it’s a 14th century former nunnery visible from anywhere in town, 333m up a mountain path.
It’s well worth a walk up there – just remember suncream and water! Entry is free to the monastery at the top, and there’s a great little cafe for a quick cafe solo before heading down the mountain. Along with the epic views, there are plenty of cats up there to keep you amused.
Walking up to the Santuari de la Mare de Déu des Puig is relatively easy – and if you’re too tired to come down, you can stay in a converted ‘cell’ for the night…
Ensamiada, Pa amb oli (a sort of open sandwich), Tumbet (like vegetable ratatouille) padron peppers, classic paella, home-grown olives, fruit from the trees – The list goes on! Don’t plan on loosing weight while you’re here!
About a 20min drive from Pollença to the north east, Alcúdia is a little coastal town that was a strategic Roman settlement. We walked along Alcúdia’s medieval city walls (free) and enjoyed exploring the little lanes and the stone houses!
Every Tuesday and Sunday there’s a popular market in Alcúdia. Local produce, clothes and leather goods make a strong appearance. Kick back with an espresso in one of busy outdoor cafes and watch how the locals haggle like pros!
A little further south down the east coast, Artà is another pretty town worth exploring. Artà is home to Santuari De Sant Salvador a the 14th century walled-fortress that offers commanding views over the valleys and to the sea.
The 1 metre thick medieval walls are pretty epic, if medieval architecture’s your thing.
Cap De Formentor
You’ll definitely need a car or a taxi to get up here! It’s just outside Port de Pollença that Cap De Formentor’s sheer limestone peaks jut into the sky.
The roads are pretty narrow to Cap De Formentor, but plenty of people make the drive up there. The views are jaw-dropping. Check out the Talaia d’Albercuix watchtower built for spotting pirates!
Climb the iron ladder, forget health and safety, and enjoy the panorama out to the ocean! Just don’t get blown over the side..
Sóller is situated about 3km inland from the Port de Sóller, midway up on Mallorca’s west coast.
One of the main things to do in Mallorca is catch the vintage wooden train from Palma to Soller, then the tram from Sóller to Port de Sóller – sadly we didn’t have time as we drink too much coffee and spend too long relaxing.
Sóller is a beautiful town, but quite busy. The centre is lined with more lovely cafes and restaurants, with a fountain as the main focal point… right until the tram comes right through the heart of the square, honking the tourists who try and stand in the way taking a picture!
We travelled to Sóller over the Serra de Tramuntana, a mountain range that runs the nearly the whole length of the north west coast of Mallorca. I can imagine that the road to and from Pollença in the summer months is very busy, as it’s twists and winds through the gorgeous mountains and pine woodland. Keep an eye out for cyclists – there are thousands of them!
We met up with a few fellow travel bloggers who happened to be in the neighbourhood!
Cailin’s Travelopo villa was right on the outskirts of Pollença – a brief wine-induced stumble from the town centre!
We talked about the highs and occasional lows of travel blogging, drank loads of €3 cava, sangria pre-mix and ate Ensaïmada’s, bowls of crisps and homemade guacamole! Plus I found out what a pickleback is…
So there we have it. We now see what all the fuss is about when people talk about Mallorca!
Growing up in the UK, Mallorca always had a bit of a reputation as a brash, ‘Brits on tour’, ‘fish and chips’ type place. But forget all the snobbery – Mallorca is a great destination for most travellers. We’ll definitely be back one day!
Big thanks to Travelopo for hosting our epic stay in Mallorca! All thoughts and feelings are our own. Travelopo have over 100,000 villas, apartments and chalets throughout Europe on their site – Check their Mallorca Villas out before you go!