Mallorca Journals

Mallorca - not a one trick pony

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An April 2001 trip to Mallorca by Spicer

wsurf1 Photo, Mallorca, Spain More Photos
Quote: When most Europeans think of Mallorca, probably the first thing to come to mind is overcrowded beaches, drunken tourists, high rise hotels and inflatable beach toys. Well, Mallorca's got all that, but having worked there for about five months I found that it had a lot more up it's sleeve.

Mallorca - not a one trick pony

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Overview

Quote:
Pollensa old town, in the north, is fantastic and the town really comes alive at the start of August when it's festa time. There are two main nights, the first has live music all around town and all the young people come here to party outdoors. It's a drunken, jovial mood and really gets going around 2am. The next night is a bizarre recreation of battles between the Moors and Christians which took place in the town centuries ago, cannons and all, and the locals seem to have a strange fetish about stealing each others shoes... There's good walking all over the island; one good trek is to the summit of Puig Tomir. You can see the whole island stretch out before you, with black eagles circling a...Read More

The Ivy Garden

Restaurant

Quote:
The Ivy Garden is one of my favourite restaurants in Puerto Pollensa. It's on a back street just away from the main square in town, and depending on the weather you can sit in the elegantly styled dining room, or outside in the eponymous Ivy Garden. Billy, the larger than life chef and owner, has recently expanded the garden, and has created a restaurant which gives you a tranquil, informal atmosphere with great food and reasonable prices. The food is heavily influenced by Mallorquian cuisine, with excellent daily specials. You'll get a mixed clientelle of locals, ex-pats and tourists, and friendly unobtrusive service. Great location for a romantic meal, or simply just to enjoy smashing food with...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 17, 2002

Es Verger

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Restaurant

Quote:
It's not just the setting that makes this a memorable place to eat on Mallorca, although that is definitely one of the attractions. In the central area, not too far from Inca, is the old town of Alaro, in itself a pleasant place to relax over a coffee. Behind the town the terrain rises, and following signs to the castle, you'll wind round the hill negotiating hairpin bends which have to be taken with care - especially on the way back once it's dark! Once at the top, you'll be rewarded with fantastic views over the plains and towns below, and will find an old barn which is your restaurant. It's a good idea to phone and book as there's limited tables there in the genuinely rustic dining area. There...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 18, 2002

Sail & Surf

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Attraction | "Sail & Surf"

wsurf1 Photo, Mallorca, Spain
Quote:
Mallorca is a popular venue for sailing and the bay of Puerto Pollensa is a good place to try your hand at this excellent sport. If you're a beginner the morning is best, as stronger thermic winds pick up in the afternoon. Outside the main holiday season there's more chance of stormy and unpredictable weather. As a sailing instructor myself, I would only really recommend the German/Spanish run Sail & Surf centre for rentals. The equipment is pretty good, you can get instruction in English, German or Spanish, and safety cover is provided. You can also learn to windsurf there or hire equipment, although the windsurf equipment is of a basic standard. Talk to the beach manager Adrian, who's a ni...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 17, 2002

Cycling in Mallorca

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Attraction

Cycling in Mallorca Photo, Mallorca, Spain
Quote:
Mallorca is a cyclists paradise, especially in the spring when all the top road cycling teams come to train here. There are cycle lanes all over the place, so if you enjoy biking, or just like looking at men's backsides in lycra then check it out! Outside of Palma, the only good cycle spares shop that we could find was in Pollensa old town, just round the corner from the bodega which is toward Puig de Maria. There were road and mountain bike spares there, also the guy who works there was helpful and knew the area pretty well. The north and west of the island is good for serious road biking with steep winding climbs and stunning views. Mountain biking options can be limited because a lot...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 18, 2002

Walk Majorc!

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Attraction

Torrent de Parreis Photo, Mallorca, Spain
Quote:
Mallorca is a walkers paradise, especially in the spring and early autumn where the climate is perfect. Watch out for trekking in the high summer where you will need to wear a shady hat and take plenty of water with you, also snacks to keep you going - eg. fruit and nuts. Do not underestimate the effects of dehydration! There are routes for all abilities, here are a selection: easy - Boquer Valley - walk straight from the town centre in Puerto Pollensa where within five minutes you are in the hills and away from mainstream Mallorca. You will wind through a spectacular valley with mountain goats to greet you, and arrive at the lovely Boquer Bay. There isn't much shade so go early in th...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 31, 2002

Festa des Patrones

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Attraction

 Christians Prepare for Battle Photo, Mallorca, Spain
Quote:
The old town of Pollensa is one of Mallorca's finest and most evocative. The narrow streets, fine old buildings and elegant main square provide a great setting for a meal or gentle wander at any time of the year. It's at the start of August, however, when the town really comes alive, when centuries of tradition and history are recreated and celebrated at the town's festa of 'Mare de Deu dels Angels', also known as the festa des Patrones. The build-up locally is palpable, flags start appearing on farm houses and casa's in the area - one type with a yellow crescent, the other with black and red squares. The symbolism is deep-rooted in the town and island's history, when the Christian populati...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 31, 2002

Miro Foundation

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Attraction

Miro in Mallorca Photo, Mallorca, Spain
Quote:
One of the great things about Mallorca is its diversity. For example, you could be eating fish & chips on the beach at Magalluf in the morning, then after a short car journey could be in the artistic retreat of the Miro Foundation set amongst commanding views of Palma and the coast. Most art lovers will be familiar with Miro's unique style, and the foundation is his direct legacy, comprising an art school, gallery, and his original studios and home. His studio is left as it was, with thousands of artifacts and paintings, finished and unfinished, sprawled around the airy building. You can stroll round the beautiful and peaceful gardens, and then peruse the exhibitions inside the main building. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 1, 2002

Eating in the busy season

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Although I've talked a lot about the alternative Mallorca, it's undeniably one of the most heavily touristed islands in the med. This means that in peak school summer holiday weeks it gets very very busy in places. Eating out can become something of a headache, it can be very hard to get a table in a good restaurant, and even when you get a table overworked waiting staff struggle to provide good service. I found that toward the end of July, I would always phone for a reservation, or more often we ate at home, using the wonderful local ingredients from the street markets or the supermarket. Or why not do as the Mallorquians do, and pack up a few chairs and a barbeque - you can buy small disposable ...Read More